Questions about PelletMaster stove

PelletStoveFirstTimer Posted By PelletStoveFirstTimer, Jan 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM

  1. PelletStoveFirstTimer

    New Member 2.

    Jan 28, 2013

    I just bought a house with a PelletMaster PM3000 "Titan" pellet stove in the basement. I'm very interested in seeing if this stove can heat the house. Growing up, I lived in a house heated by a heat pump, so it's difficult to wrap my mind around intentionally lighting a fire inside the house, but I'm sure that will come with time.

    I have no idea what the condition of the stove is, but if it is like most of the rest of the house, it probably was not maintained too well. I found the owner's manual submerged in a plastic bag that was catching drips from a leaky pipe. I can read some of it, but quite a few pages are stuck together, so I've been reading these forums, but I still have some questions and could use any tips.

    I've tried to clean it out, and I've started it twice so far. Aside from filling the basement with smoke the first time (cleaned the stove pipe a little better and it seemed to fix the problem), it seems to burn OK...maybe not great, but OK. (I think I need to clean the air slits a little better in the burn pot.)

    Here are some general, probably-impossible-to-give-an-answer-to questions:
    • Is this more likely to be a money pit than a money-saver? That is, is a 15-year-old PelletMaster likely to have lots of parts that are going to break?
    • Are PelletMaster parts going to be fairly expensive, given that (as I understand) the company went out of business 15 or so years ago?
    • I'm nervous about leaving the stove burning - I check on it about every 15 minutes or so, and I'm a long way from leaving it go overnight or when we leave the house. What might happen if it were to fail? For instance, if one or more of the blowers completely fails, should I expect a house filled with smoke, or will the stove automatically extinguish itself...?
    • Is it possible that this stove will be able to heat the whole house? The house is small single-story, about 1000 sq. ft., and the stove is in the basement. There are no vents in the floor, and I'm not too keen on cutting vents into the floor, though I'm happy to leave the basement door open if it helps. Will the heat "rise" enough? (The floor is not insulated.)
    And here are some possibly easier-to-answer questions:
    • There is a switch on the side of the stove that says "Fan Speed" and has a "high" and "low" setting. I am guessing it controls the convection fan speed. When I switch it to "high," it makes an awful, ice-in-a-blender sound and I don't notice any increase in air output. It seems to be fine on low, but I think I might need high speed to get enough heat out of it. Any guesses why it would be fine on low but not on high?
    • Once the convection fan switches on, I notice an unusual smell coming out of it. Perhaps it is just hot metal or burning dust? It seems to give me a headache after a little while. Any ideas what that is?
    • I understand that this stove has a clinker ring that is supposed to turn, but I haven't seen it turn yet. How often is it supposed to turn? The stove has probably burned a total of 5-6 hours on my watch, and the gear is still in the same position.
    • The second time I ran the stove, I dumped in maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a 40lb. bag of pellets, switched the feed rate to high, set the thermostat, and let it go. About 2-3 hours later, I realized that the stove had burned through all of that, and the hopper was just about empty! Does that sound right?
    • I've seen mention that I need to clean "sawdust" from the auger area every time I clean the stove. Does that mean I need to pull all of the pellets out of the burn pot and hopper every time I clean the stove to get the sawdust out?
    • While the stove was running, I went outside to see if any smoke was coming out of the chimney. I didn't see any smoke at all - is that a good or a bad thing?
    Thanks, and sorry for the lengthy post, I'm new to this!
  2. imacman

    Guest 2.

    IMO, given that you're ALREADY nervous about burning it, plus the fact that it's OLD, making lots of weird noises, making all kinds of bad smells, etc, etc, I'd cut my losses and get rid of it. It is also usually very hard to heat a whole house from a basement install, especially if the basement isn't finished and insulated.

    There are a lot of nice, inexpensive stoves on the market. I'd recommend getting one of those and relocating it upstairs where you really want the heat.

    That said, the best i can do to help you is this link to a place that sells the owners manual:

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