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You Tell Me Who Is Worse

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Stump_Branch, Feb 4, 2011.

?

Who is worse in your eyes?

  1. Oil Man

    39.4%
  2. Propane Man

    41.5%
  3. Power Company

    6.4%
  4. Wood Monger

    9.6%
  5. I am self sufficent

    3.2%
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  1. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    If you check out my wood drying thread, you can see the results of burning wood that was in the 29% MC range in my Vigilant. Same fire as in my avatar. No mixing with seasoned wood, just straight black birch at about 29% MC right from startup. If these results aren't convincing enough, you're an infinitely better burner than I am.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/67839/P66/

    BTW, if you are measuring the moisture content of your firewood with a resistance-type moisture meter, you are already at 20% water by weight when the meter reads 25% MC. 20% water by weight has been the standard for defining seasoned wood for as long as I can remember, and is at the high end of the EPA test loads used to evaluate emissions in modern stoves.

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  2. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,622
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    Thanks, BK. I won't feel so badly about stealing from next years stack now.

    <<<<BTW, if you are measuring the moisture content of your firewood with a resistance-type moisture meter, you are already at 20% water by weight when the meter reads 25% MC. .>>

    I usually remember to allow for that 5% error margin. Thanks!
  3. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,732
    Loc:
    Just Outside the Blue Line
    Not to beat a dead cat... er, horse... uh, some kind of deceased animal, it's not a consistent 5%, nor is it an actual error. It's just two very different ways of expressing MC. The lumber industry has traditionally used the dry-basis computation, while the solid fuel industry has traditionally used the moist or wet-basis computation. It's only 5% difference at 25% on the meter. At 33% on the meter, the water weight is 25% of the total - 8% difference. 50% MC on the meter (if they actually read that high ) would be 33% water by weight - a 17% difference. At the other end, a reading of 5% MC on the meter would be about 4.76% water by weight, which is rounded off to... well, 5%.

    If you go back and look at the MC charts on that thread, you can see that the difference between the two methods is less and less the drier the wood gets, as evidenced by the way the two lines get progressively closer to each other as the wood continues to dry down.

    As far as the marginal wood, it will burn both hot and clean in your stove, but you really have to have a hot fire to get it to do so. Otherwise, it will sit and smolder all night long. Give it extra air as well, not necessarily wide open (because that can actually cool the fire), but more air than you have become accustomed to using. In short, enough air to keep active flames going. You will get somewhat lower temps no matter what you do, but a 600ºF stove top temp will be possible to maintain with your Vigilant using wood that is 30% MC on the meter. Not ideal, but you will stay warm.
  4. Huskyforlife

    Huskyforlife Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Oil is very expensive. At current prices it would be almost $2000 a winter to heat my house with my old boiler. Fortunately I have the stove and now only use the oil for hot water (have an indirect tank), which allows me to buy oil COD and in the summers when it is cheaper. I did consider getting an electric heat pump water heater as a replacement and shutting down the boiler completely but because the electricity is so expensive in CT ($0.15 a kW for me) it wouldn't be worth it. What will be worth it is when I get the time and spare cash to build a closed loop solar hot water system. That should pay back within a couple years.

    As for wood, I did buy some this year, but it was in green log lengths from a local tree company, about $70 a cord. I was willing to put the time into cutting, splitting and seasoning it myself. The tree company was happy for someone to pay to take it off their hands. They loaded up their truck pretty good and gave me more than I paid for. It has been taking me awhile to process but that's because I bought a couple years worth to get ahead. Seems to me getting ahead is the way to go so you aren't paying top dollar for "seasoned" wood that is not.
  5. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    Loc:
    Northeast
    What more needs to be known beyond the fact that we are and have been in a serious economic recession, and last quarter the almighty Exxon Mobil set another record for earnings. Anyone that uses Exxon for fuel is "fueling the f*****g of America" by this industry. They have us by the short hairs and we do nothing to stop it. I refuse to pull into their stations. Just as I refuse to return to a station where the fellow in the turbin is not respectful enough to say thank you as I pay out the nose for gasoline.
  6. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    N.E. PA.
    Never dealt with the oilman, cut my own wood, My electric use went from 1100KWH in 2002 to 800KWH per mo. but the bill went up 40% over the same time period so no win there.
    Propane is a different story. I finished the attached garage and converted to a rec. room for the hot tub. Installed a vent free 30,000 btu wall mount propane heater to warm things up a little. Gas co. installed a 100 gallon tank and said I need to use I full tank a year to avoid extra charges. that didn't quite happen. They called one day and said they are swithching tanks, went to the old style, tall, 28 gallon tank. the day they switched it they estimated the remaining gas in the larger tank and said I would get credit. Was at 50%. When I started the service they said they can't move a tank more than 10% full, but, they came and picked up a 50% tank, no problem. Until last month they were bringing fuel every other month sometimes only delivering 12 gallons or so and they tack on a $4.40 charge "used to pay for sefety training of delivery folks". I have no problem paying for safety training but not on a 12 gallon delivery so we said we will call when we need a refill, got 20 gallons the other day, $100.11., $4.78 a gallon.
    I understand my low useage warrant a higher price, but $2.00 a gallon?

