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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:54 pm 
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I am a member on a wood/pellet stove forum. A few weeks ago somebody on there asked members to post pictures of the tools we all use to maintain our stoves.
I put my pictures on there and somebody inquired about my vacuum cleaner hose adapter. Seen on Left.
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See ""

It is a 1' length of 1/2" OD Fuel hose RTV'd into a turned adapter that fits into the hose of my shop vac.
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See ""

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See ""

For those not familiar with pellet stoves they take a bit of weekly cleaning to keep them running well.
That cleaning requires the use of a vacuum to get the fly ash out of the firebox, ash traps, and heat exchanger area.
I made up this tool to help me out.
I Started with some Cherry I had laying around. I sectioned out a blank.
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See ""

Next it was mounted between centers and shaped.
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I drilled a 1/2" hole through it and installed the hose. Friction holds it in place. RTV can be used to seal it up if needed.
Here it is ready for use to get into those tight areas deep inside the stove.

Image
See ""


Caution. Let the stove go out and cold before vacuuming it :-)

The guys on the Stove site have asked me to make 1/2 a dozen of them for their use so far. I hope this helps out someone here as well.


Thanks,
---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:07 pm 
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That's pretty cool. Necessity really is a mother...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:39 am 
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Tell me more about the stove....

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:43 pm 
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UD,

I burn a 2000 Enviro Fire EF-2 Freestanding. It is capable of throwing 38000 BTU's It has a 50 Lb hopper.

I have it installed in my main room (living room) in a fairly open floor plan converted lakeside cottage.
It does a great job heating my house each winter. I am going on my 4th season now.

I used to burn about 700 gallons of Home Heating Oil each year to heat the house. Now I don't buy oil unless it is a deal.
I have burned about 50 gallon in 3 years.

Current Oil prices here are $2.88 a gallon. That works out to just over $2000 for home heat.

I have propane for hot water and cook stove.

I burn about 3-1/2 tons of premium or better wood pellets each year. And this year they are running $250-$265 a ton.
On the high end It should cost me about $927.00 to heat the house on pellets.

Over $1000 saved.

The electricity to run the stove is about equal to what I would use to run the furnace so that is a wash.

There are some drawbacks (don't believe everything the dealer tells you). Pellet stoves require frequent cleaning.
I go about 3 days between general cleanings. This involves vacuuming out the fire box and ash traps.
Scraping the heat exchanger tubes. Chipping out the clinkers that form in the burn pot liner. Dumping the ash pan. And cleaning the glass.
It takes me about 10 minutes to do all that.
About every ton of pellets (50 bags) I do a deep clean. This involves removing the stove to my front deck and pulling it completely apart.
I use compressed air to blow out all the trapped ash. I remove both blowers and solvent clean them.
I lube what needs it and re-assemble.
It takes about an hour and while the stove is out of the house I run a cleaning brush up the vent pipe.

I love mine but I admit it is not for everyone.
The pellets come in 40 Lb bags and you need to have a dry place to store them (preferable inside).
And you need to be fit enough to carry them to the stove and lift them into the stove hopper.

Feel free to ask any other questions.
I am really into it. Like poking a campfire......stoves need to be fiddled with.
---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:05 pm 
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What voltage electricity does it use? And why do you need it?

How's this thing work? Does it have an open flame?

Can you make your own pellets? Do you have to use pellets?

I'm wishing I had a better way to heat my shop. That little personal heater ain't doin' too much good right now... :oops:

What I really need is some insulation...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:03 pm 
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UD,

The stove runs on normal 115VAC household power.

Basically there is a hopper full of pellet wood fuel. The pellets are carried into a burn chamber by means of an auger. In the chamber heat is applied to the fuel via an electric heating element or an outside flame source (Torch) to get it going. Air (Oxygen) is pulled past the smoldering pellets causing them to ignite and begin burning away. New pellets drop in to the burn chamber and that keeps the flame going. The feed rate of the pellets is controlled either by voltage potentiometer or by PC control board. The heated exhaust gasses are pulled from the burn chamber via an electric blower and are forced out the vent to outside. In pulling out the exhaust gas it also pulls in fresh air for combustion. While all of that is going on a separate blower is sucking in cool room air and blowing it through heat exchanger tubes. The tubes are heated by the flames and exhaust gasses. That now heated air is blown into the room.

The flame is all kept inside a glass fronted burn chamber. The outside of the stove stays cool enough to touch except for the viewing window. Generally the clearance issues for a wood stove are greatly reduced for a pellet stove.

You can make your own pellets but it takes lots of capital to buy the machinery to do so (like several 10's of thousands). A ton is about $250 and if you buy a good brand name you get consistent fire/heat quality.

If all you are trying to do is heat a shop you should look into a propane torpedo or kerosene heater. They work great.

---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:01 am 
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Cool. Thanks for the answers.

Couple more questions...

Do they make a model that utilizes a catalyzer?

And why so much to make the pellets? Are they super compacted or something?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:17 pm 
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UD,

There is no need for a catalyzer like on a wood stove. The Pellet stoves are something like 87% efficient. There is almost no smoke discharged. And nearly all heat has been removed in the exhaust path. There really is not much more to extract.

