Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

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Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
So after going over the pictures from earlier in the post about exact locations I should look for cracks I do have 2 additional cracks around the heat exchanger. Both bottom corners left and right about 1/4 in long. Thanks for the advice to look it over again. Hopefully this additional evidence will help them remedy this issue.
not to butt in here or scare anybody.... one of my concerns was if this thing is cracking where I can see it what about where I can't ...
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
not to butt in here or scare anybody.... one of my concerns was if this thing is cracking where I can see it what about where I can't ...
I've wondered the same exact thing. I work with steel everyday and have had cracks from bad material inside of 6000 pound blocks that you couldn't see till we had machined the outside away. Anything could happen.
 

Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
So after going over the pictures from earlier in the post about exact locations I should look for cracks I do have 2 additional cracks around the heat exchanger. Both bottom corners left and right about 1/4 in long. Thanks for the advice to look it over again. Hopefully this additional evidence will help them remedy this issue.
not to butt in here or scare anybody.... one of my concerns was if this thing is cracking where I can see it what about where I can't ...
I've wondered the same exact thing. I work with steel everyday and have had cracks from bad material inside of 6000 pound blocks that you couldn't see till we had machined the outside away. Anything could happen.
you would probably want to pull the top off and have a look at the welds around the HE tubes at the back of the furnace quite a bit of welding there....At least that's what I was going to do had they not refunded me.....good luck
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
not to butt in here or scare anybody.... one of my concerns was if this thing is cracking where I can see it what about where I can't ...
you would probably want to pull the top off and have a look at the welds around the HE tubes at the back of the furnace quite a bit of welding there....At least that's what I was going to do had they not refunded me.....good luck
Bryon21 where were your cracks and did they give you the run around like they are me? How long ago was this?
 

Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
Bryon21 where were your cracks and did they give you the run around like they are me? How long ago was this?
Mine were around the loading door at the corners .....My opinion is that that door flange should have been a welded on angle iron....instead they bent the flanges up from the door opening waste and welded the corners seems to me that weakens the metal bending it like that ....They were very good with me, asked for pictures of the cracks and my setup and got right back to me with the judgment ...They called the store where I got it with the ok for credit . I had to take the tags off the furnace and take them to the store ... The store offered my money or in store credit back

ps this was last spring
 
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Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
Dodge, when you say the bottom of the heat exchanger are you talking about the outside of the unit? I have no welds on the outside of mine aside from some tack welds along the bottom. Take some pictures please. Thank you.
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
Here's the picture sorry poor quality I'm haveing problems with pictures being to large to post. It's on face plate corner of heat exchanger.
 

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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,396
NE Ohio
not to butt in here or scare anybody.... one of my concerns was if this thing is cracking where I can see it what about where I can't ...
I've wondered the same exact thing.
Not that it necessarily means anything for anybody else, but mine has cracks on the corners of the loading doors and I had the same thought...are there cracks under the bodywork? I have stripped it down to examine things pretty closely and found no cracks anywhere else.
Here's the picture sorry poor quality I'm haveing problems with pictures being to large to post
I always have to edit the pics down to about 50% size to post here. I use the "paint" program that came with my windows 7 laptop.
I was curious about the guys that switched from Tundras to "smoke dragon" furnaces...like @Byron21 and @Wisneaky , I'm sure you are warm, but have you been burning long enough to get a feel for wood usage or chimney cleanliness comparatively?
I'm coming into this from the other side of things...having had "smoke dragon" furnaces...
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,149
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Gotta say, I'm less inclined to buy a Drolet furnace (heatmax or heatpro) after seeing the problems and poor customer service from the manufacturer.
 

Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
Not that it necessarily means anything for anybody else, but mine has cracks on the corners of the loading doors and I had the same thought...are there cracks under the bodywork? I have stripped it down to examine things pretty closely and found no cracks anywhere else.