    I'm thinking there is a point where I can pay the same and have almost twice the heat by increasing consumption enough to have the larger tank reinstalled, and paying less per gallon.

    Any body else know a cheaper alternative? Not sure what I would pay if I bought my own tank and hauled to get refilled. Probably close to $4 bucks anyway.
  7. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Loc:
    South Central Alabama
    Hmm, your post make start wondering about something...

    Scenario.... A new, uneducated wood burner that just had a new wood stove installed purchases a load of "seasoned" firewood from a seller that advertised the wood as seasoned and ready to burn. The buyer goes on the seller's word and starts struggling to burn the wood, but burns it non-the-less. It's cold and the customer is happy to have the "cheap" heat of the stove going. He notices his stove's (bad) performance gets a bit worse in a week or three...not as much heat as it put out to begin, the wood is getting harder to burn, and he noticed just the other day a drip of something brown that came from around the seam of the stove pipe in the back of the stove. Then one night while watching American Idol he starts to hear a tinkling sound in the chimney (is that sleigh bells and Santa Claus is coming?) and about that time he starts hearing a roar. The next thing is a hot metal smell and smoke starts filling the house. Fill in the rest of the story as you wish...

    Ok, would the firewood seller be possibly liable in the fact that he sold the wood as "seasoned, ready to burn" and this uneducated newbie wood burner took him at his word? False advertising with possibly catastrophic results? Just thinking...

    Ed
  8. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,844
    Loc:
    mid-ohio via St.Croix USVI
    I think my electric is very reasonable co-op
    propane is only used for our gas cooktop in the kitchen
    fill up the small 3 foot dia x 4 foot tall tank every five years
    not sure of gallon rating
    also occasionally run the propane fireplace off the same tank
    propane company hates me and charges yearly usage charges
    which I can understand to a point the last fill up was only 235.00
    so I filled it up 5 years ago cant remember how much
    charge me 75 a year usage, so its reasonable
    they wont sell me the tank and want to charge me to pump it down and pick it up
    so its easier to leave it there as is
  9. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    762
    I have seven saws and had to buy wood too. Some times the quality of wood is better than what I could bring in. Anyhow I dislike the power co. I see the rates going up just a smidge every year. We have not had a bill less than 200 in a long time and that is high for us.
  10. ddug

    ddug New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    SW New Mexico
    Called the propane dude the other day because I smelled gas leaking from a connection they made on my tank install. He thanked me for the notice and said he would send someone right out. Great- except for the $100 repair bill. I called the next day and tactfully questioned whether or not I should be responsible for the bill. The manager grudgingly agreed to drop the bill, but then proceeded to call me a *rick! I made it a point to remain calm and polite but he was losing it and said that maybe he ought to come out and get the tank when it was empty. At this point it was no longer about the money, which I never refused to pay, so I said "Come and get it!". I'll figure something out.

    At least with wood you can control your own destiny.
  11. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Loc:
    South Central Alabama
    Did you purchase the tank? If so, and it was a new install then it shouldn't be on you. Down, the road...yes. Now, if you are renting then they should take responsibility for a tank/hookup malfunction *and* replace the LPG for you. We had a leak in a "rented" tank at church...the company repaired the leak and replaced 100 gallons of LPG. I had an extra 250 gallon tank that we've since replaced the rented one with so any repair/loss will now be on us....we get to shop propane prices now, though (which we've found to vary by as much as 75-cents between different sellers).

    I agree, with a source of wood and the ability to process it, a person is in much better control of large part of their energy needs.

    Ed
  12. ddug

    ddug New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    SW New Mexico
    We are leasing the tank. First time anything like this has happened so I wasn't sure whose responsibility it was, but it seemed to me like they should take care of it. I called the other propane suppliers and inquired into setup charges and asked specifically who was responsible for line maintenance. They all said they were.
  13. sixman

    sixman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    257
    Loc:
    Central Texas
    I stopped renting the propane tank for $75 bucks a year a long time ago. You can pick up used tanks at most farm sales and sometimes see them elsewhere. The most you should pay is about a dollar a gallon ie: 250 gallon tank should not run more than $250. We have an extra 500 and 250 gallon tank not being used. The one I bought had a wet line so that I could refill my own BBQ grill bottles. I have since plumbed the grill to the main tank and don't use the small bottles anymore.
  14. fran35

    fran35 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Loc:
    PA
    In my experience, any leaks/etc on a leased tank were the company's expense
  15. learningasigoalong

    learningasigoalong New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Up here in southern NH oil is the worst. Pretty much running neck and neck with a gallon of milk. I don't need calcium, I need cheap heat.
  16. chuckie5fingers

    chuckie5fingers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Loc:
    60 S. of Chicago
    paul, you hit it on the head!!!
    no body complains (except me) about paying $2 for a liter of water.
    Better off from the tap with a britta or a berkley anyway
    chuck
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,322
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Since this poll is from February 2011, I'd say the votes are all pretty much long since in. Rick
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