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Big box store Pellet comparing! List and mini review!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jtakeman, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I was not seeing great results early on. With the Greene Teams buring pretty hot and the Okies still on standby, I think I forgot about the Lakes Region on purpose.

    Beer and Pellet stove weekend. Have a few really cold ones for me :cheese:

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  2. Benski

    Benski Member

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    Montreal, QC.
    Found Maine Wood Pellets at a local Canadian Tire tonight. 5,99$/bag. 2 bags in the trunk, they're in line for testing!

    No signs of Winnipeg Forest Products around here yet.

    Bye,
  3. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Benski,

    I burned some cubex in my next testing batch. See here.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/50101/

    My heat reading on setting 4 was very close to yours. I averaged 494ºF for temps. I use an IR gun and measured the heat exchanger surface plate. The air I measure was at 269ºF average. These are the hottest pellets I burned so far. They are very pricey my way at $290/ton. But with that heat just may be worth getting a ton for the cold season!

    jay
  4. smitty273

    smitty273 Member

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    Columbiana Co., Eastern Ohio
    after looking at the results I was wondering what is the most important results everyone looks at? fines, ash, heat? and why.
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Hi smitty273,

    Somewhere in this long thread I ask "what is a bag of pellets" . The short answer is its a bag of heat! You buying it to heat your house, So you want the hottest pellet you can afford. Then you look at the ash amount. Less is what keeps you from messing with the stove everyday. Fines usually get dumped in my hopper. I just noted for the others. There just heat to me. But you don't want an excessive amount either. Might jam your auger.

    Very good question, I am glad you asked!

    Hope I answer it OK for you.
    jay
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I agree w/ Jay 100% Heat, then ash, then fines. It's all about the HEAT!! The other stuff is just a PIA that you may have to deal with.
  7. schoondog

    schoondog Feeling the Heat

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    Great question smitty. Some stoves ( and owners) cannot tolerate certain things. Some stoves bridge and can't fit longer pellets into the auger causing the stove to go out. Some can't tolerate alot of fines , it causes auger to jam or make noises. Some stoves have problems with too high an ash and you have to clean numerous times a day. Then the obvious, you are buying BTUS or heat ! Some stoves burn certain pellets better than others and some pellets have more BTUS than others due to what they were made of and how they were made. The trick is to get the most BTUS for the money. Jay and now Bensky have done a great job of helping all of us to discover what pellet does a good job of satisfying our own criteria of what a good pellet is with this thread. For me it has come down to a few things, HEAT AND CONSISTENCY. Others may have a different criteria. After you burn a few hundred bags and run some of your own tests in your own stove you will know what you need out of pellet fuel. JMHO.

    Schoondog
  8. Benski

    Benski Member

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    Loc:
    Montreal, QC.
    Good to know that, I need one more pallet to finish the winter. But they seem hard to find around here!

    I'm just following posts now, pretty busy with work, so pellets testing will be for week-end only.

    THanks,
  9. smitty273

    smitty273 Member

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    ok, i've got to ask, what exactly is a clinker?
  10. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Somewhere out there is a "magic" little pellet. It is extremely hot and burns with no ash at all. Fines are non existent. I know it it's out there and someday I will find it! When I do just maybe I will share. I said maybe! %-P :lol:

    I know, I need a hobby or something! Couped up all winter gets to ya! :lol:

    hehe
    jay
  11. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    smitty,

    Sorry I missed that question. A clinker is formed due to chlorides(salt) within the fiber or an additive. Durring the burn process the chlorides melt and join with the ash. This form's a rock or crusty object that sticks to your burnpot and clogges it. Here is one I got from the Inferno's I tested. See attachment.

    Bear can you post your clinker for us?(that sure was a beauty!)

    Attached Files:

  12. csalinardi

    csalinardi New Member

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    Loc:
    Central CT
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new here and also new to the pellet stove scene, I've had my Harman XXV for a week now and love it! I've really enjoyed everyone's posts and appreciate the testing you've done.

    Regarding the ash samples you've taken, have you noticed any variations in the consistency of the ash? For instance, light and fluffy, or hard and clumpy, or sticks together in one solid mass. Seems to me that would be a concern for some who end up cleaning their stoves multiple times a day. With the bottom feeding type stove I have there's really no need for daily cleaning, I just remove the excess ash every few days to a week and give it a scrape. However, with some pellets I have noticed the ash is thicker and clings together and doesn't push out of the pot, but instead forms a clump that backs things up and requires more frequent removal. This may also be a major cause of clinkers, I'm not sure. I'd also be interested to know if there's any difference in the ash consistency between hard and soft woods.

    Thanks,
    Chris
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Hi Chris and welcome aboard.

    I noticed a difference in consistency, But with my stove there is an agitator(stirrer) in the burn pot. So not much clumps. It mixes the ash as I burn. No scraping for me or even removing ash from the burnpot for a whole week. I just do my weekly cleanings when I am not testing.

    If you look at the michigan's volume and then the weight. It about filled the jar to the top. But the weight was lower than the Fireside Ultra's. but the Fireside Ultra's were only about 3/4 of a jar.

    The softwoods ash seemed to be the lightest and fluffiest compared to the hardwoods. The hardwoods seem more dense overall.

    As for the clinkers, They are formed from chlorides in the fiber. The hotter you burn the more they tend to clinker up on you. The chlorides fuse with the ash and form the chucks. My stove doesn't usually clinker either. I also have another testing thread going. Check link.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/50101/

    This is for the bigger named brand pellets.

    Glad you enjoyed this.
    jay
  14. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    Jay-

    I think I saw that pellet in the cave, Elvis and Sasquatch were sitting on a couple of bags while they were drinking from the Holy Grail, and shining up King Solomon's treasure......
  15. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    in actuality, and a technicality, but the chlorides do not "melt", but rather, their existence lowers the fusion temperature of the silica in the ash (silica is the main component of ash), causing the silica and other minerals to fuse together in a more solid cohesive "clump" than the ash usually would, aka: the infamous CLINKER!
  16. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Lousyweather,

    Thanks for the correction. I will say "allowing them to fuse" in the future "not melt". Please don't give me an "F". I was partially right, well sort of anyway. hehehe :lol:
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Attached Files:

  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    She's a beauty, Isn't she?

    You really aught to name that something.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Oh, I certainly had a name for it when I was trying to get it out of the burn pot.

    I'm certain that the owners of this site wouldn't want me to post it.
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Ok, Ok! I got cha. She sure is a monster though. I will never complain about a clicker again. Mine all seem like marbles to that one.
  21. dito

    dito New Member

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    vacaville, california
    bookmark
  22. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    LW,

    I didn't see your reply. Don't know how I missed it. Can you tell me what you were looking for in that cave? Must have something to do with a stove I'll bet. Elvis and Sasquatch, now you really make me sound like a looney tooney! I need a hobby!
  23. blues

    blues New Member

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    western PA
    Jay, Picked up some awf's today and saw the statements, warning may contain black walnut fibers. and may not be safe for equine use.

    Have you seen this before???


    thanks
  24. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    blues,

    I have heard it mentioned but I do not know why it may cause issue's with equine. But it must irritate them in some way?
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    A number of trees have various parts that are deadly to a number of animals. So having a warning on something that may become used as bedding isn't unheard of.

    Chickens and cedar shavings comes to mind as I raise a few chickens for eggs.

    In the current conversation please reference http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1148.html

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