2015 Project Showcase

While we can’t clog the blog with photos of every appliance we’ve installed here are a few noteworthy projects to give you an idea of the range of our capabilities and products. These are new installations by Dansville Town & Country done in 2015.

After removing an existing factory built corner fireplace we installed this Fireplace Xtrordinair 21TRV fireplace in a factory built cabinet. The unit vents out the back thru the wall and features the new GreenSmart 2 remote system. After the photo we finished patching up the floor, added trim, and stained the new paneling to match the existing decor.

This Empire gas fireplace was installed to replace an older and less efficient gas unit. The original stone facing and mantel remained and only some minor trim work was needed to fit the new unit into place. A Skytech thermostat remote system was added for automatic operation. This unit is a good option when your budget won’t allow for a higher end unit.

This was a large and interesting project. A double sided masonry fireplace formed a wall between the living and dining rooms in this house but the fireplaces were to small to fit gas inserts as the owner wanted. Instead the entire chimney and fireplace was demolished and we built a new chase to hold the new Fireplace Xtrordinair 864 ST see-thru fireplace and new Olympia class A chimney. The new chimney was built from the basement up to vent the existing boiler and water heater. The chase above the roof was capped with a custom Olympia stainless chase cover and faced with a ledge stone veneer. The fireplace features a diamond mosaic fireback and the GreenSmart 2 remote control system. The owner wished to finish the project from this point.

This Harman Oakwood woos stove was installed as part of a new home construction. The contractor provided the brick hearth and we installed an Olympia class A chimney and used Olympia double wall close-clearance connector pipe. This Oakwood features the rear heat shield, side warming shelves, stove pipe thermometer, and a cooking grill.

Wishing to replace an old wood stove, this customer decided on a Lopi Greenfield gas stove. We relined the chimney and adapted it for use with the direct-vent unit and installed gas line to the unit. This Greenfield features 3 sides of viewing glass, a blower, and the GreenSmart 2 remote control system.

This has been a small sampling of this years projects and we are looking forward to more in the coming 2016 season. Stay tuned for more or come and visit our showroom and see over a dozen burning display units and get some ideas for your own hearth improvement project!

Click Here to See the Showcase


Chimney Fires

A chimney fire is a preventable event that has the potential to cause damage to your chimney or even a house fire. Chimney fire prevention is one of the reasons to have your chimney swept and inspected on a regular basis. We will be discussing the causes and effects of a chimney fire, how to prevent them, and what to do during and after should one occur in your chimney.

There are a few myths surrounding chimney fires that we would like to address.

We have heard many stories of “burning out the creosote,” essentially causing a chimney fire deliberately to clean out the chimney. This practice has the potential to cause the same damage as a “naturally” occurring chimney fire and is to be avoided. Creosote that has pyrolysed as a result of a chimney fire can expand substantially and actually block more of the chimney than the buildup you started with!

We have seen a trend that people don’t consider chimney fires that dangerous and don’t don’t take proper steps to mitigate possible damage or have the chimney inspected after the chimney fire and continue to use the chimney. It is not uncommon for a chimney fire to cause clay flue tiles to crack and can stress or even buckle the metal in factory built chimneys. This damage is usually not evident to the homeowner without an inspection. Heat from the chimney fire can be conducted to combustible building materials next to the chimney or hot brands flying out of the chimney can land on the roof and cause a house fire (and in the example of flying brands, it might not even be your house that catches fire!). If you suspect a chimney fire close off as much air to the chimney as possible and call the fire department. Afterwards have the chimney inspected before further use.

When presented with evidence that a chimney fire has occurred, sometimes we hear “I couldn’t have had a chimney fire, I don’t burn wood!” While wood is the most common fuel in use that could lead to a chimney fire just about any fuel has the potential to produce flammable products of combustion that could build up in a venting system. Yes, this even includes gas! While rare, chimney fires from other fuels can be just as damaging. Have those chimneys checked out no matter what fuel you use!

