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  1. learninglife

    learninglife New Member

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    We are in the process of buying a Harman P68 pellet stove and we are trying to choose which premium pellets to pre-order. We've found ton prices for New England at $270+, Eastern Embers and Granules LG at $240-250, and some other hardwood pellets for $260-270. We've been told various things about these pellets from difference places; some swear by New England, others say the Granules LG is just fine for this stove. I didn't see anything on the Granules LG website about ash content or BTU/lb for their pellets. We'd prefer to go for the cheaper pellet of course. Has anyone any experience with these pellets that is negative? Thanks.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    My guess is that the BTU content is similar or equal. I would suggest buying the lowest cost brand...not in all cases, but a Harman is able to do a good job with pellets that might foul up other stoves.
  3. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Liv-

    First of all, I dont sell LG, so first-hand experience there is lacking, although Ive had a few customers like them, maybe a bit more dont like them. You'll find people liking pellets similar to the Pepsi-Coke debate. Some swear by Pepsi, some Coke....both have sugar, caffeine, and will rot your teeth, but some people swear one is wonderful, while the other is worse than useless.
    The New England is our best-seller, currently we are at $259/ton, but Ive no idea where everyone else is price-wise. Once upon a time, New England was probably the best pellet out there, but lately, I dont think they are much better than many of the Premium Hardwood pellets out there. I sell and burn 6 different brands, and dont see a huge difference between any of the hardwood premium pellets.
    On the good side, your P68 will burn almost any pellet, be it Premium, Standard, or Industrial grade. My P61 has burned it all. The biggest difference is ash content, but youll also get more clinkers with lower-grade pellets.
    As for pre-ordering pellets.....beware of that. Id suggest ordering them and getting the delivered, or picking them up, ASAP, to your home. If you pay for them, and wait till too much later to get the pellets, what happens, (God forbid), if the pellet mill breaks down or burns down? Will you still get your pellets or only a refund? That refund really wont burn all that well in your new stove. And dont assume you'll be able to go to another dealer and get some, if any. A major mill malfunction/loss in the industry would have dire consequences. I know Ive told you this before, but when I say secure your pellets for the winter, I dont mean to just buy them. I mean to buy them and get them to your home. You dont see alot of these woodburning guys waiting till it gets cold to get their fuel...they are scrounging RIGHT NOW. Im sure any one of them will tell you why as well. If you wait, it could be bad.
    Nuff said
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I'd go with the lowest cost too. Average BTU per pound of pellet is 8300 or so. Premium pellets are less than 1% ash content, though you'll notice a difference in cleaning frequency between .25% ash content and 1% ash content. For BTU per pound though I sincerely doubt there is enough extra btu's per pound in the more expensive brand to make them worth the extra 20-40 bucks. Can you get softwood pellets? Get those if you can they tend to be less expensive and can have more btu per pound than hardwood pellets.
  5. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    out here in New England, you can get softwoods, but due to the shipping issues and costs, they tend to be no less money than hardwoods. Yep, marginally more btu's per pound as well, but its marginal, and you likely wont see a difference in actual usage. In my burning of the softwoods, Ive found that the glass gets dirtier much quicker tho there seems to be no more or less ash.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    If there's no difference in cost between the softwood and hardwood then I'd burn what ever is available. I wonder why the window get's dirtier faster? I burn exclusively softwood because they cost about 1.50 less than hardwood here and since they technically do have more btu/pound (the brand I burn has been tested at 9000btu/lb.) it's a better deal for me. The pellet market is almost night and day between the East and West though. Seems the Midwest has it about the best abundant cheap pellets and lots of corn.
  7. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yeah, I dont know why the glass get dirtier either....Ive tried two brands of softwoods, both the ones I sell, with the same result....ones a Canadian softwood, the other is from British Columbia. Corn? After exhaustive research and talking with folks who have used/use corn, I am now leaning towards then being a distant 3rd choice in autofeed stoves......pellets/coal/corn, in that order. This opinion, as thats exactly what it is, my opinion, I have based upon input from many sources, one of the best of them being my customers...in the end, those are the folks who will make or break you. On the surface, corn seems great, but when you factor in the frequency of maintenance, the corrosivity of the gas, the WIDE range in quality of fuel, the expense of that fuel in my local area, the rodent issue, etc, I find that its likely not viable IN MY MARKET. Coal is good, but is less efficient due to the drafting requirements, the ash isnt eco-friendly, and theres lots of it, and the close proximity of neighbors in my area make it my second choice.......
  8. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Get the cheapest you can get. The only bad ones I ever bought were from Ageway and called premium hardwood. No I can't remember the name because if I did I would certainly say it and let the guilty be judged. As for your dirty glass one thing affecting it often is the cleanliness of the back of your stove. I can only speak for mine but at least with a Countryside ( Magnum) you have to remove and clean out the area behind the burn chamber at least a couple times a year. It makes a very big difference in how the flame burns. On clear signal with mine is if the flame is pulling forward rather than straight up in the fire po, ( staining the glass)t. You can get a lot of accumulation back there where it goes into the flue. Try a long thin snorkle on your vac either from the pot area or in from the rear of the pipe.
  9. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    sound advice from Driz, above. If its a Harman, check your air-wash holes by the glass as well...they can plug with extreme poor maintenance. We clean our floor models once a week. With a good hardwood pellet, you can go a week easily with little residue. With the softwoods Ive tried, the glass is dirty in two days or so, max. I havent tried all the softwoods either, so it could be just the two Ive tried tho. Also, certain stove models get dirty glass faster than others. The Advance for instance, its glass gets dirty far quicker than the P68.
  10. learninglife

