One week impressions and questions - Englander/Summers Heat 55-SHP22 / PDV-25

sam08861 Posted By sam08861, Mar 3, 2019 at 1:53 PM

  1. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Jan 30, 2019
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    Hey All,

    New guy here. Just installed an Englander pdv-25 (version from lowes) and have run about 6 or 7 bags so far.

    I'm located in Northern NJ 1100' ASL and installed using the 3" duravent system with 6' vertical, 1' horizontal. (Adapter to tee, 6' of pipe, 1' horiz and then end cap through the wall).

    Install was very straightforward and the outdoor air kit that came with it had good, heavy duty brackets. Unit was manufactured oct 2018, under the lid. Only small item during the install was that I had to remove the rear panel (easy to do with 6 screws) in order to properly secure the clamp for the outdoor air. Also, the vent kit (from diff mfg, simpson) was great, but the interlocking design doesn't allow the seams for the pipe to be lined up when properly connected. Small, hardly noticeable detail, but could have been easily avoided in the design by placing either the top or bottom the crimps in the right places. Decided to put ALU tape in the hopper on the advice of others on this forum.

    Pellets I'm burning are green supreme (what was delivered from lowe's, I had actually ordered something called 'AP hardwood' but the pallet that was delivered contained these. Paid $220 for the ton delivered.)

    First burn started right up, but some fumes from bake off and the high temp black paint, but also smoke from the front door and my smoke detectors sounding off.

    Door gasket was very poorly installed. Installer had bunched up too much up top, leaving too little rope/gasket at the bottom. Also, very sloppy work. Used a pick to fluff the lower section and push the top bit in and no more smoke in the house.

    Used factory burn setting of 5 and put blower to 9. Did not touch any of the 3 lower buttons yet.

    2nd burn was good, but since I hadn't cleaned from the first burn, got quite a bit of 'birds nest' unburnt pellets.

    Ok, lesson learned, this unit's burn pot (and window) needs to be cleaned after every bag/hopper full. Making sure I'm cleaning under the burn pot, getting the side holes, igniter, holes below burn pot, etc.

    The remainder of the burns were at the same settings, save one day when I set the burn level to 3, as the house was getting too hot. (was 36 degrees and sunny day). Same result, as far as unburned pellets, dark crunchy birds nest, though.

    3rd day in, the nickel window trim fell off. Ok, no big deal to reattach, but again, sloppy workmanship, as there were 2 sloppy dabs of silicon that had dried/hardened to a crust. I'm guessing the door temp must exceed the silicons heat rating and I managed to lose the metal clip. No biggie, made my own replacements.

    Also, noticed that the window is frosted white with some black on the left side after each burn.

    Days 4-7 Still burning through a bag every 10-11 hours and getting an ashy window. At this point, my only real complaint is the burn time, but I'm hoping to better understand what to expect.

    Does a great job of heating my 2700sf and surprisingly, the heat reaches throughout the house. Room it's in is pretty warm though, so a fair bit of localization of heat around the stove, but I suspect I can spread this easily with a fan.

    Likes: Simple DIY install. Seems to be very solidly built. Easy to fill and use.

    Overcome-able problems: I decided to put aluminum foil tape in the hopper after reading some of the reviews. The few square inches where there isn't tape, the pellets stick! After several bags, it's the same story. So, great info on this forum.

    Dislikes: Wish this had an ash drawer. Loud, but I guess that can't be avoided. Unintuitive control panel and little explanation in the manual for how to dial in the right blower/heat combo or what all of the buttons actually do. Would have been great if this had the same level of detail as the install instructions.

    Summary: The stove does a great job of heating the whole house, even in single digit weather, and is somewhat loud but a relaxing sound, at least. However the hopper should have come 'slick' from the factory and operating instructions could be much better. Install instructions and ease are great!


    Questions for the forum:

    I've been reading that folks are getting 18-24 hours from a 40 lb bag of pellets. I'm assuming that my burn rates are high due to 3 factors. Vertical rise of chimney, factory settings and pellet choice. I'm also assuming that the unburned pellets and occluded windows are related to and because of the above.

    I've been reading that the stoves may be set at factory levels that might benefit cleaner/hotter burning as opposed to efficient burning. Also read that plugging some holes may help get better burns.

