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New Stove Selection

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mking7, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    We inherited a Vermont Castings 2550 when we purchased our home. The more l learn about stoves and heating with them the more I don't think I like my stove. Meaning it seems to have an issue that I can't find (leak or bad probe or something) and I don't want to spend hundreds on parts to figure it out. I'm okay running it while I'm home but don't like to leave with a fire going. So I'm starting to look at stoves (which means I'll probably have one before long). We were always going to replace the stove because we didn't like the looks anyway so we are starting to look into doing that.

    According to my Encore manual the stove is rated at the low 40k's btu wise. Seems to be the right size for my 2600 sq ft, one story house for my climate (mild). So I'm looking for a stove in that ballpark (if the the Encore's rating and others are fairly consistent).

    I'd like something simple. I'm the kind of guy who likes good quality stuff that lasts a long time with the fewest moving parts possible. And I'm willing to pay for quality. And the wife would like something in a brown porcelain/enamel finish if possible.

    I looked at a Quadra-Fire Yosemite today and it seems to be about the right size. There is also a Jotul dealer within 100 miles (not a huge dealer network for wood stoves in my area) and I'd like to look at the Jotul.

    My pipe isn't super long so if flue length is an issue I'd want to stay away from that stove. It's a one story home with probably 20' of pipe. Maybe a bit less.

    Anyway, if you have suggestions I'd appreciate it. As you can see from my attachment my house is fairly 'choppy' but we like the bedrooms a good bit cooler than the living area so it works out good but any input on airflow would be appreciated as well.

    I threw this sketch together on the pc real quick. Scale is certainly off a bit but gives you an idea of the wall placement/etc.

    House Layout.png

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think the Yosemite would be too small. You will need at least a 2 cu ft. stove. That would be the Quad Cumberland Gap. In Jotul look at the F500 Oslo or perhaps the F50 Rangeley. If you have a Pacific Energy dealer around, look at the Alderlea T5.
  3. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    I've always 'thought' I'd get a Jotul Oslo 500 but now questioning if it's too much stove. My wife likes the Brown Majolica finish they offer so it would be an easy sell.
  4. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    If a 40k btu stove has kept you comfortable, wouldn't a brown enamel Jotul F3 rated at 42,000 btu be the perfect fit? Probably not an overnight burner, but in all other respects it seems right.
  5. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    You're probably right. I just wasn't sure if the BTU ratings were consistent or if they were like HP numbers that can be manipulated by manufacturers.


    That said, I just got off the phone with the Jotul dealer that is 60 miles from me. He just happens to have a couple service calls near me and offered to come by to give me a better estimate on the price/install/etc. He also happens to be a VC dealer and is going to go through my Encore and see what it would take to make it happy. So maybe I won't have to buy a new one. If he can fix this one for a reasonable price then I can hold off on the stove expense for a year or two....
  6. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Ah, well in that regard the consensus here seems to be that btu rating are all BS.
    Firebox size is recommend as a better measure for comparison.
    So perhaps Begreen is right about the Oslo. He seems to know this stuff!
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Another alternative would be a Woodstock Fireview in brown. A soapstone stove, with cast iron framing, available in brown. They have no moving parts, are impressively built, easy to operate, will last a lifetime. Excellent customer service. Very attractive stoves. EPA test rating 10,000- 42000, hardwood to 55,000 BTUs. Worth your time to take a look at their website.
  8. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    Thanks, I've been to their site before but will go back. I don't think they had a dealer anywhere around me though. If the guy I talked to on the phone today is half as competent and conscientious as he appeared to be on the phone I think my Encore will make it another year or two and I'll buy one of the brands he sells. Finding anyone to come out to me has proven more difficult than I thought it would be when we moved to a small town.

    And if I can find a good vendor I'll certainly try to give him my business.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You don't need to run the Oslo with a full load of wood if the weather is not too cold. It will do fine with a medium fire that just gets refreshed every few hours. A cat stove like the Fireview is not a bad idea. It would give you more control over slow burns during milder weather, but still having the reserve power for those colder days.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Everyone is taking BTU ratings as factual information in this thread. That is not the case. At all.

