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Harman vs Quadrafire pellet inserts

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by RollinRidge, Oct 1, 2006.

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  1. RollinRidge

    RollinRidge New Member

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    Well, it looks like we're going to try for a pellet/corn insert. I've tried to do as much internet searching as possible to find out what all is out there and what we should get. But - with only two brands available locally we don't have a whole lot of choice if we want to see one in person before the purchase. But - it's amazing how much you can forget in a half hour drive home after looking at these. But now to make a decision.
    Harman Accentra Insert vs Quadrafire Castille or Classic Bay insert
    Seems like the Harman comes as a "package" i.e. stove & surround for 1 price ($3431 for the flat black) whereas the Quadrafire it's the basic price for the stove then the surround is extra, and on the Classic Bay you have to pick the grill and doors. ($2469 stove + $164 surround + $81 grill + $291 door - all black). The Castille is $2149 + $122 surround. I've called a few other places and come up with the "same" prices. Do they sound about right? (We're in NJ)
    Ok - this is the part I forget - one was definately easier to get into and one had a larger ash pan ??? Does it make a difference? (I'm not the one that's going to be doing the cleaning lol)
    And I think on the Quadrafire's I will need a remote? and thermostat? - extra $$$.
    I would like to think I'm getting a reasonable deal. (Basically I love to computer shop and compare but can't darn it - no one posts their prices).
    I'm not even going to get into the installation.
    So - opinions?
    thanks
    RA

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I visited a new Harman dealer just the other day and was looking at the Accentra insert. I think your price is about the same as the one I was looking at for a package deal. I haven't seen the Quads but I really like the looks of the Accentra. I know Harman has a pretty good rep around these parts.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Brand aside which dealer are you most confortable with? You have to find a dealer, that will stand behind their product, when warranty or servicing repair is required. Installations are involved. There is a lot more than just placing the stove and attaching a vent. The stove has to be adjusted to run effeciently It takes draft meters to do this correctly and voltyage testing. another piece of the equasion, is getting a supply of pellets or corn
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I am partial to the Quads. Reason why is that they are simpler. One just dumps in the pellet and set the house thermostat and off she goes. The 1200i is a very well built stove and easy to service. Cleaning is once every couple weeks. It will burn up to a 50/50 mix of pellets and corn. I've been told the Quad is quieter, but haven't listened to it side by side with as Harman. The Harmans are a solid stoves too, but require more of the user to tweak the stove settings. However, they can burn a wider variety of fuels according to the manufacturer.
  5. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Putnam County NY
    Price on the Quad seems higher then I paid last year ($2700 for the whole pkg you priced out) in NY. A thermostat is included with the base unit, (the sales brochures aren't really clear on this). Set it and your done. Not sure what the remote is all about, I use mine to flip from 1 game to the next.........

    Before you go the wood pellet route, did you look into the coal stove inserts? More heat for the $$$ with less of the supply issues.
  6. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Having owned both a Quad 1200 and a Harman P61A, experience shows that the Harman is vastly superior in terms of construction and ease of use. More details on my experience: http://hearth.com/ratings/art.php?id=1252

    Be forewarned about purchasing any pellet stove these days: pellet supply is extremely tight and it would be a prudent step to make sure you can get pellets before you buy the stove.
  7. RollinRidge

    RollinRidge New Member

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    Loc:
    Pemberton, NJ
    I liked both stoves because they each could do the corn/pellet mix. We don't necessarily need the "biggest" - whole house is 1650 sq ft and we don't do all of it. Both have the hopper feed on the top. The Quad has a "flatter" pot and will need "brushing" every day for the klinkers where the Harmon's pot is tilted so the klinkers fall and will need brushing 1x a week? [Does this sound right? All these terms are greek to me]. The dealer's pellet price (for customers only) is $230 a ton. The drawback there is they said right now they were only getting 1 more delivery mid-October and wouldn't guarantee any after that. We're in a rural farm area so I'm looking into the corn (reading up on iburncorn.com)
    I'm not going to use them though for the install. The sweeper/inspector offered from the get go to do the install - MUCH cheaper and will also service. The only question is the "type" of ss liner size? (Alloy? He's not familiar with the corn and thinks we'll need a stronger one - said the choices were 316 / 304 or AL29-C his choice is the AL29-C) ??
    thanks all - I do have to say - yesterday it was a little chilly and I could realy imagine it burning and being nice and toasty.
    RA
  8. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    ok......I need more info....do your prices include installation, pipe (either stub-in, or a full liner?), block off plate, delivery? We sell the Harman, and all those are pretty valid items that need to be addressed. If its just the stove, in my opinion, that price is VERY high. Our price for a crated unit is $2799, but thats crated, loaded on your pickup....no delivery, installation, blockoff, or pipe. Im guessing the price you gave included some fo that!

    I cant comment on the Quad, other than Ive heard they have a good reputation.
    As for the Harman, you do need to scrape the burn pot once a week, to get the carbon residue out of it....not a biggie...takes abt 30 seconds, with the fire burning. The pan is accessed through the front door. Id guess you are emptying it abt every week, since it is fairly small, but that would depend upon the pellets you burn. The harman can burn up to 50% mixed corn as well.....I think so can the Quad.

    Harman isnt distributed online, so you wont find prices that way. Quad? I dunno.

