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Soapstone Wood Pellet Stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Don2222, May 15, 2011.

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  1. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    I know soapstone is the latest improvement for holding and radiating heat for wood stoves, but does this also work well for a Wood Pellet Stove?

    Pic below is from http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20442260_20876981,00.html#
    Heritage Pellet Stove by Hearthstone

    It took this vaunted stove purveyor two years to marry the romantic aesthetics of a wood-burner with the clean-burning efficiency of a pellet stove, and we're thrilled they made our deadline. It's the first pellet stove we've seen with panels of soapstone—a distinctive material that happens to hold twice the heat of metal.
    About $3,999; hearthstonestoves.com

    Here is more info from Hearthstone
    http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/pellet-stoves/stove-details?product_id=37

    * Heats up to: 2,000 square feet
    * Size: Up to 52,000 BTUs
    * EPA Rating: 1.3 grams per hour
    * Efficiency: Up to 86%
    * Hopper Capacity: Up to 50 lbs.

    The Heritage Pellet brings you the convenience of a hardworking, technologically advanced and EPA certified clean pellet burning, together with HearthStone’s high-end aesthetic design in cast iron and stone.

    The Heritage Pellet has one of the highest heat output in the market -up to 52,000 BTUs- and it is also one of the cleanest burning - with an EPA emission rating of 1.3 grams/hour- and most efficient pellet stoves in the industry –up to 86%-. It also features over 160 square inches of viewing glass to enjoy one of the largest pellet flames in the market.

    The Heritage Pellet is able to heat up to 2,000 square feet and has a capacity for up to 50 pounds of pellets into its sealed fuel hopper. Its operation is quiet and fully automatic, and the variable heat settings can be managed through the programmable, thermostat-ready controller. The fan and the auger speeds are electronically operated. All the controls are conveniently located for easy access.

    Attached Files:

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  2. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    this post brought to you by Hearthstone?
  3. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    Yes, soapstone is great for absorbing and then radiating heat back slowly and evenly over a long period of time. Pellet stoves already put out more even heat output compared to a wood stove because they can burn the pellets at an even rate but the qualities of soapstone would still be an advantage.
  4. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for your comments. I guess your right and they look real nice also!
  5. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    Dunno guess its a good idea but Prolly more like a hmmm?
    Soapstone absorbs heat and releases it slowly, my pellet stove doesn't get hot enough for the Soapstone to be efficient like it wood on a wood stove. I like the look and the idea, but it won't be the same as a wood stove with a distribution blower built in. As a pellet/wood stove owner, I would think to get the same effect the stove would need to run hotter which means more pellets. But if the Soapstone stores the heat then I guess it wouldn't matter!
    Once again I do like the idea and the thought but real world use I would like to see how it actually works
  6. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Iceman I would really like to hear from someone that owns one. I have a steel stove with a large hopper and ash tray. I find that cast iron and hearthstone stoves look great. However steel can be fabricated into a shape that may work better for burning pellets. In my case the heat exchanger tubes tilt up and belts out the heat.
  7. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    The Heirtage pellet is basically a RIKA Intergra 2 inside a Hearthstone shell. RIKA designed and builds the burn system for this unit. Control and programming the same, basically....
  8. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    It looks beautiful, I know a wood stove it get 5-600 degrees , then gives out heat which is ideal. My pellet stove never sees ext temps like that, but then again its cast. But I always think of stoves as whole house/ big area heaters and don't see that heating my house BUT, with blowers it should, that's where I think the Soapstone is just more for look than actual benefit, unlike a Soapstone wood stove, but I am Prolly very wrong!
    Anyone want to send me one for "testing" purposes I will be glad to try it.
  9. Meneillys

    Meneillys Feeling the Heat

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    Franks has one in his showroom im sure he will chime in Monday. It looked like a really nice little stove.
  10. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    I will weigh in here a tad bit.

    Having owned wood stoves and Pellet stoves and having had both fabricated steel and cast iron, the concept of the soapstone panels is a sound idea (radiate the heat)

    The Pellet burners concentrated heat zone right under the heat exchanger makes the Soapstone and radiated heat a rather moot point.

    More parts to leak (soapstone panels have to be sealed into the stoves frame)

    As much as the soapstone stoves look nice, I personally would give them a passing glance and stick with a fabricated steel stove.

    The cute little cast iron pellet stoves look nice, but the parts are far more fragile, especially the ones with the little legs.

    A fabricated pellet stove is durable up to an including some pretty rough handling while moving it into place and installing it.

    The fabrication will generally last many many many years and still be 100% sound structurally as the heat from the fire really does not get to most of the stove, but only a very small portion and of course the heat exchanger.

    I have always thought that the Heat exchanger used on the older Quads was a marvelous design, having been fabricated from heavy aluminum sheet with fins welded on.

    The exchanger is replaceable easily.

    Many Pellet stoves have the heat exchanger as an integral part of the unit thats welded in during construction.

    Though the soapstone may look "way cool" I would pass on it for a pellet stove.

