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Question for everyone that wants to answer. Oh boy this will fire a lot of people up.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kinsmanstoves, Sep 15, 2011.

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  1. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I see you are a dealer. I wonder why anyone would ask this question? I worked at a huge Quad/Jotul/Hearthstone store, of course these stoves were the "best available then". I now mainly deal with Enviro, Breckwell, St.Croix, and Hudson River pellet stoves. We work on (clean, service and install) wood, gas and pellet stoves. Of the stoves mentioned, Enviro easily offers the best value out there. Breckwell makes a nice, expensive, dated looking stove. Enviro makes a couple of models for Hudson River now, thats all I"d suggest that one look at too. Quads were great stoves, but have gotten expensive. Harman makes a nice stove, but expensive. Service is not as easy either, but to be fair, we don't work on many. I also find Whitfields to be extremely nice stoves (not in production anymore), but they were expensive at the time too. Overall, from install to service to purchasing, It'll be hard to beat Enviro's empress for small cast, Quad's 1200CB and Enviro's EF3 for BTU to dollar spent to reliability and the best stove available from looks and cost is the Enviro M55 steel or cast. One last comment, buy what you can, use good pellet (Hamers, Okies, Cleanfire, Clear Choice,) clean them appropriately and they ALL will work well. Good luck to all.

    Stovelark
    Enviro Empress
    Enviro EF3
    Enviro Kodiak Wood FS

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  2. philbrick

    philbrick Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Loc:
    chicopee ma
    When we started looking 3 years ago we went to our closest dealer, who is a Harman dealer. They did not want to be bothered talking to us. So we figured if that is the attitude before the sale how bad will it be after the sale. WOW..same thing with me,to me it sounded like he couldn't wait until i left the store
  3. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Mass / RI
    I looked at a Harman first. The local dealer didn't seem very knowledgeable. I was in sticker shock when I saw the price.

    I did a little research and ended up with an Enviro. I saved quite a bit of money, and ended up with a very reliable stove.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Love my Quad CB 1200. But I look forward to a true multi fuel in my future. This stove has served well and will do well this last season. Great learning stove. I plan to get an Enviro Maxx-M (Omega if I can get one) or the Englander 10-CPM. Nothing against Harman. They have all got pretty good reviews. All except the PC-45. Have read numerous complaints a out them here and in the iburncorn Forums.

    Harman is top notch. But its all in what you want.

    Englander has the best customer service. Hands down.

    My dealer I got my Quad from, is going out of business by the end of the year. He also sold Harmans. Many in my area are SOL on warranties.
    Thats my opinion. Is Harman a class act? Absolutely!

    But are there options that may better suite someone? Yes.

    My .02 cents.
  5. Enigma869

    Enigma869 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    When I decided to purchase my first pellet stove last year, I did a bit of research (as I have a propensity for doing before any purchase). All the research I did led me to Harman. I couldn't even really find non-Harman dealers to say anything bad about Harmans. In fact, the only real criticism I've ever heard about Harman is that they're a bit pricey (which they are). I purchased the Accentra last year and feel as though I made a great purchase. I was going to purchase the P68, but needed an insert. The P68 is one of the only products that I've ever seen Consumer Reports rank 99 out of 100 on their score card. I should also state that I've always been of the belief that you almost always get what you pay for. There is a reason a Tempur-Pedic mattress costs about three times what an average "higher end", traditional, inner spring mattress sells for.

    John
  6. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Loc:
    W Central MO
    I found a good deal on a quadrafire castile on a swap and shop on the radio and the main excuse was for back up heat in case of an ice storm. I also have an addiction to wood heat from growing up around it. I have to say my little quad is awesome on the eyes with the red porcelain finish and does a pretty darn good job in the basement for a small stove. I would like to replace it someday and when I do I think a multi fuel Englander will win. I really like the look of the Harman units and some of the features but the customer service tends to totally suck unless the dealer is awesome. I am also Union and the dollar I make here makes the most impact if I make an attempt to keep it here.
  7. EarlyMan

    EarlyMan New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Scarborough, Maine
    [/quote]

    I have always considered Quad a step down. Now for sure a major step down. Never saw the value in Harman vastly over rated in my humble opinion.

    Brad[/quote]

    If you don't mind me asking - a major step down from what? And why "now for sure a major step down"? Is there something we should all know that we don't? It's probably a good idea if you make a statement like that that you include some info to clarify it. Inquiring minds want to know. :roll:

    EarlyMan
  8. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    409
    Loc:
    W Central MO
    I don't see my Quad as a step down from anything. It has a porcelain finish... auto ignition...ash pan with a rod dump burn pot. I can do the daily/weekly cleanings without any headaches. The way it fits together has a little to be desired but other than that it runs out good. I just would like a multifuel stove is the only reason I would move from it.
  9. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,491
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    Availability
    Reliability
    Price


    Stoves were selling like hotcakes at the time of my purchase.
    A friend got a Harman P38 but I didn't care for it as I wanted some with more
    features particularly auto start and a bigger hopper. A comparable new Harman stove would have cost about a grand
    more than I paid and I would have had to wait six months for it. (I was shopping in Sept/Oct)
    By then the heating season would have been over. Read reviews on
    the internet of the Prescott and was confident it was the right stove
    for me. Never looked back no regrets. It's a heat monster and
    seven years later it still runs like a swiss watch. Lovin it. I made the right choice for my needs
    and also don't feel like I "settled" for something that wasn't as good.
    Imo there are many stove Mfg'ers that are the "best", not one.
  10. jdempsey

    jdempsey Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Messages:
    263
    Loc:
    kentucky
    While reading thru all the posts seems harmon dealers have been mention alot to snub their noses at people.

