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Fireside Ultra Pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MainePellethead, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. JoeS

    JoeS Feeling the Heat

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    That's the problem when you rely on the box stores, they aren't worried about running out they just want to make certain they sold everything. We have other options here, the dealer for instance, but you pay the price for it!

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  2. bret4

    bret4 New Member

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    Yep, just checked the other HD near me and the only have 16 bags left in stock. The tractor supply near me said they had their own brand pellets at $4.98 a bag. Don't know if they are any good or not. Seems a bit steep in price.
  3. jkesty

    jkesty New Member

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    I bought an Enviro Empress and had it installed about a month ago. The stove store recommended Cubex so I went with those for the first 3 1/2 weeks. I did research on other pellets and after reading this blog and talking to a friend who uses Fireside Ultra (likes them), I decided to try them. My experience so far is that they don't put out the same amount of heat as the Cubex and I am finding that I have to clean out the burn pot daily because of the pumice-like build up. This did not happen with the Cubex. I could go about 3 or 4 days before having to clean the stove. On the plus side for the Fireside Ultra's is that the ash content is maybe 25% of that of the Cubex. The Cubex would actually have piles if ash in the fire chamber.

    The question that I want to put out to the bloggers is this. Am I having the burn pot build up problem with the Fireside's because of the wrong air flow? The flame looks good to me. Also, re: the Cubex...is the piles of ash caused by wrong air flow?
  4. davevassar

    davevassar Member

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    I would say it could be your air settings. I have an Empress insert, and they burn hot for me. If I let the cleaning go for 4 days, I will get some build up, but not too much.

    I got my hands on some Barefoot pellets today, if they are available in your area, my empress loves Barefoots.
  5. eastcoastburner

    eastcoastburner New Member

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    Sorry guys i'm in Va., So far i've burned about 6 bags on medium, I don't like the Fireside ultra that Home Depot sells. The stove is alot dirtier, also theres quit a few klinkers. Not sure what the mix of hard wood might be, but i've used pellets from ace hardware that was from wood brothers of Tenn. burns clean and no klinkers. Does anyone know the mix fireside ultra?
  6. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

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    I had no problems with these pellets at the beginning of the season.

    I did buy a few supplemental bags two weeks ago and had a lot of problems. I don't think my problems were with the pellets as much as they were with Home Depot. They had a number of bags that had been opened and then taped shut. The majority of their bags were located in the outside garden area. While I spent a great deal of time looking for the most pristine bags, I ended up with one totally unusable bag and several more with issues. I'm not sure if it was moisture or age but the fines were out of control and one bag exhibited mass clumping with more than 75% fines throughout.

    Again, I think these had to be handling issues and I would just caution anyone looking for bargains at their local Home Depot. My issues were at the Bellingham, MA store and are hopefully isolated.
  7. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    I did break down and bought 9 bags of these at the Home Depot in Nashua NH. $4.09 a bag $209 a ton. Not a bad price. Now the bad news. I had to go through a full pallet of pellets to get these bags. Luckily the bad bags were easily identifiable because they must have just brought them inside...there were giant ice clumps in the bad bags. I did tell the service desk...they looked at me glassy eyed (much like the late nite fast food clerks) and sayed that they would take care of it. Most likely next sucker will just buy them without knowing. But 9 bags out of 50 is a little much of a reject rate for me. Definitely caveat empor (sic).
    I did get a bag of Nature Innovations with this batch (so i could get 10 bags). The NIL pellets were NIL heat.
    But that is another thread waiting to happen.
    The Fireside have burned without incident. But the fines are a bit more than I am used to. (cubex ne pellet )
    Had to break out my old coal bucket to hopefully catch the fines.
    The previous post mentioned the busted taped bags. NEVER buy taped bags. Also if the fines are out of control ( ie 75% as mentioned above) the bags have gotten wet. Don't bother burning them just take them back. They will give you your money back...or at least a replacement bag.
  8. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Did you bring the pellets back? Here in the Biddeford Maine Store they will take any back thats gone bad. I got a ton of the Firesides...had 7 bags punctured....they replaced them no problem :)
  9. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    Reading PA Area
    Because most of the good reviews here for the FireSide Ultra's, the other day I called Home Depot in Exeter PA and found that they had like 250 tons in stock. So I went and picked up 10 bags (and that's another story), first bag I opened notice how small the pellets were, max at 3/8" most were around a 1/4", so no wonder all the fines and dust.

