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Review of Pacific Energy --- Alderlea T6 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Pacific Energy --- Alderlea T6 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2008-07-23 23:19:58

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): 1800 | House Size (Sq feet): 3600
Bought in 2007 , Price Paid: 2300
Location : Erie, PA 16501, USA
Purchased from: Other Store Type (Furniture/etc) - N/A

Likes: Pacific Energy (PE) firebox and controls. I owned a Summit Insert, and the Alderlea T6 has the same fire box, and the same single arm control. Of course, it took me 30 very unhappy, very smoldering minutes to figure out the the direction of the single arm control is reversed for the T6 relative to the Summit.
This unit will cook, and it will cook long and hot. It's very easy to get a full load up to 700 cooktop temp and then keep it around there for an hour or three on a single load of high BTU wood.
The unit will burn all night, if charred and set on low and with good hard wood, and 8 hours later the relight is simple with seasoned wood.

Dislikes: I very much dislike the cast iron. It's a dirt magnet, it makes the unit so heavy so as to be at the absolute limit of movability, and it does nothing to "retain heat". In fact, at full bore, with the top at 700, I can slap the side cast iron with my palm and it is just at the limit of my tolerance. That is - not really that hot. I suppose, in a way, that's a nice safety feature, but have no doubt, the iron is for looks, and does ZERO to "retain" heat. When the top of the stove is less than 600, for example, you can keep your hand on most of the side panels.
The door, after one season, is already jamming on the ash lip on the way in.
The paint has flaked/been chipped off one spot since install.
The top, swing out burners rattle when you walk in the room near the stove.
The ash hole is useless and small, and I wouldn't wast my time with the ash drawer because scooping out the ashes directly is 100 times easier, faster, and cleaner.
The glass stays relatively clean, but not Summit-clean, which is what I was used to.
The "reversible" door means you'll see unsightly plugs in holes on the side you didn't choose.

Comments: Although I give this stove a high rating, and it's functionally fantastic, I regret buying this stove. I should have bought the Summit Classic, with the nice, easy to clean porcelain finish.
Unfortunately, I let myself give in to the "it's so pretty and look at the swing out doo dads for keeping stuff warm."
Well, it turns out, we almost never use the swing out things and it's pretty until you use it, then it's a dirt magnet.
In the end, I blame myself, because not only did I fall for the pretty wrapping, I also bought a steel stove with a cast iron shell, which makes no practical sense.
Cast iron does not "hold heat", as many falsely believe. Cast iron, in fact, radiates heat VERY quickly. If you don't believe me, heat up an old cast iron something or other with a blow torch, and see how quickly it cools down.
If you're looking for PE quality in the best burn box available in this size with no-cat burning and great all night burn - get the Summit. If you're sold on the looks and you don't mind the dirt, then this might be better for you than the Summit, but don't expect the cast iron to be anything more than it is - a really heavy, unnecessary adornment.

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