Increased our house from 1000 sqft to 2000 sqft. Undecided on a new stove to replace the Jotul f400, or keep it and add a 2nd smaller stove?

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Propane_Poor

Member
Oct 20, 2018
79
Ohio
Hey all. We have run a Jotul f400 for a few years. Strangely it's struggled to heat our 1000 sqft house in Ohio, and consumes a LOT of wood.

We added a 1k sqft addition to the west side of the current house (where the worst winter winds come from), and the addition is much better insulated than the old section which was built rather poorly in the 1960s. That said, I'm sure our net heating requirement will still increase significantly (until I can re-insulate the old section.) The question is... increase by how much, and what that means for woodstove heating.

It's an open concept addition, and by the time we're done knocking out walls, our house will have the same number of "rooms," with the primary living areas being larger.

We're trying to decide: a) should we get a new stove to place in the center of the new main living room? Or b) move the jotul f400 and get something smaller to replace it, in the room which will be converted to an office?

If we buy a new primary stove, I'm considering a Blaze King Princess 32 from Lehman's in Kidron OH (their selection has really diminished since we bought our f400 and there wasn't much else to choose from, but I understand it's a highly regarded model, and if it can deliver longer burn times and less wood, that would be amazing. I have to reload the f400 in the middle of the night in from December to February.)

But any input or opinions would be appreciated. This was long winded and I can post a floorplan in the next few days if that would be more useful as well. Thanks in advance.
 

Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
BK Ultra 40….and forget about it. You’ll love the heat output, the size of that stoves fuel tank, and especially the thermostat.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Hey all. We have run a Jotul f400 for a few years. Strangely it's struggled to heat our 1000 sqft house in Ohio, and consumes a LOT of wood.

We added a 1k sqft addition to the west side of the current house (where the worst winter winds come from), and the addition is much better insulated than the old section which was built rather poorly in the 1960s. That said, I'm sure our net heating requirement will still increase significantly (until I can re-insulate the old section.) The question is... increase by how much, and what that means for woodstove heating.

It's an open concept addition, and by the time we're done knocking out walls, our house will have the same number of "rooms," with the primary living areas being larger.

We're trying to decide: a) should we get a new stove to place in the center of the new main living room? Or b) move the jotul f400 and get something smaller to replace it, in the room which will be converted to an office?

If we buy a new primary stove, I'm considering a Blaze King Princess 32 from Lehman's in Kidron OH (their selection has really diminished since we bought our f400 and there wasn't much else to choose from, but I understand it's a highly regarded model, and if it can deliver longer burn times and less wood, that would be amazing. I have to reload the f400 in the middle of the night in from December to February.)

But any input or opinions would be appreciated. This was long winded and I can post a floorplan in the next few days if that would be more useful as well. Thanks in advance.
What is the moisture content of your wood and how are you running the stove?
 

Propane_Poor

Member
Oct 20, 2018
79
Ohio
What is the moisture content of your wood and how are you running the stove?
Generally in the teens. Primarily maple and ash seasoned for over a year under a carport.

We load two to three logs in the f400 and cut back to about 1/4 air when we get secondary burning at the baffle. Try to keep the stovetop temps between 400-600.

The first year was rough but this will be our 4th or 5th winter with it and honestly, the sucker is just a pain to load full due to the design (front load sideways, with a low lip, and shorter in the back) so 3 logs or large splits is about it, unless we treat it like a puzzle game, then we can get sometimes get 4.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
I would get a larger stove to replace the F400. We did back in 2009 and have no regrets. The F400 was a lovely stove, but too small for our 2000 sq ft house when temps dropped into the low 20s. A side benefit was a dramatic reduction in room temperature swing between loadings.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,548
SE North Carolina
As an F400 owner (and I like it) I would go with a single big stove. We installed a second wood stove in the basement and running two is chore. Its all I did for two hours night. Load up one light, grab another lid of wood load one up. Back tot he first to turn down. Back down to the second to light back up to the first turn down to final settings. Down to turn down air back up to first as I turned it down too much….. two hours. One was a new stove I was learning but…… not something I would choose of given options.
 

Propane_Poor

Member
Oct 20, 2018
79
Ohio
BK Ultra 40….and forget about it. You’ll love the heat output, the size of that stoves fuel tank, and especially the thermostat.
I'm afraid that one might be too big. My wife thought it would look out of place in our living room. Plus I would need all new 8" chimney pipe. Is the Princess 32 otherwise the same?
 

Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
My point was if you were planning to keep the F400 and add an additional smaller stove. Chimney size might be a concern for you and I understand that, so get the Princess. But the larger fuel tank/load with similar turn down rate means less tending with the bigger stove. “Set it and forget it”…like 40+ hours forget it. Heck, you’ll find out you won’t have time to tend it. It’s a great problem to have. Just think of loading two stoves every 6-8 hours.
 

