Looking into a Wood Stove

Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
I have a 2 story modified colonial with a finished basement. All three floors are copper baseboard oil heat. I have a pellet stove in the basement on a tile over concrete corner. It has been years since I used the pellet stove. Stopped using it when one of my kids was a toddler, he burned his hand on the glass. Luckily it was just a surface burn and not 2nd degree. As of now I can't get it working. It could be as simple as I'm using the incorrect power cord. I cannot find the original power cord. If all it is is a power cord I'll keep the pellet stove and begin using it. If the mother board is toast it may not be worth the repair cost.

I also have a 2nd story fireplace with an external, enclosed chase. I have an issue with the firebox (I think) that at times causes some smoke to get into the room and of course disperse throughout the first floor. I had a friend stone the wall for me as he owed me a favor. In an attempt to control some of the smoke he closed in the top a bit. Didn't quite make it go away and it's just to small looking now.

Lots of options. Here is what I'm contemplating and I'd like to hear thoughts and suggestions.

Basement Pellet: If repair is not costly pellet stove stays. If costly and not worth it, maybe it's time for a wood stove. I realize added to the cost of the stove would be the need for piping and a new chase. It is in the basement but it is a walkout and the piping would require a cut through 2x6, OSB, and siding not concrete.

Fireplace: Have it inspected and see what the repair cost is. If minor repair keep fireplace, repair it, have friend remove the layer of brick and stone opening it back up. If too costly a repair I am thinking of a wood stove insert. Fireplace depth is 26" and hearth is 20" wide slab of stone. I would not want anything sticking out past the hearth. House is 3600 sq ft spread throughout three floors. I'm not looking for a tank of a stove to heat the whole house. The first floor is open plan with wide stairwell and high ceilings so heat will readily make it to the top floor.

Questions:

No matter what happens in the basement; when I finished it I used fireblock sheetrock with R19 insulation in the ceiling. Walls are 2x6 top and baseplates with 2x4 studs on edge so R19 fits and standard 1/2" sheetrock. Am I wasting my time and money heating the basement thinking it will have an impact on the second floor? Besides some radiation of heat? There is a 30" door for air to circulate through.

Wood stove recommendations? Replacement pellet stove recommendations? Suggestions?
 

Attachments

  • Pel Stove.jpg
    Pel Stove.jpg
    44.6 KB · Views: 29
  • Fireplace.jpg
    Fireplace.jpg
    98.2 KB · Views: 28
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,985
Location
...
First off, where do you live? Is electrical power stable or do you have frequent outages?

Having owned both wood and pellet stoves, I will say that the pellet stoves are cleaner and easier to control. The biggest downside is cleaning. The bigger the ash drawer the better. You mentioned the original power cord is missing. Every pellet stove I have seen had a hard wired cord. I would check with a pellet stove place to see what the required cord should be. As for the motherboard that will depend on the age of the stove and availability. Another key point is pellet capacity. Some newer stoves can hold quite a bit which reduces your time refilling.

I ran my pellet stove 24/7 during the cold season, from around Sept-Oct to around March or so. The costs back then were much cheaper than electric heat which was what I had.
 

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
Dutchess County NY. Power is somewhat stable. I have a 16kw LP generator for those times power is out. Covers about 80% of the home. It is currently disconnected as I have excavators coming and going in the area of the lone joint I have in a solid copper (sleeved) line.

Ash drawer is decent size. The entire lower part of the stove is a pull out pan. This one wasn't hard wired. 3 Prong plug in the rear. Stove is about 12 to 14 years old. Capacity is a full bag. I can't remember if it's a 40 or 50 lb bag.

Climate here would have the stove used late October/early November through early March most years.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,985
Location
...
40 pounds is the standard bag for pellets. 50 bags equals 1 ton.

So you would need a three prong plug on both ends? I must be missing something here.

