Just installed my Heatilator ps35 in a small ranch home, some questions... W/ PICS NOW

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Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
Hello all. New to the forum. I have been a wood stove guy since my childhood and still have one at our hunting camp, but my wife is pre go with our first so I decided to go pellet in the house we just moved into to supplement the oil hell. I went with the ps 35 because I like that it looks like a traditional wood stove, and I'm a cop so price was definitely an issue (I don't make much denaro). I also like that it is made in America with all quad parts and is not a big box store unit and is serviceable by dealers.

I did the install myself as I am pretty handy and have installed many wood stoves. Before I ask my questions, I know that y'all like specifics about the install so here goes...

It is a very small 1000 sq ft ranch (24x60?), no basement, just a 3 ft crawl space. There was an existing masonry chimney in the living room which I assume used to have a wood stove installed. When we bought it was just a hole in the brick face and a very small amount of creosote near the opening.

I built a tile hearth pad, ran the electric and thermostat wires, and installed the stove. Venting is all pellet pro. It starts with a T, then a 12 inch pipe, then a 90, which then enters the chimney and is converted to a 4" ss chimney liner all the way to the top of the chimney, terminated with all ss parts up top to keep the critters out. I covered the hole around the liner adapter in the brick with the front half of a wall thimble and sealed it to the wall and pipe to prevent air leakage. It's actually a pretty clean and pro looking install for a pellet rookie, if I may say so haha.

Any way, the house is as stated very small and a ranch. If looking from the top, I will briefly explain layout from right to left. 2 car garage with small addition behind it. Next to garage is the living room and kitchen, divided by a wall with a large eating island cut out. The stove is in the corner of the living room against the kitchen wall on the back and garage wall on the side, blowing right at our couch area. Next to the living room/kitchen is a bathroom and then 2 bedrooms at the other end of the house side by side.

It got down to about 50 last night so I decided to fire her up forth first time. I am using super premium low ash pellets from the dealer. Turman I believe.

Here are the questions... Answers for any or all would be greatly appreciated...

First, I am definitely worried about overheating the living room and having the bedrooms be freezing. I got a panasonic whisper quiet duct fan for free brand new from a friend that is rated for 150 cfm. I wanted to install it in the ceiling of the LR and then split it into the two bedroom ceilings which would be very easy to do from an install standpoint but I keep reading on here that people think this process is a waste of time and fruitless. I also got insulated ducting from him and he is an hvac guy and said it should work but as I said I keep reading mixed opinions on here. I know there is a risk of negative pressure but I will keep both br doors open to negate that. I always read people saying to put fans on the floor and push the cold air from the bedrooms to the stove, but I don't want my pregnant wife to have to deal with fans and wires all over the floor. I read somewhere that the air would only loose 3 degrees in transfer and I figure that taking warm air from the ceiling of the heated room and dropping it from the ceiling of non heated rooms would follow the "rules of convection" (if there even is such a thing) and should theoretically work well to even out the temperatures in our little house. I know this topic has been beat to death but I always read opposite opinions, some say it works great, some say it is idiotic. I really want to do it since I like installing stuff like this and I got all the parts for free but not if it will be a waste of time.

Next question is feed rate. I got my ps35 for 1300 even from the dealer because it was on the showroom floor but never actually got hooked up or burned ever. Only problem is that people played with it and the feed adjuster screw in the hopper was barely even screwed in when I got it so the "factory setting" was gone. I tried it at about half open when I first fired it but the flames seemed low and when on med and low settings were barely above the fire pot if at all. In fact on low, it went out twice. I tried opening the feed adjuster all the way and it made very little difference. I feel like it just not feeding enough pellets on all settings. High is ok but med and low you can barely even see the flame. Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Next ? Is regarding the thermostat. The ps 35 manual said to turn the temp advance dial to "the lowest setting" but the manual that came with the stat was very vague and I'm not sure if I did that right. I turned it to the lowest number. Also do y'all think it would be a good idea to just scrap that manual stat and swap in a cheap heat only digital one?

Next ?... I am hoping to not use my oil furnace at all if possible and only cycle it once in a while to keep her working. I am a bit worried about my baseboard pipes freezing in the crawlspace though. I have heard about that device y'all use to auto cycle your furnace every so often and I have heard about the glycol fill approach but neither seem to appealing to me. If the duct idea doesn't work, I was thinking about taking the kitchen and living room out of the furnace loop and just using the furnace to heat our two bedrooms and our back room behind the garage? Ideally tho I'd like to not use oil at all and stick it to the middle east providers of that junk. I am just worried that I may have a mess on my hands if I do nothing to help the furnace to keep from freezing. A side note, my crawl space is built of block and has real windows not vents, so it is not drafty down there. It is basically a real basement with very low walls. Again, any help is appreciated.


