Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by boswell, Jan 7, 2009.
Rockland Bangor or biddeford
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I purchased 3 tons of pellets and had them delivered form a local supplier. This is the third winter I burned pellets. The first two years I burned Cubex and this year the Athens Pellets. I am so disgusted with this company. I purchased the pellets in September of 08 and began using them the first frosty night in October. I soon learned the pellets began gumming up my stove and producing a significant amount of ash. I mailed a letter to the company explaining that I wanted the to succeed, but their pellets should not be passing a QA inspection. I explained the ash problem the saw dust problem within the bags and the fact the pellets were not producing as much heat as Cubex pellets. I was very polite in my letter. I received an unsigned response from them denying any problems and told me to return the pellets if I was not happy. Now mind you I have a bad back and paid $150 for delivery and stacking of the pellets from the supplier. I believe the company is not honest and and they were disrespectful. My recommendation is to stay away from them. They may have changed their pellet formula for now, but I bet they will go back to their old ways next season. Are they just using tree limbs and leaves? By the way I contacted the supplier and the supplier told me they received many complaints and stopped carrying them until they changed their manufacturing process.
you can call david carr @ the factory, use the # on your bag, i did
i didnt bother exchanging them because who is going to bring 2 tons from auburn to athens, couldnt do it. called the place where i got them (petros on minot ave) they were dumbfounded. so i just said w/e and im almost done burning mine.
so what i got out of all of this was there are 2 places i wont do bussiness with in the future, maybe 3-5 yrs from now i dont know...
my 2 cents...
being an industry member knowing the other side of the fence so to speak, what im seeing overall in this saga is promising in my opinion. companies which start up in a field such as this can have growing pains. just last winter a big long discussion about another brand which had opened some new plants but was an existing manufacturer ran into similar issues, they stepped up and did make themselves available (in this forum) and made a concerted effort to provide service and instill confidence again in their product. i applauded their efforts then ,and im applauding Mr Carr and his company now for making an effort to take care of the folks who have had issues with their product. personally i would like to see a rep from their company take a few minutes to discuss the issue in this forum (though i do not say this as a prod for them to do so) i feel it has a huge upside. what the folks at this company are doing is a demonstration of the wish to make good on end users who may have been affected by a product they have produced which may not have been of the standard they strive for. having been produced and put into the pipeline , correcting an issue can only come after the realization it has an issue. they have apparantly corrected the production issues which brought about the issue at hand. making the effort to retroactively make good with their consumer base is an admirable step.
ive learned that "mainers" have been supportive of this company and im sure would be quite happy to see it succeed, its as much a pride thing as it is a matter of having a supplier close by. hopefully our friends at the maine wood pellet company will accept our invitation to enter and discuss, learn from input and above all else demonstrate the fervor im sure they possess to provide a quality product to their customer base.
to our members i urge that we welcome them , be respectful that they would take the time to entertain questions and constructive critiscism, and above all work with them in a civil way to better the product they want to provide us.
not having used the product or having worked with their company , i dont have a dog in the fight so to speak. im just adding a neutral voice in hopes of seeing this work out in a way beneficial to both the manufacturer and the consumer alike.
ok, im off the "stump" so to speak i'll leave it at that.
The supplier i bought my 5 tons from last summer is suppose to come up here & swap the 2 tons i have in the garage for free as i told her out of the 5 tons they delivered at $30 charge ,for each ton mind you that i would "eat" the ton i have left in the cellar .Called them twice since & still waiting. Oh ! By the way, they are selling returned pellets for $3.50 a bag. Gonna wait 1 more week then i'm calling "big Brother" in Augusta & filing a formal complaint . Gotta do what i gotta do . Muss
Interesting that they are reselling the returns. I've seen this brand being sold on on Craig's list, several times in the last couple months.
Yes it is interesting that they are reselling the returns.
Most of our pellet stoves require the use of premium pellets or the warranty is void.
Mike Holton makes a valid point for patience and a civil disscussion. However, If this new company has marketed less than a premium product at above premium price then they need to held accountable for that. Might very well be a criminal act.
The local supplier "Ohara's" was demanding 290 a ton for this crap in December plus drop off fee. "Ohara's frequently posts on this forum but I have not seen any evidence thet they have purchased any ad space. The wholesale cost of pellets produced in Maine is 100.00 per ton. Not to pick on "Ohara's" but if they are going to continue to sell overpriced products that do not meet the specifications they should at least spend a few bucks on an ad here. Does not make it right but gives the appearance.
When you do the math on the out put of the mills it turns into a whole lot of money to just let it go as a learning experience that ends in a civil discourse. The attorney general needs to be involved and people need to go to jail. Frank Ohara has been there done that.
