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FPX/Avalon Large Flush Wood Hybrid, any input

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by hotjava66, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
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    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Did any of you have the catalytic combustor probe installed on this unit? Wondering what impact the probe has on appearance. Would this work at providing stove top temp? Really like the look of the insert and am considering pulling the trigger sooner rather than later but many of the posts on here have me leery of a catalytic flush insert.

    Manual for reference...page 32 discusses the probe.

    http://www.fireplacex.com/TravisDocs/100-01273_000.pdf

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  2. hotjava66

    hotjava66 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I did not get the probe. Saw it in the manual though, and may add it later. My only concern is it really does not show what the indicator/display looks like or where it is mounted. Sure would be nice to see internal stove temp. I have not had any issues of over firing the stove but I do think sometimes I dial the air back too soon.
  3. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Yeah...I'm pretty sure I don't push my current insert enough and that's likely going to be the case with another one. Given what I've learned here, I'm not sure how it's possible really. Taking my wife to look at this one in person in the morning. Have two shops dueling on discounting right now so the price has improved. One has said it's as low as they will go which is about 400 bucks more than the other. Need to get into the finer details of install, but didn't get much/any feedback from another thread I started. Will also be looking at the Osburn Matrix tomorrow as well.
  4. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Pulled the trigger on this one today. Was planning on a new one this summer/fall, but with discounting, the price hit the sweet spot. Getting the liner insulated and and an insulated block off plate as part of the deal. Install next week sometime.
  5. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,814
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Good deal, dont forget pictures when its installed, I really like this unit but its just a bit too big to fit in my fireplace. You have plenty of dry wood? I know theres a lot of locust out your way.
  6. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
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    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Will do. I don't have enough wood for this year. I was hoping that a purchased cord from last year was going to be good to go this year, but it's not. I have about a 3/4 of a face cord of seasoned wood left and a a few cords of white ash that varies in MC from high teens to low/mid 20s (Cut in March, S/S in August). I've been mixing it in, but getting some big coals from it. It's not gunking up the flue though Actually think I might swap some of the wood on the wood from the driveway stack with the porch stack. Moved the wood to the porch too soon and it doesn't seem as dry as stuff that's been stacked in the open for a few more months this fall.. I'll probably split those smaller and make it work. Not burning as primary heat and will be off of oil completely on Jan 17th, so I'm not too concerned other than the fact that I love having fires going.

    People talk about locust being abundant around here. I don't seem to be that fortunate. My land is predominately ash (many dead), maple (Norway, Sugar, Red, Silver), red oak, and many white pines. Most of the hardwoods are concentrated around my home or street, making many difficult to take down without tree services. I've also got a few cords of white willow that came down during Sandy. Probably go ahead and split whatever I can't convince people to come take away.

    Hey...anyone in MA want to trade some seasoned wood for a wood boiler?
  7. cbarlage

    cbarlage New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    After using my insert for a year, I've gotten better at keeping the glass clear. The main things are to have dry wood, and when starting the fire, letting the door ajar to really heat up the box before closing the door and reducing the air via the damper. This tends to shorten the burn time, I can barely get an overnight bed of coals to re-stoke in the morning. I did add a grate to help keep the wood from falling into the glass, I cut some off the legs of an 18" grate and it works well. I wish the damper could let in more air to keep from having to mess with the door, and I also wish the fans would move more air with less noise. One last thing, it takes a long time for the fans to kick in, since the sensor is on the outside of the box behind the firebricks. Could use a second sensor on top to turn the fans on, and the current one to turn them off. Other than that, we really like the large viewing area and large firebox while still fitting flush into the fireplace.
  8. glenncz

    glenncz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    I've had this box for well over a year and it has burned constantly during the winter. We don't worry about the glass anymore. It's too much trouble to worry about cleaning it. At times it cleans up, but soon enough it darkens again. I don't have a problem with starting morning burns. I keep a small box of splitting scraps and it's it almost out I throw those on first, but mostly I just use the smaller pieces, and crack open the door with the black extender thingy that came with it, and it will almost always start up in a few minutes. I'll clean it up next summer.

    I wish the fan exhaust came out on the bottom, not the top, because we loose a lot of heat right up to the top of our 2 story ceiling, it's nice and warm up there. The big box is a HUGE HUGE plus. It can easily fit 24" logs and more. It burns for about 6 hours before reloading. It would be nice to have a freestanding insert, because I think this thing should be putting out more heat than it does, but that is not possible. The fan is a bit loud, but I don't have another one to compare it to. We usually leave it on high, but when watching TV we often turn it to half speed. Turning our ceiling fan on high speed instead of medium can add a degree of heat to 2 story family room.

    Another issue is that we chose this model because it is flush with our brick. Good and bad. Aesthetically, very good. But I would think we are loosing quite a bit of heat production. But the fireplace is elevated about 16" above the floor with a 10" stone mantle lip in front. When this loads up with ash it can easily spill big coals out when opening the door, but we have the 10" mantle and then ceramiic tiled floor in front. But if this insert stuck out 8" we would lose that needed safety from ash spill.

