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I want to replace my Harman cast iron stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by OregonTy, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. OregonTy

    OregonTy New Member

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    I would like some advice. I have an older Harman wood stove. This is a cast unit that belches smoke out from many of the joints. I have owned this stove for 8+ yrs. and am the original purchaser. I use my stove as my only source of heat in my home. I am located in rural Salem, OR. I have a two story house but usually only heat the upper main living area. The sqft of this living area is 1400sqft. I want to buy a stove that I will not have to replace for a very long time. I have been looking at steel construction stoves but seem to be having a bit of a difficult time choosing a good one. I am leaning toward the Lennox Legacy S260. I dont want to break the bank but dont mind spending some extra money if it means doing it right the first time around. This is my only source of heat. I need the best wood stove I can get. Please help. I wish I had more time to read through your forums and help to answer my own questions. I have a very busy work schedule right now and can barely find the time to get on the computer. Thanks in advance for your time.

    I am completely disappointed in my Harman. This stove was great the first year and has gone down hill quickly since. It is currently beyond repair. At least from an economical standpoint.

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Sorry to hear about the problems with the Harmon. I'm assuming it shares the rear combustion system as all the others that break down in the first few years of service. :rolleyes:
    If you are Heating 24/7 with the stove and have a busy work schedule, look at Blaze King. They are made in Washington State. They have several options out there, all with burn times that no other stove company can achieve. Very durable, great warranty and great people to deal with. Give them a look.
    http://www.blazeking.com/
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    "Belching smoke from the joints"


    Are you sure you don't have a draft problem or other issue? Usually when panel joints on a stove leak what happens is they suck in extra air, burn out of control and potentially over fire.
  4. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Unless it's a rear combustion. They belch!
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear that. You may want to know harman has come a long way since then. I have owned and operated 4 different stove models from different Mfgs. My harman is far and away the best stove of all of them by a long shot. Of course it cost 3-4 times as much as any of the other stoves but its worth every penny. Has incredible burn times for a non-cat stove and will heat my 3000SF leaky 100 Yr old home on the coldest day with ease. I have it about 5 years.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Ty. The Lennox Country 260 is a serious heater and should do the job quite well. However, one caveat might be that it requires an 8" flue. What is the current flue diameter with the setup for the Harman, 6"? If so this stove is not the best, the Country S210 would be a better fit. How tall is the entire flue system from stove top to chimney cap? Is it straight up or out the wall and up?

    Also, what model Harman is this?
  7. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Blaze king, baby! Or lopi, woodstock, jotul, regency, pacific energy, englander 30 (cheap).

    Blaze king for super long burn times and great air control.

    Lopi for super build quality.

    Woodstock: beautiful stoves,great performance and service.

    Pacific energy, jotul, and regency seem to get good burn times for non-cats.

    Englander- cheap and good
  8. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Drolet another cheap solid stove.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Country stoves stand up well with the rest of them. They are an innovative, well made NW stove.
  10. OregonTy

    OregonTy New Member

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    Not sure what model my stove is. The flue diameter is not an issue. I have an 8 inch opening in the masonry chimney to work with. The overall height of the flue system (metal pipe attached to the masonry flue) is about 18 ft.

    Here is a link to my photo. http://i565.photobucket.com/albums/ss93/tyrush/P1020753_zps7b216bdc.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  11. OregonTy

    OregonTy New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    Is there any reason I should stay away from a catalytic stoves? I was told years ago to stay away from them. Do they need to be replaced every so often? Are they expensive to replace? I want a stove that is going to be as low maintenance as possible but still be efficient. If that is even possible.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not at all. There are several good steel cat stoves on the market. Cat stoves have to have a bit more complexity for the bypass and cat holder. There's a bit more maintenance with cleaning the cat, but not a lot. The ease of this process varies a bit from stove to stove. If you want as low maintenance as possible, then stick with a KISS stove that has firebrick or a stainless baffle system.

    The picture is dark, but I am guessing this is a Harman Oakwood. It sounds like you are getting a lot of backpuffing. This could be because of the way the stove is being run and poor draft. Downdraft stoves can be very fussy.

    How well seasoned is the wood you are burning?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  13. OregonTy

    OregonTy New Member

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    Wood is very well seasoned. Two years plus of seasoned dry storage. I am running a mix of maple and fir. Thats what I have on my property for fire wood.
  14. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    Those Oakwoods are nice looking stoves, and should put out good heat, but their combustor package needs maintenance and are extremely fragile, as you may have found out. That plus the fact that it is a downdraft stove, prevented me from buying a used one a few years ago. However, if I owned one, I would be getting it repaired and learn how to use it (downdraft system seems to be very picky about draft and barometric pressure), as it would be my second or third choice of stoves just under blaze king and woodstock. Yes the combustion package and firebrick are expensive but so is a cat, and so are baffles and tubes in a non-cat stove. If you do choose to replace the stove, that stove should still have some value to someone who wants to rebuild it.

    If you are a least bit interested in keeping this stove, tell us more about the problems, and maybe we can help you with it. If not, then go directly to the part where I say-buy a Blaze King, don't be scared of a cat, great for low and slow burning, very controllable stove.

    You say the stove is belching smoke, where is the smoke exiting the stove? It looks like from the photos that the stove has the 6 to 8 adapter right at the stove. I am wondering if it would work better to run 6 pipe to the chimney, then use the adapter at the chimney, any experts on this subject? I think usually the combustor can be taken apart and cleaned, or rebuilt. If there is damage to the combustor, I would buy a new one, rebuild the old one to have on hand as needed.

    I do agree with you on getting a steel stove instead of cast iron if you do purchase a new stove, and a non-cat may last longer in an abusive environment. Most would say that maintenance on a non-cat is less than the cat, we can debate that, and have for years here on this forum. All stoves need maintenance and cleaning periodically regardless of the way the secondary gasses are combusted.

    I prefer the blaze king stoves with cat and thermostatic air control for low and slow burns. As close to a set and forget stove as it gets.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you like the look of cast iron, but want a simple steel stove at heart look at the Enviro Boston, Jotul F55 and Pacific Energy Alderlea T6 stoves. These are cast iron jacketed steel stoves.

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