My Summer project completed...Quadrafire Castile Insert in my stairwell

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Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
I'm new to this forum, found it about a month ago, and I've gotten some great information from it and I'm sure I will in the future as issues arise (hopefully not to many).

I had kind of a fun project this past summer and fall that I want to share, because I'm the only one I know that has a pellet stove so I really don't have anyone to talk to about it. Since we moved into our new (old) house we have been averaging about $2500 a winter on propane. I didn't know what to do so I started researching and found pellet stoves. I convinced the wife that we should get one, but her only stipulation was that it doesn't protrude into the room. Hence the only option was an insert.

Well, we don't have a fireplace, and did not want to put one in just for this, but a faux fireplace would work...and I fortunately had the perfect spot in the center of the house, where the opposite side of the wall was in the stairwell to our scary basement. Made a call to a local distributor and installer (two actually) and they said it should work just fine.

So we got the best of both worlds, a pellet stove in the center of the house for good heat distribution, and access to the back of the insert from the stairwell if needed. Had some help from friends who did some woodwork, metal work and another who paints, etc. I did the hearth myself, and a few other minor things. Have the castile hooked up to a nice Lux thermostat and it's been working great so far.

Of course propane prices are down, but still around $1.70 or so a gallon, so I am still cheaper, but I'm sure they will go back up someday. I'm not to worried as I believe this adds "charm" to this 1860's farm house.

Here are the pics:






 
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kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,293
Iowa
Very unique. And I like the idea of being able to work on it from the backside since it is an insert. Wonder if there will be enough air for it, or if you will have to run an oak thru the basement to the outside. looks great! kap
 
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Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
Very unique. And I like the idea of being able to work on it from the backside since it is an insert. Wonder if there will be enough air for it, or if you will have to run an oak thru the basement to the outside. looks great! kap
Thanks Kap, I actually just picked up and OAK yesterday from a local seller and am planning on installing it this weekend. When I had the stove installed they said I didn't need one (this was before I was enlightened by the forum here). So after deciding I didn't want to be blowing my nice warmed air out the chimney I ordered one up. I am going to drill a 2" hole in the bottom of the platform and run it through the basement to an outside wall about 20 feet or so away, but it should work great, shouldn't have any condensation issues either, and if it drips in the basement, who cares.
 
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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,392
Kentucky
Welcome and nice job. I like the creative install and location. Well done!
 
Thanks Kap, I actually just picked up and OAK yesterday from a local seller and am planning on installing it this weekend. When I had the stove installed they said I didn't need one (this was before I was enlightened by the forum here). So after deciding I didn't want to be blowing my nice warmed air out the chimney I ordered one up. I am going to drill a 2" hole in the bottom of the platform and run it through the basement to an outside wall about 20 feet or so away, but it should work great, shouldn't have any condensation issues either, and if it drips in the basement, who cares.
Oak line may want 3" over 10' total length
 
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Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
I like it! Curious if wrapping the box with insulation may have an effect on the sound of the unit. Looks like you have a lot of hard flat surfaces in the house. Good job.
At first I didn't have the aluminum box on the back (which a friend made for me). But during the summer you could smell the dank basement air coming up through the pellet stove, it is pretty much just open right through the unit into the stairwell. Also didn't want air conditioning going down there etc. I don't have any insulation on the inside of the enclosure, I might still do that yet for the reason you suggested. I did put window seal foam all the way around the enclosure so there is a good seal and no vibration.
 

St_Earl

Minister of Fire
Sep 9, 2011
1,337
millinocket, maine
be aware of snow levels at your OAK inlet.
if it's down low, you may need to be quite diligent about keeping it clear.
best to have it elevated up from the ground. drifts can form fast and it could easily become blocked while you sleep or are otherwise occupied.

very cool installation. +++
 
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Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
be aware of snow levels at your OAK inlet.
if it's down low, you may need to be quite diligent about keeping it clear.
best to have it elevated up from the ground. drifts can form fast and it could easily become blocked while you sleep or are otherwise occupied.

very cool installation. +++
Thanks St. Earl. I actually plan on using PVC and making it go vertical 24" and curve down with an elbow like you see the air intake for furnaces (ours has this setup now). I had the problem with snow blocking the air intake for our furnace and had to do it there, and planned on doing the same here...especially after the last two winters here...sheesh!
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,751
South Central NH
That looks great - wonderful ingenuity on the set up!
 

