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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Pellet stove
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gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 7 Jun 2019 23:03
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Hi I am new here. I've been living off grid in my motorhome with a 600 watt solar system for 10 years. I've decided to build an 800 square foot cabin off-grid cuz I'm getting too old for the RV lifestyle. I'm just going to start one topic at a time and it's going to be heating and I've decided I'm going to go with a pellet stove and if anyone has had any experience with them or not there's a model I'm looking at on Amazon a top rated number one pellet stove for only $1,100.. it Rivals pellet stoves that are in the three to $4,000 range. I plan on just running it manually although it has all the bells and whistles.. my only concern is how much power is going to draw as I can't get any specs on it.. I live in central British Columbia Canada and only plan on being here in the summer months April to November I really won't be using it much other than early spring and late fall. So anyone has any comments please feel free. Thank you in advance

ICC
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 00:09
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No brand name or model listed so it is a bit difficult to make a sensible comment. I do believe that you get what you pay for, at least we hope we do. I like to get a good deal when I spend money. A good deal is not always the lowest price. Without any more exact details on the stove in question that is all I have to say.

old243
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 09:20
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Another consideration would be availability of pellets, You mention being too old. Are you still able to lug and wrestle pellet bags. My daughter had a pellet stove, she liked the stove, the problem was getting the pellets , from the store, to storage, then to the stove. Not trying to be negative , just things to consider. old243

creeky
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 09:51
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I used a pellet stove for years. The fans draw power. Sometimes there's a DC battery hook up for the fans and the auger. Might want to check the manual.

Personally, its just shoulder seasons in BC? I would think carefully about a direct vent propane heater. Cheaper. Tho. Lugging propane tanks vs 50lb bags of pellets. Hmmm.

My winter bedroom used one 20lb tank on an 9k btu heater for the spring from mid-April through end of May. 10x14 well insulated. Cold and wet spring.

0 electrical use.

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 13:58
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As it was my first post I didn't want to put a link in my host. I would order a pallet of pellets I live near the factory in fact and I would have them put a pallet on my front porch right by the door so I've been packing 40 lb of dog food all my life. This house has to be insurable and I'm going to lease a very big propane tank for my gas range tankless on demand water heater and maybe a propane fridge but I'm leaning more for just really efficient fridge / freezer that would run off 110.. also a gas dryer and 110 volt washing machine.. good point about the the DC motor but I think with my system I should be fine with 8/6 volts with 6 300 watt panels
https://www.amazon.ca/Castle-12327-Serenity-Pellet-Controller/dp/B00FQR70VY/ref=mp_s_ a_1_1?keywords=Castle+12327+Serenity+Wood+Pellet+Stove+with+Smart+Controller&linkCode =gs3&linkId=12543c9d35b48db997a076eb4da18f1c&qid=1559957006&s=gateway&sr=8-1#aw-udpv3 -customer-reviews_feature_div

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 14:01
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My house will have an ICF foundation and r50 roof r22 walls etc so it won't take much to heat

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 8 Jun 2019 19:31
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If you’re already adding propane why bother with the pellet stove for shoulder seasons. Just get a direct vent propane furnace and don’t deal with the pellets at all

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2019 08:50
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I wouldnt run a pellet stove off solor. No way no how. Constant draw in the worst time of year for aolar. Whats your backul when the auger stops or you run out of power? Theres a peace of mind knowing that metal box (wood stove) can heat your house and tou can cook on it with no power.

I had a "Englander" pellet stove, a homedepot stove one winter. It was terrible. Constant fan noise, normal with a pellet stove. My electric bill was also very high for thst time of the year due to it running 24/7. I have a wood stove now, silent no electricity and always works every time.

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2019 10:33
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I am considering a direct vent propane heater now but they're not too common in Canada for some reason. I do have a 7500 watt generator diesel sitting in my motorhome with another 600 watts of solar just in case but I don't think I'll ever run out of power. I've been doing this for 12 years and I'm pretty frugal and also I won't be here during the winter months..I live in Mexico from November to April

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2019 10:34
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I am considering a direct vent propane heater now but they're not too common in Canada for some reason. I do have a 7500 watt generator diesel sitting in my motorhome with another 600 watts of solar just in case but I don't think I'll ever run out of power. I've been doing this for 12 years and I'm pretty frugal and also I won't be here during the winter months..I live in Mexico from November to April

creeky
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2019 10:42
Reply 


I ordered my direct vent propane from the US for a canadian "branded" unit.

Pellet stoves are work. If its shoulder seasons you might want to look at a bit more solar and a mini split. Now though, you're putting a 0 at the end of the price tag. smile.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 9 Jun 2019 11:52
Reply 


I have a Comfort Built pellet stove at home that looks similar to that Castle (at least in size). I forget exactly what it's rated for. But, it heats our 1800 sq. ft house very well. I really like it and do not notice any difference in electricity in comparison to our forced air furnace heat. Saves us in propane too. (Note: we only run it when it drops below 40F and when we are home, mostly at night and on the weekends)

However, when the power goes out, it freaks out and can't really be restarted for like 15 minutes. It also states in the manual that it can't be run off of a modified sine wave. (Although, I know most of us on here are using PSW anyway)

I also can not always find pellets... Especially towards the end of the season.