A chimney fire occurs when deposits of creosote and other flammable material in the chimney are ignited and burn within the chimney structure. Please see our other post, “Creosote – What is it and Why is it Bad?“, for more information on how and why creosote appears in chimneys. The fact that flammable material must be present for a chimney fire to occur brings us to our most important point: Chimney fires are completely preventable! A clean chimney without buildup cannot have a fire. You can prevent dangerous buildup in your chimney in several ways:

  1. Burn proper fuel for your appliance with any necessary adjustments to fuel delivery or airflow properly made. This means dry and properly seasoned cord wood, proper adjustments to an oil fired heater, etc. This will help reduce or prevent the creation of flammable material that may collect in your chimney.
  2. Avoid low temperature burns over extended periods. Even with proper fuel, dampering a fire down to much can cause incomplete combustion and cooler flue temperatures, both of which contribute to buildup in your chimney.
  3. Have your chimney swept and inspected regularly. This will allow you to know about and correct issues with your chimney as well as clear any buildup that may be present. Clean chimneys don’t have chimney fires!

While we have discussed why chimney fires occur and how to prevent them, we know that not everyone will heed these warnings so lets go over what to do in the event of a chimney fire.

The first step is to recognize what is going on. Often chimney fires are very noticeable and there is very little doubt about what is happening. These “free burning” chimney fires will draw enormous amounts of air into the chimney causing a loud rushing or rumbling sound. Chimney connector pipe may vibrate or rattle. You may hear crackling and popping noises from within the chimney. Outside you will see a large volume of smoke exiting the chimney possibly along with embers and flaming brands. There is also a slow burning version of chimney fire that may not be noticeable at all but can be just as dangerous. You may still hear crackling or popping but the spectacular pyrotechnic display of a free burning chimney fire may be absent. While the fire burns much slower, it can burn just as hot as a free burning chimney fire and thus cause the same damage.

As soon as you suspect a chimney fire, try to prevent as much air from entering the chimney as possible. Close fireplace doors, close down stove air controls, block off any open unused thimbles, etc. Oxygen is essential to a chimney fire and the less it can get the less severe the fire could be.

Call the fire department. Nobody wants all the attention from the neighborhood a fire engine in front of your house can create but chimney fires have the potential to spread to the house and should be extinguished as quickly as possible. While waiting for the fire department, use a garden hose to keep your roof wet in an attempt to keep any flaming material from igniting it.

Call a chimney professional. After the fire is out and the fire engines are gone, there is still a danger. It comes when a homeowner attempts to use the chimney after a chimney fire without it being checked out. Damage from the chimney fire can make your chimney unsafe to use and could lead to several dangerous situations including carbon monoxide buildup in your home, or even a house fire. Never resume using a chimney after a chimney fire without a chimney professional conducting a thorough inspection, even if a firefighter says it’s ok.

To wrap it up, let’s remember three things. First, chimney fires are a dangerous event and not to be taken lightly. Second, never use a chimney after a chimney fire until a chimney professional has inspected it. And last and most important: chimney fires are completely preventable! Using your heating appliance properly with proper fuel and having your chimney inspected regularly will help you to enjoy years of safe heat.


Dealing with Pasture Mud

By David Jessee, Agronomist for Southern States

Dealing with Pasture Mud

The past winter has left a muddy footprint across much of our territory, and as grass greens up we have an opportunity to use the natural “tillage” of hoof prints to help establish new seedlings in the voids where established grasses may have failed. Heavy traffic may also have left holes, ruts, erosion gullies and compacted areas that aren’t conducive to the existing grass or new seedlings. They are also unsafe, invite weed competition, and just look bad. A heavy drag, disc or harrow can produce a nice seedbed and break up compacted and unlevel areas to allow water infiltration and to cycle pathogens and nutrients for plant growth.

If seed is merely broadcast on undisturbed, packed ground, the chance of establishment is poor. Seeds need consistent moisture to imbibe water to a critical point, and without some seeding depth many aren’t likely to survive. Developing roots need some depth to anchor to the ground. If a drill isn’t available, the ground will need to be dragged or harrowed to create seed depth and a firm seed-to-soil contact. Following seeding, the horses will need to be removed until sufficient growth allows grazing. At that point the seedlings will be 4′ to 6′ and not easily pulled from the ground. If you don’t have a large area for horse’s exercise, you may seed and fence out one area for grass production and use the balance of the pasture for exercise.

