PC45 conversion

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
It's been awhile since I visited but now I need answers and this is the place to get them. I want to convert my PC45 to a pellet only P61. This topic has been discussed before but all the threads end without revealing if the person ever made the conversion and if it worked out well. I know a p61 burn pot will bolt on and I'll probably need a flame guide which the 45 doesn't have. Since my high pressure igniter works well and lights the pellets at the end of the auger I don't see why I'd have to change that out. I don't think the circuit board needs replacing as long as I don't switch the igniters. Has anyone out there done a 45 conversion and how has it worked out for you? Thanks Neil
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
662
Northern Michigan
PC-45 control board works off of 15 second periods, P61 uses 60 seconds. PC is also much slower to respond to dial or temp changes with regard to feed rates. Some feeder assemblies are set up for Pc45 pressurized tube igniter as well as for p61 convection finned type ignites. If not then suspect you'd have to drill a hole to feed igniter wires into burnout if using a finned igniter. Considering the cost of the air pump and tube igniter I'd rather use the less expensive finned one. New burn pot, flame guide, igniter holder, gaskets and board would be my personal preference for this "upgrade".
 

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
I have an updated board in my stove so I think it's just adjusting the dip switches.
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
662
Northern Michigan
You could definitely try that board. Matter of getting firepot to fill to correct level for starts and then adjusting it to give sufficient amounts to keep fire going. I think it will he restricted to about 50,000 BTU max so it won't reach full 61,000 like the P61, but many of us don't use 100% power anyways. And lastly it will always feed on 15 second time periods, not the 60 second like all other P38,43,61,68 stoves, but that probably won't be a problem
 

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
I found a fairly priced P61 fire pot (Walmart online by the way, pot shipped from ESES) and it showed up today. I installed the pot and changed nothing else. It fired right up and ran really well. I turned the stove temp all the way up but the ash line was about 2" away from the edge. I increased my feed rate from 4 to 5+ and that moved the ash line to 1 inch from the pot edge. I think I might change the initial start up fuel charge to match the dip switch settings for a 61, it lit well but seemed a little slow cranking up to temp. Thanks for the help, Neil
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
662
Northern Michigan
Appreciate the follow up, guessing you installed a flame guide too. I have an old PC-45 along with new parts purchased years ago (P61A firepot, igniter, flame guide, control board). Will undertake conversion one of these days.

The slow feed ramp up is my biggest complaint with the pc45 software and reason i plan to use 43/61/68 type of board.

Maybe you can max out initial feed level and then set max ESP temp settings to mimic the P61. Just not sure if the PC45 board has those same parameter levels or not. I'm sure you can get stove to burn over 50,000 BTU. Assume you are using the larger hole exhaust plate and not small corn unit.
 

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
The flame guard is on the way, tonight I just put a plate of steel over the pot to test it. I think my stove makes more heat now then before but my test run was pretty short since it's still 55 degrees outside. I think I could up my feed rate a bit more if need be as I'm not seeing any smoke in the firebox. I've been running this stove for over 10 years (heating my whole house) and I've rarely needed to run wide open even at 20 below zero. I am using the big hole plate but may try the small one or some variation of it to see if I can get a clean burn and not send wasted heat up the vent pipe.
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
662
Northern Michigan
At lower BTU settings the small hole plate holds more heat in stove (less up the pipe) but when running higher feed levels mine got sooty and needs the larger hole plate. PC-45's use the single paddle exhaust fan, but units like the P43/61/68 use the higher flow double fan. Something else to think about. Maybe the Pellet pots have less air holes and restrict flow more than the PC45 firepot types. Haven't counted them to know for sure.
 

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
One more question. My 45 has a single paddle exhaust fan blade and I see 61's run a double paddle. Anyone know the difference in cfm they produce? I'll most likely leave it till I have to put in a combustion blower since getting it off without junking the motor shaft is slim.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
1,035
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
The double blade ones were replaced by a single blade if you’re talking about the exterior motor cooling fan….the double wasn’t necessary
 

Northwoodneil

Feeling the Heat
Feb 10, 2012
379
Land of Cheese
Ok, follow up on my conversion. The only changes were the burn pot, flame guard and dip switch settings (00000111). The high pressure igniter works and lights in 10 seconds after pellet charge stops. The stove seems to put out more heat with this burn pot then the old shaped one. In fact it's hard to keep the heat low enough at any outside temp above 30*. The circuit board has no idea I switched pots so it feeds the same amount of pellets as before on low burn. With the old pot at 30* outside I could leave the stove idle away on low fire on stove temp/auto (stove won't shut down) and not overheat the house but now I have to run room temp/auto to let the stove shut down. So I'm seeing this as same amount of pellets producing more heat. If this equates to more heat from the stove in the dead of winter is yet to be seen. When Wisconsin gets to 20 below I'll update again. Neil
 
  • Like
Reactions: Washed-Up