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PE Pacific Insert Not Bullet-Proof

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Hogwildz, Aug 18, 2009.

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  1. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I've read hundreds of posts by well pleased PE owners. My two best friends have PE inserts and they love them. My my PE dealer has been a local yokel for 25 years and has been dealing PEs for over 10 of those years without seeing one serious failure on a PE stove. Pardon me if I'm not impressed by a few cracks that do not appear to affect the utility of the stove in any way.

    Regardless, I hope PE takes care of these issues to the satisfaction of the aggrieved customers.

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  2. meathead

    meathead Feeling the Heat

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    The OP has cracks around his door that are allowing air into the firebox (I'd say the utility of the stove has been affected as he now can't control air flow. I wouldn't want to leave the house with my stove burning if it had a crack that let air in) and PE hasn't gotten back to him despite a month of communication. All I was saying is it is pretty patient of him and others with similar issues to not be full on flaming the company at this point.
  3. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    I respect your opinion, but my intent is not to malign PE or the dealership I am dealing with. I have presented the facts as they happen. I think the civility in my posts and all of the others who have responded speaks to it. Also, you should note that I too was a well pleased PE owners. I don't mean to speak for Hog, but I am pretty sure he feels the exact same.

    However, my 4 year loyalty to PE hinges upon their response to these issues, which I believe is fair. PE has a great reputation based on their products. However, I don't think anyone ever has a perfect record. In any manufacturing sometimes a lemon is eventually produced. I accept that. If PE comes through with a satisfactory response, we will remain loyal and pleased PE owners and you definitely will hear about it. I admit I am a bit frustrated at this point, mainly because I have yet to hear from PE. This could change once I hear from PE. And I too personally know some PE owners and yes they are pleased.

    This is a public forum that allows for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience. I saw a problem and came on here seeking advice and knowledge, and to share my experience with this process. It is good knowledge for all PE owners here to see how a warranty claim to this degree is managed.

    I don't agree that these cracks are minor. Especially anything that is allowing extra air into the firebox. How will these stoves (Hog's and mine) look five/10/15 years etc., down the road? Will those cracks still remain minor? What are my chances of pursuing a warranty in that time?

    Also, what happens to this unit's UL certification and my insurance, especially once I am aware that there is a potential problem? It is a woodburing appliance and if there is a failure in the product, my family and property can be in danger. If I am running the stove with knowledge that there are potential problems with the stove, I too am responsible.

    I will let PE reserve judgement on these cracks. If PE deems them to be minor, I will ask them to put it in writing and make sure I store the writing in a safety deposit box and not in the house.

    So I hope you understand the mindset I am in. But this thread can have a happy ending. Then we can continue raving about our PE stoves again.
  4. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Correct me as i am probably wrong, but is the door gasket outside of the area of the door cracks, and thus containing any air entrainment?

    And other than the observation of the cracked welds, performance/rapid burning were not an issue?

    And lastly, what is the "Floating firebox for extended stove life"?
  5. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    If you look at the some pictures in Post #65 showing the crack in the weld and the cracked steel, the door is closed. These cracks are not contained by the gasket and allow for air to enter the firebox. All the others on my stove I believe are internal based on my visual inspection.
  6. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Agree, thanks, plus the crack down by the EBT may be a source as well ....

    Still can't understand the "Floating firebox for extended stove life" concept/design theory ...
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Where's Tom the Chimney Sweep? Wonder if he's seen anything like this before? He really knows his PE's and has delt with them for years. Maybe someone should shoot him an email.
  8. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    I telephoned my dealer contact yesterday and the baffle is in. The contact stated that PE should be in contact with me soon in regard to the cracks in the firebox. I will let you know what happens.

    Adding to my timeline:

    Saturday October 3, 2009 - Baffle is at the dealership headquarters.
  9. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Well, Someone shot me and E-mail. In our 20 years with PE, we've had two cases where cracks appeared in the welds or elsewhere. In both cases, it was our opinion that the stoves were overfired, as both exhibited two or more of these tell-tale symptoms: metal shaling, shrunken gaskets, BADLY warped baffles & rails, and premature discoloration of the 1200-degree paint. One guy let on that was heating a 3000 sq.ft. shack that had been a chicken coop, and had NO insulation in the walls. With a Super Series model, by the way, rated to heat max 2000 sq.ft. The other guy denied ever overfiring his stove, but our crew noticed he had a stack of cut-to-stove-size creosote soaked railroad ties in his woodpile.