I guess that's good enough for now. These are my major concerns that I have not yet been able to find concrete or at least good answers for in my research. I love this stove and just want to make it perfect for us and our little house.

Thanks in advance for any answers. You guys/gals are a great resource and a wealth of knowledge.

A.C.
 

Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
BTW I know everybody like pictures, as do I so I will try to get them posted tonight along with a layout so you can make sense of my descriptions.

Thanks again.
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,495
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
You can open up the feed rate on the lower settings if you think you need to. You will also need to adjust if you change brands. Sometimes even with the same brand but a new batch will also require tinkering.

I would go with the digital stat or for a few bucks more you can go programmable. Programmable offers you different heat settings(setback) when away and sleeping. Just another plus.

There is a gadget that you can get that will help with the furnace. Hopefully one of the other members(imacman-hint hint!) will come along and tell you all about it.

Yes, Pictures! We must have pictures!!! :)
 
I

imacman

Guest
Papelletguy said:
......Next ?... I am hoping to not use my oil furnace at all if possible and only cycle it once in a while to keep her working. I am a bit worried about my baseboard pipes freezing in the crawlspace though. I have heard about that device y'all use to auto cycle your furnace every so often and I have heard about the glycol fill approach but neither seem to appealing to me......

First of all, welcome to the pellet/Multi-Fuel forum.

As mentioned by Jay above, there is a device (ThermGuard) that will cycle your heating system so the pipes won't freeze. I was the first on the forum to use it, and it works great!

Here's the link to it, and if you mention that you are a Hearth.com member, they give you a discount (or free shipping, or both??)

www.bearmountaindesign.com/
 
D

DexterDay

Guest
Great stove you got there... Moving the air is key. But before you go punching holes in the walls, check your local code... Many areas differ and there is a large grey area there. A pellet stove is a space heater. In order to heat your Entire Space, this warm air must move.. I am a fan of the corner doorway fans. I own several. 2 EntreeAirs and a Minuteman.. I like the Minuteman a little more.. It has 2 speeds and also comes with 2 mounting brackets.. So not only can it be used for 2 different rooms at different times of the day.. It can also be reversed, so it can blow into the room, or suck air out of. Whichever works best...

As for your "Factory Setting", there is NONE... This slide will vary greatly depending on pellet quality, along with need for heat. right now, I have the Feed Plate almost closed.. Just open enough to keep the fire going.. When it gets colder, I open it more.. And so on...

Hope you like your stove..., Because owning one brings on a highly addictive behavior... Everywhere you go, you will be checking there pellets and buying ones you never burned... Just bought 10 bags yesterday on my way home. I have 9 ton in my basement and DO NOT NEED THEM!!! But yet I think I DO!!!! LOL.......

Congrats and Welcome....
 

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Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
Pictures!!! what a PITA is iit to get these on here. hopefully these work...

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DBCOOPER

Minister of Fire
Jan 23, 2010
509
Stowe, Pa
[quote author="Papelletguy" date="1317784420"]Next ? Is regarding the thermostat. The ps 35 manual said to turn the temp advance dial to "the lowest setting" but the manual that came with the stat was very vague and I'm not sure if I did that right. I turned it to the lowest number. Also do y'all think it would be a good idea to just scrap that manual stat and swap in a cheap heat only digital one?
quote]

I would go with a wireless thermostat so you can move it to the bedroom at night.

I would play with the settings on the feed so you know the range. you will probably only need low with that stove in that size house.
 

Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
DexterDay said:
Great stove you got there... Moving the air is key. But before you go punching holes in the walls, check your local code... Many areas differ and there is a large grey area there. A pellet stove is a space heater. In order to heat your Entire Space, this warm air must move.. I am a fan of the corner doorway fans. I own several. 2 EntreeAirs and a Minuteman.. I like the Minuteman a little more.. It has 2 speeds and also comes with 2 mounting brackets.. So not only can it be used for 2 different rooms at different times of the day.. It can also be reversed, so it can blow into the room, or suck air out of. Whichever works best...

As for your "Factory Setting", there is NONE... This slide will vary greatly depending on pellet quality, along with need for heat. right now, I have the Feed Plate almost closed.. Just open enough to keep the fire going.. When it gets colder, I open it more.. And so on...

Hope you like your stove..., Because owning one brings on a highly addictive behavior... Everywhere you go, you will be checking there pellets and buying ones you never burned... Just bought 10 bags yesterday on my way home. I have 9 ton in my basement and DO NOT NEED THEM!!! But yet I think I DO!!!! LOL.......

