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Hearthstone vs. Lopi

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

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  1. riguy

    riguy New Member

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    Hi all,

    I have been lurking here for a few weeks. I am in the market for a wood stove insert. I have a Cape (1700 sq ft), the stove would fit into the living room fireplace. The living room takes up the entire right side of the house. I'm located in Rhode Island.

    I have narowed down my choices to the Lopi Declaration and the Hearthstone Clydesdale. Becuase of the size of my existing mantel trim, that aren't many options available. I do not want to alter the mantel surround if possible, as I want to keep it as original as possible.

    So, the question basically becomes...steel stove/firebrick or cast iron/soapstone. What do you all think is the advantages/disadvantages of these setups? The lving room is where everyone hangs out in the house (TV, etc). My biggest fear is being baked out of this room. I had a Vermont Castings in my old house, and the temps used to get out of control in the room it was in, nut it heated the house. That's my goal with this new stove, to heat the downstairs level. I'm thinking with a soapstone unit, the heat would be less intense? I would welcome any input.

    Thanks

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    If your biggest worry is being baked out of the room go with soapstone. How much sq ft are you trying to heat? Have you looked at the Hearthstone Morgan or Homestead?
  3. riguy

    riguy New Member

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    The downstairs level is probably around 1100 sq ft. I haven't considered the other stoves you mentioned. Are they inserts as well? I have to say, I'm really torn on this. One thing the Lopi has going for it is the very good customer service the dealer has provided. They are slightly higher in price...but it's very refreshing to finally deal with a business that treats their customers well.
  4. firemarshallbill

    firemarshallbill New Member

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    riguy,

    I have had the clydesdale since December and have had nothing but problems. The dealer fixed almost all of the problems (crooked door, the stove was not air tight, paint missing on the surround due to being boxed with wet paint, etc.). The quality control on my stove was HORRIBLE and is still not 100%.

    To this day, my blower vibrates so bad that you can hear the sound of the cast iron "ringing". But the worst part is that my surround is so crooked. What is sad is that my dealer has come out twice in attempt to fix the last 2 issues, but hasn't been successful. They told me that Hearthstone won't return their phone calls.

    I emailed hearthstone 2 weeks (to all 3 emails they make available on their website) ago about my unresolved issues and they still haven't contacted me.

    I would stay away from them.... just my opinion. Other people have had good luck with their stoves.

    kindly,
    bill
  5. riguy

    riguy New Member

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    Jeez, Bill! That's awful! They haven't contacted you back?? Well, that obviously does not speak well for them at all. (Are you sure you're not my Lopi dealer? LOL). I hope you get some resolution soon. Did you consider any other stoves before purchasing the Hearthstone?
  6. firemarshallbill

    firemarshallbill New Member

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    One thing I have to say before I forget is that my dealer has definately attempted on getting most of the issues resolved. But neither my wife nor I are happy with the surround and blower. It bothers us really bad. Its so bad, guests will even comment on it. This has been going on since December.

    I was kind of limited on choice of inserts due to the size of my firebox. The ones that I really liked were the Pacific Energy (small one fit), Jotul Tamarack, and the Hearthstone clydesdale and morgan. I like the Lopi stoves, but don't really like their surrounds(don't looked "finished"), but thats just my taste. We chose the Clydesdale because of the larger fireview. I kind of wish I went with one of the other 2 now after what has happened. I hate to blame the dealer. When I call them, they claim that they call hearthstone regarding the issue, but hearthstone doesn't return their calls. But come to think of it, couldn't they bring up the issue to them when they order stoves with them? Maybe I am getting the run around? I should have never paid in full until I was happy. I'm kicking myself in the butt now.


    Are you located in RI? Which dealer are you looking at the Hearthstone?
  7. riguy

    riguy New Member

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    The Hearthstone dealer is NE Hearth and Patio. Are you located around here? Your problems are definetly making me question getting a Hearthstone. I read in another post that their quality control was failing due to high demand this past year. Not sure in the truth in that, but it's a thought.

    I, too, am limited as to what will fit in. My actual firebox has not been the issue, rather the mantel surround appears to be on the smaller side. Also, if I get the Hearthstone, I would need the mantel shield...which I'm not too crazy about.

    How have the burn times been with your stove? Can you make it thought the night without too much trouble? I came from a VC Aspen...I was lucky to get the door closed befoe the log turned to ash...so anything's an improvement really.

    Thanks....
  8. ERPARKER

    ERPARKER New Member

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    Hi,

    I'm not your Lopi dealer either. :)

    We had our Lopi Declaration installed back in January and haven't had any problems that weren't OT (operator trouble). I wrote up a review on this site, and also posted photographs to the forum. Do a search for "Declaration" and find the thread titled "Lopi Declaration Just Installed".

