1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Athens Wood Pellets intial review

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

  1. dbjc364

    dbjc364 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Loc:
    skowhegan,Me.
    If your dad has the same stove as mine- Napolean-nps40- and he's only cleaning once every 2 weeks- then no- there is no way is he going to get the heat out of these pellets. I simply know this by doing my own each day. and does your dads place have insulation?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. dbjc364

    dbjc364 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Loc:
    skowhegan,Me.
    I'm in the dining room-its 68*-comfortable. The living room is 70*-toasty. The living room is 18x26, not even sheetrocked yet. Thats 432=? sq ft. The kitchen is inbetween the 2. I'm not running any fans today.The winds are blowing- and this house does not like the wind-not hard but steady-its 34* outside. I hate to shut it down today, and theres only a little ash in the burnpot since burning steady yesterday afternoon. a small amount is built up behind it-so I think it'll be ok for today- and only a thin line of whatever on the glass. I'm sorry so many folks are having a hard time with this-but I'm ok with them.
  3. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Maine
    No one ever said these pellets don't burn. You can burn about anything. but compaired to 5 other brands I have tried they put out little heat and tremedous ash. The one positive thing I have said is they produce no soot and absolutly no clinkers. But I would rather clean out a few clinkers than 4 inches of ash every day.
    The last bag I opened was all mush- every pellet broken to 1/16 inch size. Yes I fed them in the stove and they burned but it was pitiful.
    the distributors here are now taking them back no questions asked which tells you something. Supposedly the new bags coming out of the factory are fine. I won't try them this year.
  4. peg13

    peg13 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    mid maine
    I'm a newbie at the pellet burning..... what are you all using to vacumn these babies out with ?? I have been using my shop-vac, my stove shop guy wants to sell me a $225.00 ash vac because he says I'm shooting soot all thru the living room....I put in a HEPA filter .....I'm not seeing any soot, what do you all think ??????
  5. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    what i think is that if it makes you feel better spend the $225 on a vacuum, myself i use the shop vac with a hepa filter as well and do not see anything going into my room where the stove is.

    only thing you have to do is shut the stove off brfore you go to work when it needs to be cleaned, come home clean it then start er up, no burning down the house with a fire in the vacume that way eh...
  6. Chris04626

    Chris04626 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    Maine
    Ture Value in Machias Maine are selling these ON SALE untill Sunday for $250 per ton
  7. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    dbjc - have you burned other pellets than the Athens? I loaded up with three tons of athens and had all kinds of trouble, that picture of the burn pot a page or so back was typical of my experience. I have since burned four other types of pellets with varying degrees of heat/ash output but nothing coming even close to the mess the Athens pellets were making. I had to clean my stove twice a day before, Now I do it every two or three days. The pellets will burn and I did get them to burn better as I learned about the stove, but they never burned clean, and when my father had his auger jammed by a nail in one of the bags I stopped burning them.

    With regard to the shop vac vs. ash vac its a matter of opinion. The ash vac lets you clean a hot stove, but I use a six gallon shop vac with the fine dust bags and I am not getting a mess in the room. Believe me you would know. I just let the stove cool for an hour or so stir the ash around some making sure there are no buried embers and clean it out.
  8. dbjc364

    dbjc364 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Loc:
    skowhegan,Me.
    Saltair- only time we burned something else was when we first got it installed. Energix- waiting for our order from Athens to arrive. since we havent had the problems and stove seems to be doing good with these-there hasnt been any reason to go buy more of any other kind. But we will just to see if it performs better or puts out better heat with something else. Now I have a fella right here where I live that we bought our stoves -same model- within 3 weeks of each other. Actually it was him that steered us to the dealer to look at the Napolean. Now he hasnt been all that happy with Athens-but he also doesnt start his stove up like we do ours.I told him I believe he's not giving it enough air or pellets to get it going good, but he is now mixing his pellets and will increase his air. when i have enough change in my pocket- we will get one weeks worth of differnt pellets to see the difference. if it turns out other pellets burn better- then being as frugal as I am- I will mix them,as some of these prices are downright silly.
  9. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Loc:
    maine
    I am burning the pellets in my breckwell big e and just found if i open my damper a little more the burn pot will stay cleaner. I just ran the stove last night with my damper open more then i have in the past and found this morning that the burn pot was almost empty with ash. Normally the burn pot would have been filled with ash and clinkers by the morning time. This is no excuse for the quality of the pellets but may help some people that have no other choice but burning them
  10. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    this is the best recommendation that you can give with these pellets. lots of air, i run on 3-4/5
  11. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    My stove ran the longest on these pellets with the damper wide open, but it only extended my burn time a few hours. My combustion fan is not strong enough to blow that heavy ash out of the pot.
  12. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    682
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    We do not have a very wide range of adjustment on the combustion blower speed.
    On the higher speed the glass stayed cleaner longer.
    The heavy ash was about the same in both cases. (Slower vs Faster)
    Not a strong blower.

