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Log Cabin Stove Replacement: Questions/options--Drolet Escape 1800

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BorisDC, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. BorisDC

    BorisDC New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Washington, DC
    Hello everyone, first time poster here. I've already learned a ton from this forum by lurking, and thought you all might help out this stove novice with changing out an existing stove/chimney install for a new one.

    The picture below is of the log cabin I got a few months ago, as the owner left it. The place is around 1700 sq ft, with log walls and insulated roof, including basement. Pictured is the living room with cathedral ceiling, to the right are stairs to an open loft located over the open kitchen and two small bedrooms. There are ceiling fans. Basement is half underground on a slope, with cinder-block foundation walls. There are electric baseboard heaters. The cabin is in the mountains of West Virginia, so it can get pretty cold in the winter, normally in the teens to thirties, and down to -15 F during real cold snaps.

    StoveBefore.jpeg

    The existing stove is a cast iron DutchWest cat. I have not fired it up. How many things can you spot wrong with the installation? (never mind the decor)... The previous owners were lucky they didn't have a fire--the wall behind the stove is somewhat charred/stained, stovepipe too close, leaking and rusty. Stove seals shot. I don't think that kindling (in a paper bag in a plywood-lined compartment!) has minimum clearance, etc...

    After removing the masonry wall:

    IMG_1129.jpeg

    Here is the plan:

    1. Completely remove the existing hearth and stove
    2. Put in new hearth: one-inch slate slab on the floor (on top of 1/4 inch Durock), corrugated metal wall shield
    3. Put in new stove (I think I've narrowed it to the Drolet Escape 1800)
    4. Have new chimney and pipe installed (through existing roof cut)

    I keep thinking the Drolet because it's reasonably priced, has low clearances, is relatively compact depth-wise so it won't stick out far into the room (still can be loaded NS though), and I like it's clean/classic look (would get pedestal w/ nickel door).

    Questions:
    --Is this a good stove choice for the space described? Has 2.3 firebox and seems like a burly medium-size stove, but I have only seen a few reviews. Will it be enough for a log home? I figure the baseboard heating can keep the place from freezing when we're not there (second home), while we crank the stove when we are. Would be especially interested in any first-hand experiences, especially regarding burn time.

    --I also considered Timberwolf 2200 (too small/durability?), Napoleon 1400/1450, PE Super 27 (would protrude into the room more, not sure they are worth extra cost?).

    --I read that this stove (Drolet) needs to have baffles removed or quick release flu (?) for chimney cleaning: How much of a consideration should that be? Any owners out there? Deal breaker?

    --Chimney: what about single pipe vs. double - any issue with using single wall pipe? I was thinking it could help heat the room (was planning to bringing wall shield behind the pipe all the way up).

    Wow, thanks for reading this far!! I'm sure I'll have more questions as I go along...

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  2. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Member

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    Loc:
    Hi Desert Southern California 3000' level
    Double wall pipe all the way to get the closer 6'' minimum clearances.. nice looking place. Thats all I know.
  3. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
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    1,710
    Loc:
    WNY
    Reminds me of the Fisher install we had here when we bought the place.

    About all I can say is we have to remove firebrick and baffles to clean our stove and flue as well, and I imagine that's pretty much standard. Not a big deal, just be careful and pay attention to how it all went together-or pay someone else to do it if you aren't comfortable with it.

    Oh, and I don't think you'll need a wall shield, just mind your clearances and you'll be fine.

    And double wall pipe. The goal is to heat with the stove, and not let enough go up the flue as to make it a heating element.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,023
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That looks like a very nice home. It's good to see you are correcting the sins of the past. The Drolet should be up to the job. They make decent stoves. It can burn N/S with shorter splits but is mostly an E/W loader. The PE or Napoleon have true square fireboxes. Given that there is no insulation I would not hesitated to go a bit larger. Take a look at the 2.5 cu ft Enviro Kodiak and the Buck 74 stoves.
  5. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Loc:
    Pine Barrens, NJ
    Your cabin looks very similar to ours. We are roughly 2000 sq ft. and our Jotul Oslo (2.5 cu ft) does a pretty good job even on the coldest days of winter. It can be a little cool in our one downstairs bedroom, though. In the mountains of WV, I think Id want a bigger firebox than the 1800 offers. It seems like you'll be pushing the envelope w that model drolet and that might be something you'll regret. I love steel stoves and had one in the Adirondack Mts, but they tend to cool down between loads more so than cast and defInately more than soap. For this reason, Id advise going a little bigger if you're going the steel route. Maybe the next size up from the 1800 if they make one. People seem very happy with the Englander 30s and the Blaze King line as well. Best of luck with whatever you choose.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How many sq ft on the stove floor level? Is the ceiling/roof insulated?
  7. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Southwest Minnesota
    Hi, I have the Drolet 1800 in my house and here are my impressions.

