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The dreaded "help me decide" thread !

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Big Donnie Brasco, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    East Central Kansas
    I was spending a lot of time on here several weeks ago when someone sold me a bunked old Sierra stove!

    I have since sold it and have decided to buy a new one!

    I had always thought that I NEEDED a soapstone or some other fancy stove, then I discovered Englander and Drolet!

    About 1800 sq foot home in East Central KS, not a ranch, but just one room upstairs (bedroom) that is REALLY well insulated. 100 old home, with all new windows, but damned near zero insulation in the exterior walls.... can't bring myself to tackle that project!
    The stove would basically sit in the center of the house.

    I am kind of torn between the two...

    Drolet is CHEAPER even tho from what I read it's a great stove!
    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200307391_200307391

    The equivalent Englander is more expensive, but is it worth the difference?
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...&keyword=Englander&storeId=10051#.UTUJoTCzfTQ

    OR.......... will the smaller Englander do me just fine?
    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...&keyword=Englander&storeId=10051#.UTUJqTCzfTQ

    ANY input at all would be GREATLY appreciated, even just personal opinion or preference!

    Thank you so much!

    PS. will I get a better deal buying in the summer?

    Don

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Go for either the Myriad or the 30NC. With no wall insulation you will need the extra oomph when it is blowing sideways at -10 deg.

    I would also suggest getting some quotes for blown in insulation. They do this through the exterior walls. It's pretty painless. The modern high pressure units use a small (3/4"?) entry hole and compact the insulation well enough that it doesn't settle. You will benefit from good insulation year round with lower heating and air conditioning costs.
    ddddddden likes this.
  3. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    East Central Kansas
    Thanks Begreen... I researched the blow in insulation, and I have yet to see a home where they were able to patch it afterward and make it look any good! In fact I am going to blow the attic myself this spring.

    I will take your advice and get some quotes... I am sure it will pay off!

    Thanks

    Don
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I sanded and patched the holes myself on our house before repainting the whole thing. I'll be darned if I can tell you where most of the holes are. There is an occasional one that I got a little sloppy on, but with good prep they should disappear.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I would go with the englander 30 based on its stellar reputation. You are getting dangerously close to the "you get what you pay for" type of stoves and the 30 seems to be the only one with an established history of being a good bang for the buck.

    Don't worry about the visible holes. This is a 100 year old house in KS. The value of insulation far exceeds the negative value of possible visible evidence.
    chvymn99 and ddddddden like this.
  6. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern, IN
    Go with one of the 3 cu ft stoves. With 1800 sq ft and no insulation you will not regret the larger stove. As far as which one, take your pick based on what you prefer. Flat or step top, clearances, hearth protection requirements, etc. As an unbiased opinion both are good stoves backed by good customer service. I have a Myriad and I installed a 30 in a friends house last year and they are really very comparable. Having first hand experience with both I can't pick out any major problems with either stove without getting to the point of nitpicking.

    Here is the only things I would pick as any kind of notable differences.

    Tops:
    Drolet is a flat top. Pro: larger flat surface if you cook on it. Con: Should be easier to warp. However after 3 years and several excursions above 750* it still checks within .020 of flat.

    30 is a step top. Pro: should be stronger and more robust. Con: Area is much more split up and limited for cooking.

    Baffles and secondary system:
    Drolet uses a solid stainless steel secondary air plate with a bypass damper: Pros: Very robust and nearly indestructible design. Bypass allows easier start ups and less smoke spillage on reloads. Cons: Baffle is not removable and the only way to clean the flue from inside the stove would be with a soot eater. Bypass is one more thing to remember when using the stove.

    30 uses the burn tubes and baffle boards. Pros: Baffles and tubes are removable allowing easier flue cleaning from inside the stove. They can be replaced. Cons: No bypass. Baffle boards are fairly fragile and can be damaged fairly easy. If you are careful they will last several years. If you get rough with a split or poker you will damage them.

    Door latches/handles:
    Drolet uses a threaded handle with a roller latch. Pros: Door handle is adjustable. Nothing large sticking out to burn yourself on when reloading. Handle is bent to have the handle "down" and not sticking out past the stove when closed. Cons: Is a bit on the wimpy side and the pin and roller could break with abuse. Threaded handle could gall up causing it to seize.

    30 uses a bar that slips through the door and is bent on the end for the latch. Pros: Very robust and strong design. Not threaded so should not seize up. Cons: Not adjustable or replaceable due to being bent and welded in at the factory. Cannot adjust for door gasket and if the latch ever does fail or wear you have to replace the door. Bent rod sticking out will catch/burn you if you are not careful.

    Burning designs and firebox:
    Drolet is designed as a N/S burner listed at 3.3 cu ft. Pros: More controllable with no dog house air and slightly better air wash at low burns. Cons: Will not burn E/W don't bother trying. It is easier to "stall" and slightly more finicky about air settings on a low burn.

    30 is designed as an E/W burner listed at 3.5 cu ft. Pros: Can burn E/W or N/S out of the box. Dog house air leads to less tendency to stall. Cons: Slightly less controllable with the dog house air if burned N/S. Tends to run more "peaky" in the early burn stages N/S. Burning E/W is a bit tricky to do well.