What about the choice of forage species? Cool season grasses can be seeded right now. Horse Paddock Pasture Mixture provides more year-round grazing with both hot and cold season root growth and summer persistence; Pro Horse Pasture Mixture includes a higher percentage of low endophyte perennial ryegrass for establishment ease and quality. Both contain improved varieties of orchardgrass, timothy, perennial ryegrass and clover along with bluegrass. Benchmark Plus is priced very reasonably this spring at a seeding rate of one 25 lb bag per acre. Orchardgrass will require more rotational grazing than fescue for persistence, but it is more desirable for hay.

Another opportunity for strictly pastures is Laredo forage bermudagrass which is most adapted to continuous grazing in the summer months. Unlike the cool season grasses, you will need to wait for a soil temperature of 65 degrees at a 2″ depth for germination. (To monitor, a cooking thermometer works well.) In the late summer or fall, ryegrass can be overseeded into the Bermuda for fall and winter grazing.

Regardless of what seed you choose, as the weather warms up and the sun begins to shine, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much grass has still survived. However overseeding can fill in gaps and provide more grazing.

Originally Posted: https://www.southernstates.com/articles/spring-201...


Alternative Heating Sources for the Cabin

Your vacation home or cabin is likely your favorite place to relax, regroup, and soak up Mother Nature’s abundant beauty. Nothing quite compares to that feeling of being surrounded by woods and wildlife, all cozied up in your cabin. For many cabin owners, the love of nature extends to how they heat the space. Instead of pumping heat produced by fossil fuels through a duct system, many choose to heat with renewable resources in wood or pellet burning stoves or fireplace inserts. Not only is it rewarding to use a green heat source while at your cabin, it can save money too.

Wood Stoves 
The cabin experience is always best with the crackling sound of wood burning. There are other advantages to heating with wood, especially if you have access to inexpensive or free wood near your cabin or home. In addition to reduced heating costs, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re using a renewable fuel.

Alternative Heating SourcesAlternative Heating Sources

Harman wood stoves are EPA-certified. High efficiencies are gained through technologies that enable elevated temperatures, ample oxygen and sufficient burning of gases. This means Harman stoves are both gentle on the environment and great heat producers. You’ll notice you’ll get more heat from less wood with a Harman, and there’s less ash to clean up.

Pellet Stoves 
Similar in appearance to a wood stove, a pellet stove is also great choice for heating your vacation home with renewable fuel. Pellets are made from organic waste like compacted sawdust, wood chips, bark, and other natural materials. Heating with pellets means you are turning materials that may otherwise go to a landfill into energy. And heating with pellets can save you money too, when compared to paying for fossil fuels. Pellets can be purchased at stove dealers, nurseries, building supply shops and many big box stores. If you spend a lot of time at your cabin, they can also be purchased in bulk.

Alternative Heating SourcesAlternative Heating Sources


How does it work, you ask? Within the stove, pellets are fed into the burn pot via an auger that’s powered by electricity, so pellet stoves can require less effort than wood stoves. And if you want heat – you’ve got it. When burned in a Harman pellet stove, one 40 pound bag of pellets can provide up to 24 hours of steady heat.

Fireplace Inserts
If your cabin has an open, masonry wood-burning fireplace, you should consider transforming it into a beautiful heat producer by having a wood or pellet burning insert installed. Inserts are important upgrades, since wood fireplaces can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, which in turn draws in cold air through the cabin’s doors and windows. They are only considered to be -15 to +15 percent efficient.

Alternative Heating SourcesAlternative Heating Sources

A fireplace insert fits directly into your existing fireplace – and it will make your fireplace a heating powerhouse. Harman wood and pellet inserts have all the same technologies and benefits as stoves, so this is an upgrade you can’t ignore.

Heating with nature’s bounty at your cabin is a decision you’ll never regret, so don’t put it off. Contact a Harman dealer near your cabin now, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of heating with wood or pellets this winter, and for many years to come.


Our Power Equipment Servicing Center

Quick Lube – While You Wait!

Tractors, mowers – you name it! Come in Saturday 8:00 to noon to drop of your small engine. Grab a bite to eat or do a little shopping. Your lube will be complete before you know it!

Blade Sharpening – While You Wait!
Bring your tractor or mower blade(s) down to Mike’s Outdoor Power Equipment Repair any Saturday 8:00 to noon.
Grab a bite to eat or do a little shopping. Your blade will be sharpened before you know it!

