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Assistance Selecting Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by isipwater, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing wrong with the quality other than it's size....too small for anything other than quick heat. I'd take it off your list....keep your min. firebox size at about 2 ft for a non-cat and 1.8 for a cat. (or larger, of course).

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  2. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I do like the hearth pad in the photo but I can't seem to find anywhere online who sells them. Any suggestions?
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    First, realize that the Fireview is a cat stove (thankfully). Yet I will tell you that when we were in the market for our last stove we had ruled out cat stoves but only because we had read and heard some awful things about them. No doubt some of those things were true as many stove makers tried them but did not necessarily do the best job with them. Now you'll find that most "sales" people like to run them down.....simply because they don't have any cat stoves to sell. But that does not take anything away from the good cat stoves that are on the market (with more coming on all the time) and especially with Woodstock stoves.

    We have had to replace the catalyst and I did also replace one gasket (at Woodstock's expense). When we bought the stove it was around March 1 but we had not intention of using it until the following fall as our schedule called for installation sometime in August of September. When we received the stove it sat in the crate until September when we installed it. I had noticed one spot where there was cardboard covering something (turned out to be the stove handle) and it looked as if something had rubbed on it and the paint had rubbed off a bit. I let them know right away and 2 days later I received a can of paint, compliments of Woodstock.

    When we installed, I noticed right away that 2 of the firebricks had been damaged. Three days later we had new firebrick, compliments of Woodstock. I had posted a picture once when questions were asked about our cat. Woodstock had gotten on the forum and noticed but they also noticed that the frame for the catalyst was slightly warped. Yes, we now have a new frame.

    We have had the stove for six full winters now and the above is the total list of our problems. But now, you asked to share why I (or I should say we, because of my wife) we recommend the Fireview.

    1. We think it is the prettiest stove we've seen and it looks right at home even during the summer as it appears to be a fine piece of furniture. But this is not necessarily the number one reason. The reasons I'll give are not necessarily in order of importance.

    2. Prior to buying the Fireview we heated our home with an even larger stove (Ashley). To keep a reasonable amount of warmth in the home we closed off several rooms. We still were never completely comfortable and even before taking a shower we had to heat our bathroom with an electric heater so we didn't freeze.

    3. Heating with the Ashley we normally burned around 6 full cord of wood each winter. The most I remember for certain is 7 1/2 cord. And remember this is with closing off part of the home. Since installing the Fireview we have burned an average of 3 cord of wood or less each winter. Not only that, but we no longer close off part of our home. In addition, we keep the temperature in our home at 80 degrees or more all winter long and love it.

    4. We used to clean our chimney from 4 to 6 times per heating season. After two heating seasons with the Fireview we cleaned our chimney just to see if we'd get anything. We got less than a cup of soot and ash and absolutely no creosote. That was 4 years ago and our chimney has not been cleaned since. We might clean it this summer just for kicks.

    5. Ease of operation. The stove has two handles. One is the cat bypass and the other is the draft setting. When adding wood to the stove, the bypass is opened and the draft is set to full open. After approximately 10-20 minutes, the draft is shut way down (settings from zero to 4 and our normal setting after the fire is started is at .75). Then the bypass is also closed. Now nothing is required until you need to add wood.

    6. We used to get up sometimes twice per night to keep the fire going and keep us from freezing. With the Fireview, we fill the firebox before going to bed and then refill when we get up for breakfast. So getting a full night's fire is easy. I will also add that we have no furnace for a backup. We heat 100% with wood in the Fireview.

    7. Temperature variance in the home. Whereas we used to have a huge variance, now even without use of any fans we can keep the furthest room approximately 3-4 degrees within the temperature range of the stove room. The temperature in the mornings will be very close to what they were in the evening. The exception is when we have those cold spells with below zero temperatures and a cold NW wind. During those few nights the house temperature might drop at most 10 degrees which means our home will still be over 70 in the morning. Fortunately we get very few of those super cold fronts moving in.

    8. Customer service. I have dealt with many companies in our many years and can honestly say that I have never dealt with any company that could top Woodstock in the customer service department. They are there to help and will practically bend over backwards to please their customers.