I always have to edit the pics down to about 50% size to post here. I use the "paint" program that came with my windows 7 laptop.
I was curious about the guys that switched from Tundras to "smoke dragon" furnaces...like @Byron21 and @Wisneaky , I'm sure you are warm, but have you been burning long enough to get a feel for wood usage or chimney cleanliness comparatively?
I'm coming into this from the other side of things...having had "smoke dragon" furnaces...

well I went from a home built wood furnace "smoker" that had a HE tube to the heatmax and now back to a smoker that has a baffle in the top....No question the heatmax burned cleaner and I really liked that...As far as wood usage I used around 4 to 5 cords of fire wood with the home built...Last years with the heatmax I would say it was about the same but it was a long and cold season here ... The firechief I've burned probably a 1 1/2 cord " its been really mild here so far this year".
I can tell if I'm pushing for heat she will go through some wood fast but it brings the house up quick...Last night It was to hot in here so I'm still learning how to use it some ...

Heat output both smokers out produce and out performed the heatmax when talking about keeping this house and me warm "no question in my mind there" none.....Clean burn, no comparison the heatmax wins hands down.... I really wish it had worked out.. I'd add that I looked at the Caddy line when looking for a replacement of the heatmax ... Because of all the problems I had with the heatmax and the damn coaling I couldn't pull the trigger I needed the next install to work.... Honestly speaking if this house was totally up to snuff.. new windows, doors and more insulation in the attic the heatmax probably would of worked . Now over time I will fix those things but in the mean time we need to be warm here....

my house is a 30x40 Ranch with a daylight basement
 
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The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
I am curious about maybe having someone weld the 1 that I have before using it? Or does anyone know that maybe the firebrick retro being installed will possibly prevent the furnace from cracking in the first place? I was also wondering about that grate that was mentioned in previous posts to prevent the coaling issue, could a guy take a grate from a coal shaker and fit it to size?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,396
NE Ohio
I am curious about maybe having someone weld the 1 that I have before using it? Or does anyone know that maybe the firebrick retro being installed will possibly prevent the furnace from cracking in the first place? I was also wondering about that grate that was mentioned in previous posts to prevent the coaling issue, could a guy take a grate from a coal shaker and fit it to size?
Welding it before it cracks? I wouldn't, you never know where it will crack exactly...plus welding can cause other stresses too
Firebrick retro is meant to prevent cracking...we will see if it actually helps. I'm saying it will. The cracks on mine have not spread since installing the insulation and SS plate in the front (kinda the same thing that SBI did with the retro kit, only they used firebrick)
 

The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
Thanks for that info, I'll get back to digging my crawlspace so I can install!!!!!!
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
Thanks for that info, I'll get back to digging my crawlspace so I can install!!!!!!
What serial number do you have?
I will keep you guys posted if mines does end up cracking but from what I can tell so far so good, and I think most guys on here would agree that I am running mine on the hard side.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
1,004
South Central Minnesota
My two units in the 134x serial number range have no signs of cracking. Both now have the firebrick retro kit from SBI. Some earlier units have primary air openings that are larger than later units, SBI has a restrictor plate for those units, not sure when the change was made but mine have the restricted intake openings. For the fellow with cracks and unit in the 10xx range I would check the openings under the air flap- early units had 3 rectangular openings all the same size, later units have smaller outer openings and the center looks to be unchanged.

My first installed unit is doing a better job in my 3400 square foot house, house temps usually maintained 68-71f no problem, even in temps down to 0f. I attribute this to better air sealing of certain doors and windows I did over the summer. Now when the wind picks up I expect more issues and may need fire up the progress hybrid but really have not needed to yet.

I do not have a coal build up issue unless I'm home all day and loading the furnace more than the 3 - 8hr cycles that I typically run during the work week. I believe my temp control add on helps reduce coal build up by opening the air flap once flue temps drop a certain point- I still have enough coals for restarts.
 
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STIHLY DAN

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2013
1,431
So NH
I wonder if they gave to many units away for free under warranty that they need to stop the bleeding somehow. So repairing might be the new approach.
 