    I agree that the surround could be nicer but it hasn't really bothered me. It's on straight and the stove is sufficiently interesting by itself that I don't think you really notice the surround anyway.
  9. firemarshallbill

    firemarshallbill New Member

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    Yup, thats where I bought mine. The high demand is not a valid excuse in my opinion. If I performed poorly at work because I had a lot of tasks to do, my boss/customers would not accept that. You still have to put out a good product.

    Are you sure that you need a mantleshield with the clydesdale? I thought it had good clearances, even better than the morgan.... I'd have to look that up.

    Burn times have been pretty good. Around 7-8 hours when choked down overnight. I have no problems getting a fire going in the morning since there will be some embers.
  10. riguy

    riguy New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Bill Wow, small world! Are you in RI then?

    ERParker Yes, I've read your posts and seen the pcitures many times of your stove. It's a terrific looking stove. I think I've decided to go with the Lopi, actually. I really like the idea of soapstone, but because of the size of my mantle surround, I can only fir in a few inserts. Since I'm not convinved of hearthstone's quality, that leaves the Lopi. If I were to ever have the need for a free standing stove, I think for sure I would invest in a Woodstock.

    Thanks to all and good luck, Bill. I'll be sure to posts pics when I get it installed.
  11. joedec

    joedec New Member

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    Just to chime in. Our Hearrthstone dealer seemed like any dealer, wants to sell product, not all that impressive. Our hearthstone Pheoinix, purchased last October has been a charm. I realize it is not an insert but we burn 24/7 most of the time and the our problems have been loose handles etc. ( easaily fixed), the 2nd door gasket has started falling from the top yesterday, my wife called hearthstone and a new one is being shipped. Just a positive note on heatthstone.
  12. firemarshallbill

    firemarshallbill New Member

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    I finally got a phone call from Hearthstone today. It seems that they had some bad surround castings and are going to replace my surround. From what the rep told me, several have complained. They are also going to take a look at the noisey blower. The culprit (according to the rep that called me) seems to be the need to hire a second shift due to not being able to keep up with orders. Good for them, bad for me. Lack of training maybe? I hope so.

    I pray to God they are correct. I've been complaining since December. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    I'll keep you advised.

    Its getting a little warmer and I'm already contemplating putting a stove in the basement for next year. I'm going to finish ithe basement next year, so I figured that this summer I'd get a head start and put a SS liner(insulated) down my other chimney. Been looking at the Pacific Energy Summit Classic, Hearthstone Mansfield, and the Woodstock Fireview. Im kind of holding out to see how Hearthstone treats me. :)
  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    O.k....I have to weigh in here. I would have believed the Hearthstone and Lopi stoves to be the best on the market, but after the above sequence...I'm not so sure. Other than needing to replace a couple bricks and do a minor adjustment to the door (which was a 2 mintue task) My Osburn insert has performed perfectly. Wet wood makes all the glass get dirty, but....
  14. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    There are alot of hearth products on the market today. And quite honestly when you are comparing apples to apples quality, reliability etc. is really fairly comparable. (there are exceptions) What's funny is when I travel around to different regions and see what is "the best" in that region it varies widely. I think you'll be happy with the Lopi insert they're good stoves and if the dealers good then go for it. Again I wouldn't count hearthstone out either. Like Elk has pointed out to us with VC these stove companies make 1000's of stoves per year and yet there are really a handfull of people with complaints. There's bound to be a lemon in the bunch no matter what you manufacture, that's the great thing about warranties and the fact that they actually mean something in the hearth industry.
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    The true scoop on hearthstone is that they fired there warehouse manager in 2004. Biggest mistake they ever made. They just recovered from the quality control issues, or lack of, last season.
  16. CathMac

    CathMac New Member

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    MountainStoveGuy,
    Why did they "fire" the Warehouse Manager? Did they replace him with someone cheaper? How much impact would the Warehouse Manager have on quality control? I would think that would take place at the factory.

    Just curious, as someone who may be in the market for a Hearthstone Morgan. I spent a lot of time thinking about it last Fall. Since energy prices show no signs of going down now might be the time to start thinking about it again.
    ~CathMac
  17. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    It's extremely difficult to roast yourself out of the room with the Clydesdale. It being soapstone and cast iron, and 550 lbs that all works as a buffer to compensate for heat spikes and spread them out. I could not be happier about how even and constant the output is. On several occasions I've gotten 14 hour burns out of my Clydesdale and had the fans run for 16 hours on a single burn but mostly I light fires that last about 8 and fans stay on for 10-11 hours. I couldn't get 14 hour burns if my unit didn't seal tighter than a clamshell, and as with any manufacturing process there are a select few that end up extremely high in quality, and a select few that are terrible. I may have one of the good, and firemarshallbill one of the bad.

