The 64 dollar pellet question is...........

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gbreda

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2009
1,255
Lakes Region, NH
I hope that this makes sense.......homework is done and time to make a decision.

As I have stated before, this will be my first year with a pellet stove. For this year, it will be supplemental heat. Basement placement with as much as I can get upstairs. I keep the house around 55-57 at night and maybe 62-65 during the day when at home. First year to see the outcome. I have locked in to 2.04 for 500 gallons of HHO so this is a good trial/transition year and should be win win in the long run (and finally a warm basement and carpets on the first floor :) ) My home is a modified cape with about 1650 sq ft living space and an unfinished basement.

After alot of reading and a few posts, it seems that buying 2-3 tons of pellets can be a crapshoot, especially in the first year with a new stove. I am 95% going with a Harmon P68 that appears to be able to burn almost anything. The very outside possibility is an Enviro Maxx that appears to burn almost anything as well.

Time is running out to "try a few bags" of this and that as the stove is not in place yet.

I have seen allot about Lignetics being one of the best and would like to try some at a reasonable price. These pellets have enough good posts here that I would feel OK buying a ton to try and possibly 3 if price was right. I am willing to pay a bit more for proven quality. Is there anywhere in Southern NH, ME/Seacoast/Lakes Region that I can get these at a reasonable price?

Other actual options are.......

Next, Lowes has Green Team at 269 before their current sale of increasing discount per ton. Plus the 10% coupon. Plus maybe another 10% to open a charge. There is a thread here on Green Team that has many posts comparing it to Lignetcs with many saying it is better. Any thoughts or pitfalls here? Only downfall I saw was some possibly longer than 2" pellets jamming augers now an then. Is that a problem for either the P68 or the Maxx?

HD has Fireside Premium. Same price/ton and sale as Lowes minus the coupon. Not too much about these particular pellets that I have found.

Local Aubechon in Alton has Energex Softwood and Michigan Hardwood: both at 279/ton until Sept 7. I was told by a local technician that last years Michigan burned very well. Any thoughts on either of these at this price point? I like spending my $$ locally if possible, but are these worth the price?

The new start-up in Barnstead, Lakes Region (please, let's not start in on this again :) ) is available at 240-260/ton. First year, but may be worth to try a ton?

Waiting to hear from another source in Berwick, ME.

There are a few other options around, but pricing and/or poor posts here leave them out.

My $64 question is 1) Whether or not to purchase 2-3 tons of one brand 2) Go with 2 or 3 different types 3) Get a single ton and risk availability and a price hike this winter as well as having to move these to the basement from the garage, though the house and down the stairs instead of having good weather and moving all 2-3 ton around the yard and in the basement door at one time (have the room with a full walkout, not bulkhead: so the easiest option)

Best I have seen for price vs favorable postings are the Green Team at Lowes. If they take the 10 % coupon, I can get 3 tons for $636.3. If I can fenagle another 10% with a new charge account, that would drop to $572.67. That is if they will apply all the discounts.
 

gbreda

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2009
1,255
Lakes Region, NH
Berick ME has given me a few more options. Inferno @ 269/ton and Dragon Mountain (same as Pinnacle Mountain) @ 290/ton. He will also deliver for $40 flat rate to my area.
 

mjbrown

Feeling the Heat
Jan 15, 2008
397
Hartland,Me.
if your basement is unfinished, you may want to consider putting insulation on the concrete walls. if not, you will more than likely be upset and think your stove is not working properly as the concrete is going to suck up alot of the heat... there are lots of posts here about basement installs
 

gbreda

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2009
1,255
Lakes Region, NH
mjbrown65 said:
if your basement is unfinished, you may want to consider putting insulation on the concrete walls. if not, you will more than likely be upset and think your stove is not working properly as the concrete is going to suck up alot of the heat... there are lots of posts here about basement installs

I have seen those posts here and should have included in my post...........

That is not out of the question and an easy enough thing to do. Again trial, error and transition.

Thanks for the tip.
 

gbreda

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2009
1,255
Lakes Region, NH
Hey, my last post made me a Burning Chunk !!!
Is my next stop a Level 4 or 5 Pellet Piglet? :cheese:
 

Stentor

Member
Apr 3, 2009
337
North of Boston, Mass
gbreda said:
Hey, my last post made me a Burning Chunk !!!
Is my next stop a Level 4 or 5 Pellet Piglet? :cheese:

Hey, promotion's fast in this army! ;-)

Seriously, I really like the way you're going about the stove and pellet selection. I think you're covering all the bases and will be able to make a more than good enough choice of pellets. You might want to try a couple of brands with good reputations in these forums. Even if you find out one is a little better than another, you will very probably be OK. For this first year, expect spending a few extra dollars to learn what works best for you. Over time, the added cost in learning (call it tuition) will pay off.

