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Review of Jotul --- 602 Classic -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Caluwe Hydronic Wood and Pellet stoves
Review of Jotul --- 602 Classic -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2005-02-20 13:43:40

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): 800 | House Size (Sq feet): 2000
Bought in 0000 , Price Paid: free
Location : outside Seattle, WA , US
Purchased from: Select Store Type - unknown

Likes: Easy to light, gives off a lot of heat, simple design, clean good looks

Dislikes: small firebox, can easily overfire, no back interior heatshield, frequent loading

Comments: We've had this stove for over 10 years. It came with the house and was almost new when we got it. This is a fine little stove if one works within it's design constraints. The firebox is small and one must avoid the temptation to squeeze in bigger logs that "almost" fit. At about year 5 we accidently dislodged the upper heat shield doing just that. This allowed hot flue gases to head right out the back instead of around the front of the shield. The back casting is unshielded (on the interior of the stove) and is quite vunerable. If overheated it will quickly burnout or crack. I have rebuilt our stove once to replace the back of the stove. This was a fairly easy weekend task. If you attempt it, be sure to have an assembly diagram for the parts and be prepared for several broken bolts. These will need to be drilled out and retapped. Only a year later, we had someone housesitting for a few winter months and came back to find the back had a hairline crack from over-firing. Bummer. To fix the problem, I had a friend cut a piece of 3/16" steel to fit the interior back of the stove and bolted this inside the stove as a rear heat shield. It is working very well and has prevented further damage to the back of the stove. I've looked at several older 602's and many seem to have this problem. It's too easy to burn out the back of these stoves. Jotul really should have made the stove about one inch longer and designed in a factory rear-heat shield. If you own one of these stoves and use it regularly, I think this modification is a good investment.

That said, with the minor modification, I think the stove is good to go for many more years. The new heat shield is invisible from the outside except for the 4-#10 screwheads showing on the back. Sadly, getting parts from Jotul is getting harder. Seems everyone is going to gas. Our local Jotul dealer is Sutter Home and Hearth and they were very helpful getting the part and guiding me with the rebuild.

Our stove is dark-red. It has handsome good looks and is very simple to use. We have it connected from the back to an elbow tha connects to a straight-up stack of about 14 ft. Draft is so good that we have a stovepipe damper installed above the stove. Once the fire is going well, we damper down the pipe and stove. Average burn time with northwest softwoods is about 2hrs., so one has to tend the stove frequently. We have an old farmhouse with an open floorplan and this little stove will heat the whole house until the temps go below about 30.

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