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Athens Wood Pellets intial review

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Fire It Up, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

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    Loc:
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    Anyone have any thoughts on these that might have burned a few. I usually burn 4 tons a year and this year I picked up a coupel tons as my regualr brand was being bought up instantly from all these panic mongers.



    Well I have burned 4-5 bags now and these are my thoughts. I'm curious as to yours.

    ++++
    Heat output doesn't seem any difference from any other premium brand I have used.

    Edited to remove comment on ash content Didn't realize the wife was cleaning the stove on top of my cleaning.

    The pellets are clean. No dust, no fines, very clean.


    ---------
    Auger has jammed twice due to size of pellets in my Castille. Never jammed since I have owned it except these times.

    Ash content is the poorest in all the brands I have burned.

    Discrepency in burning. The flame is up, flame is down, it's almost out, it's filling the stove.

    The pellets seem to stick a bit in the hopper and don't free flow like all other brands I have. It's not like they are tacky, but something isn't right. Will report back.

    So the verdict is out. I haven't burned enough of these, but so far to me I rate them with the cheap walmart and HD brands I have burned in the past.

    Anyone else?

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  2. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Hartland,Me.
    I bought 2 ton of these, after burning a few bags in my harman P38. I like them alot...i did have the issue with not sliding down in the hopper and tried the car polish suggestion from another thread. it seemed to work quite well.i am waiting til the end of the month, and in hopes of getting another 2 ton to be set for winter. at 215 per ton direct from the mill, i will burn these even if i do have to open the hopper before bed, and move the pellets wround. just my .02


    Mike
  3. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

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    Agree with all of the above but are the first pellets we have every burned so have nothing to compare to. Ours are quite broken up, very small pieces. About 6 cups of ash after 3 bags. Is this normal? But not jamming.
  4. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a lot of ash, but what do I know?
  5. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
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    690
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    While waiting for our 4 tons, I picked up 4 bags of LG pellets from Canada
    and 2 bags from Athens.
    The 1st bag we burned was from LG. Burned well with little ash. The pellets were
    light in color like a hardwood floor.

    The next bag was from Athens. The pellets are quite dark in color.
    They seem to burn well but do leave quite a pile of ash in the burn pot.
  6. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    maine
    Being a Dealer for maine woods and have owned a pellet stove for 5 years. I have found that the Athens pellets are not bad at all yes they are a little smaller then others i have burned but they do burn really well in my stoves I sell and the one i have at my house. any questions or concerns please keep me informed.
  7. wak1954

    wak1954 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
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    Loc:
    Western Maine
    I have burned 4 other brands of pellets in the stove, with no problems. The Athens product has jammed 3 times,has irregular feed rate, smokes up the glass, and has actually smothered the fire, leaving a pile of fresh pellets in the burn box, with no flame.
    I have 3 tons of these and need find a way to burn them without waking up to a cold house in the middle of the night.
    I would appreciate any helpful suggestions.
  8. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

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    I need to take back my comment on the low ash. These things can’t be considered premium, can they? My wife is home with the baby and I didn’t realize she was cleaning it in the morning, and then me in the evening. We aren’t really burning many pellets as it hasn’t been cold.

    This is the second morning in a row that I have woken to a cold house. The Castille can’t light the pellets when it kicks on because of the amount of ash build up in the firepot. It’s not clinkers, just cups and cups of ash. With the Cubex I burn I clean the firepot every 3 days when burning non stop. With these I have to clean it every 12 hours and that’s when I’m burning little. I’m thinking I am getting 2-3 cups of ash per bag at this point.

    I didn’t go heavy on these pellets because of the unknown and I am glad. I think I have 1.5 tons. Guess they will be good for outside fires in the pit.

    Very disappointed in these in my Quadrafire and I have burned probably 6 different brands over the years in the stove.
  9. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

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    Maine
    burned through 5 bags now and they burn very well with no clinkers and the feed rate with my stove is very uniform. My complaint is the ash and the quality of the pellets. It is rare to find one over 1/4 inch long and most of the bag is just broken pieces not even in pellet shape. Thought the couple bags on top might have gotten beat up but they all seem like that. They burn though and the stove puts out heat so I guess we will continue on.
    I did throw in a bag of Corinth to try and had about the same amt. of ash but pellets were more uniform.
  10. DAGME

    DAGME New Member

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    Oct 13, 2008
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    Loc:
    Lewiston, Maine
    Thanks for the posts! We just bought two tons of Athens Pellet and are anxious to see how well it burns. We were able to get it within a week of placing the order (other places had at least a month waiting list), and being that it is a local company we wanted to support it. That being said, I'm pretty concerned to hear about the potential high ash output.

    My wife and I are new to Pellet Stoves, so this will be a new experience. Our newly purchased house has an Enviro EF2i that doesn't look like it was well maintained by the previous owners - following the user manual has been an adventure! We're also waiting for a Quadra-Fire Castile to come in sometime this spring.

    More reviews of Pellet brands (including Athens) are appreciated by us newbies.
  11. gbeane

    gbeane Member

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    Loc:
    Brewer, ME
    I'm a bit concerned after reading this. In June I had ordered 3 tons of Corinth pellets from Dysarts (I am in the Bangor Maine area). I was told about 3 weeks, I called back in a month and they ysaid it would probably be another month. I called back in another month and he said they hadn't been getting Corinth pellets anymore for some reason, he didn't know why, and that if I switched my order to Athens I would get them sooner. I asked about the Athens pellets and he said they were premium low ash and the only major difference was that they were 80% hardwood, but that it wouldn't make that much of a difference. 3 weeks later I had my 3 tons.

    One bag on the bottom of one of the pallets was damaged by the forklift and I got to see the pellets. They were fairly dark in color and were all quite small in size.