    Clearances and hearth:
    Drolet: Single wall - Side 23", Back 7" (practical without flue shield would be approx 12"), Corner 16". Double wall - Side 24", Back 6", Corner 17". Hearth protection - non combustible only required, minimum size 34" wide x 42" deep.

    30: Single wall - Side 20", Back 14", Corner 15". Double wall - No reductions given unless optional side shields installed. Hearth protection - required to have R1.5, minimum size 39" wide by 52.5" deep.

    * Information on firebox size, clearances, and hearth protection from manufactures manuals downloaded today 3/5/2013.

    My general .02. Both stoves are a bargain at their retail price and a steal at the sale price.

    My recommendations:

    If you get the Drolet order a spare roller and pin for the door latch just in case. Also order a spare door gasket as it is a flat high density gasket you will not likely find on the shelf. Take the stop pin out of the latch and put anti seize on and clean the threads once a year.

    If you get the 30 order a spare door gasket as it is a high density gasket and no door adjustment so if it's not the correct one it will not work correctly. Also consider a set of baffle boards just in case. You will need them some day, that could be 6 weeks or 6 years from now. My friend killed his in the first 6 week period with two poker holes, a gouge hole from shoving a split in, and breaking one taking it out to sweep the flue. He was warned when he got the stove. They are now replaced and after 4 months of burning and taking them out 3 more times are in perfect shape. Before you get the picture of the big burly guy rough housing it he is 5' 8", 165#, and an aerospace engineer. You be the judge of your responsibility level.

    I recommend the door latch kit and gasket for the Drolet or the baffle boards and gasket for the 30 as they are they main things that may fail from use/age or operator error and would render the stove not usable for days or weeks waiting for replacement parts.
  7. chvymn99

    chvymn99 Minister of Fire

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    I'm just a little further east than you, with just about the same size of house too. I've got the NC13, great little stove. I've heated the house fairly well, I think, the last two and half years. I've added insulation as I've went still have the north side of the house to go. But I have to work at keeping the NC13 going to keep my house warm. I'm looking at adding a NC30 to help reduce the time of babysitting (6-8 hours), that I can go without much worrying on heat. If I can keep a 10 hour or less reload time, I'll keep up with the need down to about 10 degrees (in house temp around 65-68) and outside temp around 25 degrees (in house temp around 75-78).
  8. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    East Central Kansas
    WOW !!

    Blwncrewchief:

    That exceeded my expectations by FAR!!! and answered questions that I didn't even realize that I had!

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !


    Lastly.... what time of year do you think is best to swoop in and get the best deals?

    Thanks again!!!!
  9. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Most stove sales happen around this time of year, retailers are looking to move excess inventory to make room for summer items.
  10. MaintenanceMan

    MaintenanceMan Burning Hunk

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    Southern IN
    Summertime online through Home Depot is usually a good time to get good deals on Englander.
    DKranger22 likes this.
  11. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    The simple answer: Get a 30-NCH. HUD, EPA and WA state approved. Get online at HD for $649. OAK available or build your own, and required for HUD and most WA state installs.
  12. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Stihlhead, but it's actually the 13NCH that is on the HD website for the $649. Unfortunately the 30NCH is still $899 :(

    Thanks again!

    Don
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Couple changes to Blwncrewchief's very nice summary. A step top doesn't have less cooking surface, it just has 2 levels. This can be a good thing because the temps are different at each level. Also, I thought the Drolet needed R=1.0 hearth protection, though maybe my docs are old.
  14. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

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    That is why I stated: " * Information on firebox size, clearances, and hearth protection from manufactures manuals downloaded today 3/5/2013."

    From the manufactures web site: http://www.drolet.ca/upload/documents/manuels/drolet/45063A_29-11-2011-0012.pdf

    "If the stove is to be installed on top of a combustible floor, it must be guarded by a non
    combustible material as shown on figure 1.3"

    " *Steel with a minimum thickness of 0.015’’ (0.38 mm) or ceramic tiles sealed together with
    grout. No protection is required if the unit is installed on a non-combustible floor (ex:
    concrete). "

    Also note the updated firebox spec of 3.279 ft3. :rolleyes:

    As far as the step top cooking surface you are absolutely correct. In fact technically it has more surface area. Just less size flexibility.

    Now about the return air code/NFPA dead horse you brought up in the other thread, aw hell I'm too tired. :p
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yep, my Myriad doc is from Oct 2008. Wonder what changes they made for this.

    drolet.PNG
  16. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    i have been going back and forth on the 30 or the myriad (and the ht2000), his post just sealed it.. if I cant get a 30 on clearance by end of month I am ordering the myriad from northern tool (hopefully they keep the sale price going till end of month) -i doubt i will get a 30 on clearance, local stores are sold out and the stores not to far away that do have them show stock levels of 1
  17. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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  18. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Seasonally/regionally the 30-NCH goes on sale at HD online for $649, and that is what I paid for mine last spring from a HD in Virginia. Yes, it was cheaper than the 13 at that time, and shipping was free across one threshold. That changed after I bought mine to location shipping, but it is/was still a deal. I have posted several times about which HD stores to buy from. There seems to be some mystery as to what HD stored online have these deals and they vary. You need to change your local HD store on the web site to the store with the best price, and then order it with your delivery address.
  19. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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