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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. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine


    I don't get it! Do they / use Maine Woods Pellets (Athens) or Energix (sp?)????????????????????????

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  2. malibuman00

    malibuman00 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I can't help but sit back and laugh! You can say Maine Woods has great customer service, but this only comes when you would like to make a purchase. You ask why someone hasn't sent this forum link to them? This has been done by several members well over a month ago. I have been following this because I feel I was misled. I guess I'm lucky because I only purchased 1 ton of these so called premium pellets. They have failed to answer the complaints because they are in the wrong and know it. Maybe this needs to go
    to the next level. Look at the response that happened with New England Pellet taking orders of pellets and not delivering. The AG and press is now involved. If I was sitting on 5 tons of these I would be demanding some action. Just my 2 cents worth.
  3. DAGME

    DAGME New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
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    Loc:
    Lewiston, Maine
    Another disappointed Maine Woods Pellet owner here - and I am going to be the cynic here and ask: why WOULD they respond to this forum? Basically, they already have our money!!

    I wonder if Maine's pellet producers might have a chip on their shoulder right now - listen to Maine's governor tout pellet production and use as "Maine's future" of heating energy independence. Read the Bangor Daily News, that praises Maine's pellet producers for increasing production five fold (and are we really to expect that quality wouldn't suffer?). With these sort of endorsements, I just wonder if some pellet producers might feel a little free to put out a misrepresented "premium" product.

    IMO, the company in Athens took advantage of an opening - and a high demand - and convinced suppliers that these were "premium" pellets simply because it's printed on their very pretty bags. Fools like me bought 2 tons at $300 per ton thinking they were premium - and because they were the only brand I could get locally without being on an insanely long wait list. In retrospect, that should have told me something.

    I'm sure the owners of Maine Woods Pellet Co. read this forum. But the reality is that the majority of pellet uses out there probably don't - why respond to a vocal minority while they are still selling pellets! In my opinion, the best thing to do is pressure our suppliers NOT to carry this brand - this is true for the local hardware store (like I bought mine at), but MOST especially for the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart). That's where we should be more vocal - if we call them up and complain about this product enough, or better yet - walk away from buying it (that's what I did recently, trying to buy more pellets of different brand to mix my MWP into) - that will send a message to the company they will understand. There's a good reason why all three stove shops I went to refuse to carry this product (one shop flat out told me Maine Woods Pellet was cr*p).

    If suppliers refuse to carry Maine Woods Pellets - this company will have 3 choices: improve the quality of their product, advertise it for what it is (not "premium"), or let their business dry up. Let the buyer beware the first time, but the buyer can also use the free market to his or her advantage too.
  4. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    this is why i will never buy their product again, i will go to NH and get NEWP pellets next yr
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    In order to get a place like Maine Woods Pellet CO. LLC to respond you might want to first complain to the people you bought the pellets from, most of you aren't actually customers of Maine Woods Pellet.

    When the place that actually buys a large amount of their less than premium pellets then complains to them they are more likely to listen.
  6. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

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    Auburn, Maine
    i tried this with no response, again another place i will not buy from again.
  7. DAGME

    DAGME New Member

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    Loc:
    Lewiston, Maine
    Actually, I think you'll find that many of us have already done that.
  8. malibuman00

    malibuman00 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Yes, I called the dealer with concerns regarding the high ash content and quality. They did respond by saying that these pellets do produce a lot of ash. However, when I purchased the pellets in July, I was told that these pellets were good. I will give them the benefit of doubt that in July no one new how these would burn. The dealer was quite nice and said if I found any really bad bags to bring them in and he would exchange them. They did have a bag on display and this is why I feel that Maine Woods is in the wrong.
    The bag states premium grade pellet, no disclaimer stating high ash content. This dealer understand why I was concerned, but they are still buying more pellets from Maine Woods. They had another shipment this week, they must have 50 tons of these on hand.
    My stove was installed this summer and I have burning steady for about a month. Today I decided after reading some post to do a full cleaning of the stove. I removed the cover to expose the heat exchangers and could not believe the amount of ash I was seeing.
    The heat exchangers were completely covered with ash. I then removed the back baffles and found a ton more ash. The exhaust path opening was filled with ash as well. These pellets could cause some serious damage to stoves. I would love to support a Maine company, but there is no way I can do this. We need to get the word out.
  9. DAGME

