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St Criox hasting vs. Harman xxv

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jchick, May 11, 2008.

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  1. jchick

    jchick New Member

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    I know there are alot of harman owners out there and few St. Croix people to. I have been to the mansfield Harman dealer who seemed to care less if I existed, and the mendon St Croix dealer who spent 45 minutes with me talking about all the options I have. The St. Criox Hasting is about 2600 and the Harman xxv is about 3000. I guess my question is wether or not the St. Croix is enough stove for a 1200 sq ft cape at only 38,000 btus or do I need the Harman xxv at 50,000 btus. Some of the other things that stand out about the harman is a bigger hopper, bigger name, and bigger price. I know the customer sales department in Mendon was excellent, will it transfer over to the service???? Has anybody had dealing with either stove or stores. Any suggestions or comments would be great. Also anyone in the mass area have a installer they would reccomend. Thanks jeff

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  2. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Since I own a Harman P61 and a St Croix Hastings I feel obligated to chime in. I'm not completely familiar with the XXV, but i'm pretty sure it is similar to the P61, at least in terms of the way it opeates.
    My first comment would be that the Hastings and the XXV are very different stoves. They both have the great cast iron looks, and are both are solid reliable stoves (IMO and in my exp), but that is where the similarities stop. As you know thos two stoves are sized very differently. Most people on the forum will tell you that it is a very bad idea to oversize your stove. If you are a well insulated 1200 sq feet then the Harman might be a bit overkill for your house. I'm using my Hastings to heat the first and 2nd level of my cape (probably 1400 square feet) and it does a very good job...usually running no higher than medium. My layout is pretty quirky so I do have 2 small CPU fans that I use to help distribute the heat. The Harman heats my 600 sq foot basement. Definitely not the ideal stove for the job, but it does a fine job, and I typically run it on a very low setting.
    I would think the Hastings would the perfect BTUs for you if you are reasonably well insulated, and your layout is somewhat open.

    A few notables:
    The Hastings has a very small ash pan (plan on cleaning the stove weekly in the heating season)
    The Hastings distribution blower is less powerful than the XXVs, this is one reason why I feel like I need the extra fans
    (IN my exp) The Hastings seems to be more "finicky" about what types of pellets I feed it. Never had a big problem, but some hardwood pellets i've used have lead to significant "clinker" build up in the burnpot. These same pellets have burned well in the Harman.
    The St Croix seems to have a better igniter system than the Harman. This comment is based on the fact that my igniter needed to be replaced when I first bought the stove (used) and the fact that i've seen numrous threads with other people expereince Harman igniter issues. The St Croix lights like a champ after 3 seasons of heavy, heavy operation.

    In summary, both are excellent stoves. If you don't mind the weekly maintenence the St Croix would probably work well for you. Realistically, the XXV will run best if you perform some maintenece tasks on a weekly basis, but I believe it is more forgiving if you're not right on top of things.
    Have you looked at the Harman Accentra? I would think pricing would be right there in the 2600 range, and they also have the great cast iron looks. BTU-wise I suspect that stove would be perefct at 40,000.

    The last, perhaps most important thing to think about is dealer quality. I'm fairly handy so I have not had to engage the Harman or St Croix dealers often, but if you don't want to trouble shoot/repair on your own you'll want to make sure you go with a reputable dealer. Hopefully some folks on the forum will be able to comment on the dealers in your area.
    Hope this is useful. Feel free to fire off specific questions
  3. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    Watch Harman. Paid alot and have had problems for two years. Can't fix it. Stopped trying. I have gone to State Attorney General.
  4. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    OK . I see that this is at least the second post by you complaining of Harman stove problems and their service.
    Why not tell us the problem. You aren`t getting anywhere posting empty complaints.
    John
  5. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Seriously. I'm quite sure there are bad stories with every stove manufacturer..but there are definitely a lot of Harman success stories. From what i've seen on the forum, most bad experiences start with the dealer rather than the company.
  6. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    This is both. The dealer tried to help, but Harman will not answer letters or send out a tech. guy. I bought a Harman because of their reputation... not know. This stove is a pour design and there going to have to make good on it. Even the dealer agreed the stove is iffy. It's the Accentra-2. Volvo made the same mistake on the fuel system and got caught and it's costing them customers. Just trying to warn future customers.
  7. jchick

    jchick New Member

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    thanks for your input mkmh. My house is 1200 sq ft. and I have opened it all up. I have blown in insulation and replacement windows in the home, but the house doesnt seem to hold heat well. It could be the forced hot air? Should I be concerned about the btus or the hopper size of the Hastings? The hastings was running at the dealer and seemed to be very quiet, does your harman seem to run louder? thanks jeff
  8. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    It sounds like from a BTU standpoint you would be in good shape with the Hastings. As far as the hopper size, the Hastings fits just under a full bag of pellets which will generally last for a full day in the winter. I got in the habit of filling mine in the morning and at night which really wasn't an issue for me at all. My P61 takes close to 2 full bags of pellets, but I find myself topping it off when I top the hastings off.
    From a noise standpoint the Harman distribution blower is going to be a little louder, and I think the auger is actually a little louder. However, the Hastings has some extra rattles and squeaks (not bad) mostly associated with the Versa Grate system (the system that shakes the ashes down from the burnpot).
    I would not classify either stove as especially quiet, so if this is important to you, you might look at a few other models.
    You might want to have the dealer turn the Hastings up to 5 so you can hear it at its loudest.
    Good Luck!
  9. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    Harmam is my first stove. It sounds as load as any pellet stove. You get used to the hum.
  10. Tom D

    Tom D New Member

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    i have the harman xxv and first year of using it and no problems. i heat aprox. 1250 square feet 2 story home
    and went thru 480.00 dollars worth of pellets. 2 and half tons. average temp. 74 deg. during day and
    70 deg. at night. very easy stove to maintain. i looked at alot of different stoves and from what i seen harman
    stoves are built like tanks. wouldnt buy any other stove just my two cents. also have nice dealer to work with.
  11. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    Mines built well also, problem is, it doesn't operate properly. Poor design and poor dealer. Good luck with yours.
  12. jchick

    jchick New Member

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    Is there alot of problems with the bottom feed pellet stove as compared to the top feeding ? The harman dealer has told me this was more energy efficent. I also heard Harman was going back to the top feeding style.(any truth)?
  13. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    what is the problem with it?
  14. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    Read above.
  15. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    NO you have not once said what the problem was except that the dealer and harman wont respond to your letters. what is the problem with the stove from a functional stand point not witht the dealer or harman.
  16. giggs222

    giggs222 New Member

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    Relax and read all my replys. I have three pages of problems at the Attorney Generals office.
  17. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    IMO this depends on who you talk to. When we were stove shopping, the dealers we spoke with that did
    not sell the Harman brand told us to stay away from the bottom feed as they were problematic, however
    when we visited the Harman dealers, we heard the complete opposite from them.

    If you plan to have a dealer install your stove, be sure ask them tons of questions including if
    they will service the stove if needed, especially if you decide on Harman.
    Harman does not deal directly with customers so you will be at the mercy of your dealer.

    After many months of research and road trips, we decided on the XXV and do not regret it for a minute.

    There are alot of reputable brands out there. Good luck in your search!
  18. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    Congrats once again you did not explain since i am not the attorney genral cant read those three pages
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