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Questions for Jotul Owners

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by warrior327, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. warrior327

    warrior327 New Member

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    Hey all,

    I have narrowed my wood stove search down to the Jotul brand. My house is approx 1100 sq ft. with average insulation, windows through out. Middle of the road type stuff. Anyways, I was looking at a stove with good burn times with no cat, that would get me through the night and ready to reload in the morning. Temps at night are not real bad below freezing most nights but does not get into the single digits a whole lot. I wasl looking at the F-400 Castline when the Jotul dealer started mentioning prices, and I found that it was roughly the same price for me to get a F-55 Carrabasset.

    Prices :
    F-55 Carrabasset =$2296
    F-500 Oslo =$2513
    F-400 Castline =$2224

    Price was it would make sense for me to go with a bigget stove like the F-55 instead of the F-400 Castline, but am I buying to much stove for my home? basically roasting myself of the house. Or would it be of my best interest to pay basically the same price for the F-400 so I can burn hotter temps, and not have the creosote buildup?

    thanks

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    The 400 will be a better choice. I had an F-500 in a house that was about 1500 sq. ft. It roasted us! It was almost impossible to run it hot enough to see the fire. The F-55 is a workhorse from what I've heard. If you want a big stove that won't roast you out, it would need a be a cat stove.
    Joful likes this.
  3. rijim

    rijim Member

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    I have a similar size house and the F400; it is a great stove but the burn times with hardwoods is around 5-6 hrs of heat, some coals after 8 but not many. I am working on my better half to upgrade to a BK Sirocco, I like the Woodstock stoves but the weight and clearance of the BKs work better for me.
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yes, you would be better off with a cat stove, for long burns and more efficient wood use. They are not at all difficult to use, and are not high maintenance. There is no reason to avoid them.
  5. warrior327

    warrior327 New Member

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    People have always discouraged me from buying at cat stove until I started posting on this forum. The thing that concerns me is the life expectancy of the cat converters, and the price to replace them. I like the clearances that Jotul's offer that is what really interested in them. I will take a look at some of the blaze king stoves, and see what they have to offer.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    They're picking on you for this statement. ;) Here's the basics:

    1. You are not continuously loading fuel, but instead running a fixed batch of fuel thru a full cycle.
    2. Each batch of fuel has a fixed number of BTU's (figure 140 - 225 kBTU/cu.ft.). There is a very simple and direct trade-off between burn rate and burn time.
    3. You control how quickly those BTU's are released, but here's the rub: a cat stove can be dialed down to release them more slowly than a non-cat.

    So, cat stoves aren't magic... but they do excel at burning at lower rates than non-cats. This means you can go with a larger stove, and if it's a cat stove, typically worry less about it sweating you out of the room. Non-cats must run hotter to keep the secondary burn going.

    That said, there are plenty of advantages of non-cat stoves, as I'm sure your salesman already pitched. Just be aware that these advantages are ofte overstated. It became clear after a few conversations that the owner and salesman at my local stove shop didn't know squat about catalytic stoves, and in fact had never even used one himself. He just learned and repeated the typical talking points, mostly based on early and failed catalytic stove designs.

    From Woodstock Soapstone's literature:

    "To meet the EPA standards and achieve truly clean burning,
    the non-catalytic stoves have to burn regularly at temperatures
    of about 1,000 degrees - i.e. the temperature that
    gasses and particles in the smoke will burn without a catalyst.
    In other words, non-catalytic stoves have to operate
    with very hot firebox temperatures to meet the EPA standards
    - much hotter than catalytic stoves."

    http://www.woodstove.com/pages/pdffiles/Catalytic Combustor Tips.pdf

    Catalytic combuster life is a factor, but with only a few exceptions, most combusters cost $150 - $250 and last 5 - 6 years of full-time burning. Someone who burns only occasionally may get a decade or two out of their combuster, and amortized over the life of the combuster, the cost is not a big factor for most.

    Jotul does make some purdy non-cat's, though. ==c
    My Oslo heats my home likes this.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I agree with everything Joful said, and will add that the times saved, and chains/fuel/effort/time aved in having to process less fuel over the course of the cats lifetime much more than compensates for the cost of the cat. There is a substantial reduction in the amount of fuel used to produce the same heat.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The conventional wisdom among many manufacturers and most stove shops seems to be:

    Non-cats: better for the average consumer
    Cats: Only for stove geeks

    I'm not sure either statement is true, but it's the vibe I got when I was visiting various stove shops, and then joined here.

