About to take the plunge

JohnnyAsbury Posted By JohnnyAsbury, Dec 9, 2007 at 2:26 PM

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  1. JohnnyAsbury

    New Member 2.

    Dec 9, 2007
    Manchester, NH
    Hi everyone, love the Forum, been doing alot of reading on here. I think im about to purchase a St. Croix Hastings, to supplement my heat in a very well insulated 2200 sf house. 1100 sf being on the first level where we spend most of our time. Im thinking of only using the stove in the evenings, and weekends, as we like the rooms downstairs around 72 when we are just relaxing at home. Not really thinking at this point anyway about using it as our only source of heat, as we use about 700 gallons of oil a year, and this includes hot water off the oil burner. My questions are : Can the users of the Hastings please comment on their likes/dislikes about this stove ? Also I was thinking of a straight vent, 7" pipe,without a rise, but equipped with the outside air kit.Im doing this because of a close proximity to a window, and apparently, this would bring it into code, needing only 12" of clearance. I was told even in the event of a power failure, this vent is designed to suck the smoke out. The only issue im concerned with here is more soot on my white vinyl siding. Thoughts ? Thank you.
  2. Xena

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 30, 2005
    South Shore MA

    Welcome to the forum Johnny. Not a whole lot of St Croix owners on this forum, but
    there are at least a couple. I can't comment on your vent pipe scenario,
    but that stove has the same control board as my Prescott EXP, it just has a different shell
    a much smaller ash pan, and is rated for a little less BTU than mine according to Eventemps web site.

    That said, our Prescott has been an awesome stove. When we first got it we were using
    it as supplemental heat for approx. 1100 sq ft of our 1400 sq ft home to help keep our Mom warm
    in the main living area of the house and to cut down on our oil consumption.
    Since February, Mom has moved to a care facility so we have been using it as our main heat source
    and it's not let us down yet.

    It's easy to run, it throws good heat and has run great using half a dozen different brands
    of pellets. It's been very reliable. Knock on wood but we've had zero trouble with it.
    There was a learning curve as I had never had a pellet stove before so I had to read the manual a lot
    before becoming comfortable with the controls, cleaning procedure, etc. but everything
    eventually falls into place once you get a routine down. I use a small brush and a shop vac
    with a drywall bag to clean the stove out once a month. Works great and it's fast/easy.
    Keep in mind the Hastings has a very small ash pan as compared to the huge pan in my Prescott,
    so you would find yourself emptying that a lot more often. You do have to shut the stoves down
    to empty the ash pans, so it only makes sense to clean the entire stove while it's off.

    The hastings also has a smaller hopper than the Prescott, but I don't see that being a hinderance
    if you are only using the stove in the evenings and on weekends.
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  3. mkmh

    New Member 2.

    Jul 15, 2007
    Southern, Maine
    Hi Johnny,

    We've owned a Hastings St Croix since 2005 and have generally been very pleased with it. We use it to heat about 1200 square feet of our 2000+ square foot cape cod style home. Our square footage is pretty spread out so I have to use a couple small fans to get the heart circulating. So far we are in our 3rd winter with the stove and we have run more than 7 tons of pellets through the stove with no major issues. We had a minor issue with a clogged vacuum hose last winter, which was diagnosed over the phone by the dealer and fixed in under 1 hour.
    My perception is that the stove is on the noisy side, so make sure you see one in operation on full blast high before you make the plunge. The noise does not bother us, but some people are very particular about stuff like that.
    As zeta pointed out, the ash pan on the hastings is pretty small so I find that when i'm burning a lot...I am shutting the stove down once per week to dump the pan 9and as zeta said, clean out the stove). It is not a big deal cleaning it and i've got it down to a routine where it only takes me 30 minutes. the first year it was taking me an hour, year 2 - 45 minutes, now i've streamlined it down to 30 minutes.
    As a Harman owner I will say that the Hastings requires more maintenece/cleaning per ton of pellets burned than my Harman P61A. This has something to do with the feed mechanism (bottom feed) of the Harman, and much larger ash man on the Harman...and the Harman is a much larger stove, which gives you more room to work in the stoves.

    As far as your vent situation, I would be concerned about crapping up your siding. I have a similar set up, and I had to go out and repaint our white cedar shake this fall. I tried several different cleaners before getting out the brushes, but after 2 winters of burning the soot build up was not coming off. Not sure if vinyl would hold up better, but I think you're right to be concerned about it. Eventually i'll have to address my own situation or deal with painting every couple years, which would be a little silly.
    And yes, smoke does back up into my house when the power goes out. Without a rise on the pipe I think this will always be an issue. However, this year I installed a UPS which will give me 30 minutes or so to shut down the stove in a power failure. Funny, I actually put 8 foot of rise on the pipe in the Fall and my wife HATED how it looked on the side of the house. I went back to the straight pipe...and the added the UPS.
    Gotta pick your battles ;-)

    So to summarize. No real complaints with the Hastings. Very good stove and will probably be perfect for what your intending to use it for. I really work mine very very hard for a 35000 BTU stove and it has done very well. Also, IMO and IMWO it is one of the best looking stoves out there
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