Our pelet stove, although a great source of heat, is gone. All the fussing with the inner workings proved to be mostly unnecessary, and it works perfectly fine. the problem turned out to be the piping we used for the chiminey/venting.
We had problems with the consistancy of the flame and the feeding of the pelets, which made us not use the stove for the last part of the last winter. I missed the heat and the nostolgic homesteading-mess of it all but I would rather not have problems and burn my house down.
When we took it out last weekend, we finally discovered part of the problem - there was a right angle bend in the piping where it went through the wall. The Pipe that attached to the back of the stove went straight to the wall but in order to get the outside pipe to live up with the house and not stick 6 feet out into the yard, we had to install an elbow pipe section inside the wall.
We thought that when we cleaned the pipe, we were getting all the way through to the stove from teh outside but we were missing key spots in the elbow. Gunk was being built up there and it was clogged without us knowing it. So we were not getting sufficient draw, which lead to some of the problems we were having.
Our new wood stove arrived right before I went into the hospital and it has been waiting to be installed. We got the pelet stove out and the wood stove up onto the hearth so we can measure and make sure we have the right spacing from teh walls to meet a fire code.
We also learned that we need to extend our hearth another 16 inches out onto the hardwoods to pass the fire inspection which means we will need to get some tile and mortar (messy), which I am not looking forward to. I don;t think it is necessary but we have to pass inspection.
We also do not have the pipe for the chiminey yet. We have had several contractors out to the house to give us estimates on the pipe cost and the labor. Quotes have ranged from $1,999 to over $4,000. Money we definately do not have. We decided to instead price the piping out and we can get it from Tractor Supply for a little under $1,500. Roy has also decided to do the work himself and have it thouroughly inspected. Who knew a chimney would cost that much? And it is not even a nice stone one!
The pelet stove and what remained of our pelet supply was sold on craigs list which gave us a little money in the pot toward to pipe costs. Another month or so of saving and we will have enough to order the pipe. I just hope we can get it installed before the snow falls.
I know it will make a great addition to our home and I am looking forward to watching bread dough rise from teh heat.