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Looking for a new Stove - Observations and Questions

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ducker, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    So, For the past few weeks I've been trying to research pellet stoves and finding a serious lack of information out there on the different types of stoves that are available. I don't mean different in terms of those with automatic starts and thermostats vs. those that don't have them, or bottom vs. top feeders... But in terms of quality data on the different stoves that are out there. Most of the articles online right now are dated, some as old as from 2005 - I'm looking for a few more current data points.


    I mean different mfg types. So that leads me to this possible conclusion - that the quality of stoves does something like this.
    Top - middle of the pack - bottom
    Harman - Everything else - Englander

    And on top of that Harman's are only as good as the reseller that will be servicing it. If they stink, your stove might stink.
    So Vista Flame, St. Croix, Enviro, Whitfield are all just about the same. You're success/failure with one is just about the same with another.

    As money is a major factor in making my decision as to which stove to go with I'm looking to go with a stove that's resonably appealing to view, as well as reliable. (Efficiency isn't a factor as they are all 80+% efficient)

    I stopped by a local shop and they had 3 different types of stoves - Vista Flame, Enviro, and Whitfield. All the models had the auto start and the thermostat (which I could do with out..)

    The cheapest was about $2500 installed - pending an estimate on my situation - I have a hearth with a wood stove currently in place that I want this to replace. I was really looking to get this done for at or under 2k.

    So any suggestions on how I could go about doing this in the most cost effective way, or which model/brand I should really go with? I need to convince the wife on this plan, otherwise I'm back to stacking 3+ cords of wood and lugging it in all winter.. (noooo thanks!!!)

    Thanks for any info you can provide!

    -Mike

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  2. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

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    I too thought Englanders were total pieces of crap after reading all the requests for help on these forums. However, I came to find that dealers do not service these. I'm sure there would be an equal number of help requests for Harmans, Quads, Whitfields, etc. if people didn't have dealer support for them. I never owned an Englander, but I wouldn't list them as the bottom of the barrel.
  3. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    Good to know then. So if I do go that route, I'll be on my own for the most part.
    Well not that it will be easy to get one cheaply now - as it appears places like Home Depot and Lowes have already cleared out all of their Wood Stove merchandise.

    Thanks for the comment on the Englander!
  4. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    I cant speak about any except the one I got after doing lots of research here.
    I ending up buying the harman P38
    a no frills stove for about 1900 . it doesnt have an ignitor (which I read burn out alot anyway) and can be used with a thermastat if needed (I dont).
    I dont know the size of the house etc (mines small at 800sqft)
    and it certainly has more than enough output to heat my house. I turn it on full to test with it about 10 degrees outside and I had to turn it down to a normal level about about an hour when the living room was at 92.

    the biggest reason I like my P38 is because I only have to clean it once a week...
    I shut it off sat morn..then when cooled I vacuum it out in about 2 min's time...and relite it. It stays lite till next weekend ..so again I dont need the auto ignite.

    I am very happy with the choice I made.
  5. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I saw Harman P38 in $1,400 range at other Dealers close to my store. Good luck

    Look at the Breckwells, most for your money.

    Eric
  6. STOVEGUY11

    STOVEGUY11 Feeling the Heat

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    Yea, the P-38 is nice. Its a simplar stove. It doesnt have all the bells and whistles that the other harmans have. For there base stove it is an excellent and popular selling stove. You can get one for between $1700-$1800 for the stove itself. Install is going to run you at least a few $100.
  7. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    Excellent feedback thanks.

    Well I'm looking to heat around 1400 sqft. I'm not expecting this to heat the furthest sections from the stove on my second floor, but at least warm up the general whole house.

    So you got the stove for $1,900. I think I'd do that if I could find one of those local. I'm going to guess you still had to shell out another 400-600 for installation?

    I really like the look of the the Harmon XXV. But I think overall that one runs quite a bit more then the P38
  8. STOVEGUY11

    STOVEGUY11 Feeling the Heat

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    Yea around $3,000. I've seen it burn a few times. Its a nice stove. Its 12,000 BTU'S more. If you like the look of the cast iron, look at the Accentra. Its 40,000 BTU's and rated at about 1400 sq ft. Also the price will be a few hundred less than the XXV.
  9. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    Hm, so the Accentra is iron? Or just looks like it. It's not nearly as sexy as the XXV. It looks rather blocky with that solid foot vs. a couple of legs to stand on.
  10. STOVEGUY11

    STOVEGUY11 Feeling the Heat

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    Yea it is cast iron. Both are nice stoves. I would look at both in person before you make up your mind. But it sounds like you may have allready.
  11. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

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    I remember when I bought my P68. I was amazed at how close the price to the XXV was and the P61 was cheaper than the XXV.

