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Need help with picking a manufacturer

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jpetruccelli, Dec 23, 2007.

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  1. jpetruccelli

    jpetruccelli New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Douglas, MA
    We have been researching a pellet stove to put in our basement to help heat the first and maybe second floors of our home. Each store we go to tells us the other manufacturer is "poor" quality and I need some help on learning who the cadillac vs. Kia manufacturers are. These are the manufacturers and potential models we are looking at:

    Breckwell Big E
    Enviro Max
    St. Croix Hastings

    We have one more store to go to and they sell the Quadrafire


    Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,287
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Unless you are extremely handy, the best pellet stove is often the one from the dealer with the best service dept.

    The stoves need to be cleaned, and often there are problems that need ironed out - in most cases small stuff, like fan noises, rattles, etc.

    Then there is the issue of what happens after that time. If you need someone to troubleshoot your stove in 2 or 3 years, whether before or after your warranty has expired, who is going to do it for you? So I would pay close attention to the reputation of the store, AND of the manufacturer. For instance, a store that just went into business 2 years ago may be out of business in two more years....are there other dealers that sell the same brand around?

    As a for instance, there is one major brand of Pellet stoves (probably more than one) ...where if you buy one from a dealer, and that dealer stops selling them or goes out of business, the other dealers will often NOT help you, nor the manufacturer! At least not in the way you would expect.

    So my advice is to ask those questions....of both the dealer AND perhaps the manufacturer. One thing which may be a plus for the Quad is that the maker is a big public company, and they pretty much HAVE to stand behind their products. Don't assume all these Pellet stove companies have technicians on staff waiting to talk to (and help) end users, because most do not. Again, they rely on the dealer....and therefore, so should you.

    As you can probably see, I feel fairly strongly about this - probably because I know of a number of stoves that either had to be retired, or that the owners had to buy high priced parts on the secondary market after their dealers closed up.....
  3. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Loc:
    ct
    Time to play devil's advicate.

    Web is right about having a dealer to go to if you have to rely on them for service.

    HOWEVER, www.englander stoves.com make a well made, US made pellet stove with awesome factory service , which is priced differently, depending on who you buy it from.

    These are not fancy top of the line ,knock your eyeball out stoves, but do look good
    if you buy the gold trimmed models from www.homedepot.com or the silver trimmed models from www.lowes.com which are called summersheat stove. summersheat is an englander, parts interchange, made at the same factory in (penn.edit out) Monroe, Virginia , as brother bart has reminded me.
    also,www.overstockstoves.com
    www.acehardware.com
    www.truevaluehardware.com

    You may realize a large cost savings by doing some price shopping now, before you buy. The service may or may not, be another issue altogether, but you can call www.englanderstoves.com
    & ask them about service in your area.

    englander is a quality made stove for the working man's budget that heats well & lasts a long time & is distributed nationwide.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,925
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    You keep trying to move Monroe, Virginia to Pennsylvania!
  5. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Loc:
    ct
    ooohhhppps,

    Somehow a untrue misconception got lodged in my brain as a fact.

    Monroe.Virginia, I'll remember ,I hope, from now on.
  6. mrmojo

    mrmojo New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    northern WI
    I like my Englander, and will buy nothing but. If you need someone to do all the service then you may need to go to a local pellet dealer. You run the risk of them going out of business, changing management or getting too busy. Englander is the only one I know of that gives the owner direct support, very patient and you are dealing with an American co. that does not outsource it's phone support to someplace on the other side of the world. You need to have some do it yourself skills, if you can do minor vehicle maintenance you can work on a stove.
  7. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    frozen tundra
    I also like the Englander that I have. I picked mine up at Home Depot towards the end of the heating season last year for half the normal price!! I think that they were just trying to sell the last of their inventory to make some room in the store.

    I couldn't be happier with my purchase and it looks pretty good too. I also agree with the other people that have mentioned the great service from the folks at Englander. I had a question or two when I was installing my stove, and their service techs were very helpful and easy to get ahold of. Check out the link below in my signature for a full review on the stove I bought.
  8. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Oil City PA
    I have Breckwell BIG E and use it to heat my whole first floor [600 sq ft ] and it keeps my second floor nice enough to watch TV , if I had one up there. I have had no major problems with mine so far [ THIRD HEATING SEASON] .I like that I can put three bags in the hopper and it has a lot of control board options as far as how much fuel you use. I could not beat the price when I bought it . I'm sure there are better stoves and not as good stoves out there but I'm happy.
  9. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    407
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
    I'm on my third season with a St Croix Hastings and I can say that it is NOT the Kia of pellet stoves. So far it have been very reliable, and has been our primary source of heat for 3 winters. Much like most pellets stoves, it requires weekly cleanings to keep in running in top shape, but so far I have not had to replace any parts. The ash pan is on the small side, so I do find that I need to dump it every 15-20 bags of pellets burned. For this task you really need to shut the stove down.
    From a value perspective, I think you can get more stove for your money, if you're not hung up on achieving a certain look. We like the look of the Hastings, so that was the biggest reason we chose it. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about the stove, just let me know.
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