Starter Gel

  • 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.

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,348
ohio
For many years I have used the Imperial starter gel from Lowes. It was the very best. I could literally add pellets add some gel and light it and leave for work. Lit every time with out fail. Then last season they changed it, it is in a larger white bottle instead of black and super thick like the cheap stuff. It also smelled like nasty corn alcohol. I contacted Imperial and they sent me 6 new bottles. They smelled like the old stuff but way to thick. I ended up thinning it down with denatured alcohol to get to the proper consistency. The super thick stuff just sits on top of the pellets and burns up. A little thinner it get down in the pellets and lights flawlessly. I am not about to start stirring it in after not having to for 12 plus years. Anyone else have a good gel that they found? I dont want to mess with the torch. I keep an easy set up so my wife can start the stove when needed with no trouble.
This is for my St Croix. Harman is auto ignition
 

gfreek

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2010
1,589
WNYS
I've always used Rutland Fire starter gel . Usually get it at local ACE Hardware or TSC.. This works for me, Insert pellets, apply gel, mix it quick, apply a squirt more on top and ignite.... Plenty of alcohol based hand sanitizer around you could try that, others have said..I prefer the gel..

 

Cincinnati Kid

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2009
315
Cincinnati
For many years I have used the Imperial starter gel from Lowes. It was the very best. I could literally add pellets add some gel and light it and leave for work. Lit every time with out fail. Then last season they changed it, it is in a larger white bottle instead of black and super thick like the cheap stuff. It also smelled like nasty corn alcohol. I contacted Imperial and they sent me 6 new bottles. They smelled like the old stuff but way to thick. I ended up thinning it down with denatured alcohol to get to the proper consistency. The super thick stuff just sits on top of the pellets and burns up. A little thinner it get down in the pellets and lights flawlessly. I am not about to start stirring it in after not having to for 12 plus years. Anyone else have a good gel that they found? I dont want to mess with the torch. I keep an easy set up so my wife can start the stove when needed with no trouble.
This is for my St Croix. Harman is auto ignition
I have two Harmans, a P-43 and an Accentra Insert. I’ve lit them both manually for years by soaking the pellets in 91% rubbing alcohol for 20 minutes or so and then using a long lighter to light the stoves. Works every time with no issues.

Btw, I’ve really enjoy reading your posts for years. Wish you were down here in Cincinnati where you could service my Harmans!
 
  • Like
Reactions: rickwai

Tim_M

Burning Hunk
Mar 28, 2010
240
Halifax, NS
A few years ago I switched from the Imperial starter fluid to citronella/tiki torch oil. It’s quite a bit cheaper and I find it works better. But it may be a bit harder to find at this time of year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rickwai

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,348
ohio
I have two Harmans, a P-43 and an Accentra Insert. I’ve lit them both manually for years by soaking the pellets in 91% rubbing alcohol for 20 minutes or so and then using a long lighter to light the stoves. Works every time with no issues.

Btw, I’ve really enjoy reading your posts for years. Wish you were down here in Cincinnati where you could service my Harmans!
I hated lightning my P38😄. That is why I converted it to auto ignition P43. I will try your trick on my St Croix. Thanks for the tip
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
4,075
park county montana
Gave up on starter gel for the Integra many years ago. Use this--
1669731373102.png
 

girevik

Member
Aug 26, 2019
13
Texas
I've tried gel and hand sanitizer but have moved on to mixing pellets and charcoal lighter fluid in a mason jar. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the mix in the burn pot and light.

Takes a little more prep time but works well. Bottle of lighter fluid lasts me a season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rickwai

tbear853

Feeling the Heat
We just open stove, cold clean things, grab a hand full of pellets, lay them in burn pot, squirt the starter gell on top, light it, let gell all get to burning, add just a few more pellets, then push stove's green "go" button, shut door. Stove will be pulling a draft upwards through the pellets with burning gell on top and those last few pellets, it will push in a few more pellets down below so leave room for them ... and very soon we have a pretty flame.

Since 1992.

good (3) 640w.jpg