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Do you have any Pellet myths to share?????

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jtakeman, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I'll need proof to believe that checking temps is a myth!

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  2. Glosta

    Glosta Member

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    Today's pellet stoves are 100% self sufficient. They require no regular maintenance or annual service. Just "set it...and forget it".
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If the temps are measured the same way on the same stove at the same weight of pellets burning then this is a very valid test for pellet quality, however you need to note that these conditions are not always met on any given stove, any stove that dynamically alters the burn (Harman for example) can confound such testing as can any stove that can dynamically alter the airflow in the convection system.

    So in general the temperature out the convection ports is not a direct measure of pellet quality. In a controlled environment it can be, please note the the conditions that need to be controlled for.
  4. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Huh? You mean our little buddy POOK might have been right? Looks like we all need to purchase BOMB CALORIMETERs to verify BTU content! But how do you verify your BTU output if you don't monitor the convection heat. Pellet stoves aren't radiant. So? I've used the thermometer since my wood burning days.

    Ive tried to control them as best as I can. With no OAK(I disconnect and draw inside air for temp checking) and basement temp is approx 68-69ºF. Humidity is as stable as I can get it. But even if I measure the humidity-I could not correct for the variance. I then reinstall the OAK so I don't draw cold air into my basement. Plus the stove Burns them cleaner with OAK installed. My stove has no computer to adjust feed. It stays where I set it.

    Should I stop checking temps during testing? Or should the temp on the stove be set to "XºF" for all brands , Then monitor the burn length. I think that was what the rep from NEWP was saying to do a fair test. At least I added burn length this season.
  5. captkirk5858

    captkirk5858 New Member

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    isn't the Most Heat and how long a bag will last what we ALL are going after?
  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    samm6, It seems the higher heat pellets are going to burn thru the hopper load faster. So the less heat pellet may last longer. That's why I added an hour meter to my stove this season. So maybe we are looking for a balance of good heat and longer burns?

    All I know is the highest heat output pellet will be in my hopper come the bitter cold season. I can maintain the medium heat setting to keep the wear and tear down on my stove. I may burn thru them faster, But the house will be warm. That's what I am concerned with.
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    samm6,

    May I add that your bigE isn't rated to burn for more than a few hours at the max heat setting of 5. It will overheat and open the high limit switch. This is the perfect scenario for pellet temp monitoring. If you monitor the temps of the said pellets you plan on dumping into the hopper. You will know which one produces the highest heat from your stove. You will be able to keep the stove on setting 4 and get the most out of the stove per say. I got by with my bigE because I knew what pellet to have in the hopper when it was really bitter cold. If I just threw anything in the hopper, It would have had to been cranked to the highest heat setting if the pellets didn't produce. We would have frooze!

    There is no longer a need for me to worry with my present stove. But I still like to know what I have in the hopper on them bitter cold days. Knowing what you got in there isn't a bad thing!
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    You should only burn hardwood pellets in your stove. Wonder how many still believe this one?
  9. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    I'm still trying to get the wife to fall for my old pick-up line... "Hey baby...wanna see my hardwood pellet?"....
  10. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    A couple seasons ago we attended a Horse feed seminar at the local farm store.

    Ok, to make a long story short, the store had door prizes for the attendees and we won a ton of horse stall bedding pellets.

    We use just plain old sawdust here at the ranch and have never used pellets because of the price.

    We were talking after the seminar about the pellets and I mentioned that we would likely stuff them through the pellet stove.

    **** Myth****
    The store manager overheard the conversation and spoke up, saying that the bedding pellets could not be used/would not burn.

    Hmmmmmm
    Contents label on the bag says, "ALL wood with no additives" these are a pine pellet and come in a 30 pound bag.

    ***** BUSTED******

    We burned those pellets and they did just fine in the Quad 1000

    They are a little softer than the fuel pellets and tend to crumble a bit easier but will work great.

    Smelled good too.

    I love Pine Pellets.

    Snowy
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No, you have controlled as best as you can and the density piece is what is difficult for you to control. I think everyone fully understands that your testing has limits.