    The heat output is very constant with a Clydesdale. The blowers sound like an AC on medium (I credit Warren for that line). A warning, if you do the Clydesdale/Soapstone route there's an adjustment you have to make. Soapstone takes a comparitevly long time to heat up, and cool off for that matter. If you plan on coming home to a cold house and want to quickly heat it, the Clydesdale is probably not a good choice because from a cold start, it takes a couple hours to warm up the soapstone and mass and then it starts to warm your house. That can be a good thing if you want to extend its heating as it will heat for a couple hours more after the fire has gone out. But, that hinders your ability to take the chill out of the morning as lighting a fire it will be near noon when it starts to heat. It's not a unit that's well suited for stop & go heating or quick heating. What it is particularly good for, is constant fires and even heat output. Since the heat is pretty constant it's very hard to roast yourself out of a room. Non-soapstone units quickly heat up and can cause rooms to temporarily feel too hot, then it can cool off and make the room too cold. They tend to peaky. That's hard with a soapstone unit. Also, reloading a soapstone unit is a dream. I think the soapstone keeps a good draft going when the fire is out because when you reload the fire starts right up and burns fantastic in no time. So, the Clydesdale is better for burning 24x7 and even heat output but not good for "quickly" heating a cold house or taking the chill out of the morning. Expect it to take you a few months getting to know it.

    I have the Hearthstone Clydesdale and so impressed with it I was thinking about making a fan website. Very different experience. I called them twice on the phone and was directed to very helpful people before I purchased it solidifying my feeling they were the right company to deal with though they never respond to email. I think now, every manufacture is having problems responding to customers because of the drastic increase. Mine seals tighter than a clamshell every time. Even with embers, and coals in the way I shut the door and seal it, and it's tight. I have been extremely happy about the quality. It reminds me of a steam locomotive. That's too bad about your surround, I'm assuming it's more than the adjusting feet on it? There are two bolts in the surround at the base that you screw in/out to level it. Yours may be skewed which the levelling bolts won't fix. The Clydesdale's air handle that rests on the casing of the blower can vibrate and sounds like a doorbell buzzer. It is loud. I fixed that by putting a sliver of metal to make it a tight fit and now it's pinned on the blower casing not resting with no room to vibrate.

    I like Clydesdale's view, it's so beautiful. My house is a favorite of everyone's now to sit in front of it and watch the fire, and we never roast at all. To point out, I like Lopi's as well and you can't go wrong with either. It really depends on what your goal is. I plan on someday putting a Lopi in my basement, already know which Lopi I want because that's a place I do want to quickly heat & cool and use it for stop & go heating. I wouldn't give up the Clydesdale in my living area because the heat is even, the view so beautiful, and never roasts people out of the living area which is what was most important to me and I burn 24x7 with it so really use it as it was meant.

    My house is inefficient and the Clydesdale is just right (my house is 1400 square feet). When it's 0 degrees outside, the Clydesdale just keeps up in my house without overfiring so RiGuy your house is bigger but in a warmer zone than me so I'd think the Clydesdale best suited, and Cathmac your house is inefficient and the Clydesdale best suited. If anyone's interested, I can tell you how to get the most out of your Clydesdale including how to load the wood, best way to reload, best way to start a fire, and for $3.00 at your local hardware store how to increase the amount of heat it puts into the living area. Took me several months to learn it on my own and perhaps I can save you some trouble though each installation is unique.
  18. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Rhonemas,
    I'd really like to hear more about your tips for the Clydesdale. I have a deposit down on one and am looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it next winter!

    -Dan
  19. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    To not interfere with the posts topic I'll PM you Turner-n-Burner.
  20. CathMac

    CathMac New Member

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    Rhonemas,
    Thanks for remembering me. Is it my imagination or is your member name a little different now?

    I have only recently started re-visiting this site and I was hoping for feedback from you and Johnnyd now that you've both been using your Clydesdale and Morgan for a season now. (Johnnyd did wind up getting a Morgan, right?). Has his member name changed?

    Is there anyway for me to get at those old threads to refresh my memory on the Clydesdale versus the Morgan? My cape is old and inefficient but it is small and doesn't have an open floor plan so I think we were leaning towards the Morgan.

    If I remember correctly you wanted the Morgan but your wife liked the viewing size of the Clydesdale. It sounds like it has worked out well for you and that the heat isn't blasting you out of the room. I think your house is bigger than mine, but more efficient. Of course we might get around to replacement windows and insulation someday. We are very close to putting a deposit on a new roof and those would be the next couple of projects or so.

    Now would be a good time to thank you for all of your useful feedback the last go-around. I am hoping to be able to take action this time but you know how life gets in the way. We are expecting another baby in June so anything that absolutely needs to get done has to be done before then (e.g. the roof). Anything that waits til after then is a big maybe. But I did want to give a wood stove insert some thought in light of current fuel prices.

    ~CathMac
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