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Pellet storage safety

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by zerowin, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. I know this won't be to the scale most members here need to worry about, but for pellet stove users or those who store a ton or more, possibly so. I have half a skid of heating pellets in my basement that need to be relocated at the very least.

    This link addresses a few casualties in Europe even in private homes due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Apparently it's a known issue where pellets are produced and other saw mills, though I've never heard of it.

    https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/56/7/755/172902

    Knowing there are almost no regulations in place to govern pellet production, specifically about aging them, it's something to keep in mind if you store a good amount of pellets in a small enclosed space.
     
  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Happened to a friend of mine. He used to store his home heating pellets in the basement until the Carbon detector went off. Now they're stored in a shed. I store mine in my garage.
     
  3. I searched through 9 pages of "carbon monoxide" results here on the forums and found no mention of it. Is it well known?
     
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    I've known for about 6+ years. Remember we're not talking about a bag of pellets from Todd. We talking storing a ton or more pellet's in your basement.

    Chris
     
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Interesting!!
    I never knew that but I stored between one & two tons of pellets in my garage for a few years, because it would have been too much of a PITA to carry them down to the basement. Plenty of air out there.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  6. Mine have relocated to my mud room but I was still shocked to read about it.
     
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's a very interesting article
    Only 2 documented cases so far, and none in the U.S.
    I'll pass this on to my pellet suppliers and see what kind of response I get
    Let's see what the industry has for information on carbon monoxide produced when storing pellets
     
  8. Any feedback on this yet Todd?
     
  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, I did get some feedback from 2 pellet mills. There does not seem to be an issue with individual bags or a pallet of bags. The issue occurs in large bulk quantities of pellets stored in bulk.

    I have over 50 pallets of pellets in 40 lb. bags in my warehouse. I keep carbon monoxide detectors in my warehouse because of issues with my warehouse heaters backdrafting and dumping carbon monoxide into my warehouse. We have had no positive carbon monoxide readings in the past 2 years.
     
  10. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    So that's 64 cu ft per pallet, if 4' x 4' x 4'H = 64 cu ft
    64 x 50 = 3200 cu ft of bagged pellets (Of various species of wood.)
    Monitored and no alarms. Sounds pretty safe to me.

    Makes me think somebody is making much todo over 2 isolated cases.
    I first wondered if the pellet storage was within shovel distance of the furnace.
    And if so, might the furnace have leaked or back drafted and created the problem. o_O:rolleyes:

    Thanks for the information Todd. ;)
     
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If CO from storing pellets was an issue, OSHA and the EPA would be all over it
    I think it's very isolated
    If you have any worries, install a CO detector, I have one in my son's bedroom above the garage, inside the hall from the garage and in the utility room in the basement. At work, I have 2 in the warehouse and another right inside the door leading to our offices. Cheap Insurance!
     
  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would think it doesn't help that these freshly manufactured pellets were blown into the storerooms loose (Not even Bagged), and this is where a couple people were overcome by CO.

    Bear
     
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It's an interesting discussion, and one I think needs to be followed closely. This is where misinformation can cause people to panic for no reason. As a precaution, I certainly would ventilate any room where a large amount of pellets are stored, and keep a working CO Detector in the room.

    If I hear of any other info from the industry, I'll let you guys know
     
  14. I agree on the detectors 100%. When I was first looking into pellet stoves our sales "professional" suggested storing them loose in a large bin in a closet to scoop out of. That sounds like a bad idea now. I am not trying to cause mass panic at all, just take the necessary precautions. As gmc2003 said a detector went off from heating pellets in a basement and some folks buy grill pellets by the ton.
     
  15. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Nobody said you were. If you want to change things at your house, by all means, move your pellet fuel elsewhere.
    But two incidences, off in some furrin land, that may or may not be accurately reported, is not enough for me to get concerned.
    Carbon Monoxide is a by-product of combustion, not storage.
    And typically where pellets are, there is something that burns them. More likely the CO source is there. ;)

    I have a wood shop in my garage. Lots of various wood products and byproducts have circulated through it. It has a roof vent high in the roof, and other low vents to keep it circulated and dry. Ventilation is key to keeping things dry.
    Narry a problem. Among the various things out there lives pellets for my AMNPS.
    I've heated my homes (and a camping trailer) with wood stoves over the years. And as far as I know, I'm still here. o_O
    (Admittedly, much to the dismay of some. Because I have way too much of something in short supply today. Common Sense) :p

    Knowledge is Power. Use the links here to empower yourself. More. :)
     
  16. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    I store all my wood burning pellets in my garage(well ventilated) , and I usually buy them by the ton. My friend also buys by the ton and he initially started storing them in his basement. All I know is that when his CO detector went off the only change in the equation was the addition of the pellets. Once they were removed the detector didn't go off again. I'm not trying to disprove any studies or instill fear into anyone. I just wanted to enlighten people on my personal experience. If you store inside your house - please make sure you have a working CO detector.
     
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Exactly!!

    Bear
     
  18. zwiller

    zwiller Smoking Fanatic

    Interesting. Fatty acid of the wood breaking down into CO. News to me.

    Dad is retired FD... Fire detectors with CO are cheap and there should be one on each floor. While I am at it, you should have an extinguisher nearby while smoking.
     
  19. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey Chris, when he moved the pellets, did it uncover the vent he had them piled over?

    Ducks... Runs.... :D
     

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