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Burning pallets in a wood burner?

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Mark A

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We're thinking about getting a wood burning stove this winter, so can we burn pallet wood as we have access to quite a lot of it? I've heard that it can damage the flue by coating it in creosote as some are treated.

Thanks,
Mark
 

Jacob

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We burn anything and everything.
You need a good lined flue though as a lot of dust goes up and would settle if there are spaces, and resinous/oily/plastic stuff may condense which with soot can make chimney fire a hazard.
But a good flue stays warmer and has a better draft than a typical old masonry chimney. It takes it all away and what sticks to the sides generally detaches itself and falls back.
Pallets, chipboard and mdf are very good burners. Best of all is very dry ash/oak etc
 

doorframe

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I was told that you have to dry store the pallet wood for a year before burning, and be able to prove it. Don't know if that's true.

Roy
 

Jacob

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doorframe":1n156nk0 said:
I was told that you have to dry store the pallet wood for a year before burning, and be able to prove it. Don't know if that's true.

Roy
Sounds very unlikely to me. Pallet wood is going to be thoroughly seasoned well before it gets scrapped.
Anyway who would you have to prove it to?
However freshly cut living wood needs cutting into usable sized pieces and left for a year or more. Ideally under shelter but not essential. It'll still season in the open air but may need drying before burning. Drying wet but seasoned wood is much quicker than seasoning itself.
 

Mark A

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Thanks everyone

I guess I've been paying too much attention to the scaremongers again!

I still don't know if we are going down the wood burner route, but with the cost of oil it would almost pay for itself this winter so it makes sense (and I can dispose of my mistakes and no one will know!)

Cheers,
Mark
 

studders

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I've recycled quite a few pallets, never found any tar in them, though some smell as though they have been treated with similar smelling treatment as that used on tanalised softwood and I'd be wary of burning them.
 

Jacob

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studders":14w1ae2y said:
I've recycled quite a few pallets, never found any tar in them, though some smell as though they have been treated with similar smelling treatment as that used on tanalised softwood and I'd be wary of burning them.
It all goes up the chimney, if it isn't destroyed by the heat. Most smoke is pretty toxic anyway so a bit of treated timber isn't going to make much difference IMHO.
But burning wood is very carbon neutral and benefits the environment by reducing the demand for oil and coal. The same applies to any waste which would otherwise end up as landfill and not be recycled. Better to burn it and save on fossil fuel.
 

henton49er

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Mark,

I've just gone down the woodburner route. I took out an oil stove in the lounge and replaced it with a similar output woodburner (and double lined the chimney which is key to not getting tarry deposits in the flue). I have about 10 tonnes of wood already seasoned to be sawn and split for firewood over the next few years and two fallen trees (each about 1.2m in diameter) waiting to be processed for woodturning and firewood. It seemed a no-brainer to me with the fuel supply readily available. However, if you have to buy ready-swan and split logs from a local supplier, these are becoming more and more expensive, keeping pace with the increases in oil and gas.

Mike
 

Richard T

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My neighbour across the road uses pallets for at least half his annual firewood and has no problems at all. (He works at Tesco ...)

In my experience, the very worst wood for sooting up is Scotts Pine, White Pine or similar. I have seen the smoke from its resin condense into soot in the air and fall as a solid - no chimney needed :shock:
 

Jacob

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Richard T":39yzzjz3 said:
My neighbour across the road uses pallets for at least half his annual firewood and has no problems at all. (He works at Tesco ...)

In my experience, the very worst wood for sooting up is Scotts Pine, White Pine or similar. I have seen the smoke from its resin condense into soot in the air and fall as a solid - no chimney needed :shock:
Well I have to say I burn more Scots pine than anything (redwood offcuts and old joinery scrap) and there is no problem whatsoever. What you saw was probably a bit of ash or soot blow out when somebody poked the fire or opened the door etc.

