Alderlea owners: Do your trivet's line up well?

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
I just got my PE Alderlea T5 installed today. It still hasn't seen any fire or wood yet.

My question is whether or not both of your trivets swing smoothly into place? My right trivet swings just fine. Opens to a certain point and closes nicely, stopping when it hits the metal center divider up front above the window. (See divider in the picture, a bit like a flat mountain top)

The left trivet, however, seems to be sitting too low. It won't close all the way because the top side of the trivet hits the divider rather than the underside of the trivet , so I have use force to lift it up onto the divider. When it swings open, it drops some and is about 1/2 inch lower than the right trivet. (See picture with right angle showing the drop compared to left trivet.)
T5 low left trivet.jpg

How well lined up did your trivets come from the factory? I can't find any obvious visual defect to the trivet. I should probably contact customer support and see if they'll send me a new left top trivet to trouble shoot with. (My local store doesn't have any on display.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,263
South Puget Sound, WA
That's not right. With the trivets closed, the entire top of the stove should be level from front to back. Are there washers underneath on the right side pivot point?
There are adjustment bolts underneath for leveling. It sounds like the dealer should try that first, though this should have been done at the factory.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,263
South Puget Sound, WA
Here is how our T6 trivets align. And a shot of the adjuster.
20190531_101601_resized.jpg 20190531_101622_resized.jpg
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
When I get home I'm going to take another picture of the left female insert on the stove that the trivet's male insert pivots inside of. It seems to be (very slightly) sloped from high in the rear left of the female insert and low in the front right of the female insert, as I can tell by how when a measuring stick can teeter-totter when laid edgewise on top of that female insert.. The right side's female insert is flush and level.

That small unevenness is likely magnified over the diagonal distance from the pivot to the front center corner of the trivet. I think this may be the problem.

The stove itself is level.

I'll contact the dealer as well.

For everybody's sake, I hope it's an easy fix. It'd be a shame for me to be stuck with such imperfection on something new. Similarly, it'd be a waste to have a new stove shipped and installed over again.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,263
South Puget Sound, WA
It sounds like the left side needs to be adjusted up a little. That will help bring the right side down. Back off the right side adjuster first to allow that side to come down. This shows some sloppy QC at the factory and by the installer.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
bottom of left trivet.jpg left trivet fem insert top view.jpg LeftTrivetFemaleInsert.jpg View attachment 244604 I'd thought I'd post some pictures so people could understand how the pivots work on the Alderlea. One of the pictures is an attempt to show the angle on the female insert.

I have a phone message left with the retailer and I emailed PE's support and am waiting for a reply.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,839
Southern IN
Mine's exactly the same; I have to lift up a little on the left trivet so I can close it more, over the top of the stop, so that everything lines up well. I'm not sure if we have the adjustment bolt that begreen's T6 has..I'll look next time I get over there.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
Begreen motivated me to explore the pivot joint more closely for the trivet. It seems to have changed since his T6 was made 10(?) years ago.

I had some fun exploring Microsoft's Paint software to label this picture. It is a close up of where the left trivet pivot. Arrow "B" is where the male insert from the pivot connects to the female barrel on the outer left edge of the stove top. The bolt (Arrow "C") is what connects the top left rear cast iron panel to the left side of the stove.

What is interesting is the washer that Arrow "A" is pointing at. It is not present on the stove's right hand trivet pivot. So either it was sloppy factory work and faild to be inserted on the right hand side, or they were trying to raise/angle the left had side to address the problem. (Removing that washer would only make things worse, I suppose.)

Anyhow, I'm not going to mess with anything until I hear from the dealer or Pacific Energy. I haven't been able to get any initial contact with either yet. I'll just get a good set of pictures together to describe the issue.

My dealer doesn't know about this because she hasn't returned my phone message with my request for her to call me back. Pacific Energy hasn't yet responded to my Thursday night email. I am hoping to hear something from both of them after the weekend.

labels left trivet pivot.jpg
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
I talked with the owner of the stove from whom I got the T5. She said that having to lift up on one side to close the one trivet is the way it's always been and same with the missing washer on one side. She didn't know why that is.

I find it hard to believe that that is by design, but same goes for Woody Stover's SIL stove. Woody Stover, do you also have that washer on your left side by not on the right? (See earlier picture)

I'd still like to hear from PE's support.
 