    I find this odd. Almost seems like they dont want your business.
  11. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,354
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    I have met a lot of Harman Dealers and spoke to customers that have shopped around. I do not see that meeting the dealers. Yes I have also heard of dealer issues and another dealer close to me fits that description. I have mentioned this to my distributor. One thing I have to say I do get a lot of business from people walking out of their showroom and driving about 68 miles due south. That is sad because in today's economy we dealers need every customer that we can. We are not turning down work. We will make it work and do the job to code.

    Eric
  12. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    269
    Loc:
    Cincinnati
    I called a Harman dealer earlier this month in the metro Cincinnati area and told them I was going to purchase two Harman stoves (a P-43 and an Accentra insert). I explained I had a P-38 and an Accnetra insert but lost those in a fire and I needed to replace them. This seems like a pretty nice sale for a dealer.

    They never called me back with a quote. I'm not going to call them again. If they can't even followup with a quote, I cant imagine what their service is like. They lost the sale and I will go with another Harman dealer.
  13. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,354
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    I needed a quote on a delivery van one time and got the same response. It is not just stove dealers. Customer service is a lost art.

    Eric


  14. aburress1223

    aburress1223 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    108
    Loc:
    Virginia
    In Southwest Virginia actual deralers are hard to find close. The closest I could find was in Princeton, WV which is about 60 miles. They were dealers for Whitfield, hence the decision to buy a Whitfield Profile 30.
  15. rona

    rona Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    470
    Loc:
    southwestern Minn
    I bought a Harman PC45 approx 6 years ago from a very good dealer. Things went well until he died and then I needed parts. I soon found out the bad side of Harman. One you can't get parts from the factory. Two the next closest dealer was a price gouging back end of a horse and I refuse to work with people like that.
    The ESP probe seems to be the big question mark with this stove. it controls a lot of the operation and no matter what goes wrong one of the suggestions is check the ESP probe.
    With the hopper extension the 45 holds over 100 lbs of fuel so you can fill it and not have to babysit 12 hours later.
    I have owned two different brands of stoves since and came to the conclusion that no matter which name you like they all will fail at some point and the owner is better off learning all there is to learn about the particular model and be able to fix it themselves. There is some parts such as fan motors and igniters that can be purchased cheaper then going through a dealer.
    There is good dependable dealers out there but make sure you ask around before you decide to buy a product.
    I always smile when someone says I bought this stove because it is more attractive then the other one.
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I have read many problems on the PC-45 on here and iburncorn. Thats why I will buy a 10-Cpm or and Omega-Maxx-M.
  17. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    The Great Pacific North Wet
    If you don't mind me asking - a major step down from what? And why "now for sure a major step down"? Is there something we should all know that we don't? It's probably a good idea if you make a statement like that that you include some info to clarify it. Inquiring minds want to know. :roll:

    EarlyMan[/quote]

    I am really not here to bash other products. The way the question was worded got to me a little. It supposed that anything other than a Quad or Harmon was inferior. I was a Quad dealer in the early 90's and put in a lot of 1200's. The head engineer at Quad is an occasional drinking buddy. That being said I have a major predisposition to buying American made products. Wether they be hearth products, motorcycle products or boat products. How about we leave it there?

    Brad
  18. blazeitup

    blazeitup New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    woonsocket ri
    i sell harman, quad and enviro and i goota say id like to own a enviro maxx-m the hopper size and the agitator do it for me!
  19. bigruckus

    bigruckus Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Northern Maine, Millinocket
    I was off to buy my first pellet stove a couple of months ago..came into a stove shop that sold Thelin and Harmon pellets stove..to make this short I bought the Thelin...I know this stove has had issues and maybe I made the wrong choice but I'm going to give this stove a chance..( I did read alot of material about both stoves)..The first thing is that the shop had the Thelin marked down to $1500.00..it was orignally $3300.00..so it was a good buy...the color is great...it's a cobalt blue and has the nickle trim...and it's well made with cast iron and steel..and the fit and finish is excellent...The Harmons all have a plain black finish on them...boring to me...but I have to agree the Harmon's are rated at the top or near the top...Wish me luck..I know I have to keep the Thelin clean and dailed in...time will tell...I guess..as you can see I'm venting it up and will update later this month...

