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Not trying to poke a grizzly....

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by metalsped, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    ...but why do you all still run pre-EPA stoves? A matter of cost? Dont want to adopt new technology? What exactly?

    I truly want to know, instead of just trying to 'troll'? I know I personally LOVE the smell of wood smoke coming from a chimney (though I know its unburnt fuel/heat for your house). I figure there has to be a few reasons why folks arent running newer gear. Curious I guess is all.

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  2. Tramontana

    Tramontana Burning Hunk

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    It wasn't a choice for us. The Colorado front range can have such poor wintertime air quality, that too many days were deemed no burn days. EPA rated stove allows burning anytime regardless of regulations.

    Can't speak for others, but I find your question of interest too.

    Cheers!
  3. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Northern MI - in the mitten
    Until sometime in the spring, it's a cost issue. Then, it becomes a choice of stove issue.
    Cat, non-cat, cast iron, steel, stone, size, ......
    If, when we first moved here, I knew what I know now, a new stove would already be in the house.
    ScotO and Pallet Pete like this.
  4. Kenny78

    Kenny78 New Member

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    Well, 500 dollars for an insert with blowers that needed a fabricated adapter(which the wife and I made) sounds a whole lot better than 1600 for a Napoleon or 1900 for a buck w/o blowers. Which sounded a lot better than heating with elec. wall heaters and a poorly designed fireplace. It's also nice to have a stove just like my grandparents had and is still cranking out heat. Now I'm in NE OK but other than a circulating fan to encourage air exchange through the house I have no electric usage for heat. There is also nothing in the firebox except firebrick and an angle tray for firebrick baffle, so no cats or air tubes to wear out. I suppose other climates(especially political) might have other considerations
  5. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    No. NH
    In my case, it's just far more cost effective. We actually heat w/wood for the cost benefit, not just cause it's cool. My old Defiant burns cleanly enough, holds lots of wood, and there ain't much to go wrong in there, just a bunch of iron. I do hear good things about those "Englanders" though, and they're reasonable, sort of...
  6. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Hopefully a bunch more folks chime in... thanks to all who have already
  7. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

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    It was cost for us.
    It cost us about $100 total for the old Garrison ready to burn and all of my 8 cords is scrounged.
    Now we love it and 73degrees is the new 65!
    As said before, the pre epa stoves are wicked simple. little can really go wrong and we are on our 2nd year without buying oil.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  8. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    Curiosity and Nostalgia.
    My main heat sources are an epa exempt wood stove (2006 model) and a pellet stove.
    However I bought a old Upland Model 17, 27 and Fisher Baby Bear stove.
    Right now the Fisher is running w/a self modified internal baffle.
    To be honest once its going its not pushing out visible smoke - although I know its not efficient like the epa exempt mode I have upstairs.
    I'd love to modify it more with burn tubes and secondary air. I like tinkering although don't really have the time I suppose.
    I'll probably end up with a Englander 30 downstairs.
    I should say that the small Fisher does push out smoke if I don't leave the door open until it gets up to temperature - say 300F - then I can close the door and leave the single intake open 1 turn from closed.
    Sorry for the rant...so curiosity and nostalgia. Oh...the nostalgia piece comes from remembering sitting at home on cold nights with my parents when I was probably 14-15 and looking over wood stove catalogs wishing we could get one installed - that was around 1984-85 time frame. I have my mom looking for that catalog. Dare they throw anything away....I bet she finds it :)
    Joful likes this.
  9. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    If the EPA is as well run as NOAA ,NMFS, and all the other overbloated goverment agencies, I will take their guidelines with a grain of salt and continue to use an old stove with seasoned wood.
  10. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Sounds like you've yet to run an EPA approved stove.

    pen
  11. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Conifer Colorado
    I keep my old stove around because I don't use it very much. My work horse is the Fireview. I will eventually replace the old stove but since I only use the old stove a couple of times a year I kind of put it on the back burner.
  12. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    +1

