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Help me choose a Stove!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Machria, Nov 7, 2012.

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  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I'd agree with BAR. Especially when going non-cat, where the plan is to burn a little hotter, 3 cu.ft. is a LOT of stove. When I was looking at non-cat's, I was only considering 2.0 to 2.5 cu.ft. stoves, and my heat load is pretty high.

    If going non-cat, the PE Alderleas seem to have a lot of fans, as well as Jotul. Those are certainly the first two I'd be checking, if I were buying a non-cat.

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  2. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I think he said something about Alderlea not fitting the decor, but not sure. Otherwise, a good choice that I also considered. PE's Super 27 is the same box as Alderlea T5 but without the cast sleeve.

    Others worth considering would be Lopi's and maybe Country. They have a model called the Grandview 230 that hasn't gotten any attention on this forum, but I liked it a lot when I was looking.
  3. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    hmmmmm......... so maybe my firebox size goal of 3.0+ is too large?? I want it big, because it's a fairly big roomwhen you consider the cathedral ceilings, lots of large winodws... plus I always like things beefier than they need to be, I hate being under-gunned!! So that brings me back to my nice contemporary looking Enerzone Destination with a 2.3 box. BUT, the problem is then the burn time, which will be fairly short of my ~10 hour goal (overnight...).

    So are there any Hybrid or CAT units, that look similar to the Destination, in the smaller boxes that might meet my 10 hour burn time goal?
  4. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    Blaze King Chinook 30
  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Okay, here's another 2c:
    IMO, unless you really need to keep a house warm while you're at work on a 12 hour shift or something, lengthy burn times are overrated. There I said it. With exceptions, of course, but I don't think I'd make it the #1 criteria. Any medium size stove should give you 8 hours anyway, and starting a fire in the morning is so easy (especially with Super Cedar's;)). No stove is perfect or has everything. You are going to have to make priorities.

    And don't underestimate the amount of heat you can get out of a 2 or 2.3 cf when you need it.
    Joful likes this.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I am that exception. And all the blaze King owners.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The woodstock PH is heavy and makes lots of heat but it is not a big stove. As I recall, it is well under 3 CF and rated for a pretty small area. Too bad the looks and weight are a deal killer, it sounds like a nice stove.

    The PE line has the stove you want. The "super" firebox is an honest 2.0 CF (on edit) and can easily get you 10 hours while putting out a great flame show. The super series stove is available in several versions to match your decor. Is an easy cooker, not picky about wet wood, and front door with straight in loading. If you can't find what you need within the PE lineup then I suspect you already have your heart set on another stove and should just get that one instead.

    The enerzone stoves you describe are rare and unrepresented in my part of the country. Often, stoves are sold heavily in one region near their place of manufacture.

    I am not convinced that hybrid stoves are a good idea. What you get is a non-cat stove with the added complexity and cost of a cat but without the benefit of very long burn times. The reason, as near as I can tell, for a hybrid is to meet lower emissions standards that are not yet required.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Well, some of us do go to work for 8-9 hours and then we commute for another hour or two per day. Most of us easily burn up 12 hours between stepping out of the door and stepping back in. The last thing I want to do right before I leave and as soon as I return home is to restart a cold stove, that's called being a slave to your heater. Once you get the right stove installed, you can reload once or twice per day at leisure.

    Burn times are number one for those of us that heat 100% with wood and are unable to babysit a stove all day while rocking in a chair knitting.

    A casual burner can afford to have some pretty crazy priorities. Things like only top loaders, only red stoves, only ash pans, etc. can matter way more when the function of the stove as a heater is not so important.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Well, I asked for it, didn't I:ZZZ;lol . I only wanted to point out that it may not be the most important priority for everyone.
    And I don't knit! (But if I did, I would have earned the right, I assure you...)
    Highbeam likes this.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Sprinter, FWIW, but we're getting mixed messages, here. Machria wants to avoid cat stoves that can burn low and slow, but is concerned with sizing his non-cat under 3.0 cu.ft., as it may hurt his burn times. I understand the confusion, as I was trying to sort all of this stuff out myself just a year ago.

    You can indeed get a 3.0 cu.ft. stove and use it in your space, cat or non-cat, with a few caveats. If it's a cat stove, you'll run it up north of 400F, get the cat ignited, and then you can back it down to whatever stove top temperature you like for a long cruise. I keep mine cruising just above 250F in warmer weather. The initial stint to 400F is short, and can help to quickly knock the chill off the room, while the long cruise at 250F just helps maintain room temp.

    If it's a non-cat stove, you can't easily cruise at 250F, so you manage by having shorter fires at higher temperature. These fires heat the non-cat stove up over a short period of time, and then you just let the stove radiate heat long after the fire has died down. It's more cyclical in warm weather, but it works for most folks.

    In cold weather, when heat load is high, you're running either stove at a higher temp, and the differences sort of disappear. What you cannot have from a 3 cubic foot non-cat stove is a long 12 - 16 hour cruise at 250F... that's the domain of the cat stove. If you really oversize a non-cat stove, you'll find yourself doing those cyclical heating cycles all winter, which could get old very quick.
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I said something about not being able to have it all, but I'd like to hear a bit more from the hybrid owners. Do you get the best of both worlds, or what are the potential negatives for someone considering one?
  12. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    The Super 27 is the one I have FWIW. It claims 2.0 cf but seems bigger. I've heard people say that sometimes box sizes are exaggerated. I don't know if that's true or not. I can't speak for burn times yet, but there a lot of Super owners out there who could tell you what it's capable of.

