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Eastern Embers - Are you still getting the same heat?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by fedtime, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. fedtime

    fedtime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Down East Canada
    Fellow Maritimers, is it just me or does it seem like your stove is chewing through more Eastern Embers pellets than previous years to produce the same heat? I've got my stove set as last year, but I swear I'm putting far more pellets through the stove. To prove the point, I switched over to Trebios and had a slower burn rate, more in-line with my experience last season.

    Anyone else seeing this? Do I have a bad batch of pellets, or is this a trend?

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  2. Great question. Hope someone else chimes-in with their observations soon.
  3. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,063
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Pellet length the same??? That's a BIG influence on feed rate.
  4. fedtime

    fedtime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Down East Canada
    Physically, the pellets don't look any different from years gone by. I've been burning them for probably 5 or 6 years now.

    What caught my attention? My stove is running out of pellets overnight when buring Eastern Embers - which has never happened before. Even on the coldest days, I can top the stove off and easily get a full night of heating out of it. I switched to Trebios and - presto - the hopper is 1/3 full in the morning.
  5. Trebios, eh? I just started a 2-week trial-run of Trebios here today after being less-than-thrilled with Canawicks. Was going to jump to the Eastern Embers or LGs (Granuelles) but I figured I'd give the Trebios a shot since they were new around these parts through Wally World. Hopeful that they impress!

    Your Eastern Embers sound like they might be holding less BTU content in them this year. (???)
  6. fedtime

    fedtime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    Down East Canada
    I'm thinking the same - less BTUs per pound.

    My pellet choices here in Halifax, NS, Canada (in order of preference):#1 LGs (haven't seen these for a year or two); #2 Granulco (also not that common) tied with Trebios (Wal-Mart); #3 Blazing Comfort (Bin Doctor); #4 Eastern Embers (pretty much everywhere); #5 Canawicks (Canadian Tire) tied with Cozys (Kents). As you can tell, I've not been impressed with Canawicks either.
    The Village Idiot likes this.
  7. Ah, glad to hear that I'm not the only one who finds that Canawicks pellet tend to leave a person with wanting better results. Thanks for your input. After this run of Trebios, I'm looking forward to getting into some LGs...thanks for letting me know what you think of those as well. Up here in Edmundston, we've got Eastern Embers, LGs, Canawicks, (All at RONA hardware) Trebios (Walmart) and Comfy-Cozys (Kent). Wish we'd have the opportunity to try out all of these excellent pellets like Somersets that we keep reading about on the board here, but then again, as someone who has been running a pellet stove for only a couple of months, it might be best that my options are limited as I've already become far-too obsessed with this new "hobby". :)

    Stay warm over there in N.S., fedtime, and hope you don't have too many of the Eastern Embers left over in your crib to get off of them more sooner than later.
  8. Techowl

    Techowl New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Hanwell, New Brunswick
    Firstly, I must say that I have used Eastern Embers for many years.

    Recently, I have found the pellets are plugging up my pellet stove.

    They do not seem to burn completely, just turn to coals and stay in the burner box until they plug it solid.

    I have tried various draft and feed settings, but unless the feed rate is almost off, the problem will arise.

    I first noticed this toward the end of last season, but the problem returned this fall.

    I have also noticed the pellets are much smaller than they used to be in the past, most are less than 3/8" long now.

    I tried to crush out a glowing pellet that was in the ash can, and it acted like a sponge, squishing down and returning to it's former shape.

    I suspect the pellets are higher in moisture now than they used to be. Maybe they weigh more that way, so they're cheaper to manufacture.

    I have contacted Eastern Embers, and they ALWAYS blame the reseller for improper storage. The industry is self regulated, and they are the ones who decree if their pellets are premium or not.

    I feel these pellets are really just bagged up animal bedding pellets that are not suitable for burning.

    I will be trying others next week, probably the Walmart ones.

    That's my experience with Eastern Embers recently.

    - TechOwl -
  9. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    666
    Loc:
    Torrington, CT
    Report them to the Pellet Fuels Institure...For sure....They will be on them like moss on a rolling stone.
  10. Techowl

    Techowl New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
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    3
    Loc:
    Hanwell, New Brunswick
    Ya, I have, That's how I found out about the "self-regulation" thing. Basically, the manufacturers test the pellets and send the results to the Institute in order to maintain their use of the logo etc.

    - TechOwl -
  11. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Torrington, CT
    Oh Cheeses Techowl....That was purely sarcastic bud.....Don't hold your breath waiting for any action. The last thing PFI wants to do is irk one of their few remaining dues-paying members.
  12. kobalt

    kobalt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    112
    Loc:
    Prince Edward Island
    I am burning Eastern Embers for the fifth year in a row with no different results then other years. They give great heat, my stove is easy to light and there is very little dust in the bags. I know for a fact that my pellets were stored inside until I picked them up.
  13. Techowl

    Techowl New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Hanwell, New Brunswick
    OK, firstly, sorry for the long delay in getting back to the thread. Weather and machinery issues got in the way.

    I switched to the Trebios pellets from Walmart, but my burner plugging issues continued, so it was not the Eastern Embers that had changed.

    I stripped the stove apart as far as I could and checked the airflow from intake to exhaust, but it looked clean all the way through.

    I reached up and put my hand on the little knob that one pulls to clean the heat exchanger pipes and it dawned on me that the problem started around the time this little gadget got locked into placed.

    I had tried some pellets from Maine that had a LOT of moisture in them, so much so that creosote built up inside the pellet stove. It took a month to get ride of the sticky stuff, but the cleaner plate did not seem to want to free itself, so I let it be and made sure I vacuumed the pipes every week during the cleaning routine.

    The area around these pipes was almost fully blocked with ash. The vacuum would not pull the ash out completely. I scraped the residue with a screwdriver, and started loosing up the lower area, then I soaked the pipes down with the pellet stove cleaner until I could slide the cleaner in and out once more.

    Since then, I have had no problems with the plugging issues.

    It just goes to show that sometimes the obvious problem is the culprit. I knew there was blockage somewhere, but I also thought I was cleaning the heat exchanger pipes well enough.

    I will continue to use the Trebios pellets though, as they are 10% cheaper than the Eastern Embers at my local Home Depot. I found the burn rate to be very close to Eastern Embers, but cleanup is easier with the Trebios ones.

    This week, however, Walmart was out of pellets, with more coming in Sunday or Monday, so I had to buy Eastern Embers this week.

    - TechOwl -

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