    When a government agency does something right (more heat for less wood with much less air pollution), they don't deserve to get slammed.
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  13. wazzu

    wazzu Member

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    The folks I know use smoke dragons because they are the type of folks that live on about 10-15,000 a year. If they get a "new" anything its because it was a hand me down or virtually free. I know a number of people like this don't really give a damn about the EPA or anything the government has to say. Plus the old blaze kings, or earth stoves that you mainly see in the NW are stoves that realistically last you a lifetime not like the newer stuff. I don,t think my PE will last 10 years.
  14. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

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    Cost. After burning for 20+ years i needed a new stove. i shopped around and for my application found my choice was $3000+ for new or an older stove for $250. I have big house, burn 8 cords or so / year and live in a very rural area. it was an obvious choice for me. i seem to spend all the $$ on the kids anyway.
  15. Peak and Pine

    Peak and Pine New Member

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    Because I don't want my stove to look like a kitchen cooker with a glass oven door. I've got a Maytag for that. My wood stove is a Bangor Foundry made in 1878 and in 1878 almost all of America was heating with wood or coal and they knew then more than we know now, basically how to make something as mammoth and obtrusive as a cast iron stove look really, really good. The same is true of iron radiators. But many years after when the opposite of heating was invented, air conditioning, America had progressed to a degree where they didn't give a crap about how the mechanics of living looked, and so you have never ever seen an attractive air conditioner. But my Bangor (I'm in Maine) Foundry baby is a thing to behold. It also cost 15 bucks at a yard sale. You're young, I gather. Your question suggests that.
    rkshed likes this.
  16. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    East TN.
    I have read a lot about the EPA stoves here and on other forums. I think they are great and I would not mind trying one someday, but I just don't see the need. My '86 H1 has secondary burn tubes & is rated at 100,000 btu when cooking. I can get an 8 hr burn every night and go through about a 2'x2'x2' stack of wood a day(6AM-10PM) loading morning mid day & night(heating 2500 sq ft) . When is is settled in on a burn there is no smoke. I live on 100 ac & 75 are mixed hardwoods, so burning a little more wood per year is no big deal. I like the way my stove looks and really don't care for the "pedestal TV" look of most EPA stoves.

    Wazzu my wife and I make over $100K a year & I am retired, my stove is not a hand me down. I bought it on CL and re-built it because that is what I wanted to do. Besides, don't look down your nose at folks that are blessed enough to have an old stove so they can spend that $15K a year on food and other needs. We are all not in the same financial boat to be able & run out and buy a new stove and that's just cold hard facts.
    Snotrocket and WhitePine like this.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Cuttin ,stacking ,splitting ,hauling and drying wood is hard work. Any stove that would let you do 30-35% less of that for the same amount of heat is worth the price. If i were forced to keep using NON -EPA stoves id have given up wood burning a long time ago. To each his own though.IMHO
  18. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    Sherman, NY
    My Enerzone is an appliance to heat the house with. It looks OK, but really, It's a black steel box. No beautiful castings or interesting design. I have found that I much prefer the operation, and looks of the older cat and non cat stoves that I have fired in the past. Much more controllable, especially for my wife.

    When I was looking at stoves, the first thing I did was look up reviews on the modern VC line. I didn't like what I saw. What happened to the old reliable stoves of the past? I did more research and decided to take the plunge, and even if I didn't find this stove to my liking, half of the cost of the job was the chimney, and I could always re-use that If I switched stoves.

    Right now, With dry wood, I'm 50/50 on my EPA stove. Eventually, when we get a wood boiler going, I may try to restore an old Earth Stove, and put that in the house. It wouldn't be a daily workhorse, but they are really interesting stoves. The Enerzone would probably find it's way to the shop at that point.
  19. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    For me it was 'frugality' - I was ready to pull the trigger on a new $2300+ EPA stove, but found one in the classified ads I liked the looks of just as much...they were only asking $400. I burnt it as a non-epa stove for the first year, then 'frugality' kicked in again and I was looking to maximize heat for minimum wood. So a trip to the scrap yard got me a pile of stainless steel to build burn tubes and a secondary air system. A little more work tightening up some of the gaskets and she burns pretty dang clean.

