Review of Vermont Castings --- Dutchwest Extra Large -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
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): 900 | House Size (Sq feet): 1500
Bought in 1995 , Price Paid: approx 1800
Location : Nelson, BC , Canada
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Kootenay Wood Stoves
Looks great and worked very well for first couple years.
When we went to replace the catalyst after a couple years, discovered from the retailer that the refractory package was missing from the stove. Each year since then we have additional problems, the inner top web moves (plus the tab holding it in place fell off) so that the combustor damper does not close completely and now the damper has warped, the bottom grate has warped and been replaced twice (the stove has not overheated in terms of glowing red and per the thermometer but we doubt it is accurate). The baffle has started to crumble and this year the screw attaching it to the top part of the stove, fell out! We suspect the interam gasket is and has been missing since the initial installation! The handle cannot be replaced. The 1 -800 phone number for the manufacturer is useless, they will not provide any assistance other than providing the name of a dealer.The dealer from whom we bought was not very helpful after the 'sale' since we live too far (2 hours) for them to warranty and service their product!
We thought the stove was great when we first purchased. It operated as expected. However the cost to maintain this stove has become too great. We will be buying another stove and it won't be from that manufacturer nor that dealer. The design of the stove has serious flaws and it is impossible to see how it could continue to operate properly given the design. We were first time wood burners but went out of our way to ensure we were operating the stove properly yet not overheating. The thermometer never went above 1400 and it was at 1400 only once! I would not recommend this stove to anyone.
* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004