Pellet newbie, need some help

Nigel459 Posted By Nigel459, Mar 8, 2018 at 6:16 PM

  1. Nigel459

    Nigel459
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    Hey all, thanks for reading.

    I have an 850sf open walk-out basement. Foundation walls are insulated, w exposed polished concrete floors. Washer/dryer/back entrance down there now. Adding workshop space and sitting area is the plan. There is an old (25+yrs) corn stove in it. Previous owners used the stove a few years ago but said it was loud, burned through the corn like crazy, got the basement too hot and they couldn't get the heat to transfer up to the rest of the house; they also said it "needed work." I posted about it a while back here and nobody knew the model. It looks pretty beat up too.

    I'm thinking of using the existing venting (after proper inspection--apparently corn exhaust is pretty corrosive) for a pellet stove rather than the cornie. Corn just seems less common and I heard it makes the house smell like popcorn!

    Anyway, I'm wondering how to start shopping.

    Would a pellet stove be overkill? It's not a huge space... and we happily use a wood stove for the main level heating (ahem, I mean the wood stove supplements the electric...).

    I guess my question(s):

    Is it feasible to look for a used pellet stove? I'm pretty handy and like to tinker/take apart and dial-in systems and machines...

    There's a Castle Serenity on sale at the Tractor Supply store nearby. It's 1299CAD (~1000USD). I see a few folks on here seem to like them. Any good?

    I really can't/shouldn't spend ANY more than that, so hoping for the used route at this point... I know this will likely be a hugely limiting factor, but figured I'd ask!

    Let me know if I can provide any other info that would help, and thanks in advance for any guidance!
     
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  2. johneh

    johneh
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    A pellet stove should work for you
    Used is good as long as you find a good one
    and refurbish it . Where in Ontario are you ?
     
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  3. Nigel459

    Nigel459
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    Hey thanks. I’m middle of western ont, in the sticks outside of London. good to hear a used one could work. What are the good ones to look for?
     
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  4. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Quadrafire, Enviro, England stove works. Harman if you can find one reasonably priced.
     
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  5. johneh

    johneh
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    What he said
     
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  6. In the shop

    In the shop
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    I bought a quad last year for 200 bucks on Kijiji and it’s been awesome.
     
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  7. Nigel459

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    Ok thanks all, much appreciated,

    Looks like a similar lineup of brands as the “good” cord wood burners—makes perfect sense.

    I haven’t seen any brand names on the used boards yet, mostly super funky old looking things with no names that are still two grand... haha.

    I'll keep my eyes peeled, thanks again and happy Friday :)
     
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  8. DneprDave

    DneprDave
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    As my signature says, I bought two used 1994 Whitfield Advantage 2 pellet stoves, in pieces for $100, on Craigslist. I was missing a burn pot and sourced one locally to get them both going. In the years I have been using them, I have had to buy one new feed motor and a combustion blower. I run them 24/7 in the winter.

    I jumped in knowing nothing of pellet stoves. This site has been a great resource,
     
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  9. kenora

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  10. FirepotPete

    FirepotPete
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    If the basement was too hot and not providing enough heat upstairs you certainly are not going to get it any warmer with a stove that is running cooler. Just the nature of the beast with a stove in the basement without an open floor plan to the upper level.

    Also no stove should make the house smell like popcorn or any type of odor from the stove. Those are signs of a bad install or air leaking from the stove or piping.
     
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  11. Nigel459

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    Much appreciated!

    The Enviro Windsor is almost close enough to have a look, but again, they're asking $2100... $1000 may be an insult on a $4500 stove (according to them) that is one year old... looks really nice tho!

    Thanks again
     
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  12. Nigel459

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    Good thoughts. At one point I thought I should diagnose the old install, maybe I should revisit that line of thinking...
     
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  13. Nigel459

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  14. Overfireinthehole

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    The Windsor is a good one. Just don’t buy anything you can’t get parts for.
     
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  15. gfreek

    gfreek
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    Asking too much $$ for that Harman IMO. 1500 CAD/1158 USD
     
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  16. Nigel459

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    Hey thanks a bunch for your post.

    I think it’s 1150CAD or ~900USD. Worth it for a Pellet Pro 2? The main drawback of this one as I see it is it doesn't self ignite. I hope to use a wifi thermostat in my small basement, remote start sure would be niiice...

    Looks like this model hasn't been produced for ~10 years, but looks very similar to the Empress. Is it the same but maybe just different controls? Adjustable blower or something it looks like. If it self ignites and can put off a fairly low heat it could be worth a look... kinda liking that option at the moment.

    Speaking of low heat, I understand pellet stoves in general can "go much lower" than a wood stove. I think I won't need much output for the space. Are the smaller/lower rated BTU units generally able to output a lower heat? (The Windsor, if it's the same as the Empress, just says 35000BTU on the website, no low range.)

    Thanks :)
     
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  17. johneh

    johneh
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    No generally all stove put out about the same heat (BTU) on low burn
    It is when you crank them up that you see a difference
    Like comparing a 70s Charger R/T to a 70s Datsun 510 At idle they are at the same speed
    open them up and the Datsun is in the dust
    And for you younger people A Datsun is now a Nissan
     
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  18. kenora

    kenora
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    Wow
    .. that's the first reference to a 70 510 I've seen in a looooong time... just to be fair... to the 510... it was an awesome car.. for great gas mileage.. was easy to rally
    .. yup.. look it up...
    and went nearly as fast as the rt.. just took longer to get there... I had about a dozen 510 before I bought a 73 240z.. aaaah Datsun

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Nigel459

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    Awesome, thanks for the reply. I saw one stove list 8000BTU on low, any idea if that's about the same across the board then?
    Thanks again, and I do (barely) remember the Datsuns!
     
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  20. johneh

    johneh
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    8000 seems to be lower end of any stove I know
    I had a few Datsun's and still have a 1971 240z
    which I bought new on my 21 birthday cost 3605 plus tax
    a lot of money for an apprentice mechanic making 4$ hr.
    It is now one of my Sunday go to meeting cars .
    Never winter driven and babied its whole life
     
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  21. gfreek

    gfreek
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    OMG I had a Datsun B210, & used to be a Datsun mechanic,, awesome car till a tree fell on it !!
     
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  22. gfreek

    gfreek
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    Correct no self ignite. Not sure if the Pellet Pro did thermostats, let alone a wireless one. Maybe someone here will know.. Predecessor to the P38, P43, etc
     
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  23. Nigel459

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    The manual I found for the Pellet Pro 2 did show a thermostat mode... but I don't know what would happen when it got up to temp. It mentions something like it will go into an "ember" mode I think? Like with no flame? Can't remember exactly.

    What I'm hoping for is having it come on at 4pm to warm things up for the evening, so auto ignite is probably something I want. Oh boy the rabbit hole... here I go.

    I'm asking the fellow about the Enviro Windsor. Ad states it's only been run one season, but isn't the Windsor model like ten years old, and now it's the Empress? Hmm
     
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  24. johneh

    johneh
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    The Empress is the Windsor . The stove came out in 2004
    Just to muddy up the water a little
     
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  25. Nigel459

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    Are you saying it's the same stove?

    On the Enviro website it looked to me like the Windsor was the older model and the Empress the newer one, maybe with a newer control panel... if it's the same, cool.
     
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