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First wood fireplace.. ONE or TWO doors? Which is more functional?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lithnights, Jun 21, 2013.

?

One door or two?

  1. 1

    8 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. 2

    3 vote(s)
    27.3%
  3. Functionally not much difference

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

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    After lots of help from this site, I am pulling the trigger on my first wood burning fireplace. I am getting the RSF Opel 2 (two doors) or Opel 3 (one large door). It's my first ever fireplace and I plan to use it as my main heating source during our Philadelphia winters.

    My wife and I both like the look of each, with the one door having a wider, full view glass.. and the two doors having a nice look as well.

    But FUNCTIONALLY, is there a better choice of 1 door or 2? I don't know if opening one 27" door to load wood, tend the wood, clean etc. is better or worse than dealing with two 13" doors. I figure I won't be able to fit a log through 13" anyway, so I'd end up opening both doors if there were two.

    If you have an opinion on the appearance, feel free to let me know that as well.

    I'm sure some may think this is a silly question, but this is a huge investment so I don't want to regret making a bad choice on the doors. I am attaching a picture of each to give you an idea of my options.

    Any advice is appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

    Opel 2 pic.jpg Opel 3 pic.jpg

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No poll needed. The most efficient wood stoves have a single door. No worries about leaking gaskets between the doors. And an uninterrupted view of the fire.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    +1, your post saves me the trouble of typing it all out. :)
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    1 door = easier to operate, more enjoyable fire view, easier to clean, fewer gaskets to worry about. I can't think of a reason to go with two doors. Rick
    PapaDave likes this.
  5. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

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    Question answered! This one was easy evidently. Thanks all!
  6. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    I'm not familiar with RSF Opel stoves, so I can't give an opinion based on first hand knowledge. I agree with most of what the earlier post responders have said about a single door providing a more open viewing window and fewer gaskets to potentially leak. One possible advantage to the two door model is that there would be less stress on the door hinges since they are supporting only half the weight of a single door configuration. If the hinge performance over time is not an issue with the Opel stoves then it shouldn't be a problem. However, the stove door will be opened and closed hundreds of times during the course of a single burning season, so if the hinges aren't beefy enough that could prove troublesome on a single door that large. One thing that puzzled me when I went to the RSF Opel web site was the fact they specify a maximum log length of just 18" for the stove and you said in your post that it has a 27" door. The fire box is rated as 3.6 cubic feet, so if the stove has a 27" door why can you only burn 18" logs?
  7. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

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    Regarding the 18" log, it's a good question. When I spoke to them, they stated that is the max size at the BACK of the unit. At the front, you can do wider. It has sort of a taper, so that 18" fits in back and as you get closer to the door, larger logs will fit. The two guys I know who have it (and don't have a single complaint about it) say they usually just burn 18" or so, and they know they burn bigger if needed, as long as it's not all the way in back.

  8. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I agree with the other posters on the less gaskets so less to maintain, but I just think the 2 doors look classier on that stone fp.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Two doors look more classic.
    Two doors have more gaskets to fail.

    Function before form, lesson learned late for me.
  10. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    agreed and the original poster did ask about fuctionality now that I look again. Just think the 2 doors look better but for the long haul 1 would be it.
  11. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    As I shop for a new stove, I am drawn to as few moving parts, doors, gaskets as possible.

    But for aesthetics, I prefer the two doors.
  12. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Have you looked at the Buck Stoves......I pulled the trigger after about 3 years of looking. It will be a fun winter I think learning a new stove after all the years with the old one.
  13. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Great, now another brand I have to obsessively research!

    Have actually never heard of them before. Will read a bit on the website.
  14. skinanbones

    skinanbones Member

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    we sell the RSF line up in our store and pretty much all the opels we sell now are the single door. The double door system is prone to leaking at the top of the door in the centre. Even with new gaskets we've had problems with some old double doors sealing tightly at the top of the curve. There is adjustment on the hinges to try and correct the issue, it works better on the newer units than the older ones. As for opening them the latch is only on the right hand side door, the other is for show.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I like the look of a 2 door stove also and the pair of hinges have less weight on them. With big wide doors having only one hinge this can be a wear point. Te downside is there is more gasket area which has the potential to leak.
    ScotO likes this.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Two doors on the front and a service door on the right for reloading works. :)
  17. lithnights

    lithnights New Member

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    I can't speak to the product itself yet obviously, but if their product is indicative of their customer service, I am optimistic. I have called the company directly probably half a dozen times (literally hours on the phone) and they have been amazingly helpful and receptive each time. They even looked at my blueprint and advised on how to best use their central heat blower system to push the heat to other parts of the home, and what NOT to do. I know 2 other owners who claim similar stories of wonderful customer service. So hopefully the product meets my expectations.

  18. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    The NZ3000 I put in last winter has two doors, and it looks really classy....but that POS center door gasket is worthless, and I have to modify it so it will seal correctly. Being that the center gasket leaks, the secondaries do not come into play as good as they will once the center gasket is sealed.....so.....

    if you are looking for ease of maintenance, one single door is the way to go. But if you don't mind tweaking things from time to time, and love a classic look on the front of your fireplace, you can't beat two doors. Not to mention the split door design doesn't swing out as far as a single door....and I know some codes want your hearth to extend out further than your door does. So, you may have to make your hearth a bit bigger in front of a single door fireplace.....just some food for thought.

    2012-12-31_12-55-58_947.jpg
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Really? Tell us more I hadn't heard of this.
  20. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'd have to get my napoleon book out for the 1900p, because I can't remember if it was in that book or in the insurance requirements....but I know for a fact that I had to extend the hearth in my kitchen an inch or more past the door when extended from the stove......I made it two inches, just to be safe.

    EDIT...found this PDF file of an Erie Insurance woodstove installation inspection. Notice where it says they want at least 18" to the front of the unit. The Napoleon manual states only 16 is needed, but insurance says 18". I made it 20", just to be safe. I thought it was relative to the door but apparently that has nothing to do with it. I do like the fact that if a coal happens to be resting inside the ledge of the door and you open it up to reload and the coal falls on the floor (this has happened), it's falling on the non-combustible hearth, not the hardwood in the kitchen.

    http://blessinginsurance.com/pdf/Erie Insurance - Woodburning Stove Report.pdf
  21. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    My parents had a two door unit. They stacked their wood along same the wall the hearth was on. I can't count how many times they would open the doors, grab some wood to load the stove and not back up enough to clear the door. The wood would tap the door and swing it closed. I find a single door makes it slightly easier to load the stove as long as the door opens the right way....

    Yeah, less gaskets and seal problems. Some would say a better view also but others like the classic "small window" appearance like the Jotul 450 in either the one or two door version...

    KaptJaq
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The 18" rule came into effect a few years back. I thought it's supposed to be for all new stoves and aligned us with Canadian standards, but haven't heard much more about it. I don't think this is related to the range of the door swing. Look at the big door on the Clydesdale and you'll see what I mean.

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