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Anyone running an Appalachian Bay 52 insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Driver, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Driver

    Driver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Southwestern Va
    I have an older model 52 insert which works great, came with the house when we bought it in 2000, I think the insert is from the 80's, heating around 1200 sq ft with it. The cats were cooked so I just removed them as they were an option on this model at the time per the manual. We are doing a remodel, hopefully within the next year and want to replace it with a new insert and move this one to the basement. Just need some feed back on the new 52 bay. Mostly, would you buy it again? I'm considering all brands right now, but since the old 52 works so well I'm leaning towards the new Bay. BTW I just spent 2 hours reading older threads on the Appalachian stoves, found some good info there, but doesn't seem like many on here have them. Any info would be helpful.

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  2. coltfever

    coltfever Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Middle Tennessee
    I have a 2008 model 52 Bay and have enjoyed heating with it. I bought it used about 2 years ago. There are about 5 people that have this kind of stove on this board. Parts are easy to get. Would I buy this stove new ? Probably not. My son has a Buck 80 and I sure like the way its built. Can't say it any better than my insert but when I buy another stove I would like to have a Buck model 91.
    Driver likes this.
  3. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Jan 19, 2008
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    Salisbury, MD
    I have a 2011 model, which really is probably about the same as the early models, they do not update the stove very much. I wouldn't get another one, I bought this one since no one else had one on here so I could give a review on it. It works good, I really shouldn't dog it to much, but once I delved into the stove and saw how little it has been updated in the last 20 years I got disappointed in it. Does it heat our house? Yes. Does it save us wood? Yes. Is it a crap shoot if the door latch will fall off some day? Yes.

    If the G&W Energy company that bought Appalachian was putting R&D into a new Bay 52 I would be more willing to recommend them, but they just keep doing what they have been doing for the past 20 years, very little changes and don't get me started on the pathetic customer support they have. Pretty soon when the EPA ups the requirements I am sure they will stop producing stoves as they will be so behind it won't be worth the effort to redesign a stove, but that is just my 2cents.

    If you have room on your hearth I would recommend looking at a rear vent freestanding wood stove you could tuck up to the fireplace, they seem to have the most R&D work being done on them these days.

    Even Buck is falling behind in the R&D, don't see much innovation coming from them, same ol same ol steel plate generic stoves, they spent more money on redesigning their website then updating the model 91 this year.
    Driver likes this.
  4. wood4free

    wood4free Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This is my first year burning with a 52 Bay. I only bought this brand because I wanted to try a catalytic stove and got a great price from a Southern dealer who was phasing out the Appalachian line. The manual which appears to have been run from a copy machine with toner problems has a date listed as 2001. As Mellow said, the stove has not changed in many years. Customer service with the company is virtually non-existent, although you can now buy parts online now through their web portal. Call to ask a question and you will get Tina. Ask her a technical question and she responds you need to talk with Bruce who will never return your phone call. Quality control is also an issue. My blower door could not be opened all the way until I remounted a screw about a quarter inch higher. There was quite a bit of play in the ash drop and since I never intended to use it, I just plugged it. The door latch is another issue. However, the rest of the stove seems to be solidly built. Would I buy it again? No, because I now know my poorly insulated house requires more Btu’s. If I get another stove it will have to be a freestanding hybrid with a rear vent.

    Another lower priced catalytic stove to consider is the High Valley now owned by Stoll. Of course the cadillac would be a Blaze King Princess insert but you will be paying a higher price (especially here in the East) to get thermostatic control and a longer burn time.
    Driver likes this.
  5. Driver

    Driver Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Southwestern Va
    Thanks to all of you for the info. Bad customer service along with nothing really being updated on the stoves is weighing heavy against them. I'm just gonna have to get out, shop & compare. The 52 I have really heats well and thats why it's going in the basement for when it gets really cold, it will replace a Matherly in the basement. My wife has been complaining for years about the door latch and the fact you can't turn the blower off unless you pull the plug. Thanks again for your help.
  6. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    2,960
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    Chittenden, VT
    There are plenty of inserts around with a firebox size of 2 to 2.5 cu ft that should easily heat 1200 sqft in your location. If you want to go for a catalytic one that will be more of an issue. How big is your fireplace opening? Would maybe a freestanding stove sitting on the hearth in front be of interest to you?
  7. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    3,655
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    Salisbury, MD
    I can help you with the blower issue, see this thread: Harbor Freight fan speed controller

    As for the door latch that is one of my summer projects to see if I can figure out a better solution for that.
  8. Driver

    Driver Member

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    Loc:
    Southwestern Va
    Thanks mellow I need to get to HF soon anyway.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  10. Driver

    Driver Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southwestern Va
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The Dial A Temp can be had for around twenty bucks on the web. But the HF router control will probably do the same thing.

    Stop by the ESW plant sometime. I went down there in 2006.

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