How many are using a programmable thermostat?

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dmac80

New Member
Oct 27, 2014
37
New England
I have been running mine on low with the fan speed on high. The other night when the outside temp dropped to 30 I open the feed gate all the way and left the stove on low with the fan still on high, it kept the house nice and warm.

This is my first full year with the stove but I find leaving it on low and running constant kees the house more evenly warmed.

Where is this low setting you are talking about? I know about my 'fan speed' switch (hi\med\lo) on the right side of stove, and I know about the feed gate in the hopper, but I don't know of any other settings.
 

Papelletman

Member
Mar 17, 2014
243
Montgomery County, PA.
No that is it, just the low on the heat switch and high on the fan switch.
 

lagger

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
329
Bloomingburg NY
Of course
Wow, great to see all the replies.

For those who do not have a HI/LO (I have a quadra-fire, I assume I don't have this?) do you find it acceptable for the stove to shutdown and start back up several times during the day with a swing of say 1-3 degrees?

As stated without swing, the stove constantly shuts down and starts up mid shutdown, I know this is bad and to be avoided at all costs..... But with the swing I'd say it shuts down/starts every hour or two during the day. (with at least 15-20 minute 'rest', sometimes longer before starting back up) My stove has Hi, Med, Lo switch on the side of the stove that controls how much pellets fall at a time and how high the fan blows. I have found that leaving it on med lets the stove take a little longer to reach set point and go past the swing and shut down. If I want the stove to stay constantly running as it gets close to shutdown point I have to manually hit the switch to Lo at which point the room temp will either stay steady or actually drop depending how cold it is outside. This seems to be the only way I can make the stove stay on indefinitely during the day. I assume shutdown and startup every hour or two is acceptable, I have yet to have an issue with the igniter going on 5th season (7 year old stove).

I am going to monitor it on a cold day this upcoming weekend to get exact numbers of startup shutdown times, will post a log here.

a slower pellet feed \ fan will cause it to shut down and start less often, Not sure about your stove but mine can easily bypass the T-stat mode and run in manual if I want it to stay on long term, as it is though with the t-stat behind the stove, (the coolest spot in the room) it rarely shuts down and restarts except by the program settings, If I notice the house getting warmer than desired and the stove close to shutting down on t-stat, I usually either reduce the heat output, or raise the t-stat set point.. btw using a 2 deg. swing in winter and 1.5 in the shoulder seasons
 
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dmac80

New Member
Oct 27, 2014
37
New England
No that is it, just the low on the heat switch and high on the fan switch.

I only have 1 single switch (that I'm aware of) that I assume controls both heat/fan. It sounds like you are talking about 2 switches...
 

Papelletman

Member
Mar 17, 2014
243
Montgomery County, PA.
Yes, the cb1200 has two switches.
 

mmj

New Member
Oct 21, 2014
88
middletown, ny
The nice thing about a programmable t-Tstat is the ability to set it to start. before I wake and shut down when I leave for work, return etc. Using the tstat also lets me. Regulate the away times set point to ensure a baseline temp during sleep and work hours
Where did you get your programmable T-stat from? I have the one from Travis, but it is not programmable. Did Northstar install it or can I, who is not too techy install it.
 

whit

Member
Sep 15, 2009
160
Southern VT
My works well with a cheap programmable Honeywell. It's a fair distance from the stove - across the room - so no problem with too-rapid cycling. For a cheap thermostat that allows setting that "dead zone" Hunter makes a low-cost one that's programmable for that. Not nearly as intuitive and simple as the Honeywell to run. But it's working fine on one of my baseboard oil zones.
 

Harvey Schneider

Minister of Fire
Oct 9, 2012
1,321
Southbury, CT
My MVAE has it's own proprietary thermostat. I have it set for a one degree swing and I was thinking of reducing that to 1/2 degree. I don't know what all this worry is about with restarting the stove. The igniter isn't really expensive and I value my comfort more than the minimal effort it takes to install a new one. Even with that, the igniter is now about three years old. My thermostat is intentionally about 15 feet away from the stove so that it is sensing the air temperature of the room and not just responding to the direct output of the stove. I like having a smart thermostat primarily for the night time setback capability.
My PDVC is on a digital thermostat only because I had one lying around and I consider it more accurate and more reliable than a bi-metal thermostat. It runs full bore until my workshop is up to temperature and maintains that until it runs out of pellets (half day). Then it's time for me to go upstairs and sit down. Again, my thermostat is about 15 feet from the stove.
 