Propane_Poor

Member
Oct 20, 2018
79
Ohio
My point was if you were landing to keep the F400 and add an additional smaller stove, then there’s no way the King would be too big. Chimney size might be a concern for you and I understand that, so get the Princess. But the larger fuel tank/load with similar turn down rate means less tending with the bigger stove. “Set it and forget it”…like 40+ hours forget it. Heck, you’ll find out you won’t have time to tend it. It’s a great problem to have. Just think of loading two stoves every 6-8 hours.
Good points. I think the Princess has a 30 hour burn time, but the salesperson at Lehman's told us 20 is more likely.
 

Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
I'm afraid that one might be too big. My wife thought it would look out of place in our living room. Plus I would need all new 8" chimney pipe. Is the Princess 32 otherwise the same?
Princess has smaller stove outlet and smaller load capacity. Compare turn down rates in website.
 

Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
Wait for it…

A31AB79A-2DE7-45F8-B1F7-51658CB58A40.jpeg D278ABC4-B13A-4920-B4BD-524B2C01C614.jpeg

These pictures were sent to me by text last winter by forum member @logfarmer who lives near me. Been speaking with him for over a year via text. Never met him yet and he lives 20 minutes from me, if that. Seems like a real nice and honest person.

He gave me permission to share this photos awhile back. I believe his home is less than 2000sq ft, clay lined outside chimney they said wouldn’t draft this stove, which is a 2005 BK King Ultra he bought used and put a new catalyst in it.

He loaded those 5-6 pieces of wood on a bed of coals and you can see how much they did not burn over the next 24 hours. Heck, part of the wood hadn’t even charred yet. I believe he told me he got about 30 hours out of the coals and what you see his hand covering. At the end of the seasons n he sent me a picture of what he cleaned out of his chimney and it wouldn’t even fill a 16oz cup. Simply amazing with good dry wood…even with a two story rectangle clay lined chimney…which stayed clean all the way to the top.

I don’t own a BK or a catalyst stove, but it convinced us both.

Either stove would serve you well.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm afraid that one might be too big. My wife thought it would look out of place in our living room. Plus I would need all new 8" chimney pipe. Is the Princess 32 otherwise the same?
The Princess is about a cubic ft smaller and takes 6" pipe. It's kind of an ugly duckling, but performs well.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,083
Iowa
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,548
SE North Carolina
Good points. I think the Princess has a 30 hour burn time, but the salesperson at Lehman's told us 20 is more likely.
Adding square ft means you will burn more wood. How much did you burn last winter? I’m kinda concerned that your heating load is substantial and that you really want to be looking at something like a PE T6 or other 3-3.5 cu ft stove. I’m not sure a 30 box BK on 20 hour cycles puts out out more heat than the F400 loaded every 5-6 hours.

Princess is a good stove. But is it the right stove?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
You can run the princess on 8 hr cycles too. Puts out more heat...
 
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logfarmer

Feeling the Heat
Oct 25, 2015
256
Ohio
Wait for it…

View attachment 298528 View attachment 298529

These pictures were sent to me by text last winter by forum member @logfarmer who lives near me. Been speaking with him for over a year via text. Never met him yet and he lives 20 minutes from me, if that. Seems like a real nice and honest person.

He gave me permission to share this photos awhile back. I believe his home is less than 2000sq ft, clay lined outside chimney they said wouldn’t draft this stove, which is a 2005 BK King Ultra he bought used and put a new catalyst in it.

He loaded those 5-6 pieces of wood on a bed of coals and you can see how much they did not burn over the next 24 hours. Heck, part of the wood hadn’t even charred yet. I believe he told me he got about 30 hours out of the coals and what you see his hand covering. At the end of the seasons n he sent me a picture of what he cleaned out of his chimney and it wouldn’t even fill a 16oz cup. Simply amazing with good dry wood…even with a two story rectangle clay lined chimney…which stayed clean all the way to the top.

I don’t own a BK or a catalyst stove, but it convinced us both.

Either stove would serve you well.
That’s a good looking hand in that photo😉
 
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Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
If you thought none of those stoves (BK’s or T6) would carry the heat load in that house then there’s only one other direction I would turn to… and some will frown on this suggestion because of how the EPA will not recognize them as wood burners…but yeah…ok….whatever…

If you need that much heat then a radiant stove is your friend. One that gives off radiant as well as convection heat is even better.

I don’t think this suggestion is even necessary, but I’ll throw it out there anyway…pick one to find a chimney size you want….