    I've wondered about that myself. It's no secret that EPA is getting ready to release new emission standards that may be something like 4.5 grams, similar to Washington State standards. I suppose hybrids may be one way to get there.

    EDIT: However, there are so many non-cats that already are in the 2 or 3 gram range, I wouldn't think a new technology would really be necessary
  13. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    The Progress firebox is 2.8 Cu. Ft, which is pretty close to 3 CF.
    The stove is rated for heating 1600-2200 square feet by Woodstock's standards, which are very conservative.
    Not sure what you mean by "without the benefit of very long burn times" - the stove has awesome burn times.
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  14. rijim

    rijim Member

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    As I see it, Machria has to decide the level of commitment he is willing to make, if all in, then cat or hybrid sized to heat with those ceiling height and windows should be considered. Cat & Hybrid can run hot for effect an hour or 2 when cold then dial down to cruise temps and enjoy heat w/long burns; shoulder seasons won't be a problem when dialed down. If not really committed, go non-cat sized for 1500 sf and plan to run furnace when the mercury drops and the wind kicks up. From the description getting this thing in will be a wrestling match so there will be no do over or mind changing next year. An over sized non-cat will create comfort issues for those sitting in close proximity on all but the coldest days; a Cat or hybrid will give wider comfort range but will be a source of frustration to a casual user.
  15. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    As I recall, the original post was concerned mostly with only having a supplement to the central heating as well as the ambiance of open flame. He may be changing his mind a bit about that now. If that is still the case, though, then I would still encourage a non-cat medium size that fits the decor and that the other half likes.

    I can relate to the process. I was all over the place until I was able to figure out the priorities and needs and what niche the various models filled. These kinds of discussions, even though they sometimes seem disjointed can help figure it all out.
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    In the stove world, 2 CF is good for overnight and 3 CF is about the biggest common size. The spread is so narrow that even 0.2 CF makes a notable difference. Point is that the PH is not a monster, it's just heavy.

    You think the PH has awesome burn times? No, not even close, maybe decent burntimes or even slightly above average but not awesome. WS only rates that stove for 12-14 hours on their website and that's what owners report. The PH had such potential, I was so disappointed when they released the stove and the specs read very much like the typical non-cat.

    Do we need another cat vs. non-cat thread? I certainly do not consider a hybrid to be teh best of both worlds, but rather the worst of both worlds and at this point would not recommend the technology. I like beer and I like whiskey but I don't mix them on purpose and expect to get something great.
  17. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Okay, only BK's achieve "awesome" burn times. We all know that, but 12-14 hours is very good, certainly better than "slightly above average," more like in the top 5℅. So the PH isn't a BK, it's still a very good stove, despite the complaints that it's not a BK.

    It's not clear that BK performance can be replicated without access to the Alien Technology®. Other stoves with cats don't do it. Other stoves with thermostatic air control don't do it. Recent speculation indicates that the thermostat just stays closed @ low burn, so the mojo appears to be due to something unique in the BK's basic air flow. . .maybe they are just way ahead of everyone else in tuning the whole system. Tom Morrissey is buddies with Chris; so I'll bet he knows the secret, but he's probably not the type of guy to blatantly rip off someone else's design.
  18. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Just what is that, anyway?
  19. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    What I can't figure out is why these two stoves have such similar firebox sizes and efficiency ratings, yet they burn so differently. I would have considered the BK Princess, but it's a top-vent only and the wife also hates the looks.

    All I can say is I loved my Fireview but the Progress is even better.


    BK Princess----------------------------------------WS Progress

    BKP1.jpg Prog.jpg
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    You're right about the t-stat..it is slow and lazy.
    I do think the air flow is part of it and I'm thinking it also has to with a lot of effort to get the right size cat.
    The wash air (the only air) is really preheated well through a couple deliver tubes from back to front...i don't really know if that helps or not.
    And the way theses things cost for as ugly as they are I'm thinking there is alloy of some type on the stove..at least the top.
    The top really seems to adsorb heat from the box and radiate it quickly.
    For some reason they react really well to outside temps changes without doing anything.
    I'm also wondering with such a big box that the smoke gets a chance to be burnt off better by the cat..most of the people I talk to hardly ever fill them more then 2/3 unless going away for a week..lol.
  21. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Only The Aliens know. ;)


    +1
    I would've had to wreck my hearth to install a top-vent stove. . .can't see doing that when nice rear-vent hearth stoves are available. The real pisser for me is that a Princess came up for sale locally for $800 shortly after the Fireview had gotten comfortable on my hearth. Doh!

    Maybe the BK design doesn't work as well with rear venting. . .
  22. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Dang it dddden, I went back and edited my post within minutes of posting it to remove any BK vs. WS rambling but you snatched it up really fast. I know it is unfair to compare anything to the BK but even without the BK, the PH was a big fat whiff. I had high hopes for that stove and they nailed most of the things that they needed to nail. Burn time is 33% of what it could be and is comparable to non-cats even though WS has always been such a pro-cat company. 12 hour burns from 3CF non-cats is not an uncommon spec.

    Sorry to morph the thread. I am voting for the PE super firebox in the cladding of choice for the OP.
  23. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    It's that damn tritanium again, isn't it? Probably classified stuff. Zip::P
  24. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, clearly Tritanium alloy. ==c
  25. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Well it works!
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