Castle Serenity = massive electric use increase

divona98

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
3
Michigan
Help! First time pellet stove users. Always had wood burners before. We bought & installed our new Castle Serenity about Nov 14, 2018

It's installed correctly, vent rise & piped correctly out the side wall, fresh air inlet uses house air (drafty small house 900 sq ft), stove set in corner of large living room, high quality pellets (usually hardwood, sometimes softwood), bag usually lasts 20 hours, running 24-7 on Manual - Level 1, occasionally Level 2 (we don't use it on Thermostat or Weekly), blower voltage set correctly
1. Stall Voltage:-95V
2. Stall Voltage:-100V
3. Stall Voltage:-105V
4. Stall Voltage:-110V
5. Stall Voltage:-110V

Since installation, our electric bill has increased INSANELY. From previous winter averages of $90 to an outrageous $250 a month the last two bills. (We finally shut CS down & turned propane furnace back up).

We have no other new electric using items, just the ones we've had for years. NO usage of electric heaters, ect, and G**** L**** Energy Company confirms the increase began on -same date- as stove installation.

Their computer shows that, since installation, our house has average electric usage for a day, then a HUGE spike continuing for 2 or 3 days straight (over 100 kwh per day), then it drops down again for a day. Leaps back up the next day, etc.

WHY? This stove was supposed to save us money not run us into the poorhouse!
Any suggestions?

NOTE: I have emailed Castle company, waiting for reply.
NOTE: Installed a PelPro in our 1,200 sq ft pole barn (about 90% insulated) a week after the CS in house. Runs 24-7 on Low, the only heat source, bag lasts about 20 hours, keeps it between 34* - 44* inside. Barn is on separate meter, that bill has only increased $30 a month!
UPDATED to add - No outside source tapping into our electric.
 
Last edited:

bob bare

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
2,957
park county montana
I say impossible it is the stove.Go to hardware store and purchase a Kill-A-Watt tester.Your stove would draw 70 watts running.If igniter was stuck on,it would be about 470 watts.Still nowhere close to your numbers,and ignitor would have burned out.To put it in perspective--"An electric heater consuming 1000 watts (1 kilowatt), and operating for one hour uses one kilowatt hour of energy. A television consuming 100 watts operating for 10 hours continuously uses one kilowatt hour. A 40-watt electric appliance operating continuously for 25 hours uses one kilowatt hour." Bad power meter or someone tapped into your house?
 

divona98

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
3
Michigan
I say impossible it is the stove.Go to hardware store and purchase a Kill-A-Watt tester.Your stove would draw 70 watts running.If igniter was stuck on,it would be about 470 watts.Still nowhere close to your numbers,and ignitor would have burned out.To put it in perspective--"An electric heater consuming 1000 watts (1 kilowatt), and operating for one hour uses one kilowatt hour of energy. A television consuming 100 watts operating for 10 hours continuously uses one kilowatt hour. A 40-watt electric appliance operating continuously for 25 hours uses one kilowatt hour." Bad power meter or someone tapped into your house?
Thank you for the reply, tomorrow I will buy a Kill-A-Watt tester.
Possibly a bad meter...?...the electric company says they will check it for free...unless it's not the meters fault, then we get stuck with $75 service call...sigh.
For sure no one is tapping our electric, farm country out here. Can barely see the neighbor's place :)
 

2011GT/CS

New Member
Nov 5, 2018
10
Lehigh valley, Pa.
Just a funny idea to check. Make sure your well pump is shutting off as it should. I had a broken line from the pump to the house about 8 years ago and my electric bill went up 90.00 dollars in 1 month due to the pump never shutting off. The higher bill is what made me investigate things. Keep us posted as to what you find.
 

mikkeeh

Feeling the Heat
Dec 7, 2011
415
NE Ohio
Ground fault in your electric service? Power company can check it. If the serenity is running 24/7, I could see 15 or 20/mo increase. Well pump is another possibility. Do you have an aeration pump on a septic, or electric water heater with a burned out element? Gonna take some detective work. Might even have to shut off all circuits, then turn them on one at a time and see how it effects your meter.......or shut off the service panel, and see if the meter still spins....indicating ground fault. Good luck....keep up informed.
 

dandersox

New Member
Jan 15, 2017
7
Central Iowa
I have this same stove I installed autumn 2017, so just over a year. I didn't notice any appreciable increase in my electric bill. Granted, it only runs when we are hanging out in the TV room (weekends), but still my electric bill hasn't changed.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,872
Nova Scotia
IMO the number one cause for a big unexplained increase in power use, is a well pump problem.

