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Unique Situation...I need a bigger stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by djc2982, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    Hi Eddie,

    I am in Southern NY, about an hour north of NYC.

    Yes, the house is recent construction and I oversaw most all of it. While I am sure the insulation could be improved upon, I feel the potential benefits of upgrading the insulation would not be worth the time and expense. Simple fact is I am looking to heat more house than the 5700 is capable of. In other words, the heat I do get out of the 5700 is very much in line with the MFG stated heating capacity.

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  2. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    Almost like I read your post already...I had them on the phone about two hours ago. From the comments on this site I am certain that Woodstock has the kind of CS we all would like to have. And this is very important to me.

    The lovely woman I spoke with did tell me about the new offering; potentially bigger, front loading, good price point. It does sound very promising.

    You mentioned the PH surpassing the Blaze King and Equinox. Do you have a link for that comparison? I would love to see how the PH compares with the QF 5700. I am not thrilled about owning another cat stove but she assured me that the technology has improved greatly and that maintenance was easier and somewhat less costly. Wish I knew more about the final product, especially the size and availability. She did say it was tentatively being called the "Union". Who knows if that will stick or not...all very secret.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Bottom line here I think is that a second stove would be the best solution. You may be able to eek out another 10K btus or so from a bigger stove, but if the goal is longer burns, having two 3 cu ft stoves heating different zones of the house is going to be much more effective. You are not going to get much more that 100K peak btus out of a single woodstove and that is only at the peak of the burn. Whereas a pair can give you 140K peak and 100K steady state for hours. If you choose that route I would look at putting a Lopi Cape Cod, BK King or a Woodstock Progress Hybrid there and a second stove in the other part of the house. Not sure what to recommend there without seeing what the requirements are.

    But if you want to try it with one, bigger stove then I agree with the stick-with-steel suggestion. Look at the Lennox Country Canyon ST310, Kuma Sequoia, Enerzone Solution 3.4, Regency F5100, Buck 91 or 94NC), or a Blaze King King.
  4. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    I am a bit confused with the "stick with steel" recommendations. I understand that steel will take more abuse than soap, but I have no intention of running any stove past its limits (been there). While I will want to get the most heat out of any stove I install, really large, hot fires tend to be really inefficient and I would be avoiding it regardless of the materials the stove is made from.

    Seems to me that anyone burning continuously would benefit from a larger thermally massed stove to round out the morning chills and potentially minimize the moments that temps are too hot to be comfortable near the stove (rare for us).

    If we stick with steel I am certainly going to keep my QF 5700 as it has served us very well and is close enough in size/efficiency to the other steel stoves out there. The other option I am considering is to go with a soap. I did as rideau suggested, and looked at the EPA BTU/hr vs Emissions chart on the Woodstock site (attached). Forgetting about the emissions, the PH is handily kicking the asses of every other stove tested. The Equinox looks like a real disappointment in this particular chart which baffles me as it is listed as a 110kbtu stove. If I go this route I will be waiting and hoping that the newest Woodstock will be larger than the Progress (and a front loader).

    What are the Pro's and Con's of soap? What will happen if it's over-burned (momentarily or continuously)? Are there long term maintenance issues? Are there maintenance perks (I am told that there is no fire brick...that sounds like a perk to me!).

    Thanks again for all comments!

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  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    With that big a house in Ny i would not recommended any cat stove.
    You need the btu's and running a lot of flame to often can damage the cat.

    Get the biggest,baddest tube burner you can find and go at it.
    Hopefully you can get 8 hours of great heat before a reload.

    BTW...I would stay with steel...thicker the better!
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That marketing doc appears to be skewed. It looks like there is a mix of standard EPA outputs with maximum EPA outputs. Look at the the Jotul F600 v PH for example. The number for the Jotul is not the maximum output. I'm not knocking the PH, but it is not more than 2x as efficient or twice the max output of the Jotul.

    Also, most of us don't burn 2x4s. Cord wood is a better measure of max output.

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  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    This statement is just uninformed.

