Wood pellets without a pellet burner

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by oil pan 4, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I bought a bag a damaged bag of wood pellets from Lowes for half off, less than $3 and missing maybe 10% of its contents.
    Figured might as well try it out.
    I'm thinking the scenario is I have between hundreds to thousands of pounds of wood pellets on hand and a broken pellet burner.
    Would the wood pellets be useful in a non pellet burner?
    It would appear the burn quite vigorously, maybe too much so and they burn up completely.
    It worked so well I decided to get a bigger sample size, then found a half full bag at Walmart for $2.
    The wallmart pellets seemed to burn better.
    Lowes burned completely and usually left black soot filled ash.
    The Walmart pellets turned into white gray ash. They caught fire faster too.
    Wasn't expecting the Walmart pellets to be better than lowes.
    I have not tried burning the pellets just by them selves.
    All it takes is a good bed of coals.
    The size of the bead of coals determines how much and how fast wood pellets go in.
    They are kind of a pain in the but because they want to burn up so fast more have to be added every 10 to 20 minutes.
    I think it's best to burn them along with fire wood.
    Motomom34 and oldman11 like this.
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Might be good if one were trying to burn some wood that was damp/green/punky. A hot bed of coals might be able to provide enough heat to drive out the moisture.

    Just a thought.
    Yard Dart and oldman11 like this.
  3. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    That is a way to coke up the smoke stack & could cause a chimney fire .
    oldman11 and sec_monkey like this.
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Wet wood doesn't stay were for long here.
    Last time it rained was October and has been between 20% and 35% humidity all but a few days.
    oldman11 likes this.
  5. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    OK, I'll bite, why do you have a broken pellet burrner?

    Unless they were free I would pass.

    Everybody around here gets the pellets from the same Manufacturer in the White Mountains of AZ, so you have a choice of ACE, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and Sutherlands before they pulled out of town, they all carried the same brand, so it's probably different across the country. The pellets without the forced combustion air will burn differently, perhaps the pellets from Walmart were BBQ pellets?

    Just a quick look at Craigs list and you can get a pellet stove for $400-$500, they are simple to fix, I have an Englander which is now going on 10 years and the biggest problem is the igniter burns up, about one a year.

    On Craigs list there is a listing for a hammer mill, crusher, and two sizes of pelletizers, they are 3 phase or I might be interested, you can also find them on Ebay, not cheap, you would have to have a lot of scrap wood to use, and you "can" even use grass.

    Or this brand new one.
    100% New Pellet Mill for Wood (Great Offer)

  6. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I was going to set up my wood cook stove for burning pellets, but I'm not convinced that they are any more efficient than what I'm doing with regular fire wood.
    As it is I don't make short logs till I'm needing them , knowing the wood gas is diminishing with age.
    Last few years now I haven't had to burn much, so anything that is already short is getting really dried out almost useless .
    Like burning old cured construction lumber =paper
    Pellets siting around loose their gas even sooner .
    oldman11 likes this.
  7. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I have a 3,500 sqft house, I heat about 20% with solar, the rest with a pellet furnace, a pallet of pellets (a ton) will last me 2-1/2 years, they are sealed in bags, not much out-gassing, when it gets real cold I add the fireplace.

  8. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Heated my house in Northern Nevada with pellets only for about 12 years. A wood stove was added later to heat an addition. Burned through about 1 1/4 tons of pellets a year, but winter temperatures were often below zero and winters were long.

    Once the house was up to temperature, the stove ran on the lowest setting most of the winter and maintained the temp at around 68 to 72 very nicely.

    Nat gas was not available and the only other way to heat was electricity. Pellets offered a real economical choice.
  9. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I use it for horse bedding, and cat litter.
    oldman11 likes this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    The Walmart pellets were $5 a bag and clearly say pellet burner on them. They are most certainly not smoker pellets, which run upwards of $20 a bag.
    All I know is the manufacturer package appeared to be from totally different manufacturers, then when I opened the contents they were not identical, they smelled and looked different.

    Let' say a nuclear EMP took it out, it got hit by a bullet from a raider attack or its personal SHTF, a motor quit and have no money to repair or replace it or its post shtf and you traded an egg laying chicken for a truck load of wood pellets.
    Basically wanted to figure out if they were still useful with out a proper pellet burner.
    It's kind of better to figure this stuff out now than try and figure it out after S has been applied to and is being flung everywhere by the F.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    oldman11 and ghrit like this.
  11. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You may want to locate an extra control board and keep it in a cage. Mine failed after a few years and had to replace it. Replacing the control board was not difficult.
    oldman11 likes this.
  12. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Actually I would like to re-verse engineer what that electronic controller does, and replace it with a box of time controlled relays, you could set it up so that flip a switch (no thermostat control) the pellet feeder starts for say 3 seconds, off for 5, on for 3 etc, and after say 5 minutes of burn to have the air distribution fan come on, light the pellets with a torch, etc.

    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  13. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I have pondered something like that. I have various 12 and 120 volt powered time delays left over from my post about reducing motor starting surge.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  14. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    My problem is that except for some real old Agastats the only timed relays that I have are electronic..., I guess it's time for the tinfoil and sealed garbage can prep.

  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Wood pellets may be on sale at your local Walmart for $4 a bag.
    I'm going to stock up.
  16. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    around here more burn corn than the more $$$$$ wood pellets - the domestic made stoves even advertise the burning option >>> never have seen a real usage comparison done between the two ....
  17. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Due to the electrical involved, I believe that I'd much rather manually feed fuel to the fire than rely on electronics.
    There is a reason 2 augers are involved in dispensing the pellets (in the one I've seen), fire safety.
    I don't see the economy seeing you need electricity for them to work.
    NOw if the power was derived from the heat generated like a TGE generator you might have something.
  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Companion a TEG generator and you have a self-contained unit.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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