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Choosing wood stove for my ma. Please help!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by YourFired, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. YourFired

    YourFired New Member

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    My mother-in-law just bought a new house up in the Adirondacks and I'm looking to buy her a nice wood burning stove. Something to use especially if she loses power. I'm a complete noob so any help would be much appreciated. The house is about 1400 sq ft.

    1) I'm looking for one that's fairly easy to use. My local dealer carries Lopi stoves. It looks like its down to the Endeavor or Leyden.

    2) We saw both stoves on display. The owner showed us the "automatic starter" (can't remember what she called it) on the Endeavor. She threw in a few pieces of wood, turned on the starter and a fire was blazing in 5 minutes. She also said it was new technology. Anybody familiar/use this?

    3) She said the Leyden had a better burn time, as well as top loading. Would this be the better buy?

    Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated. Thx!

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  2. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    The Leyden is a downdraft design. . .more tweaky to operate.
    IMO, you should expand your search to include more than 1 brand of stove.
    How's the insulation in the house?
    jeff_t likes this.
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The downdraft style of the Leyden might be a pain for her to operate.

    I would look at the Pacific Energy T5, or the Pacific Energy Super 27. It doesn't get much more simpler than that.

    Both will probably give better burn times than the Leyden. There are owners here getting 10 hours of heat from the T5 with hard wood.
    jeff_t likes this.
  4. YourFired

    YourFired New Member

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    Thx for the responses guys. I was going to stick with Lopi due to the local dealer carrying them. Any recommendations with Vermont Castings? He also carries them. I'll look into your suggestions too thx.
  5. YourFired

    YourFired New Member

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    Insulations great btw. Brand new house very well built.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    VC stoves work great for me, but they are FAR from being simple.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Don't neglect to check the smaller Woodstocks. Easy to use, good heat, good burn times, handsome stoves, well built, use small amount of wood. Look on line...they are sold direct. Best service available too. Excellent warranty.

    Don't know what the chimney or hearth set up is, but if your MIL is elderly, consider a raised hearth so she can sit down to load wood if she ever has any health issues.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I would look into the Woodstocks. Catalytic stoves that are easier to operate. Get it up to temp, engage the cat and cruise. And are dang good looking additions to the home. And really nice people to help if she needs it.

    http://www.woodstove.com/
  9. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We have the sister stove to the Endeavor, the Republic 1750. I find it easy to operate and burn times on dry hardwood can be 10 or so hours on a full load. It's burning away and keeping us warm right now. We don't have the gas assist. Fire starters and kindling are just as easy, with seasoned wood. Mainly, seasoned wood will be what makes the best experiance. Only difference for us is we don't have the bypass damper that the endeavor has.

    Congrats to her on buying in the 'Dacks, I've wanted to live there since I was a kid.
  10. YourFired

    YourFired New Member

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    Thank you everyone for all the answers. This forums been a huge help already! Will report back when the final decisions made.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Go for the Endeavor. It's a well made, basic stove that has a nice square firebox. Super simple to operate. Be sure she has at least a couple cords of seasoned wood under cover. Buy or cut the wood now.
    lopiliberty likes this.
  12. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Well, if you are stuck with one maker, Lopi would be a good one to be stuck with. The Endeavor was my second choice when I was looking.

    The "Green Start" thingy is a device that blows a thin stream of super hot air that is hot enough to ignite the wood. It seemed kind of gimmicky to me, but it might be useful for someone who does not enjoy the more conventional match and kindling method. That would be a personal preference item. For me, it doesn't get any easier than Super Cedars and a BBQ butane lighter.

    The stove choice is just the beginning. Stay active on the forum. There's lots to learn to be a successful wood burner. Starting with the importance of good, dry wood.
  13. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    If you want to stick with the local dealer, def go for the Endeavor. If you need to pay a little less ask for the Republic 1750 which is the same Lopi stove with a different door and without the bypass damper. My Republic 1750 insert does have the damper so I don't really know if it's a 'problem' not to have it.
    The Lopi website videos that are about the woodstoves (as opposed to gas) almost all feature the Endeavor - even the "factory tour" which is pretty cool. They are well made stoves.
    http://www.lopistoves.com/videogallery.aspx
    If you want to pay even less for a high quality American made stove, you should go for an Englander and lots of folks here can tell you which one and etc.
  14. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I just bought the Lopi Leyden. My wife wanted the look of cast iron instead of steel, and wanted something that would serve as the focal point of the living room. (it sits inside of a 100 year old fireplace). And it certainly is a beautiful stove.

    I was afraid of not being able to operate a cat stove, (having not yet found this forum) and thought this would be easier.