    I am in Southern Ontario, Zone 5A, exposed location, windy with many, many large windows to the North.
    Heat my 3 story, 32 by 46 foot traditional layout home very comfortably and nicely with a Woodstock Progress Hybrid Soapstone stove. Home built in mid 1970s, well insulated and reasonably tight for the time, but built before wrapped homes, for instance.
  8. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Well so say you..with all respect.
    This guy is trying to heat 4500 sq.ft. in NY.
    The long slow burn from a cat will not do well...period.
    Now your hybrid may have a shot at it..I don't know.
    I know my BKK is sized just right for my house in ny and it's only 2500 sq.ft.
    If the temp gets to 15-0f outside with a mild breeze even I have to turn up the air some and the stove does not struggle but it is working some and I don't like the idea of big flame licking the cat so to speak.
    If my house was 4500 sq.ft. there is no way this stove would cut it in the deeper cold and doubt yours would either in my situation.
    I would need two.
  9. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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  10. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    BTW..I'm not a fan of tube burners but in this guys case with a huge house he will need the big btu's without worrying about the flame killing the cat.
    Even with the tubes burning he will need flame and a considerable amount of it to heat the house in the cold.
    I'm not happy if my house gets below 70 though.
    My back up electric heat is set up to come on at 60 and it never happens unless we are gone for over a day.
    Now if he is not concerned with the back up running some in the deep cold it's a diff game then.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    He lives half an hour North of my family home in Westchster, NY. I am well familiar with his climate, which is considerably warmer than mine in Southern Ontario.

    You are simply wrong.

    For many years I used a Fireview as my only heat source in Southern Ontario. The first floor was warm, except when it was colder than 20 below F. The seond and third floors were not. They'd be in the low 60s, or even 50's, if it was bitterly cold out. Fine for sleeping actually, and that's all we have upstairs: bedrooms. Have electric heat available in the bathrooms, so just heated them if having baths. My home has nearly as much square footage as the original poster...about 4200. Plus a full basement.

    The Fireview is a fairly small straight cat soapstone stove.

    The Progress Hybrid is an entire different story. EPA rated 71,000 plus versus Fireview 42,000 or so EPA rating, and the heat put off by the PH IS that much more. And it puts it out from darn near the same amount of wood.

    My home is now comfortable in any temperature/weather condition, and the temperatures are very even throughout the home. One is not aware of any chilling as one climbs from the first to second floor, or second to third. Don't really understand why you think radiant heat won't warm a home. It does: very comfortably. And it does not hurt a cat stove to run it at 550 to 600 with really active flames. Like any other stove, you want to keep it under 700. Not good for the cast iron structural parts.

    Have you ever heated with a soapstone stove?
  12. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Nope..but that said soap stone does not create heat..I think you would agree.

    Look..I'm glad it works out for you..maybe your home is way more insulated and protected from wind or something then mines is..I dunno.
    That said I know my house is not drafty and is warped in high r foam sheathing..whatever you call it..dow board or something like that.

    I just know his BKK would not heat almost double what I have on it's own.
    Your stove must have more built in magic then the BK even lol
    I burn about 10-11 face cord a season..how much do you burn?
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Including the uglies, which are hard to give a volume to, maybe as much as three real cords. From my stacks, about two cords with the winter we have been having. Last year 1 1/2 cords plus uglies. I use uglies for shoulder season burning.
  14. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    So 9 face cord..
    Wonder where all the btu's are coming from to heat your big house.
    Must be super tight! cheers!
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's a nice comparison. Good to hear that the PH continues to perform well. In this case it is convection that is heating the upper floors and radiant heat that is heating the immediate area. Mass is the other factor here. Our cast iron jacketed T6 performs very much like a soapstone stove for heat retention. But perhaps it has safer reserves I think it it needs to be pushed? Would you run the PH at 650-700F for hours if the day required it?
  16. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Lets say 25 million btu's /cord and lets go with the 3 cord.
    That's 75 million.
    Lets go with 80% for efficiency...that leaves 60 million btu's.
    I burn from maybe Nov. till the end of March..maybe somewhat sooner and latter but don't use much then.
    Maybe 170 days lets say.
    How many btu's is that for a day..I suck with big numbers..lol..
  17. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I don't get how heat retention has anything to do with a stove running 24/7.
    It took btu's to heat it up in the first place.
    Normally people load every 8 to 12 hours in the cold anyways because their wood is all burnt up.
    Sure there is still heat coming off of the stove but I can't believe soapstone is giving off all that much more heat then my steel box..prolly some but come on.
  18. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I'm just a stubborn dutchman but I want the heat to come off my stove as fast as possible.
    I don't want it buffered to have what some call soft heat...seems like more would go up the flue then.
    My stove is even more efficient if I run the blowers but I rarely do because I don't like the noise and it takes away from the ambiance imo.
    That all said my stove room is pretty big and the stove is away from all furniture so it never really heats you out of the room..now I can see where a smaller stove room could be a prob with a stove kicking out some big numbers.
    Maybe then a cast or soapstone..for sure a cat.
    That's the thing about my BKK cat..it's almost always in the low burn mode giving out low steady heat for hours upon hours..no spikes to speak of.
    That said noway would that work if my house was almost double the size such as the op has..period.
    That is why I suggest a big bad tube burner.
  19. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Cord wood might well be a better indicator of maximum output. Two problems: there isn't an independent lab that is testing all stoves on level ground with same species/same moisture content/same density cord wood; cordwood BTU ratings we are getting from manufacturers are wildly out of line with EPA test results with dimensional doug fir. While some manufactures claim 20 percent increased BTU output, some claim almost 300 percent.

