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New Stove After Only One Year? Need reality check

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lumbering on, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I completely understand since this is the way I tend to treat expensive purchases . . . whether it be a sled, ATV or vehicle . . . I don't buy something brand new just to have something new or different . . . and generally when I go to sell the item I've usually got most of the life out of that item. My old Celica (I know, I know . . . it's a girl's car -- I didn't know that at the time) had close to 200,000 miles and my 2003 Honda Accord is over 170,000 now . . . when I spend money on something I intend to own it and use it for a very, very long time.

    However, when something you've bought isn't working out for you or costing you more in the long run -- whether it's costly and constant car repairs or just that the woodstove isn't providing you with the heat you need . . . or you're actually concerned (dare I even say afraid) of more costly repairs or leaving it unattended) about this stove lasting and suiting your needs . . . well, it's time to cut your losses and get something different . . .

    Sometimes holding on to something when you should get rid of it will cost you even more . . .

    We've all made a bad choice . . . sometimes from not doing the research, sometimes through bad luck . . . the worse choice though is to stick with something you're not happy with and expect it to get better with time.
    lumbering on likes this.

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    What I would do is list the stove on eBay with a fixed price and list it on CL for what you are looking to get for it. This time of year you will get low ball offers which is understandable but if you hold on to it until next fall then it will command a higher price, but you never know just having it listed in the mean time maybe someone will get close enough to what you want for it.
    lumbering on likes this.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you can afford it, I would get the stove you want in August. Then I would wait until late Sept, early Oct. (or when the furnaces start coming on) and sell the Leyden for $500 less than the current dealer price. Clean it up nice and take a couple good pics, put on CL. Bet you sell it in a week.
    lumbering on and alforit like this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Not sure but isn't the Harmon what Pallet Pete got for his first stove? He sold it after only a few months and got something much better. But I too have heard good reports on the Harman stoves. It is a puzzle for sure.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I thought he had the new Jotul and it was just too much stove for his house.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ya, he is on his second stove. He sold that first one and I think that was the Harmon. Maybe I'll send him an email and ask because it has been a while since I've been to his place.
  7. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    All good, solid advice.

    Point is, I made an expensive mistake. Did some research prior to buying, knew the difference between catalytic and non-catalytic, knew Lopi was a solid brand, and bought the "prettiest" stove in the shop. (my wife's only requirement).

    Now I know better, kicking myself for not doing MORE research and avoiding a downdraft, and have since been to a few different show rooms and really like the Jotul and Hearthstone, and didn't even know Woodstock existed...and kicking myself even more.

    Just time to admit the mistake, do the math, and justify another purchase. If I can knock a thousand dollars off the heating oil bill, I'll still have a break even point in a few years even if I can't sell the current stove. It's not like I'm buying golf clubs or anything. I keep looking at this at times like its a hobby, because it really is, but it's also an appliance.

    I guess it's time for another "help me decide on a stove thread".
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Pallet Pete had a Harmon before he bought the Jotul. I just received an email from him confirming this.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hmmm... I was thinking of the wrong guy.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What are you heating? How many sq ft with what ceiling height? How well insulated is the space?
  11. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    The house is old, late 1800's, and big. 6,000 square feet. But with the basement, third floor, and back rooms closed off, actual meaningful square footage is 2500, with 8 ft ceilings, small rooms, and terrible blown in cellulose insulation.

    But the stove has to fit on the hearth, half in, half out, of fireplace, so this limits sizing considerations.
  12. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

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    I definitely think it makes economic sense. I installed a new Quadrafire 5700 Steptop and liner in Sept 12. I did not turn on the oil boiler at all! I burned 24/7 with wood only seasoned about 8 months. Saved $4,000 in oil cost. The stove is in the unfinished basement and heated 2200 SF basement and 2200 SF upstairs ranch adequately once I got the air currents moving. The cost of the install with liner was $3400. I had to buy wood the first year at $125/cord for 5 cords.($625 + $3,400 = $4,025) So in my mind close enough to call it a 100% pay back in the first year. I now have all wood for next year for free except labor. So second year I will save another full $4,000 as opposed to oil heat. That is a lot of wood consumption, however I am asking my stove to do a lot being located in the basement. Additional plus is the great view of the flame. Even though the basement is unfinished we enjoy sitting down there in lawn chairs and watching the fire. I only have experience with this stove. So I can't comment on any other stoves only report what this one has done.
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  13. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Late to the party but I am one who got rid of first stove after a single season. I had a VC Encore NC (also a downdraft) and basically never really was able to be comfortable with it. A couple glowing backs, inability to get a reliable clean burn (even with envi blocks and very dry wood) that would stay that way unless I fussed with it a lot.

    Anyway - I replaced it with a much better/simpler stove. Took a considerable loss in the process but am very happy that I did it. New stove was a dream to operate after that nightmare. I agree with the comment above "life is too short" - don't futz with something that isn't working for you if you can afford to move on. Just be sure you are 'right' with the new stove and that it is big enough so you don't go upgrading again in a few years... of course in all fairness I would have bought the PH after that first year if it had been available...But I digress.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you will need the largest stove you can fit, with a blower. I would even consider extending the hearth if necessary. The goal is good heating. Try to set that as the priority. Ask your dealer if you can trade it in on a Lopi Cape Cod.

    Is there a damper sealing block-off plate in place? Are you using a table or box fan to help move the cold air into the stove room (to be replaced with the warm stove room air)?
  15. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    The trick to running a Harman stove is to have dry wood, and a good draft.
    If one of them are missing you will have issues.
    For me, mine burns best when it is under 40::F, anything over that then I start to have some issues (aka: AB stalls).
    If it is over 50::F I will not even attempt to light it.
  16. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    It's hard to take a big loss on something you sell, but like others have said, many times it's best to bite the bullet and move on. Back in 2001 I got a really good deal on a 1999 Dodge Avenger. It was part of an estate sale my wife was conducting and at the time new car dealers were offering 0% financing, so it was very difficult to sell a fairly new used car. The car cost $20,000 new and only had 14,000 miles on it, but wouldn't sell for even $12,500. I was helping with the estate sale and drove the car a few times and came to like it and thought it was an exceptional deal. I ended up buying ti for that price and kept it for the next decade. During that time I only put an additional 14,000 miles on it since I don't drive all that much and had a motorcycle for part of time. In 2010 I had to make some decisions about the car since it still had the original tires, belts, hoses, etc. Being over ten years old I knew all those things needed to be replaced if I was going to take the car on a long trip, etc. For about a year I thought about selling the car and getting a different car, but could not bring myself to take the hit when I sold it. The car had been garaged its entire life and did not have a single parking lot ding, etc. It was in truly pristine condition, but the Kelly blue book price was only $3500! To me it seemed like a brand new $20,000 car and I couldn't bring myself to sell it for such a small price.

    I started visiting car lots to check on a few cars I was interested in and found a 2006 Nissan 350Z that was in the same sort of condition as my Avenger, but had 44,000 miles. The car originally sold for $38,000 as it was the Grand Touring Edition with all the bells and whistles. I ended up trading my Avenger and got the $3500 for it, but swung a deal on the 350Z to where my out the door price netted out at $18,500, or less than half the new price.

    IMG_0155a.jpg

    I've really enjoyed the new car and in the end I am really glad I was able to convince myself to let go of the Avenger, even at such a low price, since I got an equally good deal on the new 350Z. If you follow through and sell your one year old stove you might end up equally pleased with whatever stove you replace it with and you might even land a good deal on the new stove like I did with my car and that will make your loss on selling your one year old stove that much easier to accept.
  17. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It sounds like its time for you to go stove shopping to then! I couldn't have a stove that was so finicky.
  18. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Do you need a rear flue exit? Front load?
  19. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I always say, and LIVE BY IT, life is WAAAAAAAAAY too short to deal with BS. AND, don't take things so serious, because nobody gets out alive anyway! ;)

    So having preached my mojo, I say sell the stove in a hurry for a loss. Think of any pennies you get for it, as just new found money. And whoever gets it cheap (maybe somebody not as well off, needy....), you did them a favor as they now have heat they might not have had before.

    Then go out and get the stove of you and your wifes choice, and enjoy the hell out of it now! (referring back to statement #1, life is short!). I've spent entire nights this past winter just sitting in front of the stove staring at it!


    Yea, carefull with the generalized statement to "steer clear of Cat's...", my and your Hybrid stoves have CAT's, yet have a beatiful visual burn. That pic you posted is a classic, georgious shot! I've got similar shots from my PH this winter, and I know the pic never does the real life flames justice, so it probably looked even better in person.

    Webby, do you get many "back-puffs" from your Cape Cod? Not necassarily with smoke blowing into the room, but when the stove goes "PUUUUFF!!" as gasses fill the stove and suddenly ignite. You see that often? The reason I ask, an associate of mine who bought one complained to me about that occurring often on his CC, and when I went to a local shop to check the stove out (just for kicks), it occured in the one on display in the shop as I walked in the door to look at it. The sales lady jumped (she was standing next to it with back to it at the time) and said "I hate when that happends!". Made me wonder if it was the stove, or a chimney issue.....? It occurs on my PH if I load full of wood, shut down too early (before the fire is going strong), and shut the air all the way. Sometimes it will cycle between dead, and a puffff every few minutes until the coals build up enough.
    alforit likes this.
  20. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Mine has never "backpuffed". I get flare ups, it's awesome to watch but it never smokes or puffs out. I don't have a very tall chimney or the best draft really. In late winter I had a slight smoke smell and it didn't seem to be burning good on low, turns the cat was partially clogged with ash, vacuumed it off and no problems. Maybe these other stoves had the same thing going on?
    My Leyden would "puff", it would blow the top lid open and fill the room with smoke!;sick I'm glad it's gone!
    Here is a pic of a nice flare up!

    Attached Files:

  21. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Great idea. ...and tell the dealer it needs to be a SUPER deal since the stove he sold you was such a POS.
  22. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Flare up is a better word for it. I say "puff!" cause it makes that sound from inside the stove sometimes, but I'm not referring to actual smoke being blown out, just the sound. The pic you posted is not what I'm referring to, that is way to far along in a burn for this to occur. What I'm referring to is at the very beginning of a reload, you have very little hot coals in the bottom and you reload a full load. So you have nop flames, just a very light smoldering burn at the bottom where the new wood is laying on the hot coals. Enough gas builds up from the outgassing new wood, and "puuuuuffff", the entire stove lights up/fills with flames for about 5 seconds until all that gas is burned off...and then it goes black again.
  23. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I'd be wary of the advice to get the biggest stove you can if your rooms are small, getting heat out of that stove room could be your biggest problem, and you might end up with one intolerably hot room (yes, you can be too hot), with the rest of the house still cold. I understand that hybrids should be able to give more steady low heat so that may help. My biggest fault with my insert is that it heats too well, it's hard work to keep my stove room below 80 with outside temps in the teens.

    TE
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    TE are you using any fans, set low on the floor, blowing air from the colder parts of the house into the stove room?
  25. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Sure, that works amazingly well. But I do understand what TE is saying. If I had a small room, I would be very hesitant to put a large stone in. My PH is almost too much for my BIG room with cathedral ceilings at times, couldn't imagine having it in a small room.

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