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I will not be buying a pellet stove !!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by shayneyasinski, Feb 21, 2008.

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  1. shayneyasinski

    shayneyasinski New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    canada
    I bought an OWB and I am now stuck trying to find wood for the 3rd year in a row!!
    Watching local pellet vendors and calling about prices and availability of pellets I am finding that there has been a 5 year shortage leaving stove owners looking for pellets and or buying a stove that will burn grain to only then have to pay more for that also.
    looks like my constant calling and research has paid off.
    never again will I buy a heat producing machine that I can't get fuel for.

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  2. MSmith66

    MSmith66 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    353
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I have had a pellet stove for 5 yrs and have not gone with out pellets any of thoses yrs.
    When I need them, I went and purchased what I needed. I don't know about Cananda.
    I have installed pellet stoves for 3 yrs and have never had anyone tell me they can't find pellets.
  3. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Let's examine this. You can't get firewood, you can't get wood pellets, you live in Canada. You feel corn is too high priced. What can you get?

    Myself, I had three tons of wood pellets delivered at a price I felt was reasonable. It knocked my gas bill way down from last year. It will be better next year, as I can buy the end of season sale stuff this year. I am in a much better situation here in Ohio than you are. Why is this?

    Jerry
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    The Canadians must be big on stoves and short on pellets? I'd think you can expect stores to pick up on this. That situation is a businessmans dream.

    It wasnt long ago and you couldnt find a choice in pellets and the temptation to go with corn was considerable. Now? Everybody but RiteAid has pellets. We even have a manufacturing plant 90min from here.
  5. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Rite Aid does have pellets! Oops...oh wait....thats polar bear and snowman poop...my bad. lol
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    In california you can get hard liquor at rite-aid. I always found that pretty funny. The drug store sells the cures and they sell the CAUSE!

    I would always council for folks to be careful unless there are multiple sources of pellets and corn near them. You just cannot rely on sources far away, because next thing you know they start sending the pellets to Europe, etc.

    Right now there is a relative glut of pellets and stoves. But no one has really done the math as the amount of stoves sold and the actual use.
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    If you buy your pellets ahead of time you will never run out.

    Do you wait to pay your electric bill after they shut it off? NO
    Do you wait until you run out of gas in your car then you have to call AAA to bring you some? NO
    I feel it is the same thing

    Pay and get pellets ahead of time
    Even if you order 2 weeks before you think you are going to run out I dont think any dealer has been with out pellets that they could not get a load in 2 weeks

    Most of my SMART customers get the winter supply in the Summer
    Even if they dont get a full supply I have them trained to order more when they get down to 25 bags
  8. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Well put. I agree Rod. I would rather have more than enough than not enough.
  9. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern Cailfornia
    I agree with Rod, I know I'm going to use 100 to 120 bags a season. I buy in late Sept or Oct. I've never needed to buy late in the season. I will say I'm in Calif. Pellets sold at Home Depot are seasonal, but OSH has them year around. I think it's best to have a idea how much you think you will use and add 10%, If you have 10 or 15 bags left order less next year.
  10. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Loc:
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    The supply in Seacoast NH got a little "dicey" in 2005..but no issues since then. Agree with others that you've got to plan ahead. This year I burned a lot more than expected in November and December so I started calling around at that point. Pretty much everyone I called had plenty of tons on hand so I waited until last week to put in an order for 4.2 tons to be delivered this Saturday.
    I'm pretty encouraged by the fact that we've got large pellet manufacturers in NH, Maine, MA and Rhode Island. If you're willing to put in a little extra time and effort, pellets are a good option for New Englanders.

    Any time I start to think about going back to propane or oil I just pull up the following equation and run the #'s
    1 bag of pellets = 2.5 gallons oil = 3.75 gallons propane
  11. JoeS

    JoeS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Maryland
    Where did this equation come from?

    Any time I start to think about going back to propane or oil I just pull up the following equation and run the #’s 1 bag of pellets = 2.5 gallons oil = 3.75 gallons propane
  12. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I don't remember if I pulled it from somewhere or just worked it out...