But... I think the biggest issue (at least for my pellet stove as it doesn't ever shut off, just runs at lowest setting if temp is met) is that for only 800 square feet, you may get blasted out of there. Of course, I think a wood stove could do the same. But, at least your not wasting electricity with windows open

I agree that a direct vent wall mount propane stove would be the ticket for you. Thermostat will control the amount of heat. It should also be about half the price of a pellet stove. (At least in the U.S.)

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 12 Jun 2019 23:21
Reply 


So after the direct vent suggestions I decided to do some research and I have changed my mind and I'm going to go with the wall mount propane heater this one
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B072Q5NBNZ
so now I'm thinking about a refrigerator 110 volt looking for the most energy efficient one but I saw someone posted about refrigeration so I'll come back to this post but any suggestions in the meantime would be appreciated I'm having difficulties getting the energy rating of the fridges I pull up online

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 13:40 - Edited by: silverwaterlady
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We are in Ontario, Canada. Here is a photo of our propane stove. We couldn't get insured using wood.
It looks so good. A few people thought it was wood burning.

Since you won't be needing to heat much. You won't be going through to much propane.
We could not get a propane company to come down our bush road. So we couldn't get 100 lb tanks. We use 30's. I can manage to lift those.
We had to spend part of Nov up at the cabin. It was really cold and snowing. We used one 30 a day!
Our cabin is 1,200 sq feet and insulated with spray foam.

This of course is not economical. But that was also using the propane stove, baking a lot and a propane refrigerator.
If your not there in Nov than you won't need to use it that much. I think you might need to use heat a little in October.
In Oct our tank lasted a week because it would be cool in the morning ( turn the stove on for about 20 minutes) and heat up during the day.

We use a down comforter at night so it was comfortable to sleep.
I had a thermostat remote control set up and bought a gas stove fan ( the fan that sits on the top of the stove vent and runs off the heat) from Amazon.
Off grid and it works beautifully.
Easy. That's what we're looking for. We're older now and want to be able to enjoy our cabin as long as possible.

I did check out the pellet stove at the local hardware store. It made a lot of noise due to the fan and used a lot of electric to run the fan and the pellet shoot.
Napoleon Gas Stove
Napoleon Gas Stove


gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 14:10
Reply 


Hi thank you. I was actually checking that version of freestanding stove but it has a pilot light. And since then I started liking the idea of the wall mount. In fact I'm thinking of two one in my bedroom and one in the living room just for that early morning shock till the house gets warm and like I say I've got a state-of-the-art foundation and r24 walls r50 roof.. I'm only 800 square feet to btw..I can get a propane truck to fill up a tank here also.. cheaper with less or no maintenance over the pellet stove

gotama1900
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 14:11
Reply 


I am now focusing on refrigeration. LOL

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 19:00
Reply 


I know how expensive propane refrigerators are in Canada because of the CSA and the venting problems some people might have since they must be placed on an exterior wall. You must plan your kitchen accordingly if you deside on propane refrigeration.

However, this refrigerator has changed our lives at the cabin. Now I can cook enough food for leftovers and big pots of stews and soups.
I don't need to worry about melting all the ice.

So yes the expense was great but so are the rewards.
Now I have more time to get outside and work in the bush.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 19:25 - Edited by: SCSJeff
Reply 


30# a day :-o

something doesn't seem right there...

I have a Williams 30K BTU at our 1500 sq' cabin (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Williams-30-000-BTU-Direct-Vent-Natural-Gas-Furnace-30038 22/302362329)

I use a 100# tank (drag them on/off my truck and take them down the mountain to be filled). With the furnace running all day/night + the hot water heater + gas stove, I can go 6 months on a tank. Grant it, I only use the heater on long weekends during hunting season and I do "supplement" with the wood stove.

Oh, I also fire up a Big Buddy running off the same propane tank in the back bedroom where the heat doesn't get to as easy when first opening up

Does the Fridge eat through propane?

But, 30# a day is crazy

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 13 Jun 2019 20:52
Reply 


No nothing wrong. It's our only heat source. It was very windy and cold. Lots of snow. We had two feet on the ground when we went home. We had to get out before we got stranded back there.
It was 25-32F during the day and 10-15F at night.
I don't know what the wind chill was.
I had the stove set at 60F during the day and 55F at night.

Our camp is great as a spring-fall place. But after the middle of October it starts getting cold.
We are on the lake. On a point.
Nobody builds a full time house there. Most cabins are built back in the bush.
It's just too cold and windy during the winter.

A 30 will last us one month in the summer.

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