    We forwarded our observations along with the warranty claims. PE replaced both stoves, no questions asked. Which led us to conclusion that their policy is to honor every warranty claim that comes across the desk (which would be one possible reason they don't go into specifices re overfire temps etc.) I'm betting they'll do the same here, even though Hog sort of shoots himself in the foot in this three-year-old thread: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/5506/ (just rattling your cage a little there, my brother).
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    If they (the dealer or PE themselves) take care of you, then IMO there is no issue. If they continue to blow you off then I too will have a problem.
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    My mistake. I did not see anything in the OP about affected burning or burn times.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I know your just playing devil's advocate and also trying to make a frustrating situation, a lil on the lighter side, and I do appreciate that Tom. And I always took your word for questions I had.

    If I overfired without seeing the telltale signs I have learned about and read about, then I will accept that.
    As far as metal scaling, ever off season any stove will take in a good amount of moisture, which does cause rust and scaling, which will come off in layers over time. Especially with heating & cooling of the steel.
    Heck I see steel tractor & trailer framing doing the same thing every day, without the seclusion & heat up and cooling down a firebox sees. Its steel, it happens. I have not problem with it if the steel lasts say 15 or 20 years.
    I never had shrunken gaskets, I did have the baffle gaskets break when removing the baffle to clean the liner.
    As far as the baffle. Its steel, although stainless, still steel, and still a good size area, which with heat added, is bound to sag some over time. I was thinking maybe they should put some rails inside the baffle to help support the upper and lower plates to stiffen the area and help keep them from sagging. But the welds might break from the opposing expansion & contraction. I dunno. The baffle still work, I just loose 1/4" to 1/2" of space, no biggie.
    As for premature discoloration. I know the paint, I just don't know. I have never seen a firebox hold paint for a long period of time. I can guess a guy the even only ran his stove at 450-500 degrees is still going to have the paint discolor or burn off. The time frame, I just don't know. But I would also contribute the paint discoloring/burning, flaking etc, also back to the moisture, rust, heat, cool, etc. Not making exucses, maybe I am wrong. But these facts seems obvious to me anyways.

    As far as home size. Yes these are space heaters, and we all want to heat the house with it. Whether we can or not, depends on house, insulation as you pointed out, etc. etc.
    I keep my oil furnace set to 62 and if it needs to come on, so be it. Wouldn't a stove put out relatively the same amount of heat whether 100 sf or 200 sf? Its not like you can turn a stove temp up or down with a thermostat like a furnace.
    Meaning, it has a maximum out put. Which yes it you leave the air wide open and and run it at its highest, your abusing & prolly over firing.. I never done that, except to start a reload or cold start. But in a 100sf house or 2000 sf house. if the same stove with same wood, charred good and air cut back, should put out the same amount of heat. Now will a smaller place get hotter, faster and stay hotter, hell yes. Seems to me the only difference would be the homes ability to heat up to, and retain that heat. The temps would be different in the 2 homes, but wouldn't the stove put out the same heat either way?

    I have never seen the insert glow. With the exception of the baffle once in a while. See the following explanation/problems.
    Here is my problem. When I got the insert. I was never told, nor did the packing or manual tell me the door needed adjustment. I think they could at least tell ya this.
    Then once I got that squared away. No matter what I did, whether I cut the air to low at 350, 400 or 500, it would still run where it wanted to. usually up to about 700-750 range.There is no other user control I know off. Unless you burn 3 splits at a time. And even then, when it got going, it would run to 650. So if I cut the air backk at say 450, and it takes itself to 750, what am I supposed to do? Is it the EBT taking it there? I even used a 1" door gasket to make sure the door was not leaking. The air all the way to low. And it never mattered, from 400, 450, 500, 550, it would take itself to 750. For an hour maybe 2 while the gasses burned off. How am I to stop this?
    How do I get it to stop 550 or 600 and have it not run up to 750? The stove runs to where it wants to run. With the air cut all the way to low, and the blower even on high, I have no further control.