    DAGME New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
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    Loc:
    Lewiston, Maine
    Hello Fireitup,

    Thanks for the info! I clean the heat exchangers weekly and I too am amazed by the amount of ash that builds up in just one week. I was planning on pulling the back baffles this weekend - I've noticed that the fire doesn't seem to be getting as much air anymore - so your observation is appreciated.

    I'm planning on talking to some folks as Lowe's and HD here in Auburn this weekend too. Unfortunately, I agree that despite hearing comments from us, the smaller stores are still selling Maine Woods - probably because they are the only pellet producer who can supply them quickly enough.
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Another complaint level if you really care to bring some pressure to bear would be the state's Attorney General.

    Mention possible false advertising.

    Me, I'm just going to talk to the local folks and not buy anything more from them. I've managed to make it through the first of my three tons.

    Likely this afternoon I'll do a full top to bottom front to back clean out of my stove.

    The ash is but one issue I've been dealing with.
  11. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    central maine Lat 45
    There are other pellets around Maine, Pennington, Forest Pride, Green Team. I tell people to avoid Maine Woods, lousy pellets.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    slls,

    Like I said the ash is but one issue. The pellet stove I have is supposed to be able to burn standard pellets which means up to 3% ash, it should be able to handle the Athens. I have the time to handle the stove issues others don't.

    However you'll note that I said I won't buy anything else from that local company which means even more of my money will find its way outside the state. This was their one chance at having me as a customer. I always pay my bills and I have a to do list that is still long. So the big boxes will win.

    Oh have you ever noticed that the pellets that come clear across the country cost the same as or less than what gets made in this state. Funny that.
  13. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    central maine Lat 45
    smoky,

    Why pay premium prices for standard pellets. I know my stove can handle the extra ash, but I can do better buying other.

    I think the Athens people got in over there heads, I don't think they can afford the equipment needed to produce premium pellets. A debarker for one.

    It seems to me every one but Maine has access to all different brands of pellets, is it we are at the end of the line.
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    slls,

    The folks at Maine Woods can afford whatever they need.

    I tend to just not buy anything else from people that sell me crap. They get the information about the poor product and the brush off.

    I would much rather keep the money in this state instead of sending it elsewhere if you get my drift. So now I'll give the other folks that produce pellets in Maine a chance. Then it will be the big box stores and the Maine pellet producers can get along without my money.
  15. thomcoastal

    thomcoastal New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Near Bangor Maine
    I am another of the unlucky one who bought Maine Woods Pellets. Thankfully the dealer I went to was unable to fill my 4 ton order. The pellets are basically dark green dust in the bags. The longest pellets are 1/4 inch long. They definitely contain sand as I washed the ash to see and there was nearly a pound and a half of sand in the ash from three bags of pellets. I will never buy these "premium" pellets again. Does anyone know anyone who would want to buy these pellets at a reduced cost of $4/bag - I have thirty bags left from my original 50 - they will not go into my stove again...

    I got my Penningtons from Sams Club and I think they are wonderful. Lots of heat, very little ash, no soot on the glass of my Quadrafire Mt Vernon, no problems with feeding, no issues at all.

    The dealer I got the pellets from is still delivering nearly 120 tons a week from Bangor and Rockland - suddenly I have a hard time getting a return phone call from them to find out about getting my money back in exchange for the pellets.......

