Easier pellet stove filling

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jack05oak

Member
Mar 23, 2009
9
Worcester County, MA.
I'm trying to help a friend find a way to fill her stove easily. She has arthritis & elbow issues, the bags are too heavy. Can a shop vac for example be used somehow to fill the stove or maybe some type of lift & tilt setup, maybe a pulley...looking for ideas. The bags are stored close to the stove in the cellar, but the lifting and pouring causes a fair amount of pain....thank you​
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,112
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Sounds overly complicated . . . how about just scooping out the pellets from the bag with a smaller container such as a water pitcher or even smaller containers . . . it would take a bit longer . . . but would get the job done.
 

NortheastAl

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2012
676
Putnam, NY
Sounds overly complicated . . . how about just scooping out the pellets from the bag with a smaller container such as a water pitcher or even smaller containers . . . it would take a bit longer . . . but would get the job done.
Definitely, the most logical solution.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,146
Northern IL
Gonna slip this over to the pellet mill. Those pellet heads are a fiddly ingenious group. This will get wider viewing with the folks that deal with them.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
I have seen some good designs for moving corn etc. at Iburncorn using pvc and shop vacs. My mother uses a aluminum feed scoop that is about 3 quarts.
 

St_Earl

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2011
1,337
millinocket, maine
i've never seen them, and i don't know where they are available, but i have heard some pellets can be purchased in 20lb bags.

at least they'd be easier to move into place to use the scoop method.
good luck. hope she finds a good way to do this.
 

movemaine

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2011
514
Central Maine
movemaine.com
Search "pellet dispenser" on the forums. There's an item floating around out there, which is essentially a whole house vacuum that's been slightly modified to suck up pellets and dispense them through a hose.
 

dw06

Member
Nov 15, 2010
197
SW Pa
I use a feed scoop, got a plastic one at TSC, and they come in 2-3 sizes. Less mess than trying to pour from bag, and you are not lifting more than 3-5 lb depending on size at a time.
 

briansol

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2009
1,913
central ct
buy a bunch of 2 or 3 gallon pails, fill them for her once a week.
she can dump a pail ever couple hours (or a few at a time) in without the weight.
 

Hoot23

Minister of Fire
Mar 28, 2012
868
Alfred, Me
Lg makes a 30lb bag. Or a scoop.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
She should set up a table near the side of the stove. If two or three bag are set up there for her, she can transfer the pellets over to the stove without lifting them up which often is the painful part.
 

jack05oak

Member
Mar 23, 2009
9
Worcester County, MA.
Thanks all, some decent ideas. The table idea & multiple smaller pails may work, it's a combination of the motion & weight that's the issue. I've seen her wince in pain sometimes just picking up 3-5 lbs. I'll also try out I burncorn.com. & let ya all know if I find anything suitable....again thanks.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
Corn burners usually get their fuel in bulk to get the best deal for a local product. Good luck.
 

whlago

Feeling the Heat
Nov 30, 2011
294
NW Connecticut
Devil's advocate here.....maybe pellet burning isn't for her anymore. Propane may be the way to go.
 

movemaine

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2011
514
Central Maine
movemaine.com
Devil's advocate here.....maybe pellet burning isn't for her anymore. Propane may be the way to go.
Very true. A propane stove will be super low maintenance, spit out some heat, and will look nicer than a pellet stove (can be smaller, etc.)
 

skibumm100

Feeling the Heat
I like the vacuum idea. If you used a cyclone on the discharge end you could get rid of the fines, too. Of course, you'll probably make some more fines in the process. It would be great for filling a pellet furnace where you didn't have to look at the cyclone and the hopper sides are higher.

We use an antique wooden chest near the pellet insert. It holds four bags of pellets and I just dump them in and keep the open end of the bag in the pile to keep the dust down. Then I use a plastic square-cornered grain scoop to load the insert hopper. Once the four bags are used up, I vacuum out the fines in the bottom of the chest and add four more bags of pellets. Either me or my boys bring the bags up from the basement so my wife doesn't have to do it. She will fill the hopper with the scoop, though. It also keeps the plastic bags away from the hot stove so we never have a melted mess on our hands.
 
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