On again off again musical stoves

Snowy Rivers Posted By Snowy Rivers, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM

  1. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 7, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Well the weather has turned around a bit now.

    The evening sees the bit whit fired up for the night shift and then about 9am we shut it down and fire the little whit up.

    The Sunshine we are seeing the past few days, warms things up enough that we don't need the big burner during the day.

    We shall see just how long this lasts.

    My bet is that by mid next week we will be back to just the big stove 24/7

    Spring is coming and with it comes SHOULDER SEASON and smaller fires or fires just at night.

  2. DexterDay

    Guest 2.

    I hear ya.... Having more than one is nice.

    If its 35°-40° its to warm to run the Fahrenheit (pellet furnace). So we run the Quad upstairs. Set it to 72° on the stat with a 2° swing and let it kick on as it may.

    If its about 45° or warmer outside, I can set a box fan pointing down the steps and just get by with the Wood eater.

    Having options is nice.

    The furnace has a lighter appetite than the Quadrafire. Believe it or not. But when it Fires up, it goes to High (level 5) for about 20-25 min. Which picks up almost 5° in the house. Then as it idles on level 1 ,it will kick on for 10 min, then off for 10-15 min. This is on High/Low, if I went On/Off, I would have to deal with it staying on Level 5 on every start-up. Which overheats the place to much.

    Also, if one or the other, or the other was to fail... I have a back-up, and a back-up for that back-up.... ;-P

    We are a 3 stove home too... Although a slightly different set up than yours. Its still nice to know in the case of emergency or if you really need some BTU's because you let the place get cold, that you can kick it out when needed.

    See ya Snowy
  3. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 7, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Yessss indeeed

    Options is a nice thing.

    Our Quad is the old 1000 series, that was built in 1993.

    Its either on, nuts to the bar. or off.

    For several years, we heated with the Quad as a the primary source and used an Earthstove WP50 during really cold weather.

    The WP 50 ran on the shells just fine, sadly even on low it would run us out if the weather was above 40F outside.

    A good portion of our winter weather is mid 40's and wet, so the Old WP did not getused that much.

    It was in the winter of 09/10 that I decided to make the serious changes and install some different stoves.

    Having the access to the Shells CHEAP made the decsision an easy one.
    The first change was to add the tiny little Whitfield.
    This really shines during the times when we need a small fire to keep the chill off.
    Weather in the 50F range still requires heat and the little critter is perfect.

    The same winter that I installed the little whit was cold and Pellet prices were high and hard to get locally.

    After having just a short time with the little whit, it became obvious that this design of stove was far and away better than the old Earth stove WP-50

    The WP would take at least 30 minutes minimum to get a fire going and be sure that it was going to stay going, as its startup timer was not always long enough to ensure that the low temp snap switch would engage.

    So I would have to hang around the stove and make sure that the fire was indeed going to stay burning.

    I started watching Craigs List and found the Large Whit for sale very cheap (Dirty stove syndrome, would not run)

    I removed the WP and built our current raised hearth and installed the large whit.

    2 minutes MAX and I have a fire up and running and can walk away from the stove and not worry about it. (manual start)

    I never burn either of the Whits above the 1 setting except maybe during a cold start right after a complete cleaning.

    The large whit will draft so well, that on 1 the fire will almost die out between auger cycles, until the grate gets some coals built up. (30 minutes)

    Its not a biggy though, the fire will just smoke some before it catches again during that first 30 minutes or so if I run it on 1.

    Once the grate has coals, it works sweet.

    All this stuff is just part and parcel with burning shells. The auger cycle time is a 7 seconds off time on 1 and 5 on 2

    6 seconds would be perfect.

    I may add a variable Pot to my new controller system so I can tweek it better.

    I copied the original Whitfield time arrangement of 7-5-4-3-2 and thought better of it afterwards.

    Anymore, the Quad sits quietly, waiting for its next assignment.
    We used it a couple weeks ago when the power was out nearly all day. Once power came back I lit both Whits, then fired off the quad and let it bring the house temps up fast.

    As soon as the temp was up, I turned the stat down on the Quad and let it go back to sleep.

    I just wish we had gone to the multiple stove mode a long time ago.

    Having a large Ranch style house thats spread out with no hallways make heatng a real easy job as the cooler air easily flows to the stove.

    Both the Whits are diagonally opposed at opposite wnds of the house, which makes airflow work well too.

    I am sure that for many folks, all the fiddling, fooling and messing around would be just too much.

    Every night its down to the basement, to screen out a couple buckets of shells and then pack them up to the stoves.

    If we have to leave for an overnighter, we just flip the stat up on the Quad and cram the hopper full, stuff the whit clear full and let it run until it goes out, then the quad will take over until we get home.

    One thing I wish I had wired into the whit was a momentary button to power the auger full on to reprime it after a complete run it dry session.

    Ah well, woulda, shoulda, coulda.


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