    That should give you a good example of why we like the Fireview and the company. I would again like to stress the importance of the wood. Even if you know someone that has "seasoned" wood, I would never consider it seasoned until I saw it first hand. I would also ask what kind of wood is it? When was it cut to firewood length? When was it split? When and how was it stacked? And that first question might be the most important because if someone sells a mixture of wood, that usually means it is not all dry simply because different types of wood take different amounts of time to dry. It also matters a lot how and where the wood is stacked after it has been split. And never forget that wood dries very little until it has been split. Don't let anyone fool you with the old saying about how the ends are all checked or cracked proving that the wood is dry. That is not true at all. All that will tell you is that the ends of the wood has dried. The important interior may still be full of lots of moisture.

    Good luck.
  4. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, you make using the cat Fireview quite easy. This does ease my fears since I will be the first in my family (that I know of) who will be soon using a wood stove.

    How big was the Ashley stove compared to your Fireview?

    It's amazing that you are able to decrease your wood usage by half with the Fireview.

    What is the square footage of your house? How is the insulation and windows?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Englander 17 is a great stove, designed by one of Hearth.com members. But the firebox is small, half the size of the other stoves. This is not what you want for 24/7 heating.

    Note that Dennis's Ashley was an old school, pre-EPA stove. It is not unusual to see a significant reduction in wood consumption when switching to a good EPA stove, cat or not. They are more efficient.
    PapaDave likes this.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That Ashley was about twice (or more) the size firebox as the Fireview. And yes, we were really amazed and still are at the difference in the amount of heat. Square footage is around 1400. Insulation and windows were terrible up to a couple years ago. Then we added a lot of insulation along with new doors and windows. We also added a room. The first year with that is when we burned 2 1/2 cord but that was the warm winter. This year was just about right dead on 3 cord.
  7. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Here is an update on my new stove project.

    As for choosing a stove, I think I will pick the Avalon 1750 since it has the lowest price and the smallest clearances of the stoves I am considering. I gave a lot of thought to a Woodstock Fireview after several recommendations from other forum members but unfortunately does not fit the decor of our 1950's mid-century ranch.

    I think I will use the Woodstoves and Fireplaces Unlimited store in Middleboro, MA. I have had a couple of people recommend the shop and the staff seem friendly and helpful. The price on the Avalon Spokane 1750 is $1570, metal chimney (double wall) is $1200, and install is $800.

    I have a few questions:

    1) Does the fact that the Avalon Spokane 1750 does not have a bypass damper make it a poor stove choice when it comes to cleaning out the chimney?

    2) Are there any other possible problems with this particular stove? My main goal with the stove is to have backup heat in power outages and to lower my heating oil consumption.

    3) Does the above pricing sound like I am getting fair deal? My house is a one-level ranch, 9ft ceilings, no existing chimney, chimney will be near peak of roof.

    Finally, here are some photos of where I am going to install the stove. Please give me any feedback about the install location or anything else you think would be helpful. Thanks!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I am starting to have second thoughts about the Avalon 1750 and am now thinking about the PE Super 27 or PE Fusion. From my research it appears that PE stoves get longer burn times, come with better warranties and are higher quality. What are your thoughts, 1750 or one of the PE's?
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    You need to take more time and sort out your stove choice. Inhale, exhale. I would not put a stove in the pathway there as the hearth will need to be a lot wider than the stove, and you will be tripping over/snagging on the stove in a passthrough like that. Also a modern stove is not going to look so great I that type of location. I would tuck it into one side of the other of the bookcase on the right. Any type of fan will more than compensate to blow the heat around the two rooms. I have a box fan at the side of my stove and it keeps the 1400 sq ft house more than warm enough in winter, and this is a thinly insulated dubba wyde. You will also need a place to store wood that you are burning near the stove (in a crib, or wood stand, or in Ikea bags like I use here).

