Jotul or Hearthstone Soapstone & the correct size?

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I am getting rid of my old Red Lange 6302A in our ocean front cabin. It's been a great stove, but it's time for a change to a cleaner burning stove. Things have change since the late 70's - early 80's! I've been reading plenty but am stumped on Cast iron vs soapstone and the correct size needed.

Our living area we is only about 700' open space. Another part of the cabin is not in the equation for heat.
Half the ceilings are 7'6", the other half are 9'.
There is a large ceiling fan on the 9' ceiling
Plenty great windows that are about R-3.3 that get pummeled by wind & rain during winter.
The ceiling is R-40 or 48 (I forget).
Floors are concrete - no heat or insulation.
Walls are uninsulated or filled concrete block (CMU), R-1.9 to R-2.5 plus R-0.56 for 5/8" sheetrock.

As you can see, the walls and windows are little more than wind barriers. Once the concrete floor and walls get warm, from the cast iron of our Lange, things are cozy. But all that warmth just flows outside, so we need a stove that can keep up. The Lang is far too large for this cabin, and we have to open doors if I stoke the fire too full (it's happened). This time around I'd like to get the size closer to what we need to keep comfortable without having to open windows or doors.

We are in northwestern Washington State very close to the Canadian border, which is Zone 3 or 4 on Jotul's climate chart ( http://www.northweststoves.ca/images/pdf/Jotul-Wood-Brochure.pdf ). I have narrowed the stoves down to a Jotul 400 Castine (1600 sq', 55K BTU's) or a Hearthstone Castleton (1500 sq', 45K BTU's).

They are both large for the area we need to heat, but considering the R-Value of the walls & windows, I wonder if these stoves & sizes are the correct choice?

Additionally, I am hoping that these two stoves are as bullet proof as my old Lange has been. Back in the day, Jotul was great. Is it still great? Hearthstone was just a startup when I bought my Lange, so I have no history with that company.

Ant input you can give me is greatly appreciated!

Thanks
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
I'd also look at the Jotul F45 if at the Jotul dealer. How tall is the flue system on this stove from stovetop to chimney cap? The F400 is a nice stove, but it wants decent draft and may spill smoke on loading if the draft is weak or it is very windy. It's highly radiant and may have you opening doors and windows at times. The F45 is cast-iron jacketed which will help soften the heat. A Woodstock Keystone would also be a good fit.
 
I'd also look at the Jotul F45 if at the Jotul dealer. How tall is the flue system on this stove from stovetop to chimney cap? The F400 is a nice stove, but it wants decent draft and may spill smoke on loading if the draft is weak or it is very windy. It's highly radiant and may have you opening doors and windows at times. The F45 is cast-iron jacketed which will help soften the heat. A Woodstock Keystone would also be a good fit.

Thanks for your reply. I only have 13' from the slab to the top of the chimney. I am also replacing the liner and could add one more terracotta flue liner and some more SS liner if that helps.

The present chimney pipe goes up from the stove top and turns 90° into a hole in the wall & then runs horizontal through the wall and dumps into a liner and takes another 90° up to the top of the liner. The liner inside the chimney is 8' from the hole in the wall to the top of the chimney. So I've got about 13' from slab to top of chimney.

Being on a cliff I get a lot of wind in the winter. Presently I've got a whirly bird up there, but was thinking of changing it to a stationary cap supposedly made for wind.

The Jotul F45 is rated the same as the F400. Does it draw air differently, or is the draft still a problem?

I have not been looking at the Woodstock line as they have Cat's. Are their Cat's better than most? Do they last longer and /or are easier maintenance?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
In that case you want an easy breathing stove. Many modern EPA tube stoves require at least a 16ft flue to draft properly. Look at the Enviro Kodiak 1200 or Boston 1200 and the PE Vista or T4. They can work on a shorter flue. The Woodstock Keystone may also work. In your circumstance the Keystone would be able to provide low and steady heat over a longer period of time. This is an advantage of a cat stove.
 
In that case you want an easy breathing stove. Many modern EPA tube stoves require at least a 16ft flue to draft properly. Look at the Enviro Kodiak 1200 or Boston 1200 and the PE Vista or T4. They can work on a shorter flue. The Woodstock Keystone may also work. In your circumstance the Keystone would be able to provide low and steady heat over a longer period of time. This is an advantage of a cat stove.


Thanks. I'll look at those stoves. I'm guessing that I could stack "one" more terracotta on top of the existing flue, but that's probably about it - unless I have the entire chimney built a block or 3 higher (which I'd rather not have done).

When you say "15 foot draft" do you mean from the top of the stove to the top of the liner, from the slab to the top of the liner?

A tech guy at Hearthstone called me back this morning and said he would rather I go up to two 45°'s inside the cabin with double wall stove pipe, then horizontal to the Tee and use solid liner (not flex) wrapped with insulation vs out the back of the stove. Do you agree?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,529
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
They also make these "extend-a-flue" things that attach to the top of the short masonry chimneys to get more height which means more draft. I have owned a hearthstone soapstone stove and would not recommend one if you want to use it for heat. They look great and will eventually heat up the house but very inefficient and slow to warm up.
 