    Listen to BeGreen.
    jeff_t likes this.
  11. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    And it's a basic, simple high quality piece of work. I vote for it. ..and no I don't own one, nor have any stake in a sale. Take a look at the Woodstock Fireview too, it's a great stove too, but doesn't come in the nice porcelain, but has beautiful soapstone and a great view of the fire.
  12. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    The advantage of the FV would be the quality and customer service. You will pay for it up front - certainly not the least expensive option out there. However, I expect it would be the last stove you would have to buy. No, you won't find any dealers around you that sell them - they only sell direct and ship it to you (or a shipping terminal nearby). So that may well be the downside for you - you won't get that "one stop and it is installed" experience.
  13. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm for the Fireview, sounds like the soap stone would release the heat nicely in a Texas climate, plus extra btu power if needed ( if you and her like the look ) The Jotul would do good also, like Begreen said less wood, less air unless needed, comes in brown porcelain finish too , both are #1 quality. the 6 month guarantee sold me on the woodstock stoves. If you find a Pacific Energy dealer there mid size stoves offer alot of choices also. happy stove shopping ( if yours is beyond repair )
  14. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Everyone? Really? How about no one?
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    "If a 40k btu stove has kept you comfortable, wouldn't a brown enamel Jotul F3 rated at 42,000 btu be the perfect fit?"

    A Jotul F3 and a VC Encore do not put out the same heat and the F3 is a good deal smaller than the Encore.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You need to look at more than just the btu output because the stove will burn with a range of outputs depending on how it is stoked, how much air the fire has and the type of stove. A 40K stove might effectively burn with a 10-35K normal range. More important is how often do you want to be feeding the stove?

    The F3CB is a great little stove, but in order to get near a steady 40K BTUs you will be refilling it every few hours. An Oslo, Quad Cumberland Gap or a Fireview on the other hand will be in the middle of it's cruising output and will give you an overnight fire.
  17. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I'd look mainly at the burn time (longer is better) and the ability to burn the stove long and low (like a cat stove). I don't have any specific recommendations, but I wouldn't worry too much about an oversized stove - you can always have a smaller fire or open a window.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  18. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I agree. Our stove is oversized but we just run smaller fires this time of the year.
  19. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Yes, but it was a question and one post does not equate to "everyone." :) And within 30 minutes I'd moved on to making a firebox size comparison instead of btu. I just think you need to relax a little before jumping in to the conversation with the suggestion that we've all got it wrong.
  20. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I went through a similar deal when I bought my Woodstock Keystone stove. My Dad had a VC Defiant Encore and it was a terrific looking stove. When he bought it, VC still had a great name in the industry. He never hand any trouble with the stove as far as crumbling refractories, etc., but he also never got much of a clean burn either. I think the burn problem was more his fault than the stove's.

    So when I decided to put a woodstove in our living room, my Wife wanted something that also looked great on the 4th of July too. That ruled out a plan steel plate stove. My first thought was go VC - after all that's what my Dad had and it looked great year round. I also wanted to avoid a catalyst combustor type stove as I figured it was to much trouble and unreliable. What I learned is that there are better stoves than VC and just as easy on the eyes. I also learned that cat stoves of today are a different animal than the original designed ones from many years past. Easy to use and reliable too.

    What I wound-up with was a Woodstock Keystone. That stove is beautiful year round and has a big glass front with andirons that make it look like a small fireplace. It is ultra controllable and with the catalyst combustor, I can dampen the stove down and get a low output burn during milder weather (or over night), but yet a very clean burn - zero smoke out the chimney.

    The Keystone might be a tad to small for your application, but maybe not. IMHO, the biggest obstacle to heating one's house is 1) shear square footage required to heat vs the stove and 2) how well the house is insulated to retain the heat produced. If you have a small drafty house, you are in the same boat as someone that has a large well insulated house - you need lots of btu's.

    The Fireview gives you a bit more wood capacity, but not much over the Keystone. The Progress Hybrid might be overkill, but in your open floor plan, it might be the ticket.

    One thing about Woodstock is you don't need a dealer on the corner. They have IMHO the best customer service in the industry and will stand behind you in every way.

    On the other hand, you could get a big honkin' Englander 30NCH like I've got in the basement (a handsome stove with legs) and really (as Brother Bart would say) HEAT THE JOINT!!!

    Good luck,
    Bill
  21. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    How bout the Progress Hybrid in a 1600 Sq ft Mfd home has a FP with Dbl wall Etc But need to extend bout ten feet or so off roof.. its too short ..lookin at jotuls too big uns
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I'm confused. Are you asking if we think a Progress is the right stove for your home?

    At 1600 sq ft that seems a bit much. Is it drafty? If not, I would look at the Fireview. For Jotul, I would look at the Oslo.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome tom. You'll get much better responses if you start a new thread for your specific stove needs.
  24. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    ok start a new thread lemme look in archives this must be a pretty std question med sized mfd home.. thank yous..I am looking fairly large this homes shaded kind of chilly at times for the wife I may get to Re insulating in my lifetime
  25. rijim

    rijim Member

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    Can't go wrong with the F500 or the FireView; if your wood supply is mostly soft woods then take a look at the Blaze King Princess for longer burn times, can be dialed back but can deliver the heat when needed.

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