Budget stove with on/off external thermostat support?

burnermike Posted By burnermike, Sep 10, 2018 at 9:04 PM

  1. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    I'm buying my first pellet stove to supplement (hopefully replace) electric baseboard heat in a 1600sqft home. I want to hook it up via thermostat and use auto/off to conserve pellets in the shoulder seasons.

    I've found Enviros and Heatilators have this support, but I'm not sure of their price because they seem to be available only through dealers. Which makes me think they are expensive. The Pelpro, US Stove, Comfortbilt, and Pleasant Hearth either have a built in set-and-forget thermostat or none at all. I want an external thermostat with on/off support.

    What stoves are there less than $2500 that support on/off with a reasonable or adjustable delay?
     
  2. rona

    rona
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    Apr 2, 2008
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    Most Harmans offer on -off thermostat restart. They are a proven stove that works. You should be able to find a used one in your price range. You might have to replace a fan or other part but that's not hard to do. The on and off feature is ok but you also have the cost of replacing igniters more often. The other option is letting the stove idle which uses a little more fuel but some igniters cost up to 150.00 . I'd strongly recommend staying away from the box stoves for the simple reason there is a reason why they are cheap. Look on Craigs list or places like that or sometimes you can buy refurbished stoves in which the worn parts are replaced. I have sold rebuilt Harmans for 1800.00 . A good stove will hold its value while a box store stove won't.
     
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  3. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    @rona How old would you go? I've never owned a fireplace or stove before so I don't know how they hold up to typical wear and tear.

    There's an ad for a St. Croix Hastings for $875 from 2005. I'm a bit uncomfortable buying something 17 years old to use for another 10. What do you think?
     
  4. Battleman13

    Battleman13
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    Sep 4, 2018
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    Go and look at it. See what condition it is in. Test burn it.

    An older stove isn't necessarily a bad stove. It all depends on how well it was taken care of and what is worn out.


    If you need to replace auger motors, several gaskets, and a blower motor or two... then I'd be wanting to get the price
    down some. Your talking a few hundred dollars worth of parts, and that is doing the work yourself. That could be a $600
    rebuild if you pay someone else to do it.

    I'd look more at if the stove was a higher end model for it's time, what else is available to you in the price range, and the condition
    / how much work this used stove is going to cost you.

    Consider that even if you do have to put $600 or more into it, that might be a stove that an equivalent would cost $3000 new.
    Also don't forget the value of any extras included. If the vent piping and outside air kit is included... those things aren't cheap to
    buy new. Could be up to $300 in the cost of that stuff. So suddenly that $875 becomes a better deal when you factor in the cost
    of those extras (if they are included).
     
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  5. doghouse

    doghouse
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    Dec 9, 2008
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    That's still too much for a 13 year old Hastings. More than likely you "will' have to replace items on that stove. Shop around some more.

    Or: https://www.amfmenergy.com /
     
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  6. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    That's the problem. This is my first stove so I don't even know what I'm looking for, or how to evaluate it. I've read for months, but I don't have that practical experience.

    I did go take a look at another one... an Enviro EF2 being given away for free. Seemed like good shape. But there was some rust (I guess that's normal?), it didn't run well on low setting (normal? I want to run low as I like the temp cool). No starter. Then he went in and showed me his King KP130 that was more automatic (which is what I want) he just got for $1100. So that made me turn down the offer, look at the PelPros, Kings, etc.... that was before I knew about thermostat hookups...

    So yeah. Being new to this it's really hard for me to look at a used stove and evaluate the kind of condition it is in. Now I'm thinking something from AMFM Energy or an ebay refurb...
     
  7. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Timber Ridges seem to indicate a thermostat can be wired, but the owner's manual doesn't indicate whether it is hi/low or on/off or if there is any time on low before shutting off.
     
  8. Battleman13

    Battleman13
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    I didn't know a whole lot before I went and bought mine either. Really didn't know much except it was likely a control panel issue but the stove was cheap and the description kinda vague.

    If you can see the stove run, verify the augers turn. You might need to read up a bit on the stove your looking at to know for sure, but on my Englander the auger that pulls pellets down from the bin runs intermittently and the bottom auger runs continuous. So a good test would be to try to start the unit, and verify both auger motors are "working". Doesn't guarantee they are good, but it's a good start.

    Assess the overall "condition" of the stove. Surface rust isn't uncommon on an older stove, and can be taken care of fairly easy. Stove might be a bit dirty, but you can assess the condition of the vaccum hoses if there are any, look at the rope gaskets... listen to the sound of the blowers. It can be a little hard... I'm not all that much better at it myself, but you can pick out some things even with very little experience.

