Shelf life?

liquidsilverr6 Posted By liquidsilverr6, Oct 5, 2008 at 12:23 AM

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  1. liquidsilverr6

    liquidsilverr6
    New Member

    Oct 5, 2008
    14
    0
    Loc:
    Southern Tier, NY
    Hi, I am a new pellet stove owner. I am in the process of setting up the stove and getting pellets. I have only been able to find one place in my area that had pellets. ( which seemed strange with the high demand, that they still had the 1 Ton of Lignetics pellets in stock 4 days after my first call to them) I have heard there is a shelf life on wood pellets but can't seem to find any information about this or how to tell if pellets are still good. Does anyone have any advice to a newb on what I should be looking for or if there is a shelf life. Thanks alot!!
     
  2. imacman

    imacman
    Guest

    Well, being a relative newcomer to pellet stoves myself, I'll tell you what I've learned from being on this site.

    Basically, keeping them as dry as possible is the key. If you can keep them indoors (basement, porch, etc), that is the best situation. After that, a garage.

    After that, outdoors can be done as long as you have the pellets WELL sheltered. Just putting them outside w/ a tarp thrown over them won't do. A shed, woodshed, or something like that. In any event, keeping them as dry as possible is key. Always use the pallet they came on to keep them off the ground and allow airflow. If you get delivery w/ a forklift, and the pellets are already wrapped from the factory, leave that on as long as possible, and add a good quality tarp that's tied at the bottom as tight as you can.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. liquidsilverr6

    liquidsilverr6
    New Member

    Oct 5, 2008
    14
    0
    Loc:
    Southern Tier, NY
    Thanks, this is helpful.
     
  4. mkmh

    mkmh
    New Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    407
    2
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
    Yep, what Macman said. I'm not aware of any shelf-life on pellets. If they're premium, kept dry, and the bags are not mishandled, they should last for several years.
    Since you can never know for sure how bags have been handled previously, or what the quality is of a brand or batch I would consider it to be "best practice" to buy and try a couple bags before committing to a ton or more. This isn't always practical or possible, but is a really good idea if you have any doubts about the pellets. Not to single out the big stores, but the majority of complaints i've read on this forum are about pellets distributed through the big stores.

    If you are able to "sample" a bag or two, here are some things to watch for:
    1. Do the pellets seem to ignite easily on startup (If not, it is possible that they got wet)
    2. Excessive smoke on and after start-up (again, could be a moisture or a simple quality issue)
    3. Excessive fines (sawdust) in the bag (could be over-handling, or quality issue with the batch)
    4. Heavy soot build-up on the glass after a short burn time (poor quality)
    5. Pellets smell musty when you open the bag (poor materials, and/or exposure to moisture)

    Those are just a few, and the caveat is that if you have problems with 1, 2, or 4 it isn't necessarily a pellet problem. However, trying a different brand of pellets is usually one of the easier troubleshooting steps if your experiencing issues.

    Welcome to the forum!
    Hope this helps! :cheese:
     
  5. slink

    slink
    New Member

    Sep 21, 2008
    92
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    Loc:
    Western NY
    Do not set bags directly on a concrete floor. Moisture will come up through the concrete and ruin the pellets. Generally as long as you keep them out of the weather and use the oldest pellets first you shouldn't have any problems. I haven't seen pellets having a shelf life as long as you use common sense. remember that the 40 pound bags actually have small holes to allow air to escape while the bags are piled so any water on the bags can easily get inside.
     
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