The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
What serial number do you have?
I will keep you guys posted if mines does end up cracking but from what I can tell so far so good, and I think most guys on here would agree that I am running mine on the hard side.
my serial number is 1431....
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
An update on the coal build up, problem solved for me anyways. I am back to my softwood and now only putting one or two nice splits of maple ontop of the pine no more issues with the coals. After loading at 8pm last night I came down this morning at 5am with just enough coals in the back to start it back up, no kindling needed.Maybe this stove doesn't require the use of hardwood as many other stoves do. Looks like this is the way I will be running the Tundra from here on out.
An update on the front firebrick retrofit that SBI provides, these are soft firebricks. My left side one I don't believe will last the whole winter. It is taking a pretty good beating from loading the wood. I do try to be careful but every time I look at it its worse and worse. So for those of you that install new ones I advise you to fab up a guard to protect it. Happy New Year !!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,396
NE Ohio
I honestly believe the lack of cracking on the Caddy is due to the false front, and the open plenum
A little field trip today, I went to the local Caddy dealer to ogle their floor model Caddy so as to compare the exact differences between it and the Tundra. And I gotta agree with Laynes69, the front of the firebox is inside the envelope of the furnace "bodywork", so it is not subject to nearly the same temp fluctuations (and shock) as with the Tundras "open" setup.
And I have been saying for a while now...there is a ton of heat lost to the basement from the front of the Tundra, not so on Caddy, being enclosed, it just adds to the overall heat output into the supply plenum.
Otherwise, as far as the firebox and whatnot, they are VERY similar, if not identical.
Interestingly enough, I noticed in the Caddy brochure that it is only rated to heat up to 1700 sq ft...and I have zero doubt that a Tundra would not keep up with a Caddy...so they have WAY overrated Tundra at 2500!
I have the skills and tools to modify my Tundra body to be just like a Caddy, but it would be a fair amount of work and since installing my pre-owned Tundra was basically just an experiment to begin with, I probably wont mess with it.
I will however, continue to do some of the mods that I have talked about doing in the past, just to see how much more heat output this thing is capable of, and still be safe, reliable, and user friendly of course.
 
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laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,599
Ashland OH
The fireboxes are identical, but the Caddy has the insulated cabinet, c-cast baffle, and a few other upgrades. I'm not sure where they came up with the numbers for the Tundra. I can't find it now, but PSG used to say not to include the basement and factor the square footage for the first floor and half of the second. I think they are more reserved on their numbers for the Caddy to keep customers happy.

Yesterday it was cold and windy...24 outside with a chill of 13. Our 2500 sqft home plus 1200 sqft basement was 74 degrees. The blower would run for 10 minutes or so and be off for 20 minutes. This is what was left before reloading. I de-ashed the coalbed, raked about a gallon and a half of coals out and loaded 3 pieces criss-crossed at around 6pm and reloaded around 9:30. The house was 75 at that point. One of the major differences is I can feel heat 6 feet away from my registers with the plenum. Having 10' ceilings, I need that air to mix so the heat doesn't stay at the ceiling. The first year I owned the furnace, it wouldn't heat above 68 at 28 degrees and the coalbed would just accumulate. Now with a more efficient home, you can see the difference in the picture.
 

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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,396
NE Ohio
Another strange observation...our local dealers list price for a base Max Caddy is $100 less than a base Caddy! Now, once you add in the cost of the blowers and controls the Max is ~$500 more...but still, that made no sense to me! :confused: Seems to me, if your are looking at Caddys, it would be a no brainer to go Max unless you have a smaller (less than 1500 ft, or really well insulated) house
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,599
Ashland OH
The Max Caddy requires a blower, you can't run series due to the computer controled temperature sensor. The Caddy however, can be ran in series from either side with the central furnace. Looking at the website, there's a ton of options and add-ons. They really can be made to install just about anywhere.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,396
NE Ohio
I can't find it now, but PSG used to say not to include the basement and factor the square footage for the first floor and half of the second.
Yeah, it is in the brochure that I picked up. 0% for the basement footage, 100% main floor, and 50% for the second floor...ahh, I see what they are doing. So in their convoluted example, an actual 3000 sq ft home (1k x 3) they are calling that 1500 ft and saying the Caddy would qualify...dang it man, those Canadians must be using that "new" math for a while now already! ;lol
 
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laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,599
Ashland OH
Did you by chance see if there was a false top to the firebox on the Caddy?