Deromax

Burning Hunk
Jun 13, 2014
168
Shawinigan, Pq, Canada
My stove has a 4 programs per day thermostat built-in! :)
 

lagger

Feeling the Heat
Apr 2, 2014
329
Bloomingburg NY
Where did you get your programmable T-stat from? I have the one from Travis, but it is not programmable. Did Northstar install it or can I, who is not too techy install it.
Northstar installed a standard Travis T-stat with a slider, my programmable is in my sig below bought it on ebay.. if you are already wired for a t stat, changing to nearly any 2 wire millivolt unit is easy as pie... btw mine was < 20 dollars shipped..has an adjustable swing setting and you can adjust it to match the temp on your oil\gas\electric room tstat. I placed it to the side and behind my insert.. same place the Travis one was installed, coldest spot in the room
 

roadking88

Feeling the Heat
Jun 20, 2011
302
central Maine
Skytech 3301p
 

Pelleting In NJ

Minister of Fire
Sep 26, 2011
598
Central NJ
I use the 7day programable thermostat built into my Ecoteck Ravelli. You can set two on/off periods per day, and set the stove power level and room temperature.
 

jjk454ss

Member
Oct 8, 2013
243
Michigan
I dont use a programable on my pellet stove, but I did on my furnace. I just don't have a consistent enough schedule that I liked it anyway. I just keep the house pretty cool all the time, but if I'm going to be home for a while I'll turn it up a few degrees manually.

I've gotten some good info on this thread though, I think maybe I should change my settings to hi/lo, how do I do this on a Quadrafire Classicbay?
 

mmj

New Member
Oct 21, 2014
88
middletown, ny
Northstar installed a standard Travis T-stat with a slider, my programmable is in my sig below bought it on ebay.. if you are already wired for a t stat, changing to nearly any 2 wire millivolt unit is easy as pie... btw mine was < 20 dollars shipped..has an adjustable swing setting and you can adjust it to match the temp on your oil\gas\electric room tstat. I placed it to the side and behind my insert.. same place the Travis one was installed, coldest spot in the room
Today we had the first power outage since I started heating with the new pellet insert.. The power in my area went out for around 35 mins. The blowers went silent but the fire continued until it burned out. While in the kitchen about 35 mins. after we lost power I heard the blowers and the fire returned.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
I dont use a programable on my pellet stove, but I did on my furnace. I just don't have a consistent enough schedule that I liked it anyway. I just keep the house pretty cool all the time, but if I'm going to be home for a while I'll turn it up a few degrees manually.

I've gotten some good info on this thread though, I think maybe I should change my settings to hi/lo, how do I do this on a Quadrafire Classicbay?

Hi/lo is a controller setting. IIRC your controller doesn't have that mode of operation.
 

Dmichigan

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2014
149
michigan
I have one but never use it just set the temp on 80 and run the stove on medium non stop, its -4 out right now 76 in basement 71 upstairs :)
 

Chris_F

Member
Dec 10, 2014
29
East Fishkill, New York
I'm not sure if this will benefit the discussion, but in case it does:
I have a Hudson River Stove Works pellet stove, freestanding Chatham model. I do not have a thermostat on this stove at all, and habitually I run it at a medium-low setting (this stove has heat settings that go from #1 to #5 and I use #2 or #3).
I had to have the stove serviced yesterday. I picked a new company and this gentleman was far more knowledgeable and way more thorough than the two companies I previously used. Because he also spent hours more time on the stove and showed me everything he did, I feel confident in his advice, so I'll pass it on here.

He said I should install and use a thermostat because he believes pellet stoves operate most efficiently and cleanly when burning the hottest (in my case, heat setting #5) and shutting off for a while when the room is hot enough, as opposed to operating constantly at a lower heat setting like I do. He recommended an inexpensive mechanical (non-programmable, of course) thermostat because they have a 7 to 10 degree temperature swing, which allows the stove to be off for a while before starting back up. He never mentioned a programmable or even an electronic thermostat, and I wonder if the better technology resulting in the 1 degree temperature swing might be one reason why he didn't recommend those.

