Looking for a second pellet stove

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Good afternoon everyone, great forum here.

I’m new here and this forum is nothing I expected. I came here looking for a second pellet stove for my house that was the best working stove (used or new) out there without buying some junk stove. With everyone here it’s a “we can get it working attitude” not you bought a junk stove and good luck getting it working.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading here looking for a stove and I found out why a few years ago I had a pipe freeze and burst. It was my fault not my stove, I didn’t install an OAK. I didn’t install one because I couldn’t figure out how to install one with an insert with a room behind my fireplace. I was relying on my air being pulled up through my vents in the floors from my basement for the stove. Well that didn’t work, it found another source for the air it needed.

My house has 2 concrete slabs on both sides that someone decided to turn them into additions to the house. On one side they put the baseboard heat on the main side of the house not the outside wall because you can’t run pipes through the concrete and that’s where the pipe froze. The concrete separated a little from the side of the house (between the baseboard heat and trim I couldn’t see it) and the air came through that crack for the stove. Every time the stove ran it was drawing cold air around the baseboard heat pipe that was not hot because I was using the stove for heat. I came home from work one night and nothing but water everywhere and a house full of steam. After that experience I’ve only ran my stove with temps of 20s and above.

After many of hours reading posts here looking for a good stove and the problems everyone’s having I found a post about using a fireplace chimney for both exhaust and fresh air. So an OAK is my first project this summer.

Now my second project I need some help with and I can’t think of anyplace but here for the help. I’m looking for a second stove for my basement. My problem is the BTU’s needed, I’ve read buy the biggest your budget allows but can I get too much BTUs? With a little drafty basement and auto start/stop will be cycling on/off too many times and burn out the igniter? With the stove staying on continuous burn on low for too long I might get a dirty burn? With all these new auto stoves it’s hard to choose a good stove.

My basement is about 1000 sf and ¾ of it is underground and unfinished and has a concrete floor (never will be finished), 20” to 24” thick stone walls with 2 rows of block between the stone and the house, 7’ high ceiling with no insulation, I have a vent from the basement to every room in the house with a staircase just off center of the room, and with my boiler and piping in the basement it’s in the mid to upper 40s during the winter.

I feel I can’t lose with a stove in the basement even if the heat doesn’t rise through the vents to the main floor of the house. With a warmer floor, warmer pipes and my insert (after the OAK is installed) my oil usage should be next to nothing.

My only real requirement for the stove is that it works keeping the basement warm and set it and forgetting it because at times I’m gone for the weekend so not filling the hopper daily or daily cleaning is a must. If that can’t happen I’ll just turn if off while I’m gone.

So I’m here hoping anyone, experts and users can point in the right direction or something I’m not seeing or forgetting in my decision in picking out my stove.

Thanks for a great forum and any help.



Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
Harman stoves are about as set it and forget it as they get. That said, I do not think any stove will run an entire weekend on a hopper load of pellets. Maybe you could look into a hopper extension to have a shot at 2 days without reloading.
That's fine, I was looking at Harman stoves, very nice stoves. A few on cl look good but i'm not in a hurry, summer job and I'm not sure what BUTs I may need, 1000 sf not much for a big stove but if the heat rises I may need more. Seen a Harman P68 for $2500 or bo in my area.
Thanks for the reply.
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bob bare

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
park county montana
Heating concrete is a loosing situation.A cheap carpet on the floor,and foam insulation panels glued to outside walls can make a remarkable difference,even if not framed and walled in.Harmans and Quads probably have the most trouble free igniters.Go big and put it on a thermostat.
I get a little water in the basement a few time a year so no carpet. I have an old Quadrafire 1100i insert that been running great for the last 9 years. Bought it used for $300, cleaned, changed all gaskets, and painted it. I had to changed the igniter the first year other then that it runs great.
So maybe my first project should be framing the wall. I'm planning on having my electrical box moved/updated this spring, so maybe I should frame the walls first.
Thanks for that idea, something I didn't think of.
Actually its not the whole weekend, I take off around 10:00/noon on Saturdays and back home by 5:00 on Sundays and its not every weekend. I live alone and go see my girl on most weekends but not all, she lives 100 miles from me. Have to read up on the cab50.


Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
South of Boston MA
Look at the Harman Allure, 90lb Hopper!


Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
southwestern Minn
Actually its not the whole weekend, I take off around 10:00/noon on Saturdays and back home by 5:00 on Sundays and its not every weekend. I live alone and go see my girl on most weekends but not all, she lives 100 miles from me. Have to read up on the cab50.
You can buy a hopper extension for most Harmans if you did that plus added insulation on walls you should be ok.
All great stoves but I need to find a solution for dealing with the concrete, as Bob sail above "heating concrete is a losing situation" . If I can't fix that I'm not going to save anything putting a stove in my basement. I have read about that concrete will do that but I though stone with 3/4 underground would be different. That's why I'm here, I think and you pros know.


Nov 29, 2014
Milton, NH
What makes your Hot Water My boiler has a tankless coil, through the summer months I use about 1.36 gallons of oil a day. So that petty much is my base load on oil year round and won't go away unless I upgrade the boiler. Like yours my basement will stay in the 40's just on boiler waste heat. So any alternate heat source will off set the oil I use above that base load.

The point being the cost of that 1.36 gallons is never going to go away so I have to factor that in when looking at alternate heat systems. I really the for me in my house/set up break even with pellets at $5 a bag is about $2.65 a gallon for oil.

Rneal I have the same setup as yours and I have no idea what my usage is yet. I just installed a wifi oil gauge friday that will tell me my daily usage. I'm getting my oil tank fill this week, last time was 10/22 and I'm getting around 220 gallons ($2.80 a gallon). I've been using my pellet insert about half the time and oil on real cold day/nights and weekends. I just started using 1 1/2 bags of pellets but most of the time was 1 bag or less a day. Just taking a guess I'm using about 2.5 gallons a day during this period of time and I've bought about 30 bags of pellets so that's about $210 a month for heat, it's not that bad. I'm looking for a second stove because my floors are cold and my boiler has to heat up the cold pipes before heating the house. I believe having a second stove will keep my floors warmer, use less pellets in the insert but more in the new stove and when I do use the boiler it should run a lot less. I also live alone so my hot water usage is lower then most, 70 in the house is fine for me, and the front door is open and closed 2 times a day. My goal is to heat my house with pellets and my boiler as backup, T-stat set at 65.
I think it's beer 30 time