Review of QuadraFire --- 5100i -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into existing Fireplace
Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰✰✰✰
Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 700 | House Size (Sq feet): 2200
Bought in 2013 , Price Paid:
Location : Lancaster, MA 01523, US
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Woodstove Fireplace & Patio
largest insert available - we were looking for something to use in an existing stone fireplace. The fireplace was HUGE (54" wide but only 26" high), so we wanted to fill as much as possible and not require any custom work. This was the largest insert we could find that would work, though the surround is a bit too high and will get cut down when I get some time.
attractive - we purchased the 'last year model' off the showroom floor, so we got all the nickel plated hardware option, which is very attractive. The stove has the extruded face/windows so it also is more readily visible from the side which is an nice feature.
The burn is shorter then we were told (aren't they always), but seems to be able to run 5-7 hours on a full load.
The front-back load direction makes emptying ash more difficult (especially when running).
I added this to an existing fireplace in a home we purchased for my aging parents as a way we could help avoid increasing oil heat costs (they have a fixed budget). I have had wonderful success heating my home with an Extrodinair product (see review - http://www.hearth.com/talk/ratings.php?do=viewrating&ratingid=3132) and originally wanted to get the insert version for them, but it didn't fit well.
Because of the extruded face, I was worried about the hearth clearance (to meet code), but we were able to get it far enough in to meet the requirements, though this may be a problem for some.
The firebox is very deep and accepts plenty of wood. My father (who is in charge of running it mostly) was worried at first that it would be difficult to start, but found that it started easily from the front and moved back naturally with no problem. Cleaning it however did require that we get a long tool to pull the ash forward (while running).
There are 2 levers for adjusting the burn rate (flue adjustment and air intake) which have a great deal of travel and allow very easy adjustments and tuning. Since my dad likes a warm home, he tend to keep things open more than I would and gets about a 3-4 hour burn, but I've been able to get 5 out of it and at night think I've throttled it down enough to get a 7 hour burn producing noticeable heat (sometimes difficult to tell since we also get a good deal of radiant heat from the stone chimney once it heats up)
Their home is a large single floor open design with only a single hall leading back to the bedrooms. The fireplace was located in the center of the home, so the stove easily keeps the 2200sf heated. In addition, since they have a large stone chimney that heats up, even when the fire goes out in the night (after they go to bed), the house stays warm until morning with no problem. Another positive is that they can burn even a small fire (2-3 logs) and get heat out of it quickly.
The side windows stay remarkably clean at all times which was another concern and my mother likes the glow it sends off to the side as a result.
I have only 2 complaints with the stove. First, because the original fireplace openning is so large, I wanted to set it as far back as possible (without losing the side-window value), so that we could retain as much of the beautiful stonework - but the installer didn't want to custom cut the surround to fit just inside the openning, so he left it out about 2" more than I want, however it looks OK so and there are other more pressing things I need to do around the home right now, but one-day I'll fix it.
The second is that the thermostat doesn't really control the blower and pretty much it is always on (there is a switch to override). We've had the fireplace installer out to fix it and he did improve it, but I think the thermostat must be somewhere that heats up quickly, so the blower sometimes is circulating unheated air. This would have been a bigger problem if we were bringing in external air, but the options was too difficult to retrofit into the existing fireplace so we are just circulating room temp air which isn't as big an issue.
* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004