And that suggestion someone had about insulation is worth acting on. Payback there is almost guaranteed.
 

newf lover

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2008
671
Eastern CT
I have a P68, and even though it will supposedly burn anything, I think buying a good quality pellet cuts down on the amount of time you must maintain the stove. My time is worth money. I personally would rather spend a little more for a pellet that has a better reputation for that reason. Just my opinion. I would also seriously consider buying different brands of pellets, just in case there was a sub par batch, or your stove didn't like those pellets. Ask those people who were stuck with 3 or 4 tons of the Maine Wood pellets or Appling that are ready to use them as weight in the back of their trucks instead of burning them.
 

Jester

New Member
Aug 19, 2008
206
Seacoast Massachusetts
Dont rule out pelletsales.com either. Also dont worry about the pellets jamming your auger. Ive got the P38 and I swear if I stuffed a 2x4 in the hopper it woulda fed it in
 

gbreda

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2009
1,255
Lakes Region, NH
Jester: pelletsales.com is actually in the mix, didn't remember to list it

newf lover: Yeah, read about Appling and Maine Woods issues. A place locally has Appling right now and that is one of the ones I staying away from

Stentor: Promotions not withstanding. I just saw the level changes in the Pellet Pig Standings....I'm just a piglet in this army at this point :). But I belive in earning your stripes and ready to pay some tuition as long as it isn't Ivy League.

Seems like a variety may be the way to go.

Anyone ever use Pinnacle or Dragon Mountain (these are British Columbia area brands, I think). Worth 290? I remember a post by macman in another thread saying no pellets are worth 300.

Again, any Lignetics in the area? A Pepsi Challenge of my own between Lignetics and Green Team may be good. Oh yeah, Coke always wins in my house !!!
 

UncleAnthony

Member
Jan 19, 2009
233
Southern Maine
First I must say to all , this forum is excellent ,and i have learned alot from the many knowledgable
posters ( i am a one year newb). Many thanks to all of you.
I have tried many of their recommendations and below is result of me directly testing their inputs.

The p68 or enivromax are great choices. both will heat your entire house, both spec'd i think to 2700 sqft.
i have the maxx and it is great, although the Omega is worth looking at also. The P68 has alot of nice options that the enviromax lacks, so please take a look at that.

green team and lg are some of the best pellets. Tried both and love both. I also tried many of the other
pellets recommended on this site, with basically same results as other posters.

I would not buy maine woods pellets at almost any price ( sure there will be comments bout that, especially from maine woods enthusiasts) . i suffered thru 4 tons of maine woods last year( yes early batch). they say they have an improved pellet now, but for the money and aggravation you will be much happier with almost any other pellet. That being said, if Maine Woods were $1.00 a bag then I would stock up on them !

Maybe a rule of thumb is one ton of any pellet in case you don't like them (except maine woods).

Good luck to you !
 

Stentor

Member
Apr 3, 2009
337
North of Boston, Mass
gbreda said:
........................

Seems like a variety may be the way to go.

Anyone ever use Pinnacle or Dragon Mountain (these are British Columbia area brands, I think). Worth 290? I remember a post by macman in another thread saying no pellets are worth 300.

https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/39493/#425871

gbreda, here's a post on Pinnacle. BTU is a distributor/regional sales guy (I think) for Okanagan, but his comments are well worth reading. I'm no expert but I would guess that Rocky Mountain pellets from Colorado are a lot like the B.C. pellets available here - - similar raw material and probably identical manufacturing process.

What kind of stove you have might make a difference but I don't know the facts. From other posts, it sounds like some stoves are more sensitive than others to the type pellet they are burning.

That price seems a little high even for a very good pellet. Delivery included? Obviously you'd like to find the matching price for the same pellet at another store to make sure the store isn't asking you to boost its margins.

And I would definitely try a little variety at least for this season.
 
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imacman

Guest
gbreda said:
.....Anyone ever use Pinnacle or Dragon Mountain (these are British Columbia area brands, I think). Worth 290? I remember a post by macman in another thread saying no pellets are worth 300.

Again, any Lignetics in the area? A Pepsi Challenge of my own between Lignetics and Green Team may be good.....

yep, I DID say that no pellet is worth $300/ton, and I still stand by that. The fact that you are leaning toward the Harman or the Enviro, both of which will burn most any pellet leads me to think "then why an expensive pellet?"

And besides, the price of pellets has obviously come down in the last month or so. IMO, I'd save some $$ and go with the Green Team....with the discount options you mentioned at Lowes, you should be able to get them for around $225/ton or maybe less......now THAT'S a decent price for pellets.
 

masterswimmer

New Member
Nov 15, 2006
83
Chester, NY
Story.............

July, 2008 I went to HD in Harriman, NY to purchase four tons of Premium Pellets. Not knowing anything about the brand they had (Pennington) I figured $249/ton including delivery made sense to me. I had them bring me four tons.