    I need to clean the ashes out about every 5 days. Another issue - when i set the ash can in front of the unit and shovel it into the bucket, we get quite a bit of ash dust in the house. So I place the bottom lip of the ash can on the bottom of the insert opening and tilt it the can opening into the fireplace, so when i shovel the ash mostly drifts backs into the fireplace. But it can get a little hot during this maneuver!
  9. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    First full season burning with it...and a very cold one at that. No major issue with glass. Simple wipe down with damp towel works. I'm not packing it full since my splits are all 16 inches. Planning on some faceplate modifications since I got the one without slots to let the air our freely. It heats a very large open floor plan and upstairs quite well. It does take a while for the blower to kick on, but mine is on an exterior chimney so it takes a bit longer to get up to temp. Not even remotely packing it, I get 5-6 hrs of food heat. Only legit complaint is the blower...at lower speeds it rattles. Think I read a fix on here, so might work on that in the off season. I use a lot less wood and get more heat for long periods than my other insert
  10. prezes13

    prezes13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    343
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Just want to put my 2 cents on the blackening glass. I have my cape cod insert for two years, last year every over night burn = black glass. Reasons? Wet wood and too low temprature. This year I run her a bit hotter and since my wood is not the greatest I throw two Eco Bricks with every load. Now my glass stays clean, stove throws much more heat, having a longer burns (avarege 5-8 hrs), before 3 tops and I have a feeling that I should push her a bit harder. My conclusion so far is need a DRY wood, run it HOT.
  11. Leikeze

    Leikeze New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Akron Ohio
    Hi All,

    Was just wondering.

    What if you run the FPX Large Flush Hybrid with out ever opening the bypass to the Cat?
    Can you have best of both worlds with this insert as far as having a cat and a non-cat?

    Also, I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted about this insert for I'm in the market and seriously considering.
  12. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    The bypass doesn't go to the cat. The bypass makes it operate in similar fashion as a fireplace. When open, your heat is going straight up the flue...which helps get the right amount of air moving through at start up and reload to get the fire going faster. When closed, the you should get both secondary burn and catalytic clean up. If anything it should function more from the secondaries, but in my case I get more of a cat like burn from the stove. Personally, the way I use the insert, I would like to go back in time and get the model (avalon or fpx...cant remember) that was secondary tubes only as it's easier to deal with. I still like the heat output however.
  13. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    2,581
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    You need to open the bypass when doing a startup and reload. Leave it open while the stove gets up to temp then close the bypass to engage the cat. Never open the door of a hot stove without first opening the bypass. The thermal shock when opening the door and having the bypass closed will crack the cat.
  14. pdxdave

    pdxdave Member

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    Loc:
    Kirkland, WA
    Really ? I'm surprised to hear you'd rather not have the cat. I have the Declaration.. and well.. it's a turd in my opinion. Has many issues, not the least being the way it hammers through wood. There's no middle ground, it either blast through your wood or turn it into a smoldering mess. I was thinking a cat would at least help somewhat with this.
  15. Leikeze

    Leikeze New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
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    Loc:
    Akron Ohio
    Ok if the cat isn't engaged the heat goes up the flue.

    I know this is a carry on question but let's say I remove the cat. Will the stove still work as efficient as if it only had the combustion area?

    With reading it is not a combustion chamber but combustion tubes.

    Going tithe store tomorrow to check this bad boy out.
  16. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
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    767
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Yeah...really. My heat is cheap so I mostly burn for supplement and pleasure. It's the process I like (from tree to seasoned firewood) and I'm not trying to get any overnight burns unless I don't have electricity. I prefer one lever, get it hot, start closing it down.
  17. cableman

    cableman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    long island
    One of the cats is shot and crumbling after one season of use on my buddys. Im not sure how he burns it so i cant say its a bad stove! But he hasnt really been too happy with it, but i didnt install it!
  18. Hal9000

    Hal9000 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    18977
    I bought this unit mid winter last year based on a really helpful and informative review I read on this forum. There was next to no other information available other than from the dealer (biased) so for that I am grateful. I wanted to get some time with it before posting and have now had about 5 cold months in total to work with the stove. For context, we had installed a Quadrafire 5100 (55k btu) in our last house (2200 sf bi level) and we installed the Avalon large flush hybrid in our new home (3000 sf colonial with a very open floor plan) at a total cost of 5500 installed. The short version is that we absolutely love this stove. It looks great even when it's not in use. Aesthetically, it can't be beat. People always remark how nice it looks and ask where we got it and ask how well it works etc..

    We are also extremely happy with the functionality (75k btu I think). Our first few months in our new house last winter with a normal open fireplace was costing us 800 per month for oil to heat the house. I was really hopeful this unit would make a serious dent in that cost. We had the unit installed on February 19th and fired it up and I was astonished when the oil heat just stopped coming on altogether (except for water heater). This unit effectively heats our entire house here in SE Pennsylvania. Our family room and kitchen are open where the FP is and we can get the temp up to 75 to 80 there and be in the mid 60's upstairs (this is fine for us since we are only sleeping there). We had a cold spell the other day here (20's) and these interior temperatures were no problem. Last year we hit single digits and it still performed admirably.

    The large window is great, kicks off a radiant heat you can feel from across the room and of course watching the fire is nice. As others have mentioned, the glass will get dirty unless you run it nice and hot. We use Rutland glass cleaner which takes some elbow grease but does work (available on Amazon). I like this blower much better than the quadrafire's. For the amount of heat it kicks out it is reasonably quiet (smooth versus the quad). I found the best setting is actually the lowest fan speed if you can keep it running continuously. Slow and steady it just keeps pushing the heat out. Last year, we ran the stove from the installation day straight through to April, we never had to restart. We have had a couple of ceiling fans installed for this year so things will only get better (fans in winter mode). We can load the stove at 10 pm and reload at 7 am (on the lowest setting) and get it cranked up again. The house is definitely colder in the morning after this but we have no trouble getting it revved up again especially with a small, thicker load of kindling to start.

    The stove is pretty flexible with various combinations of air settings. At its hottest it is almost uncomfortably hot and at it lowest you can get a nice long burn.

    The unit requires a large space - dealer told me my dimensions were fine and then the installers told me it wouldn't fit when they got on site so they wanted to downsize me. I said nope take it back I don't want anything. The supervisor came and they "managed" to mysteriously make it fit.

    Overall we are extremely happy with this unit. Feel free to drop me any questions...

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