CenterTree

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2008
1,023
SouthWest-Central PA
This is funny (but not really funny in the least) as my T5 has a similar issue. I found that the problem was that the BACK cast panel was not level from factory. I am talking about the flat surface that goes across the back of the stove where the stove pipe goes into. This would be the part that would remain on the stove if you took your trivets trays off.

You said you stove is level... how/where did you check that from? If you set your level at the front (or cook top area) only, you may have not noticed that the very back plate is tilted, causing the trivet issue.

My back panel was 3/4 inch higher on the right side. This was greatly noticed if you observed the gap that ran along the top of the side panels. (where they sides would meet the flat top panel).

Frustrating to fix because I had to take the side panels off completely (HEAVY) in order to access the height adjustment screws/washer to get the back plate level and fix the gap.

I removed the bolts and added a few stainless steel washers (painted black) to the left side and removed the washer from the right side. I even had to put a thicker SS nut under the back as using washers was too many stacked. This was in conjunction in turning the adjustment bolts up and/or down as needed per side.
NOTE: in order to allow the back plate to even be able to drop down at all I had to remove the 6 small screws that run along the VERY back of the stove that secure the shield back there. The top plate would not move as it is attached to that shield.

I still haven't put my doors back on yet and am NOT looking forward to the frustration of doing all this to find out it may still be unleveled. I'll get a few PICS later.

I feel deeply that PE has some QC issues in this model.:( I had door issues, I had bent leg adjustor bolts, I had a chipped ash lip. This stove was not inexpensive. My NC 30 had no issues at 1/3 the price.
 

CenterTree

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2008
1,023
SouthWest-Central PA
I talked with the owner of the stove from whom I got the T5. She said that having to lift up on one side to close the one trivet is the way it's always been and same with the missing washer on one side. She didn't know why that is.

I find it hard to believe that that is by design, but same goes for Woody Stover's SIL stove. Woody Stover, do you also have that washer on your left side by not on the right? (See earlier picture)

I'd still like to hear from PE's support.
Mine did NOT have an even amount of washers on both sides...well hence my post above this one.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,263
South Puget Sound, WA
Having to lift the trivet slightly to get it to sit on (or come off) the little shoulder rest as it is opened or closed is normal. Uneven surfaces like you have is not normal and shows poor dealer prep. It should not have arrived at your house that way.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
709
Rochester NY
I have no issues with my trivets being level on my 2016 Alderlea. I do have to gently lift each one to swing out but that's just so I'm not scraping it across the stove itself. I have to lift them more if I want them to swing completely out.


Is the issue here that you have to lift the left one up to get it in place? And unless and until you do that, it is uneven with the right side as shown in the pic?
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
This is funny (but not really funny in the least) as my T5 has a similar issue. I found that the problem was that the BACK cast panel was not level from factory. I am talking about the flat surface that goes across the back of the stove where the stove pipe goes into. This would be the part that would remain on the stove if you took your trivets trays off.

You said you stove is level... how/where did you check that from? If you set your level at the front (or cook top area) only, you may have not noticed that the very back plate is tilted, causing the trivet issue.

My back panel was 3/4 inch higher on the right side. This was greatly noticed if you observed the gap that ran along the top of the side panels. (where they sides would meet the flat top panel).

Frustrating to fix because I had to take the side panels off completely (HEAVY) in order to access the height adjustment screws/washer to get the back plate level and fix the gap.

I removed the bolts and added a few stainless steel washers (painted black) to the left side and removed the washer from the right side. I even had to put a thicker SS nut under the back as using washers was too many stacked. This was in conjunction in turning the adjustment bolts up and/or down as needed per side.
NOTE: in order to allow the back plate to even be able to drop down at all I had to remove the 6 small screws that run along the VERY back of the stove that secure the shield back there. The top plate would not move as it is attached to that shield.

I still haven't put my doors back on yet and am NOT looking forward to the frustration of doing all this to find out it may still be unleveled. I'll get a few PICS later.