It would be worth going over the whole stove with a technician. Check the gaskets, electronics and make any repairs as needed.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2020
Messages
115
pellets likely differ in composition across the country. in the west i know a town that is all hip and cool and does not have natural gas going to houses, just very expensive propane delivered by truck to private tanks. people use the propane for stovetop burners in kitchen, and heat with those darned pellet stoves. the whole town stinks all the time unless there is a wind. stinks not like good old days when people only burning seasoned oak and pine, but now like they burning unseasoned bay, and pine/fir. vey acrid and unpleasant. there really should be some sort of standard for what goes in those pellets, and if there is a standard it is not strict enough. just sayin...
 
Last edited:

JC1

Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
6,734
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I don't know much about these stoves, but make sure it's inspected by someone certified and properly done so that your homeowners insurance isn't voided and your family is safe.
 

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
My 14 and 12 year old sons are responsible to clean the basement......please excuse the cobwebs in the rear of the stove. This is the male end of the plug that powers the stove. It starts here. I'm hopeful that's what's needed. When I first installed the stove #2 heating oil was highly priced. I organized tractor trailer loads for me and a few guys at work. The stove has about 12 tons through it. Wasn't fussy and burned well. Auger and auto start worked well. Stopped using it after my son (toddler at the time) burned his hand on the glass.
 

Attachments

  • Pel Stove Plug.jpg
    Pel Stove Plug.jpg
    58.3 KB · Views: 25

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
I don't know much about these stoves, but make sure it's inspected by someone certified and properly done so that your homeowners insurance isn't voided and your family is safe.

Sage advice. I followed all the recommended installation clearances and it has been used quite a bit in the past. I would certainly be on top of the first few bags to make sure there are no leaks and it is functioning properly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC1

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
pellets likely differ in composition across the country. in the west i know a town that is all hip and cool and does not have natural gas going to houses, just very expensive propane delivered by truck to private tanks. people use the propane for stovetop burners in kitchen, and heat with those darned pellet stoves. the whole town stinks all the time unless there is a wind. stinks not like good old days when people only burning seasoned oak and pine, but now like they burning unseasoned bay, and pine/fir. vey acrid and unpleasant. there really should be some sort of standard for what goes in those pellets, and if there is a standard it is not strict enough. just sayin...

I believe ya!! haven't experienced that with this stove though. Worst I had happen was the use of Stove Chow I believe, from Home Depot. The pellets gummed up and the electronic eye shut the ignition down. No smells inside and the exterior smell was nothing obnoxious or heavy.

edit to add...when I organized trailers for multiple people the origin was Ontario Canada.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,985
Location
...
I remember some years back one of our local brands of pellets was determined to be causing corrosion inside the stoves. What had happened was that the logs had floated in salt water. The extra sodium in the pellet fuel composition caused the corrosion. That manufacturer moved away from their bay side operation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC1
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,985
Location
...
Yes it does. I tried a Home Depot cheap replacement and got a light activation on the motherboard but that was it. I will borrow a cord from a pellet place to see if that is the issue first.


It does look like the old style computer cords. I’ll bet there is more to it than that though.

That stove looks like a Whitfield. That is the brand I had running for many years. In about 14 years of service I had to have a board and the feed motor replaced. Not too bad for a stove that got used heavily. I think they are made by Lennox or one of the big HVAC companies now.
 

BISCUT

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,300
It does look like the old style computer cords. I’ll bet there is more to it than that though.

That stove looks like a Whitfield. That is the brand I had running for many years. In about 14 years of service I had to have a board and the feed motor replaced. Not too bad for a stove that got used heavily. I think they are made by Lennox or one of the big HVAC companies now.

Yews Sir! I believe it is a Whitfield.
 

Attachments

  • Pel Stove Panel.jpg
    Pel Stove Panel.jpg
    85.7 KB · Views: 19
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
23,985
Location
...
Mine was the old style knob panel but they replaced it with a button one similar to that at around the ten year mark.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2014
Messages
855
Location
MN
If you're looking at a wood stove I would recommend the Blaze King, extremely efficient and very controllable. I've seen them go 30+ hours on a load of good wood.
 

AutoMechanic

Site Donor 2022
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
9,339
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I’d get a wood stove they smell really nice and keep you warm. We have a wood stove in our basement that hasn’t been used in 30+ years it’s not even hooked up but our house doesn’t have a chimney or anything so we really can’t use it.
 
Top