    So to be fair I cleaned out the stove, and set it to 4, as I have a list of different brands I tried and the temp. for comparison. Once the stove got burning good after start-up, the temp was only at 350* which is a 100* less of the others I tried. OK, so I thought since I use a thermostat that it was burning on the low, 1 setting and though great, because that's like 80-120* hotter at low..

    So I wanted to see what the temp would be at 4 I went upstairs to turn up the thermostat and noticed it was already up... turned it up higher just in case. Waited an hour stove still burning around 350*. I'm thinking hmmmm maybe something wrong with the thermostat, so I set the heat on the stove to 6, well a little later the temp went up to 450*. Not good.... 450 is what I am getting with other pellets. So to double check I put the thermostat down so the stove would run on the low setting... Well... I probably could have gotten more heat out of a few matches. Would barely make it over 100* and consistently on the verge of going out.

    I tried a couple of more bags, same result. So to verify that my stove was working OK I ran to Lowes and picked up a couple bags of the Sommerset's and they burned at 450+

    Needless to say I am a bit disappointed in my results and plan on taking back the remaining bags. But this make me wonder if because it is latter in the selling season that in order to keep up with demand that maybe the makers of the Fireside Ultra just didn't hurry up production, quantity over quality. But in any event the pallets at HD had a shipping/receiving date of 1/16/08 or 1/18/08 (sorry forgot the exact date) and the bags of pellets have a date of 8-26-07, JK.

    So I'm just wondering what the dates are, with those that posted here are finding work good for them?
  10. bret4

    bret4 New Member

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    I have to say the same thing Bill. I just bought some Natures Own pellets from Lowes the other day and they make a lot more heat then the Fireside Ultra's I have been burning. They are from the same company but someone said may a different mill. I do not have a way to check the temp, but the stove is feeling much hotter at the same settings. Even the hopper lid is getting hot to the point that I almost would need gloves to open it. I turned my stove down to a setting of 4 4. With the fireside ultra's I was at 6 6 and it was not as hot feeling.

    I going back to Lowes to get some more of those Natures own pellets. The fireside ultras would be good to heat on a warmer day.
  11. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    The thermostat that I use is a magnetic thermostat designed for on a stove pipe for a wood stove, I picked it up a couple weeks ago when HD had a 50% sale on that sort of stuff. I kept it in the same place since I got it, this way there is little room from any variations.

    Home Depot also has the Stove Chow, which I found to burn about 10-20* cooler then the Summerset's, but to avoid having to run all over I am just going to see if I can just exchange them. And the rest of what I pick up will be the Summerset's. I'm done testing ..lol


    "Even the hopper lid is getting hot to the point that I almost would need gloves to open it." That's the same I find when using the Summersets
  12. staplebox

    staplebox Member

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    I can tell you that the Firesides I bought and burned over the last 1-2 weeks are no where near as hot as the Firesides I first tried a month ago. They were bought at 2 different HDs a couple weeks apart (the 1st one ran out). The second crappy batch is full of those really small pellets and more fines then the first hot batch. I believe the first batch had pellets that were a bit longer but its hard to go by my memory. Shame to. I thought Fireside were going to be my brand. I may try them again next year but I am done with them for now. I really like the Clean Energy I found at Lowes.
  13. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Wow.....thats odd. Up here in Maine I have had not a problem at all with them. I bought a ton maybe the 2nd week in January. then went back maybe a week and a half ago and bought another 30 bags just to make sure I had enough....And there all running super :)
    We get toasted right up lol. Even when it got at 0 and below....just had to use the high setting more when temp got to 0 but had to with all the other brands I have tried from lowes etc. The firesides I bought I bet I dont get a 1/4 cup of fines. the rest is nice 1/4-1/2 pellets that ride up that chute nicely in the auger. :) Maybe different batch you all got. But I love these ones we got up here in southern Maine.
  14. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    Here is at what I can figure is the batch info from the HD near by me:

    The pallets at HD had a shipping/receiving date of 1/16/08 or 1/18/08 (sorry forgot the exact date) written on them and with the bags of pellets have a date of 8-26-07, JK.