    learninglife New Member

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    The LG pellets are made of black spruce, grey pine and balsam fir according to the Granules LG wesbite. So that would make them softwood pellets. They are the best price so far at $240/ton. The place where we are buying the stove was discouraging us from buying these pellets saying they are higher ash and we'd have to clean more often. This isn't a problem since we'd be cleaning often anyway. To save $90-120 (for 3-4 tons) we'd do the extra cleaning! We would definitely buy and have them delivered in July. There are a couple of places with plenty of pellets available now, so that shouldn't be a problem if we get them next month.
  11. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    tough call, Liv. You sound like a concientous owner, so I believe you will clean often.....that being said, Id stick to a hardwood pellet....if the softwood was primarily Fir, thatd be good stuff too. Im sure the LG will burn in that P68, but being its your first experience, Id suggest maybe your first ton being a hardwood, then switching over? If you did that, youd KNOW the difference, if any. If you start witha sub-par pellet, and the stove doesnt operate as advertised or well, youll always be wondering if it makes a difference. Whatever you do, it sounds like you are on the right track. Even if the pellets are lousy, they'll burn. And since you are targeting July, you should have no problem inventory-wise. Just dont wait till August.
  12. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    The ones I burn are pine. harry knows more about harmons than I do but pine pellets burn beautifully in my stove.
  13. learninglife

    learninglife New Member

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    Got my P68 coming in July and now to get the pellets delivered. I'm not finding anyone around here who sells NE pellets at less than $270. I haven't found a hardwood pellet under $260. Has anyone heard of Freedom Oak or Appalachian Hardwoods, which are supposed to be oak pellets? They're $260. We're thinking of getting two tons of a softwood pellet like LG and two tons of a hardwood pellet and then comparing how they burn. Wish I could find a slightly better price though. I hope 4 tons is enough for the winter. I have no idea how much we will burn.
  14. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Ok, Liv-ster.....current pricing:

    New England Premium Pellets: $259/ton
    Allegheny Premium Hardwood Pellets: $239/ton
    Wood Pellet Company Premium Hardwood Pellets: $239/ton
    Cubex Premium Hardwood Pellets: $239/ton
    Quality Premium Softwood Pellets: $239/ton
    New England Standard hardwood Pellets: $219/ton

    All in stock. Dealers, like pellet stove owners, need to plan ahead.
    Your idea of 2 softwood and 2 hardwood pellets is a good one. The p68 will burn both, as the man form Casper, WY states. Burn a ton of the hardwoods, then switch to the softwoods...Id be curious to hear what you think. Ive got several hundred tons of softwood pellets that folks like to avoid in New England, but Im sure will burn just fine.

    Like Emeril says BAM!
  15. learninglife

    learninglife New Member

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    Since your prices are so much lower than what I am getting in central MA, I have to ask, how far west in MA are you? Why are my prices so much higher? I am not that close to Boston.
  16. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    HarryBack sitting there rubbing his palms together........

