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BOSCA PELLET STOVE OPINIONS, REVIEWS

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by sscomo, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. sscomo

    sscomo New Member

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    Still burning on the "2" setting........has a healthy appetite for pellets.......
    anyone else have the same stove? I noticed some cooler air blowing from the heat exchanger cleaner pull. Also you can see some glowing red from the firebox around the heat tubes...indicating that its not completely sealed., Havent noticed any ash blowing out around them as the gap is minimal, but still....it'd be nice if they were sealed with a gasket or rtv, better yet welded.

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  2. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    I have 2 Spirit 500's.

    First, the burn chamber is in negative pressure in relation to the room as the combustion fan "pulls" air through the stove. If there are any gaps or holes air will be entering the stove not escaping. The actuating rod for the heat exchanger cleaner does go through a hole directly into the burn chamber. I don't have any gaps in my stoves around the heat exchangers.

    Second, the 2 setting should be have a burn rate of about 1.75lb/hr or so. A bag of pellets at that setting should be lasting you over 20 hours.

    I use my stove on setting 2 and 3 for the majority of the time and get very good heat from it. I have tested several pellet brands with my stoves and usually get between 230° and 265° air coming out of it on the #3 setting. I can keep the lower level in my house (1300SF, 10' ceilings) at or above 72° on setting #2. I move to setting 3 when the temps outside get below 20°.
  3. sscomo

    sscomo New Member

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    what do you keep your damper set at on the 2 setting?
  4. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    My damper is usually about 1/3 closed (pushed 2/3 in) for both my 2 and 3 settings. I use primarily Premium Douglas Fir or Fir blend pellets and my definition they burn hot and clean which is a bit plus in keeping the stove clean and working properly.
  5. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    I finally got around to getting a couple of photos of one of my stoves. This is the one on the lower level. It set at a 45 and is setting on a tile floor at the foot of the stair way to the second level.

    Attached Files:

  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Stove look nice there rooscooter. Blends in rather well. Bet it makes a good boot warmer too!
  7. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    My lower level is around 1800SF and it stays around 74° with the stove set at either 2 or 3.....weather dependent of course. My upstairs stove (not pictured) keeps the main floor and 1/2 3rd level at 72°. That stove is on a thermostat and it rarely runs above the 2 setting. Although this evening they both are churning away as it's 4° right now.
  8. mokamm

    mokamm New Member

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    New Bosca Freestanding Soul 700 owner here. Up and running about 3 weeks so we are still tweaking the settings but so far so good. Easy, easy, easy to use. Once we got it up and going it's pretty much a no brainer and we are new to the pellet stove heating so that is good. We bought this unit at a super price with all the necessities (piping and stove mat). We are burning less than 2 bags a day when cold at setting 3. We have a small (1300 - 1400 square foot) farm house that a wood burner didn't keep warm and oil was killing our budget. Lower level, main room is staying mid 70's, upper rooms (bedrooms) are 71, 72. Kitchen off a long hallway is 69 to 70. Keeping the house more comfortable than we are used to. We are burning pellets purchase at TSC in the black and red bags. We have tried two brands, one from Meijer and one from TSC. Prefer the TSC so far. My hubby shuts the stove down 2x per day (although I don't think he would have to), cleans everything up in about 2 minutes, and stokes it back up. We are really pleased with this unit as first time pellet stove buyers. It was difficult to find information about this brand but we decided to take a chance because we like the design, the price was right, and they looked well built......turned out to be a beneficial gamble so far!!
  9. RiddleMasterMorgon

    RiddleMasterMorgon Member

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    As promised some time earlier, here my pellet review in a BOSCA Soul 700 insert (Temperature read at setting 4/5):

    Barefoot (225), Nature's Heat (220), Lignetics (210), DryCreek (190), Instant Haet (175), StoveChow (170), New England Wood Pellet (160)

    Maintenance was pretty much the same for all of them, some more clinkers with the cheaper stuff as expected. Amount of dust I dont care. The only other observtion I had was that with Barefoots my Auger would scream every here and then (I assume its becasue these are really hard wood pellets). The biggest positive surprise was the Natures Heat from Walmart with really excellent heat output for cheap, whereas the NEWP were the negative surprise with lots of money for no heat output. Everything else is pretty much in line, you get what you pay for..

