Looking to purchase pellet or coal stove - any advice?

jkh1998October 2, 2005

I have basic knowledge of stoves and my differnt options, but am wondering if anyone has advice on pellet versus coal stoves. I like the idea of not having to purchase piping with a pellet stove, but they do seem more expensive than coal stoves. Checked some dealers today and found out that pellet prices are going up because the demand is greater than the supply. Stoves are selling out quickly too so it just may be too late for us - until next year... We have young children so the idea of having a hot stove out in the open is scary, but we'd like to try to save some money with the price of oil so high. Any advice on what to put around the stove to keep little fingers away? Thanks!

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Yeah, get a "hearth gate" and then scream at you kids if they go near it.

We got one for about 200 bucks that you can set up in a bunch of different shapes around the stove. It has a gate that swings open so you can get through. It was pretty darn sturdy.

But like I said, some parents are so permissive with their kids that I think putting up a climbable-toy looking thing around a stove would be asking for a problem, so I'd seriously consider whether you could train your kids to stay off of it.

If so, it will prevent the running/slipping/tripping burn hazzard that freestanding stoves present.

I have no experience with coal, but it sounds messy and dirty.

Pellets are pretty clean and easy to use, and if you get a stove and a few tons of pellets in about June of this year, you should be able to get a good deal.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 6:12PM
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    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 6:14PM
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I NEVER had anyone, especially my children, burn themselves on our freestanding woodstove and I raised them from infancy with it burning each fall and winter. I would also have rabbits running loose in the house at times (I used to raise show rabbits) and they never burned themselves either. They would just warm themselves near it. My kids were always told that it was "hot" and to stay away from it even when it was cold. You don't want ashes all over the house either. I never had a problem with it. If children are taught simply and properly from the very beginning, this shouldn't be a problem.

The stove is hot. Animals and people normally do NOT get so near the thing as to burn themselves. Of course, if the children had some kind of development disorders that might be a different case.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 7:29PM
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Xandra wrote,
If children are taught simply and properly from the very beginning, this shouldn't be a problem.

I couldn't disagree more. Even the most well-behaved and intelligent children are subject to accidents. When you think of the extraordinarily hot temperature of the surface of the stoves, you realize that all it will take is single momentary contact to cause a severe burn and a permanent scar.

A gate is a very good idea as a starting point.

Xandra's point that "my kids never got hurt" should be taken for what it is - a single anecdotal data point.

If he said, "my kids always played with guns and they never shot themselves," that would not compel me to do the same with my kids.

Likewise, "my kids always played in the street . . "
And so on.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 12:37AM
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I'm just saying I have never had the experience, nor have I ever heard off-hand of someone else having one.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 1:04AM
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I just bought a Harman DVC 500 rice coal stove . I went through all the same questions you asked. Bottom line. The pellet stove uses 1.7 ton of pellets for every ton of rice coal, but the rice coal stove needs to be ash emptied every 2 to 4 days depending on how much power used etc. If you can get rice coal bagged cheap, go coal. If your wife is involved using it and you want less work, pellets. As for the gate. YES! I have a 2 year old, he was opening it and playing with the rice coal when it was cold, I had to finally unscrew the door handle untill I got a gate. Been there done that with the gate. I found the perfect thing, cheap. Home Depot or Lowes have this about 3ft tall steel black nice looking garden gate. It comes in sections and has a opening gate door. It looks great and my son now stands near it shaking it, but he ain't getting in. I will say when it's hot he doesn't like being near it, and of course one normally only needs to be severly burned once, but yes what if kids come over? Anyone can email me at rpmalerba@hotmail.com and I will be happy to send pictures of the stove and gate and piping, or talk about coal vs pellets etc. I love my harman DVC 500 stove and would advise anyone who doesn't mind the ash dumping trips to get one. I went right out my dinning room wall just like a pellet stove, only difference is I bought 2 ton of rice coal vs my friend buying 3 tons of pellets.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 1:30PM
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Take a look at these pictures. I got the Gate from Lowes. Strong and cheap.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSN group link

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 11:26AM
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I too am new to this genre. I recently moved from the "Big City" to a great place out here "in the stix" and LOVE it. With the house I bought, I inherited several items. One of these is a Harman Magnafire Mark I coal stove. It is sitting in my unheated, attached 2 car garage. It appears that is was purchased and never installed by the previous owners. The various parts & firebrick are still in the cartons.

In attempting to research this stove I keep running into dead ends. I gather that it IS an older stove, but yet is new/unused. I tried to locate a value for it and keep striking out. I must have looked at 50 sites, none of which seem to list prices.

Having read numerous posts on here, I decided to seek some of your experience. My quandry is :

A.) While I dont NEED the stove, should I sell it ? If so, any idea what its worth ? I have a fireplace in the fmaily room that I use extensively, but that doesnt affect the garage.
B.) Should I keep it and install it in my garage ( given its possible age) ? Any ideas what kind of expense THAT might entail ? At present, I dont do much out there in cold weather ( Central Illinois) Through the roof or out the wall/window would SEEM to all be options.
C.) I live roughly 1/2 mile from a working coal mine. Would I have to buy "pea/nut" coal from somewhere or is it possible to try and work something with the coal mine ?

Sorry for the numerous queries, but I'm curious about this thing. Any and all input is welcomed

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Too many unknowns in what you've got/need.

I have an airtight stove in my basement (unfinished) with a coal grate. I have burned as much as a 1.5 tons of anthracite coal (that's the real good stuff, hard coal, from PA) in a season, none the last few years. Great heat source, but a bit messy, and the output of coal, while creosote free it is acidic. So, if you install use stainless steel flue. Disposal of the ash can also be a problem, it isn't usable in the garden, bad stuff, best in the trash if you don't generate too much.

My stove works with Nut and Stove size coal. Nut is less money and easier to start (hard coal is hard to start) than Stove, i.e., Stove is larger pieces.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 7:57PM
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I would like to put either a pellet or rice coal stove in our basement. My basement floor is7-8 feet below grade. This means that I would need to run the 3-4 inch vent pipe up inside my foundation wall befoe it goes out. Is this ok?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 11:04PM
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