    Regardless of the ash issue, they do seem to have a decent heat output.
    Last night the temp got down to 22F and with the stove on the lowest
    stove temp setting of 1, it was 72F downstairs when I got up this AM.

    Right now it is 17F and with the stove set on 2 it is holding 74F with no problem.
    Upstairs it is 65 in the bedrooms and 68 in the hallway.
  13. akakii

    akakii New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Portland, Maine
    I just picked up three tons of Corinth pellets from my local dealer to replace the Athens that my other supplier will be taking back next week. As the guy was loading my trailer we talked about the problems with Athens. He's sitting on quite a few tons and won't sell them anymore. He's hoping that he can send them back. He said that the Maine solid fuel board (or something like that) is bringing together all of the Maine pellet producers next week and will supposedly address the problems with Athens in some fashion. No idea what that really means, but I'm glad to hear that the state is aware of the issue.
  14. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    Another report of debris is a bag of Athens pellets. My dad and I went in on several ton of these as they were all we could find. We both sift every bag we use. I stopped burning them weeks ago and have loudly complained ont his forum about these pellets. My dads stove will burn them ok so he has continued to muddle through. a couple days back he found a punch out from a metal electral box in a bag of pellets. A month or so ago his auger was jammed by a nail he missed when sifting. Everybody buring these things needs to be very careful. Some have suggested that its not as bad as it is being made out to be, but I cant help but wonder how bad it really is. It is a small minority of useres porting on this board. Sure seems like some construction debris found its way into some of these pellets.
  15. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Loc:
    Embden, Maine
    I was one of the 1st to bad mouth these pellets. I've since found that for the most part, it's the pellet stove owner . I deduced this by reading all the posts & my own experience of trial & error . Besides, this is pretty much like kickin' a dead horse fore pete's sake Muss
  16. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    we can say anything about these pellets on this board, but has anyone herd from the company yet?

    i have tried at no avail
  17. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Maine
    My dealer said the company has now "fixed " the problem. (which means there was a problem) The early batches like we got were just broken up crumbs. Also said the distributors are taking them back.
  18. tumbles

    tumbles Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Will they pick them up too. I think I'm going to call my dealer on tuesday and see what he'll do. I wonder if he'll come to pick them up too.
  19. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Maine
    I think it depends on how you got them (delivered or self pick up).
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,040
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    When did you get yours?

    Mine was in late July, and the only issue with them that I have is that they are not premium which is what I paid for.
  21. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Auburn, Maine
    too bad i have only 3/4 ton left, i would send em back but i dont want to deal with them ever again...
  22. muss

    muss Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Loc:
    Embden, Maine
    You guys will be fine once you learn how to burn :zip:
  23. mfranklin1

    mfranklin1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Unfortunately, I bought 3 tons of Athens pellets and I've burned about 20 bags in my Napoleon stove. Out of the 10 different brands I've tried these are the worst....easily the highest ash content; I have to clean the stove daily, sometimes twice a day. Pellet size is rarely more than a quarter inch, tons of fines, major clinkers and they seem to burn very fast. Save your money.
  24. Greg Tasker

    Greg Tasker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Hartlan
    Sure can attest to the complaints regarding the athens pellets,
    I resisted temptation of buying a large amount of these and
    only bought 2 ton that i am sharing with bro-in law.
    I could see after a few bags, these were going to leave
    alot of heavy ash. I.m.o they are close in B.T.U's with the
    new england (N.H) and the Corinth, which by the way were
    not very good last year. I have taken delivery of the cubex
    pellets which i started burning last season, what a difference
    in color, ash and heat. when i toured the athens facility last summer
    i was generally impresses with the operation and did not see
    any debris which some people have wrongly insiuated.
    however, I was concerned with the less than scientific methods used
    to mix the amount of hardwood/softwood ratio, that plus the bark
    issue are areas that will need to be improved in order to receive the
    premium 1% status.
    In summary, this facility has great potential to provide a good quality
    pellet at an attractive price, lets not fool ourselves with the sudden
    drop in oil prices, this market will continue to do well,
    time will tell if maine woods pellets can prosper.
  25. Greg Tasker

    Greg Tasker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Hartlan
    Sure can attest to the complaints regarding the athens pellets,
    I resisted temptation of buying a large amount of these and
    only bought 2 ton that i am sharing with bro-in law.
    I could see after a few bags, these were going to leave
    alot of heavy ash. I.m.o they are close in B.T.U's with the
    new england (N.H) and the Corinth, which by the way were
    not very good last year. I have taken delivery of the cubex
    pellets which i started burning last season, what a difference
    in color, ash and heat. when i toured the athens facility last summer
    i was generally impresses with the operation and did not see
    any debris which some people have wrongly insiuated.
    however, I was concerned with the less than scientific methods used
    to mix the amount of hardwood/softwood ratio, that plus the bark
    issue are areas that will need to be improved in order to receive the
    premium 1% status.
    In summary, this facility has great potential to provide a good quality
    pellet at an attractive price, lets not fool ourselves with the sudden
    drop in oil prices, this market will continue to do well,
    time will tell if maine woods pellets can prosper.

Share This Page