    It was challenging to use at first, fire kept going out, lots of smoldering, failure to get secondary burn, but I don't know if the learning curve would have been any different with any other stove. I've learned that as long as I burn/sacrifice the first load of wood down fast to a nice coal bed, it's pretty straightforward after that.

    I have a 6,000 square foot house over 4 levels, and was going through a thousand dollars a month in oil bills. I can't say it heats much more than the living room, but I've been able to keep the oil burner set at 55 and have consistently gotten the living room up to 72 with the stove for the evenings after work.

    I use the top loading door exclusively once the initial fire is set, and it is a very nice feature.

    All in all I like the stove a lot. And for what I'm doing, which is just burning after work and on weekends, it heats up fast enough to work nicely.
  15. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We have never noticed any problems running ours. I honestly don't know what it's for, so I can't say for certain whether it would be helpful to have or not. I remember the dealer showing us it's use when we were looking at the Endeavor in the showroom (of course, they didn't have the less expensive Republic there), but since we don't have it and it's been over a year I've completely forgotten.

    The Republic is a bit more boxy, the step top isn't as pronounced as the Endeavor's. It is more utilitarian looking, but with the legs I think it's a nice looking stove.

    One thing I will mention about Lopi that we've noticed, and others have mentioned, they like to run hot. 700 top temps is normal. Not that it's a bad thing, but it can be nerve wracking if you're looking at a thermostat that keeps climbing! Ours usually tops out at 750 or a little higher.

    The only thing that I give Lopi REALLY low marks on is the blowers are noisy. We had a gas Lopi stove at our old house and that blower was noisy from day one. We've replaced it once in about 13-15 years (we run it constantly when the stove is used, and the stove is the only heat source for the downstairs so that's from fall-spring) so they aren't bad quality from that standpoint. The blower on the Republic is the same way. It's kind of a rattle. After this heating season we're taking it off and messing with it to see if we can fix it, because it's really annoying to need to turn up the TV because of it. If our local dealer wasn't such a {bad word} I'd have them out to look at it, but since they are, we're going to try to fix it ourselves.
  16. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have a Lopi stove and I like it. However, I think a catalytic stove might be easier to use than my non-cat stove. Which style of stove is easier will depend on your definition of 'easy to use.' With a cat stove you have to learn what the catalytic burner is, how it works, and when to engage it, so in this sense it is more complicated. The advantage it that a cat stove allows you to start the stove, get the fir going, engage the cat, and forget about it for the rest of the burn, so in that sense it is easier. With a secondary burn stove there is a little less to learn and you don't have to engage the cat then disengage when reloading, but the downside is that you have to occasionally adjust the air setting while burning, including (with my stove) a need to readjust the air hours after the fire was started. So I think the difference is cat stove- mess around more at start up then forget it; non cat- simpler start up but keep an eye on it during the burn.

    If I were choosing a stove I'd pick the one with longest burn times and not worry about how complicated it seems to operate. Long burns = easy to use, in my opinion.
  17. YourFired

    YourFired New Member

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    Thx for all the answers. Dealer says the Leyden has a 10 hour burn time and the Endeavor 6. That was also a big factor for me. How about a soapstone stove? I don't mind spending money on this as I want her to be safe/warm.
  18. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock has a strong following here. Very well built, beautiful, long burn times, simple to operate, customer service that's second to none, and a six month satisfaction warranty. The Fireview or Keystone/Palladian would do a great job for you.
  19. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Definitely consider Woodstock. For 1400 square feet that is well built and insulated, I think she'll be better off with flexibility.

    And if it doesn't work out, you have six months to give it back. Try to find another manufacturer or dealer with that kind of garuntee.
  20. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    6?? They're rated for either 10 or 12, I can't recall which. Sounds like they are pushing the Leyden.

    Woodstock does have a stong following here. They seem like nice stoves.

    I'd look at your (proposed) stove location and check on clearances and hearth pad requirements. That might narrow it back down for you too.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A cat stove has additional complexities in operation. They aren't terribly difficult to master, but there is a learning curve and some downside if they aren't followed. For a dead simple stove to operate that has a 10 hr burn time I would consider the Pacific Energy Alderlea T5. There is just one control to operate and the stove has the flexibility of a warmer/cooktop which is very handy in power outages.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  22. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Soap Stone! I am leaning that way for next season. I here great things of stove and craftsmen @ a NE stove shop. This forum has a tremendous amount of information.
  23. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. If the point is heat and simplicity, a cat stove adds additional maintenance, additional controls, and more knowledge of knowing how to operate the stove.

    A single air control, non-cat stove is the solution based on the stated needs.
  24. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Looks wise, the Leyden and Endeavor are pretty different. Did she have an opinion one way or the other?
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Right. And there is also a lengthy history of down draft stoves giving people fits. I own two, and they work great for me. But it is an issue for many.

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