Seems to generate a lot of anxiety this wood burning idea. I wonder why? After all we have been doing it for at least 750,000 years. A defining characteristic of our species, along with tool making/using.
Mind you tool making/using gets a lot of knickers in a twist too!
 

studders

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Jacob":2ifp2zm3 said:
After all we have been doing it for at least 750,000 years....!
I thought you were old but....

Don't think they've been using some of the preserving chemicals for quite that long and their homes weren't quite as airtight as they are these days.
 

Richard T

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'fraid not Jacob - This was by way of deliberate demonstration: Scots Pine resin, small blob on end of stick, set light to in open space, big orange flame producing thin black smoke from the tip. At about 2 foot above the flame the smoke solidified and fell as thin powdery pieces. Must have been a cold day.
This was part of my "essential" tree surgeon's training ... there was another chap who used to delight in showing us how high a mostly empty petrol can could get blown above the bonfire ...
 

Jacob

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Richard T":ak67mb6p said:
'fraid not Jacob - This was by way of deliberate demonstration: Scots Pine resin, small blob on end of stick, set light to in open space, big orange flame producing thin black smoke from the tip. At about 2 foot above the flame the smoke solidified and fell as thin powdery pieces. .... ...
Interesting but irrelevant - it's not a problem burning it in a wood stove, which is what we are talking about. Temperature is higher in a wood-stove than a burning blob of resin in the open air! A coal fire is similar - until it gets hot it can be smokey and tarry.
Similarly if you tried to ignite bit of mdf in the open air you'd have a different problem, it wouldn't burn at all, but in a stove it burns clean and hot just like phurnacite.
 

acewoodturner

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hi

I have had a woodburner in my workshop for about 6 years and I am on an industrial estate. Most of the bigger factories around here use pallets and I could get as many of them as I want. I dont take any as I cant be bothered to take them apart and denail them. The wood which is also of the lowest quality burns too fast and would be forever filling up the stove. I mill my own trees with a chainsaw mill and I get all the branches for firewood and just cut them to about 12" lengths and split them back at the workshop. As I am doing this regularly I season them out at the back of the workshop under cover, thereby having a good continuous suppl of firewood. I use all my offcuts from the workshop along with the sawdust and shavings as well. As we have had 2 bad winters I have also being cutting up smaller windblown trees with a couple of mates as the 3 of us all have woodburners.
I am now considering a stove for the house and have picked the model I want. It would cost me about £1500 to buy and install and should I be kept busy with good orders between now and christmas I might just treat myself before the winter is out. I reckon I could save about £800 a year on fuel bills not to mention the house being warmer!

Mike
 

sue denim

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No mention of pallet wood

http://gladstonefamily.net/logs-to-burn.html




I have been told that some authorities have banned the burning of pallets due to possible chemical contamination etc.

personally I burn nothing but oak and heat the entire house with it.

sooting and tarring may be down to economical but less efficient log burners

Sue
 

EddieJ

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sue denim":226mjr08 said:
personally I burn nothing but oak and heat the entire house with it.

Same as that. :)













I reckon that I now have somewhere in the region of 100 cubic metres stacked up ready to go. I accumulate it faster than I can burn it. You can never have too much of a good thing. :D
 

Mark A

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EddieJ":1s7fmhj6 said:
You can never have too much of a good thing. :D
I said that about cakes..... :roll:

Thanks everyone - you've certainly given me some more options. Time to find prices for wood burners and flues methinks.

Cheers,
Mark
 

EddieJ

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By memory, 'stoves are us' used to be the cheapest for wood burners and 'hot line chimneys' for the liner etc.

Good luck, you won't regret it. :)
 

Harbo

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One of our neighbours, who lives south and generally upwind of our house, creates a lot of smoke and terrible stink as they seem to burn un-seasoned wood?

He works in the building trade and seems to have a ready supply of freshly felled timber.
Sadly he seems to burn it straight away!

My wife will not let me complain but I look forward to northerly winds.

Rod
 

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