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  20. francis.g

    francis.g Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
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    my decision was easy. The nearest harman dealer is over 20 miles away, the Enviro dealer is 7 miles away

    I also liked the multifuel capability of the Enviro M55, and it seems that most people on this board who own an M55 are very pleased with it.
  21. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,312
    Loc:
    NoPellettons, MA
    It seems to me ALL stoves will have their problems from time to time. Hopefully, you have a good dealer and/or are handy. I had some initial issues with my stove but the dealer was right on top of them and with the help of this forum (Smokey in particular) my stove runs excellent.

    If I had to do it all over again, now having some experience the only thing I would change is I would have chose a stove where I could adjust the combustion air(on low mine has too much). However brand would not be tops on my list.
  22. RiddleMasterMorgon

    RiddleMasterMorgon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Fingerlakes Region, NY
    Always happy to help the marketing devision...


    Harman: I really did not like the bottom feed idea (not so much fire threat as more waste of pellets and control over the fire), aside the price was hefty and the design does just not fit to the rest of the house (yes that was the major bying point for us), did not like the temperature sensor/control idea either

    Quadra: Price, also design was not what we were looking for - although quite some different designs available.

    Also, the dealership in my area is such that Harmans is one and Quadra is the other. One of them I just did not like much during my two visits in the shop, so one fell off the table right there...I ended up with a brand none of them had, but number two was willing to install BOSCA since they had done them in the past without issues, the other guy declined to install anything not purchased from him - again no go for me (although I understand the business reasoning behind it).

    Since a stove is quite an investment and should last a couple of years, I think design is a big deal - and most pellet stoves fall awfully short.

    Now one season into it, the most surprising factor for me is the noise level of the blower. If I could add one wish for all dealers - please give a sone rating for your stoves at max fan speed with it....that would be my second biggest criterium after design from now on.
  23. schoondog

    schoondog Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    398
    Loc:
    dutchess county, n.y.
    Bought my stove in July of 2008. Spoke to the quad dealer in my little town, who I worked for years ago, and he said he couldn't get me any stove until Jan. 09 maybe. Wifey and I went to every hearth store in a 75 mile radius. A few I would not have bought anything from, a few were great folks and I may have purchased from them if they had anything to sell me. I finally ordered from Northern tool and they took the delivery date from 15 days to 45 days due to factory delays right after I paid for the stove. Cancelled Northern Tool and found same stove in a farm store in Indiana and they delivered it and piping in 1 week. Love my cheap insert. Works great. Looks OK. Probably would have bought a Quad if my old boss had one to sell me. And wife and I really like the look and feel of the Harmon we saw, but had to order for a feb. 09 delivery. My stove which has kept my home very toasty for the last 3 years was roughly 1/3 the price the Harmon dealer qouted me for an insert he couldn't get for 6 monthes. If I had to get a new one today it would be an Astroflamm or M55 unless my bud made me a great deal on a quad. Then again if I could get a great deal on a 6041i with an ignitor and t stat I might do that too.

    Schoondog
  24. Duane S.

    Duane S. New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    Quality/Reliability
    Customer/Parts Support
    BTU Output
    Looks
    Price

    After reading MANY comments on this site, and IBC and others, I decided not to buy a "cheapo" brand. With the local QuadraFire dealer 15 miles away and another 60 miles away, both seemed knowledgeable and helpful, so I went with a Quad. In Northern Michigan, BTU's are important. I've seen 30 below every year, with 10 to 20 below for prolonged periods normal. 30k-45k can't cut it. Yes looks are important to some people. I don't live in a dump, and I like my house looking good. I'm not rich, but I caught the dealer selling a store demo Mt. Vernon, 1000 bucks off! After several years, I loved it so much I bought another Mt. Vernon off CL for the finished basement. I love both of them!
  25. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    377
    Loc:
    Leominster, MA
    Flip side response: I went with a Harman P38. I knew what I wanted.
    I wanted to go with a non-igniter stove (imho another thing to break/replace on the stove - I have to light it like once a week, after I clean the burn pot - I'm on the same propane torch now going in to my 4th season)

    I also really liked the idea of a bottom feed design. The idea of pellets falling into the burnpot seemed odd to me; as it will require more hands on maintenance to clear out the fines.

    That being said I found a limited selection in the places to purchase a stove. I wanted to find a business that's been around a while, and a number of them were newer - with minimal track records; with the amount of difficulty some Harman owners have posted about having shops which they did not buy their stove from servicing them this was a major concern for me.

    I chose the shop based on its track record, the stove based on its track record - the slightly higher price was acceptable to me as, I was expecting fewer issues with the stove going forward. Versus having a stove shop closer, but having to have them service the stove more often.

    In terms of the look, I made the switch from a jotul wood stove to a pellet - I wanted an XXV but those were just too expensive. The P38 and other stand alone stoves had that nice classic wood stove look I love.

    In terms of customer service - it seems as if some of other stoves excel in this department more so; that's great for them. I have no idea on the statistical relevance of this data though, as good customer service doesn't necessarily attribute to a quality product, but rather quality service. Again, which is awesome, but awesome service or not - if I'm having to much around with a product too often, no amount of bubblegum and gumdrops will make me a happy consumer.

    Good luck to all the stove resellers out there - the more pellet stoves that are out there - the more demand for pellets, and the more pellet choices the current pellet pigs will have to choose from :)
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