    40 lbs of Pellets X 8,250 BTUs per pound = 330,000 BTUs
    3.75 Gallons LP X 91,330 BTUs per Gallon = 342,487 BTUs
    2.5 Gallons #2 Heating oil X 135000 BTUs per Gallon = 337,500 BTUs
  13. ctlovell

    ctlovell New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
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    Loc:
    Trumbull, Connecticut
    Plan ahead. Pre-order next winter's fuel early this spring for fall delivery. Most places around here do that, i'm sure they do in Canada too.
  14. Stihl029

    Stihl029 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I just bought a stove, installed it and bought a ton of premium pellets for 235 a ton....And they have at least 10 ton more sitting there. And I was just reading that a company in upstate NY, Utica area, is building a pellet manufacturing plant that will produce 100,000 tons of pellets a year. I did alot of research myself, and the supply seems to be keeping up with demand to this date. Its not like other fuel sources where building a power plant to burn it will make the commodity go up in price, like its done with natural gas and coal. Pellets are being manufactured just for the consumer with stoves, and I don't see that changing any time soon. I love my stove!!
  15. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    OTOH, I understand that sawdust is getting hard to find around here (for horse bedding). Is it possible that we will exhaust the supply of raw material?

    Ken
  16. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    British Columbia
    I am not a pellet burner, so maybe I shouldn`t be weighing into this.?? The OP did not say where in Canada they are? I do know that here in the cowichan valley there is only one source for pellets. I have never seen them for sale at any of the hardware stores,including HomeDespots!!

    With such a limited range of suppliers around here, I wouldn`t buy one either. The elderly couple that owned the pellet stove and supply business took years to sell that business. Now what if they had never been able to sell? No service,no supply,no diddley squat!! So if the op is looking at pellet stoves in this kind of situation,then probably a wise decision.

    You are all correct however,timing is everything. Specially when they said they couldn`t buy wood!! So whether it`s wood or pellets, always,always stay at least a year ahead. I`m a wood burner, and have seen how scarce that resource can be when there is a "stirke".. :coolgrin: Stock up and always expect the unexpected........
  17. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Ohio
    Which is why I got a multi-fuel stove. Yeah, sawdust will find its own limits, especially if the economy takes a bad down turn and no one is building anything. I am told the Dell-Point people even experimented with California Pampers. as a pellet stock. California regulates disposable diapers and they have mountains of used, washed Pampers.

    There are all kinds of sources for fuel. It is all in the imagination.


    Jerry
  18. mnoack

    mnoack New Member

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    Loc:
    maine
    interestingly enough, of the four brands of pellets I've burned since I bought my stove 3 are from Canada. I am having a hard time getting pellets from Maine, however. I think the Corinth mill is shipping most of theirs to Europe.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't forget that the heat value of pellets adjusted for moisture is closer to 7500 BTU. That is a 10% difference. Pellets also do not burn as efficiently on a constant basis as oil or LP. I think a more realistic comparison is one of 2 gallons to a bag of pellets. Of course, mileage will vary both ways.

    So roughly, would cost $6 for a bag of pellets that are $4 (assumes 200 a ton).

    To be honest, more savings are often due to two other factors:
    1. Space heating is often more efficient than central.
    2. Many older central heating systems are inefficient (but then again, many older and even some newer pellet stove are also)
  20. mnoack