    A free stove, especially one that fires, is pretty hard to pass up. Could have been an issue with air leaks, a weak blower, or just a dirty stove that needed a good cleaning. A lot of stove owners think vacuuming out the ash pan and down beside it is a "good clean". You really need to get the blowers clean, the burn chamber completely clean and even the vent pipe. They don't clean the tubes where the air comes in and the exhaust goes out. In my stove at least, that is directly below the burn pot. If those cake up with ash, the clean air coming in will be very limited and the stove will have a harder time exhausting the combustion gasses.
     
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  9. doghouse

    doghouse
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    Two auger Englanders work on 'hi-low,' not sure on the single auger stoves.
     
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  10. zrock

    zrock
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    Dec 2, 2017
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    you can get some pretty good deals on older stoves.. mine is 10 or more years old when i got it had a new auger in it, and i replaced ignitor and burn pan. It ran perfectly all season untill the end where it would light and then go out. Assuming it was a temp disk or something that is going but not a big deal as it would always start the second time... so their are good deals out their..
     
  11. Tech Guru

    Tech Guru
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    Jul 17, 2015
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    I may be late to the party, but the True North TN40 pellet stove is offered at a low price and does support external thermostat wiring. True North is the 'budget priced' arm of Pacific Energy. One to consider anyway, as the price is certainly right. My understanding is they have employed some of the former pellet engineers from Enviro and Regency in order to get themselves back into the pellet market.

    http://truenorthstoves.com/en/products/pellet/tn40-pellet-stove
     
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  12. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Thanks for the ideas.

    I’m going to see a used two year old Regency Hampton GC60 today. $600 plus $600 to move it. Grand total $1200 plus a DIY hearth pad and piping from the hardware store. I’m worried about fan noise and it being tied to the heat setting, but but it looks nice and you can choose between on/off and high/low thermostat modes.
     
  13. rona

    rona
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    Generally these stoves need fans for combustion and for blowing heat into the area you want to heat. The amount of noises is directly related to and amount of air that is being moved. In other words the more heart produced usually the louder the fan will be. Having said that its like buying a new fridge different sound in the house for a couple weeks then after a while you get used to it and no big deal.
    A couple points to remember when looking at stoves is when they say its a 40,000 btu stove they go by the maximum pellets being burned in a given time. They won't tell you how much of the heat is going into the room versus how much is going out the exh. The most efficient setting is about 3/4 of the highest setting. After that a lot of heat will go out the exh. So buy accordingly. Buy bigger then you need and run it at 75% wide open.
    The other is basically about features. You should be looking for a stove that has a big fuel hopper and a big ash bucket that can be removed and dumped when the stove is running. I like electronic ignition as well. plus a place for a thermostat, I like to get a set back programmable thermostat so the stove can run at a lower thermostat setting if you are gone then have it turn itself up before you come home. There is a lot more to a stove then appearance - so be sure you know where you can get parts if needed. Ive listened to people who had to wait for a month for parts.
     
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  14. johneh

    johneh
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    600 to MOVE it
    Not in my life time
    2 friends a trailer or truck and a case of beer
    unless it also includes the full install
     
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  15. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    I know. Unfortunately we just moved to the area and don’t know anybody who could help. The stove weighs 450lbs. I think $600 is ridiculous. That was the cheapest of three quotes from local movers. It’s also a high cost of living area if you couldn’t tell...
     
  16. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    I eventually went with a Ravelli RV100 Classic. Nearly double my initial budget. We didn’t like that style at first, but after visiting three dealers, we found we actually preferred the look of the European stoves for our living room. Sleek. Compact. Blends in better. I wish we had the house for a Deerfield, Mt Vermont, or a traditionally styled stove.

    For others reading: we also found a Fancesca on sale for $2k. Seems similar to a Serinity from Home Depot. The auger on the RV80 (supposedly the same intenrals as the Francesca) was whiny loud. RV100 was nearly silent. Also puts out 44k btu compared to the Francesca’s 35k. Lowest feed rate on the RV100 is 1.3lbs/hr. Francesca is 1.03 lbs/hr. Francesca has a tiny ash bin that is kind of annoying to remove. RV100 has a nice big bucket. The dealer claimed the RV100 has the same internals as the Roma. The Roma’s lowest feed rate is 1.9, and a worse turndown ratio so I’m not sure what to make of that.

    Trying to decipher the poorly translated manuals, both stoves appear to support external thermostats in on/off mode or high/low mode. The delay for on/off appears adjustable. The built-in 7 day programmable thermostats seems to have a design flaw. You can split the day into four segments, but the stove will turn off and then reignight between each segment. Seems like a pretty bad oversight. Maybe they fixed it. I’ll find out. But my long term plan is to control it off of a programmable wall thermostat, so in the end I don’t care too much.

    If I was on a tighter budget I would have gone for the Francesca. Looks like a nice little appliance/refrigerator/water cooler. Very low feed rate. And very efficient.

    Now to wait for winter to see how the RV100c really performs.
     

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