Burning Pellets in a Fireplace

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wfwilson

New Member
Nov 4, 2009
6
[email protected]
Hi
I am new to this forum. I have a factory manufactured wood fireplace with open front has doors but they do not seal and are mainly closed when not in use. We do not want to give up burning wood , due to age and health I would like to burn pellets. As I have read on the forum and been told by installers I have to remove the fireplace and start all over again. This is not possible due to budget or unless I win the lottery! I have seen racks of angle iron bradleyburner.com and several types of baskets on ebay for burning pellets in an air tight wood stove or claim fireplace on the internet. I can not get a straight answer from anyone if they will work in an open fireplace. I have played around with angle iron racks and simple baskets and pellets do not burn well in open fireplace flam up then just smolder and smoke. It is impossible to control the air as the front is open,
Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Wayne
 

Fsappo

Minister of Fire
Apr 9, 2008
4,331
Central NY
fireplace said:
Hi
I am new to this forum. I have a factory manufactured wood fireplace with open front has doors but they do not seal and are mainly closed when not in use. We do not want to give up burning wood , due to age and health I would like to burn pellets. As I have read on the forum and been told by installers I have to remove the fireplace and start all over again. This is not possible due to budget or unless I win the lottery! I have seen racks of angle iron bradleyburner.com and several types of baskets on ebay for burning pellets in an air tight wood stove or claim fireplace on the internet. I can not get a straight answer from anyone if they will work in an open fireplace. I have played around with angle iron racks and simple baskets and pellets do not burn well in open fireplace flam up then just smolder and smoke. It is impossible to control the air as the front is open,
Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Wayne
Never tried it, but I have spoken with folks that have. Seemed to work ok. Why not just get those compressed logs?
 

wfwilson

New Member
Nov 4, 2009
6
[email protected]
Franks
If you still know the people that have burned pellets in fireplace please ask them for any info the have or have them contact me via email if they dont mind.
thanks
Wayne
 
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imacman

Guest
fireplace said:
..... pellets do not burn well in open fireplace flam up then just smolder and smoke.
Hi wayne, and welcome to the forum. Just as you have found out, pellets are not meant to be burned in a fireplace on a rack....if it was that easy, nobody would be shelling out $2-4000 for pellet stoves. Pellets burn well when there is a constant supply of air feeding the fire, and you'll never get that with a fireplace.

IMO, what Franks mentioned above would be the way to go if I were you...get the compressed logs.

BTW, your not trying to heat your home with the fireplace, are you? Your just trying to ue the pellets to burn for some "ambiance", right?
 

wfwilson

New Member
Nov 4, 2009
6
[email protected]
Macman
That is correct it is for Ambiance and of course sitting in the family room it makes it nice and cosy and warm in the evenings watching TV. With the open front of the fireplace I thought there would be a constant supply of air feeding the fire. Is there anything I can do to make it work?
Thanks for your help time and attention.
Wayne
 

defield

New Member
Nov 21, 2008
433
South Central Maine
Fireplace,

I have burned wood in an open fireplace, a Franklin fireplace or two, an airtight wood stove, and a wood boiler for 40+ years.

Switched to a pellet stove last year. ( Still use the wood boiler when it is cold enough.)

It is true that a fireplace has a constant source of oxygen, but a pellet stove burns very differently, and the oxygen for combustion is supplied very differently. Typically, the pellets are held in a relatively small metal burn pot and the combustion air, supplied from a dedicated combustion fan, is directed at the burn pot in a controlled manner. Think of an "engineered" burn.

I agree with Macman and the others, bio bricks or manufactured logs would be a much better solution ( in my opinion ).

I have tried burning some of the "fines" screened from pellets in the wood boiler ( sprinkled on top of a burning fire) and they just do not burn well.

Good luck for enjoyable burning with whatever decision you make.

Ranger
 

Scoop

New Member
Nov 29, 2008
190
Southern Ontario
I have a special custom made container for burning pellets in a wood burning stove or fireplace. The pellets burn evenly in our kitchen fire-place with glass doors. About two pounds of pellets will burn for about an hour in the perforated, stainless steel container.

My beef is that they provide very little heat outside of the fireplace. I wouldn't go that route.
 
I

imacman

Guest
fireplace said:
Macman
That is correct it is for Ambiance and of course sitting in the family room it makes it nice and cosy and warm in the evenings watching TV.......
Wayne, the reason your "cosy and warm" in front of your fireplace is because of the large amount of wood that's piled in it. Unfortunately, the GREAT majority of the heat generated by a fireplace goes up the chimney....not into the room. You would have to have a way to have a LARGE pile of pellets burning to get close to what you want.

