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Help Needed in NG fireplace selection / Pros/Cons

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by hotot, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. hotot

    hotot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    central ny
    I am looking to put in a NG fireplace in an area we built for it. The size is small so we need a slimline (16" / 36") unit. I went to the two fireplace places in town and each have an option, but their are pros and cons to each and I don't know enough about it to make the right choice. Any advice appreciated.

    First I liked both stores, the price on each unit was within $100 and the install price was within $100 so basically there is NO price decision.

    Fireplace 1:
    Fireplace Extrordinair 564 SS
    Pros:
    Has a feature on the thermostat where it turns down flame rather then shutting off to maintain temperature
    Nicer looking face option
    Cons:
    Lower BTU then other unit, tempered glass
    Fire looks faker

    Fireplace 2:
    Heat n Glo SL-550TRS
    Pros:
    Good looking fire
    Hotter, more BTU cermeric glass
    Seems to be better brand
    Cons:
    Thermostat just turns off fire when temp reached.

    This unit is not being used for primary heat but only to take the chill off in the room we use most 24x16 family room, so rest of house can be cooler.

    If the heat n glo had the thermostat "cruise control" we would get that. But that seemed like a valuable feature to us. The saleman said you would just figure out what flame height and blower setting keeps it at the right temperature after some use and would not use thermostat.

    What are other opinions on these fireplaces / brands / and options that I may be missing?

    Thanks!

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,935
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Can't speak to #1 as I have no experience with that model.
    The HNG 550TRS is a kick-a$$ heater & the flames look good.
    Regency's P33 is in the same parameters as the 550 & is also
    a good heater, altho I like HNG's flame presentation better...
    The feature that you're looking for in a tstat which turns down
    the flames comes with certain HNG models, but not the smaller
    units like the 550. You'd hafta go up to the 6000 CLX & you don't
    have the the room. That requires 42" at open framing. The depth
    is about 23"...The downside to what you want IMHO, is that the
    tstat requires a "stepper motor" on the gas valve, & I have yet to
    come across one that is absolutely silent when it adjusts up or down.
    The salesman didn't BS you. I always told people to set the flame
    height to medium & set the blower to midrange (if you get one), &
    go sit on your couch. If you're cold, turn either or both up. If you're
    hot, turn one or both down. If you get a Skytech 3001 remote,
    you'll be able to turn the unit on/off or set the tstat...HTH
  3. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,692
    Loc:
    WNY
    We heat the Old House with gas stoves. I agree with Daksy, you'll get used to adjusting the flames if you even bother. We just let it come on and off with the t-stat and leave the flame height alone. About the only time I'd adjust is if we were really cold or wanted it on and it was getting too warm. Having had two stoves for 10 or so years, I'll say I wish the one downstairs had as nice of flames as the one upstairs. My advice is to go with the nicer flames over the "gadget" flame adjuster. You'll enjoy it more if it looks nicer and won't worry too much about flame adjustment pretty quick.
  4. sticks

    sticks Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Central IN
    I have dealt with both manufacturers I would always go with FPX. Look at eclecticcottage's list he has three units from the same company.
  5. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,692
    Loc:
    WNY
    Lol, Travis industries does make a nice product. BUT, if the dealers were equal when we were shopping for the first DV stove (the Heritage Bay), we'd have a Thelin Gnome in the living room (or maybe a Vermont Castings). Probably still have the Republic though, I wanted the Endeavor in a bad way since I saw it and the Republic is essentially the same stove. ALTHOUGH if we had gone with a VC we might have ended up with a Dutch West Cat model instead, because I really like the look of them.

    Except for the blowers being noisy, I really can't complain about any of the three stoves. The Heritage Bay isn't my fav of the three design wise, I would have prefered a thelin or VC looks wise. The Berkshire is a really nice stove, I can't complain about the flame looks or build quality. The only downfall on that one is the pilot won't light with the ignitor, we always have to use a lighter (we shut off the gas during the summer, no reason to waste gas). Even heating with them, if the price and dealer install quality was the same, I'd go with the one I think looks better. Of course, our stoves have ended up the center pieces of our homes, so looks matter.
  6. camenitto

    camenitto New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Baceno
    If you are worried about the BTU that the 564SS produces, They make a model that is called the 564 H.O. i believe the depth is the same it just has a little more height for an already installed ceramic board because of the extra heat, with FPX it is nice to have a little more BTU then expected cause they have a great turn down rate through not only the valve but from the comfort control, I beilieve its like 60% ish turn down rate so the BTUs are there if you need them and adjustable if not.
    pyrotom likes this.
  7. hotot

    hotot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
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    12
    Loc:
    central ny
    Well we picked the Heat N Glo. But once you add on the blower, and remote we were almost the same price as the Mendota Gas Fireplace Model DXV35 Deep Timber 3. This unit looked like a much better looking flame, more heat, and the turndown we wanted. The simple front was not as nice, but we went with it and hope to have it in a few weeks.
  8. hotot

    hotot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    central ny
    Installing the Mendota DXV35 now. The shop never told the installed we did not want the brick liner, we just wanted it black in the back of the fire. The person at the shop said the liner is reversable and would be black on the back. It is not. The installed said you can just remove the fake brick liner and run it that way. Which is fine, but you can see behind the liner was never fully painted. He is saying it is fine and will just paint it.

    It seems to make sense but just wanted to double check with others on how important the fake brick liner material is for proteching the unit.
  9. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,935
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    If they're an option, you can run it without the refractories.
    Shouldn't be any issues, other than aesthetics. You may find
    that with the refractories installed the unit will radiate more heat
    out thru the glass & into the room, rather than protecting the firebox
    shell. The inside can be painted with rattle-can Stove Bright hi-temp
    paint.
    HTH...
  10. berniehasgas

    berniehasgas New Member

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    Loc:
    Rochester, MN
  11. hotot

    hotot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    central ny
    Ok I talked to the installed and insisted they call Mendota. They said it should not be run without the refractory (even though we have for 24 hours now). They are going to come on Thur and paint them for us. The big question is what side? The plan the salesman told me was they would just reverse them and paint the back (is that ok?) but looking at the back it is pretty rough and unfinished, not sure that will give us the clean look we want. We can paint the front side and maybe the brick lines will disappear in the box.
    Just frustrating spending this much and not getting exactly what we want. I kinda knew we might be in trouble when he removed them and the paint on the sides was incomplete. If that was really an option they would have completed that I would have guessed.

    Thanks for your help, so I can safly assume from the experts here that painting the refractories and reinstalling them is ok? Also do these things ever fail or need to be replaced? They just seem like cheap Styrofoam?
  12. sticks

    sticks Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central IN
    Once the refactories are installed they seldom fail. I would vote for painting the brick side. It may not be as clean as you want but the other side of the panels as you noticed have nothing appealing to them.

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