    So, for the time being, for comparison, the best we have is EPA test results, which are level ground test results. Doug fir has about 17 -18 million BTU per cord, not much different from many of the lighter hardwoods, Sugar Maple has 23-23 million, and oak and ironwood,locust etc maybe 26-27 million (rough ranges without checking the charts). So one can reasonably extrapolate that sugar maple will give about a third more BTUs than EPA testing, and Ironwood/oak etc about 50 percent more.

    If you Bing or Google the following: "List of EPA Ceritfied Wood Stoves - U S Environmental Protection Agency", you will get the complete chart of all stoves tested, EPA emissions results, minimum and maximum BTU output per EPA test, and either default or measured efficiency.

    I believe you will find Woodstock used the high end result on those tests for the stoves they have in their chart. I do not believe they skewed the chart.

    Furthermore, Woodstock is very conservative in their claimed cordwood BTU heat production for their stoves. While the Fireview tests at about 42,000BTU (all these following numbers are from memory and are substantially accurate), Woodstock gives an EPA of 42,000 and cord of 55,000 - about 30 % higher, pretty much in keeping with what one would expect from the sugar maples, for instance. The Progress Hybrid tested at over 71,000 BTUs, and Woodstock claims 80,000 easily with cordwood - only slightly more than 10 % more than the EPA testing. I suspect with really good, dry dense hardwood you'd really get closer to 33 to 50 % more heat than EPA testing.

    I'd like an explanation I can understand of how a stove EPA tested at under 40,000 BTUs can claim a cordwood output of 80,000 BTUs, assuming a normal method of burning at a high output: that is, not continuously loading the stove every hour or two. I'd also like to know how a stove tested at 40-45,000 BTUs can be compared to the PH, tested by the same agency to 71,000, in maximum heat output potential.
  20. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    I hesitate to step in here (lol) but I think the point folks are trying to make is that the soapstone or cast stove will hold the heat longer within the material (cast or soapstone) simply by nature of the thickness or mass of that material. Not sure there's any more to it than that. If you heat a cast iron skillet and a stainless skillet on a stovetop at the same intensity for the same amount of time, both will get hot, but when you turn it off, the cast will remain hot longer than the thinner steel pan. Don't know if that makes sense...?

    Me, I can't heat 2000 SF with 2 stoves rated @55,000 BTU each and $10,000 of insulation added, so I'm not one to suggest a way to heat 4500 SF with one stove...though if you can do it I might just ask if I can move in. LOL.
  21. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Oh I understand that but you have to understand it took btu's to get the whole stove hot to begin with..cast or soapstone does not make btu's.

    In a smaller stove room a cast or soapstone might just be the ticket...but if that was the case I would also have a cat and that works fine with a plain steel box also.
  22. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Look..lets say you have soapstone.
    More heat will go up the flue heating that soapstone up then what would go up a flu heating up a steel stove of the same design...it would have too.
    Now once they both reach temp I still think more would go up the flue with the soapstone stove all through the load.
    You will get a small amount back with the soapstone stove compared to the steel stove when they both run out of wood and coals..no doubt but imo it will never make up the diff lost up the flue with the soapstone stove.
    That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it...lol.

    That said those soapstone stoves sure look pretty!
    Don't make me get into thermodynamics!l lol
    Dairyman likes this.
  23. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Sounds to me like you need a coal burner to replace that stove. I highly doubt you will see the heat your looking for along with longer burn times, out of a wood stove.
    ddahlgren and HotCoals like this.
  24. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Why's that? It takes longer to get all the soapstone up to temp, but you're not burning with the air open during that time. You run the air control just like any other stove so you're not letting more heat go up the flue.

    Back to the OP... I agree with others. I wouldn't try for a marginal increase in heat by switching stoves. I would add another stove.
  25. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Why?

    Think about it.

    If two stoves were exactly the same in every way but one had soapstone on it are you trying to tell me the soapstone one would heat up just as fast as the one with only steel?
    So more heat had to go up the flue if air opening were the same on both.

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