Is my moisture meter accurate?

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
38
Bucks County PA
So this is my first year in a new home and new stove so have to buy some seasoned wood. On my moisture meter most splits are good but man I got some junk mixed in. I have woods behind my house so moving forward I’ll have endless wood. However I just CSS a fallen ash tree. It has been laying since we moved in so over a year. I split it about a month ago. Could it be it’s measuring under 20% already!? I’ve tried on lots of splits. I’ll resplit then test. Could be true or I have cheapie meter. It was a 20$ one on amazon. Then again I have some split cherry that measures mid-high 20s CSS on the same day. Thoughts?
 
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shortys7777

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2017
191
Smithfield, RI
Bring them inside for a full day then measure a new split. Ash might be reading 20% if it has been dead a while.
 

trguitar

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2011
245
Harvard, MA
If the ash was already dead when you cut and split it, then yes, it is possible it is under 20%. Other species like oak would not show this. Make sure you are letting the wood come up to an indoor temp (70 or so), before splitting it and doing the test.
 

thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
12,578
Foothills of The Adirondacks
So this is my first year in a new home and new stove so have to buy some seasoned wood. On my moisture meter most splits are good but man I got some junk mixed in. I have woods behind my house so moving forward I’ll have endless wood. However I just CSS a fallen ash tree. It has been laying since we moved in so over a year. I split it about a month ago. Could it be it’s measuring under 20% already!? I’ve tried on lots of splits. I’ll resplit then test. Could be true or I have cheapie meter. It was a 20$ one on amazon. Then again I have some split cherry that measures mid-high 20s CSS on the same day. Thoughts?
I just tested some sugar maple that has been c/s/s for over three years, my first reading was 10 %, the second reading was 12 and the last reading on the same split was 13. I'm sure if I resplit it the moisture content reading would go up 8 to 10 percent. The wood that I tested had been in the house for a week before we burn it so the moisture content would've been higher when it came in.

I haven't changed the batteries in a few years so I think I'll do that and take another reading.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,582
Central Mass
Burn a load, if its accurate should burn like a champ.
 

ChadMc

New Member
Dec 12, 2019
38
Bucks County PA
Burn a load, if its accurate should burn like a champ.
Here comes the dumb question....cause I’m new to the stove world. How do I know when it “burns like a champ”? My biggest concern is obviously safety and my chimney. What do I look for? Clean glass, no smoke, good heat?
 

thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
12,578
Foothills of The Adirondacks
Here comes the dumb question....cause I’m new to the stove world. How do I know when it “burns like a champ”? My biggest concern is obviously safety and my chimney. What do I look for? Clean glass, no smoke, good heat?
If it's seasoned wood (20 percent or under) it should take off pretty fast but if it isn't seasoned, you'll hear the wood sizzle for a time before it takes off. I'm sure another member can explain it better.

My first year burning, I did a bunch of resplitting so my moisture content in our firewood would drop once it was inside. I think most of my bigger splits measured 28-30 percent before the resplitting but after being inside for about a week it dropped to 23 or 25 percent but most of that was cherry.

I never had a problem with our chimney.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,143
Woolwich nj
Here comes the dumb question....cause I’m new to the stove world. How do I know when it “burns like a champ”? My biggest concern is obviously safety and my chimney. What do I look for? Clean glass, no smoke, good heat?
dry seasoned wood will catch fire easy.. it will burn rapidly, your stove will heat up quickly and there will be no moisture coming out the end grain.. the opposite will be for wetter wood.. it will be hard to get going it will burn slightly and smolder, the stove will be hard to get up to temp and water will come out the endgrain.. the wood will alos hisss..
 
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