    mnoack New Member

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    Loc:
    maine
    These are very good points. There are a lot of factors that come into play here. People frequently compare BTUs etc as though this is the only factor involved in the comparison. Yes, my furnace may well be more efficient than my pellet stove, but my furnace then pushes hot water through 80' of pipe wrapped in a heat sink. That is not very efficient! In reality, I can heat the house at 40% of the cost of oil with pellets. (I haven't figured out the extra electric yet, but I doubt its $40.00 a month.) To put it another way, If i have 2 8500 BTU burners & I put a cheap stainless steel pot on one & a cast iron pot on the other, they will both be running at 8500 BTU but there will be a world of difference in the amount of heat they put out.
  21. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    little demographic history lesson for whoever is interested. pellet shortages in most cases are regional however , in 2005 there were real shortages due to a couple factors , mostly oil prices jumping in the summer , then katrina , and the resulting extra jump on fuel oil prices resulting (im not going to say if it was or wasnt justified , keep it apolitical for this lecture) anyway , pellet stoves were sold at a rate unseen in prior years , we had a HUGE season as did most every brand out there. pellets were a bit behind the curve however for a couple reasons one , they work through the spring and summer to make enough ahead so that they can supply all winter, the expected demand on pellet fuel was not expected to be anywhere near the actual demand was, and (and less obvious to the everyday consumer) with the gulf coast ravaged , a large amount of the medium used for pellets which is also used for pressboard and other stuff (that im not intimately familiar with) and companies which produce these materials bought up huge quantities expecing a big jump in orders for their product to rebuild the gulf coast with. so the supply of raw material was less plentiful (and also more expensive (supply and demand).now , with oil jumping like it did , and more folks buying pellet stoves , along with the previous pellet stove users (as well as folks who had gone away from pellets until the price hike for fossil fuels that dusted off the old whitfield and bought pellets again) created a demand that outstripped the supply. now , its 08 and i personally have not seen a shortage anywhere in the nation ( we do not yet sell in canada in any volume subject to change this coming season) the reason the pellet fuel manufacturers have increased production on a gigantic scale. this year im seeing surpluses where 2 years ago folks were scrambling. pellet stoves have really boomed and now that the pellet makers have gotten caught up with the rate of stove sales i believe that at least for the next several years pellet shortages will become a blip in some regions (ie mill burned down type thing , though i wouldnt wish it on any buisness) but it would be short term and localized , short termed due to the number of new mills that have come online as well as the supply being plentiful. i'd also look for a slight falloff in pricing as well now that stock is high , hey they cant sit on these things too long. investing in a pellet stove may be a much brighter option these days than it looked 3 years ago.
  22. MButkus

    MButkus Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Jersey
    New Jersey
    I get pellets from the same store for the past 15 years... This year about $520 for two tons. I should have a half ton left by spring.
    I just check my oil tank. It was filled in Sept. It's 3/4 full (250 gal size)
    The furnace is my hot water too. My electric is just over $120 a month in the winter.
    It's 71 in the house... stove on #2. Most houses around here go through 200 gal per month.
    I don't know what my oil usage use to be without secondary heat.
    I had a fireplace, then a coal stove, then the pellet in early 1991.
    At one fill per year... I's smiling and saving.
  23. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    My fiance's father lives 10 minutes from the Corinth Plant in Maine....they have had some difficult times getting the "bugs" out of their $$ equipment and getting the pellet process down.....but word has it in the stoveshops that they should be producing a good pellet by next winter and see more of theirs showing up in Maine. I believe aubuchons and different opther hardware supplies have Corinth Pellets. Once they get to full production I am hearing about 70,000 tons or so is suppose to go to europe....and 30,000 will stay here. But there is also another plant to go into production in Old Town Maine at one of the Paper mills. Then the paper reported another plant somewhere up in the western part of Maine that is gearing up for an August start up of pellets. I think we are safe for now....lol
  24. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
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    Loc:
    Michigan
    Are you still burning with that same stove of '91?? I can recall the Farm and Fleet store that just started selling those that same year. That was quite a concept here but really didnt take ahold until just recently.
  25. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting hearing all this talk.....being an old guy.....Maybe mike (esw) was around back when.....

    We were promised unlimited supplies of pellets with dozens of plants opening up and various mixtures of everything - and that the price would be surely coming down because all this material would be so cheap (waste).

    That was in 1992. The pellets were $125 to $165 a ton.

    I'm not saying that it won't happen now. But having seen it dry up to virtually nothing...in fact a lot of plants closed....I will believe it when it happens. I hope it does. But I would hedge my bets and I'm not investing the webmaster fortune into these plants yet.

    When the largest company in the industry goes down (Harman) and other manufacturers are hurting bad is not exactly the time to declare victory. Certainly I am a skeptic, but so far I am batting about 800 (on a scale of 1000). After all, it is ONLY past experience that I have to go by!
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