Are the BTU ratings accrossed all stoves the same, I am looking to match what I have now

bmur Posted By bmur, Jan 23, 2006 at 3:10 PM

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  1. bmur

    New Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    I bought a stove last year from a dealer and it turned out to be a boat anchor. I have had 5 problems with it ranging from not having the combustor installed to the doors being warped and don't even line up. The dealer finally said I think we might have a problem with this one and are coming out to look at it.

    The damage is done and I don't trust the stove anymore. Since safety is number one and I like to sleep sound at night, I am going to replace it with another brand and would like to match the heat output. Any suggestions in this area?

    Also any input on quality of stoves would be appreciated. I want a QUALITY stove this time

  2. Todd

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 19, 2005
    Lake Wissota
    What kind of stove was it? Check out the stove ratings section on this site. Lots of good info.
  3. elkimmeg


    It would help to know the past stove and its BTU ratings and your current living area you are trying to heat.
    There are a lot of decent stoves out there finding one to match we need more info
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 23, 2006
    Boulder County
    I have found that most stove manufacture's rating's are way off. I try to go with firebox size to be the constant between manufactures. And dont forget stove material. Steel will put a lot of BTU's in a room faster but less over the long term unless you keep it roaring. Cast will help moderate BTU's over a period of time, and soapstone will put constant BTU's with minimal fire mantience. In general, a 2.0 -2.5 cubic firebox will produce 45-55k BTU's per hour. But that also depends on the wood you use. Pine doenst have the mass to store the BTU's as oak does, and oak doesnt have the mass as hedge does, so the more pounds of wood you can fit is directly releated to the output that your going to recieve.
  5. Rhone

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 21, 2005
    Great job MountainStoveGuy. I personally like to go by firebox size as they give a "MAX AREA" and "MAX BTU" which is not very useful at all. You'll see it all the time, a steel stove with a small firebox will be rated at a MAX BTU of say 80,000 and can heat 2000 sq ft. But, a soapstone stove with a much bigger firebox and higher efficiency will be rated at 60,000 btu's and can only heat 1,500 sq ft. To keep the smaller steel stove heating like that, you'll need to be reloading it every 2 hours and probably burn the thing out.

    So, although the firebox size issue has been questioned in a recent post, I like to go by the firebox size because a steel stove will always have higher btu's and say they can heat more area than any other, and a cast iron one likewise saying the same thing over soapstone.
  6. bmur

    New Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    The stove is a 1 year old Dutchwest Xtra Large model
  7. JBinKC

    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 14, 2006
    Lake of the Ozarks
    My dealer dropped the Vermont Castings line for similar quality problems and the company did little to back up the product. I am not sure what brand of stove you are looking at to determine which model will approximate the dutchwest you have now.
  8. bmur

    New Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    I thought that replacing with the Harman cast iron stove would be a good choice.

    Update on this stove.
    The combustor crumbled on this stove in the past week and the dealer put in for a warranty(1 year old). After careful looking at the stove, I found that the gasket is too small for the ash cleanout door and is leaking. Also the door does not sit center on the the opening to it will have to be shimmed on the pins if this door is to fit correctly Right now the door is metal to metal and the gasket has no effect. This is why the combustor failed due to an air leak.

    Also there is places on the loading side door that the door is warped and I have had to build it up with cement in order t get a good seal. The dealer said they would come out and look at it, but not sure if anything will be done.

    You know you have a bad one when you spend more time working on your stove than cutting wood :)
  9. babalu87

    New Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    middleborough, ma.
    I dont even know why manufacturers are allowed to use BTU output
    Way too many variables involved wood being one of them.

    My stove has a BIG firebox and is rated @ 60,000 BTU yet there are other manufacturers out there who say the stove will put out more BTU with a far smaller firebox ?????
    I know Morso said it will heat up to 2500 sq feet and I have no doubt it would
    I think it is a little big for my house (1800+ sq ft.) but I didnt want the stove to be too small either
    No worries, when I put the mud room on the house it will be perfect ;)
  10. cbrodsky


    Jan 19, 2006
    Millbrook, NY
    Interestingly, VC does list a max BTU rating (55,000) and a "Btu/hr Range EPA Test Method" of 10,500-27,700 Bth/hr. Here's what we can conclude from this - the stove can get really darn hot if you let it, but in normal operation, you'll run it way below that peak, and the output you will get can vary by about 2.5X - point being, this is not necessarily the best value to compare since they just gave you numbers from 10,500 to 55,000 :)

    Looks like the model stove in question has a 2.9 cubic foot firebox - pretty large, and not a lot of stoves that big.

    You can see the other thread going on Woodstock for my opinion - build quality is great, and they have a lot of happy users - check the ratings. Their largest firebox is 2.2 cubic feet, which is what I have.

    I think Hearthstone has a larger unit in the 3 cubic foot range and they seem well reviewed.

    It might help if you describe your planned application to get better suggestions. (tightness of construction, square footage to heat, location of stove, how often do you mind loading, using hard or softwood...) Maybe you need a 3 CF stove; maybe not...

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