Piazzetta/ pellet woes

LauraBean Posted By LauraBean, Mar 11, 2018 at 12:51 PM

  1. LauraBean

    New Member 2.

    Mar 11, 2018
    Washington, Maine
    i got my first pellet stove (a Piazzetta monia) this past fall and I am full of questions and concerns.

    (I am inserting this paragraph to cut to the chase. Read below this one to get the long, drawn out story.). I’d like to burn hardwood pellets, as the softwood ones I’ve tried have triggered respiratory issues. I’m pretty sure my stove is set to the factory setting, the only wiggle room being temperature and power setting. This is my only experience with pellet stoves, so I’m not sure what is considered “good” or “normal”. I am neither technology nor mechanically inclined, so if you have advice, please feel free to speak to me as you would a small child. Kidding....sort of.

    The place where I got my stove from said only to burn hardwood pellets, and recommended cubex northern and New England wood pellets. I tried a couple of bags of each (the NEWP bags were really dusty-this was in September, so maybe last year’s stock?), decided on cubex and order 2tons.

    I have no idea how a pellet stove should behave, but these are the experiences that I’ve found:
    -burn pot gets filled quickly-ash and partially burned pieces
    -I’m usually scraping solid chunks out of the bottom of burn pot
    -if I don’t empty the ashes/chunks out Daily, the stove will alarm with “no lighting”, shut down and unburned pellets will fill the burn pot (usually takes place at 3am)
    -soot city
    -the burn pot has a dark, oily residue near the...air intake pipe (?)

    The store where I got my stove doesn’t have much Piazzetta experience. The people that installed it had never worked with one before. I had no bags to run it with then and they had none (the salesperson said that they’d bring a bag). The salesperson herself owns a Piazzetta (and said she had been a stove tech person previously) and came to the house when I first started the stove. She and I, with help from the manual, ran through the basic programming. I’m assuming the factory settings are being used, as this forum mentions some kind of measuring tool, but none was used. I ended up having to call the installers back later that week as there was a burning wood smell and they needed to reseal the pipe. So you can see my reluctance to look to them for guidance...

    One of my Facebook friends owns a Piazzetta (which she loves) and I asked what type of pellets she used. She tells me to use softwood only, and recommended Vermont wood pellets. I drive to the distributor of these and talk with the owner about my stove and pellets. He is adamant about using softwood only (he is the one who my friend deals with), and is visibly angered by the idea that I had been told to use hardwood pellets. Since I have no idea who is right, I buy several bags of the Vermont pellets, plus and bag of le Crete and a bag of northern warmth supreme Douglas fir. What strikes me most during the (long) car ride home is how much these pellets SMELL. Like being inside of an animal cage.

    My cubex northern have finished up, and I give the softwood pellets a spin. Here’s what I’ve found:
    -the ash is much lighter and has a tendency to fly away
    -holes are still visible in the burn pot (even after 2days!)
    -The fire doesn’t seem to be hot...I have no thermometer in the room, just going by feel
    -I am affected by these pellets, and not in a good way. My eyes are swollen, my throat is sore, and I have a constant tickling, non-productive cough.

    I thought that I was coming down with something, except that my symptoms alleviate when I leave the house. I’ve looked online, and there has been a (small)study reflecting this,although they don’t specify softwood. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5441376/ (A little light reading). This link mentions softwood more than hardwood. http://www.energynetworks.org/assets/files/electricity/she/occ_health/OHAG_guidance_notes/OHAG%20-%20Biomass%20-%20Cover%20-%20web%20site%202013.pdf
  2. johneh

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 19, 2009
    Eastern Ontario
    Welcome to the forum
    I do not know your stove so I can not tell you what your problem is
    But that being said hard wood and soft wood produce different weights of ash
    Soft wood is lighter . you say there is a black oil/tar substance in your stove
    This indicates a cold fire (not hot enough) most likely short of combustion air .
    Some one should be along to help you with the finer points of running your stove
    and to help with your problems
  3. gfreek

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 5, 2010
    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    Welcome. Someone should be along to assist you...however, I would think that you'd be able to burn soft, hard, or mix of pellets..possibly with control adjustments as needed, which should be in the manual. If you can't get assistance from the dealer, who has little experience, then I would contact Piazzetta via web site
  4. Mark_ms

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Jan 28, 2008
    Upstate NY on VT Border
    gfreek likes this.

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