    Im in central Massachusetts as well. I dont know the town you live in. We charge for delivery, but unfortuantely, if you are far away, it usually doesnt pay for us to travel a great distance and tie up the truck for half a day. that being said, we commonly deliver to Sturbridge, Charlton, Brimfield, Monson, Palmer, Brimfield, Wales(the town, silly), Holland (again,the town), Ware, Belchertown, Springfield, Chicoppee, Holyoke, Westfield, Agawam, Stafford, CT, Hampden, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Ludlow, West Springfield...the list goeth on.
    We DO have many customers who travel to us as well. I often get folks from the Boston area out here, even Cape Cod...it seems that as bad a price gouger as I am, the guys on the Cape are even worse. Get folks from central CT, even an errant one or two from New Hampster!
    Often prices are dictated by your market area, such as the Cape for example. Hard as it is to believe, some people make more than others. Thing is, except for transport, and that can be very significant, we all pay the same price for pellets. New England sells them to me for the same amount as my competition.
  17. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    ^^^^Word!

    A chunk in the woods in February isn't worth anything. That same chunk stacked near your stove is worth a lot.

    To put it another way, better greedy than needy.
  18. chevyhd

    chevyhd New Member

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    Loc:
    SouthCentral PA
    Pellets here in central PA were going for $185/ton for allegheney and $205/ton for wood pellet company back in april. I bought four ton of allegheney then. Now I am hoping my six cords of oak dry out enough after our 9.5 inches of rain so I can burn it on the weekends to cut back on pellet usage.
  19. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Loc:
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    Putnam County NY $239 Ton for Dry Creek. No. 2 Heating oil is still averaging in the $1.90s on the NYMEX (probably retailing between $2.60 - $2.80 per gallon. Time to move down south maybe......
  20. chevyhd

    chevyhd New Member

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    I don't know what pellet prices are around here in south central PA. Not too awfully concerned, I got mine for next winter. I've been burning them long enough to know better than to wait around. I figured $185 was about as low as I was going to get.
  21. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Prices have not dipped below $230-$250 per ton at all this spring. So much for "cheaper in the offseason"
  22. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    As much as I hated doing it, I just plunked down the $$$ for 4 tons of Dry Creek @ 248 each delivered. Nowhere near as cost effective as the wood burners, but much cheaper then the 3K I'd spend on 1000 gallons of # 2. Depending on the near future, that 3K may have even been more.......
  23. learninglife

    learninglife New Member

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    For me, $248 is good. It irks me to see how low the prices are outside the northeast. I spent several more days this week calling around for pellets and the prices have gone up since we went on vacation (so between June and July). A lot of places were already out of hardwood pellets and were preordering against September shipments. But I really want to get the pellets in hand now in case something unforeseen happens to the supply chain between now and the fall. So I finally broke down and bought 3 tons of New England at $270/ton before they were gone too; they were in stock with a low delivery charge. The cheapest hardwood pellet I found around here was Dry Creek at $260, but the place that had them wouldn't deliver to our town. I might still get a ton of Dry Creek from them to try because we could probably get only one ton in the back of our truck.

    I am now wondering if we should get 5 tons rather than 4, considering the size of the P68 and not knowing how much we will burn in our first year. I don't want to get stuck in January or February with nothing. Perhaps the 5th ton could be a softwood pellet as a trial. However, the softwoods are even not cheap here. The lowest price was at Lowe's, something called American Wood Fibers, for $241/ton, but I don't know how they burn. A friend with a Harman said she had bought some at Lowe's last year that she didn't like. After that, the next best price is LG at $240-255 or $255 for Eastern Embers but with delivery it turns into $275/ton.

    Here are some of the lower prices I found in southeastern MA:

    softwood:
    Granules LG (in stock) - $240
    American Wood Fibers (in stock) - $241.50
    Eastern Embers (in stock) - $255
    Energex (del. Sept.) - $260
    Eagle Valley - $275

    hardwood:
    Dry Creek and Ambience (?) (in stock) - $260
    Lignetics (in stock) - $270
    New England (in stock) - $270-280
    Cubex (in stock) - $279
    Appalachian Hardwoods (del. Sept.) - $270
    Freedom Oak (del. Sept.) - $270
    Blazer (in stock) - $299
    Pinnacle - $290
  24. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Hey Liv.
    Unfortunately, when I was buying them for $5.00 a bag in March (no tons available) I thought the price would drop closer to $200 a ton. So much for that......
    My dealer is good, I don't subscribe to the dealer "gouging" theory. I bought them this morning knowng that the $248 was the absolute lowest price I will find. I've got to shuffle a bunch of stuff around in order to cram them all into a shed, but I don't see any other way to go.
    My local Wal-Mart and Lowes carry pellets sometimes, but I don't want to risk seeing what they get and end up freezing my butt off in January.
    John
  25. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Putnam County NY
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