Fire Chief 1000 or Caddy

NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
I currently own a fire chief 1000 that I haven't installed yet. I came to the forum for advice on whether or not I should include a manual damper in the flue and found that there are some people having a lot of problems with them. Since I already have it, I'm tempted to give it a go, but I just found on CL a used EPA Caddy. Not a max Caddy, probably its predecessor. I'm not sure of the model but it was manufactured in 2008. The seller says it will heat 2500 SF easily which is what I need.

Is anyone familiar with the old Caddy? Will it be a much better unit than the FC1000???

Thanks!
 

Wood1Dennis

Member
Jan 17, 2016
93
Eastern Wisconsin
My Caddy works great. It's a standard, not the Max. Heats my 1700 Sq. Ft. ranch perfectly. My Caddy was new in 2016, but it is the green model prior to the latest updates.
Based on what I've read on this forum there is no way I would install a FC in my home.
 
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NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
Good to know. The caddy for sale seems to be the same as the one in your picture. The seller says he bought it new 4 years ago (I still think it looks like the manuf date on the label is 2008 but it is a little blurry).

What kind of burn times do you get out of it?
 

NaturalCauses

Member
Oct 3, 2016
44
Grand Rapids, MI
I have a Caddy that was manufactured in 2011 that I'm currently on my 3rd full winter with. With a full load of dry hardwood I can go 10-12 hours between reloads. At that point there's usually enough hot coals buried in the ashes to easily light the next load. Granted, I'm only heating about 1200 Sq. Ft. with it, so the stove is a little oversized for the space.
I have no doubt it would keep 2500 Sq. Ft. heated, you just might need to reload an hour or 2 sooner than I do.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,231
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I don't have any real world experience with either, but I can tell you the Caddy was second on my short list of two.

Judging by the experiences of others who have used the FC/Shelter line, a Caddy shouldn't even be used in the same sentence, much less compared to the FC/Shelter line. ;lol
 
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Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
612
N.H.
I would encourage you to go tonight and buy that Caddy.

You cannot compare the two stoves as one is a forced draft and the other a natural draft stove. Also, there are a ton of Caddy owners on this forum that can offer advice.

With that said, both will require seasoned wood. CSS for 2 years min, preferably 3 years.

Can you get away with ordering wood now and burning that wood???? Sure.... but you will struggle to get either unit to burn right.
 
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laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,446
Ashland OH
Yep, Caddy! We are heating 2500 square feet and a full load will last 8-12 hours depending on weather.
 
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Wood1Dennis

Member
Jan 17, 2016
93
Eastern Wisconsin
Yup, 8-12 hours with good coals left that can easily fire up a fresh charge. When it is cold (highs around 10 F.) I will see shorter burn times because the damper will stay open longer, but I still typically will have coals. When it gets cold I will fire a little more often, maybe getting up at night to keep the house temp from dropping to much.

At that point there's usually enough hot coals buried in the ashes to easily light the next load.
With the Caddy I always keep some ash in the firebox to help keep those coals going for the next reload.

I reread your original post, just want to be sure you are clear that the max is the larger furnace, it is not an indicator of the age. They had the standard Caddy and the Max Caddy in 2015 when I got mine and in the current product line.

Judging by the experiences of others who have used the FC/Shelter line, a Caddy shouldn't even be used in the same sentence, much less compared to the FC/Shelter line.
Like he said!
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
Is anyone familiar with the old Caddy? Will it be a much better unit than the FC1000???
Yes, yes it will!!
Based on what I've read on this forum there is no way I would install a FC in my home.
Agreed! Or even a doghouse!
a Caddy shouldn't even be used in the same sentence, much less compared to the FC/Shelter line. ;lol
Correct! Never let that name(s) cross your lips again!
I would encourage you to go tonight and buy that Caddy.
Yes, have you left yet? GO NOW!
 

NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
Okay, new question... There is also a Tundra (not sure if it's T1 or T2, see the pic) available for cheap money on CL. The seller says he bought it new a couple years ago but never installed it, so it's still new, though the sheet metal is dented up a bit "from shipping". I suppose it would be easy to tell in person if it had ever been fired or not.

So let me recap the two options:
-4 year old Caddy for $1500 with no known issues
-Couple year old but kind of new Tundra (T1 or T2?) for $800, with dented sheet metal

Thoughts and opinions???

Caddy.JPG


Tundra.JPG
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
That's a T1...it's a coin toss...can you still get warranty on the T1? And does it have the whole firebox warranty, or just the welds, like the newer ones?
 

NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
Am I right based on some quick research that the T1 would prefer to have some mods to run really nicely, while the Caddy is designed with better controls for the intake air?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
T1 yes, some of the T2 guys are running the same mods too...and there are a few Caddy guys that have played with mods also...all depends on what works for you, and the heat load that your house has...many people get along with the T1, T2, and Caddy completly in stock form...or at least tolerate them in their ignorance of what is possible if they started reading some of these threads on Hearth.com ::-)
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
831
South Central Minnesota
Okay, new question... There is also a Tundra (not sure if it's T1 or T2, see the pic) available for cheap money on CL. The seller says he bought it new a couple years ago but never installed it, so it's still new, though the sheet metal is dented up a bit "from shipping". I suppose it would be easy to tell in person if it had ever been fired or not.

So let me recap the two options:
-4 year old Caddy for $1500 with no known issues
-Couple year old but kind of new Tundra (T1 or T2?) for $800, with dented sheet metal

Thoughts and opinions???

View attachment 252952

View attachment 252953
I'd offer less on the Tundra. I bought one of the last T1 from Menards on close out for about $500. No dents. Of course those deals are long gone.
To bad you're not closer- I'd sell one of my fully controls upgraded T1's for less than $800- I've gone to wood gasification boiler.
I do love the Tundra's, especially with the upgrades.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
To clarify what I said earlier about the warranty...the earlier T1's had a lifetime warranty on the firebox, the later T1's only had lifetime warranty on the firebox welds (same for all the T2's now also)...which is not where the T1 cracks usually were. Plus I'm not sure the warranty can transfer to a second owner, and this one may have been "warrantied out" already due to the damage? Better do some investigation on it...I would not be afraid of the Caddy for that price as long as it checks out OK in person...either deal could be fine as long as you do your homework on it first.
 
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NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
Thanks for the advice.

To bad you're not closer- I'd sell one of my fully controls upgraded T1's for less than $800
Maybe you should get a shipping estimate :)

@brenndatomu Would you not also void the warranty as soon as equip it with any mods?

I'd also be nervous about voiding home insurance if god forbid something went wrong and the insurance company found out you modified the appliance.

Is $1500 a reasonable price for a 4 year used Caddy?
 

NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
I'll add that I'm not afraid of some nice mods (might have already made a slight mod to the FC1000 and it's not even installed yet). I do enjoy DIY and I'm a mechanical engineer by day, so I like to think that I "get" things. That being said, save all of your complex thermodynamics and heat transfer questions, it's not what I practice so I'm extremely rusty on all of that! ;lol
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
Thanks for the advice.



Maybe you should get a shipping estimate :)

@brenndatomu Would you not also void the warranty as soon as equip it with any mods?

I'd also be nervous about voiding home insurance if god forbid something went wrong and the insurance company found out you modified the appliance.

Is $1500 a reasonable price for a 4 year used Caddy?
Fastenal has 3PL shipping...half price of most shipping as long as it doesnt have to meet a deadline. They dont ship "appliances" either, so it would have to be listed as some sort of heat treatment machine or something...may have done that before. ::-)
I think $1500 is a decent price for a Caddy...$4k-ish for a new one.
Yes the warranty and insurance could be an issue...possibly.
 
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NH_burner

New Member
Dec 4, 2019
20
NH
So @brenndatomu , you would go for the Caddy in this case over the T1?

I'm kind of leaning Caddy for the extra $700. Not sure how I feel about the damaged T1 (even though it appears cosmetic).
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
So @brenndatomu , you would go for the Caddy in this case over the T1?

I'm kind of leaning Caddy for the extra $700. Not sure how I feel about the damaged T1 (even though it appears cosmetic).
I dunno...either one could be fine, I'd have to check both out in person and see how much cheaper either one could be bought for.
That said...if you want to be "one and done" I might lean toward the Caddy just because with the T1's, almost all of them crack eventually, even with the temp controller and other mods done to them (my sisters did) and even though a crack is not the end of the world, (heck, I bought my T1 cracked and never did fix it, until right before its sale) its something that probably should be dealt with in some form sooner or later...so that probably means having someone with a portable welder come to make repairs in your basement, or switching it out with another unit...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,405
NE Ohio
Mainly at the corners of the door opening...sometimes the corners of where the heat exchanger cleanout box comes through the front.
Seems like they have sorted the issues out with some minor changes on the T2...
 
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laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,446
Ashland OH
The Caddy has a full plenum and a c-cast baffle and has different installation options (parallel or series). The front of the unit is also cooled by an air jacket which is where the T1's crack. The burn tubes removal is different too on the Caddy's (better design). Also an adjustable limit control (on older models).