    Never again!
  16. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Loc:
    Windham Maine
    I feel sorry for the folks that have bought these pellets and are unhappy with them. Hopefully this start up company will get it together and produce a quality product that we can count on. I would hate to see a Maine company go out of business because of a poor product. Myself being from Maine, I know, if this is truly a Maine based company you can bet, they will do whatever it takes to make good on their product and be as competitive as the rest.
  17. akakii

    akakii New Member

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    Oct 18, 2008
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    Loc:
    Portland, Maine
    sydney1963, I think they've done so much damage to their reputation so far this season that they will have a very hard time overcoming it. I'd like very much to support a local business, but not if they sell me crap. The only way I'll ever consider burning their pellets again is if they give me some free bags to try out. Until I see and hear that they have fixed their problems I will let everyone within earshot know that they are selling inferior pellets that they have intentionally misrepresented as premium.

    lessoil, that photo you posted looks like it was taken of my stove. That's pretty much exactly how mine looks after several hours of burning. I'm cleaning the stove twice a day and still getting extremely poor performance.

    I just spoke with the dealer that I got my pellets from (O'Hara). They offered to pick them up and give me a full refund. They're not happy with the situation, either. They're stuck with a bunch of lousy pellets and have some unhappy customers on their hands. They're looking elsewhere for supply and haven't been able to find anything dependable. They did say that these pellets burn well in some stoves, but certainly didn't argue the fact that the performance is poor in others. They also said that they read this forum and have paid close attention to what everyone has to say. I came away very impressed and pleased with their customer service.
  18. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I know of 3 pellet manufactures in Maine, 2 are no good, what does that say for Maine. One in Northern Maine and one in western Maine.
  19. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

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    Loc:
    Maine
    From what I hear, people are real happy with the ones from Northern Maine. Unless things have changed just recently.
    I wonder if they are all having difficulty finding raw materials so are using junk.
  20. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    All I have to go by is my dealer had been burning Northern pellets last winter in there floor demo. I asked if they were any good, he said don't buy them, get Energex.
    I talked to some people familiar with people up there burning them, a good pellet to burn in spring and fall. There was also some thing about not compressed enough, doesn't sound like premium to me.
  21. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    With my 5 tons of Athens, i had to tinker with my stove & found they burn decent by keeping my stove clean & letting in enuff air. Also, not burning on lowest setting makes a big difference. You get lemons- try to make lemonade. Hell, i used to have to wash my windows(on stove) everyday, now i just have to vacuum everyday & haven't needed to wash them in 2 weeks plus. I'm really starting to think that it's not all pellets . Wood is wood & you have to adjust acordingly. Like seasoned,dry,etc. you gotta play with your stove & i found after burning for awhile the stove itself got tempermental . Hopes this helps . Muss
  22. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    Bottom line...would you toss your money down the crapper again and purchase these inferior pellets?
    Burn me once...my fault...burn me twice ...won't happen.
  23. dbjc364

    dbjc364 New Member

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    Loc:
    skowhegan,Me.
    Yup- I said the same thing- that it isnt all the pellets. Their burning ok in my Napolean. Which the stove might burn even better with another pellet brand-I wont know till I get around to buying some,but so far their ok. I make sure its clean-it is a bit tempermental also.We just broke into this new batch,and the only thing different is their not as broken up-also burning ok. What brand of stove do u have -Muss? we were told by the dealer and the manual says to use the rod to clean the heat tubes daily or more than once a day. If I forget to do this-then I have ash on them-otherwise,on a general quick daily clean-their ok. we are interested in taking off the panel to look at the motor assembly- but even with the book- still not sure how to do this-{screws}-? to see how much ash build-up is present in there after burning the one ton.
  24. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    my father has the same stove, but we have different fuel. first he had NEWP (nh) and his stove pumped out id say 20% more heat from that fuel, now he is burning his green teams and still is putting out more heat than mine, and only cleans his once every 2.5 weeks. its the pellets.

    your manual will help you with blower maint.
  25. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    DB, i have a lopi leyden . I don't have a problem with heat output. If you look at all the threads on this forum it will be common sense that most pellet stoves have a learning curve. I was one of those that tooted my horn about how great it was to set it & forget it but it soon came to be that i had to really really get to know my stove . I seriously doubt that it's all the Athen pellets . Muss

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