One caveat: I don't know if his advice was not general but rather tailored toward me in particular because I live in a super drafty very old house (likely I never can have a constant temperature no matter what I do). He didn't mention, but now that I read the replies above, I wonder if he left unspoken his thoughts on not having the stove turn off and on too quickly or too frequently.

Also, I'd like to say Thank You, because others' answers to your question has given me advice I think will help me presently. My stove does have an easy three-position switch (auto on/off, high/low, and manual) on the control panel, so I now think that I might try the high/low setting instead of the on/off setting when I do install the thermostat, just to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the ignitor. One thing that makes me wary of the high/low setting is that ever since my stove was installed, it sputters out and dies after about 45 minutes on the low heat (# 1) setting. Though perhaps that will not happen now that the service man had me increase the combustion fan trim setting (from #3 to #4).
 

Connecticut Yankee

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2018
201
Connecticut
We have a Chatham as well, installed back in September, and I've only run it on #1, except for bumping it up to #2 on the really cold days we had last month. (House is pretty well insulated, so that's different from your setup.) I just wanted to present our dealer's advice, for what it's worth. He recommends running the stove only in manual mode (constant run), for the same reason of saving wear and tear on the ignitor.

I haven't bothered to hook up a thermostat, partly because of his advice, partly because I've been lazy, but I don't know if sparing the ignitor is worth worrying about all that much. Despite the fact that I'm around during the day, the stove has run out of pellets many times, or I have had to shut it off for cleaning. I just don't know how much "wear and tear" I am preventing by running on manual. (Another factor is that I have no idea how old the installed ignitor is, since the stove was a floor model for several years. The dealer may have put a new one in, guess I should ask, huh? :) )

In any case, I found an AMP 300W ingitor at www.pellet-stove-parts-4-less.com for a quarter of the price of the OEM part from Enviro, and have it standing by, just in case. If I ever have to install it, we'll see how it compares with the OEM, but at 1/4 the price, I could afford to go through a few ignitors, I figure. If I do get a thermostat, I'll probably run the stove in high/low mode, rather than in on/off, because it's nice to have the constant heat.

Mind you, all this is coming from a pellet stove newbie, but these are my thoughts at the moment. I really love this stove, it does a great job. Dad loves sitting in front of it, he spends several hours each day. And so does the dog!
 
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Chris_F

Member
Dec 10, 2014
29
East Fishkill, New York
We have a Chatham as well, installed back in September, and I've only run it on #1, except for bumping it up to #2 on the really cold days we had last month. (House is pretty well insulated, so that's different from your setup.) I just wanted to present our dealer's advice, for what it's worth. He recommends running the stove only in manual mode (constant run), for the same reason of saving wear and tear on the ignitor.

Thank you Connecticut Yankee! Ya know, I just now noticed that this thread had previously last been responded to over three years ago! I'm still learning how to use this chatboard...I guess I have a way to go yet. I'm a little disappointed because now that I'm planning on installing a thermostat, I'm curious what experience others have had. I'm still vacillating between a programmable thermostat, non-programmable electronic thermostat (for the precise temp control), and an old-fashioned mechanical thermostat (for its simplicity and to prevent frequent start/stops since my house will lose the heat relatively soon after the stove shuts off or goes to low mode).

Since you mentioned the heat setting, I'll tell you that ever since my stove was installed, it dies out within 45 minutes if left on heat setting #1. The installer said that was "normal" and that no stove will run on its lowest setting. Clearly that's BS, but I had no idea at the time. Which leads me to the topic that I've gotten mostly conflicting advice from the installer and from three different service people. For instance: One said always keep the slide damper not more than 1/4" pulled out, while another said to keep it around halfway out (which is a good inch more out). One said to always run it at heat setting #5 or at least #4, while another said to always run it at #2 to #4 and never to run it at #1 or #5. One said none of the stoves ever can run at #1, while another said it should be able to run at #1 indefinitely. One said to keep the combustion blower trim at #3 while another said to keep it high at #4 or #5. I wonder, did your dealer mention any other advice? I'm curious to hear if you've heard the same or different tips than have I.

I'm sure that the particulars of the environment make a difference, like the external and internal temperatures, how well insulated the house is, and whether or not the installer improperly used a 6" chimney liner instead of a 4" (yes, my installer did that and I can't afford to replace the liner yet).