    Just my 2 cents worth

    Snowy
  11. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hi Snowy

    I agree 100%
    That is exactly why I got a steel stove. It heats the whole house easily on heat setting #2 most days!
    My stove puts out a constant, slightly over 600 Degrees on high (#6) which I rarely use because we would roast like a Thanksgiving day turkey!!
  12. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Yup, I burned one in the showroom this winter. I did not notice that "soft" radiant soapstone feel that you get from a wood stove. One style uses soapstone panels, the other sandstone. Just like on the Hearthstone gas stoves, it's mostly just a "honey what color do you want" kinda thing. Even though Don just has an addiction to asking random questions about random stoves, I'll play along (thanks for the lead in Don!

    The stove is a serious heater, no doubt. It ran very quiet. Put about a ton thru it without any issues. Controls work great. The stove is great looking.

    The only thing I dont like is the load feature. Impossible to dump a bag of pellets in old school style without making a mess.
  13. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Very good info Franks

    Thank-you very much!!
  14. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    I will step out on the edge of the envelope here a bit.

    Many manufactures are simply looking for a Gimick or whatever you want to call it.
    Simply just another sales angle.

    Afterall, a pellet stove is a Box that houses a hopper, feed mechanism and a heat exchanger along with a couple fans and a motor to drive the feeder.
    A few wires and a small micro processor to tell it all what to go do with itself and your good to go.

    The multitude of manufactures that have come and gone over the years reflects many failures and some successes.

    The ones that have made it in the market place have kept the end user "THE CUSTOMER" in mind.

    Customer service is the key ingredient that many companies overlook.

    If you look at the many brands on the market today, there are some that stand out as performers and the rest all fill in the ranks with numbers.

    If you want a cheap stove, it can be had. If you want to spend a large amount of $$$$$ you can do that too.
    If you want a stove that will endure decades of service with minimal troubles, this too caqn be found.

    My observations over the years leads me to conclude that simplicity in design can be a virtue of great value.

    "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it becomes to stop up the drain"

    Some of the early pellet stoves were great products, but for whatever reason the companies failed to make it due to a number of reasons.

    Poor fiscal management, poor advertising, the list is long and convoluted.

    Large companies that had the cash flow to weather the storm of slow sales during some years have stayed with us.

    Many "mom and pop" companies had excellent products, but the owners grew old, retired and the company was sold to a large conglomerate that in many cases simply phased the brands out to keep the market share in their favor.

    I view the soapstone concept in a Pellet stove a marketing plan, nothing more.

    Take the guts of that stove and place it in another "tin can" and the stove will without doubt, heat just as well.

    Many people view their pellet stove, wood stove, gas stove as a piece of furniture and want it to add to the decor and the ambience of the room.

    Myself, I dont want an UGLY stove, but more importantly to me, the function is number one (1) on the list followed only by serviceabiltiy and reliability.

    The Old Whits are not exactly a piece of beauty, but they function well, are easy to service and very simple in design.

    Many brands have these same qualities, this is why they succeed and have loyal followers.


    Snowy
  15. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Soapstone/ceramic stoves have been around for centuries. You will find them in all the European Chateaux. Unless you tend a wood fire constantly, there will be large swings in temperature and the added mass of soapstone absorbs those highs and radiates the heat during the lows, thus evening out the heat output. Through electronics and mechanical means, the pellet stoves put out a constant heat by feeding/tending the fire constantly. There's no need and IMHO no point in having soapstone unless you just like the looks and have too much money in the bank................
  16. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Yup, like the guy who has been doing pellets and soapstone for 20 years said, not much advantage aside from a beautiful stove. The fact that its made by an excellent company and works great is why folks who can afford them buy them.
  17. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    I have a Soapstone wood stove and as I burn soft woods it does help as it has a flywheel effect. My other conventional wood stone can die very quickly if you do not keep feeding it.

    I also do not see the non visual benefit for pellets, the pellet stove advantage is auto feed so the flywheel effect is irrelevant. Would be like having a soapstone gas fireplace..
  18. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    It just so happens that Hearthstone makes a very popular gas fireplace insert with soapstone or granite panels. Again, its a little higher end, so not for everyone. We have sold quite a few though. Sometimes people like the soapstone because it looks nice. Heck, I'm in the process of selling a Heritage just because the couple liked the seafoam color. Their eyes glazed over when I tried to explain how the soapstone works. They are doing their room in teal, so they just wanted that color, end of story.

    Different stuff for different people.
  19. I'd like to personally invite all of the naysayers of the Hearthstone Heritage pellet stove over to my place in Canada for a weekend to see for themselves first-hand just how good a product this Hearthstone Heritage pellet stove is. One person in this thread mentioned that the soapstone stove has soapstone panels that have to be "sealed" into the frame of the stove, and that there are "more parts to leak". Wow. That sort of information/thinking couldn't be any more wrong.
    The Hearthstone Heritage has soapstone removable cartridges/cassettes that slide right out of the top of the top of the unit's sidewalls for ease-of-use-access during those monthly cleanings.

    See the proof for yourself here on Hearthstone's instructional video:



    PLEASE, do everyone who is doing research here on The Pellet Mill a favor and reserve your rants/judgement on equipment if you don't have personal experience with it, as you're not only misinforming/confusing people, but you're also doing a major disservice to good AMERICAN companies with quality products like Hearthstone.
    I do not work for Hearthstone, but I own a Hearthstone Heritage pellet stove, and will defend it from those B.S.ers who would discredit it without any personal experience of having owned one.
    Peterfield and Manitou like this.
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