    So for some comparison what are yours? That is if you still have the bags...

    I went and exchanged them today for the Stove Chow only because I didn't feel like running to different places. When I ask about the FireSide shipment the person behind the counter said they all came from the same place, same order. But he didn't / couldn't tell me where that was.
  15. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    Didn't the Stove Chow plant close a few years ago...like 5 or more? Are the produced in Western Massachusetts?
    Am wondering where the Stove Chow pellets are coming from.
  16. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    Don't know where they come from, just say Made in the USA on the bag. Bag also has a date of 07/28/07, SD. There is a web address on the bag and that just opens to a BS parking page. But I do know that they burn 100* more then the Fireside Utra's that I just got (and returned).
  17. staplebox

    staplebox Member

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    Still have some - they are 11-8-07 SD.
  18. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    Fireside altra's ? If so it's funny the Stove Chow I just picked up have the SD by the date. So I'm thinking both are made by the same company, just one is White wood - Stove Chow, the other Hard wood - Fireside... Maybe that's what the guy at HD meant when he told me they came from the same place.... hmmmm

    Taking a wild guess here, "SD" might be the mill indicator as to where they were made?
  19. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="Bill...me:

    So for some comparison what are yours? That is if you still have the bags...
    [/quote]

    Ok Bill heres what I have...

    The ton that I bought at first of January is marked... 4-28-07 MT
    The 30 bags I bought a week and a half ago is marked....8-26-07 JK
  20. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    Ok Bill heres what I have...

    The ton that I bought at first of January is marked... 4-28-07 MT
    The 30 bags I bought a week and a half ago is marked....8-26-07 JK[/quote]

    Interesting, the 30 bags you bought have the same date and JK as the ones I just returned. But totally different, as I had lots of fines and low heat with tiny pellets.
  21. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Interesting, the 30 bags you bought have the same date and JK as the ones I just returned. But totally different, as I had lots of fines and low heat with tiny pellets.[/quote]

    The 30 bags I keep separate from the ton I bought....I have only used approx. 3 bags out of that 30 bags I bought.....been using out of the ton that I bought. I didnt notice a difference but "now" that you have mentioned it....I will keep a keen eye on the temp and fines but so far they look the same ...hmm.

    Tomorrow I may go over to lowes...and get some Natures own to try...people in here have mentioned good results with them. Think I'll buy 10 bags or so to try. I keep a log...on the brand I buy and the results I have with them and when they were made etc. Just so I know.
  22. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

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    I've been keeping a list of temps, low setting and medium settings, but now I think I will also keep a list of lot numbers from the bags....lol
  23. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I dont mind taking the notes etc lol....considering the $$ I am saving in oil...its worth it. I had to order oil today for our hot water, the first time since I had the pellet stove installed...ugh. lol. But I wont be seeing them for some time now lol.
  24. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Interesting, the 30 bags you bought have the same date and JK as the ones I just returned. But totally different, as I had lots of fines and low heat with tiny pellets.[/quote]

    You know bill....
    I cleaned out my hopper friday....and put in a bag of those Firesides that I got a couple weeks ago....and I think your right. That particular "JK" and the August date on it do burn cooler. I had to open my feed plate more to get the heat I wanted. I picked up 10 bags of Natures Heat from Lowes.....trying them.....they seem to burn very good .....and hardly any fines at all.
  25. JimmyD

    JimmyD New Member

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    Great, I just bought five bags of the 8-26-07 JK batch. My hopper is loaded up with juniata's currently so I can't comment yet. I did crack open a bag and these pellets are like maybe 3/8" long (or short should I say)

    Hope I get some heat from them.
    Jim
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