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LOPI Cape Cod, Harmon TL 2.0/3.0 or Hearthstone Mansfield

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Locust, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. Locust

    Locust Member

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    Hello all,

    New to this site. I am replacing a stove and interested in one of the 3 mentioned. I have a 1700 sqf rancher and the stove will be placed in the basement. I have no experience with soapstone but they look very nice as does the Harmon. The Lopi has great features like the green start, large fire box and large viewing area for a more traditional looking stove. I am concerned about the LOPI having a cat. Have they improved over previous years. I heard that they were a problem,that is why I got a non-cat with my first stove. Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Welcome! As a Harman owner myself, I have mixed feelings about recommending the brand. The burn technology (downdraft, or crossdraft) makes for a stove that needs better draft, drier wood, and more babysitting than many other stoves. While the product is solid, if not a bit frustrating for some users, the company does not currently have a very good reputation for fine customer service.

    Lopi, on the other hand, seems to have great customer service from what I've heard. You will also want to make sure your stove shop will be on your side and help with any problems, as not all shops are responsive in this way. The issue with the Cape Cod is that it is a new model, so you will find no input from long-time users, but is looks like a great stove to me. Do not worry about the cat -- I see that as a plus, not a minus.

    Mansfield is a tried and true stove, so you have no worries there. As for myself, I would go out on a limb and go for the Lopi, unless further searching turns up anything negative. Good luck!
  3. Locust

    Locust Member

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    Thanks for the reply and honest evaluation of your stove. How long do the cats last and what kind of maintinance is involved. I am leary.
  4. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Welcome. There is a long thread on the cape cod, if you use the search feature.

    I would second his concerns on the Harmon. I do not wish a downdraft/crossdraft stove on my worst enemy.

    The cape cod and mansfield are two very attractive stoves. Are you sure you want to hide them in the basement? Is it a finished basement where you'll be spending a lot of time?

    If it's not, there are a lot of recommendations on this site against putting the stove in the basement. It may be better to put a smaller stove on the main floor. The mansfield and cape cod are massive stoves. They may overheat the upstairs if placed up there.
  5. Locust

    Locust Member

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    The basement is finished and spend a good deal of time there. Thanks for the info.
  6. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    With regard to how long cats last and maintenance is involved, others may chime in -- I have no personal experience, but from all I've read I know my next stove will be a cat. My brother has a VC cat, very little and very easy work to maintain. You will find many threads on the site, especially Woodstock owners, who are very happy with their cat stoves -- better heat control, less wood consumed, etc.
  7. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I was hesitant about a cat, but now wish I bought one, now that I've learned a bit more.

    DON"T FEAR THE CAT!:)
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  8. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    I would not hesitate to by a CAT stove knowing what I know not 3 years in to this. It would be towards the top of my list actually. I NOW think of CAT stoves as an awesome option. CAT's were used initially to meet emission requirements and I believe they got a bad rap back then that persists until this day. You may want to read some of the BK threads on here to put you at ease.

    I can say that I am happy with my LOPI product. I find it quite robust compared to competitors. I would avoid down draft style stoves.
  9. Locust

    Locust Member

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    Could you share with me what you know about them so far? Thanks.
  10. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    teutonicking and Trilifter7 like this.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Cats are very easy to use. How easy they are to access and clean depends on the stove. All Woodstocks are very easy to access and clean. Others will have to chime in about their individual stoves. I don't believe any are too terribly hard to access. Cleaning just involves removing them, gently vacuuming or brushing them off, and replacing them. Generally they last about 5 years, and end up costing about $25.00 a year. They come with warrantees, so that if for some reason your cat fails in under that time, the new one is prorated.

    With a cat stove you cannot burn any garbage or cardboard in your stove. ANy wood is fine, and some cat stoves permit the burning of the artificial logs, some advise against it.

    To burn with a cat stove, you simply open the bypass and the air all the way, lay your fire, light it, close the door, and watch the fire. Within a few minutes you close the air down by a third. As the fire burns brightly, your further close it about another third (maybe 10 or fifteen minutes). Then you watch the stove and slowly close the air down each time you get a bright fire going, until the air is closed down almost all the way, and the flue temperature is 500. Then you engage the cat (close the bypass handle), wait a few minutes, and close the air down a final time if you want it further closed. All of this takes half an hour to 45 minutes, depending on the stove. Then your fire burns until it is time to reload the stove. Most cat stoves have at least an 8 hour burn time, many 10 or 12 hours, some 14 to 16 hours. The Blaze Kings, which can be burned really smouldering, can burn for 30 to 40 hours at very low output if you don't need much heat.

