Pellet stove Recommendations

Pellet stove Recommendations

PostBy: JJLL On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:05 pm

Hi everyone,
I have some sad news. My brother wants to buy a pellet stove. I know, I know... I'm still trying to convert him to the dark side :) I have and love my coal stove.

Anyway, for those of you who have owned pellet stoves, which one would you recommend? He needs something that can kick out 33k BTU or more.

I told him a small coal stove would easily do that... but if you have a brother then you know that they won't listen to you when they should. :)

Thanks for your input.
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF-360 Boiler

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:10 pm

I can't give a brand, but from the ones I've seen, quality is almost directly related to price. You buy a cheap one & that's just what you get. It looks to me that you've got to spend over $1,500 to get a decent one. Seems they are getting top dollar for them. When I look at a $1,500 one I say to myself "Why isn't that $900?"
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: gambler On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:42 pm

Does he want a wood pellet specific stove or a multi fuel (Pellet,corn,small grain) stove?
edit: He had better get one soon because they are selling as fast as the coal stoves. In fact he may have a hard time finding what he wants.
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: EnergyAllStars On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:48 pm

I agree . . . . you get what you pay for! And at this time of year (and the oil prices) you might have to pay more for less?!? I've burned pellets for 4 years now and am switching to coal as soon as my AA-130 shows up at my doorstep. Burning pellets. . . lets just say every stove has it's own problems, large or small. It's all basic trouble shooting. My advice, look for a stove that the burn pot will last, safety shut offs and most importantly your specific needs for BTU output.
I have a Lennox T300P, every year I switch brand of pellets due to demand and price. Every year is the same situation, readjusting feed and oxygen. After a couple days it's dialed in. But. . . . if it's even and consistent heat your lookin' for, Anthracite is your answer.
Stove/Furnace Make: SOON. . . Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: coalmeister On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:14 pm

I have had a Lennox T300P as well for the last 3 years. I bought 12 tons of pellets during the first big hurricane (was it in 04?) while they were on sale for $168 per ton at Tractor Supply. The manager laughed at me, said he could get all the pellets he needs whenever he wanted and then promptly ran out a a month later.

The T300 is a good stove, runs flawless, not a single problem. The big advantage of a pellet stove is the auto start which is especially nice in the early and late heating season. I will continue to use mine then. The other good thing is the ash is less than 1% so a seasons worth of ash fits in a couple 5 gallon buckets.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska 140 Furnace -sold
Stove/Furnace Model: Harmon VF3000 -sold

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: PelletstoCoal On: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:34 pm

I burned pellets for almost ten years and recently switched to coal. I replaced my whitfield pellet stove with a Harman dv-500, a true direct vent coal stove. It requires less maintenance, tending and produces far less dust than pellets. With this direct vent model here was no need for a chimney or even a barametric damper, no fussing with draft. Maybe that would intrest you brother, but as for a pellet stove make, my whitfield(s) (had two) were from the mid 90's, late 90's whitfield was purchased by lennox, so the quality of the lennox product I could not attest to, but the older whitfields ran great (except they did require ash removal every 4-5 days). I would personally go with a Harman or a Quadrafire. I just spoke to a stove dealer at the Harford fair this past week and he said he was having difficulty getting pellets this year. Some food for thought. Lots of coal out there.

Stove/Furnace Make: Harman DVC-500

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: 4570FAN On: Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:59 pm

I burned a Lopi for 4 years and it was junk. It needed to be cleaned at least every other day. I bought a Harman P-61 and absolutely loved it. I had that stove for 7 years. I just bought a Harman MkIII because I was tired of 1 type of fuel and electricity requirement. If he can't be convinced to burn coal, he should at least check out the Harman pellet stoves.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: MkIII

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: pelletsrevil On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:26 am

Hello everyone,new guy here.
We spent $1779.00 on our St. Croix Afton Bay pellet stove and it just downright stinks.With the price of pellets doubling in the first 3 months after we bought the stove in 2005 it is no longer worth it. We can burn propane for that price.If your brother is that convinced on the pellets tell him I'll give him a real good deal.
Tell him to just go to coal,do not do what we did and buy the pellet stove and then go to coal,what a waste of $3000.00 that pellet stove and chimney liner was.
Pellets are the biggest scam out there,pellets shortages,sawdust is worth more than gold,delivery fees,lots more maintenence than they said at the dealer,can't get parts,never answer me about the warranty. I swear that if I had the money I would take this stove and throw it through the dealers widow!
Stove/Furnace Make: St Croix Afton Bay

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: ssupercoolss On: Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:39 pm

i have a quadra fire sante fe. good unit, and other than a power surge frying the electronic box, it has been trouble free. pellet stoves need to be cleaned, sometimes the burn pot has to be emptied once a day. this is directly related to the quality of the pellets burned. my stove will go for a weekend sometimes before it needs to be emptied. for me it has saved me a bunch of money, and has paid for itself many times over. I still will be installing a wood/coal boiler this winter, because I do have to run the boiler when temps get below freezing for extended periods. pellet stoves in no way replace a central heater, I think thats what some people have fallen for, or they purchased a stove that is way too small for thier needs. its pretty much along the lines of any other freestanding stove in that aspect.....its not a central heater. I have mine figured out to the degree when I should turn it off and turn the boiler on. I plan on using my pellet stove for late fall and early spring heating, the boiler will pretty much cover the coldest months. most quadra fire stoves will burn 50/50 pellets/corn, however I did burn pretty much straight corn in mine for a while. lighting corn is kinda hard, thats why they say 50/50. I think we all know any stove from the big box store, wont compare with a quad, harman, vermont casting.....etc.

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: Putt On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:33 pm

I have a pellet/corn stove that I have been running for around 5 years or so. Mine has a "stirrer" in the burn pot that
eliminates the need to clean out the fire pot. The ash pan needs to be cleaned out maybe once every two weeks,
the stove burn rate is adjustable from 5k B.T.U. up to around 50K. The hopper will hold around 80 lbs of corn,
and corn right now is running around $3.15 a bushel (56 lbs @ around 8K B.T.U. per pound). I burn a little over
a bushel of corn a day.. In the spring and fall, I switch over to pellets simply because the stove runs a little cooler
with the pellets than it does with the corn ( for a given VOLUME the wood has fewer B.T.U.'s) The only problem
that I have ever had with the stove is that the stirrer had to be replace once. Mine is a direct vent, uses outside
air for combustion.. I do have a pot-bellied stove in the basement that I fire up when it gets really cold (below 0F)
to warm up the basement a bit. I might replace that one (a bear to regulate with coal or wood) with a VC Vigilant II.

Stove/Furnace Make: Countryside/ corn/pellet
Stove/Furnace Model: Vogelsang pot-bellied

Re: Pellet stove - Help to convert :)

PostBy: rberq On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:29 pm

A friend runs a St. Croix pellet stove and loves it -- external wall-mounted thermostat, self-igniting, trouble-free. But I don't know which model it is. I see from an earlier posting in this thread, another person using a St. Croix who hates it. Edit: On re-reading the St. Croix posting, it appears he hates pellets, not the stove, so I guess I can stand by the St. Croix recommendation.

As others have said, stay away from the cheap ones. Another friend of mine has a $900 junker from Harbor Freight, and it's been down more than up for the last two seasons.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane