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Narrowing options (BK Princess, Englander 30, Other?)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Nimrod1911, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. Nimrod1911

    Nimrod1911 New Member

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    Here is what I have. Rambler with 2200 on each level. Stove in fully finished basement. I can close off half of basement so heat stays in one half and travels up stairs to main level. Live in Utah. Six inch flue. Burning pine.
    Liked the Progress Hybrid but its over $3k to get it here. Fireview doesn't seem big enough and I don't want to worry about 16" logs. Would love a Soapstone of some kind but again over $3K for a big model. (like the Mansfield). Thus, I'm looking at the Blaze King Princess ($2600) and Englander 30 ($900 now but maybe $700 in spring clearance sale).
    Advise me. Am I missing a soapstone model that would work? (heat large area, large firebox, not too much $) Will the Englander consistently give me 10 hour burn times. Because 8 hour burn times is not going to satisfy me. I don't need 24 hour burn times. I would be happy with 10, very happy with 12 and anyting more is just gravy but not necessary. I lean toward Englander for less $ and less worry about Cat replacement etc.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Get the BK if the long burn is a priority with pine. Still, heating 3300-4400 sq ft with one stove will be a major challenge, especially when it's cold unless the place (including basement) is very well insulated. This sounds more like a job for the King than the Princess.
  3. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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  4. Nimrod1911

    Nimrod1911 New Member

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    I know its a big place. I can close off half of the basement which helps. This won't be to heat my whole house but it saves on the heating bill, I like the heat & a stove does a killer job of heating my basement's family room/rec room. I did look at the Progress and would get it except that it will be $3400 after shipping. I can get a Princess for $2533 and pick it up myself about 60 miles away. Would LOVE a soapstone stove, however.
  5. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Doubt the Princess will be big enough. Maybe would need a bigger BK. Don't know what the bigger ones run.

    PH is a great stove. They do go on sale...you could talk with woodstock and see when they will be on sale. Are you planning on the purchase now, or for the next heating season? Don't let the cost of cats put you off. They last about five years and cost under $50 per year ($250 an average cost). They increase your wood efficiency and more than pay for themselves in labor or money saved (and probably in money saved on fuel etc if you process your own wood

    Don't know if you buy or cut your own wood...PH is very stingy about the amount of wood it burns to heat a large area.

    The Englander is certainly much more affordable. Go that way if it is best for you. At a quarter or less of the price, it gives you good heat...gets the job done. Lots of people here like them. Don't know if they put out enough heat for you, but others will answer that for you.

    If you can swing the PH, it's beautiful...a joy to use. Produces a very comfortable heat too, because of the soapstone. If you don't need the stove until after Spring sales, if you want talk with Woodstock and see if you could start paying for a PH on layaway to be purchased at the time of next sale. They are very easy to talk with, and quite accommodating.

    Best of luck with whatever chocie you make.
    raybonz likes this.
  6. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    I think you need to provide more about how you intent to use the stove and what your price point really is.

    How important is styling? How important is efficiency? How much hands-on are you willing to provide as an operator? Overnight burn? Burn while at work?

    How much burning have you done?

    When I was looking at stoves. I liked the soapstone for styling but I was told that the heat is "gentle". Doesn't sound like a good fit if you are trying to heat a large space.



    MnDave
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With the heat you need to throw in that place the 30-NC and the Princess are gonna get about the same burn times. The Princess is a queen of low and slow but if you wanna kick five hundred and over for a good long time with some good Pinion the 30 will run toe to toe with it. Ten hours to a 300 degree stove top is a cake walk with hardwood. Should be doable with solid Pinion especially burning E/W. Same with the PE Summit.
    raybonz likes this.
  8. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Gentle heat is just describing the way the heat feels...it feels like the sun. Did you ever question the sun's ability to heat? A soapstone stove throws plenty of heat...as much as any other stove, if not more. It just doesn't overwhelm you. Gets to the same temp as quickly (at least the PH does), but will never cook you while doing it (unless you stand three feet from the glass). Hope you didn't opt out of a soapstone stove under an incorrect impression. They are great.

    But it sounds to me as if you are enjoying your stove -- I've enjoyed reading some of your posts.

    Take care, and enjoy the heating season.
    raybonz likes this.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I would love to have a Hearthstone Mansfield. Well, except for the weight probably ending up in the basement when my hearth collapsed through the floor.
    rideau and raybonz like this.
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Saw the PH at WS and it can be a heat monster! Crazy BTU's if needed..
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    The ability to make me laugh is what I find most addictive about this website.

    The site, and the genuine quality of the people who use it, are a blessing for which I am grateful. I am sure it enriches the lives of many.

