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In Defense of the Hearthstone Phoenix

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by thechimneysweep, Nov 30, 2005.

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  1. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Bellingham, WA
    Was perusing forum postings over my coffee this morning, and happened across a comment that the forum seems to have received several unfavorable comments about the Hearthstone Phoenix lately. I'm a long-time Hearthstone retailer, and my Phoenix customers have been overwhelmingly pleased with the product, so I feel this comment shouldn't stand without response. I'm an occasional visitor to the forum and a bit of a "skimmer", but in my memory only two Phoenix complaints have been posted lately:

    1) A new buyer with a too-short chimney, whose final posting was nonetheless very positive about the Phoenix after the dealer finally sent an installer over to show her how to fire the stove. Her experience will likely improve even further once she gets her chimney extended to minimum height.

    2) Another new buyer who couldn't control the rate of burn, and found the cause was loose screws in the ashtray area.

    It seems to me that posting #1 wasn't a Phoenix quality issue at all, but a situation where the dealer didn't check the chimney height or teach his customer how to fire a soapstone stove.

    Posting #2 might not be a Phoenix quality issue either. When bolting things to cast iron, care must be taken not to overtighten the screws or bolts, as the brittle iron can crack under too much tension. During the assembly process, the screw guns are set to just "snug" these fittings.

    We're on the West Coast, so the stoves we sell from East Coast manufacturers must travel a long road to get here. Over the years, we've freighted cast iron and cast iron/stone stoves from VC, Dutchwest, Woodstock, Morso, Waterford, Hearthstone and others across the country, and we learned long ago that truck vibration in transit can loosen the screws and bolts. We check these fittings before delivering the stove to the customer, like the dealer involved with poster #2's stove will likely do from now on.

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  2. Jfigliuolo

    Jfigliuolo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
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    Sure... but the screws were NOT just loose. 2 were only 1/2 threaded into the stove. That's an awfull lot of vibrations... Also they were tough to turn so I think vibration is out of the picture.

    FYI I am working directly w/Hearthstone to determine exactly what happened with my stove. To their credit they have been helpfull and responsive.
  3. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if they used a torque wrench to prevent cracking the case. If they stopped when the torque wrench clicked and didn't check to see if it clicked because the bolts got hung up that could be the reason. I have a Hearthstone, I couldn't be happier with my unit and the company. I called them twice and they were as friendly and responsive as can be. I don't think they know how to use email, I've never gotten a response that way from them but it has always been a joy calling them. My install and liner on the otherhand belongs in the Guinness book world records for problems and issues and should be used as an example of what not to do and what happens if you do it that way but nothing to do with Hearthstone.

    Jfigliuolo now that you've fixed the issue you're probably going to absolutely love it. I'm still trying to get used to the soapstone, and it's going to take you a year to get to know yours. I keep forgetting Soapstone takes time to warm up & cool, this Thanksgiving I had the in-laws down and after dinner they were cold. So, I put some logs in and left the air cranked. Well, they warmed up and I turned the air down but soapstone is like a buffer. My unit kept on putting out gobs & gobs of heat for the next hour. My house eventually settled around 97 degrees on one half, 78 in the other half. I have plastic on the windows to stop air leaks but didn't have a hair dryer to smoothen them out. After that incident I didn't need one, the heat shrunk all the plastic nice and tight. I had to hold back from laughing watching the in-laws in a sort of heat induced drunken stupor they could hardly walk. They were asking me to turn the heat down, I kept telling them I did but Soapstone doesn't work like that. A few minutes later ask me to turn the heat down some more, and I say it's as low as it can go but Soapstone and my insert weighing 550 lbs it doesn't just turn down like that. "Our unit does it instantly. You didn't turn the heat down, I can still feel it getting hotter, God turn the heat down". Well, I have to say my Heathstone has personality as that's a story I'll never forget and who it picked to heat like never before. A week later, I heard my wife talking to them on the phone saying, "Nope, he hasn't gotten it that hot since. It's never gotten that hot before". Anyway, good Hearthstone and I laugh so hard. It showed a little of its personality that day and that's a Thanksgiving I'll probably never forget made most memorable by my Hearthstone.
  4. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    It still may not be a manufacturer issue. Hearthstone does not sell direct. Perhaps they expect their dealers to check for predictable things (like loosened screws) which can happen in transit before selling the unit to an end user.

    Then again maybe they're QC plain sucks.

    I just purchased a hearthstone homestead and love the stove. Works like a charm, best stove I've ever owned.
    (I've owned 4 before this one over 30 years)
  5. Hokerer

    Hokerer Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
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    We're going in to our seventh season with our Hearthstone Phoenix and, have to say, it's been one of the best purchases we've ever made.
  6. Jfigliuolo

    Jfigliuolo New Member

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    Well, after talking to HS, and getting test results...

    It appears that the screws DID loosen up on shipment since the stove tested pretty tight before shipping. (100 CFH passing is 160)

    I have to say, since it's been running well, I am starting to really like it. It will take a while to get over the installation fiasco, but in time...

    One thing sort of related... Since it got SO hot on the first BIG load (since it wouldn't damper), the nearby walls got pretty hot. So to appease the wife (who naturally worries) I am putting in a heat shields on the corner walls where the stove is mounted. This is ading to the PIA factor... but you can't ague w/safety.
  7. annette

    annette Member

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    I just want to concur that trucking an item can cause bolts (machine screws, whatever you want to call them) to unthread PLENTY. I had a job on a tour, and we knew we'd be sorry if we didn't tape certain things in place before trucking them to the next site, and retighten those and everything else once we got there.

    I feel that checking such things should either be on a dealer's or installer's task list, but I'm not sure who I would hold responsible.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I figured that one out years ago. The one responsible is the one I handed the money to.
  9. annette

    annette Member

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    Good point!
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