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Pellets that are garbage

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by gw2kpro, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. gw2kpro

    gw2kpro New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    188
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    So far, reading back a few months I have noted posts calling out the following brands of pellets for being "garbage", "the worst", "terrible", or "horrible", etc

    Pellets recently noted to be of inferior quality on this board:

    -Fireside Ultras
    -Michigan Wood Pellets
    -Athens
    -Penningtons
    -Energex
    -Greenway
    -Corinth
    -Cozy Comfort
    -Green Team
    -Plenty more I'm sure I missed

    Seems like barefoots and lignetics are the only two that are consistently rated well (cue the "I have lignitics and they are JUNK" posts)

    Anyway, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that either

    1) 90% of all pellet brands are nothing but garbage or

    2) Pellet performance is directly related to raw material input, regardless of manufacturer / label

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  2. akakii

    akakii New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Portland, Maine
    I guess I was lucky last year with the Corinth pellets I had. They burned hot and clean and made very little ash. Everything else since then has been disappointing to one extent or another.
  3. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
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    265
    Loc:
    Hagerstown, MD
    Conclusion 2 is correct. I bought 4 tons of Energex from the same dealer on the same day. 2 tons have been junk, 1 ton burned wonderfully and the other ton has yet to see the flames. I guess my review of Energex pellets was determined by which ton I burned first.
  4. oil-schmoil

    oil-schmoil Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    22
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    I have 2 tons of pennington hardwood each bag is consistantly pretty good. Also have 1 ton of pennington premium woodpellets, not sure
    hard or soft. those are a crap shoot from bag to bag. some are awesome others, not so much. So I say No.2 conclusion is true.
  5. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,641
    Loc:
    South Coast MA
    Your conclusion #2 is spot on, but an additional factor should be considered
    as well that there are so many brands of stoves out there, and they all have their own
    "personality". Some will burn anything, while others are very picky.

    There are always posts of someone hating a certain brand while others love them.
    This is why it is so important to try out a few bags of a brand first before
    commiting to buying tons of them just because someone else likes them.
  6. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
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    1,457
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    I like this year Penningtons, burned 3 bags. I hope I can get more Energex this spring , great pellets.
  7. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    454
    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    The long and the short of it....if the quality of the pellets were reflected in the price,then it wouldn't be so bad.Having said that...there are pellets being sold that should be a whole lot chearer in price than they are. If your source of sawdust is premium hardwood flooring,that is a whole lot different than the sawdust pile that has sitting awhile at some lumber mill.
  8. pellet0708

    pellet0708 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Maine
    Could be that all of these plants are scapping for raw material and have had to take whatever they could get this year to keep up. Unfortunatley it will sour people to using these stoves altogether of you have three times the cleaning than necessary. I wouldnt mind a good once a week cleaning even with glass cleaning in between and stirring the pot once a day but we have to do a total clean out every other day as the stove is FULL of ash with Athens after 30 hrs.
  9. scruffy

    scruffy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    NH
    My learning experience has been with Pennington hardwood premium (bought with the stove from Lowe's) and now with Spruce Point premium soft wood out of Canada.

    The Pennington's burned course in my Englander, at all settings, lots of clinkers at the lowest setting. The Spruce Point burn a lot better with lower ash and a hotter fire. I have 1 1/2 tons of the Pennington and 4 tons of the Spruce Point on hand. I find if I mix up the filling of my hopper with both brands I get a great burn and a little more ash, but not as much as with straight Pennington's.

    This past weekend was a good learning experience when I found that mixing them worked pretty well. The way I see it and understand from the posts you can get a bad batch of supposed good pellets, so I'll take what I can get and work from there next season.
  10. Saltair

    Saltair New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Eastern ME
    There seems to be a lot of mixed reviews of several brands, but Athens seems to have won the award for the most angry customers, but maybe I am bias since i am one of them.
  11. Steveo

    Steveo Member

    Joined:
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    246
    Loc:
    Maine
    I see Green Team is on the list. My Harman P68 loves the Green Team. I love the Green Team. They burn really nice, they are really clean and seem to be pretty uniform in size. Maybe it is my stove but these are the best pellets I have burned so far. Now the Athens I have are not very good. They burn really hot but the amount of ash is just rediculous.
  12. Ductape

    Ductape Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Central NH
    So far this year i've only burned:

    Pennington ........ Burned ok, but made a fair amount af ash and have ALOT of fine per bag. Every bag involves sifting of some sort.

    Country Pine ...... Burn great, not alot of ash. Almost zero fine in the bags. I've needed to sift ZERO bags of Country Pine.
  13. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    899
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Its funny. I posted this in another post. While I was at the nearest Wal Mart in Biddeford Maine. They had several pallets of covered pellets with the thick white plastic. I was nosing around and looked at the bar code sticker that is usually on the outside of new shipments. I saw the price per bag on the sticker. And the sticker also said Penningtons/Energex. In those exact words. Kinda makes you go hmm. lol :)
  14. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I have burned several bags of Northwest Pride(out of Idaho) There a softwood pellet(red fir blend)......I have had excellent results....they burn nice and hot....no fines.
  15. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    You would be surprised at how many names the mills sell their pellets under.
    I do not know about the Penningtons, but the Fireside Ultras are made by Energex.
  16. schmeg

    schmeg Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I'm burning Northeast from Ashland Maine. I see very little postings on these pellets. They must not be widely distributed. They have been very good to me except I got one ton that has quite a few long pellets that my stove doesn't like. Pellets are clean, and give off average ash.
  17. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    I have brought this up a few times. Pellet quality is damaged by moisture. The density goes right down the tubes when they get wet by either direct or indirect contact with water. If the pellets are stored outside they will suck up water. If the pellets are left outside and are heated by the sun and then cooled at night the bags will condensate and guess what, moisture.

    A majority of pellet mills do not use a bonding agent but some do and this causes problems. Please research the pellets you buy.

    Eric
  18. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    I'd have to say that PA Pellets are the worst I've ever used.

    Low heat output and very very ashy.
  19. foldsct

    foldsct New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Tolland County, CT
    Ok..........dumb question 1,000 and counting.

    I live east of Hartford in Connecticut. I have no idea what is good vs. bad.

    Those of you from CT............what's good in your experience and where did you get them?

    THANKS!!!
  20. suzannegale

    suzannegale New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    29
    Loc:
    Central NH
    I'm curious to see how my Penningtons burn - they are the current batch & I've read they are more consistent and better quality than the problematic ones of last year.

    I listened to the storage advice and have my 6 tons in the basement, away from outdoor elements. Basement doesn't flood or take in water so we should be set for moisture.
  21. p-68

    p-68 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    central me.
    will burn all most anything :)

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  22. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Loc:
    Windham Maine
    This is my first year and only have burned Penningtons. Love em. very little fines. nice hot fire.
  23. suzannegale

    suzannegale New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central NH
    I have the same model New Englander, so my hopes are high . . .
  24. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    N. Central Mass
    Count me in on that one hombre!
  25. ferrondave

    ferrondave Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
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    Loc:
    upstate new york
    I have 2 tons of PA Pellets and 2 tons of spruce pointe pellets, it seems PA pellets are getting a bad rap to me?
    They are a little ashier and put out maybe a little less btu's than the spruce pointes, but I don't see that much of a difference as long as you adjust you damper accordingly to the pellets you are burning.
    Big E Pellet stove.
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