    As many non-cat burners here educated me, you can heat with either one. When it's blistering cold, you're typically running either stove all-out, and it doesn't really matter which technology you have. When it gets warmer, the differences are more notable. With a cat stove, you aim for long, slow, continuous burns. With a non-cat, you just build small hot fires whenever room temperatures dip low enough. They burn quick, but put heat into the stove and the room, which can hang for several hours.
  9. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    Our house is 1250 sq ft with 12 ft vaulted ceilings in 3/4 of the house. I get around 8 hrs of usable heat with the Oslo, and always wake up to the house in the 70's. I am glad I went with the Oslo, it does get toasty sometimes! I was warned on here that it would and they knew there stuff. The side door really swayed me towards the Oslo and I find myself not using the front door very often. I have found that the ash pan is handy if you clean it out every other day and not let it pack full.

    Mike
  10. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    If you are going to stick with a non-cat stove, I would recommend the 400. The 500 has too much fire power for your application.
  11. warrior327

    warrior327 New Member

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    Thank you for the great input guys. I will do some more research but I am leaning towards a non cat stove. The side door looks like a great added feature but since I will be alcoving around the stove I will not be able to to use the side door, that is main reason I was looking at the F 55 over the F 400, and the price is almost exactly the same. I will take a look at the blaze king princess. I know they have awesome burn times, and I think the prices are somewhat close to the Jotul's.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How high are your ceilings in the home? Would you consider an alternative to the Jotul? I'm thinking the slightly smaller Quadrafire Cumberland Gap or the Pacific Energy Alderlea T5 might be a better fit in non cat.
  13. gary.

    gary. New Member

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    just broke in my new F 55 carrabassett this april which is our primary heat. I replaced the VC resolute that's been the primary heat for the last 18 years. (parts got pricey) that I ran with a 24' insulated 6" s.s. chimney. I have to run the stove lower in the spring, so the glass naturally blackens on both the vc and the f 55. Now, June, I'm getting a creosol smell from the jotul after a rain, which i never got with the VC. I cleaned the chimney, but I think there is a thin layer of tar on the inner chimney wall. I might install a damper to block the summer downdraft odors. anyone else have this issue? I wondering if the VC had a little better secondary burn system, which was downdraft stove with an insulated after burner box in the rear.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Classic draft reversal. Your VC was just better at sealing up tight when shut down the air controls for the summer. The Jotul, being a non-cat, cannot be shut down air tight.

    Solution: Stuff a fist-full of fiberglass insulation or an old bath towel up into the flue to plug it. Leave a note inside the stove, so you (or some other unlucky soul) remembers to remove it before lighting this fall.
    webby3650 likes this.
  15. gary.

    gary. New Member

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    thanks, ended up stuffing newspapers up the flue this morning. I thinking the VC resolute (non cat) is a down draft exhaust, so it gave the back draft on the chimney more resistance. what's also interesting is I'm running a low burn in old non cat jotuls, 118 and 602 in the shop and they have no odor issues or tar. thanks again
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. Dunno what to say about the 118 and 602, but you got the right solution, either way.

    Be sure to leave a note in the stove, to pull the wad of newspaper out before lighting!
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It may not be the stove. The house and the garage can have entirely different interior pressure balances. Or it could be the wood. The older stoves will be less fussy about dry wood. Or it could be the F55 is too big a stove and being run too cool which could be the wood, too low draft or operator error.
  18. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    HI warrior- the jotuls are all good choices. Have you considered the F45 Greenville?? Think that model is out now. It'll be the little brother to the F55, should be around 2000 retail. I would go with the smaller stove too- what is your location? I still like non-cats for most applications, simpler and easier to use- give em good dry wood, the stove will do the rest. Good luck..
  19. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    +1 they do make some purdy non-cat stoves.

    I'm hardly a cat burner by any stretch, but have to agree with joful with most of what he said. Both stove types have their pros and cons to consider.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hah... you're responding to something I wrote back in January! :eek:
  21. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I didn't read the entire thing, supper was on the table so I stopped at yours J

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