    Between fairly good insulation, relatively mild winters and energy dense Hedge wood, I'm estimating I burn about 2.5-3 cords of wood a year. 'Free' from cutting or scrounging. So even if a 'true' EPA stove could shave that down a bit, there isn't much gain for the additional $$$ expenditure.
  20. littlalex

    littlalex Member

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    Cash, baby, Cash - as one of a couple of old fixed income folks that spend more than comes in it's purely a matter of money. It's the reason I'm stuck buying this year's "seasoned" wood, one cord at a time and struggling to get it to burn as smoke free as possible in the old VC Vigilant that came with this cottage we had to downsize to when the taxes on our previous house went to 12K a year five years ago. We have a fine oil furnace which we used for the first two years but as oil went up and we were averaging about $600 or more monthly on heat the old cast iron beast was our salvation.

    I would love to get a new non fancy EPA burner, but i'm not physically up to the installation so we're looking at about a 2k out of pocket expense. What Bill Clinton recently call "arithmetic" says that ain't going to happen.

    BTW - I care passionately about the atmosphere and environment. Call me a guilty Smoke Dragon burner.

    I think your question for many people is not about caring or knowledge.

    Littlalex
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    My one buddy had a Mama Bear in his previous house, and it heated the house right fine, but it also was a smoldering beast when you cut it back. He ended up with a chimney fire due to improperly seasoned wood, poor woodburning habits, and a crack in the chimney. So they sell their house and a month ago in his new house we installed a Drolet EPA stove, with class A stainless pipe. He is impressed with the stove, it more than heats the house and it does it efficiently. If you can afford it, I would say to try and buy a modern EPA stove, you'll be impressed.
    jjs777_fzr likes this.
  22. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Who said I was looking down?? Please refrain from putting words in my mouth. I would have made it very apparent if I were.
  23. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Thanks to all who have responded. For those where it came down to money... where do you personally draw the line from it being 'cost prohibitive' to upgrade? I know many folks here scrounge/have access to free wood, but I am sure not all who run the old beasts do. As a poster above mentioned, looking at the fuel cost is one way... time cost is another.

    To further clarify my position for those who I may rub wrong with this thread... its just questions. I am not trying to belittle, or otherwise second guess anyone. Everything in life is a decision, and decisions are your own. Wont get any judgement from me.
  24. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I bought my EPA approved Englander 30, 1 year used for 450 dollars. That included an extra set of baffle boards (which would run over 100 bucks from the company). I then sold my pre-epa Fisher on ebay (after a few new firebrick, and a coat of paint) for 475 dollars.

    After doing that I save about 1.5 cord of wood a year, stove holds coals longer, chimney stays cleaner, and I have a nice glass window to look at when wondering what the stove is up to.

    In the end, the only thing that really needed to happen on my end was to get further ahead on my wood supply as EPA stoves need truly seasoned firewood to operate well.

    If there's a will, there's a way.

    pen
  25. Peak and Pine

    Peak and Pine New Member

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    The post above raises questions, first among them is how do you sell a 500 lb stove on eBay and don't you go broke on bubble wrap trying to do so? Second, I think that trading-in, and thus forsaking, a Bismark-class Fisher for something with a glass door and tubes and stuff does not precisely fit the parameters of what is being asked which, I think, is why do some of us prefer (as in keep, use and not sell) a non EPA stove, a belittling and somewhat snobbish phrase to describe the mega zillion stoves made prior to c. 1988 including the one by Jefferson as he worked on the Declaration, Dickens on Oliver Twist, my dad as he wrote home in WWII and me as I tap on this laptop. We do not refer to my '56 T-Bird as a non-hybrid despite the newer standard set by the Prius.

    Some very decent replies have been made here to this question, mostly from older folks long accustomed to burning, folks who know that heating with wood is basically bringing the campfire inside, putting a lid on it and keeping the house warm and still standing. Still, the minutiae of the modern stove which fascinates those on the larger forum is appreciated by me and probably most of us here on the tiny one, but we don't necessarily want to be dragged along. And should this sound antiquated to you, and it is, nicely so, remember this conversation is not being conducted over the back-40 fence with a hay straw in our mouths, but here on the net. So just how thoroughly antiquated could we be?

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