    What are you guys getting for burn times for 40lb bags?

    Are there 'recommended' settings for the green supreme pellets and this stove?

    Any recommendations for pellets this stove 'likes'? (for my next ton)

    I'm planning to experiment with the low fuel feed button by lowering it a bit on my next burn to see if that helps.

    Any suggestions for settings, given my experiences above?

    Any other advice, suggested mods, etc. for this stove?
     
  2. begreen

    begreen
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    Great summary of your first week. Pellet consumption is going to directly correlate to the heat loss of the house. In our old 2000 sq ft house we would go through a bag of pellets a day with temps in the 35-45º range. Below freezing the consumption would start to increase a lot. At around 25º we were loading two bags a day. You're heating a big house so the consumption does not sound out of line.
     
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  3. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    pellet consumption sounds about right to me too. i would recommend plugging the two holes on either side of the burn pot just under the burn plate. that will help the stove burn a much efficient fire and help with unburned pellets.
     
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  4. Dataman

    Dataman
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    I get 12 hours on 1/2 bag when it's 20's at night and 30's during the day.

    Last night was -11f and went thur whole bag from 9pm to 6am.

    Harmon XXV (new May 2018). Have yet to see clinker or unburned pellets. Easy to clean and take care of. Takes about 1 min with wet paper towel on glass (after 30 min cooldown). If I want to clean it running I use newspaper on the glass. Still about 90 seconds to scrape the pot and clean the glass.

    Had 2 problems;

    Noise when running after 2 months. Loud Buzz that got worse after a while. 2 Screws were impacting distribution fan. Shortened the screws and put red trv silicon on anything that would buzz. Now it buzzes when cold for about 1 min then it's gone.

    Really Black sooty after doing major clean (combustion fan, fines box, heat exchange and such). I had metal cloth screen inside the 8" pipe outside to keep birds out in warmer times (like that is good place for nest). Did chimney clean and took out cloth. Normal burn now, no black nasty soot.

    Great Stove. But spent way more than I wanted last spring. Over 6k with pellets and such.

    Looks like I will be buying 5 tons next year. Feb was very cold and March no better. Should be 40's and 20's at night. Yea -11f and 20's. Heat pump will take over when it hits normal temps.

    I have used 8 bags short of 4 tons of pellets. North Idaho Energy Logs at 175-200 per ton (175 I have to go get them in my 1 Ton PU Truck and too lazy to play restack). Had to bring up another 12 bags today to the house.

    We have 4ft of Snow in Newport WA on the Ground. Stupid Ground Hog shows his furry butt, he's toast!
     
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  5. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Jan 30, 2019
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    Thanks folks for the quick responses. A bit confused, perhaps because I'm not very knowledgeable about these things, as to how the heat loss affects the burn rate.

    I was under the impression that these units air/auger rates are fixed based on settings and that the auger rates are constant? Or, is there a thermostat in the unit that adjusts the feed rate/air flow based outside/inside air temp?

    Or perhaps, if I'm understanding correctly, a 5 burn rate, 9 blower rate is a high setting and is expected to use approx 40lbs every 10-12 hrs?
     
  6. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Jan 30, 2019
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    Thanks for the review Dataman. Your stove sounds to be more efficient and in a different league than mine and if I knew I'd be in this home a long time or wasn't so frugal (or perhaps measuring value over too short a span), I'd have definitely invested in something like that. Much better looking too, with that big window and all that decorative work. I'm sure from a home valuation perspective, it's likely a better investment too. Were I financially able, I'd have at least one in the porcelain brown finish!

    As a cost comparison, I got the new stove (was on sale last month for $1100, and now I'm seeing leftovers in stores for ~800), venting, installation supplies and a ton of pellets for ~1600 delivered and did the installation myself in an afternoon. My monthly gas bill has been over $500 several months in a row this winter, so this thing will easily pay for itself in 1 or 2 seasons. Hopefully it will be durable though and I'm sure a mixed bag, given it's utilitarian looks for any prospective homebuyers. Time will tell on one or both counts.
     
  7. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Thanks Ssyko, I think I know which 2 holes you mean, but will take a pic after the next cool down/cleaning to confirm.