The burn season for me didn't start until mid-late October. I opened the first bag and it didn't look too bad, although I did see a good number of 2" pellets and some fines towards the top of the bag and more towards the bottom.
Next bag turned into a nightmare for me. The bag was stored underneath the factory tarp and shrink wrapped from HD, since July (it's now mid October). I kept burning the 'good' bags only to find the ash produced from these Pennington Pellets was probably 20% of the bag weight. It was incredible how much ash I had to clean out. This excessive ash was obviously directly related to the amount of fines in the bags. After going to HD to complain about these pellets, the store mgr. was cool. He said he'd look into it with Pennington and get back to me. Another week passes. I go in again and I'm now down to about 1/2 pallet left of these duds (on the first skid....I've got three more skids).

I brought a bag of unopened pellets into HD for them to see what I was going through. I'd say 25% of each bag was full of fines. More fines in one bag than I've ever experienced in 10 bags of any other brand. I was spending two hours every night using a collander to sift the pellets from the fines. When HD saw the fines from this unopened bag I brought them, they agreed on the spot to replace all four tons I bought back in July. No charge for the new delivery. They even gave me a full ton replacement when they only took back about 1/3 of the ton I had left from that first ton. I told them I didn't want the extra bags. They demanded I keep them for the aggravation of having to sift through every bag. They were real nice about it. For this reason alone I'm compelled to at least try them again this year. The replacement pellets they brought were fine.

Thanks for reading. Anyone in Orange County, NY have any other decent places to buy pellets? I've picked up pellets from Tractor Supply in Chester, Chimney Sweep in Middletown and HD in Harriman. Not even sure what prices are this season yet? From the few posts I've read it seems similar to last year. Is that correct?

Thanks for anyones help,
Russ
 

lessoil

Minister of Fire
May 31, 2008
731
Western Maine
gbreda,
Welcome!
Sounds like you are leaving no stone unturned!
This forum is a great place for info/help!

Last Winter was our 1st year burning pellets.
We have a Cape also 24'X32'and ended up going with a Harman P61.

Here are a few things we have learned (so far):
1) Had plans to install in basement but many folks on the forum brought up some good reasons not to.
The cold concrete walls and difficulty getting the heat up 2 floors.
2) There are many discussions on using fans. We tried many combinations of fans: ceiling fans/computer fans.
What worked the best (for us) was to shut all fans off and let the natural flow work.
3) We bought our stove during the "crazy" period last year. Ordered it in May and had it installed in late August.
Thought we wouldn't get it at one point. But, after alot of research, we ended up with the P61 and couldn't be happier.
We also ended up with 4 tons of Athens (Old Style) which gave many people the horrors! The P61 burned them quite
well with excellent heat output. We did give have to give the burn pot a quick wipe 3-4 times/day.
4) Our stove is in the living room and did end up as our main source of heat. We reduced our oil consumption from 900 gal. to 400 gal.
But, in order to keep the upstairs bedrooms at 64, the living room was at 78!(When it was -25F) INSULATION work will be done this Fall.
5) Use this forum!!

Good Luck and enjoy the stove/heat/forum!





Our set up
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Lousyweather

Guest
as someone above stated, the p68 will burn any pellet in good shape......my advice for your first year would be dont micromanage which pellet you'll pick.....they will all burn in that stove, and there wont be a night/day difference in burning......just make sure youre guess about quantity is correct.....
 
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imacman

Guest
masterswimmer said:
.......Anyone in Orange County, NY have any other decent places to buy pellets? I've picked up pellets from Tractor Supply in Chester, Chimney Sweep in Middletown and HD in Harriman. Not even sure what prices are this season yet? From the few posts I've read it seems similar to last year. Is that correct? Thanks for anyones help, Russ

Hey Russ, I'm just up the road from you in New Windsor. I've bought pellets from the Chester TSC. Got Lignetics from them last year, and Premier this year.....both were at good prices w/ their 10% off coupon. The TSC also had Amer. Wood Fiber awhile back, but not sure if they have them still.

Chimney Sweep told me about 3 weeks ago that they had O'Malley's coming in "pretty soon", and that they would be $260/ton.....supposed to be a good pellet.

IMO, the way prices are going, I think paying more than about $260/ton is too much.
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
took the scenic route home from Presque Isle, ME to Lebanon on saturday, (amazing 7.5 hrs driving and still in the same state, try that in any other new england state) noticed a lot of pellets for sale for $250/ton (MWP?) does seem like prices are on the move down.
 

escobarmj

Member
Jul 27, 2008
110
RI
newf lover said:
I have a P68, and even though it will supposedly burn anything, I think buying a good quality pellet cuts down on the amount of time you must maintain the stove. My time is worth money. I personally would rather spend a little more for a pellet that has a better reputation for that reason. Just my opinion. I would also seriously consider buying different brands of pellets, just in case there was a sub par batch, or your stove didn't like those pellets. Ask those people who were stuck with 3 or 4 tons of the Maine Wood pellets or Appling that are ready to use them as weight in the back of their trucks instead of burning them.

I agree. I tried the fireside ultra in my XXV last year. The stove burned it without a problem, but I had to do lots of scraping at the end of the week. I would recommend buying a few bags and trying them first before buying a ton. Althought that may not be practicle if you are trying to buy for the season now.
 
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