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I would love advice on insert brands

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by muentc, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. muentc

    muentc New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    yarmouth, ME
    Currently I'm looking to replace an old fire place insert with a pelelt stove.
    Any information on brands would help.
    My top picks so far are:

    Lopi "Pioneerbay"
    Harmon "Äccentra"

    Thanks

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  2. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
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    Loc:
    Hagerstown, MD
    You might want to check out Hearth's stove ratings at http://hearth.com/ratings/search.php

    Pretty much my take on the whole thing is 1)Most people are on their first pellet stove and have little, if any, real-world experience with other manufacturers and 2) Most everyone is going to recommend the stove brand they have. That being said, I have a Harman P68 and have had no problems with it and love it. Make sure you have a reputable dealer with the Harman as they do warranty support, etc. exclusively through the dealer.
  3. IIFAST4U

    IIFAST4U Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Western, RI
    I love my St. Croix but its also my first stove.

    Shawn
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
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    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    In all reality....how does a homeowner garner experience with other stoves if the one they have working is doing a great job and one is all they need? :)

    The quadrafire cb1200i is working great for me. Easy to install, easy to learn to operate, heats my whole house and great tech support locally. I got a knock-out spring deal on mine (and still havent used propane for the furnace since installing).

    I love it and will no longer dread heating bills or shivvering trying to keep the bills minimum.
  5. IIFAST4U

    IIFAST4U Member

    Joined:
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    Western, RI

    I did a search here on the forum for the stoves I was considering including the breckwell. After reading all the issues with the breckwell I chose my stove. I also searched on here for local dealers that had good service before choosing my stove.

    Other than that its almost a crap shoot.

    My opinion anyways.

    Shawn
  6. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
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    Loc:
    Michigan
    That is exactly what I started out doing a year ago. I was going to go with a certain brand based on the lower price but after seeing all the issues AND no local dealer support I simply chose a more reputable brand and excellent dealer support (the extra 500.00 was well spent for those issues).

    Plenty of great stoves out there. I'd still rather choose one that doesnt require the owner to be a "tinker-meister" because without dealer support that is what you'll have to do.
  7. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

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    Loc:
    Hagerstown, MD
    What I found from researching online with people is you end up more confused than ever. I found many an instance where people were negative about Harman. However, I purchased one anyway and have found it to be a good decision.
    To better answer the OP's question: research local dealers and look at the stoves physically. It might be that one dealer stands out. As a couple of other people have said, sometimes paying a little more and getting great service from a dealer is money well spent. If you look long enough, you are going to find people with good experiences with both stoves, but also some horror stories along the way.
  8. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    Loc:
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    That's a fact. Good post.
  9. Tinman

    Tinman New Member

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    Apr 10, 2008
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    Loc:
    Western MA
    I work on all Pellet stoves and Install 3 Brands I think Harman is the best most maintenence free stove on the Market with the best warranty. But if the dealer doesn't services it then it's a lot of money out the window.
  10. lpgreg

    lpgreg Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    central mi.
    If your looking for another insert, I have a Whitfield profile 30 that I used this this whole heating season and had no problems at all. We like it. I believe they also make pellet stoves.
  11. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    I agree. research as much as you can on the Stove and the Dealer.

    If the Dealer tells you he has never fixed a certain stove, he has not sold enough of them.

    1.) Make sure the Dealer will come to your house and service the stove or do you have to return the stove to him?

    2.) Check if the Dealer stocks parts or has to order them.

    3.) What does the Dealer charge for service calls? Not all service calls are covered under the warranty.

    a.) If you do not clean your chimney and it clogs the stove, it is your fault.
    b.) If the ignitor does not work because it is full of ash, it is your fault.
    c.) If you leave the door open to long and do not reset the stove (pull the plug and plug back in) it is your fault.

    You will be charged

    Always remember if you buy a stove from a Dealer that does not own a motor vehicle and you live 40 miles away, do the math on how long it will take him to get to your house. Yes some Dealers do not have electricity or motor vehicles.

    Eric
  12. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    N. Central Mass

    I am a 2 time pellet stove owner. I started out with a Lopi. It was the smaller of the 2 available. It was a good stove that performed well for 5 years. It needed alot of maintance as the ash pan was very small. The glass needed to be cleaned daily. It was also a top feeder...so it was very picky about the pellets it burnt. Cheaper pellets would make giant clinkers in the firepot. It had its auger motor replaced by a not so reliable service tech. (a foonote here...be careful who you are dealing with when it comes to service and instalation...there are a lot of unscupulous people out there). And the door gasket needed to be replaced every year. Overall it was a good stove that heated my 1600 sft home rather nicely. I sold it last year to someone and hope they are still using it and enjoying the heat it gives off.

    That said I can say I was glad to get rid of the POS Lopi stove and buy a Harmen Accentra Insert last October.. The Harmen has performed better than my expectations. It burns pellets at a much higher rate tha the Lopi could ever dream of. More pellets burned means more heat. The harmen also has a thermostat which the Lopi didn't have (to the lopis defense it was a option that I didn't get). Because of the Room Temp mode of the Harmen my pellets usage didn't increase too much over the smaller Lopi. The Harmen still likes to have prememium pellets (cubex rock) it will burn anything that I have tossed into it. The ash pan in the Harmen is giant (compared to the Lopi) so you aren't always claening the stove. The Lopi needed to be cleaned at least once a week...whereas the harmen I can let go 4 weeks ( still clearing clinkers everday with the ahrmen...somethings nver change). The glass only needs to be cleaned once a week or so. The Harmen is a better stove in every aspect than the Lopi except the 3 panel glass door on the lopi broadcasts the light more evenly than the single pane in the Harmen. Does this help?
  13. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,099
    Loc:
    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
    Good point about one sided experiences. Maybe the question should be "What stove would you avoid, and why?"

    I have a casual interest in this as I may supplement the Quad with a pellet insert one day.

    Chris
  14. sylvestermcmonkey

    sylvestermcmonkey Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    The Land that Time Forgot
    Be sure to read the announcement at the top of this forum. Then narrow your selections down to specifications that suit your needs. Finally scrutinize the dealers in your area and see which ones are motivated enough to sell.

    For what it's worth I considered a Harman for its specifications but the closest dealer to me didn't impress me with his professionalism. The Harman seems like a quality unit but I was reluctant to buy one without competent local support. The Quadra-Fire I eventually bought was available locally, but the dealer was difficult to work with and didn't seem terribly knowledgeable about the stove. They wanted a $1000 deposit from me before lifting a finger, then sent an installer to inspect my site who proceeded to tell me all the things he wasn't willing to do. I ended up buying one from a dealer farther away, who expressed genuine interest in my requirements and answered all my questions in a professional manner. Their price was even a bit less.

    You can buy the most well-engineered product on Earth but if it's not installed or serviced properly you'll soon regret your decision. A pellet stove isn't a frivolous purchase for most people. It astounds me that manufacturers of quality equipment would let nincompoops represent their company at the retail end.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I also had a very positive experience with the Quad 1200i. It's a simple stove, easy to clean and very low weekly maintenance.
  16. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    Loc:
    Michigan
    I could've purchased my CB1200i just 6mi down the road yet after talking with them on pricing and knowledge on their stoves I chose to drive 50mi instead.

    Dealers can make or break the deal.......even moreso than a particular brand (as there are many stoves that could do the job but fewer dealers to make the experience a pleasant one).
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