Anyway, cheers.
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,204
Lorraine NY
Welcome to the forums Chris_F

If you want to run your stove on heat setting 1 you will have to fine tune your fuel feed and combustion blower speed. All pellet stoves will run on their lowest setting they just need adjustments. Now about thermostats I have a 2000 Quadrature cb1200 it's been on a tstat most of its life. I haven't changed an igniter yet. Mine is just a plain basic tstat and it keeps the Warden warm @ a steady 72::F there are a lot of honest straight shooting installers out there(some right here on the forums) and at least on here I can tell you they won`t give you a line of bs. As for your liner you should be ok with the 6" liner
 
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Chris_F

Member
Dec 10, 2014
29
East Fishkill, New York
Welcome to the forums Chris_F

If you want to run your stove on heat setting 1 you will have to fine tune your fuel feed and combustion blower speed. All pellet stoves will run on their lowest setting they just need adjustments. Now about thermostats I have a 2000 Quadrature cb1200 it's been on a tstat most of its life. I haven't changed an igniter yet. Mine is just a plain basic tstat and it keeps the Warden warm @ a steady 72::F there are a lot of honest straight shooting installers out there(some right here on the forums) and at least on here I can tell you they won`t give you a line of bs. As for your liner you should be ok with the 6" liner
Many thanks Ssyko! I'm happy to hear you consider that the 6" liner should be OK. Please can you tell me why it would or wouldn't be OK, or what the good and bad aspects are (assuming there are both)? I've had a few different opinions from people who have looked at it:
The installer said it was a good thing he did it that way, so if I ever want to swap the pellet stove out for a woodburning stove, the liner wouldn't have to be changed.
The first chimney service to look at it didn't say anything about it at all.
The second chimney service said it was actively harmful, was causing excessive ash and creosote buildup in the liner, and needed to be replaced with 4".
The third chimney services said it was wrong because it was supposed to be 4", and it would significantly shorten the life of the combustion blower, but if the stove was still working fine daily after 4+ years then it was probably OK to keep it as it is.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,542
Eastern Ontario
I have been using a 6 in chimney for 17 years without any and I mean
any creosote wood pellets if used and burnt properly produce no creosote
also how could larger venting shorten the life of a combustion blower ?
The blower does not care what it is blowing into ! It is just a fan
That's like saying that a 6 in desk fan will have a shorter life if it is put in
a window . What a load of crap !!
 
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Chris_F

Member
Dec 10, 2014
29
East Fishkill, New York
I have been using a 6 in chimney for 17 years without any and I mean
any creosote wood pellets if used and burnt properly produce no creosote
also how could larger venting shorten the life of a combustion blower ?
The blower does not care what it is blowing into !

I can dig that, thank you! It does make sense. It had been explained to me that the 6" liner impedes the ability to get a good draft, and that the fan has to work harder to push the air up and out, which also made sense to me. Since the 6 " liner has been working for 4.5 years, I'll assume it must be fine then!

I have had creosote drip out of the stovepipe connection between the stove and the chimney/liner in the past, but not in the past couple years. The stove has "#1 (lowest) to #5 (highest)" settings for heat, combustion blower motor trim, and feed rate. The heat is usually #2 or #3, the combustion blower was #3 but was just set to #4 by the most recent technician, the feed rate is #1. The slide damper used to be halfway out, but the most recent technician just set it to 1/4-inch pulled out from the most closed position. Does anything sound wrong about that? I'm burning Barefoot brand pellets that I bought about 10 months ago (stored on pallets in the basement which is usually dry), which don't seem to be as good as they had been in previous years (these have noticeably more dark bark specks in the pellets).
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,542
Eastern Ontario
The slide damper used to be halfway out, but the most recent technician just set it to 1/4-inch pulled out from the most closed position. Does anything sound wrong about that? I'm burning Barefoot brand pellets that I bought about 10 months ago (stored on pallets in the basement which is usually dry), which don't seem to be as good as they had been in previous years (these have noticeably more dark bark specks in the pellets).

I know this not the manual for your stove but has the best pictures of flame
characteristic I have found . set your slide damper to get the best flame possible
That way you will have the cleanest burn possible Page 55
https://enviro.com/custom_content/docs/manuals/C-12145 Instruction PELLET Service Manual.pdf
 
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