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pellet storage "longevity"

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Justaddwater, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. Justaddwater

    Justaddwater New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    central Ohio
    I know spring is a ways off, but during a conversation with my local TSC manager he advised me that in March he will be having a sale on any left over pellets from this heating season. He assured me this would be a "dump" sale and I would not want to miss it.

    This is my first heating season with pellets. My question is how long can pellets be kept in storage without degrading?

    I have storage available inside my barn but I'm concerned about humidity. Every other bag I curently use now seems to have a few small pin holes from the pellets rubbing against the bag.

    Any one with experience keeping pellets from this year and using them next year. I don't plan on throwing away any unused pellets but I don't want to purchase 5 tons of this years pellets only to have the moisture content increase, over the summer, making them unusable next winter.

    Thanks,

    Dan

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,379
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I'm going to buck the common wisdom and say that folks should not store pellets any longer than needed....especially in higher humidity parts of the USA. It probably does not matter in certain areas out west (Reno, for example).

    So how long is too long? It depends. I think in most cases a year is fine, which would make your potential purchase OK.

    I think the type of storage area can make a big difference also.

    The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) of wood is about 12% - that is much more humidity than most pellets claim. Assuming a bag that is not airtight (I agree with you that they are not), wood may attempt to reach that 12% from the original 6 or 7% - but I doubt they will get all the way there!

    To answer further, I have stored pellets over the summer and they worked fine AND even pellets with 10-12% water are likely to burn in most stove...that is still much drier than the best firewood or than corn.

    The main thing in your case is whether the price is really..really...really a savings. At $150 a ton, I say go for it. At closer to $200, I would wait.
  3. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Some pellets will melt before your eyes and some could be used for road gravel - So the only correct answer is "It Depends". Long term storage also depends on the storage environmental conditions. Even the condition of each bag will make an impact.
  4. Justaddwater

    Justaddwater New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    central Ohio
    Thanks Webmaster- When the time comes I will make a post of the price so anyone in my vicinity can take advantage if they so wish.
  5. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    frozen tundra
    The holes in the bags are put there on purpose. This is to allow for easier stacking of the bags on a pallet. It allows the air to escape from the bags so they lay flat.
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