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  1. Phiniac

    Phiniac New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Montana
    Our Vermont Castings defiant 1910 has reached the end of its days and needs to be replaced after 8 years. Which now leaves us with a decision on what to replace it with. Our house is big and our Montana winters are cold. To top it off, our log home isn't very efficiently insulated. We visited our local dealer and the following stoves were suggested.

    1. Another Vermont Castings Defiant 1910.
    2. Jotul f500 oslo.
    3. Jotul f50 tl Rangeley.
    4. Lopi cape cod

    Our local dealer says the lopi is by far the most efficient. The wife likes the fact that the lopi has the Green Start option and we'd probably get the rear fan as well and she also likes the way it looks.

    I like options 1 and 3 because they are top loading stoves and I can really pack it full before going to bed, but the wife feels that the lopi has a nice wide opening and if it is as efficient as we were told, the few extra pieces of wood I can get into a stove with a top loader won't make a huge difference.

    Our home is 4,247 sq feet and three levels. The stove needing replacing is in the main area of the main floor of the house. I have attached a layout of the house. We have a Jotul F602 in one bedroom and a smaller Vermont Castings Defiant 1610 (at least I think that is the model) in our Master Bedroom which is on the top level above the garage. We do have a very old wood burning stove in our basement (make and year unknown) but we currently do not use it as it has a very bad back draft problem.

    We burn seasoned pine and larch that we cut from our property.

    While we were not unhappy with The Defiant, as long as it is time to replace it, we would like to replace it with whatever stove is most efficient. The Defiant did a decent job of heating the main parts of the house, but at times the house was chilly and we feel we can do better.

    We have done a bit of research, but are unable to find some of the information we are looking for. In comparison to what we have been used to, how will the other stoves on our list perform? Will burn times be longer or shorter with any of the above options and which option will best heat the areas that need heating?

    Are there any side by side comparisons of these stoves?

    floor-plan.jpg

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,581
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would stick with 3 cu ft stoves. This includes the Lopi Cape Cod, the Jotul F600, Hearthstone Manchester, etc.. You will note that code prohibits stoves in bedrooms in most jurisdictions. Follow your locale inspecting authority.
  3. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,879
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    I vote for the cape cod and hate to do this to a fellow male but I think you're wife is right.
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,650
    Loc:
    WI, Milw
    Is There a reason why you are not looking at the bk line or some others but only what the dealer has. Big House big stoves are needed, cat units best for long burns.
  5. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,329
    Loc:
    Central Va
    +1
    The Cape Cod is a new design, but reports have been very favorable.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/lopi-cape-cod-in-action.110098/
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/lopi-cape-cod.108572/

    You may want to look at the Jøtul F55 too. Some have said that the top opening on the F50 is too small to allow effective top loading. The F55 is the same stove with the top-loading mechanism deleted, leaving more room in the firebox for wood.
    http://jotul.com/ca/products/stoves/jotul-f-55-carrabassett

    . . .and, of course, the BK King, 4+ cu ft and thermostatic air control.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,635
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Based on the design of the house (including the loft), location of your home and size of your home I concur with BeGreen . . . big house = need for a big stove.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,764
    Loc:
    SE MI
    What is your current chimney setup?
  8. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,783
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Except for the green-start. Fires are easy to start if you spend a little time up front getting a good supply of kindling ready. Pine is great for that. Add some Meeco Firestarter Squares, and lighting up is real easy.
    With softwoods to burn, and cold winters, the BKs are the long-burn 'kings.' Wife approval factor may come into play, and so may the desire for a big-flame fire and clearer glass.
    Woodstock also has a couple of hybrid stoves (both cat and secondary burn) that are capable of heating larger spaces. They won't match the BK for burn times.
    I agree, you don't want stoves in the bedrooms. You might consider relocating them and upgrading while you're at it. A stove for show (and some good heat,) and a BK for sustained output.
  9. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,704
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    VC just changed ownership again and has an iffy history regarding customer support. From the stoves you listed the Cape Cod sounds best but I would also look at other options. For that square footage a wood furnace would be more appropriate or the stove with the largest firebox you can find like a Hearthstone Equinox or a BlazeKing King. Of course, both would require an 8-inch chimney.

    What happened to your Defiant? 8 years is not that old. Maybe it can be repaired and the saved money put into insulating your house?

    As BG already said, having a stove in a bedroom is not really a good idea and against code in most places. I hope you have at least two well-maintained CO and smoke detectors around it. I am not even sure why you need the small Jotul in the bedroom with the stove right next door. When you have problems with heat distribution a small desktop fan placed on the ground at the end of the corridor (where the "19" is in your sketch) blowing cold air towards the living room should help a lot with moving the hot air.

