Review of Buck Stove --- 18 -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into existing Fireplace
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): 1600
Bought in 2011 , Price Paid: 1450
Location : , North , USA
Purchased from: Stove Dealer - Chimney's Plus Pittsboro
The Buck 18 looked far better as insert than others compared (Regency and Lennox)
for installation into small 20 yr old Majestic double wall zero clearance prefab 36" width.
The 18 had a standard concealed built in blower and the others were optional front mount that look like running boards on a truck.
I expressed to dealer I had owned a pre EPA Buck stove many years ago and wanted to wanted to buy stove made in USA. Dealer suggested Buck 18. Inquired about Regency I1200 insert but they felt the install would be easier with the Buck due to clearance height of 19.5 inches.
Installed in 35ft chimney with new SS 6" Duraflex Liner with two offset 45 degree elbows in center of 2 story house and 10/12 pitch roof. Appears to have good draft and never overfires. Measured Stove Temp Avg 450-600 on outside wall. Top is double plenum for 85 CFM blower, so top temp is not accurate 350 F.
Compared at two other local dealers. Fireplace Additions in Carrboro did not recommend or install inserts in prefabs so they did not get my business nor do I recommend them due to high prices and lack of customer service.
Chimney's Plus got the bid and did an excellent job with the installation.
Hind Sight is always 20/20
Stove: 1.3 CF firebox is too small for overnight burns. Cleaning by Dealer/sweep after 1st season revealed excessive creosote build up on baffle shelf and flue bottom. Dealer sweep recommended removing baffle insulation wool blanket after cleaning for better flow, which I replaced with a new one after reading more about why the insulation is there in the first place.
Con's with New Buck Corporation. The owner's manual is VERY lacking and even their tech support people admit it. The manual cover lists a maintenance section but it doesn't exist. All other competitors have extensive manuals with excellent drawings of all components. Buck looks like a high school drafting student project. I suggest going to the manufacturer's website and downloading the manual before purchasing any woodstove.
The more I have learned about Buck and my model 18, the more questions I have. Their tech support attempts to be helpful but failed to respond back with a question I had about the secondary burn tubes. The crude manual lists two part numbers for the front and the two rear tubes, but has no drawing or description. to distinguish the difference or instructions on how to remove and replace them. I wanted to verify the dealer installed the tubes correctly after cleaning because I was not getting much secondary ignition burn. I finally got Jerry Glenn , Buck Senior Engineer on the phone. He was a little more helpful but I felt I was on a need to know basis customer. He finally discovered I have the wrong front secondary tube during manufacturing. All three of my tubes have 14 5/32" holes in each. The front tube SHOULD have 7/32 holes. Not a big difference, but it's what I got is not what was designed and submitted to the EPA. I requested a replacement tube in Jan 13 and am still waiting on the part.
I also had a question about their posted EPA non-cat 63% efficiency and EPA 22,400 BTU ratings since the manual listed the BTU range from 10,000 to 45,000 BTUs Mr. Glenn mentioned that the BTU range in the manual was incorrect and will be corrected.
I purchased the 18 under the impression it qualified for the tax credit. Initially their website stated it was 68% efficient then they changed it back to 63%. Mr. Glenn mentioned they had the 68% rating in 2011 but changed it back to default minimum non-cat 63% efficiency in 2012. He explained the EPA did not test efficiency and only particulate emissions. However for the energy tax credit the units had to meet a 75% efficiency rating. The model 18 did not meet the 75% and only tested at 68% even though their website and spec still list 63%. I have learned a lot about efficiency testing methods and real world testing needs to be adopted. I have contacted the EPA and have learned more than I ever wanted to know about testing and efficiency. The bottom line is the EPA does not give two sticks about efficiency and ONLY want to reduce pollution. All I wanted is a wood stove that heated my main room.
Now you know why I am BuckingCrazy...
If I had to do over again I would have purchased from another manufacturer.
* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004