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Hearthstone homestead or Jotul F400 castine

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by holysmokers, Jun 7, 2006.

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  1. holysmokers

    holysmokers New Member

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    :cheese: Greetings to all, newcomer to the forum. I am happy to say that I have learned a lot here. I have been researching these two for a couple years. I'm getting ready to make my move.
    The house currently has an Avalon steel hearth stove mounted on a mica hearthpad in front of a pre-fab metal, zero clearance fireplace. It has a 32' ten inch round double wall chimney with a wood framed chase on the south side (outside) wall. It also has a six inch stainless liner inside the ten inch with a cap and cleanout tee.
    The house is 1700 sq ' two story with crawl space. It has lots of large windows and was very expensive to keep warm until I installed some magnetic interior windows last winter. Now the house heats up ok. This summer I'm installing a new ceiling fan above the stairs. The existing stove is 1985 vintage and needless to say not all that efficient. The house is well insulated and now fairly air tight. I want to get a new certified non-cat stove that will use less fuel with the same heat.
    The draft is fairly strong, but sometimes it's hard to get a fire to stay lit once started. I have been burning one year leftover cord wood and press logs. Last year only press logs. There is not much hardwood out here in the northwest (Seattle). Mostly fir, cedar, alder and some maple.
    Between the two, I wonder which one will be easiest to start? I suspect the Jotul. I'm leaning toward the homestead from all the good things I've read about soapstone. It would be nice to avoid being roasted out of the room with the Jotul. I really like the smooth even temp of the soapstone. Both are outstanding and beautiful stoves. However neither one is without it's problems. I read about the hearthstones having some air sealing problems. I still really like the Jotul though. They've been making stoves much longer than hearthstone. In the end I suppose it's up to the big boss (wife) she likes the Jotul. All feedback considered. Thanks, holysmokers

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  2. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    I have a Jotul, it starts very easily and it doesn't cook me out the room. Very easy stove to operate and I'm a beginner.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    How easy a stove starts has alot to do with the chimney that its hooked up too. You cant go wrong with eather choice you make, there both fine stoves. The soapstone works for me, because i use it as a primary heat source and dont care about slow warm up times. My stove rarley cools down. I would sustpect with a 32' chimney both will be very easy to start, actually you might have a overdraft situation and will need a inline damper. As far as hearthstone quality control, i have had a handfull of issues in the past, no more or no less then jotul. Pick the stove that fits the need and you will be happy with either decision.
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Casper Wyoming
    Are the air tubes in the Avalon positioned correctly? That stove should be of decent quality and efficiency. You seem to have compared the models and found their weaknesses and strengths so at this point it probably is up to the "boss". Either way you'll have a good stove.
  5. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome holysmokers

    I agree with the others either stove is great. I have a castinef400 and it has been great for 4 seasons now. Last year I had plenty of dry wood and burnd only 225 gallons of fuel oil in a 2100 sq.foot bi level. Best of luck ,and let us know how you make out.
  6. holysmokers

    holysmokers New Member

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    Loc:
    Lynnwood(Seattle), Washington
    Wow! thanks for all the great replies. The latest is; my wife said she would be happy with either one! So, the decision now rests on my shoulders, uh-ooo! A little bit more: we do plan to use the stove as a main heat source. We were going to install a hot water hydronic system, but gas is unavailable here and oil is $3. a gallon. The other bullet in that plan was the $25,000 installation quotes I recieved($15,000 if I do the work). The house originally has electric register heaters in all the rooms called Cadet heaters. They work ok, but electricity isin't cheap either. I'm just beginning to look into solar hydronic heating loops with wood stove back-up. I think either stove would work well for a primary heat source for now.
    Like MSG said "pick the stove to fit the need." In the winter we burn pretty much day and night. For now, someone is home to stoke the fire but that will soon change.
    Can a soapstone keep hot coals for stoking 12 hours later after a big morning stoke ? Or am I looking at a cold soapstone issue every day after work?
    Shane, the stove I have is a pre-air tube model avb-800. It's a great little stove but it's not certified and I the newer ones might be quite a bit more efficient. We also have burn bans here from time to time durring stagnant air periods, at which times certified stove are exempt, mine is not.
    HS
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I would question the 25K hot water system. Copper is out of site now but pex tubing is fine to use. Is the boiled made by Mercedes?

