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Review of Vermont Castings --- Encore -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Vermont Castings --- Encore -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal 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): 400 | House Size (Sq feet): 1500
Bought in 1998 , Price Paid: 1800
Location : Ottumwa, IA 52501, USA
Purchased from: Home Center/Hardware - Dixons Floors and More

Likes: 1) Puts out unbelievable heat for the size of the unit. 2) It very efficiently burns the wood and gets the heat out. 2) Is a nice looking stove.

Dislikes: 1) Expensive (what quality wood stove isn't today? 2) Has taken more maintenance than I would like. (see comments)

Comments: We really like this wood stove, BUT once it got pas five years old, the catylitic convert needed to be replaced ($200) and the stove has many internal parts that can potentially warp because of the high heat the unit can generate (according to the manual, it can be operated at up to 750 degrees F safely). I have had the "throat hood" warp twice and the "fireback" is in the process of warping and probably will need to be replaced next year ($50). Some of the ceramic insulation will probably need to be replaced next year also ($200).
We would like this stove MUCH more if it didn't need so much maintenance due to the separate internal cast iron parts.
Additionally, Vermont Castings is very slow about getting parts out to you, sometimes taking a month or more!
Next time, we will buy a noncatylitic stove and probably not a Vermont Castings. (sigh)

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