Jotul f500 v3 questions

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cfal

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
5
Albany, NY
Hello everyone,
I'm looking to replace a better 'n bens stove from I think the 70's in my new-to-me colonial. The better 'n bens is an insert, in a double wall steel firebox. The stove is a very simple (inefficient) design, and the previous owner did a partial liner job that is terrible. I'm tearing everything out and would like to go with a freestanding wood stove in that location. It will have a 6" insulated SS liner run up my ~23' flue. (currently trying to convince myself to go rigid liner despite the extra cost).

Style and size wise- we have decided on the Jotul f500 v3. I found a local-ish dealer with one (arch face) in stock for ~$4,500. (same dealer had it for ~$2,500 in 2019, missed the boat there I guess).

I'm getting some cold feet about some of the negative reviews here, with air control /air leaks. I see some ominous comments like "f500 v3 has had some problems, too early to tell if they're sorted" I can't quite tell if there's a handful of easily fixed (though no one should have to fix a new stove) via gaskets or the intake air magnets, or being very careful with the ash door, installing butterfly damper for excessive draft etc.; or if there is a more significant, pervasive set of problems that should steer me away.. I'm OK with a moderate risk of finnicky things I can easily remedy, but if it is going to be more headache than useful tool, I'm not going to spend the premium on it.

So my main question is, for a relatively competent trouble shooter, is there a major risk to getting an f500 lemon? Do we not see the 90% of happy warm Jotul customers? Alternatively - can anyone point me to a comparable stove with gothic arch styling? The soapstone, Vermont casting door styles, and Alderlea styles are not sufficient per the design manager(my wife).

Thanks!
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,791
NW Wisconsin
I can understand your concern, that’s a big investment. Last I heard there were some out of spec cats early on and I would expect Jotul took care of that by now.

I personally haven’t recently seen any bad reports or reviews here or from my local dealer.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Hello everyone,
I'm looking to replace a better 'n bens stove from I think the 70's in my new-to-me colonial. The better 'n bens is an insert, in a double wall steel firebox. The stove is a very simple (inefficient) design, and the previous owner did a partial liner job that is terrible. I'm tearing everything out and would like to go with a freestanding wood stove in that location. It will have a 6" insulated SS liner run up my ~23' flue. (currently trying to convince myself to go rigid liner despite the extra cost).

Style and size wise- we have decided on the Jotul f500 v3. I found a local-ish dealer with one (arch face) in stock for ~$4,500. (same dealer had it for ~$2,500 in 2019, missed the boat there I guess).

I'm getting some cold feet about some of the negative reviews here, with air control /air leaks. I see some ominous comments like "f500 v3 has had some problems, too early to tell if they're sorted" I can't quite tell if there's a handful of easily fixed (though no one should have to fix a new stove) via gaskets or the intake air magnets, or being very careful with the ash door, installing butterfly damper for excessive draft etc.; or if there is a more significant, pervasive set of problems that should steer me away.. I'm OK with a moderate risk of finnicky things I can easily remedy, but if it is going to be more headache than useful tool, I'm not going to spend the premium on it.

So my main question is, for a relatively competent trouble shooter, is there a major risk to getting an f500 lemon? Do we not see the 90% of happy warm Jotul customers? Alternatively - can anyone point me to a comparable stove with gothic arch styling? The soapstone, Vermont casting door styles, and Alderlea styles are not sufficient per the design manager(my wife).

Thanks!
No way I would buy one. Yes jotul claimed out of spec parts but I have my doubts we will see how the new parts hold up. And yes there were tons of problems
 
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ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
778
Howell, Mi
Hello everyone,
I'm looking to replace a better 'n bens stove from I think the 70's in my new-to-me colonial. The better 'n bens is an insert, in a double wall steel firebox. The stove is a very simple (inefficient) design, and the previous owner did a partial liner job that is terrible. I'm tearing everything out and would like to go with a freestanding wood stove in that location. It will have a 6" insulated SS liner run up my ~23' flue. (currently trying to convince myself to go rigid liner despite the extra cost).

Style and size wise- we have decided on the Jotul f500 v3. I found a local-ish dealer with one (arch face) in stock for ~$4,500. (same dealer had it for ~$2,500 in 2019, missed the boat there I guess).

I'm getting some cold feet about some of the negative reviews here, with air control /air leaks. I see some ominous comments like "f500 v3 has had some problems, too early to tell if they're sorted" I can't quite tell if there's a handful of easily fixed (though no one should have to fix a new stove) via gaskets or the intake air magnets, or being very careful with the ash door, installing butterfly damper for excessive draft etc.; or if there is a more significant, pervasive set of problems that should steer me away.. I'm OK with a moderate risk of finnicky things I can easily remedy, but if it is going to be more headache than useful tool, I'm not going to spend the premium on it.