Congrats and Welcome....


I still feel like its not spitting out enough pellets and I have the feed all the way open now. Wth? Is there a potentiometer on the control box that can increase the auger speed?

I like your "pellet haulling rig" btw, haha.
 

Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
smoke show said:
nice dog!

Haha I didn't even realize they were in the shot. The fat man next to the table loves wood stoves. I swear he's gona catch on fire some day. He sits so close to our wood stove at the cabin that one time I literally couldn't even pet him.

I also just realized my off duty firearm is in the pic. Sorry if that offends anybody. (I know some people don't like guns)
 
D

DexterDay

Guest
Granted its got wood on it in this pic. But the F-150 is the normal rig. I stopped at Lowes and seen them, so I had to grab some.

As far as pellets, the feed plate should be all the way up and then the stove set to high. The flame should be 4-6" above the pot. This all depends on a few factors. One being pellet quality, the other being your venting. You are on a inside wall.. Did you go up through the roof (inside wall=yes) ?? What is the vent set-up? And what size pipe did you use? 3" or 4"??
 

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Papelletguy

New Member
Oct 4, 2011
17
Central PA
Thanks for all the replys guys. Much appreciated. The feed gate has been open all the way and the stove works fine on high but barely is above the pot on med and low. I talked to the dealer and he suggested checking to make sure the thermocouple was touching the ceramic all the way in. When I checked that, I noticed that it was an eighth of an inch or so away. I pushed it back in but then noticed that the wire almost pulls it back away due to how it is flexed. Is it normal on quad stoves to have no real mechanical fastening of the thermocouple to keep it firmly pressed against the end of the ceramic cap? I find that weird. Everytime I check after burning the stove I notice that it's back out a bit. The dealer said this could be causing the computer to not feed enough fuel.

The dealer Also mentioned that I could turn up the feed rate potentiometer on the computer by on click which would apparently increase the feed rate by 10% on all heat levels. I already did so but it's been so hot lately that I havnt had a chance to turn the stove on to see if it worked.

Also I've noticed that nobody has really chimed in on the air distribution question. I am really curious to see if this will work. It seems like it would but I don't want to waste time and install it if it will have no effect. As I said previously I got all the ductfan and parts for free so the only cost would be my labor. The few times I have had the stove running the two far away bedrooms were much colder than the main living room which I think will just be worse in the winter. I am determined to find a way to heat the whole house with the stove alone. It has to be possible. Any input or experience with moving heated ceiling air with duct fan and ducts would be greatly appreciated.

One last thing, do you guys really think the price premium of super premium pellets is really worth it compared to just premium pellets? These " super premium" Turman pellets seem very easy to break in two and come in crazily varying lengths sometimes up to 2.5 inches long! And at 309 a ton they are not cheap. They do however seem to make very little ash. Let me know what y'all think on that.
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,495
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
Papelletguy said:
One last thing, do you guys really think the price premium of super premium pellets is really worth it compared to just premium pellets? These " super premium" Turman pellets seem very easy to break in two and come in crazily varying lengths sometimes up to 2.5 inches long! And at 309 a ton they are not cheap. They do however seem to make very little ash. Let me know what y'all think on that.

I can answer the pellet part, I burned about every brand there is(well available in my area anyway). Pellets vary greatly from brand to brand. One needs to try whats available in local area. Weight the cost vs quality(hard part). You will see some of the less expensive are garbage and some don't do half bad. Some of the more expensive really aren't worth the extra and some burn like gold. With some trials you should find some decently priced fuel that do well. Get some for what we call shoulder season. Then grab a ton or so of the ones that burn like gold or close to it for the cold spells.

Take a look at these just to prove all pellets are not the same. My winter time hobby!

Brands found at the box stores
https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/42511/

Brands found at hearth shops and pellet houses.
https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/50101/

Some from last season
https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/60581/

More here!
http://woodpelletreviews.com/Pellets/Takeman-Reviews.html

I know! I need to get a life! :cheese:

Long pellets are tough on feed rate(amount that gets to the burnpot). Your biggest fire will be from smaller size/length fuels. Pellets 1-1/2 inches are supposed to be the max length. Anything longer should only be a small percentage of the contents. I think its 2% max amount by weight. So if you find more than about 1 pound of long pellets the product is not in PFI spec(if Turmans have the PFI label on bag). I would gather some and notify Turman or the issue could be over looked. Most likely they no already and have fixed it. But you could be compted for any out of spec product.
 
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