Anyone using a Battery backup on a Pellet stove

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Mark W., Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Mark W.

    Mark W. Well-Known Member

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    Been wondering about a battery back up for our Pellet stove after a recent 4 hour power outage.

    My stove says its max draw is 3 amps or 3600 watts. Would be nice to have at least 6 hours of backup.

    I'm also looking at a small 4 stroke 1500-1800 watt surge 1000-1200 watt steady draw generator. Which it looks like could be the less hassle and almost cheaper long term option. Not to mention much more useful then just for power outages.
  2. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Active Member

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    I would say the generator is your best option, however you need to get it out and run it instead of leaving it in the garage until the power goes off. The kiss of death for any small engine is to not exercise it.

    You could do an inverter and battery system but I'm sure you would end up spending more than you would on a quality suitcase generator.

    We have a 7500 watt diesel gen to run our well pump and pellet stove in a power outage.
  3. jbett98

    jbett98 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Mark, I'm looking at propane powered generators for power outages.
    I currently have a Coleman Ultra 2500 that I have used once, but I don't like storing gasoline in my shop and with propane fuel you don't have to worry about the carb getting all gunked up with long time storage. Prices are the same with either fuel choice.

    One other thing. Make sure you have a surge protector on the pellet stove.
    My brothers pellet stove's circuit board was fried last year due to a power surge when his electric power was restored after an outage.
    The repairman told him this is a common problem.
    Hooking yours up to a generator could be problematic in this area.
  4. augfan

    augfan Member

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    had a pellet stove at our last house. during power outages, I just grabbed the truck battery and hooked it up. Lit the stove manually and presto. seemed pretty easy and worked well
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Well-Known Member

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    Never had any trouble with surges when the power comes back on since the stove will have shut itself off. And if I have it plugged into a generator or battery pack/inverter set up the power coming on wouldn't even reach the stove.

    We have had this stove since we bought it new in 1992-93 so it has been through many outages over the years. I would guess we typically get 2-3 a year. Weighted towards winter time. Though we have had outages from car wrecks and morons with excavators that grounded the main service line.

    Our stove only lights manually so that is not a worry.

    The wife has so many candles in the living room all the time this last outage we grabbed the flashlites and moved the Ice to the fridge. Then lit the candles and she went back to reading her book. I pulled out the Coleman propane and made some coco and played on the internet with my phone. Until about an hour later I checked PGE's web site to see how long it would take, They beat their estimate by an hour returning service.

    But there is always a chance of a longer outage and while or house is VERY well insulated and will maintain comfort for a whole night if starting at normal room temp (about 72 in the living room) I want to be prepared.
  6. slimer13

    slimer13 Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to be prepared I would recommend getting a wood stove as a backup if feasable in your location. I have my pellet stove downstairs and a wood stove insert with a cooktop in the upstairs fireplace.
  7. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have run my pellet stove on an inverter and 12 volt car battery. It worked fine. I think it was about a $75 inverter, don't remember the size.
  8. receo

    receo Active Member

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    Try putting a multimeter on it while it's running. Check back with the numbers and the group could give you a better idea of how long a particular battery will run your stove. I'm guessing the 3 amps is just for a small moment of time during the motor startup.
  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Well-Known Member

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    Nope the only place in the whole house a stove can set is on the hearth the pellet stove fits on. And after heating my house with a wood stove for 7-8 years I'm not going near that PITA again on a dare.

    I can fill the hopper on my stove from the pellet box I built next to the stove and totally forget about the stove for 24-32 hours. I fill the pellet box once every 10-12 days from a stack in my car port. I use approx 2.25-2.5 tons of pellets to heat my house for a year. The cost is about $450.00 to 500.00 for a 1700sq ft house. We buy pellets in bulk during the summer when on sale and then buy a few more ten to 20 bags at a time to finish out the year in Spring.

    With wood it took almost 5 cords of decent wood to heat the house the wood had to either be bought cured $$$$$ or stored a minimum of 6 months to be useable. This took up a huge area drew bugs and spiders as well as little furry critters pellets do not. I had to pack wood in from the cold 2-3 times a week all the while packing bugs and spiders and dirt and mess into the living room. The stove would never run more then 10 hours unattended and waking up to a cold house was very common. Take off during the winter for a weekend FORGET ABOUT IT who would come over to the house 2-3 times a day to load or fiddle with the stove. At least with the Pellet stove the Neighbor comes over after work spends a couple minutes scooping pellets in to the hopper and leaves. NO skill or stove experiance required. And I clean the stove out in about 10 min with the shop vac after its been off about 2 hours once every 2 weeks.

    I grew up heating with wood I know ALL ABOUT IT. and so far the only wood heat I can think of that would beat our pellet stove would be if I could figure out a way to rig up an auger that would feed directly from the pellet box into the stove hopper. Then I could worry about the stove once every 10 days.

    The Pellet stove is under the round cloth (photo was taken during the summer) Pellet box is to the right

    [​IMG]
  10. slimer13

    slimer13 Well-Known Member

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    Yep I definitly agree pellets are far more convenient and that is why I run mine most of the time (unless the temp gets below 10 or so which happens often in the winter here). Wood is nice to have as a backup for grid/power down situations if possible. Both my stoves are by Lennox and are very efficient. Sorry to get off topic.
  11. mccullogh

    mccullogh Member

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    3 amps sounds reasonable for an auger motor but 3600 Watts sounds like a typo. I don't know what your budget for this would be but here is one idea. Get a pair of Trojan 105 and series them together along with an inverter. This should get you several hours of run time if the actual usage is in the 300-400 Watt range. Next get a small portable generator with a 12V circuit on it so you can use 120V or 12V as needed (the 12V would recharge the batteries. Last put a nice Battery Tender or similar charger on the deep cycle batteries to keep them topped off. This would easily allow you to ride through most outages without getting out the generator if you did not want to (although you should sometimes just to check everything)
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Well-Known Member

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    3 amps times 120 volts = 360 watts you are correct it was a typo I didn't catch.
  13. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Active Member

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    My pellet stove would have to have AC power for the control board, blower, etc. Is your specifically set up for 12V DC back up?
  14. Stomper

    Stomper 3%er Bronze Supporter

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    No, they are talking about using auto-type batteries, and using a power inverter that converts DC to AC. ;)
  15. Redcap

    Redcap Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine that lives in an area where the power goes out rather often has a pair of spare batteries from his log truck and a 600w inverter to keep his pellet stove going.
  16. skydiver

    skydiver Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The pellet stove salesman told me a deep cycle 12v RV battery would only last 4 hours as backup.
  17. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If I needed to I would try the car battery and inverter again. I used I through a couple of power outages and never even thought about it stopping. I seems to me the auger is a very small motor. If possible you could turn the fan down low.
    I don't have a stove any more. I built a new house and the new construction takes very little to keep warm. I can turn the heat pump off and it rarely drops below 66 degrees.