DS Energymax 110/160 series…(these are overkill for you, BUT if YOU feel you need more stove then look no further)…

You get secondary air tubes that work great…pun intended…plus you get actual grates for burning anthracite coal if so choose, as well as a steel plate to cover the grates for burning wood…or provide your own plate if they stopped providing one…which they haven’t…and you get a thermostat, by-pass damper for no smoke in the room when loading. You get radiant heat as well as convection, you get a heavy mass stove that insulates the firebox very well to light off secondary air tubes, you get an ash pan, a UL listed stove built by the Amish, and you get a large cook surface.

If you burn good dry wood , use a double wall stove pipe and a good insulated chimney vented straight up, then they’ll burn clean and you have the makings of a heating monster that’s not too bad on the wood pile and can burn anthracite coal if you so chose to.

Honestly, the Comfortmax 75 could handle it but whatever. Things for you to research and decide on.

Again, I doubt if a BK or other 3.5 cu ft firebox can’t handle it. It’s only 2000sq ft. My home is 1350 from 1954 and not well insulated and a thermostat on a stove proved to me that my heat load can get by with a smaller stove especially if it too has a thermostat. Did I mention how much I like thermostats? LOL!

Combine a thermostat with a catalyst and it’s the cats meow.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
If you thought none of those stoves (BK’s or T6) would carry the heat load in that house then there’s only one other direction I would turn to… and some will frown on this suggestion because of how the EPA will not recognize them as wood burners…but yeah…ok….whatever…

If you need that much heat then a radiant stove is your friend. One that gives off radiant as well as convection heat is even better.

I don’t think this suggestion is even necessary, but I’ll throw it out there anyway…pick one to find a chimney size you want….


DS Energymax 110/160 series…(these are overkill for you, BUT if YOU feel you need more stove then look no further)…

You get secondary air tubes that work great…pun intended…plus you get actual grates for burning anthracite coal if so choose, as well as a steel plate to cover the grates for burning wood…or provide your own plate if they stopped providing one…which they haven’t…and you get a thermostat, by-pass damper for no smoke in the room when loading. You get radiant heat as well as convection, you get a heavy mass stove that insulates the firebox very well to light off secondary air tubes, you get an ash pan, a UL listed stove built by the Amish, and you get a large cook surface.

If you burn good dry wood , use a double wall stove pipe and a good insulated chimney vented straight up, then they’ll burn clean and you have the makings of a heating monster that’s not too bad on the wood pile and can burn anthracite coal if you so chose to.

Honestly, the Comfortmax 75 could handle it but whatever. Things for you to research and decide on.

Again, I doubt if a BK or other 3.5 cu ft firebox can’t handle it. It’s only 2000sq ft. My home is 1350 from 1954 and not well insulated and a thermostat on a stove proved to me that my heat load can get by with a smaller stove especially if it too has a thermostat. Did I mention how much I like thermostats? LOL!

Combine a thermostat with a catalyst and it’s the cats meow.
I work on lots of DS stoves and honestly they just don't hold up all that long. I see tons of warped internal panels bulged tops and sides cracks in the stove body etc. Yes they absolutely crank out allot of BTUs but most I have seen don't make it 10 years.
 
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Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
Why would you only be witnessing the problems you mentioned with DS stoves as compared to say Regency, Lopi Endeavor/Liberty, and Hitzer stoves as well as others?

The DS seems as well built as any of those I just listed and all of the stove bodies of the stoves mentioned above are the same 3/16” stove body panels, plus the DS has addition of being fully brick lined (aside from the left front of the door) giving all internal panels additional protection the other stoves above don’t have, as well as having the sides strengthened with welded ribs. Those ribs not only increase stove body strength (which is already strong by thickness) but the ribs give more rigidity to the side shields/convection panels. The DS and Hitzer tops are 1/4” and I believe so are Regency tops. The Lopi’s are 5/16” thick as are other brands. All 4 of those are heavier built than BK’s who have thinner stove bodies and tops and we rarely hear of them warping/bulging unless way over fired once or over fired many times. I’ve learned to trust BK stove are also well built because of rave forum reviews.

Seems to me if those things happened to the DS stoves then they should also be happening to those other brands as well. If one factors in they have a thermostat, then just as with BK stoves, there’s no need for maximum heat on a continual basis unless the unit is still undersized….or those folks were burning anthracite coal and over fired the stove by leaving the ash pan door open in which case would get way hotter than over firing with wood. The majority of the time the thermostat would prevent any of those issues you mentioned if it’s being used…that’s the beauty of having them.

A friend in PA left his ash pan door open while burning wood and cleaning out. It was a DS Comfortmax 75. It was a brand new stove less than two months old. He left the house with the ash pan door open and went to work.

