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Ok pellet people PFI "TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY"

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by GVA, Sep 24, 2006.

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  1. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Over the years I've tried numerous pellet brands. Had some bad experiences with some and good with others. One common factor seems to be the little logo on the bag that says "member pellet fuels institute" or PFI.
    This leads me to a question besides the obvious....... What kind of controls and or regulation is there on the pellet industry. Premium pellets? High ash? Low ash?
    How are we to know the difference when we buy pellets? Just because the bag says premium and low ash does that really mean it's true?
    It seems that of all the pellets that I have bought, the companies that are members of the PFI are more consistant in quality and BTU's and just about every other pellet standard.
    So why do these other "EL CHEAPO" pellets cost the same as ones that adhere to the standards of the PFI...(that was the obvious question)
    What does the pellet burning community think?
    what do you burn?
    Am I the only one who notices a difference?

    Disclaimer:
    Craig didn't know where to put this post Hearth room or ash can. I figured you could move it if needed

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  2. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    The PFI gives Guide lines for quality.
    but ther is NO government Regulation that test them.

    Most pellets are going to be high grade.
    But each pellet changes from batch to batch do to the type of wood they get from the mills.
  3. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Loc:
    Northwest New Jersey
    You found pellets!!! Where?? RUN!! BUY THE PELLETS BEFORE THE ZOMBIES. Oh wait, wrong movie. My local Lowe's, in Flanders, NJ is already sold out, 4 times. 3 truckloads a time.

    Convenience has a cost. Sometimes it has a line.
  4. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
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    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Guess were a little spoiled up here NE pellet is 70 miles from my house and always seems to be available at stove shops. Energex has a plant in PA (excellent burning pellet)I'm sure they must be around there and stove shops should carry them. HD and Lowes usually carries no name and the supply is limited. And around here they usually sell out pretty quick at the DIY stores.
    What kind do you burn?
  5. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Chazy, NY 12921
    When I was burning pellets before the economics switched me completely to corn I never saw any difference in pellets no matter what the brand. I only got one bad batch and that was from Agway for the measley sum of $5.20 / bag. Luckily they were only 5 bags to light my corn and didn't do that well. Absolute garbage and marked Premium too boot.
    Seriously if you have trouble getting pellets then start getting corn and mixing it before your pellet supply gets low. Nearly any stove will burn 50/50 mix easily and I have heard all will burn 30%. That will certainly help keep you from running out. Another FWIW through some quirk in the matrix I legally run P-vent in my corn stove. The manual not only allows it but specifies it. The dirty little secret is this. While the pipe companies are running scared about changing the composition of their stainless due to unexpected corrosion issues my simple P-vent seems unscathed by 2 years ( 11 tons ) of corn. Nothing but some light staining on the inside. Even if it starts to corrode its cheap enough to repleace every 5 years and still come out way ahead. Any rusting of the outer galvanized pipe is easily solved by simply respraying with some Rustoleum cold galvanizing like I use on my boat trailer or just painting it and touching up yearly. Use never seize on the twist joints so you can easily disassemble them for inspection.
  6. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    Corn burns great, if you can't find a supplier just drive in the country and stop at the first farm stand you see . Tell them what you want and in all likelihood they will be happy to sell you dry corn. If not they will point you to where you can buy it.
    I get mine from my neighbor for 120 a ton dried , cleaned, and bagged.
    I do use pellets so it will burn while the stove is on idle.
    If you don't have pellets you can light it with a hand held propane torch
  7. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Joshua,

    Try Tractor Supply in Washington. SOS Stoves in Port Murray has a big supply, but their prices are insane....
  8. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Loc:
    Northwest New Jersey
    Richg, thanks, but I actually don't use them. I check on them for this forum, and for some friends, but I don't actually burn a darn thing yet. I have 1 coal stove, 1 wood stove, 1 wood stove I'm supposed to pick up this week, and 6 fireplaces, and I DON'T BURN A DARN THING. Argh. Proper chimneys are so expensive.


    I have a battle plan. 2 chimney liners being delivered to morrow. 1 for coal stove in basement, 1 for stove or insert(not bought yet), in same masonry chimney. When I have time and money, rebuild oil burner chimney (which is already screwed up) with two flues. One for coal furnace in basement, one for oil burner in basement. the 2 liners will then become a coal insert liner, and a wood insert liner. The big 8 foor fireplace gets the all-nighter stove for looks. Fireplace in bedroom gets candle rack. That only leaves me 2 fireplaces I have no idea what to do with. I might eventually line them and put a gas fireplace in one, and a corn insert in the other. Diversify your fuels!!!

    Sorry for the rant. Lots of crap circling in my head. Can you tell?

    JOshua
  9. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    Loc:
    Bucks County, PA
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