Assuming you have a well pump, that is.

Going by what the power company said about the pattern, I would first suspect an intermittently leaking foot valve.
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
699
bc
Check with your local electrical company .. I know in my area they are legally suppose to change out meter at no cost every 10 years. I found this out when i had a creaping meter and it was actually the installer that told me about this.. My meter was over 20 years old
 

divona98

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
3
Michigan
Hello again everyone,
thank you for your replies, and I think those of you who suggested the well pump were dead on. Since it's on the other side of a shed by the barn, we never noticed that it's making a non-stop humming noise. We flipped the breaker off for now, and it's getting checked tomorrow.

Also checking the electric hot water heater, and the ground fault wire, and all that other stuff you folks posted about.

Yes, the electric meter is a newer one.

Thanks again, and I will update later
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,097
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
100 kwh per day is a constant 4166 watt load. Not possible that it could have been from any of your 120 volt outlet circuits which are limited to 2400 watts before tripping. Glad you kept looking and that you know it can't possibly be the stove.
 

bob bare

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
2,957
park county montana
You guys/gals with the well pump problem/suggestions,that happened to me also,the metal fitting on my submersible pump developed a hole,leaked down everytime the pump shut off,tripled my electric bill.
 
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mikkeeh

Feeling the Heat
Dec 7, 2011
415
NE Ohio
You guys/gals with the well pump problem/suggestions,that happened to me also,the metal fitting on my submersible pump developed a hole,leaked down everytime the pump shut off,tripled my electric bill.
Also considerably shortens your pump life. I had the bladder in the pressure tank go bad. Pump ran too much and burned up. It’s all expensive. Also had a ground fault in the line underground from the meter to the house. Meter is by the road about 300 ft away.
 

drizler

Minister of Fire
Nov 20, 2005
998
Chazy, NY 12921
You guys/gals with the well pump problem/suggestions,that happened to me also,the metal fitting on my submersible pump developed a hole,leaked down everytime the pump shut off,tripled my electric bill.
Yup, all it takes is a tiny stone sized just right to jam the foot valve open . You should see condensation on the bladder tank if it’s doing that. A dead bladder tank will make your squirrelly too but I not thinking it would raise your electric bill. Tapping on the tank and hearing a hollow sound anywhere gives that away.
With a bad foot valve or pump regulator it’s gonna run constantly. Condensation all over gauge and pressure not rising till it shits off. It should be clicking on and off loudly as it hits high and low limit setting with a tap running, doing nothing when no water taps on. If instead it’s super sweaty and the pressure is bobbing when nothing is running ( faucet On) it’s a good indication your pump is running constantly.







Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Deezl Smoke

Feeling the Heat
Nov 28, 2015
462
Oregon
Here's a link to my thread on this site with pictures of my kill a watt readings for the serenity. It is a very low power usage heater.

The house I grew up in had a well system that was very antiquated with a galvanized pressure tank. The tank had no way of pressuring with air other than to empty it completely and seal the threaded bulkheads and start the pump. This meant it never really had the proper amount of air pressure and volume on top of the water to make the pump work properly. It got us by for many years with the expected draining and refilling etc. One time it developed a leak at a threaded fitting on top of the tank and let the air out, which caused the pump to cycle on and off in a few second intervals. This was not only very hard on the pump and motor, but the power consumption went nuts. Even though it only malfunctioned for a short time, the monthly power bill showed it. Now days if a power bill like that came about, the law would be crashing down your door looking for a grow operation or some criminal activity.
 

Tails1

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2016
281
Ajax, Ontario Canada
Anyone with a well and that has a remote pump (that you can't hear from inside the house) should have a pilot light installed somewhere in the house that lights up when the pump is running so that you can see right away if there is a problem.
 
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