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Harmon secondary burn technology vs Lopi secondary burn technology

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Chrisrusz, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Chrisrusz

    Chrisrusz New Member

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    Sep 13, 2012
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    So want other opinions... has any one else looked into the secondary burn technology between Harmon and Lopi? Looking at the two they look completely different. Harmon has what looks like a burn box to the back of the stove and Lopi has the burn tubes and baffel on the top of the stove? does anyone know what the difference between the two is? i am really interested to know the pros and cons. i tried to look into it some but have not been able to find it.

    Pleae help if ya can.

    Chris

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  2. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    southern NH
    There is one Lopi model - the Leyden - that has the same burn technology as Harman. That is a "crossdraft" or downdraft system, which requires a hot fire and good bed of coals to get a secondary burn going. These stoves are a little fussier, and seem more sensitive to draft conditions, wood size/dryness, and user technique. So higher maintenance in that respect, and also in the clogging and/or deterioration of the fragile and expensive rear combustion package (although the newer versions seem much sturdier).

    These stoves like to burn HOT and long, with a full load of good, dry wood. I like mine in the dead of winter, less so in other months. Burn-tube technology is more straightforward, versatile and user-friendly, and has a lesser occurrence of dissatisfied users. If I was to buy another stove, though, it would probably be a cat rather than burn tube or cross-draft.
    Pallet Pete and Huntindog1 like this.
  3. Chrisrusz

    Chrisrusz New Member

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    Thanks Branchburner! great expalanation.

    In your opinion or anyone elses what is a better brand Harman or Lopi?

    Thanks again,

    Chris
  4. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    The Harmon I can't tell you about, we have the Lopi Liberty with the blower which is a heating machine. We like loading N/S compared to E/W, if you load N/S you will want your wood about 15 inches, it can take 16.

    zap
    lopiliberty likes this.
  5. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Salisbury, MD
    Lopi (with a top baffle, downdrafts are a PIA)
  6. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Both are good brands, but Lopi easier to use for sure. If it's new, Lopi has better customer service, and if it's used, Lopi is less likely to need work (there's good chance the combustion package on an older Harman might be on its last legs).
  7. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I will never touch Harman again worlds worst customer service ! There stoves are built like a tank ( Good thing ) and they really throw the heat. The downside is the cumbuster is a PITA to get going and keep going. The downdraft tech as we discovered is the real issue with them it does not work well. I would say if your new to stoves you should stick with tube or cat tech as it is far easier to use and understand. Our current stove is a Jotul tube and it is WAYWAY easier to use than the Harman was.

    Pete
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    The Lopi Leyden description sounds a bit like the VC thing we heard about a few years ago. The word Afterburner rings a bell in my head... something about a ceramic piece with lots of small holes that was causing issues.

    Matt
  9. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    My take on it is that both systems work. The EPA wouldn't certify it if they didn't. It comes down to ease of parts replacement and fussiness.

    My 2 stoves have radically different designs. The Century has a metal box on top and firebrick everywhere else above the wood. It's rock solid and I haven't been able to hurt it after years of burning the stove. If a brick fails, new ones are a few bucks at the concrete yard. Others have pointed out that when/should the box eventually burn though, one would need to cut it out and re-weld a new one in. It's not really user friendly should that happen. Since it was less than $300 out the door when I bought it I don't know if I'd do that. I really like the PE T series and that T4 would look really sexy sitting where the Century does.

    The Englander has fairly fragile ceramic baffles and burn tubes. There are lots of posts about damaged baffles. But they are easily replaced. I bet the burn tubes are fairly easy too.

    One way to compare stoves is to look at particulate emissions. Does it really matter if a stove makes 1gph or 3gph? I think you can sleep sound knowing the chimney is clean regardless.



    Matt
  10. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Good point something we did not consider but I am glad worked out was the baffle. Our current stove has a steel baffle and I love it ! Our Durango had a ceramic baffle and to be honest I would not go back to that again. The ceramic baffles are very fragile and break easily when you bump them.

    Pete
  11. punchy

    punchy Burning Hunk

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    mid mo
    i have a harman oakleaf and i like it. i probably should have done more research before i bought it. i found this forum after i bought it. so far i have not had any complaints or problems with it. it is a very well built stove.

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