Using pellets in a fireplace insert?

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Supersurvey

Burning Hunk
Jan 25, 2015
188
New Jersey
Does anyone have experience burning pellets in an insert. I once saw some type of rack that could be used. I was thinking for use as an emergency backup. Would I be able to get a longer burn time compared to wood? I cantseem to get more Than 5 hours.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
I have the Pelletier pellet basket. Bought it a few years ago out of curiosity. Hold 14 pounds of pellets and gives around a three hour burn. Hard to refill when that burns down and the smoldering pellets in the basket while you have the door open reloading it smell to high heaven.

Makes for a beautiful fire for a little while though. But an electric heater is cheaper to run that it is and a darn sight easier.
 

skysong

New Member
Oct 13, 2014
31
Columbus, Ohio
Last year I had some pretty wet wood and I tried these Pellet cages I found on ebay... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Repose-Reusable-wood-pellet-fire-logs-Welded-stainless-steal-mesh-cages-/111322804628 I would fill one and put it in the middle of the wood. Made my wood burnable, but they are tedious and messy to use. I had to fish the empty cages out with a long camping skewer and refill. Then I found eco bricks locally and tried a few packages. I was sold...next day I ordered a supply. I use them to augment my wood... 2 bricks to a couple large splits or so. They run about the same price as my wood and it is a lot less space and wood handling for me. They do give a punch of intense heat, so start small if you try.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Why messing around with those small pellets when you can buy the artificial logs like Envi-blocks, BioBricks etc.? They are not more expensive, let you fill the stove better, give you a more sustained burn, and stack more easily in your basement.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Maybe because you are in a place like I am where pellets are available all over the place and the nearest place for the logs or bricks is 90 miles away?
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
And the bricks and logs are almost twice the price per BTU equivalent.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
And the bricks and logs are almost twice the price per BTU equivalent.
Twice the price? Maybe when you buy them in single packs like the firewood bundles in the grocery store. A ton of them at our local hardware stores was $275 to $315 the last time I saw them. Essentially the same as buying a ton of pellets.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Ton of pellets, as in the two tons in my basement, was $185 a ton picked up. Divide $185 by $315.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Certainly not here. Cheapest ones I ever saw (I think was even the winter before) was $240. Since I don't burn pellets (and check the blocks more out of curiosity) I have not taken a look this year.

P.S. And what do those half the price BTU help you when you send twice as many up the stack due to their rapid burn rate?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,707
central pa
The prices are pretty comparable here pellets are 220 or so a ton bricks 240 to 280.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Certainly not here. Cheapest ones I ever saw (I think was even the winter before) was $240. Since I don't burn pellets (and check the blocks more out of curiosity) I have not taken a look this year.

P.S. And what do those half the price BTU help you when you send twice as many up the stack due to their rapid burn rate?
Not an issue. The pellets in the basket burn slow. Ya just can't put the amount of pellets in the stove that you you can cord wood or bricks.

Speak to what you have actually done for a change Grisu.
 
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Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
I actually tried them once although without the basket. One of the few times I actually came close to an overfire. Probably put not enough in to really test the burn time but still would doubt that I get an easy 8+ hours out of them as I had done with the Envi-blocks.

When stove manufacturers would have designed their stoves to be run with pellets why make a separate line of pellet stoves then?

Upset that the Patriots won or that people generally find my posts helpful? (Since you feel the need to get personal.) I'll continue celebrating. :p
 
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OhioBurner©

Minister of Fire
Aug 20, 2010
1,525
Center of Ohio
Prices are variable and all over the board. Some places you can't get pellets for under $300/ton. Some places you can't get firewood for less than that either. I paid around $250/ton for decent ones at the beginning of the season now the prices for junk ones are higher. Eco Bricks I bought a ton at tractor supply, normally $335/ton so more expensive than pellets. But occasionally go on sale for $289/ton. Well someone on here mentioned some other places that had them much cheaper, so I checked other local distributors. Found one that was $210/ton!!! Wow can't believe TSC marks them up that much. Not local, but this weekend I happened to be in that neighborhood and put 2 tons on the back of the truck. Should allow my dwindling wood pile last through spring. And they burn great. ;)
 

Jerry_NJ

Minister of Fire
Apr 19, 2008
1,055
New Jersey USA
i've tried the bricks from Tractor Supply and find them usable, but not as good as seasoned hard wood, even seasoned white pine. But, when I have to buy firewood and haven't in 4 years (I have a large property with both hard and soft wood that comes down a few at a time)
i think I'd go more for the bricks and cut back use to emergency heat. My geothermal heat pump produces heat at lower cost than hardwood that cost over $200 a ton...and boy the hp is a lot easier and CLEAN.
 

OhioBurner©

Minister of Fire
Aug 20, 2010
1,525
Center of Ohio
i've tried the bricks from Tractor Supply and find them usable, but not as good as seasoned hard wood, even seasoned white pine. But, when I have to buy firewood and haven't in 4 years (I have a large property with both hard and soft wood that comes down a few at a time)
i think I'd go more for the bricks and cut back use to emergency heat. My geothermal heat pump produces heat at lower cost than hardwood that cost over $200 a ton...and boy the hp is a lot easier and CLEAN.
I am pretty surprised how well they are burning for me, and I get much longer burn times with bricks than ash (all I have right now is ash firewood). Best results mixing 50/50 or slightly more bricks. Got 12hr burns, where ash alone barely gives me 8 and that's a stretch. For the first time ever I've been getting up in the mornings, stirring the coals up, opening the air a bit and letting it raise back up in the 400's and burn another couple hours. No heat pump here unfortunately, just propane, and the tanks been empty for about a year so space heaters are my backup.
 
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