    I tested with a 4 USD oven thermometer at the air output, so plus minus 5 deg is perfectly possible - I just wanted to get a feel of how the pellets differ and if they really do (oh yes). The results are pretty much what others have done as well and found out. For the laugh and giggles, I have put 3 tons of Instant Heat in the garage before I made my own test. The money saved compared to Natures Heat is zero and compared to Barefoot about 150 USD - next year I would happily spend more to get good heat in the house rather than have to use the oil as backup when it goes below zero.

    Hope this helps some BOSCA fans, dont read too much into the absolute values compared to other stoves. Bosca usually has more heat tubes (I believe) and its all a question of air flow through the heat exchanger.

    Happy new year.
  10. RiddleMasterMorgon

    RiddleMasterMorgon Member

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    And here my overall review of my 'new' BOSCA Soul 700 insert:

    We had some initial problems and Hearth and Home had to come out again to install an upgrade kit (which was in the delivery, but they declined to install it in the first place). With some support from BOSCA over the phone they installed the majority of the parts, our stove was from 2008, so needed rubber seals on the exchange tubes, some sealant around the auger and quite some more - took a good half day and H+H wants their money back from BOSCA, but that I dont have to care about. Since then the stove works fine and has burned about 1 ton now.

    I very much like the design and robust made (freakish heavy and welded steel everything), fits very nice in the house. Brick set is black and looks nice, maintenance so far is simple and cleaning done in 15 min. My wife likes it too, she also likes the look of the fire - which I think is so so...As for heat output, see above pellet tests with significant difference, also the air supply has some major impact (I have an outside air installed), My setting is about 1/3 in (sticking a good 2/3 out, which looks odd and is not the initial install setting), that made a difference of about 20 % heat output. I had way too much air in the beginning and hence too much draft sucking the hot air into the chimney (or rather blowing it, and triggering my high heat fuse every here and then). Unfortunately its hard to see what is too much air and the idea to burn it cleaner actually backfired big time, too much air caused tons of ash and half burned flakes. Another plus (for me) is the fact that the outside of the stove does not get scalding hot, nice when you have a kid and dont need a gate - air is still hot coming out.

    Cleaning of the burn pot needs to be done daily, vacuum about every 3 days (6 bags). There is some wood burning smell at start up (I believe there are still some openings to the burn chamber despite the upgrade kit) - but its not unpleasant. The hopper holds almost two bags, which is prety cool. What is not so cool is the fact that the auger does feed less pellets when it goes about 1/3 full, meaning it gets colder long before the stove turns off since the auger design is not optimal and the pellets do not slide down easy.

    It does heat the house to some 70 plus minus 4 as long as the temperatures outside dont dip below zero and its not too windy (I still have some fixing to do at the house, its rather drafty right now), however I believe BOSCA atvertisement that this stove can heat 2500 sqf is not really measured in the Northeast. I have a bit below 2000 and it does not feel as if the stove has reserves when it goes to zero outside. In all fairness, the BTU rating is 45 to 47k (depending who you ask, which is weird) - so if you look up recommendations for the Northeast you will find that a 2000 sqf house should have 65-70k BTU heating source. Thats exactly what the stove feels like, working most times but likely not in the dead of winter.

    I think BOSCA should change their advertise to 1500 sqf and should install the upgrade kit prior to delivery. Other than that I am happy with the stove, especially given the price it was a good deal to get and Uncle Sam helps me with 1500 USD - so no complain.

    A more philosophical question is does the pellet stove make finacial sense ? That answer would be no right now. I am burning through about 2 bags a day or 1 ton a month. Thats 250 USD of the good pellets (including delivery), wheras I burn about 75 gallons of oil a month without stove, thats 240 USD at 3.2 USD/gallon. No doubt oil prices will increase, but as long as they dont go above 4 USD/gallon this does not work out from an investment only point of view. In fact, if you use both systems you pay extra for the maintenance of both systems. Given that thought my next insert will be a normal wood stove (I have another insert to work on) and then the comparison is on.