    Those Bomb Calorimeters also have limits, the biggest one is that they don't reflect real world burning.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Oh and before I forget the biggest measure of pellet quality that I'm interested in from your testing is the ash information, both the weight and volume, and the length/diameter figures, this year you added density which is also good to know.

    POOK while off the wall at times isn't always out to lunch on things.

    If POOK would stop giving folks ideas that could cause most folks to get hurt he'd likely find fewer posts nuked etc. , etc .....
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Pook did keep me on my toes! Made you think about what you were doing. When I could understand him anyway. :) The added details were to settle his bickering, But I think he got bounced again. So maybe not.

    Took a bit of reading your other post, At first I though you were for this as being myth. Maybe they are? IDK. But each thread has gotten close to 10,000 views. But Web, seems to think there ????! Well, I'd better be nice here! But he does seem to poke at them here and there. Maybe I should take quazi95 up on his offer?
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ah Web, likes to toss his two cents in from time to time.

    Actually when you get right down to it these things are very inefficient at producing heat.

    You haven't got to take anyone up an any offer you don't want too. As far as I'm concerned you are providing useful real world information and I know a lot of folks have found it valid enough to use.
  15. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    bear, I just check last seasons threads there actually closer to 40K hits. Never would have expected that!

    But wouldn't siding with someone that's on your side be a smarter thing to do? Less resistance anyway!
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I don't normally care to side with anyone. I want to see what is what and draw my own conclusions. The go along mentality is what gets groups in trouble.

    A case in point would be to ignore a person trained for and who has actually participated in several survival situations when placed into a group context.

    I have a friend who took part in a mock survival drill as part of a team building exercise.

    The participants were scored both individually and as teams.

    All teams died.

    Guess who was the only surviver?
  17. captkirk5858

    captkirk5858 New Member

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    Keep it up Jay.. Your results are INVALUABLE :exclaim:
  18. KINGOFTHENORTH

    KINGOFTHENORTH Member

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    how about this one ..."Its cheaper to heat your house with pellets instead of oil"
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well how much are you paying for the oil and how much for the pellets, etc., etc ....

    So it depends.

    For example ignoring efficiency gotchas, and not including any labor costs with pellets at $200/ton oil would have to be less than $1.67/gallon to pull even.

    At $300/ton oil would have to be $2.50/gallon to pull even.

    At the moment you might be able to get oil for $2.59/gallon more likely it will be a closer to $2.69/gallon, run your own back of the envelope calculations.

    Cost per ton of pellets divided by 120 gallons (a somewhat accepted equivalent energy in terms of gallons of fuel oil) to arrive at the cost at which oil is break even with the pellets (yes I know this isn't all of the required considerations, if one wishes to pick nits find a fuel cost comparison calculator and play with it).
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    my house is a whole lot warmer now that I am heating with a pellet stove, and yes, I am spending a whole lot less money. But what is different is that with pellets, I am doing something about the heat every day, i.e. loading stove, and every 3 days, I take a few minutes to clean out the inside of the stove. But being retired, I have a lot more time on my hands than money to burn
  21. tnt8281

    tnt8281 Member

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    Both fuel prices could be higher than the other. So every year its different. Going to say Plausible!
  22. Wi Thundercat

    Wi Thundercat Feeling the Heat

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    "Pellets are pellets, they're all the same!"
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I like to have a dollar for every time I hear that. :)
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I know where you could get rich at that rate and not have work too hard. Theres, a Walmart, Lowes, HD, and Aubuchon Hardware within a half mile stretch. You could hit them going out for groceries and then on the way back. There are three supermarkets in the same stretch. Comparison shop on the way out and buy on the way back.
  25. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    YESSSSSSSSSSS Pellets are pellets but, not all pellets are created equal ya know.

    Some burn real clean and some dont.
    Some pellet Mfg's use everything in the stock yard including "Bark, Dirt and such"

    Some stoves really dont care much about the quality of the pellets other than the heat output.


    A Quad for example will choke on the clinker if the fuel is dirty. The clinker will close off the lighter port really quick when the stove is fed the dirty stuff.

    My Old whitfields dont seem to care much.


    There is for sure a difference.


    Snowy

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