    I am open to all suggestions. Could the EBT be malfuncioning and letting the extra air in that lets it go to 750?
    If I cut it back at 350, its then merely smoldering and smoking like crazy. And then drops in temp.
    I love the insert. It looks nice to me, heats great, and there is not much to it. But at first it was new user apprehension, and feeling like maybe something is wrong.
    But when I could NOT keep it from running to 750 or so, with air all the way low, and even cutting it back at say 400 or 450, it still ran to 750. Just took longer if the air was cut back at a lower temp. But always ended up at around 750, no matter what.
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Ran out of characters on the previous "rant" LOL
    The stove did come back down after the spike usually to about 600-650. But it would run at 750ish for an hour or 2.
    If I was in the wrong in some way. Then that is on me. At this will hot run it with cracks, especially face cracks.
    I just want an answer, if they will cover it. If not, its gonna be pulled take to be repaired, and I may put the Englander in its place for now.
    With working on the house, I may not even do that. I have a tank full of oil, I'll run the damned furnace if I have to.
    So much going on, just didn't need this on top of it all. But must be dealt with.
    Cultured stone again today, Was up till 4:30 AM installing stone. Not even 1/2 way there.
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Since Tom posted that he has run his PE stove at 800 for fifteen years it doesn't sound like your burning should have caused cracks. I cringed when he posted that but he knows more about wood stoves than I do.
  15. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Whoa there, BB. I don't maintain 800 degree temps for any period of time, although I do spike into that neighborhood quite frequently, particularly after kindling a fresh load. BUT... my thermometer is on the "hot spot," in the middle of the top plate of the stove. I monkeyed around with thermometer placement a couple years ago, and if memory serves, the spot on the faceplate above and beside the door opening where insert owners take the temp was 100 - 150 degrees cooler, varying with the intensity of the fire. I figured at the time that the cause for the difference was the airflow through the airwash chute, which is behind and slightly above that spot.

    The bottom line is, insert owners should figure the actual peak temp is 100 degrees or so hotter than shown on a thermometer placed above and behind the door opening.
  16. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    My welds are fine, but the metal is cracked. The fire box has a crack on the top left, and the door lip on the top left is cracked on through in the same area. My baffle looked fine a few weeks ago when I cleaned the stove.

    May I suggest we create a sticky for this, for the next month or so. Many people have been gone all summer and may not see it. Also put your purchase date in your post so can see if it may be a bad batch of stoves. Mine was purchased in August of 2007.

    Attached Files:

  17. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    Me thinks PE (company) is getting ready to have a big problem...
  18. meathead

    meathead Feeling the Heat

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    I'm pretty curious to hear PE's reply. From other threads here it sounds like it is likely that everyone with a problem will have a new stove shortly. The fact the OP has been waiting a month + for a reply from them makes me wonder if his dealer has been dishonest about their contacting PE on his behalf.

    Have any of you contacted the company directly to make your claim, or is everyone with a problem relying on a dealer to get the message across?
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    QC slip date 6/7/06
    Packaged 10/18/06
    Purchased 12/2/06

    Starting to get a bit more concerned.
    Per PE, you must go through dealer first. Then, if dealer doesn't follow up, then contact PE direct.
    I gave photos, copy of purchase receipt, and copy of QC slip to an old guy at the dealer Saturday.
    He didn't know anything, but said he would make sure the owner gets the file I left.
    I will give them a couple more days, then I will call them. If no movement. I am calling PE direct.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ya know, if I was a stove dealer I would not want this guy walking into my shop pissed off.

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  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I bet he's really a teddy bear on the inside. What happened to that pic of Hog and his axe, that was scary! :lol:
  22. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    HAHA! most guys that look like that are softies, they project a image to keep other away, its like a self defense mechanism. They are the ones taking bubble baths and reading poetry behind closed doors..
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Not this one Bubba. Not this one. :lol: Just a heck of a nice guy that only gets ornery when ya mess with him. Or his wood stove.
  24. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    I agree that woodstoves will turn any man into a monster! ;)
  25. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

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    I did fill in the online form on PE website last Wednesday September 30, 2009, thinking the exact same thing. When I spoke to my dealer contact this past Saturday, he mentioned that PE had received it, without me making mention of it before. So my dealer is in contact with PE and vice versa.

    In PE defence, I originally started with a claim on the baffle and didn't discover the cracks until after. I made the firebox claim on Monday September 28, 2009. So they have had a week to respond to this issue. The baffle issue was the original one, and the replacement is waiting at the dealership.

    However, I haven't heard from PE yet and would like very like to!
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