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Newbie Alert...A Question or Two

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ShaneR34, Sep 19, 2008.

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  1. ShaneR34

    ShaneR34 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Hey, Folks.

    I've been lurking around here for a month or so now. It' been a great place for information :)

    Anyway, my girlfriend and I have just purchased our first home. The house came with an Enviro EF3 installed. I've since been doing some reading and research--never used or knew much about pellet stoves.

    I had our local pros out last weeks to clean and inspect the stove...everything is fine.

    I have a question, though. Will "old" pellets suffer in performance? The previous owner had left the hopper full most of the summer it looks like. The last couple of days I've been testing the stove and it doesn't appear to be burning as well as it should. With the auger set to the medium feed rate on the EF3, the flame tips barely make it over the top of the burn pot. They only time I get a good flame is with the feed rate on, or near, its max setting. So, I'm wondering it the pellets, after soaking in our high humidity for the summer, are "stale". The funny thing is, it seemed to be fine the first time or two I tried the stove a few weeks back. I left it alone until I had someone come and clean/inspect. Now, this little problem. I'm going to pickup a fresh bag today just to see.

    Also, the auger. Is it normal for a turn or two of the auger NOT to produce pellets? I've noticed it wil turn once or twice with no pellets coming down and on the next, a bunch drop out. The amount does not to seem to be constant. I'm assuming this is normal, it's not a "hi-tech" system afterall.

    Fianlly, for any Canadians on the board, what are you/did you pay for pellets? I ordered 2 pellets (140 bags) from Home Hardware (cheapest I could find here) and it was $1000 CAD (so $500 a tonne!!). I wasn't convinced the price would be cheaper than our electric baseboards (considering I'll probably need more pellets), but I Knew I wanted to use the stove anyway so I forked out the cash. Of course, it's our first winter in the home, so I have no idea how much electric would be for us or how well this stove is going to heat the house.

    Anyway, that's my story such as it is :)

    Thanks, Guys.

    Shane.

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  2. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    609
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Hello and welcome!

    I'm a newbie and can't answer your questions but sit tight and they will get answered. One thing though--140 bags is almost 3 tons. So that price (i'm not familar with the Canada/US conversion) seems about right. I am paying $280 a ton (50 40lb. bags).

    Rich down in CT USA
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I also don't know what the conversion from Canadian to US dollars is now, but you paid approx $357/ton Canadian.If the conversion is almost even, that IS high for pellets. Most people in the states are paying between $190 to around $300/ton.

    As for the auger, my Astoria did something similar when i did the first burn....a few pellets on one cycle, and then a bunch on the next, but that was on it's lowest setting.

    How long did you let the stove run? Is it possible that the person who cleaned/inspected changed something? Did they do a burn after servicing the stove? If not, they should have, and then you could have seen this and asked questions.

    I'd try running the stove for a couple of hours w/ good fresh pellets, and see if anything improved....if not, call the cleaner/service person back.

    My 2 cents
  4. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    241
    Loc:
    south shore
    I believe that it is not recommended to leave pellets in the hopper after the burning season. They can absorb moisture and not burn well. The fact that they could pick up moisture can also cause rusting to the metal the hopper is made of. I think I read all this here and if I'm mistaken I will be corrected pretty quick. Welcome, you came to the right place, and that I am sure of.
  5. MButkus

    MButkus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Loc:
    Jersey
    So long as the pellets are still solid... in my 14 + years...I just burn them off. I use old bags too. They are usually only a year old.
  6. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,352
    Loc:
    western southern tier of NYS
    Just run the stove on high for a couple hours and dry them out. I highly doubt there is any problem with the pellets, burn em...
  7. ShaneR34

    ShaneR34 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Yep, the tech did a burn after he was done for about an hour while he worked on a propane fireplace we also have (that stuff is expensive--it won't be getting used much). It was fine then, but he ran it on high.

    Anyway, I burned off the remaining pellets and gave the hopper a good vacum with my shop-vac...the feed rate seems better now and it appears to be burning better on the medium setting. I think that may have been the problem. I guess you're not going to get a high flame on medium anyway...but it looked far too whimpy before.

    And you're right...I did my math wrong...whoops. I feel better about the price now.

    Thanks, Guys :)
  8. kobalt

    kobalt Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    112
    Loc:
    Prince Edward Island
    I paid 6.99 per 40lb bag in PEI. I bought 2 pallets of them. They were eastern ember pellets which were reccomended on this site. That price would be 349.50 per ton. They are 5.99 per bag at home hardware here. The supplier that I got them from took a pallet jack with him and put both pallets right where I wanted them in my garage. I just got my new quad-fire classic bay installed today.

    Kobalt
  9. 90durham

    90durham New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    53
    Loc:
    Southeast Ontario
    Home Hardware here in Ontario is selling Lakewood premium for $5.89/ bag with no discount on tonnage. What is the pellet brand and where do they come from?
  10. ShaneR34

    ShaneR34 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I paid 5.69/ bag for mine. They are Eastern Embers premium pellets.

    i was told they would be in this week, but the girl who sold them to me didn't realize that the ones they had were all sold. So, not till mid october now.

    EDIT: From Home Hardware.
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