    Elk brought up a good point tho. The dealer should be AT LEAST half the equation. WHo do you feel better about? Do you know others who have purchased there? Does the dealer sell pellets/corn? The thing is, if you have a problem, to get it covered under warrantee, you need to go through the dealer who sells the stove. If his service is great, you are good. If his service is lousy, the youve got problems, since other dealers dont have to do warrantee work for stoves they didnt sell, and most wont. A little hint: all dealers offer good service, just ask them!
  9. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    sorry- didnt see your last post!
    Corn is harsher on pipe....make sure the liner is a good one! 316Ti

    Possible issues if the sweep does the install. The stove will be warranteed, but the install isnt. You tend to get alot of finger pointing...the shop says its the install, the sweep says its the stove, etc. If the sweep screws up on the install of the stove, get set to pay something for the shop to come n and correct it, although I think you understand that.

    Pellets.....1 delivery in mid October? Not much. Got a truckload in here on Thursday, sold it by Friday AM....so, try to secure a winters' worth if you can. I understand them not guaranteeing supply, since they cant control supply tho. Dont despair, the Harman can burn pretty much any pellet, albeit some better than others. Another factor is the price of alternative fuels.....price of oil and gas is going down right now.
  10. RollinRidge

    RollinRidge New Member

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    Loc:
    Pemberton, NJ
    The price they gave me for the Harman stove is their "retail" price. I did not tell them at the time I was possibly not having them do the install so I really don't know what is covered except for the stove and surround. (mmmm-I'll have to call and see what their stove price alone is for us to pick up). I got a separate line item for:
    4" stainless liner kit $550 (after looking at both fliers they each say 3" so I'm confused)
    insulation materials to insulate liner $275 -and she was talking about wrapping the pipe? My sweep/inspector says insulation is either ceramic or poured with poured being more expensive since out chimney flue is 13x13. So what should it be?
    labor to install stove and liner $900
    The dealer is the only one in the area - does a big business on all fire types - wood, gas, pellet, mantles etc. very nice store - but that's not all of it I know.
    My local sweep/inspector will do the install - he say's just get the stove to our house - he will handle everything else, materials and labor for $1000 which is $725 cheaper and he says he will also service. He's closer than the dealer and seems to be very un-front about this.
    Thanks for all your input. I really appreciate being able to learn all about this.
    Ridgley
  11. RollinRidge

    RollinRidge New Member

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    Harry-Talked to DH - kind of thinks when I call their "retail" price isn't going to change. If that's the fact - what's your location and we're certainly not going to spend $600 in gas to drive up and pick one up from you. (Not that I relish the thought of Rt95-the highway from hell)
    Ridgley
  12. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    well, thanks, RR, but Id rather not sell a stove I cant service. Im certainly not going all the way down to Joizzee to look at a malfunctioning unit I sold (Im in MA).

    The insualtion she speaks of is usually a fiberglass wrap. often glued to the liner, held in place by ties and mesh.

    The outlet on the unit is 4"....DO NOT use 3" liner!

    If your sweep will service and install, and can get parts, and you feel comfortable with him, thats cool, although Im not sure how he handles warrantee issues.....a curcuit board is $150.00, gearmotor around $100.00, etc. Maybe ask him that?

    Any more questions? Good luck!
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Quad's pot is bowl shaped. There is a little lever on the bottom of the pot that has an exterior handle. Give that a few pulls every few days and that's it. But for corn burning, perhaps the Harman is a better choice.
  14. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    The stove regardless of make will get klinkers my inlaws have both a harman accentra and a quad, yes quad needs to be cleaned every day, the harman not so much. I tend to give the burn pot on mine a good scraping at least 4 times a week on days like this (60* here), If you let the carbon build up then the automatic ignitor takes forever to light the pellets. Once it is running constant I'll let it slide to twice a week maybe 3 times. One big factor is the pellets some seem to get more klinkers than others. Some leave a carbon build up thats very hard to remove especially with the scraper that comes with the stove, I had to make one last year out of 1/2" square steel that I bent to match the angle of the scraper and put more of a chisel tip on it.
    That's a fair price for pellets what kind are they?
    HD down the street want's $279 a ton for no name brand......I'll stick with my dealertheir about $240.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I guess the question is what is meant by cleaned and burning what fuel? I cleaned my Quad burning 24/7 once every 2 weeks. I pulled the clinker lever about every other bagfull or every other day in the winter. That was burning just wood pellets.
  16. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Just curious, how do you know the sweep will be much cheaper? Maybe it will work out fine. But how do you know? Does he have a list of satisfied customers for whom he has installed that very unit? Why doesn't he know about corn? Corn has been a BIG topic in our industry for at least two years. And I suggest that his choice for your liner is wrong.

    This sweep may be a good installer and you may end up with a very good experience. I hope you do. But I charge about what your local dealer does and I am wondering how I will handle the service calls from those inserts that I sold but did not install. I am thinking that I will guarantee my installs and that my specialized knowledge will help ensure that we do it right the first time. I send my crew to school and make it a priority to know the difference betwen burning corn and pellets, or what a pellet/corn mix will mean in any particular stove I sell. I'm not sure a chimney sweep company will be as devoted to being a professonal pellet and corn stove technician. Again, maybe they are doing this in your area. But around here, a chimney sweep is not the same as a pellet stove technician.

    What I mean to say is that the sweep may not turn out to be cheaper in the long run. If the sweep does not understand your unit as well as he should or installs the wrong liner, etc. then you may end up with more trouble than you anticipated. If the sweep is consciencious he will fix any problems that come up at his cost, if they were his fault or the manufacturers fault. If he is not responsive to your phone calls or can't figure out what is wrong, then have you really made out better by spending less initially?

    Best of luck to you.
    Sean
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