    Cat stoves typically give you a longer burn than non-cat stoves, a more even temperature throughout the burn, and use close to 10 percent less wood than non-cats. They burn efficiently at a lower temperature.

    When it is very cold out, the air can be opened further for a hotter, shorter burn, closer to a non-cat burn time. Various car stoves have different size fireboxes, slightly different designs, are made of different materials, and have different burn times.
  12. Locust

    Locust Member

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    Thanks for the info. After reading about Cats on here, I noticed that people talk about not having a nice flaming fire to watch. Is this true?
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    The Progress Hybrid has an amazing fire. The Fireview I had before had a beautiful fire. But a much smaller viewing window.

    Most cats have a lovely dancing flame and wisps around the stove top of the stove, as it is the gases that you see burning. You are burning the logs slowly enough so they only glow, for the lowest burn. But you still have flames in upper half of the firebox.

    If you ever want to sit in front of the fire and aren't happy with the amount of flame, just open the air a bit and you will get a more lively fire with the flames coming off the wood as well as burning the gases. When you no longer want to watch that much fire, just shut the air down again.

    Opening the air and getting a more active fire produces more heat per unit time, so burns the wood down a bit faster. During the short time you are doing that, you will perhaps reduce the efficiency of your stove from cat to secondary. Not a big deal if you will be getting entertainment from the flames.

    I should add, when your cat is new, should you get a cat stove, check it after the first month of burning, or if the stove seems to stop functioning as well as it was. If the cat is clean when you check it after a month, then just wait til the end of the burn season, and clean it when you clean your chimney. I only had to clean the cat in my Fireview once a year, when I cleaned the chimney, and it didn't really need cleaning then.
  14. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    The Blaze King guys don't always have flames and their glass can get dirty. As an example, my Lopi stove likes to run hot between 500-750. Running below 500 and I get some wisps of smoke out of the chimney. The BK or Cat guys can "smolder" theirs at a lower temp and the cat will keep it clean though the fire may not be visible at low temps. The advantage is that, particularly the BK guys, can burn for a day or two at low temps in mild weather. The tube stoves like mine, use secondary combustion to keep things clean. Back to tubes stoves: smoke combusts about 1100 F, and the inside of the stove is roughly twice the surface temp (excluding soap stone), so no burning low and slow for me. The newer generation of stoves, like the Cape Cod, use both tubes and a cat. The initial reports on here about that stove look very good. The BK's and the Woodstock's (cat stoves) are well loved by their owners on here. I think cat stoves may not run suboptimal wood as well as a tube stove.
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock's Progress Hybrid is a combined secondary/cat, more efficient than a straight cat, handles the wetter wood well. Has been tested by Woodstock, video of test available at their site if you are interested. You can also see examples of the PH fire at their site, as well as on youtube.
  16. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    I own a Haman TL300 and am very happy with it. You must have a very good draft for it to operate properly. Mine works best when it is below 40::F, which where I live is around 6-7 months out of a year (typical). As for customer service, they like a lot of manufactures service their product through their dealers. Get a good dealer and you will be happy with the service, get a poor dealer and you will be un-happy with the service.
  17. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I couldn't agree more with passing on a down draft stove. I will never have another one!
    I couldn't be happier with my cape cod, it's the finest burning stove I have ever used! It's our primary heat source, we've got a ranch thats about 2100 square feet.
  18. Locust

    Locust Member

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    Just got a price on a Cape Cod-$3100. The dealer did not have one in stock and the salesperson did not seem that knowledgeable. It is a John Deere/ power equipment dealership and carry Jotul and Lopi. They did not have one on display. They only had a few woodstoves on display as well as a couple gas ones and then some inserts. He told me that they usually do not stock Cat stoves because they get all sooty and clogged and then have to be replaced. Did not get a chance to look at one. :(
  19. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    What a chump!
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Try a real stove shop next time.
  21. Locust

    Locust Member

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    This is the closest one to me who carries them, unfortunately. Is this a decent price or can they be had for less?
  22. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    That's about $200 under retail. But I would really look around for another Lopi dealer!
  23. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    Since most stove manufactures depend upon their dealers to handle any issues I would suggest looking for a better dealer.
  24. Locust

    Locust Member

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    I looked at a Hearthstone Mansfield today. They are nice looking stoves and appear well made. Anyone own one?
  25. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I haven't owned one (yet) but was around one burning all last winter. It was very impressive! I didn't take long to warm up and had very impressive heat output! Once it was up to temperature, the air was reduced and it ran at 550 for a very long time with no attention.

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