Can't believe this post is still going. But this company should be held accountable for what I consider at the very least to be bait and switch selling tactics. They put premium on the bag....put sub standard in the bag..Much like you going to the gas station and getting 2 stoke mix for your car.
Thank goodness my supplier was reputable...unlike the pellet manufacturer. Anybody that sells this crap should take back the stuff without any questions asked...not act like this is the first time they have heard anything bad about these pellets.
BTW...the new batch is just as bad...
Wordd of advice...stay clear of any pellets made in Athens Maine!
Well Mike Holton said we should have a civil discussion about this.
So how should that start and who should be civil?
I'll try to be a civil as possible... I agree with my Neighbor Mainers here, the Athens and Corinth pellets are low quality pellets and are being passed off as Premium pellets at a Premium price too. I bought 1 ton of Corinth and 1 ton of Athens in Nov. and split a ton of Athens in Dec. of '08.( Heyyyy do I qualify as a Pellet Pig????). They are both poor quality and I won't be buying any more in the future. The Athens were recent production and the Corinth were made last Spring. Both burn poorly in my Englander 25-PDVC and produce much less BTU output than other brands I've tried. Both brands smoked up the window of my stove within a few hours and sooted the inside badly and created doughnut sized clinkers every 4-8 hours and I had really bad hard carbon buildup on the feed auger face daily. I've since bought a ton of Blazers Premium Softwood at the HD in Bangor and WOW what a difference! I was burning the Athens and Corinth hardwood pellets during most of the cold weather and wasn't happy with the heat coming from my stove, with the Blazers my house is HOT!! I had to open a kitchen window last night because the temp inside was almost 80 degrees ( yep I'm contributing directly to Global Warming). I'm running my 25-PDVC at it's lowest setting right now and it's still hot inside ( 76 degrees) and the outside temp is 15 degrees--- Mike Holton of ESW will be glad about that one! The Athens and Corinth pellets don't give me that kind of BTU output. So from my newbee standpoint, the quality of the pellets you put into your stove directly affects the output! Less mechanical problems too. I've learned a lot from this forum over the last 6 months and one of the best lessons I've learned is don't buy any Maine produced pellets until they improve the quality.
I still have a lot of the Corinth and Athens pellets left, I'll save them for later in the Winter/Spring when I don't need as much heat and have the time to clean my stove twice a day.... That's as civil as I'm gonna' get.
Okay i will start the civil discussion...since you can see i have been one of the more vocal critics of this product.
I have been burning pellets since 2000. This is my second stove...the first was a top loading Lopi...the current stove is Harmen Accentra that I have been burning for 2 years. I rely on pellets for my primary heat source in my well insulated 1600 sft home.
I have used many different brands of pellets over the years in various states of quality. All of them have premium marked on the bag. I know enough not to buy a large amount of untested pellets....but in the pellet rush of summer of 08 I purchased 3 tons of Maine Woods Pellets delivered to my house. They were stacked up into the basement...lot of work...but by the end of August I was feeling pretty good about having my heat for the winter. One bag of course got punctured during the stacking...and my wife commented that the pellets looked like crap. I looked at them and said not to worry our stove will burn anything. So come October I break into the pellets. First thing I notice is they are all broken into tiny fragment pellets. The biggest one being in the 1/4 inch range. Upon closer inspection I see black specks in the dark colored pellets. Toss them in the hopper...they light...am off to the races. Within 6 hours the flame has gone out. Hmm that is odd...open the hopper and the pellets are clinging to the walls of the hopper in a fashion I have never seen before. Sticky pellets? Causes the funnel thing to happen in the stove hopper. I also notice that ash seems to have plugged the burnpot almost to the auger. Never sen that before. Look in the ash pan and am amazed at the amount of ash from less than a 40 lbs bag. Live with it cleaning all the time...scrapping the ash out of the burnpot. My asthmatic wife is constantly yelling about me opening the door of the stove to clean the ash out of the burnpot. I am cleaning it every 2 to 4 hours.Everything in my living room is starting to get covered with ash. Burn out the Athens pellets and toss in a bag of last years NEWP that I have left...burn awesome...no maintance...so stove isn't malfunctioning. Just nasty pellets. Upon full cleaning I notice that the ash is more "sand like" in texture than any pellets I have burned...remember I am not a newbie at this. My experience is that pellet stove ash is more of a fly ash in texture. Notice that there is a lot of carbon carmelization on the auger...and the stove is a lot more black soot covered than usual. Final straw is when I am emptying my ash vac as often as I used to clean my stove.
I have since parted ways with any product from Athens...am back burning NEWP. They have both premium on the outside as well as the inside!
That is as civil as I am going to get.
i was actually not trying to exhonorate them , just draw them into discussion where you guys would be able to get this aired out and hopefully cleared up with a solution acceptable to all.