I have owned a hearthstone soapstone stove and would not recommend one if you want to use it for heat. They look great and will eventually heat up the house but very inefficient and slow to warm up.

Are you saying you would not recommend a Hearthstone stove just because they heat up slowly (which I can deal with because we use it 24/7 unless we are gone) or because they are inefficient?

How are they inefficient?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,529
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Are you saying you would not recommend a Hearthstone stove just because they heat up slowly (which I can deal with because we use it 24/7 unless we are gone) or because they are inefficient?

How are they inefficient?

Both reasons and the reasons are related. I heated 24/7 for 7 years with my hearthstone and shoved 30 cords through it. Since it is a non-cat and only 2.3 (rated) cubic feet the fire would always be essentially out by morning and just a warmish stove. I would have to start a new fire and heat the stone mass back up. While you are heating up this huge stone mass you are dumping very high temperature flue gas up the stack which is very inefficient. The Hearthstone design was clean burning but dumped large amounts of heat up the flue all the time.

You don't realize just how much a stove wastes wood until you heat the same space with a much more efficient appliance.

I will say that the Hearthstone heated as specified and had burn times as specified. It looked great with a great fireview. I had the heritage model and the hinges and latches were not designed to hold up to full time heating and the stove was in need of rebuild at the end of those 30 cords. On any hearthstone model you are considering be sure to investigate the robustness of the hinges and latches as well as the ease of replacing them.

There are much better stoves for a person wishing to provide 24/7 heat with wood. The PE stoves are much more advanced if you really like non-cats. In Jotuls, be sure that the model is a welded steel firebox with a cast iron shell. You don't want an old style cast iron stove with bolt together chunks that depend on gaskets and cement to be air tight.
 

electrathon

Minister of Fire
Sep 17, 2015
575
Gresham, OR
They also make these "extend-a-flue" things that attach to the top of the short masonry chimneys to get more height which means more draft. I have owned a hearthstone soapstone stove and would not recommend one if you want to use it for heat. They look great and will eventually heat up the house but very inefficient and slow to warm up.
DITTI, DITTO, DITTO!!!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
When you say "15 foot draft" do you mean from the top of the stove to the top of the liner, from the slab to the top of the liner?
From stove top to chimney cap. Can you describe the flue system that the Lange connected to now? Is it hooked up to a chimney liner?
 
On any hearthstone model you are considering be sure to investigate the robustness of the hinges and latches as well as the ease of replacing them.

There are much better stoves for a person wishing to provide 24/7 heat with wood. The PE stoves are much more advanced if you really like non-cats. In Jotuls, be sure that the model is a welded steel firebox with a cast iron shell. You don't want an old style cast iron stove with bolt together chunks that depend on gaskets and cement to be air tight.

Great advice. Thanks. That hinge issue is a show stopper, unless they've fixed the problem?

I am waiting for some info from the PE tech guy regarding their Alderlea T4. I spoke with a tech guy at Jotul today, although I did not know to ask about the steel fire box. Are most cast stoves these days a cast shell over a steel firebox? I don't remember reading that anywhere on Jotul's webpages. The tech said that their 400 series is their most temperamental and needs a pretty exact draft or else smoke will come into the room. He said their F3CB is the least temperamental, but might be too small for these R3.5 walls! Also that the 45 & 500 series are less fussy.
 
From stove top to chimney cap. Can you describe the flue system that the Lange connected to now? Is it hooked up to a chimney liner?

I've never had it hooked up to a liner - it has always just dumped into the fireplace flue. That will change with the next stove. Inside the CMU exterior chimney is a terracotta liner I think 13" X 13" or something close like that. On the very top is a whirly bird to deflect the wind.

The techs I spoke with at both Hearthstone & Jotul both said 'if I can't go straight up to the roof with an interior chimney, they would do the setup like I have it now (only connecting to a chimney liner) vs going out the back of the stove into the fireplace and then up the chimney (in a SS liner).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
Can you post a picture of the current setup?
 
Can you post a picture of the current setup?

I've got the stove out of there. I'll try to describe the situation...

If the new stove is 30" tall, I have 9.75' from the stove top to the top of the terracotta chimney fireplace liner. I've been reading that a good chimney should be 15' - 16', which is impossible without building the CMU chimney higher. The chance of finding a mason who would drop everything and do this tiny job is unlikely since building is booming up here. Suggestion?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
I need to visualize your proposed installation. What is your setup? Are you placing the stove in a fireplace and venting straight up or tapping into the chimney higher up?
 
I need to visualize your proposed installation. What is your setup? Are you placing the stove in a fireplace and venting straight up or tapping into the chimney higher up?

Good question! I have tapped into the chimney above the fireplace years ago and just used that. That requires two 90°'s (one inside above the stove & one at the Tee in my chimney flue).

I've been considering removing the damper and it's parts & cutting the front of the fireplace up a few bricks, installing a new angle iron and putting the new stove back int the fireplace area and then going "straight" up the chimney with a new liner.