Again, IMO, get the BioBricks mentioned above.....the wood pellets are not the way to go, in this situation.
 

cncpro

New Member
Jun 29, 2008
341
NE Connecticut, USA
As I have read on the forum and been told by installers I have to remove the fireplace and start all over again.
Why is that ? People install "pellet stove inserts" into existing fireplaces all the time. Did I miss something ? Is your fireplace too small for a pellet stove insert ?

I can understand that rebuilding your chimney is out of budget but how about installing a new or used pellet stove in a different area of the room ? You can just run the pellet chimney pipe straight out the wall usually especially if you're not intending to run the stove 24/7...
 

defield

New Member
Nov 21, 2008
433
South Central Maine
Fireplace,

Following up on cncpro's suggestions:

Don't know the details of your room that the fireplace is in, but, if you have a little space, and if the fireplace is on an outside wall, it should be possible to install a pellet stove in front of the manufactured fireplace and run the exhaust, and the outside air kit through the back of the existing fireplace.

Please keep in mind that fireplaces are VERY inefficient ( your glass doors help) and there is a 30% income tax incentive on many pellet stoves.

Ranger
 

richkorn

Minister of Fire
Jul 28, 2008
640
SE CT
fireplace said:
Hi
I am new to this forum. I have a factory manufactured wood fireplace with open front has doors but they do not seal and are mainly closed when not in use. We do not want to give up burning wood , due to age and health I would like to burn pellets. As I have read on the forum and been told by installers I have to remove the fireplace and start all over again. This is not possible due to budget or unless I win the lottery! I have seen racks of angle iron bradleyburner.com and several types of baskets on ebay for burning pellets in an air tight wood stove or claim fireplace on the internet. I can not get a straight answer from anyone if they will work in an open fireplace. I have played around with angle iron racks and simple baskets and pellets do not burn well in open fireplace flam up then just smolder and smoke. It is impossible to control the air as the front is open,
Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Wayne
Wayne,

I have a prefab fireplace also and installed a free-standing pellet stove in front of it and it vents up the fireplace flue with a 4" flex liner. This works great and you might want to consider one of the HD or Lowes Englander models, but no pellet stove is $cheap. IMO pellets are way too expensive to be thrown in a fireplace + as you saw, they don't do well in a fireplace (nothing like seasoned cord wood). I would either install a free standing unit in front of your factory fireplace or -

This would be my choice:
Use the bio bricks in your fireplace to get 'some' heat and 'mood' (I like the Envi Blocks by Barefoot: http://www.enviblocks.com/)

My avatar shows my Lopi Leyden installed in front of my factory fireplace.
 

wfwilson

New Member
Nov 4, 2009
6
[email protected]
Hi All
Thanks for all the feedback it is really appreciated. My fireplace is in the center of the house and the chimney goes up through the center. I will take a picture and upload is asap. I know how inefficent it is that is why I origionally wanted to but a wood insert, which I found out is not legal. IT looks like I will have to keep buring wood or the artifical logs.
I am tied up all day today but hope to load the picture tomorros.
Regards
Wayne
 
I

imacman

Guest
fireplace said:
.....that is why I origionally wanted to but a wood insert, which I found out is not legal........
I guess you mean a wood-burning type insert? Just because a wood stove isn't legal, doesn't mean you can't put a pellet insert in.
 

wfwilson

New Member
Nov 4, 2009
6
[email protected]
Yes I did mean wood burning insert. I have uploaded a picture of my fireplace to my public profile and I think as an attachment
Wayne
In Ontario where I live with an factory manufactured fireplace any kind of insert is not legal.
Wayne
 

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MCPO

Minister of Fire
If wood or pellets isn`t an option why not just seal the chimney (insulation) for now and get a good quality electric log set to put inside.
It would be considerably more efficient than what you have now or trying to get heat from a pile of smoldering pellets. And no work.
 
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imacman

Guest
CanadaClinker said:
Hey fireplace......what do you think of the look of your fire place now.......with an insert....... cc :)
Too funny, CC , but it WOULD look good there. :)
 
macman said:
CanadaClinker said:
Hey fireplace......what do you think of the look of your fire place now.......with an insert....... cc :)
Too funny, CC , but it WOULD look good there. :)
........thats what I was thinkn' mac...... cc
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,497
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
CanadaClinker said:
macman said:
CanadaClinker said:
Hey fireplace......what do you think of the look of your fire place now.......with an insert....... cc :)
Too funny, CC , but it WOULD look good there. :)
........thats what I was thinkn' mac...... cc
cc your a magician, Looks great!
 

tgloersen

New Member
Oct 21, 2009
41
N New Haven County, CT
jtakeman said:
CanadaClinker said:
macman said:
CanadaClinker said:
Hey fireplace......what do you think of the look of your fire place now.......with an insert....... cc :)
Too funny, CC , but it WOULD look good there. :)
........thats what I was thinkn' mac...... cc
cc your a magician, Looks great!
Don't forget to use a level!!

Or just burn the Bio -Bricks. Just as good as a pellet
 
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