Pellet Stove Install for Newbie

greenstar323 Posted By greenstar323, Nov 5, 2018 at 11:33 AM

  1. greenstar323

    greenstar323
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    Nov 5, 2018
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    Hi all, Long time lurker first time poster here!

    I live in a ~3200 sq ft house (~1200 basement). We currently have a non functioning pellet stove in the basement. Hearth pad and hole in the wall is already in place, but the flue is disconnected & missing.

    For someone with zero experience with pellet stoves, but a handy DIYer how hard would it be for me to install a new pellet stove myself? (I do read instructions and have read various threads on here). We had saved up to get a new Harman stove, but was quoted almost $7k for the biggest baddest stove available plus installation. Unfortunately that would about wipe out most of our savings, so it's not an option this year. This would be our 3rd winter here without the stove. Our goal is to heat the basement and if possible hope it will help supplement heat on the 1st floor, but will be using our wood stove on the 1st floor as much as possible for heat up here, so the pellet stove is mostly to supplement.

    I guess I'm wanting you guys to talk me into buying a cheaper new stove from Tractor Supply (or some other vendor for a 2200 sq ft stove - say around $1500 or less) and installing it myself to save some money and have it for a few years before we can really afford the Harman. I don't really want to buy used being that I have very little knowledge of pellet stoves and don't trust what I would be looking at. I also really would like to get something this year.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. johneh

    johneh
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    Dec 19, 2009
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    I can't tell you what to buy it is up to you
    But installation as long as you can read ,understand
    and are handy is simply. A lot of
    people here have installed there own stove . If
    you run into something you do not understand
    ASK you will have an answer from many people
    who have the nohow
    If you find the stove you like GO FOR IT
     
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  3. Brownstone mony pit

    Brownstone mony pit
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    Jan 15, 2018
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    I was in your same boat this year. I couldnt afford new harmans but I found some used (only a few years old) stoves on facebook market place and got those at a huge savings. Now I have a p61a and accentra 52i installed by myself. I found deals that had the vent pipe and liner for the chimney. (half the price for each bundle!)

    Now for your install.. does the hole in the wall lead to a chimney or just outside? If it is a chimney is there a liner or pipe already in it? If so what size 3" 4"?

    If you are handy I'd do the research on the models that you see for sale and try to find a deal. Maybe you just need to clean it up but so far I've had great luck with used stoves. All were taken care of well or it was just an issue of cleaning. Dont be afraid to go used if you are willing to put the time into making it work. Also try to sell the one that you have sitting in your basement. Maybe you'll make a few bucks!
     
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  4. greenstar323

    greenstar323
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    Nov 5, 2018
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    No it's a direct vent to outside. Hoping that makes the install easier.

    I have looked at Craigslist but haven't found anything worthwhile. Maybe I will check out facebook marketplace.
     
  5. Darkwing

    Darkwing
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    Oct 11, 2018
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    Heyho and greetings from NJ as well...
    Install is so far so easy...
    After you diced for the where and it is placed on the plate, check and plan where to put the pipes...
    If Concrete, you are golden, since you dont have to look for studs or wire etc...core drill your way out, make sure you come out above ground and raise the pipes to a rain water splash safe level...
    Hook it all up and enjoy the winter
    If you have to do Wood wall, you have to check for Studs, pipes/wires etc and check how to "arrange" the outside with your siding...can look aweful pretty quick. Also get a good thimble or how they are called that is somewhat stable...saw flimsy ones that were not able to support the pipeweight without bending. Outside air should be part of it...
    Besides that...it no big magic...
    And about your non working stove...
    Its not an Englanders 25PDVC or related, with a controller board with rest life that u would sell?
     
  6. Brownstone mony pit

    Brownstone mony pit
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    Jan 15, 2018
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    Direct vent is much easier. Home depo has duravent kits in 3" and 4" for around 230bucks that has everything you need. Except for a outdoor air vent which you can use 3" metal dryer vent pipe for. Craigslist has been nothing but scams or resellers for me as of late. Facebook marketplace and the letgo app have really saved me a bunch and made me money by selling off old stuff I didn't need. Try expanding your search radius into pa. There are some good deals near me (central pa).

    I just found a harman p68 with gold trim near auburn pa (east side of the state) for 2800 right now! Posted 5 minutes ago as of 4pm est. That be a great deal even if you have to buy the venting kit. 3k vs 7k you can get a couple ton of pellets and be at half price!
     
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  7. greenstar323

    greenstar323
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    Nov 5, 2018
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    Like I said the hole to the outside is already there. I attached a picture. I assume new stove would be a simple hook up vent to stove and pipe outside and boom turn it on and done.

    This one is a country stove. Previous owner told us it smoked and I haven't bothered wanting to look into fixing it myself. I contacted a lot of local companies but most won't touch it. Hence why I wanted to just an inexpensive new stove and install myself.
     

