What are FINES

bworre71

Member
Nov 2, 2016
32
Auburn, Me. 04210
I have been doing some reading in regards to "FINES" with pellets..... my auger is getting clogged and FINES has been coming up....... how do I know what the FINE is of the pellets I am burning..... what is better a low number or a high one....... so confused and frustrated so I am not sure.....
 

FirepotPete

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2010
682
Titletown U.S.A
I have been doing some reading in regards to "FINES" with pellets..... my auger is getting clogged and FINES has been coming up....... how do I know what the FINE is of the pellets I am burning..... what is better a low number or a high one....... so confused and frustrated so I am not sure.....
Anything that isn't a pellet could be considered FINES. Small pieces of pellets, pellet dust, the things that don't follow the normal path traveling down, or up an auger and can get stuck/build up between the auger and the auger tube. Kind of a generic term I guess but if it's not a pellet I would consider it a FINE.

The less fines you have the better. That's why certain pellets can cause problems in certain stoves. Other stoves will burn anything. My stove has never had any problem with pellet fines or even corn fines/redwings and such. Each stove is different. Pellets that get handled more will have more fines so it's always best to try and find pellets that are still wrapped on the pallet and get them from there.
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,635
Eastern Long Island, NY
Brent, what stove model do you have?

Any pictures of your issues?

Other members with similar issues build simple sifting devices (a big bucket with a screen) to clean the pellets before putting in the hopper.
 
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alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,797
Cape Cod, Ma.
It's a common enough term that Harman puts a box in their stoves called a "Fines Box" to collect it. And it's part of routine maintenance to empty the fines Box ( to which my P61 is over due). Fines are as mentioned , particles of broken pellets, broken down pellets back into sawdust, even small little pieces of pellets, could be some dirt and certainly wood dust.
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,635
Eastern Long Island, NY
With my stove, Enviro M55, the fines just drop into the fire BIGLY!

I think top feed stoves have less issues with fines. The auger design probably settles the rest.

As Firepotpete points out, different brands of pellets have different amounts of fines.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,797
Cape Cod, Ma.
With my stove, Enviro M55, the fines just drop into the fire BIGLY!

I think top feed stoves have less issues with fines. The auger design probably settles the rest.

As Firepotpete points out, different brands of pellets have different amounts of fines.
I can see some validity to that. I've put truly crap and deteriorating pellets into the P61 though and it never hiccuped, I'm sure fines have been burned because I've opened up the fines box to find it totally stuffed. So not all bottom feeders have trouble with fines either. Thus far I've never seen a pellet jam from bridging either. I do need to clean that box though, it's probably stuffed right now. The wife is going out of town tomorrow afternoon, sounds like a good day for that and to tie up some flies .
 

Deezl Smoke

Feeling the Heat
Nov 28, 2015
463
Oregon
Here's just one of many videos on youtube of pellet fines. Keep in mind, thought they are showing and talking about a bulk storage of pellets, the fines and segregation of particle size applies to your stove hopper as well.

Search youtube or even google "pellet fines", and any variation of that you can think of, and you'll be amazed how much info is out there and how to spot faulty info and/or sales pitches.
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
bworre has a Hudson River Westpoint with a problem with clogging. Fines do contribute to jamming problems...but not the only reason for jams
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,797
Cape Cod, Ma.
Speaking of which I cleaned the P61 fines box today and it was stuffed as suspected.

Ya, he could have some long pellets that bridge at the base of the hopper on him or in the gate, causing a log jam effect..
 

bworre71

Member
Nov 2, 2016
32
Auburn, Me. 04210
HI
sorry for coming back so late in the conversation

My Stove is a Hudson River Westpoint and man o man is it picky with what pellets go into it...... If they are too long it jams, if they are too short it jams.... I noticed with the short pellets there are a lot of FINES in the bag...... I finally found the pellets that are just right (the pellets with the moose in rocking chairs on the bag) and all seems to be well again..... the pellet manufacturer is only 45min to a hour away from my house....
 
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