Going to buy a pellet insert soon advise please.

TLO03

New Member
Mar 3, 2019
14
CT
Hello all , I’ve been researching pellet inserts and stoves since last September when I knew I was going to need supplemental/ main heating source in my newly purchased 3k sqft home . Currently burning propane hot water baseboard.

I’ve narrowed it down to a Harman Accentra 52i with an outdoor intake .. Ive been to most if not all the retailers local to me. Im in oxford ct .

My question is does anyone have any advice on the best retailer / installers in my area as far as price and trouble free install and support . I have a standard chimney and fireplace so nothing special there I’d just like A professional install at a fair price ..

Thanks in advance guys..
 

BigJohnfromCT

Feeling the Heat
Dec 29, 2012
264
Danbury, CT
I have no experience with inserts but I purchased a Quadrafire MVAE from Black Swan in Newtown, CT. They are also a Harman dealer. I was very happy with the installation and service. Not sure if they would go to Oxford but might be worth a phone call.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Let us know how you make out.
 

TLO03

New Member
Mar 3, 2019
14
CT
I have no experience with inserts but I purchased a Quadrafire MVAE from Black Swan in Newtown, CT. They are also a Harman dealer. I was very happy with the installation and service. Not sure if they would go to Oxford but might be worth a phone call.

BTW, welcome to the forum. Let us know how you make out.
Thanks for the response I was there already , glad to hear you had a good experience .
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,757
Eastern Ontario
Inserts use a rail system they slide
in and out every easily for cleaning and repairs
But you must buy the rail system for your stove
 

jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
340
Windham Me
That's good to know I saw someone built a rail system of the his own on here some time ago. I didn't realize they actually sold the system that I think you have to have.
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
701
Miller MO
If your creative you don’t have to use their rail system. If your hearth is deep enough you can pull it out onto that. If not, find something to pull it out onto or make something. If nothing else, stack up some bags of pellets, and pull it out onto that. Unless your local codes call for it, you live in a high elevation area, or your house is newer, I wouldn’t use an oak on a 52I
 
Last edited:

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
946
South of Boston MA
If your creative you don’t have to use their rake system. If your hearth is deep enough you can pull it out onto that. If not, find something to pull it out onto or make something. If nothing else, stack up some bags of pellets, and pull it out onto that. Unless your local codes call for it, you live in a high elevation area, or your house is newer, I wouldn’t use an oak on a 52I
The rail system is standard on Harman inserts, nothing additional to purchase unless you want to extend the rails.

Please defend your statement that you WOULD NOT use an OAK on an insert. That is horrible advise to the OP.
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
701
Miller MO
The rail system is standard on Harman inserts, nothing additional to purchase unless you want to extend the rails.

Please defend your statement that you WOULD NOT use an OAK on an insert. That is horrible advise to the OP.
The rail kit is a service item, unless your calling the frame that the unit sits in a rail. You have to have a deep hearth or a rail kit or something like what I suggested to set the unit on when you pull it out. Outside air is sometimes necessary in negative pressure situations or extremely tight houses, but if you run a length of fresh air flex up a chimney your usually going to drop the negative pressure reading of your stove a little because it is pulling air all the way down the chimney instead of just using the air that is already in your home. Oaks also tend to introduce a lot more moisture into a stove, which leads to rust problems and creosote. I just cleaned an XXV with an oak last Friday that was so gummed up I had to trash my brush afterwards. Most of the time, if your putting an insert in a masonry chimney, the unit will have plenty of air just from how much air comes in through the cracks in the chimney and where the chimney meets the house. We install about 50-70 52I every year and that has been my experience.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jack Morrissey

TLO03

New Member
Mar 3, 2019
14
CT
The rail kit is a service item, unless your calling the frame that the unit sits in a rail. You have to have a deep hearth or a rail kit or something like what I suggested to set the unit on when you pull it out. Outside air is sometimes necessary in negative pressure situations or extremely tight houses, but if you run a length of fresh air flex up a chimney your usually going to drop the negative pressure reading of your stove a little because it is pulling air all the way down the chimney instead of just using the air that is already in your home. Oaks also tend to introduce a lot more moisture into a stove, which leads to rust problems and creosote. I just cleaned an XXV with an oak last Friday that was so gummed up I had to trash my brush afterwards. Most of the time, if your putting an insert in a masonry chimney, the unit will have plenty of air just from how much air comes in through the cracks in the chimney and where the chimney meets the house. We install about 50-70 52I every year and that has been my experience.
Sorry I haven't checked back on this thread, at one point I saw it going “off the rails” lol.
One retailer I talked to about a oak also was against it. Saying I’m leaking more air than a oak kit would use . And he's right my house is pretty leaky . When I turn on the house fan on I get drafts from all kinda of orifices light switches , plugs etc.

Extra moisture is a good point I hadn't considered . My theory is this, why suck in cold air through my leaky house.?
And with an oak would It not be a sealed combustion appliance ? And be more efficient?

Thanks
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,757
Eastern Ontario
O A K
Opinion just like ass holes every one has one
My 2 cents I have had my stove for 18 years
come September . I have burnt it with and with out an OAK
I found no difference in heat output and drafts. Now I know
other will disagree but like I said in my opening line -------------
 

Misterfredsr

New Member
Jan 6, 2019
32
PA. Delaware Water Gap
I have a drafty house and I decided not to use an AOK for my insert and I ended up with a baseboard heat pipe bursting. As it turned out my biggest draft point was along my foundation coming in under my baseboard directly on my pipe. I'm looking to replace my insert this year and I'm going to install an AOK.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,757
Eastern Ontario
I have a drafty house and I decided not to use an AOK for my insert and I ended up with a baseboard heat pipe bursting. As it turned out my biggest draft point was along my foundation coming in under my baseboard directly on my pipe. I'm looking to replace my insert this year and I'm going to install an AOK.
I think I would be going after the air leaks first but
then you are a long way South of me in the Great White North
Air leaks are just wasted heat that you paid for
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
701
Miller MO
I think geography has a lot to do with the decision. Where I live there is a lot of humidity and mold is a major concern if your house is too tight. Obviously that would be less of a concern in Colorado or somewhere with lower humidity.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,194
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
An oak should increase humidity in the home since you are not drawing in that cold dry outside air.

It doesn’t matter how leaky your house is. It’s not even about stove performance. It’s about sucking conditioned air out of the home and replacing it with the crap outside in a non controlled manner.

Less drafty in the home too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johneh
Nov 20, 2018
146
Connecticut
It's probably too late to help the OP, but in case anyone else could benefit, just up the road a few miles from Black Swan is Berkshire Hearth and Home, where we got our stove last season. The proprietor and his son are very knowlegeable, very helpful, and very easy to deal with. The shop is located on Route 25 right off exit 9 on I-84.
 

TLO03

New Member
Mar 3, 2019
14
CT
Thanks for the reply , The new stove was installed 7/25 .I went with a dealer in oakville . I went to Berkshire and talked to the owner early summer he was very nice and knowledgable I’d definitely deal with them with out hesitation..
In the end all the prices we’re similar. My installer seems to be very customer service orientated and that was my deciding factor ..
Thank for all the responses ..


It's probably too late to help the OP, but in case anyone else could benefit, just up the road a few miles from Black Swan is Berkshire Hearth and Home, where we got our stove last season. The proprietor and his son are very knowlegeable, very helpful, and very easy to deal with. The shop is located on Route 25 right off exit 9 on I-84.