    For starting fires: Try SuperCedars, they are really as great as advertised.
  10. Phiniac

    Phiniac New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Montana
    Thanks for all the replies.

    We live in the "middle of nowhere" in the mountains and the only code we have to follow is electric, no other code applies to us. CO and fire detectors are placed generously throughout the house.

    That being said the Jotul is used very rarely. The 15' x 19' room, Garage and Master Bedroom are all part of an addition to the house. The house was originally built with a useless fire place that didn't heat anything, so when the small bedroom with the Jotul was our bedroom it was only used on very cold days. The fire place was replaced with the VC. The Jotul is now occasionally used when temps get into the negative 30's which happens here, but even when that cold it is not usually used.

    As far as the Master Bedroom goes that is 30' x 30' it does not get heat from any of the other stoves in the house, it also has a pretty high cathedral ceiling, but the VC in there heats it very nicely.

    Our options are pretty limited locally. I would imagine having something as heavy as a stove delivered here freight would be very expensive and take away from our budget to purchase a stove. Buying from our local dealer seems the best way to go. When it arrives we have someone to remove the old stove, carry in the new and install it and I do not have to lift the stoves myself. Would delivery of a stove purchased out of town be less expensive then I think it would be?

    Yes the wife does want something that is pretty and looks good in our living room.

    That is the reason why there is more then just the VC we already have on the list. As I said we haven't been unhappy with it, but aside from the fact that we believe we can find something to heat the house better (maybe even make it up to the master bedroom) we also want to find a more trusted name.

    The doors are both warped, it has a big crack on top and the damper no longer works. The house is insulated as well as it can be between every log, but the 8" log itself does not have a very good R value. Short of building a new house, really no way to insulate better.

    So far with the setup we currently have the two downstairs bedrooms do not get heat when the doors are closed. We have tried fans every where. Hopefully with a better stove that will change.

    This certainly is worth researching, however it would require ducting the house, which is not easy in a log cabin. I will look into pricing, but I think it will be out of our budget at this time.

    I am not sure how to answer this. All 4 stoves have their own pipe chimney. I am a fairly handy guy, but stoves are out of my wheel house. To answer I will need a little more help.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,581
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If it's going to depend on what dealers are nearby you'll have to tell us what is available. But do look at the Lopi Cape Cod, the Jotul F600, Hearthstone Manchester and the Quadrafire Isle Royale stoves. If you need it shipped I would contact Tom Oyen at http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/fswood.htm . He can ship a Hearthstone Manchester or a Pacific Energy T6 out to you and provides great customer service. Another option would be to get a Woodstock Progress Hybrid (soapstone) stove. They ship direct to the customer and also have great customer service. http://www.woodstove.com/progress-hybrid
  12. Phiniac

    Phiniac New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Montana
    The woodstock looks like it is only side loading and it would be awkward to do so with stove in our hearth. Both the Manchester and Pacific Energy look interesting. Is there a benefit to the steel firebox in the Pacific Energy. From the list I originally posted it seems as if the Lopi Cap Cod is the most suggested. So how do the Manchester and the Pacific Energy stack up against the Lopi as far burn times etc.
  13. Phiniac

    Phiniac New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Montana
    I will have to check to see if the local dealer has anything else, but it seemed like the stoves they had that would heat the square footage we have were the ones listed. There used to be a second dealer, but they went out of business.
  14. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    716
    Loc:
    Southern Minnesota
    If you have a 6 inch ( inside diameter, outside 8) chimney, I would go with the lopi. Good burn times and lots of heat seem to be the norm for this stove.

    If you have an 8 inch chimney(outside 10), get a blaze king king or a kuma sequoia.
  15. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    716
    Loc:
    Southern Minnesota
  16. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    716
    Loc:
    Southern Minnesota
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    As a current Defiant owner, who is happy with the stove, I know enough to know that you should not do another Defiant.

    And i am willing to bet tha the smaller stove in the bedroom is an Intrepid.

    I like the idea of the larger Jotul f55 than the f50.

    Also, I would seriously look at the Blaze King King for your situation.


    If there is room in the budget I would also swap out the two small stoves with Woodstock Keystones. As someone that tends to three stoves during the winter I know the annoyance of dealing withe small stoves and there short burn times.

    The Keystone is a little larger than the bedroom stoves you have but will provide useable heat for 8-12 hours.

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