I still need to make my chimney taller though, I think.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, each 90º turn is decreasing draft. Reducing or eliminating these turns will definitely help, as will an insulated liner. The Keystone can be rear vented and is worth checking out if it can be installed on the hearth and rear-vented up the chimney with an insulated liner. Call Woodstock to see if they. If it will work with say a 12' stack then putting on an extendaflue might be a simpler task.
https://extendaflue.com/
The Enviro and PE stoves are made quite close to you on Vancouver Island. Both have a more direct secondary air path that allows them to breath easier and work with a shorter chimney, but 10' is still pretty short. That said I have a friend running a Summit on a 12' chimney with a 90 and 2 45s in the flue path and it is working ok for them.
 
Yes, each turn is decreasing draft. Reducing or eliminating these turns will definitely help, as will an insulated liner. The Keystone can be rear vented and is worth checking out if it can be installed on the hearth and rear-vented up the chimney with an insulated liner. Call Woodstock to see if they. If it will work with say a 12' stack then putting on an extendaflue might be a simpler task.
https://extendaflue.com/
The Enviro and PE stoves are made quite close to you on Vancouver Island. Both have a more direct secondary air path that allows them to breath easier and work with a shorter chimney, but 10' is still pretty short. That said I have a friend running a Summit on a 12' chimney with a 90 and 2 45s in the flue path and it is working ok for them.

I spoke with a Tech person at both Hearthstone & Jotul about a number of issues. They both said they "never recommend" venting a stove out the back to a Tee or Elbow in the fireplace (then straight up the chimney with a liner). They both said they's take my two 90º's over a back vent any day". Who would have guessed?

The Jotul guy told me their 400 is their worst drafting unit and said even with a perfect chimney you have to be very careful opening that stove, etc. Strange to believe, considering how long they've been making that stove.

I talked to a guy who comes out and sizes stoves based on insulation, sq', etc. He said if my living area of 750 sq' was R-11 (2x4) with double windows and R-38 in the ceiling, an 18K BTU stove would do fine. I was thinking the same thing. He said with my peculiar situation, his software pops up 30K BTU's. My thought exactly - but find a good looking stove, that is 30K BTU's, that can hold enough wood so you don't have to load it all the time!

I'm wondering if I can use a 45K - 50K BTU heater and just light a smaller fire? Seems there are a number of those sizes out there (Jotul, Hearthstone).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
The F400 is a shallow bodied stove. That coupled with the big door does lead to smoke spillage when opening the door if draft is not strong. Did you speak with the folks at Woodstock? The Keystone fits your btu profile nicely. I think it could rear-vent up the chimney if the horiz run is short, but defer to their judgement.
 
The F400 is a shallow bodied stove. That coupled with the big door does lead to smoke spillage when opening the door if draft is not strong. Did you speak with the folks at Woodstock? The Keystone fits your btu profile nicely. I think it could rear-vent up the chimney if the horiz run is short, but defer to their judgement.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the design of the Woodstock line. For soapstone, do you think Hearthstone is good? I like their Castleton & Shelburn look good to me. The Shelburn is a little large and "if" we ever frame & insulate this place we'll have to sell it, but until then, we might be able to make it work.

Do you know anything about those stoves?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
The Woodstock design for the Keystone has been around for many years. It is time proven and successful. Hearthstone has been less successful at efficient designs for soapstone stoves. They are however very nice looking.
 
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The Woodstock design for the Keystone has been around for many years. It is time proven and successful. Hearthstone has been less successful at efficient designs for soapstone stoves. They are however very nice looking.

How are Hearthstone's cast iron stoves?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,333
South Puget Sound, WA
The smallest didn't have the best reputation. I'm not sure if they have updated the design. Haven't heard about it for awhile. The Shelburne is supposed to be a decent stove. It's a shallow firebox like the F400 which means E/W loading.
 

stovelark

Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2009
1,549
SE CT
Hi Beach- both stoves you mentioned would seem to be good heaters for your size. The smoke spillage with a Castine is more prevalent with horizontal venting in my experience, top venting with good seasoned wood works pretty good. Your real issue is the shorter chimney you have, but if it worked well with your old stove, it might do fine. Any new stove you get needs well seasoned wood as a minimum, if not then frustration awaits. I too happen to like the HS Shelburne, its soapstone linings and cast design are a good combo. It is deeper inside than the castine F400 and I believe is a bit more of a heater as well. HS in the past has had issues with their door handles, but the cast line's handles are fantastic, in most people's view. The real problem (at least at our store) is that HS's prices are equal to or more than Jotul. If you are talking cast stoves, its hard to go against Jotul, they if treated properly just go to work and perform day in and day out. Parts are readily available if needed and are not difficult to use or service. Having said all that, I still like the jacketed stoves too, espec Enviro, PE, and Jotul's Greenville and Carrabassett. I would seriously consider the F45 Jotul. Lots of good stoves out there, hope you get to see them all and decide. Good luck.
 
I would seriously consider the F45 Jotul. Lots of good stoves out there, hope you get to see them all and decide. Good luck.

I was just about ready to pull the trigger on the HS Shelburne, but the specs on the Jøtul F 45 Greenville are good, and the N/S loading is nice. They mention a combination steel & cast. What part is steel?