100 a ton??? im assuming plant pickup for that at a truckload rate he then has to pay for delivery to his stores, folks to do the unloading and storage , folks to stand at the registers and ring em up , folks to bring em out to ya if you want delivery,we're not talking "broker" here , but a store owner who is selling products art retail , he has to cover his overhead and turn some kind of profit, be pretty silly for him to buy em and sell at a net loss. BTW he's cheaper than what i pay for ANY pellets down here, 300 a ton for whatever is available picked up yourself.
and as far as participation without ad space, i dont purchase ad space either(though eventually im sure i will), and folks arent taking shots at me. many dealers help folks in here. its not like he is in here soliciting, when asked he gives information on what he has. and helps folks in here when he can answer questions december is mid season when overall nationwide the highest pellet costs are seen. buy your pellets early before they go up..[/quote]
In my area Corinth pellets are selling in one place for $238 a ton you pick up. Has to be standard pellets.
Is there any way to tell when the pellet were manufactered? I do not see any date stamp or lot numers on bags just a upc bar code on the Athens.
seems like if you bought them before end of dec/jan you got the bad batches
Bought them this morning only 2 bags to try but I don't know where to store got them from. Could be the bags that were returned for all I Know.
Is there any way to tell what batch they came from? I thought every thing had lot (batch) numbers on them these days. It sure would help with quality control don't you think?
small very dark dusty pellets
The ones I have are long and lite in color (some are 1-1/4" long) so that makes them?????????
NEW BATCH burnem...the old batch were almost a green if you look at a small hand ful and maybe a 1/4 inch long
the new stuff still has fines or sawdust in the bags and YES you are going to experiance alot of ash...on a side note, was talking to my dad this morning and he is burning mwp as well. he said he bumped his air on the englander 25 up to 5 while the stove was running, it took about an hour to see a differance, but the pellets seem to be burning more complete with much less ash. he claims he only scoops out the burn pot once in the a.m. and once in the p.m.
and the glass doesnt get as dirty.just an fyi for anyone interested with an englander.
IMHO, we should all be civil....no one will get anywhere if we or they start a peeing contest. if we can get them to visit the site, and here of our troubles, maybe we can work together, and make a better product.
I filled the empty hopper in my Harman Accentra Insert about an hour or so ago they seem to be burning fine so far, I know it's early on but the flame looks fine to me. Will see about ash later
Maine Woods (Athens) does not have a date code on their pellets but Dave Carr is thinking about putting one on since Maine Woods has had a lot of process control issues and it would help him resolve them if he knew which batch a complaint was about. I have unsuccessfully used three versions of Maine Woods pellets. As of yesterday, it was two weeks since Mr. Carr told me he would be Fed-exing me two bags of the pellets that just got tested and passed all the Pellet Fuel Institutes tests with flying colors. Unfortunately, they haven't arrived. At this point, my expectations are very low.
I am not in a position to comment on clinkers and ash with the Maine Woods pellets because, as I have noted on this forum, I can't get the pellets to feed up the 45 degree auger incline for more than half a bag or so before the fines and crumbles cause all pellet movement to cease. Lest you think it is me or the stove, I will mention that I have successfully burned lots of Energex, Green Team, Fireside Ultra, Naturesfuel, Lignetics, NEWP, Blazer, Somerset and Penningtons. I have been buying 20 bags whenever I came across some in the various box stores throughout the winter while 4 tons of Maine Woods sits in the yard where I put them in August.
Sure, Dave has offered to swap them out but I can't see moving 4 tons to my distributor and 4 tons back only to have a repeat of the problem. Until he proves he has pellets that work with an inclined auger system, I will have to sit on them. I really would like to have my money back and call it a season.
There is a guy about 4 miles from me that distributes Corinth but this thread hasn't made me feel good about them either. I may give them a try because of the close proximity. At least I have 9 brands that I know work in my stove and they seemed pretty equal on ash. I only had two or three clinkers and I think it was from me throwing a hand full of pellets into the burn pot to "get it roaring".
Bought 10 bags of Athens... a week ago...They have a funny smell to them...darker ash...No specs on the bags...but have a good heat output...wouldn't say I'd buy them again....Just got a ton of Lignetics deliverd, hope this will get us to the end of the heating season....this makes 5 1/2 tons this year on 2 stoves at 2 homes....
i understand your pain, i have been trying to rid myself of these pellets.
i have burnt the new corinith pellets in the blue bags with the earth on them. i had 5 and they were good. but not as good as greene teams which i think are the best hardwood pellets i have burnt.
easiest thing i got out of all this trouble with pellets is, i will never buy a ton with out burning 5-10 bags first
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