    As others have said, you need dry 20% moisture wood in these new stoves, and you need to think about getting a lot of firewood like, yesterday. 3 cords at least in MA, just to start. Think 6-8 cords so you have enough wood drying for next year and enough dry to burn now. What is sold as seasoned wood is typically not dry enough.
  10. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the feedback. I admit, I don't think my current stove location is ideal. However, if I go with the Avalon 1750, I don't need a big hearth pad. Instead I will need an ember protection pad. I am thinking using a Morso hearth plate that is 40" wide by 48 long. It is plated steel and thin so I am hoping it won't look too obtrusive. Here is a diagram of the Morso pad from their website:

    [​IMG]
    Also, with the Avalon 1750, using a double walled pipe, the back clearance can be 4.75" and the stove itself is 23.75". Because we have small kids, I will put a safety gate 16" out from the stove. By my measurements, that leaves a 5 foot wide walk way to go between the rooms.

    Again, here is my floor plan:

    [​IMG]

    Do you still think this is the wrong placement? What other ideas do you have to improve my project?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They are different animals. The True North TN19 is a closer match for the 1750.
  12. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    The price difference between the 1750 and PE or Endeavor is about $500 - $800 more. Do you think it is wise and of good value to spend the extra money to get the better stove? It is my understanding that the Endeavor gives you a bypass damper and the PE's give you better burn times. Will the Endeavor and PE's last longer than the 1750?
  13. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    When you have small kids and want to put a gate around it I would not put the stove there. It will just look obtrusive even when there is still 5 ft of walkway. The best place, IMHO, would be where you have the small sidetable with the lamp in your picture. Of course, that means you will have to move the couch. The corresponding corner on the other side of that wall would also be a possibility.

    I am not sure if the PE stoves are higher quality but I have the Super insert and am very satisfied. For a non-cat stove they have about the longest burn times in their respective size, probably the sturdiest baffle system in the industry and are very easy to control. As far as I know the Fusion is essentially the Super in a modern look. So between the two you can choose which looks better in your opinion.
  14. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I would move the stove out of any high traffic areas, especially with kids. I would put the stove out of the way several feet left of your dot location or even all the way into the corner between your MBR and the den. My stove and hearth here was built by the former owner in the living room on the master BR wall. Even though it is out of the way of direct traffic, it is still in the way mentally and too close to the MBR entry. I wish it was more to the left or even in the corner of the LR. If you have to put in a hearth and put up a barrier for the kids, all the more reason to move it over. No traffic there and less likely to catch the kids. Also that way you can just continue the existing pass-through wall line with the kid stove barrier. You can also keep the wood there in the corner out of the way and its all in one tidy place. With your floorplan, a box fan placed where the red dot is now will be highly effective in moving the heat around the house. You can also put a couch or chairs in front of the stove that way. Trust me, that is where you and everyone else, including the furry critters, will all want to be in winter.

    I would disregard burn times of stoves, as like efficiency they are mostly hype. Burn time and efficiency is far more affected by wood density and dryness, size of splits, the size of the firebox, and damping. You can always add a damper on the flue. IMO, all the gadgets and spendy stuff are not really worth it. Go for looks based on taste, design size and fit, and the basic stove quality. The rest is fluff. There are a million and one threads here on 'what stove should I buy'. Read them over. I believe that simple is always better myself; KISS.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's kind of like asking will a Chevy Cruze last as long as an Impala. To a certain extent, you get what you pay for. But will the more expensive stove last longer? Not necessarily. It depends on how one treats and runs the stove. The less expensive stove may have a bit more repairs over its life. Typically this is a baffle replacement or two, maybe a set of burntubes. If you avoid overfiring and keep the stove well maintained it should last a good 20 years or more.
  16. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    That picture looks like a digital rendering but I could be wrong.

    If all you need is ember protection (some stoves require an insulated value for the Hearth Pad). You may want to try various material that is non combustible. In the picture it looks like tempered glass and if your heart is really set on something like that you could get a quote from your local glass shop.
  17. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps reconsider the Fireview.

    You will likely find you heat your home 24/7 with your stove, once you find how easy it is to do so. Your heating savings are quite significant in that case.