    By the way, ash after the 7 bags was about 1/2 a gallon and far more black than grey or white.
     
  8. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    that seams to be the consensus all over the northeast this year. the one thing about the englanders they really perform well for as long as they are clean. so when you see your flame change out of the norm give it a thorough cleaning and it will serve you well
     
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  9. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Thanks again Ssyco, and everyone for your replies. I can now rest easier, knowing I'm not 'leaving something on the table' with respect to efficiency as far as fuel usage.
     
  10. Dataman

    Dataman
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    Sep 10, 2018
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    I spent way too much $$$. But it fits the look of the house. Our Realtor said we have $450k place now. Stupid house prices now. We got it in 2011 for half that. Could not afford our house today. So many things still to buy in the future! Be glad when it's paid for in 4 more years!
     
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  11. ericofmaine

    ericofmaine
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    Definitely do the blocking of the holes on the side of the burn-pot. Others have mentioned knockout covers, I used steel wool only because I had some on hand. That will help greatly with the unburned pellets.

    I also have a 2" METAL putty knife that I use to scrape out the burn pot twice a day. That also seems to help keep the stove cleaner longer.

    Unless its below 10 degrees, I can usually get 20-24 hours out of a bag of pellets, but I'm on a thermostat which will help as the stove goes to "idle" when there is no heat demand.

    Eric
     
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  12. Pellet rick

    Pellet rick
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    Another thing that the PDV likes or at least mine does is softwood pellets. They burn hotter and less of a lava pit in the burn pot. Also if you plug the bottom two holes ( which I highly recommend) I would also increase the holes size of the holes in the center of the burn plate slightly. There are all kinds of things you can play with to make it burn better. Your plate in the bottom of the hopper could be open slightly to far open for the size pellets your using also. That will directly affect your lava pile.
     
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  13. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Thanks ericofmaine and Pellet rick,

    I've finally remembered to take a picture of the burn pot between burns, to verify which holes to plug.

    Do I plug the ones with the blue arrows or the red arrows in the picture below?

    plate off.jpg

    And a pic of the burn plate, since they appear to have a variation of patterns...

    plate on.jpg
     
  14. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    The holes under the ledge on each side
    34C84F49-D59A-47F5-A9A8-014A17B27651.png
     
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  15. Pellet rick

    Pellet rick
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    Nov 25, 2015
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    Yellow arrows . go to home depot or Lowes and get some of the electrical plugs that they use to block off the hole in electrical boxes. Looking at the picture you also might want to scrape the carbon at the end of the pellet feed tube before the auger starts catching the carbon. it doesnt do the auger any good and if it gets bad enough it can jamb the auger motor.
     
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  16. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Thanks again everyone! I'll scrape the carbon and plug the holes before my afternoon burn and give that a go.

    Will let you all know how it goes.
     
  17. sam08861

    sam08861
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    Have located and plugged those holes with wadded aluminum foil for now. 30 minutes in, the flame in the window looks more 'controlled' and the volume of pellet remnants making it to the front of the wear plate are reduced quite a bit with more of a grey/white color than before. This seems hopeful!
     
  18. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    You will find as you learn and fine tune the stove it will really put out some heat. You can use the aluminum tape to seal the holes it does not get as hot under the plate but you may have to replace now and then
     
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  19. bob bare

    bob bare
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    Question,as many people have plugged those ports/holes,for many years,really improving the burn,why do they still make the stove that way?Have not seen Mike here all winter,guess he does not help out anymore.
     
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  20. Pellet rick

    Pellet rick
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    Probably has to do with emissions or something.
     
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  21. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    I don’t know bob thats a good question. I haven’t seen Mike post anything in 2 years
     
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  22. ericofmaine

    ericofmaine
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    I believe that I have read on here somewhere, might have even been from Mike, that those holes are indeed for emissions.

    Eric
     
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  23. BackDoc

    BackDoc
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    Ssyko, are saying to plug ONLY the holes with the yellow arrows?
     
  24. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Yes just the 2. They stop the air that go up each side so plugging the top would be redundant.
     
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  25. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Yes eric they add oxygen to the downstream burn wich acts like an afterburner, lol and it helps with emissions
     
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