    I hope I don't have too many problems with them... although I'm still waiting for that stove I ordered in May so I don't have anything to burn them in right now....
  12. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    SE CT
    I had the same issue with Corinth. I ordered 3 tons on Aug. 6th and they never came in. My pellet dealer said he has no idea and as far as he knows, they're currently not making any, or at least not shipping any. I got 3 tons of the Maine Woods (packaged in white bags) by MM Ltd. in Swansea, MA. The supplier showed me them, and yes all the pellets are small, but he commented on how they look (color-wise) very similar to Lignetics. We looked at them side by side and they looked the same except for the small size.

    I'm wondering what the other 20% is, softwood? If that's the case then that's fine by me.

    Bottom line, it's all I have so it's what I will burn.

    Attached Files:

  13. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    PFI rated Premium pellets can have up to 1% ash content (by weight). That means a bag of premium pellets can produce 6 1/2 ounces (by weight) of ash per bag. Roughly converted based on fly ash weighing 75lb/cu ft (DOT standard in FHWA--IF-03-019) that would mean .69 oz/cu in or 10 oz/cup. So a premium pellet should only create about a half cup or so of ash per bag.

    Be interesting to know what people's experience is with ash - anyone seeing a lot more than 1/2 cup of ash/bag or a lot less?
  14. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

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    Again, my Athens Maine Woods pellets are producing a lot of ash but as long as they are not cloggging up my stove I'll have to put up with it for this year. Probably burning through them a lot faster given the small pieces. Have picked up single bags of other brands to see the difference.
  15. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    N. Central Mass
    Seeing as I have only burned 3 bags of them...and the weather really isn't that cold...I can't rate the heat output of these pellets from Athens. But I can safely say they seem to burn just fine in my Harmen Accentra Insert. No problems with the feed. The pellets are darker than last years left over bag of Cubex. And the size is uni-formally small.
    They seem to burn with the standard amount of ash and clinkers.
    With the ash deposits I scraped from my burn pot ( I do it everyday when burning sometimes more) I would rate them about the same as last years New England Pellet (the standard bags) but definitely worse than Cubex (incidently the best pellet I have burned).
    The amount of fines was low to average.
    I hope I am as happy burning these pellets in February...since I own 3 tons of them.
  16. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

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    Western Maine
    Had 4 tons delivered yesterday.
    They do burn well but have a bit more ash.
    I thought I was getting Northeast Pellets.
    At this point, I bought from the 1st distibutor.

    Stay warm!!
  17. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    Gave two bags to my brother-in-law, they clogged up his auger. Brand new Lopi Leyden.

    I opened a bag and they look like crap, all broken up, dust, small crap etc... Opened a 2nd, same thing. This is not looking good, I have 3 tons of these. Maybe I can sift them.

    Mine are the Maine Woods in the M&M;Ltd. white bags.
  18. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    You guys that have the Maine Woods pellets - What does the bag look like, does it say Maine Woods???

    Mine are Maine Woods but they are packaged in bags that say M and M Ltd. in Swansea, MA.

    I'm wondering if the ones I got are trucked to Mass. and then bagged --and that's how they got so broken up and crappy?

    Thanks.
  19. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

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    I will start breaking the pallets down this week.
    I'll take some pictures for you.

    I bought 2 bags last month. They were not broken up at all.
    These 2 bags were from a different dealer.
    I still have one of those left so can compare.

    Stay Tuned!!
  20. DAGME

    DAGME New Member

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    Lewiston, Maine
    Finished cleaning the Enviro EF2i and burned the first bag of Athens pellets. I was surprised how quickly we burned through a bag. 40lb bag produced about 2 to 2.5 cups of ash, which seems high to me (albeit, we are new to pellet stoves).

    The size of the pellets looks similar to what I have seen with other brands - they didn't strike me as much smaller. The bag we opened had very little sawdust too.

    We spoke with a stove dealer and technician yesterday who didn't think highly of Athens pellets at all - called them cr*p basically. He said the dark color was probably due to a lot of bark in the mix. He also said that the quality might be improving since the Athens plant first went online - I guess they used to have to truck the manufactured pellets to be bagged offsite, and then trucked back to Athens to be distributed.

    Also, this dealer said that the Corinth Maine pellet mill had a fire a few months back, which may explain why they haven't been putting out pellets. Can anyone confirm this?
  21. strangemainer

    strangemainer New Member

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    Waterboro, Maine
    I picked up 2 bags (6.59 per!) at the hardware store in Cornish just to try them...

    THEY SUCK!

    Lots of ash, low heat output, just horrible.
    Its to bad because I really wanted to support a local business. Oh well.
  22. allenfrme

    allenfrme New Member

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    Same result, I picked up 2 tons in Sanford, and they are very high ash. I have not had any problems with fedd, just high ash and low heat. They reported earlier in the year they were making 'industrial grade'. I wonder if they're only shipping that grade. These are worse than the junk I got from Wal Mart late last year. My preference is New England.
  23. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

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    I think you're right. This stuff looks industrial to me, it's awful.
  24. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    I have one ton of the Athens pellets and they do leave a lot of ash in the burn pot. I also noticed that the glass on the door gets dirty faster while burning these pellets. I am burning this ton now before it gets to cold in case they cause any problems. Then I will burn my Green Team which I love.
  25. gbeane

    gbeane Member

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    this sucks. I ended up with Athens because it seemed like the only thing I could get before winter. The guy at Dysarts claimed they were premium low ash pellets and that I wouldn't have any problems. I switched to taking the Athens because they couldn't get the kind of pellets I wanted (Corinth because I like to support Maine businesses).

    I haven't burned any yet, but if they are as bad as they say I will definitely be getting something else for next winter. Dysarts also sells Energex, but they charge a lot more per ton... I guess you get what you pay for....

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