    To one and all, the very best wishes for 2013.
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  12. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    rideau,

    I sense sarcasm. I am hoping that the OP will collect all the information that is provided and do some of his own checking.

    I do not understand how a soapstone stove can claim to be very efficient when the temperature of the surface stays significantly cooler than plate steel and cast steel with the same BTU input. It is just not thermodynamically possible. Buyer beware.

    I see that the efficiency claimed by the PH is 81%. Well, to that I say, numbers in sales brochures need to be questioned.

    It is really hard to give people objective advise here when so many are protective of their brand and type. Not every stove can be all things to all people.

    MnDave
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Sorry that you felt that way. It was a sincere post, no sarcasm at all. I was just addressing the term "gentle heat", and letting you know I had enjoyed your posts.

    And I agree wholehearedly, different stoves are better for differnet applications. There are lots of great stoves out there...that's why so many of us are enthusiastic about our stoves.
  14. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    That statement is what I took as sarcastic because lately I have been expressing my dissappointment in the fact that I am getting only half of the QF 5700 advertised burn time.

    I honestly do not understand the soapstone efficiency claim. I saw a graph of surface temp vs time for a given input. Plate steel got to 900F, cast 800F, and soapstone 700F. Surface temperature correlates directly with efficency. How can PH claim an 81% efficiency? How can any stove claim an 81% efficiency?

    MnDave
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    He, look, a positive about this wind tunnel I live in; no basement.

    So, when one of the several stoves crashes through the floor, it will only travel about 10".
    rideau likes this.
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Quite a few do if you look at the literature.
    I think the claim relates to how the wood burns, not heat radiation.
    It's not me, it's the literature.:cool:
  17. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    A stove covered in soapstone may tend to keep the temps in the box higher(less transfer)...thus maybe making the burn more efficient?
    I concur on the 80% figure with any stove...just doesn't seem possible to me either.
  18. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    From now on, I take all literature from the stove manufacturers with a grain of salt. It is all marketing driven.

    Some companies are more truthful than others. Jotul, Lopi come to mind.

    IMO, the clear truth is what can be assessed from honest and sincere members of this forum.

    MnDave
  19. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    So, that's why I quit watching TV.;)
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  20. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    Excellent point HotCoals. That is a perfect example how a company might claim higher efficiency. They can state their efficiency as that of burning the wood to ash... maybe in truth it is 81% or 78% or whatever. I don't give a rats-a$$ about that efficiency. I want to know the efficiency of getting BTU's into the room!

    Even the EPA has different ways to measure efficiency than the mfg'ers.

    MnDave
  21. Nimrod1911

    Nimrod1911 New Member

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    I won't be burning hardwood. I won't have pinion either. It is lodgepole pine. I would like to start a fire after work. Fill it up at night and dampen it down.....maybe around 10pm. Then I would like to ask my wife to throw on a log or two around 9am or 10am and let it go until I get home from work around 5pm. Also, I can't go with BK king because I have a 6 inch insulated flue installed. I do care about looks bit since I am considering the Englander you can see that it it not absolutely required. Function first. I don't want something requiring much maintenance.
  22. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    Lol!!!! I watch netflix. I haven't seen an ad in a long time. It's mostly gimmickry to get people to pay too much for something they don't need.

    MnDave
    PapaDave likes this.
  23. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I use over the air for tv through my smart 3d tv and even get hi-def!
    Had to buy a 3d blu-ray to make the 3d movies work but it does work!
    I have net flix also!
    Anyways even though I knock the BKK cat some it really does heat my house well and it's two story 2500sq.ft.
    Way less wood then my old BK non cat and warmer to boot!
    MnDave likes this.
  24. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    From what I read here, and you can read for yourself... cast stoves seem to have more issues with gaskets but they look better than plate steel stoves.

    I would not think that the cat is a high maintenance item but I would consider if your wife would be willing to learn the nuances of a cat stove. I believe that my wife could learn to operate a cat stove and she is moderately mechanically skilled.

    MnDave
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I know you have been disappointed about the burn times, but you have been asking lots of questions, and interacting with lots of folks, and trying different things to try to get where you would like to be in burn times (or approach where you would like to be), and I have enjoyed following your activities. I am interested in wood burning stoves, and take an interest in the various stoves, their pros and cons. Although you have not gotten the advertised burn times ( a disappointment), it has seemed as if you are finding corresponding with others about the problem, and working with your stove, an enjoyable occupation. And it will be interesting to see what you are able to achieve with the various tweekings, and will also be interesting to see what if anything your stove manufacturer can add to the discussion. So, I am indeed being sincere when I say that it seems as if you are enjoying the stove and I wish you a good burning season. I see why you thought elsewise, and I am sorry to have used ambivalent wording. I really do hope you get everything worked out so the stove in the end functions well for you.