    Even at Home chepo a decent Uitica or Burhan boiler is less that $2500. You cant tell me labor and common slant fin base board is another 22.5K Something is wrong with that quote

    Did you know most oil boilers can use atleast 30% biofuel, many even a higher percentage mixture?
  8. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi Holysmokers,

    I agree with ELK. $25,000 for a new water heating system is TOO MUCH. Do the math: how many decades do you need to use electricity for supplemental heating above and beyond your woodstove to spend $25,000??????????????????????????????????????. I bet it would be hundreds of years!!!!

    Spend the money on one of the two wood stoves, keep the electric for supplemental heat and you will be happy (and not house poor!!)

    Niels

    PS. I spent the last 4 years trying to make my house more energy efficient. Plenty of options, but when you look at the money, only extra insulation makes sense. All different updates I looked at (wood furnace, gas forced air, water baseboard, oil, wood, etc) in the end, staying with the original system was cheapest and optimizing use of the woodstove paid of best.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Add to that caulking and weatherstripping. Stopping cold air infiltration is probably the cheapest and fastest way to reduce energy loss in many houses.

    How big a house are you trying to heat? Is it 1, 2 3 story? FWIW, I would expect an average HW heating system to be installed for something under $10K in this region. Get some more quotes. Also consider pellets. You are in a region that has a reliable steady supply and the price has remained quite stable for the past 5 years.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I burned the Homestead for 3 years and it wasn't very often that I had coals after 12 hrs. The fire box was just too small. I switched to the Woodstock Fireview which does hold coals for 12 hrs or more. Look for a firebox over 2 cubic ft if you want long burns. Don't go by what the manufacture states for cubic foot, measure yourself. For example the Homestead claims a 2.0 cu ft firebox, and if you measure, its not even close. They have to include everything above the baffle to get that number.
  11. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Your not going to get twelve hour burn time with any stove burning pine. You dont get alot of ash, but you can expect 7-9 hour burn times on the largest hearthstone. (the mansfield). My heratige burns for about 6 hours and then i get 4 or 5 hours of warm soapstone. There are coals left in the morning, but i find it easier to light it off with another stick of fatwood.
  12. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    That new Lopi they had at the show my dist rep was telling me would burn 10+ on a load of softwood.
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    rep's...... gotta love them. if it has a true 3+ cf box i could see it.
  14. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    It is, and you can actually fill it up since it's top loading. We'll see my boss is putting one in his house as soon as it's available. July I think.
  15. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    What is this new Lopi? Non cat, cat, everburn, cast, steel? Do you have more info?
  16. holysmokers

    holysmokers New Member

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    I must admitt I pretty much wrote off cat stoves because of the type of wood that is availble in my area (northwest) After spending much time on this site, I was all set to get the woodstock fireview but then I talked to some local dealers who don't sell any cat stoves at all because of the high maintenance from our sappy soft wood.
    Is there anyone out there with a woodstock stove that burns primarily cedar, fir, alder, hemlock, pine or any other soft wood? After reading some of Sandor's and Todd's posts I was really interested in the woodstocks, but then I thought about the kind of wood you guys from the East coast use compared to us West coasters. East coast uses hard dry wood, West coast soft sappy wood. As of right now I am decided on the homestead unless someone can convince me that you can make a cat stove work with soft sappy wood. hs
  17. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    There use to be a guy on this forum from Oregeon, I think his name was Chuck. He has a Fireview and burns mostly softwood I think. I also think Mountain Stove Guy stated he knows people with Woodstock stoves that burn pine in Colorado? Have you talked to Woodstock? Tell them your concerns, they have all the answers.
  18. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Yeah the Lopi is a non cat top loading stove. Same refractory material as the Everburn system.

    For cat stoves and soft wood I'm not real sure about that, we've sold alot of catalytic stoves and when used properly they work fine.
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