    Curious to see what you guys think.
  11. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    Greetings,
    I am from Spokane, WA.....the location of the importer for BOSCA USA. I know the owner and his family and will pass along your experience regarding the SOUL 700 and the "upgrade kit". To me this sounds like a distributor trying to pawn off a defective unit. My Bosca's were built in 2008 as well and I can tell you that there were no manufacturing "defects" that would necessitate rubber seals on the heat exchanger or sealing the auger motor. I do find it interesting that the parts were included in the delivery though.

    My Stoves are very well built and I've had no issue with them in over 2 years (about 5 tons in each stove). The only issue I had was a installation issue that had to do more with my house design than anything else. My home is around 4800SF and is very open both on each floor and from floor to floor. The home has a strong "chimney effect" and was drawing the exhaust from the lower level stove in to the house between the foundation and the sill plate of the wall. I corrected this with some foam backer rod and sealant. After that it's been smooth sailing.

    One question: was the stove sold to you as "new" or used or a demo unit?
  12. RiddleMasterMorgon

    RiddleMasterMorgon Member

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    Loc:
    Fingerlakes Region, NY
    Was sold as new but manufactured in 08 as per plate on the stove. Yes upgrade kit was included, so clearly some things were found after initial release that they intended to fix - which is totally OK for me. The smell issue and the rubber seals on the heat exchanger is a known issue for BOSCA Soul, and some on the net reported that before (also the glass inserts needed correction since small gap that allows ash and fumes to get out.

    I agree, the stoves itself is rock solid and does the trick. For about half the price of comparable stoves....not too bad at all.
  13. sscomo

    sscomo New Member

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    I had noted that on my bosca spirit 500 i noticed a thin gap around each heat exchanger.....can see the glow from the firebox...
    Has anyone with a spirit 500 installed an "upgrade kit" ? What does the soul upgrade kit contain...rubber o rings?
  14. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    No gaps on either of my two stoves. I haven't heard of any issues with "design quality" on the Bosca stoves in general, however as they were ramping up production for their new pellet stoves in 2007 and 08 there were some initial "manufacturing quality" issues that I was told about. When I took delivery of my stoves I un-created them and went through them with a "fine tooth comb" looking for any issues.

    For those that don't know, Bosca has been building wood stoves since the early 1980's. They are considered the benchmark for stove makers in South America. They also have been selling stoves in New Zealand, Spain, France and Germany for over 25 years as well. They decided to enter the North American market in 2004 and also decided to design/build their first pellet stove in 2006. The Spirit, Classic and Soul Stoves were designed in North America (by Quadrafire I believe but I'm not sure) and built in Chile with largely American components (blowers, electronics etc). They are imported by Bosca USA located in Spokane, WA and distributed in several states. The Spirit and Classic are the same stove in terms of guts and operation. The Soul has an additional fifth heat setting (up to 6lb/hr), larger blowers and more glass and is rated at 60,000 btu's while the Spirit and Classic are 42,000 btu's.

    I know of at least 5 other installs myself (2 classics, one Spirit and 2 Souls) that have been trouble free for at least 3 years. That combined with the price and obvious quality led me to decide to buy the Bosca's over similar Enviro stoves. In the end I believe that the Enviro Omegas would have produced a little more efficiency and heat, however that was offset by being just over twice as expensive per unit. If you negotiate you can get a very good pellet stove for under $1,800.00 backed by a 3 year warranty.....not too shabby!
  15. sscomo

    sscomo New Member

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    Thanks for the info.....I emailed bosca yesterday as well...and they were quick to respond. They said the spirit was designed that way and didnt not need an upgrade kit...... Ili guess the soul has a different heat exchanger design....
    Glad to hear the bosca brand pellet stoves have been trouble free..........I like their woodstoves alot but ended up getting a Spirit Pellet brand new from the dealer for $700...not counting the tax credit.
  16. RiddleMasterMorgon

    RiddleMasterMorgon Member

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    Rooscooter, could you please give a source for your BTU ratings you mentioned for the Soul 700 ? My manual sais its 47k BTU output at maximum. Also, the 5/5 setting is not to be used for extended periods of time (again as per manual). Also these sources rate it at quite some lower values than you mentioned:

    http://www.pelletstovefires.com/bosca-soul.html

    http://www.azocleantech.com/details.asp?newsID=10705

    Not trying to badmouth BOSCA here, but this means that 24/7 operation will give you even less than 47k BTU and thats just not enough to heat 2000 sqf as per heat recommendation for the northeast- BOSCA should change that 2000-2500 sqf claim.
  17. sscomo

    sscomo New Member

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    General maintenance question:

    What type of oil do you use on the motors?
  18. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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    I have the manual and literature that came with my stove. It is "universal" for all Bosca Pellet Stoves. It states as you do that the 5th setting on the Soul is intended for short periods of time and that it is indeed 60,000 BTUs. The 4th setting is listed at 46500 BTU's. The web site must be referencing the highest setting recommended for everyday use.

