Ash question

Dabug

New Member
Oct 21, 2018
15
Monroe County Pa
Been plenty of yrs ago running a harman multi burner never gave ash a second thought. Past winter heating source was oakdale wood insert that needed weekly cleaning. Wife not happy with firewood which made hubby life miserable. Harman accentra 52i tc has replace wood stove so here comes my question. Is ash from cheaper pellets really a issue or is it just because people dont want empty ash pan often? Harman states it'll burn any pellets with no problem. Seeing prices range from $215 to $285, for saving of $70 per ton I could deal with more ash. Correct me is I'm wrong.
 

jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
286
Windham Me
I couldn't tell you because I always burn cheap pellets. But even with the cheapest pellets I only have to empty the ash pan every 4 or 5 days in my Revalli. Not worth it to me to spend $70 or more per ton just to empty the Ash pan less often. And I get plenty of heat out of the cheapies.
 
I've got a Harman P68. When I buy pellets I account for heat output and price but not really ash. Some pellets do involve more emptying and cleaning than others but it does not seem to affect the operation of the stove unless I am behind on the cleaning. It is nice to get a low ash pellet like the Douglas fir but I find they cost way too much.
 

Dataman

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2018
486
Newport, Wa
I never noticed difference between 3 different pellet types. Well except for getting some bags with wet inside from Distributor. My Harmon XXV burned those too after couple days to dry out (open bag). Ash about the same. Empty weekly or so. I dump it in the forest under some lucky pine tree.
 

Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
381
Miller MO
If anything can burn it, a Harman can, but your not just talking about ash in the pan. You burn enough of a dirty burning pellet, you might have to pull it out and clean the flu more than once a year. Price isn’t necessarily the best indicator of pellet quality though. Try a bag of this and that and whatever leaves the smallest amount of ash and lasts the longest or puts out the most heat is your winner.
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
914
South of Boston MA
I buy the Douglas Firs and have so little ash that I empty my pan on my Accentra once a year. I do not enjoy cleaning the stove as often as needed with cheap pellets, my weekly clean is now every 2-3 weeks and my monthly is 6-8 weeks.
 

Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
381
Miller MO
I buy the Douglas Firs and have so little ash that I empty my pan on my Accentra once a year. I do not enjoy cleaning the stove as often as needed with cheap pellets, my weekly clean is now every 2-3 weeks and my monthly is 6-8 weeks.
Ya, that’s not good for it.
 

jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
286
Windham Me
I buy the Douglas Firs and have so little ash that I empty my pan on my Accentra once a year. I do not enjoy cleaning the stove as often as needed with cheap pellets, my weekly clean is now every 2-3 weeks and my monthly is 6-8 weeks.
How many ton do you burn a season
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
914
South of Boston MA

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
914
South of Boston MA

jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
286
Windham Me
When people say how much ash they really have they need to say how many 40lb bags that equates to. Ash directly relates to how much your putting through your stove. When someone says he cleans his ash once a season, I don't think he's burning 24/7 like I am.
 
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Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
381
Miller MO
I would love to know your theory behind your statement.
The less often you empty your ash pan the more ash is being blown around your exhaust system, and if you are only emptying the pan once a year I would assume that you aren’t doing any of the other routine maintenance on a more regular basis, such as cleaning under your burn pot, behind your baffles, and under and behind your ash pan. If you have an Accenture FS, you have an exhaust port directly behind your ash pan that needs to be cleaned around at least monthly. If it’s the insert there is one on each side that needs to be snaked monthly as well. The more ash gets blown back into your exhaust the more likely you are to create overfire temperatures in your firebox and that’s when things start cracking.
 

sandpipe

Member
Feb 24, 2010
165
Massachusetts
I never found a direct correlation between btu's and amount of ash but I do know that a high ash pellet is a pain in the ass in the dead of winter when the amount of ash-pan dumping and stove cleaning can be 2-3 times more frequent than with a comparable low ash pellet. I usually buy HD or TSC pellets after making sure to test them first for amount of ash, heat output, and quantity of fines per bag. In the past several years of pellet usage I've seen a range of big box pellets from mediocre to phenomenal. Most of the time they are between these two extremes. I think with careful pre-testing before making a multi-ton purchase from a big-box the best value for pellets is attainable going this route.
 

jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
286
Windham Me
I never found a direct correlation between btu's and amount of ash but I do know that a high ash pellet is a pain in the ass in the dead of winter when the amount of ash-pan dumping and stove cleaning can be 2-3 times more frequent than with a comparable low ash pellet. I usually buy HD or TSC pellets after making sure to test them first for amount of ash, heat output, and quantity of fines per bag. In the past several years of pellet usage I've seen a range of big box pellets from mediocre to phenomenal. Most of the time they are between these two extremes. I think with careful pre-testing before making a multi-ton purchase from a big-box the best value for pellets is attainable going this route.
I just vacuume my ashes into into my ashvac and empty it once a season maybe two at the most
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
914
South of Boston MA
The less often you empty your ash pan the more ash is being blown around your exhaust system, and if you are only emptying the pan once a year I would assume that you aren’t doing any of the other routine maintenance on a more regular basis, such as cleaning under your burn pot, behind your baffles, and under and behind your ash pan. If you have an Accenture FS, you have an exhaust port directly behind your ash pan that needs to be cleaned around at least monthly. If it’s the insert there is one on each side that needs to be snaked monthly as well. The more ash gets blown back into your exhaust the more likely you are to create overfire temperatures in your firebox and that’s when things start cracking.
I burn Douglas Firs that produce next to nothing for ash, my kids are in my main house and burn a lower grade pellet (they can’t justify spending $390 a ton) and NEED to clean their stove weekly.I just had all 3 stoves (they all burn 24/7) professionally cleaned and serviced and my stove was spotless compared to the other two. I have been burning since 1998 and know my way around a stove, my not needing to clean/empty is a product of two things; Pellet quality and a Large ash pan.
 

Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
381
Miller MO
I burn Douglas Firs that produce next to nothing for ash, my kids are in my main house and burn a lower grade pellet (they can’t justify spending $390 a ton) and NEED to clean their stove weekly.I just had all 3 stoves (they all burn 24/7) professionally cleaned and serviced and my stove was spotless compared to the other two. I have been burning since 1998 and know my way around a stove, my not needing to clean/empty is a product of two things; Pellet quality and a Large ash pan.
Good for you. I was just offering what knowledge of pellet stove maintenance that I’ve picked up from factory trainings and working on 600-1000 pellet stoves and inserts a year, but if you think we should tell the op to only empty his ash pan annually, then I guess I’ll defer to your expertise.
 

Dabug

New Member
Oct 21, 2018
15
Monroe County Pa
I never found a direct correlation between btu's and amount of ash but I do know that a high ash pellet is a pain in the ass in the dead of winter when the amount of ash-pan dumping and stove cleaning can be 2-3 times more frequent than with a comparable low ash pellet. I usually buy HD or TSC pellets after making sure to test them first for amount of ash, heat output, and quantity of fines per bag. In the past several years of pellet usage I've seen a range of big box pellets from mediocre to phenomenal. Most of the time they are between these two extremes. I think with careful pre-testing before making a multi-ton purchase from a big-box the best value for pellets is attainable going this route.
Only problem with pre testing is having pellets in middle of winter when pellets are hard to find.
 

Dataman

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2018
486
Newport, Wa
Plus paying delivery charge for each delivery. I just will order 4-5 tons and be done with it. I used Idaho Energy last year and they were great. I have almost full ton left over from last year.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Firs will cost an average of 100.00 more a ton if you live on the east coast like we do..
I don't think that is a lot of money for something you will use all winter [as opposed to a 100.00 dinner that's gone in a few hours, tickets to one pro football or baseball game etc.. u get my meaning....].
I have a harman P61A with I assume the largest ash pan around but got tired of the box store pellets and the mega ash it spews all thruout the stove.
me thinks it's a good investment all around... plus the blazeing heat is a plus..:cool:
 

Dataman

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2018
486
Newport, Wa
North Idaho is 175 per ton if you go get them. But don't want to play haul em home. Gave up my 1 Ton PU for Jeep Rubicon this spring
 

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jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
286
Windham Me
Okay just might be a stupid question but what makes one pellet brand better than another the manufacturing process or the wood?
 

Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
381
Miller MO
Okay just might be a stupid question but what makes one pellet brand better than another the manufacturing process or the wood?
Both. Pellet length can cause problems with your feed system. Too long and they cause jams. Too short they tend to have more dust and can degrade more rapidly. The type of binder being used is also a factor. What wood the pellets are made out of is the main factor in how hot and clean they burn.