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Simple Pellet Cleaner

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

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  1. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    This is probably the simplest pellet cleaner that I've seen yet. I'm definately going to build one of these.

    Here

    Steve

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  2. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Looks good but that would be a cold day in hell before I`d go thru that procedure to clean my pellets to burn in the stove . Might be less work to just burn cordwood.LOL.

    If this is absolutely necessary in order to burn them in a particular pellet stove then I can see two choices:
    1...set up a system where this can be done as the pellets are poured into the stove hopper to eliminate all the extra handling or .....
    2.....get rid of that stove and get one that isn`t going to require this procedure.
  3. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    As far as I know, this is not an absolutely necessary procedure. For most, it is a matter of choice and for a few who have had trouble with excess fines jamming up their auger feed system it just may be a good fix. Here are a few reasons I can think of for making and using this pellet cleaner:

    1. Some brands/bags of pellets contain an excess amount of fines and therefore need a good cleaning.

    2. When filling the stove hopper with pellets, the noticeable fines in the air is one thing, but the very fine pellet dust gets into the air which settles on everything nearby and can be a cause of concern for some with alergies or who are sensitive to dust.

    3. There are those who like me are a bit anal about cleanliness and don't mind this cleaning procedure just to help eliminate all of the above.

    Again, it's more a matter of choice.

    Steve
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Wish he had shown the vacuum empty, then shown how much fines he actually got out. Not a bad unit, actually, and seems less complex and less $ than others I've seen.

    I agree about keeping the fuel clean...especially for people that have allergies, and also so I don't have to vacuum everything near the stove after dumping pellets in.
  5. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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    I like it too. Very simple design and it looks like it could be made for a fraction of the others I've seen here. Also appears that any old vac will do. If one were to put a piece of 1/8" hardware cloth up in that 3" section of pvc where the vac connects you could never suck up any pellets with the fines. Nice!
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I wonder how long it would work before the cloth got clogged? Maybe he has something in there like that, and that's why he has the top sections duct taped together instead of cemented. But I agree, that WOULD help.

    I want CLEAN pellets, and if building that simple thing will cut down on maintenance on the stove down the road, I'm all for that!

    I think I'll be making a trip to HD/Lowes and Walmart tomorrow....LOL.
  7. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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    I always wish there were more details. Must be a state secret. lol I too will be fooling around with this. It's supposed to rain here for two or three days so I got nothing better to do. I think I've got some of that stuff laying around.
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Seems to be. :lol:
  9. Smudge88

    Smudge88 Member

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    Nutz...Internet Police here at the job block me from viewing it. Going to be a rain filled weekend here and I need something to do... :bug: .
  10. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    Well I went and picked up most of the parts I need for this project. I've already got at least one modification in mind.

    If it turns out well enough, I'll make a post of parts and instructions with pics on how to make it.

    Steve
  11. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Cool....looking forward to it. :coolsmile:
  12. kyburnr

    kyburnr New Member

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    Internet Police got me too...Must be Pellet Porn :ahhh:
  13. bungalobob

    bungalobob Feeling the Heat

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    Have yet to burn a single pellet, but it's hard to believe that these 'fines' are such a problem. They must be since I've seen some crazy contrations that people have come up with. Can't you just pour the bag slowly into the hopper and pick out the last remaining pellets that are in the 'fines' at the bottom. Are there that much 'fines' to deal with? Seems like a whole nuther industry is going to develop just to clean the fines out. Man, I hope it ain't as bad as all these posts seem to make it out as. I'll be finding out soon enough I guess.
  14. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Bungalo,

    it's not that it's a big problem w/ most premium pellets, but just in case you get a bag from the "end of a run" or was handled too much and could be "loaded" w/ fines, a simple "contraption" can save work maintaining your stove. And then there's the people that find out their allergic to the dust.

    In my case, I want to keep stove maintenance to a minimum, and if building a simple vacuum system will do that, plus 10-15 minutes every couple of days cleaning the pellets will help with that, then it's worth it to me......but everybody is different.
  15. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    seems to me it may just be another toy for our new found hobby? :cheese:
  16. rap69ri

    rap69ri New Member

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    Love the coordinates for location: Wisconsin right?
  17. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    very neat... I wish he went a bit in to more detail in how the attachment to the shop vac was done.
  18. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

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    Use a 3" to 2" rubber pipe adapter. You can find it in the plumbing section of the HD. They have worm gear clamps (radiator style) to tighten them. They come in various sizes so you'll want to get the size for your PVC & vac hose setups. They're usually gray or black rubber.
  19. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    downtown pittsfield baby, about ten miles west of heaven(lambeau field)
  20. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

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    I'd rather buy high quality pellets and not have to deal with that.
  21. natnyer

    natnyer Member

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    What are high quality pellets?
  22. bungalobob

    bungalobob Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I guess I'll be finding out. I just hope its not that bad. But if people are building contraptions, then they are obviously an issue of some sort. As for buying premium pellets, there goes another problem as well. How can you tell what's premium, when all the dealers think that what they are selling are already gold pellets and not wood pellets? And with the demand, your lucky to get what you can and be happy with it. I have three tons for now to get started, 2 tons of the new england brand, and one ton Hamers Hot ones. Hope they are premium, even though I paid less than the premium price they are going for now, only 279.00 each back in June. Well at least I have something to look for when I start burning, and hopefully I don't find too much of them.
  23. gw2kpro

    gw2kpro New Member

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    I've burned 5 full tons and about 10 different brands of pellets (in determining which brands I wanted to buy in bulk) and I have yet to find a bag of pellets with enough "fines" in it to warrant building the above sifter and dumping all my pellets through it. Certainly that doesn't make me an expert on the subject but I'm not a newbie either.

    I did run into 2 bags that got wet and had to throw out about half the pellets in those bags because they had come apart into nothing but sawdust.

    I work with 4 other people that own pellet stoves and none of them have ever had to sift their pellets.

    In my experience, if you take a little care when dumping the pellets into the hopper, the amount of pellet dust that ends up on the stove or in the air is minimal.

    Of course, everyone's experience is different. Maybe some people encounter more fines than I have. If I had to mess around sifting all my pellets using the above practice (typically outside in 0 degree weather) I'd just burn wood.

    Corn, from what I have read, (no experience) is a different story altogether.
  24. gw2kpro

    gw2kpro New Member

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    One other thing regarding pellets:

    There are really only 2 grades of pellets, standard grade and permium grade.

    Virtually any pellet that you see available in bags for retail sale is a premium pellet. Some companies go to great lengths to point out that their pellets are "premium" which they are, company X might just be better than company Y at marketing this fact.

    DO NOT PAY EXTRA FOR A BAG MARKED "PREMIUM". Of course bags marked in this way are going to be good pellets but they are not going to be better, per se, than the next brand, as long as each carries the Pellet Fuels Institute seal on the bags. Look for the PFI stamp on the bag, buy several bags and see how they burn in your stove. If they burn well, then buy a few tons.

    "Standard" grade pellets are typically produced/delivered in bulk for industrial purposes and have a very high ash content, comparatively. They are produced and sold for applications that are designed to handle high ash content, which standard residential pellet stoves are not designed to handle.

    You can find out a lot about pellets at pelletheat.org, the Pellet Fuels Institute's website.
  25. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I have never vacuumed my pellets....tried sifting once(pain in the butt)...my stove dont have the issues with fines like some stoves do. With the Quad Castille I never take out the fines in the bag. Once a month I drain the hopper and try to vacuum bottom of the auger area but nothing is there. :) The auger system on that Quad never has been an issue with the fines on my stove anyway. :)
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