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Truth about pellets please

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Enviro Mini Owner, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    I am having an Enviro Mini A installed on Monday and have learned that the choice of Pellet is important, or is that just a sales pitch. I see on this site that people are happy with pellets from Lowes while I hear others say the pellets are garbage. The nearest pellet distributor is an hour away and the delivery costs of a ton adds about $80. The next place is 2 hours away. Lowes is a lot closer than both. I am picking up bags of different pellets to try how well they work in the Mini, but any advice would be appreciated.

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  2. Cooper

    Cooper New Member

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    Nov 13, 2011
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    Loc:
    Wilmington,Ma
    Welcome to the site!
    Try out a few bags and see how they work for you!
    Its all batch specific with random wood sources its really hit or miss unless you shell out the $ for a brand thats more consistent!
  3. Bob Sorjanen

    Bob Sorjanen Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
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    154
    Loc:
    Edgecomb Maine
    Welcome to the forum
    Pellet choices are important. It all comes down to what your setup likes the best. Everyone likes different things. I personally would get a few bags of whatever is available to you and try them. Then what ever ones you like buy a ton of those.
  4. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northern MA
    You need to call your local Lowes and find out what they carry. Where are you located? I am in Massachusetts and Lowes near me carry Green Supremes which kinda suck and Greene Teams which are quite good.

    Call Home Depot too. Get the list together and chuck it back on here for opinions. But as others have said, one man's pellet trash may be another man's pellet treasure. Try a few bags before committing to a ton, no matter what you buy.
  5. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Welcome to the forum.

    Yes, there are good & bad pellets. Post a list of all the ones close enough to you that you'd consider driving to get
    (or get delivered), and we can give you an idea of which ones to even bother buying.
    Post the per ton price too.

    Then, go get 3-4 bags of each brand for test burning after stove gets installed. Every stove and install is different....some pellets that work great for one person with the exact same stove might not be as good for you, and vice-versa.
  6. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
  7. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    Thank you all for your replies. At the distant sites, pellets available are New England Wood Pellets, Okemagen (sp?), Spruce Point, American Wood Fibre, and Black Hill. Home Depot has Stove Chow (ridiculous name). Lowes has Northern Wood Pellets. My location is East hampton, Long Island, NY.
  8. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    South of Boston MA
    If you want to stay close and cheap go with the Stove Chow. if you opt for the distant sites you'll pay but get a good pellet in the Okies,Spruce Point, or the Okie Black Hill. I do not know about American Wood Fibre and would personally stay away from the New England Wood Pellets.

    This is just me, you results may vary!
  9. Gary Gileau

    Gary Gileau Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
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    Loc:
    Griswold CT
    All of the replies are correct, try a few bags of each. I like to get 5 or 6 of each. New England Wood pellets are the Same as Green Supreme, or so I'm told. I bought an inexpensive Rutland magnetic stove thermometer to put on the front of the stove. It is not exact but gives a good indication of what the different pellets are putting out for heat. I've seen 75 - 100 degree difference between pellets. Do a little research and a little testing, it's half the fun!!!!
  10. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
    what premium brand did someone post about (with pics) is it that had at least one batch this year with ridiculous amounts of fines?

    one of the basically universally loved brands iirc.

    no reason not to buy that brand. but a good reason to try a few bags before committing to several tons (says the guy who has only ever bought several tons. first time being sight unseen)
    Gary Gileau likes this.
  11. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I agree w/ fmsm.

    If you see Green Supreme, stay away from those too (just rebagged New Englands). The American Wood Fibre (aka AWF) have burned good for me in previous years, but I haven't had any to try since winter of 10-11. Worth buying some for test burning, though.
  12. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Lakes Region, NH
    Welcome to the forum and enjoy the heat !

    All above replies are good.I agree with imacman in trying some Stove Chow at the budget price. The Green Supreme, New England Wood Pellet are OK at best and IMO would not hold up well in this cold weather. If Home Depot happens to have Fireside Ultra, grab some of those to try as they have burned really well this year.
  13. Cranky64

    Cranky64 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Maryland
    Pellets are a crap shoot at best. We are into our 3rd year and many tons. I have a 3000 foot house with 2 heat pumps (A/C). We leave them off all winter but since it is just 2 of us we can close doors. I have seen posters here say they like brands I don't and vise versa. I think it is a variable on many factors. This year I had lasy years leftover AWF that were crap from HD, then must have been mishandled because they were full of fines. I then bought a ton of Lowes Press to Log that burn ok but ash up a lot, I then grabbed 4 bags each from a local True Value of Lignetics and Hamer's out of the 2 Hamers won so I got a ton of them. As what has been said buy and try a few bags. I find 4 a good number this will give me a good 2 days burn and a good read on how they will turn out.
    Xena and St_Earl like this.
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    Welcome to pellet land.

    Beware of low flying pellet pigs and buying large quantities of any pellet without trying them in your system first, as both can really hurt. One physically and the other both physically and mentally.
  15. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
  16. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Hi mini owner- good choice of stove but stove pellet quality and length is important on your stove most minis do not like long pellets leads to inconsistent feed and flame on 1 and 2 settings.. I'd buy the best quality pellet you can- can't go wrong with Okanagans, Clean fire,clear choice, Vermonts, Hamer's hot ones (make sure they were made in West VA..) there are other good ones too. If you have a lot of ash, blackened pellets or clinker issues with that stove- change pellets. Depending on your install, your air damper on side of stove should be out very little (around 1/2 inch typical of new stove), make sure ashpan is seated correctly, burnpot is seated properly. You do all that, you will like the little mini- For your climate on LI, should be good for about 600-1000 sqft. Welcome to the forum too.

    Stovelark
    Enviro EF3 FS pellet
    Enviro Empress FPI AC pellet
    Enviro Kodiak 1700 FS wood, cruising at 500 degrees as we type...
  17. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    meh...my stove eats em all......the single best thing you can do to maximize your heat output is to KEEP THE STOVE CLEAN!
    harryfatcat likes this.
  18. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    X2!
  19. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    Torrington, CT
    Awww what the hell. As long as your pellets proudly boast the continuously-credible PFI logo on them you're sure to have some sweet premiums....Right?
    No worries....They've gotcha covered ;)
  20. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Welcome...Listen to the pellet masters (As I do) and you will have warmth!
  21. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    In comparing one bag of pellets against another, I intend to check temperature and amount of ash. What else should I look for?
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Density.
  23. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

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    East Hampton, NY
    Excellent. Thank you.
  24. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Albany (ish)
    Ditto. I am somewhat surprised at the heat difference between pellet x and pellet y.
  25. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    NE Pa
    When comparing pellets, I check temperatures and also try to compare feed rates by timing how many hours a bag lasts on a given stove setting. I few weeks ago I had some Cheat River pellets that were as hot as Barefoots. The Cheat River bag was gone in 8 hours on the highest setting, where Barefoots will go 9+ hours. This way I can compare price against the time to do an Apples-Apples comparison.
    I don't do this very often because it's a pain: beginning it with a near-empty hopper and running the stove on the same setting for the duration. Instead of using a full bag, I guess I could just fill the hopper to a certain level...

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