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Old 08-30-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Wood pellets?

We just purchased a used nearly new pellet insert stove. Owner demoed, and stove throws off lot's of heat !

Stove has only had 5 bags of pellets burned in it, then origianl owner decided he wanted a larger one,with more output, Harmon size !
Stove insert is a Napolean NPI-45.

Any suggestions on the type of wood pellet is best to burn ?
Lot of factors to consider: ash content, moisture content, , as well as options of hardwood, softwood, or a mix?

I was told by many that a pellet with ash content less than 1% is best to control ash and klunkers. Also that a softewood burns hotter, but burns quickly, whereas hardwood pellets will give you a longer burn.

Have found pellets at Tractor Supply Co., that are <1% ash, low mositure, and 80% (hardwood)/ 20% (softwood), at a great price !

This is a our first pellet stove as is all very confusing.....

Thanks for your suggestions !

Bigdog
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:58 PM   #2
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We have had the same model for over six years, and is a decent stove. We have replaced minor items like the igniter a couple of times and the burning pot needs replacing this year, but it had been pretty solid and paid for itself the first year.

I get hardwood pellets if I can - less ash, but if there are pellet shortages, you buy what you can get. Buy early to be safe and to get the best prices. Last year everywhere was sold out by mid winter and word is that there will be shortages again this year.

I clean the ash out about every 4 or 5 days. Daily when I add a bag of pellets, I also clean out the burning pot by tipping it into the ash pan.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:18 AM   #3
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I've had a Harmon stove for about 8 years.

At first I was always trying to find the "best" pellets. Now I just dump whatever into it and it works fine. Ours is for supplemental, not primary, heating and I haven't noticed huge variances from one brand/kind to another. I do stick with hardwood pellets, but beyond that don't get caught up in the details.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brk-lnt View Post
I've had a Harmon stove for about 8 years.

At first I was always trying to find the "best" pellets. Now I just dump whatever into it and it works fine. Ours is for supplemental, not primary, heating and I haven't noticed huge variances from one brand/kind to another. I do stick with hardwood pellets, but beyond that don't get caught up in the details.
I agree with one exception, stay away from Geneva pellets, they are terrible. What brand does Tractor Supply sell and how much?
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:06 AM   #5
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Blends are fine and the best pellets we ever had were softwood, higher heat output in BTUs per pound due to the resins.

Initially, as a long term wood burner, I was under the impressionism that softwood should be avoided. However unlike cord wood, pellets are dry compressed cellulose sold by the lb. So BTU/lb is what counts. Beyond that ash % and trace minerals that cause "clinkers" are considerations especially in top feed stoves. Not really an issue in our bottom feed Harman.

My best advice is to try 2 bags prior to buying a ton or several. As the raw material input is variable even for the same brand, last year's winner may be this years dog.

Some info here:http://www.pelletheat.com/for-consum...sumer-faq.html
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Question: Are hardwood pellets better than softwood pellets?

Answer: Top quality pellets can be made from either hardwood or softwood. Hardwood logs are drier than softwood logs and the low moisture contents result in a cleaner, hotter burn. However, in the manufacturing process the moisture content for all types of wood is reduced to 3-4% leaving only cellulose (the wood fiber itself), lignin (a component of wood cell walls), and resins. Cellulose has the same heating value, whether originating in hardwood or softwood form. Resin has a higher heating value than cellulose and the resin content in softwood is higher than is found in hardwood. As a result, softwood pellets tend to burn hotter, and faster. The main factor that impacts the quality of a wood pellet is the ash content. Low ash is a result of using clean wood (no bark, dirt etc.) and a quality manufacturing process, not the type of wood used.
Quote:
Question: I have heard a lot about clinkers. What causes them?

Answer: Clinkers are heavy ash deposits formed from “trace minerals”. They are usually caused by insufficient airflow resulting in incomplete combustion. This can occur even in the highest quality pellet. Again, make sure your stove is cleaned regularly to allow for proper airflow.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:21 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your feedback, especially 'Hig' whos owns the same model pellet stove....

Not sure of Tractor Supply brand, they seem to be selling their own private brand...... See here: http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/stor...-pellets-40-lb

No details given except on bag as noted previously.

After doing so additional research, going to try Maine Woods and New England Hardwood brands. They have good rating, reviews, and priced resonable. Will buy a few bags of each before buying by a ton!

Forecast I heard for this winter, was 'colder' than avg. but less snow.

Thanks again everyone !
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
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Bigdog
As I told you before, join the forum at Hearth.com, the Pellet Mill and you won't be disappointed. Thousands of threads and posts to answer your every question. I've been a pellet burner for 18 years. Tractor Supply carries a house pellet made by Maine Wood Pellet MWP. Very good pellet for the money.

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Old 09-09-2014, 08:59 PM   #8
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Default Wood pellets?

After some long research and not wanting to be late with my initial pellet purchase I have decided to buy some 'New England Wood Pellets".
http://www.pelletheat.com/products-a...-products.html

I have heard nothing but positive feedback about these pellets, from Forums and stove dealers.

Also called Napolean customer service and they basically, the stove can burn hardwood or softwod if it meets the following P.F.I. pellet stadards for my stove as follows:
* Size 1/4" to 5/16" diameter, 1/2" - 1 1/2" long maximum
* Ash Content 1% maximum (Premium grade) / 3% maximum (Standard grade)
* Moisture Content 8% maximum
* Heat Content Approximately 8200 BTU per pound minimum

That said N.E. Wood Pellets fits the bill !

Thanks,
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
After some long research and not wanting to be late with my initial pellet purchase I have decided to buy some 'New England Wood Pellets".
http://www.pelletheat.com/products-a...-products.html

I have heard nothing but positive feedback about these pellets, from Forums and stove dealers.

Also called Napolean customer service and they basically, the stove can burn hardwood or softwod if it meets the following P.F.I. pellet stadards for my stove as follows:
* Size 1/4" to 5/16" diameter, 1/2" - 1 1/2" long maximum
* Ash Content 1% maximum (Premium grade) / 3% maximum (Standard grade)
* Moisture Content 8% maximum
* Heat Content Approximately 8200 BTU per pound minimum

That said N.E. Wood Pellets fits the bill !

Thanks,
Bigdog
Welcome to the pellet world. There is a substantial learning curve in pellet burning but having said that, you will come to enjoy the heat these units throw. There are several members here that have stoves. I have two Harmans. Do yourself a favor and try many different pellets. You'll find one or two brands that burn better in your Napolean than others. NEWP are manufactured in Jaffrey NH and are considered a decent pellet. Not the best and not the worst. Its really a matter of stove brand/burnpot style/top feed/bottom feed etc. Enjoy the stove!
BT
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:25 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone, especially Blue Thunder for his last comments regarding NEWP pellets.

Yes, pellet stoves are a whole new and mysterious world to me.
Hopefully, after my first burning season, I'll have more knowledge about the subject. Until then everything will be experimental.

At least with my wood stove fireplace insert at other property is really a no brainer!
Buy good dry seasoned firewood, throw it in and burn it !

Thanks again to everyone.......
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:38 PM   #11
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Buying pellets can be a frustrating thing. There really is no regulations on the pellets so the info they put on bags in terms of ash content, btu's moisture etc are not always accurate. As said above try different brands and see what you like best. Then hope you can find them again. Good luck.
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