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Marine1171

New Member
Nov 21, 2020
3
Mid-Michigan
I'm new to pellet stoves. Bought a house last February that came with a VG5770. Over the summer I cleaned it up (previous owners did not take care of it), replaced bad auger motor, replaced stove pipe, installed fresh air intake, and throughly cleaned the inside (including the ports for the heat exchange).

I cannot for the life of me get the thing to put out any meaningful heat. The thermostat only goes above 70 when the house furnace kicks on. After that it drops back to 70. I have thermostat for the furnace set to 68 (in the same room as the pellet stove) and it never moves above 68. The stove is producing heat, but no matter whether I have set at 2 or 5, it never gets above 70. Any suggestions on what I'm missing here?
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
965
Northwest Lower Michigan
Welcome. I’ve been using the same stove for almost 5 years and it puts out plenty of heat. At 30f outside my stove will usually be over 70 on the lowest heat range. The fresh air intake made a big difference, along with Pro Pellets which are noticeably hotter than the Kirtlands I started with.

How would you describe your house? Airtight or drafty? How many square feet?

What brand of pellets are you burning? Have you tried others? Does it burn clean or does the pot plug up quickly? Does the flame change significantly when you change the damper?

It sounds like you’ve already learned quite a bit about this stove which is good.

When you change heat ranges on the stove, can you tell that it actually is working? As in the blowers running faster, pellets feeding faster?
 
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Marine1171

New Member
Nov 21, 2020
3
Mid-Michigan
It's an old house. Not airtight, but not too drafty either. The house is 1700 sqft, but I'm not trying to heat the whole house, just my living room. I'm only using it to try to offset the house furnace somewhat.

As far as the brand pellets, I have no idea. I bought 5 bags of hardwood pellets from TSC to run through it at first. They bag had "Michigan Hardwood" across the front. I noticed a lot of ash buildup from those. Then I tried 2 bags of softwood pellets from Family Farm and Home. That was the one time I noticed it burn hotter, but also creosote buildup on the window.

The fan is what I'm wondering about. Like I said the previous owners did not take care of the stove (or the house). On settings 1-2 it's the same, 3 a little higher, and little higher on 4-5. I did notice a little corrosion and rust on the outside of the motor. But the fan does spin freely.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
965
Northwest Lower Michigan
My room fan does not seem like a drastic change from 1 to 3, but on 4 and 5 it really ramps up. So it sounds like yours is working well. I’ve never done this because I don’t have animals, but the room air passages may be clogged with pet hair. But still the stove should be heating up.

On heat range 5 in these current Michigan temps, that stove should really heat up the room. I’ve not tried the others but if you’ve got Pro Pellets available in your area, I’d try a bag. Just to see how they compare. I was shocked at the increase in heat output compared to the previous pellets. As with any pellets, adjust the damper to make sure you got a good flame. Not slow and lazy but not harsh like a blowtorch either.

How long do you let it run before you let the furnace take over? One thing to keep in mind is a pellet stove won’t compete with a furnace when it comes to the speed of warming a house or room. It’s a slow process of getting the thermostat to raise, but it does. Also the temperature will vary from the stove display to the wall thermostat. For example, if my stove says 75, my wall thermostat 20 feet away says 70, and my back bedroom thermostat says 65. (I only use the stove for heat.) You might want to try turning down the furnace to say 60 and let the stove run for a few hours. That way you will see what the stove is capable of, at least in its current condition.

You are running the stove on manual mode, correct? (Default mode when you power on.) If you’re on thermostat mode you may be keeping it stuck at 70.
 

Marine1171

New Member
Nov 21, 2020
3
Mid-Michigan
Yeah I run it in manual mode. I did happen to find a place that carries ProPellet so when I get home I'm going clean the stove again real good and give that a try.