So my main question is, for a relatively competent trouble shooter, is there a major risk to getting an f500 lemon? Do we not see the 90% of happy warm Jotul customers? Alternatively - can anyone point me to a comparable stove with gothic arch styling? The soapstone, Vermont casting door styles, and Alderlea styles are not sufficient per the design manager(my wife).

Thanks!
Dont, There are much better proven designs out there
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Availability is going to be a strong determinant in today's market. What are the fireplace dimensions? Have you considered a modern, reliable insert if a freestander doesn't work out?
 

cfal

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
5
Albany, NY
Availability is going to be a strong determinant in today's market. What are the fireplace dimensions? Have you considered a modern, reliable insert if a freestander doesn't work out?
I have thought a little about an insert. My wife isn't a huge fan of the look of an insert, and I as an insert-ignorant user don't feel strongly about it. Our other end of the house has a newer (compared to the better 'n bens) Century stove that isn't fancy but works well enough so availability isn't a huge pressure. I'd rather get a good stove next year that checks all the boxes, rather than rush to get one now and have regrets. I've also only got about a cord of seasoned wood so I wouldnt be getting tons of use out of it this winter either.

I need to check the standing dead ash on my property - that may be <20% already and I'll have more pre-seasoned wood.

third thing is we don't like the existing hearth design so next year we'll probably be pulling down the facade and whatnot, might be a good time to just brick up the opening and make it more freestander appropriate.

Thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
It's easier to make suggestions when we see what you are starting with. Can you post a picture of the existing fireplace in question?
 

cfal

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
5
Albany, NY
It's easier to make suggestions when we see what you are starting with. Can you post a picture of the existing fireplace in question?
Sure thing, thanks for your advice - I was mostly focused on thumbs up/down for f500, but there's a lot of no here so I should start thinking seriously about alternates.
20220717_104516.jpg
Horrible Liner install. Exterior was caked in creosote and insulation. Block off plate was a jenga stack of fire brick. Resized_20220810_112823.jpg
Combustibles have been removed (clock, box, bongos). Eventually want to replace this shiny mica filled stone with brick or something.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks, that helps. There are several inserts that come to mind that would be a nice visual improvement. How large of an area is this heating? What is the lintel height?
 

cfal

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
5
Albany, NY
Thanks, that helps. There are several inserts that come to mind that would be a nice visual improvement. How large of an area is this heating? What is the lintel height?
2 story colonial - ~850ft^2 per story, ~1700 total. Built in 1971 with not great insulation in upstate new york. Last winter my century CJW1500 was able to keep us warm if we cranked it to full. We keep it pretty cold ~60F in the house.

Existing lintel height is 32", opening ~42" wide, back is tapered but ~15" deep at the narrowest point.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
2 story colonial - ~850ft^2 per story, ~1700 total. Built in 1971 with not great insulation in upstate new york. Last winter my century CJW1500 was able to keep us warm if we cranked it to full. We keep it pretty cold ~60F in the house.

Existing lintel height is 32", opening ~42" wide, back is tapered but ~15" deep at the narrowest point.
Unless you set the stove completely Infront of the fireplace you will be better off with an insert. They are designed to direct the heat out of the fireplace stoves are not.
 
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cfal

New Member
Sep 29, 2022
5
Albany, NY
Unless you set the stove completely Infront of the fireplace you will be better off with an insert. They are designed to direct the heat out of the fireplace stoves are not.
Yeah, that makes sense. Right now if I put the stove feet at the edge of the raised stone, it would all be out from the fireplace. We have aspirations of removing all that stone, and creating a similar set up to the century on the other side but that won't be this season.

But either way not much love for the f500 here. Maybe I'll live with this setup for another year and think on it. I appreciate your advice. The alderlea inserts look nice, maybe we'll sleep on that idea and see how we feel.

Cheers and thanks again.

20220929_193906.jpg
 
Nov 5, 2021
61
PA, USA
I'm still new to wood stoves, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I purchased an F500 v3 this summer and have it installed on the hearth in front of our fireplace. We decided not to go with an insert because unless I went custom with a surround, it would have covered up the very unique Mercer tiles that make up the face of the fireplace. A stove didn't have that issue, and also opened the possibility of cooking or at least warming food on it in the event of an emergency situation with no power.

Once I determined to go with a stove, we (my wife in particular) decided on cast iron due to the far nicer aesthetics. Due to it's placement on the hearth, I needed one with rear-exit flue. The field of options narrows... I probably would have gone with a Pacific Energy stove, if they weren't top-flue only. I looked at Vermont Castings but didn't like what I read about their "down draft" technology and how finicky it seems to be if your draft conditions aren't just right. The Jotul F500 v3 was cast iron, rear (or top) exit flue, and large enough to theoretically heat our 2000sqft house.

I've taken the stove through it's three break-in fires and one regular fire so far. I'll be lighting it up again this evening and attempting an overnight burn. So far, I'm pleased with the F500. It heats the house well (with the help of a few small fans to push air around), burns cleanly, and so far has been easy to control. Time will tell as far as how it holds up, but so far, so good. I don't regret the purchase.