PE Alderlea T5 thoughts/ review a few months in

Samsquanch Posted By Samsquanch, Jun 7, 2019 at 12:54 PM

  1. Samsquanch

    Samsquanch
    New Member 2.
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    Mar 2, 2019
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    Well, I took the perhaps unpopular plunge to go from a cat stove to a non-cat...and absolutely no regrets! Hopefully I can provide a bit of insight for anyone tire-kicking on a PE. I ended up getting the pre-2020 series D T5.

    We picked up a T5 to replace a fairly new and functional dutchwest 2461 a few months ago. Our installation location didn't really allow for enough chimney length for the dutchwest to run optimally in all conditions (15' straight up) despite proper wood and operator experience, and a couple of incidents with visiting family members puzzling over how to reload a cat stove, it was a done deal.

    Initial impressions:
    -very easy and intuitive learning curve - this would make a great first stove for someone to learn on! It's very easy to monitor stack temps and fire appearance and make needed adjustments. It responds quickly.

    -The heat output is much more gentle than I expected. It heats up much quicker than our cat stove, but is less radiant and more convective, and it is more effective at evenly heating our 1200 square foot bungalow.

    - burn time - this one surprised me, but with the larger fire box it makes sense though that it actually has a longer burn time for useful heat than our previous rig. The cat stove seemed to hold coals longer though, probably due to lower firebox airflow. That being said, the T5 is easier to get going and up to temp from a coal bed.

    - emissions - the t5 plume cleans up fast! I know that our VC technically was cleaner burning once up to temp and with the cat engaged, but I bet that if you factored in startup emissions, they would be pretty darn even. Everything the folks here on hearth.com have said about the quick clean starts was bang on. I can be up and cruising comfortably with the t5 in as little as 20 mins.

    - shoulder season burning is no problem. The t5 works well with a smaller load of 4-5 medium splits kept centered in the box. Clean plume. This is usually 12 hours worth of heat in milder weather. We are in central Alberta, Canada, so our shoulder seasons can be long. More wood, more heat, less wood, less heat. Easy.

    - design - I'm a total nerd on this one, I love fluid dynamics, and they really nailed it with this firebox. The airflow is well thought out, great secondaries, not fussy, easy breathing, no dead zones or hot spots, and a sweet vortex of turbulence front and center for clean burning and a great fireshow. Nailed it! Low maintenance design too. Super simple to clean the chimney, but watch out for the baffle gasket. Big gorgeous glass, decent castings, good paint and unlike some others, my trivets were dead level on arrival. The sides of the stove stay pretty cool which is nice for reducing burn risk for kids and pets and the clearance specs are really tight for installation

    Wood consumption - about the same...maybe slightly more than the previous cat stove, but we only had a few months to run it this year.

    I have yet to find any real complaints about this stove. The paint smell lingers a bit. I really didn't want to believe the PE hype, but it's a winner! The ashford 30 was a close runner up, but I'm very happy with our choice. Thanks to everyone here for the wisdom over the last few years!
     

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Dec 28, 2006
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    Yes but you took the perhaps popular plunge to throw a VC into the river! A good non-cat beats the heck out of a lower tier cat stove. If I was going back to noncat in the house I would get the same stove. Good choice. No more cats to buy!

    Is that an unused outside air duct to the right of the hearth?
     
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  3. begreen

    begreen
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    Buy a five pack of the baffle gaskets or roll your own. And be sure to put a rag over the secondary tube before cleaning to keep crud from falling down in it.
     
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  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Great review! I don't see many from people going from cat to non cat.
     
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  5. Samsquanch

    Samsquanch
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    Mar 2, 2019
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    Yep it’s an outside air duct but I don’t have it directly connected, it just more or less dumps out onto the hearth pad. I fabbed up a copper swivel louvre so I can open and close it fully as needed. I jam an insulation plug in there if we aren’t burning.
     
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  6. Woody5506

    Woody5506
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    Feb 14, 2017
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    This is my first and only stove. I always say I have nothing to compare it to, but really I have zero complaints. I like everything about it, but the close clearances allowed by the jacketed construction is what sealed the deal for me since I didn't have tons of space to play with.
     
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  7. mar13

    mar13
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    Close clearance is what also sold me. The Super series and Napoleon's 1400 series we're similar in size and clearance, but Begreen and others sold me on the Super series robust design, plus it should be easier to clean the chimney.
     
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  8. Woody5506

    Woody5506
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    Actually, my one complaint is the same as everyone else's - the baffle gaskets are garbage. I need to make one of these DIY ones that's been posted on here.
     
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  9. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover
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    I'm also wondering how the T5 will compare in wood use at my SIL's house, to her old Dutchwest 2460. My guess is that it won't use much more wood, since we couldn't run the 2460 super-low due to air leaks. I tried to seal it up but there comes a time when you need to tear down and rebuild a stove with cement seams. That was one thing that was attractive about the T5, the welded steel box.
    My plan is to practice a rebuild on her 2460, then after I've made all the mistakes and learned how to do it right, dive into my 2460. ==c
    Thanks for the cleaning tip, begreen. I was thinking I could cut baffle gaskets from interam gasket material. My only concern is that the interam gasket material might not hold up to repeated expansion and contraction. I'll give it a try though..
    You can't really lump the Dutchwest cats into the same group as the VC downdraft stoves, if that's what you're hinting at. Aside from the small window and thin castings, the Dutchwest Convections are actually pretty sweet rigs, and run well. Some nice cast components in the top end and bypass. I don't think you can get into many, if any, cat stoves for the $1200 or so that they cost. I wouldn't call it "lower-tier" in value and overall execution...not like a BK or something. ;) :p
     
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