I feel deeply that PE has some QC issues in this model.:( I had door issues, I had bent leg adjustor bolts, I had a chipped ash lip. This stove was not inexpensive. My NC 30 had no issues at 1/3 the price.
Perhaps my expectations are too high and I'm fussing too much, but here's more info:
  • Using a 4ft level, my hearth is level and the back top of the stove is also level (as is the ash lip).
  • Right trivet is as smooth as butter. Opens and closes easily with only the bottom stoppers making it stop swinging. Seems to be a perfect fit. I do notice, however, there is a very slight slope rising towards the center of the stove. It never scraps the center divider and only has its stops hit the proper end blocks when closing or opening.
  • Left trivet scraps the center divider and then drops off when being opened. From there it's fine until I need to lift it again to close it.
  • Most importantly, once both trivets are closed, it looks just fine. There's a few millimeter difference in height, but not noticeable unless you are looking for it and I don't plan on putting any pots or pans on top of the enamel. This difference in height is probably caused by the right trivet not resting on the divider while the left trivet does rest on the divider.
I think to get the trivets perfect isn't easy since any thing off at the trivet pivots would be magnified across the diagonal to where the front insider corners line up a the center divider. I still suspect how the female insert for the trivet pivot was installed may be the deciding factor as to whether or not the pivots hit the divider well. The washer difference still leaves me confused.

About QC, the installers considered taking off the back top panel to lighten the weight. They removed two screws on the back top where the back black steel panel meets the top rear cast iron , and were amazed by how PE had used two different types of screws for the identical holes. They quickly gave up on the idea and put the screws back in. (That would have no effect on the trivets.)

I'm still excited about the stove and doing some break-in fires. After reading all about the stove on hearth.com and its design, I'm remain hopeful for many years of great fires ahead of me without any headaches. Too bad we just couldn't also all brag about their QC.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
I just noticed their Quality Control Checklist for the T5 that was included in the paperwork.

There's a check by "Swing top operation". So I'm assuming it met their criteria and I'm just being too fussy with unrealistic expectations on trivet smoothness (perhaps spoiled by the right trivet).
 

CenterTree

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2008
1,023
SouthWest-Central PA
Just thought I'd add these pics for future seekers
.side adjustments.jpg
 

Attachments

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
I never noticed mine off level, so I'm going to assume they are close enough. I'll check when I'm up at the cabin this weekend.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
Pacific Energy's support responded to my email inquiry about the trivet alignment. Here's their response:

"The Alderlea tops are drilled and the pins and bushings pressed in here at the factory. Sometimes we may have a bushing that isn’t perfectly straight or a casting with a small twist. We understand that not all tops will be opened and used for cooking/warming. So with the adjustments we have, if the top will close with the two sides lined up and open without scrapping along to bottom of the swing out we will use the assembly. If you are not happy with the top assembly it can be replaced under warranty. You will need to contact your place of purchase to do this."

Seems reasonable to me and I'll assess my situation to see how I want to proceed.

Too bad, for all parties, that they haven't been able to remove the variability from this part of the manufacturing process.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,263
South Puget Sound, WA
Seems reasonable to me and I'll assess my situation to see how I want to proceed.

Too bad, for all parties, that they haven't been able to remove the variability from this part of the manufacturing process.
Agreed a little tighter QC could eliminate the issue, but perhaps the number of reports for this issue are small. This has me wondering if the bushing could be gently persuaded to seat a bit better, but I can see your not wanting to take a chance on doing damage that might affect the part warranty.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
Looking at the T6 and T5 pictures shown by other people in the thread, PE seems to have changed their design on the top assemblies. Not sure when and why the change happened, or if they have different design for enameled stoves (doubt it).

Anyhow, I'll propose to PE that I just give it a try for a winter and see if it does or doesn't become a functional issue. If it does, then perhaps apply their warranty.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,097
Schenectady, NY
Better to take care of the warranty issue now. Get it done before cold weather comes!
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
Cool and damp are my winters, so wood heat is preferred, but not a must if I need to stop burning for some repairs. PE's support and I agreed to give it a winter and then decide. They made a note in my file and the warranty is 3 years. (It basically comes down to how much I mellow out about the imperfection.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
170
Humboldt coast, California
Better to take care of the warranty issue now. Get it done before cold weather comes!
I went to our local PE dealer. The owner said all Alderlea stoves they've seen have had the trivets not swinging open up just right. Told me to not bother having PE send a top because (1) a replacement will have its own problem, (2) the enamel color may not match, and (3) it'd possibly get chipped in the replacement process. It was also mentioned that they don't get paid beans for their time to cover warranty work. The owner didn't give me much empathy - I felt a bit blown off.

The shop people thought that the cast iron for Alderlea stoves is forged in Brazil before being shipped to PE in Canada.

The owner insists PE isn't doing stoves with 2020 compliant labels yet, which - via hearth.com and my own communications - I'm darn certain isn't true. So anyhow, I think of the owner as a bit of a mule to work with.