    A new Fireview is slightly over your budgeted price. A factory rebuilt Fireview, which is identical to new with the exception of the six month money back warranty if you decide you want a different stove, is less than your budgeted price. A new Fireview can be bought with financing at a very good rate through Woodstock's bank, which means you can actually pay for your stove in good part as you recoup your heating savings, a consideration.

    So, if Fireview would be your first choice if its price were slightly lower, I'd reconsider the Fireview.

    But, I would definitely put it, or any other stove, in the living room, in the area behind the master bedroom. Personally, I'd put it on the side, outside wall, or do a corner install at the corner of the MBR/LR(den). From your floor plan that looks like the best location for enjoying the stove

    Any of the stoves you are considering should easily heat your home from that location, and you will want to sit in front of the fire and enjoy it. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how entertaining the gorgeous fire views are. And, should you chose a soapstone stove, sitting in front of it on a cold winter night is like sitting on the beach in the summer; the heat radiated by a soapstone stove is very gentle and soul warming.
    charly likes this.
  18. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, I just gave the glass shop a call and they are working on getting a price for me.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you go glass I would consider putting something under the legs to spread the load a little. Maybe large flat washers or some 3"x3" flat metal plates. For ember only protection you could have the local sheetmetal shop cut you up a sheet of stainless, copper, or galvanized steel and hem (fold over) the edges.
  20. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    We plan on going with a pedestal instead of legs, so I hope that would work well if we did the glass. As for metal, I have found a Moros stove shop that has a metal pad 40w x 48 D for $200 that looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    I wonder if a local metal shop could do a better price. I will check.
  21. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately, the problem with the Fireview is that it has a large rear clearance of 18" (that's with a heat shield). The Avalon 1750 needs 4.25" and PE's need only 6", making them more attractive.

    Also, I have thought about moving the stove to one of the corners in the den but I think it has several drawbacks. First, the stove will not be as centrally located to effectively heat the whole house. Also, I have read that you get a better draft when the chimney pipe is located in the central part of the house. This is due to the pipe staying warmer because more of it is in the attic and less of it is exposed to the cold air.

    Thanks again, I will think some more on the placement.
  22. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Stove type and placement is always a compromise of floorplan, rooflines, foot traffic, aesthetics, money, materials, local building codes, home type, heating requirement, location in the US, etc. We debate these issues endlessly on this forum. My experience (and many others here) tells me to move your stove away from narrow higher traffic areas. The problem as I see it of placing your strove in any central location in your house is that it is the highest area of foot traffic. Right there in the center is where everyone is going in every direction. That means from an architectural perspective that you need to move the stove someplace else. One option is the wall to the right of the dining table, but that location is farthest from the bedrooms and it chokes off foot access to the kitchen and round the dining room table. The other options are either wall common to the house in the den, or either non-window wall in the den. The advantage of the den is that it is completely out of the way of foot traffic and you and the family can plop in front of the stove in winter. To me that is the biggest single advantage of any placement. There is nothing else like being in front of a radiant fire in winter in a heap with the family, dogs, cats, stuffed animals, etc. So from my humble perspective, I would make everything else fit to that requirement, not the other way around.

    A simple box or stove mounted fan pretty much negates the drawbacks to the less central location of the stove. The fan in the photos will do that just fine. With the layout of your house, you will need a fan in any place that you locate the stove anyway. As for keeping the flue warm for better draft... you can get completely buried in details like that. The design, the physics, installation (OAK vs no OAK), stove type (CAT vs non-CAT), placement, flue type, height, size and location, etc. all are variable and are often times conflicting. We have many debates about these issues on this site and others on the web. It is up to you where to place the stove in the end, and after all this is all free advice, and as my father used to say (a lawyer from Brooklyn, NY) free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.
  23. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I agree with others. You re going to be able to heat your home just fine with a properly sized stove located anywhere in your den. You will be happiest if you put it where you can sit around it and enjoy its heat and fire show.
  24. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I agree as well. Second best thing about the stove for us is being able to see it in action.
  25. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    i live in mass, depending how old your house is and how well insulated I would suggest going larger rather than smaller, i'm on other side of the state but when those cold snaps come you wont regret it

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