He came home to the stoves wooden handles mostly burned off the stove, melted fabric on the couch 8-10ft away, scorched the coffee table finish and bubbled it all the way across the table, and melted the candles on the wall sconces around his living room as well as totally ruined the cast iron baffle inside the stove. The bricks protected the stove body and stove top was just fine. This was with wood. How hot did that room get to melt all the candles in the room? Imagine how much hotter an anthracite coal fire would have been and what could have happened.

He has a Hitzer 50-93 in his shop garage and loves it.

He was so impressed by how the Comfortmax 75 held up to over firing that he opted to order another brand new CM75 with plans to rebuild the other one.

Obviously you have witnessed issues and I have no reason to doubt your comments. I’m just trying to figure how and why, and why not with other brands.

Obviously, different experiences for you both.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Why would you only be witnessing the problems you mentioned with DS stoves as compared to say Regency, Lopi Endeavor/Liberty, and Hitzer stoves as well as others?

The DS seems as well built as any of those I just listed and all of the stove bodies of the stoves mentioned above are the same 3/16” stove body panels, plus the DS has addition of being fully brick lined (aside from the left front of the door) giving all internal panels additional protection the other stoves above don’t have, as well as having the sides strengthened with welded ribs. Those ribs not only increase stove body strength (which is already strong by thickness) but the ribs give more rigidity to the side shields/convection panels. The DS and Hitzer tops are 1/4” and I believe so are Regency tops. The Lopi’s are 5/16” thick as are other brands. All 4 of those are heavier built than BK’s who have thinner stove bodies and tops and we rarely hear of them warping/bulging unless way over fired once or over fired many times. I’ve learned to trust BK stove are also well built because of rave forum reviews.

Seems to me if those things happened to the DS stoves then they should also be happening to those other brands as well. If one factors in they have a thermostat, then just as with BK stoves, there’s no need for maximum heat on a continual basis unless the unit is still undersized….or those folks were burning anthracite coal and over fired the stove by leaving the ash pan door open in which case would get way hotter than over firing with wood. The majority of the time the thermostat would prevent any of those issues you mentioned if it’s being used…that’s the beauty of having them.

A friend in PA left his ash pan door open while burning wood and cleaning out. It was a DS Comfortmax 75. It was a brand new stove less than two months old. He left the house with the ash pan door open and went to work.

He came home to the stoves wooden handles mostly burned off the stove, melted fabric on the couch 8-10ft away, scorched the coffee table finish and bubbled it all the way across the table, and melted the candles on the wall sconces around his living room as well as totally ruined the cast iron baffle inside the stove. The bricks protected the stove body and stove top was just fine. This was with wood. How hot did that room get to melt all the candles in the room? Imagine how much hotter an anthracite coal fire would have been and what could have happened.

He has a Hitzer 50-93 in his shop garage and loves it.

He was so impressed by how the Comfortmax 75 held up to over firing that he opted to order another brand new CM75 with plans to rebuild the other one.

Obviously you have witnessed issues and I have no reason to doubt your comments. I’m just trying to figure how and why, and why not with other brands.

Obviously, different experiences for you both.
They don't hold up due to poor engineering. They simply don't allow for the differing expansion and contraction nearly as well as the other brands listed. Not all of them have ribs. I have seen distorted sides on the ones without. And cracking at the ribs on those that do.


There is a whole lot more to making a durable stove than just using thick material.
 

Hoytman

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2020
515
Ohio
Yeah and the Hitzer 82/55 designs as well as the old Riteway stoves, Wonderwarm/Wonderwood circulator (Locke style) all prove that. All been around a long long time and still being built (except Riteway/DS). All thinner bodies like you said. Must be great designs.

Over fire any stove, whether made of thick or thin material, and they’ll come apart or won’t last. The main thing is if it’s a defect and not from abuse, then will the manufacturer take care of it. DS, Lopi, others are still in business. Hard to stay that way in business building junk.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Yeah and the Hitzer 82/55 designs as well as the old Riteway stoves, Wonderwarm/Wonderwood circulator (Locke style) all prove that. All been around a long long time and still being built (except Riteway/DS). All thinner bodies like you said. Must be great designs.

Over fire any stove, whether made of thick or thin material, and they’ll come apart or won’t last. The main thing is if it’s a defect and not from abuse, then will the manufacturer take care of it. DS, Lopi, others are still in business. Hard to stay that way in business building junk.
I agree if any stove is abused it won't hold up. But I rarely see a DS stove go more than 10 years. Most other stoves easily go much longer. And I havnt seen DS replace one yet. I honestly don't know how they are still in business.
 

rijim

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2009
274
RI
I replaced my f400 which served me well for 12 years with a larger stove to get longer burn times; I would go with single larger stove. Stove options may be limited at this time of the year so start by checking what local dealers have available if you want it for this season.