    You're paying for look. To each his own. For me it was about function rather than asthetics. And this isn't to say the others look "ugly".
  12. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    well the p68 is a pretty stove... :) hmmm the first distributor that I went to didn't carry Harmon, I might have to check in to a few others.
  13. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    I installed it my self with a straight pipe out the wall.
    Ive also bought a home depot kit for out - up vent pipe and needed a 45 degree duravent pipe..which Ive now got..and will install this summer/fall.
  14. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

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    For 1400 SF, a P68 or even a P61 is probably overkill depending on how cold it is in your area. Harman SF ratings (2200+ and 2000+ SF for P-68 and P-61) are very conservative. I heat 2300 SF with my P68 in SE Mass with PLENTY of heat to spare.
  15. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    I've located a few Harman dealers... sadly none of them that close to me. I want to make sure that I'll be able to get service if need be as well.
  16. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    NO SIR!!! you will not be " on your own" you will have me and my staff to answer any questions you might have. installing and maintaining a pellet stove is not rocket science (if it is you bought the wrong stove)provided you are somewhat mechanically inclined. however if you arent the mechanical type , make sure you look at in home warranty service and dealer support as an important part of your purchase. bear in mind thought it will cost more but you get the high end service for your dollar. its all relative.
  17. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    I will chime in on Englander, I've read a lot of posts and their customer service looks to be second to none. You always see Mike Holton replies on this board . I don't own one , but with what I've read from their customer service I would buy one. I'm pretty good at mechanical things .
  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    thanks for the "plug" building, hows that "big E "doin for ya? heard it was a good unit though i dont care for the small glass version, looked at one at our local tractor supply seems solid i'd say its as good as our stuff anyway. breckwell does make a decent stove line (dang em LOL) cant say anything bad about em except that they compete with us. :)
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    When is the new "improved" Corie-model Englander pellet stove gonna ship? All things being equal, I would suggest that one over the "legacy" models......
  20. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    going to be out in stores this fall if all goes as every thing looks as it will , shame we didnt have an outdoor booth at HPBA to show it off , ive seen it burn and its pretty danged awesome. one WILL be in my home as soon as they start punchin em out i assure you. with this being his first foray into pellet stoves i cant wait to see what the kid can do with a woodstove ;)
  21. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I might have bought an Englander if Home Depot or other places had them in stock.
    My neighbor also wants one now and he probably won`t wait for Home depot stock to arrive either.
    I`d have to think ESW could increase sales by making them available all year long. Maybe they used the off season to catch up on demand.

    Anyway, I managed to find a slightly used Harman P68 for $500 and that included 36 bags of premium pellets. I just couldn`t pass it up. The seller was moving in 3 days.
    My installation went well into the existing SS chimney and it works like new.
    John
  22. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    the mass merchants carry us as a "seasonal" item , its not our choice but theirs (ditto with lowes) although its a seasonal item however a unit can be special ordered at any time (though i would suggest waiting for stocked items if thats the one you want so a shippiing charge isnt included in the price

    as for your neighbor, get him in touch with me i can probably get him in a stove if he wants


    yeah , actually we do , the factorys (we just opened a new facility this spring) are running next seasons stock now , and will be throughout the summer and well into the late months of the year

    you got a great deal , thats a superb pellet stove, quite possibly the one i would have chosen had i not been biased toward ESW (i build em) i hope it serves you as well, im sure it will it truly is a great unit. 3/4 ton of pellets along with that literally makes it a steal!
  23. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the reply Mike. My neigbor is in Europe right now but I`m gonna try to swing him to an Englander when he returns next week. He`s a good mechanic and servicing his stove would not be a problem for him especially with you and others here on the forum.
    I just finished my outside combustion air supply this evening and fired it up. Runs fine with no issues at all.
    Thanks again,
    John
  24. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Another thing to consider before you buy is noise (my pet peeve)

    Ask the dealer which stove is the noisiest / quitests.

    I have a Harman accentra - mid range for noise, and you can't watch TV in the same room with it.

    the Austroflamm & the MT Vernon AE are both very quiet

    the Bixby (from what the dealer told me) sounds like a scrap yard crushing a minivan at full throttle.
  25. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    I cant say anythig bad about englander stove have ahd one for 4 years now and have had some expertise help from Mike at Englander Thanks mike
    I currently sell breckwell in maine and have had some really good responses I just hope that my service can be as good as mike's :cheese:
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