Polar Bear

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2014
436
Sudbury, ON, Canada
The title was a head scratcher... I was thinking what the hell...

I like it though, keeps usable space mostly undisturbed. Kudos.
 

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
The title was a head scratcher... I was thinking what the hell...

I like it though, keeps usable space mostly undisturbed. Kudos.
I wasn't sure how to word it. That was the first thing to come to mind. That corner in our dining room is kind of just one of those "walk by" corners so it worked perfectly.
 

earl764

Member
Dec 21, 2011
147
CT
I like the rear access for maintenance. My biggest complaint with my insert is the access for major work.

Good job.
 

Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
Absolutely sweet install.

Thanks for sharing
 

Former Farmer

Feeling the Heat
Apr 12, 2008
484
NE Wisconsin
Very nice!

You will enjoy the heat from the insert much more than propane.

With propane prices down this year, I plan on using my insert like we always do but don't plan on firing up the pellet boiler. Will use the propane boiler instead.
 

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
Thanks for the comments everybody, that's what I like about this forum, very helpful and friendly people. I wasn't sure when I had this idea if it was a good idea or not, ripping apart the wall, making a hole in the roof, etc. But I think it was. I wish it was more centered on the wall in the stairwell but oh well. I can get to most of it OK, the only thing is maybe the auger may be difficult to get out someday.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,751
South Central NH
Oak line may want 3" over 10' total length
Yeah, I had the regular OAK on the P61a last year over something like a 12-15' run. It burned ok (flames not as crisp as when I didn't have an OAK), but I never did like leaving the 2" pipe just kind of laying inside the stove inlet. I changed over to 3" this year and I am much happier with the appearance of the flame and the flex tube covers the entire inlet. Just used a 2-3" ring clamp and tightened the heck out of it. Gonna change out the P43 next year to a 3" OAK; I set it up with the OAK left from the St. Croix, and the flames are not quite as crisp as I would like them (burns fine).
 

Jonkman

Burning Hunk
Nov 11, 2015
205
West Michigan
Yeah, I had the regular OAK on the P61a last year over something like a 12-15' run. It burned ok (flames not as crisp as when I didn't have an OAK), but I never did like leaving the 2" pipe just kind of laying inside the stove inlet. I changed over to 3" this year and I am much happier with the appearance of the flame and the flex tube covers the entire inlet. Just used a 2-3" ring clamp and tightened the heck out of it. Gonna change out the P43 next year to a 3" OAK; I set it up with the OAK left from the St. Croix, and the flames are not quite as crisp as I would like them (burns fine).
I actually had run most of the PVC already a few weeks ago and it was 2"...but the final connection to the stove I haven't done yet and that was my weekend project. I guess I wish I would have run 3", but it's not as far as I thought so I hope I'm OK. It's more like 12ft total, not 20ft.
 

Vinelife

Minister of Fire
May 31, 2010
568
Northern Michigan
I'm new to this forum, found it about a month ago, and I've gotten some great information from it and I'm sure I will in the future as issues arise (hopefully not to many).

I had kind of a fun project this past summer and fall that I want to share, because I'm the only one I know that has a pellet stove so I really don't have anyone to talk to about it. Since we moved into our new (old) house we have been averaging about $2500 a winter on propane. I didn't know what to do so I started researching and found pellet stoves. I convinced the wife that we should get one, but her only stipulation was that it doesn't protrude into the room. Hence the only option was an insert.

Well, we don't have a fireplace, and did not want to put one in just for this, but a faux fireplace would work...and I fortunately had the perfect spot in the center of the house, where the opposite side of the wall was in the stairwell to our scary basement. Made a call to a local distributor and installer (two actually) and they said it should work just fine.

So we got the best of both worlds, a pellet stove in the center of the house for good heat distribution, and access to the back of the insert from the stairwell if needed. Had some help from friends who did some woodwork, metal work and another who paints, etc. I did the hearth myself, and a few other minor things. Have the castile hooked up to a nice Lux thermostat and it's been working great so far.

Of course propane prices are down, but still around $1.70 or so a gallon, so I am still cheaper, but I'm sure they will go back up someday. I'm not to worried as I believe this adds "charm" to this 1860's farm house.

Here are the pics:


Nice





 
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