    My home is around 1700 sq. ft also but not as open as yours. We live in southern MN. This is our first year with the stove and we haven't had any real cold weather yet (below 0 F) so I can't tell you yet how it will perform under harsh conditions yet. We've had a few nights where the temps dropped to the low teens and this stove kept the house at 71 degress quite easily but those were windless nights and my old house is a different beast when the wind blows hard. I find that to get lots of heat from the stove to the rest of the house the stove fan must be running and it isnt super quiet/ nor is it super noisy. It just makes some noise. I have placed the stove (corner installation) within 2.5" of walls by using 20 guage sheet metal on the walls(spaced 1" from wall) starting 2" above hearth pad to 23" above top of stove. I wish I had a photo of this for you but I didnt have acess to double wall stovepipe when I installed the stove so I used the 6' single wall pipe from stove to chimney adaptor. I then used a piece of 8" single wall pipe, cut in half (more like 2/3rd's) and spaced that pipe 1" away from the 6' pipe(kinda like wrapped around the 6' pipe) from where the wall protection ended above the stove to where the chimney enters my side wall. Sort of a poor man's double wall pipe. Must be OK where I live because my insurance inspector gave me the thumbs up and I can attest through experience that the wall is never hot to the touch, in fact it is barely warm even when the stove top is cooking along at 650 degrees.

    I've yet to stuff it full for max burn time but I usually put 3 or 4 splits in at 10:30pm let it get roaring. Shut the damper in 2 stages, in bed by 11pm and will have coals in the morning enough to light a new fire with small kindling and a stove top temp around 200. Sometimes my propane furnace will come on once during the night but only a couple times so far. Glass stays really clean, but I am burning very dry maple/ash most the time so thats a big help. Havent cleaned it yet but am awaiting the Soot Eater to arrive and will clean it then. I dont think taking the baffle tubes out is too big of a deal but will let you know if it proves otherwise. I went with the stove because it looks good, built in blower, about the right size for my space, and it was on sale for 795 at menards this fall. When you factor in the $300 tax credit your really getting alot of stove for $495.

    If you do get this stove be sure and cut some shorter lenghts of wood for N/S loading. I find with a cold stove that the N/S load will get the stove up to temp quicker, but after that the longer (18" +) logs go in and really do a nice job of throwing the heat.

    I'm in the minority here, but I like the ash dump feature. To each thier own on that issue.

    Hope this helps your decision process.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the quick review Mark!
  9. Mark Richards

    Mark Richards New Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
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    Loc:
    Southwest Minnesota
    Your welcome. Just had some really cold weather this week in the single digits and I loaded up the stove to max capacities last night(silver maple and ash mix). The stove kept the house from 72 degrees at bedtime 11 pm to 67 degrees this morning @ 6am with enough coals to get the fire going again with some smaller kindling. I'm really getting to like this stove it is just so easy to control the burn rate it seems, However this is my first stove ever so I am still a rookie! Dry wood makes all the defference.
  10. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2,080
    Loc:
    Richmond, VA
    I like single-wall flue because it does radiate heat into the cabin on the way up. Haven't had any problem with creosote. Another advantage is that mine telescopes, allowing me to raise it 8-10 inches above the flue collar on the stove. I can then sweep from the bottom up without dismantling the stove...just 3 screws securing flue to collar. I don't know if you can get telescoping double wall. I do have more clearance than you, however, so you'd definitely need some sort of heat shield all the way up.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, telescoping double-wall is commonly available. We have it on both stoves. Double-wall connector is preferred by many stove makers on runs over 8ft.

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