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Review of QuadraFire --- 5100i -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only

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Review of QuadraFire --- 5100i -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into masonry chimney
Date Reviewed: prior to Nov. 2004*)

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰✰✰✰

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 575 | House Size (Sq feet): 4180
Bought in 2001 , Price Paid: 2300
Location : Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Grass Roots Energy

Likes: good-looking insert, as far as inserts go.
well-built, heavy-duty construction.
Lenthwise loading.
clean burn, and good heat output.

Dislikes: blower required to get heat out.
"bay" windows are not air-washed, and, unless you burn very dry wood, and carefully monitor the air supply, need cleaning quite often.
Burn time MAYBE 8 hours, but 4-5 is more practical (3/4 loaded, and secondary air left slightly open)

Comments: I really like this insert, and enjoy it every day the temperature's below 40.

However, the very nature of an "insert" is to retrofit a fireplace, so the home it's being installed in is not designed to be heated with wood. In my case, the fireplace/insert are at one end of the house, and I run fans to distribute the heat into and out of the room. This means fan noise, and kicking up dust.

The unit probably could heat the entire house (4000 s.f.), if it was centrally located, with an open floor plan. By the way, in this "perfect" world, I would install a free-standing stove (without a blower!), not an insert.

You can achieve some really spectacular flames by controlling the air, but I can't say that this is specific to this manufacturer. It is very important that the wood is dry, and the cleanest burn is achieved if the secondary combustion remain at least slightly open.

My only experience with the manufacturer was by an e-mail, which they responded to promptly, and assured me that the lifetime warranty would cover the combustion tubes, should they warp. At the dealer, while I usually prefer to deal with the "boss," received better service from the employee.

Overall, if your installation requires an insert, I think this is probably one of the best ones out there. But, if I were building, I would go free-standing.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004