Here is a Info section about Wood Pellets, stoves and what the process is.

http://www.hearth.com/what/pellet/pellet1.html

It is a bit dated but has lots of great info.

Also here are a couple of Stove in action videos Also from a member of the Hearth.com site
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdMPfl6tP7Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPz9NTW13Uc


---Nailer---

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email: nailed_nailer@yahoo.com


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:36 pm 
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WOW, moving my pellet stove to the deck to clean it after each ton of pellets IS SO NOT AN OPTION. Your going to wear it out just cleaning it. Twice a week it get a good vaccuming and window cleaning. Twice a year I clean out the chimney. I 've had this stove about 13 years and so far I have replace one exhaust blower. I also burn about 3.5 tons a year and I use about 2.5 tons of coal in the cellar. I really like the coal stove. Up to 90,000 but have never had to run it that high. Nice warm cellar and floors. I hate cold floors. The pellet stove is also an Envirorire, first generation I believe.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Nailer, are you using outside combustion air??? When I first got my stove it was not, always there was this draft around your ankles, was very anoying. Drilled another hole in the wall and poked a pipe for outside air to be drawn in for the combustion chamber and all that went away.

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"To the last I grapple with thee, from heqq's heart I stab at thee, for hates sake I spit my last breath at thee."

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Paul,

Yeah I move it for a deep clean (moving it keeps the fly ash out of the living room :-) )

If you can remember my layout from your visit. The stove and the front porch are on the same level and about 12 feet apart.

I disconnect the vent from the back and use a 2-wheeler to roll it out to the porch. I then remove everything I can from it and clean it out with HP air.

Outside Air,
Yep, I went the first year without it and constantly had the cool floor level draft. Next year I added the OAK and much warmer since then. No drafts.

I also use a small 105CFM muffin fan located low down in a doorway to blow cool room air toward the stove. From my Kitchen area into the living room. I find this keeps the house fairly well balanced.

---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:42 pm 
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Nailer, I have a really old (1980's?) pellet stove in my shop, which I haven't used for a few years. It may need some refurbishing this coming fall, are there people in the forum you mentioned who are long enough in the tooth to help out with any questions that come up? The stove originally ran on a thermostat, but a power surge blew out the electronics, so I set the auger speed manually with a timer somebody put in years ago.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:39 pm 
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Forestgirl if you have the make and model # of the stove you can find any parts you need online. They are quite simple devices and easily repaired. I will be happy to answer any questions if I can.


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:45 pm 
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Thanks, Paul, I'll see if I can find the info. Glad it's warming up here for now, but want to have it running by end of summer.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:46 pm 
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Hi, Paul, back with questions. I bought a different pellet stove this week, it's an Englander that's been working in a home, but they're going for a fireplace insert instead. This one has a 6" outlet for the exhaust. My old stove was either 3" or 4", much smaller at any rate (we'll take it apart tomorrow and find out which). Are we stuck with totally replacing the pipe? I'm worried about not getting enough draft if we simply reduce from 6" to 4" (or 3").

There doesn't seem to be any pipe specifically for pellet stoves that is 6", so I would have to get wood-stove pipe if I replace everything. Do you know of any extra maintenance I need to do, or other problems with that approach?

Thanks!
Jamie


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:26 pm 
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Never reduce the size of stove pipe. Are you sure it is a pellet stove, I have never seen one with a 6' vent.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:06 pm 
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Paul Gauthier wrote:
Never reduce the size of stove pipe. Are you sure it is a pellet stove, I have never seen one with a 6' vent.


Yes, it's an Englander pellet stove. Evidently, the early ones were designed to plop right where a wood stove had been and hook up to 6" pipe. I'd show you a picture, but have forgotten how. :( We have some 8" double-walled pipe just sitting around, but I'm concerned about deviating from the operating manual's instructions to use 6" pipe (just found the manual online yesterday). I guess I'll be dishing out for new pipe. We could start a retail store pretty soon. :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Are you running it into a chimney or through a wall?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:25 pm 
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Paul Gauthier wrote:
Are you running it into a chimney or through a wall?

Chimney (double-insulated pipe to flex pipe, into chimney box at ceiling). We have a huge window in back of the stove, hubby not on board with re-routing it through the glass. :shock: Problem is solved though! I found a different stove, much closer to home, that uses the same pipe (3") as the old one. We'll be hooking it up tomorrow, can hardly wait!!

One little glitch -- must sell the stove that has the 6" outlet. The knob that controls airflow was broken off, leaving a screw stuck. Have to either extract the tiny broken off screw, or epoxy another one in there, or replace what we're told is a "potentiometer." I think the potentiometer is part of the control panel, not going to be easy to access, and I know nothing of such things. Gotta get it done though. It's a nice stove, with fairly simple operating system. It's the one on the dolly in the middle. The one on the right is the old-old one, which I have on Craig's list for cheap.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Just have to celebrate the end of the pellet stove drama. Stove #3, a Whitfield, is in place and working great. More compact than #1 and #2, digital controls, love it! Cost me a couple months' woodturning money, but warm, cozy and dry shop is worth it!

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