    My hard copy manuals differ from the downloadable ones on their site quite a bit. The ones online much easier to read and less technical than the ones that came with my stoves. I do have a complete listing of parts and manufacturer's for the blowers, boards etc. which is nice though. The online version of the Spirit manual lists my stove at 40,000 BTU and my manual lists it as 42,000. Maybe they have had them re-certified since 2008 and these are the new (or real) numbers.

    As for BTU's for a 2000 to 2500sf home. I do know a little about this as I am both a licensed Engineer and Architect. When you see numbers of BTU's required to heat a home or amount of SF those are based on a number of assumptions. 8' flat ceilings, single pane windows, R24 Roof and R11 walls for example. This is done to account for the average of older to newer homes/buildings. If you have a drafty home or one with vaulted ceilings the numbers would be higher. If you have a well insulated, air-tight home they would be lower. Also the type of heating plays into this. 45000 BTU's of forced air is much different in "feel" than 45,000 BTU's of radiant heat for example. Efficiency of the transfer of heat energy is NOT calculated in those numbers or in the ratings on stoves.

    Like most things that apply to all....they really don't apply at all. : )

    Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy in the info.

    Did you Soul come with a hard copy manual?
  19. Rooscooter

    Rooscooter Member

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  20. VictorSinclair

    VictorSinclair New Member

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    New to the forums, so hi all. First of all, let me thank all of you for the great info in this thread. I know the thread is from last year, but I'm hoping some of the writers are still around to answer a couple questions.

    Not sure if it was $850 or $700, but either one is a great price for a Spirit 500

    1. SSCOMO could you share your source. That's an excellent price and good warranty. Would love to find the stove at that price and with a good warranty to boot. Currently the best pricing I found is on eBay, but that is taking a risk with having service needs after the sale. Would any of you buy a bosca on eBay?

    2. I keep seeing what looks like two different versions of the spirit 500? One has what looks like a longer ash tray that goes down to the ground and the other seems to be half as look. Are these different models or just an option difference?

    Thanks
  21. imacman

    imacman Guest

    It looks like the company changed the design....the one on their website has the "larger" ash pan. others i saw seemed to have the smaller pan, or maybe the side "legs" used to be taller??

    IMO, dealer service is the issue with these, if you have a problem. Contact the company and find the nearest dealer.
  22. karl0525

    karl0525 New Member

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    I just bought me a spirit 500 of eBay for 1025 to the door this is also my first year with the bosca I can comment on build quality is great don't have it installed yet but will give other opinions when up and running also following thread so any other info on units would be great thanks as for the different models I have the smaller ash pan with long legs the ash pan is still about 8 inches high to 12 inches deep for plenty of ash storage
  23. VictorSinclair

    VictorSinclair New Member

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    Thanks for posting. That price seems suspiciously like the same seller that I was considering. The fact that you have received yours puts me at ease to also buy from him. Do you share my concerns about service after the sale or are you satisfied that if service is needed the manufacturer will provided it?

    Sorry for what might seem like thread jacking. As soon as I settle on from whom to get one from, I'll offer a review too.
  24. imacman

    imacman Guest

    The manufacturer will not be providing any direct service, as they are located in S. America. You need to contact them, or their USA based importer, and find out who your nearest dealer is. THEY will be the ones doing any service work, IF they're close enough to you.
  25. karl0525

    karl0525 New Member

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    Looking at the stove and how easy it is to replace any of the parts if they do go bad and getting the parts shipped to me I don't think the break down issue is something that concerns me the seller on eBay shipped out of Portland orgeon I forget his user name the stove mfg date was 2008 model but still new in crate

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