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  8. PelletPractitioner

    PelletPractitioner
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    Oct 4, 2018
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    Can you get something in between a big box store and the top of the line dealer stoves? Here the name brands started at $4000 and went up to $5000 or more, but they had some for $2600 to $3400, too. That way you can still try to service it yourself, but you can also fall back on the dealer in a pinch.

    I just did my own install this month having no prior experience with pellet stoves or cutting holes in things. I spent a month of evenings reading up on here and watching videos.

    My suggestions:
    - Pay special attention to vent termination clearances in the manuals. Clearance from pipes to combustsbles. Required floor protection on each side.
    - Get a permit from your town as insurance to make sure you don’t overlook something obvious. They can answer questions on fire code.
    - Pick up a few models and read their manuals in detail. Fan speeds. Feed rates. Ash tray design. Clearances. Etc.

    I wrote about my self-install experience over in this thread.
     
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  9. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Nov 6, 2017
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    If i were in the market didn’t have the extra bucks for a Harman the enviro maxx would be my next choice. I like the looks and it’s stats, holds 130lbs of fuel. not to mention the Efficiency rating of 86% ( yes i know its a claimed rating)
     
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  10. greenstar323

    greenstar323
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    Nov 5, 2018
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    I think that is my exact dilemma... I don't want to spend money on the Harman but also don't want to get it from the box stores either.... problem is I don't really know what the midrange brands are and where to buy them new. I don't really want to drop 2-3k on something used when I will have no idea if it properly works. I'd be hesitant because who really sells a perfectly good pellet stove with no problems! Do you have some suggestions as to brands?
     
  11. kenora

    kenora
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    Nov 20, 2007
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    I'm not sure if you've considered the PelPro 130....it holds 130 lbs of pellets and has a claimed eff of 87% if I recall...I'm very happy with mine there is a ton of great videos on youtube made by the company showing how to use/clean etc... have a look... its about $2000 new... I got mine for 1/2 that used
     
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  12. PelletPractitioner

    PelletPractitioner
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    Oct 4, 2018
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    Yeah. I decided against a used stove for your same reasons. I decided I would either get a super cheap big box brand or a brand (not necessarily top) from a dealer. I think there are enviros, heatilators, pacific energy. Sounds like you have a big house to heat. It was unclear if you are looking for just something for the 1000sqft basement or the entire house. If it's only the basement I know Ravelli sells the Francesca for < $3000. It was on sale for $2000 when I was looking, but the hopper is only 35 lbs and it maxes out at 35000 btu I think. Ash tray is also a little small.

    If I was in that situation, if it was truly going to be temporary for several years, I'd buy the cheapest new stove I could find from the hardware store under $2k-ish. That's what we planned to do at first, but after thinking it over I didn't want the hassle of replacing the stove, buying something new for $4k-ish, to have the total cost be $6k. It made more sense just to get a name brand up front. For us it is our primary heat source and is in the middle of our living room, so I think that factored in on the jump to a new brand stove. If it was going in the downstairs family room only to be used once in a while, we probably would have gotten something cheaper. I'm not sure I'm helping. : )
     
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  13. greenstar323

    greenstar323
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    Nov 5, 2018
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    @PelletPractitioner -haha no that definitely helps and it's exactly what's going back and forth through my head. My wife thinks we should forego the pellet stove for 1 more year and get what we really want next year (although we did kind of say this last year....) I'm sort of in the camp of just use something temporarily for 3-4 years until we can afford something better.

    I did see Pelpro at Tractor supply - right now its under 1k plus 100 shipping which seems like a decent deal. I will look into their youtube videos. Thanks for that tip!

    Yes have a big house, but really just want to heat the basement and supplement heat on the 1st floor. Some say it heats their whole house - others say its a space heater - would love if it heated the basement and 1st floor, but trying to keep my expectations low. We do have a wood stove on the 1st floor but my wife thinks it's too difficult to use so it's normally me feeding it. We are planning to run it 24/7 this winter so I'm not sure how it will work out. I thought the pellet stove would be easier for her to feed during the day if needed.

    We decided it was more important to do an energy audit and see where we are losing heat because one room in my house is really cold. It makes me worry getting the best Harman won't matter if the heat is escaping from the basement anyway. Maybe this year we can focus on insulating/making everything airtight and get the stove next year. Meh.. it's the instant gratification aspect I'm missing lol...

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
     
  14. Rneal55555

    Rneal55555
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    Nov 29, 2014
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    I think I'd make a stab at fixing the one thats there. Seem like there a wealth of knowledge here to figure it out.

    I've been watch craigslist/Facebook for ahile and nanaged to pick up a working Englander 25-PDVC with all the pipe for $200. I know it's not the final stove but I't give me a chance to work my way into it with out breaking the bank.

    Give the one you have a good cleaning hook up the vent and see if it'll work. Did the Prior owner give you any insight as to he problem?
     

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