Service Overview (What’s Included)

Sharpening

  • Mower Blades
  • Chainsaw Chains
  • Shovels

Lawn Mower Repair
Uses standard unleaded or gas oil mix. Push or self-propelled.

Mini-Tune (Season Maintenance)*

  • Check compression
  • Check spark
  • Replace spark plug
  • replace air filter
  • Change oil
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Tighten hardware
  • Adjust carb jets
  • Lube chassis
  • Sharpen & balance blade
  • Run & test unit

Full Tune-Up (Mini-Tune+)*

  • Check recoil
  • Replace fuel & primer line
  • Check belts
  • Check housing
  • Rebuild carb
  • Flush fuel tank
  • Check self-propel
  • Adjust clutch & drive linkages

*Additional Services Available

Riding Mower Repair
Conventional or Zero-Turn

Mini-Tune (Season Maintenance)*

  • Check compression
  • Check spark
  • Replace spark plug
  • Change oil
  • Replace air filter
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Tighten hardware
  • Adjust carb jets
  • Lube chassis
  • Check axle lube
  • Check belts
  • Sharpen & balance blade(s)
  • Check & charge battery
  • Check tire pressures
  • Run & test unit

Full Tune-Up (Mini-Tune+)*

  • Check recoil/starter
  • Replace fuel & primer line
  • Check housing
  • Rebuild carb
  • Flush fuel tank
  • Check self-propel
  • Adjust clutch & drive linkages
  • Level cutting deck

2-Cycle Repair Single Stage Snow Blower
Gas & oil mix. Front drum with rubber blades (paddles). Not self-propelled by the wheels.

Mini-Tune: (Season Maintenance)*

  • Check compression
  • Check spark
  • Replace spark plug
  • Check/replace paddles (parts extra)
  • Check housing
  • Lube chassis
  • Check/replace scraper (parts extra)
  • Tighten hardware
  • Adjust carb jets
  • Run & test unit

Full Tune-Up (Mini-Tune+)

  • Check recoil
  • Replace fuel & primer line
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Check/replace belt or chain drive (parts extra)
  • Rebuild carb
  • Flush fuel tank

*Additional Services Available

4-Cycle Repair 2 Stage Snowblower
Uses standard unleaded fuel/oil separate. Has an auger to feed a second throwing disc. Self-propelled by the wheels.

Mini-Tune (Season Maintenance)*

  • Check compression
  • Check spark
  • Replace spark plug
  • Change oil
  • Check belts (replacement = extra parts & labor)
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Adjust skids
  • Inflate tires (as required)
  • Tighten hardware
  • Adjust carb jets
  • Lube chassis and fluids
  • Run & test unit

Full Tune-Up (Mini-Tune+)*

  • Check recoil
  • Replace fuel & primer line
  • Check auger drive
  • Check impeller
  • Check housing
  • Rebuild carb
  • Flush fuel tank
  • Check self-propel
  • Adjust clutch & drive linkages

*Additional Services Available

Power Washer Repair
All Brands Gasoline Powered, Karcher Electric Only

Mini-Tune (Season Maintenance)*

  • Check compression
  • Check spark
  • Replace spark plug
  • replace air filter
  • Change oil
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Tighten hardware
  • Adjust carb jets
  • Lube pump
  • Run & test unit

Full Tune-Up (Mini-Tune+)*

  • Check recoil
  • Replace fuel & primer line
  • Check belts
  • Check housing
  • Rebuild carb
  • Flush fuel tank

*Additional Services Available

Misc. Services

  • Add mulch kits
  • Starter rope repair
  • Carb rebuilding
  • Drive repair/replacement
  • Blade sharpening/balancing
  • Engine rebuilding, bent crank replacement, short block
  • Housing and handle replacement
  • Exhaust port cleaning (2-cycle only)
  • New equipment pick-up, assembly, delivery, training
  • Rebuild/repair drive units
  • Replace belts
  • Replace, repair, tube tires
  • Electrical troubleshooting
  • Scraper & paddle replacement
  • Handle & housing repairs
  • Gas tank replacement
  • Auger repair/replacement
  • Tire repair/replacement/tubing
  • Welding and fabrication
  • Restoration
  • Off-season storage
  • Pressurer washer pump repair/replacement