Nov 24, 2010

Heating update

We had coal delivered last week from a new supplier. Talk about a night-and-day difference.

The person I talked to on the phone was friendly and helpful, the driver was cheerful and more than happy to split the load between two bins, and the coal ... well, I can only begin to describe how much better it is. Less expensive (partly because it's bulk, not bagged), cleaner, oiled, and MUCH higher quality. Almost no fines, just good solid chunks of anthracite. It's burning slower, hotter, and creating much less ash with much lower mineral content. (Plain gray ash, instead of the yellows and browns from the last batch.)

I still had some from the last delivery, and took a few pictures for comparison:

Old on the left, new on the right:



Note the numerous crumbs and dust with the old stuff, and the smear of filth it left on the tub. That stuff is what clogs up automatic stoves, potentially to the point of non-function. Ours self-extinguished last year after the coal built it's own bridge over the feed chute - no coal dropped in, so the stove went out. We had to make it a point to stir the coal hopper daily to make sure it would keep feeding.

A side note: we knew there was a problem with that coal after burning a few bags. I took one back to the shop and asked them to exchange it. The dealer dodged it any way he could. I'd had the coal delivered to my house; he said if I wanted it exchanged I had to bring it back. (A full ton of coal would be four trips in my compact pickup, I won't put a half-ton in there.) I told him that wasn't acceptable; I'd paid for delivery and he'd have to deliver the replacement as well. He hemmed and hawed and said he might get around to it, "In a couple weeks."

I called him every couple weeks for the next couple months and he never made time for me.

So, for an hour's labor and exchanging 3/4 ton of coal, he lost a customer forever - and as many people as I can turn away. I've told anyone who heats with coal to avoid him.

The shop, by the by, is COUNTRYSIDE STOVE SHOP in Burdett, NY. Avoid him like the plague; he doesn't care a rat's ass about customer service.

The new coal came from Holden Coal, in Ovid, NY. I would gladly recommend them to anyone looking for a coal supplier; their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and their delivery drivers keep appointments.

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