    After the holiday season I will call and talk with the folks at Woodstock, who will have, I am sure, the answers to our questions re the Progress Hybrid...hard data, I mean. I can tell you that I did burn a Fireview for a long time, and it was a great stove...quite small footprint, but put out a lot of heat for its size, and was very pretty and easy to use. It did not burn a lot of wood, either. Cat stoves are generally tested to be about 10 percent more efficient than secondary burn stoves, because (I'm sure) they burn volatile gases sooner and longer, so less potential heat is lost up the chimney. Then too, with Woodstock, the soapstone is quite thick and stores and slowly releases a lot of heat. And the stove can be burned very slowly, so not much more heat is produced than can be radiated out the window and/or absorbed by and later radiated from the stove...some is, but a lot less than if the stove was burning hotter. One can burn the Fireview at over 500 degrees stovetop temp, in which case a lot of heat is thrown by the stove, and the stoves needs to be reloaded about every 8-10 hours. When one does this, ones gets more BTUs per hour, for sure, but at the same time I'm sure a fair amount of heat is lost up the chimney (and the hotter flue temp supports this). When one burns with a slow cat fire, the flue temp is quite low, the fire burns a good 10-12 hours (or longer on a full load), and a soft, warming heat is radiated and keeps a good sized home very comfortable. But it won't heat a home over 3000 square feet to a comfortable temperature on cold winter days. Hence the Progress Hybrid.

    The Progres Hybrid is designed to burn in either cat, or secondary mode, or in cat and secondary mode at the same time. The stove itself switches from the one to the other throughout the burn, and at any given time will burn in the mode that is most effiecient at the time. The stove supposedly achieves about ten percent greater efficiency than the Fireview, and it has a bigger firebox than the Fireview.

    My experience with the PH leads me to believe that I am getting way better actual heating efficiency than that, compared to the Fireview. I have a large home with lots of windows in a cold climate. The Fireview simply could not heat my home. The PH does so with ease. Burn times on 1/2 or so loads are easily 12 -16 hours with good hardwood. It quickly gets the stove room's temps in the mid to upper 70s (stove room 16 x 46), in an open floorplan home, and with the use of a small desktop fan distributes heat satisfactorily to the second and third floors, with the second floor being in the mid to upper 60s, with a footprint of the home of 46 x 32 square feet. I believe that the great heating and low amount of fuel used to achieve it are a combination of the hybrid burning technology, the long air path in the stove, the large catalytic converter, the mass of the stove, and the angled secondary air fireback, that is very similar to a Rumford fireplace, and throws a great deal of heat through the very large window. The heat is thrown through the window, instead of going up the chimney. That's what I think. Way more heat is being produced than can be absorbed, the glass stays crystal clear even on a very low burn as long as the wood is dry, and the heat just pours out the window. It is too hot to stand three feet or so from it, but very comfortable once you are five or six feet away. The sides also radiated a lot of heat, as does the top, but nothing like the heat that comes out the window. If it is bitterly cold out, one can dial up the stove, and still get a very steady burn, just at a higher temp, which since it is burning more wood, throws more heat, and burns the load more quickly. But still, that generated heat is pouring out the window.

    Last year I weighed a few loads of Ironwood, and posted burn times and temps, because people were doubting owners' reports. They were pretty impressive. In a few weeks I'll load the stove full with wood approaching the correct length for the stove, and record weight of wood, burn times, house temps beginning and end, stove temps, etc. Will see what kind of burn time I get. Will try this twice, once with a slow cat fire, once with a hotter combined fire. I've never loaded the stove full. I seldom burn with a stove top temp over 350, and have only once gotten this stove over 500, and that was really trying to do so. It burns at a low temp while throwing all that heat. I couldn't be happier with the stove. It is wonderful for my application and needs. It is a new design, and as with any new product, it has had a few things that have needed to be adjusted, but Woodstock was very open about the fact that they were pushing to get the stoves in homes to see how they functioned in the real word, and has been very quick to react to and correct/improve any issues/problems that have arisen, and has updated all the stoves with the improvements at no cost to the purchasers. A great company to work with. Couldn't be happier.

    It will not burn as slowly as a BK - they can be reduced to an output of just over 9000 BTUs, while the PH can't get much under 12000. I'm guessing those stated figure are for a full load burning as low as possible, but maybe not...maybe for a small load. I burn a very small load shoulder season. Just a few pieces of uglies. That's another question I'll ask Woodstock when I call. Just out of curiosity, I'd like to have some more burn data. But for all practical purposes, I know what the stove can do.

    Don't know if that answers any of your questions? If/when I get data from Woodstock, I'll post it.

    Am interest to hear what Quadra Fire tells you.

    Best wishes.
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