PE T6 vs summit vs. Woodstock PH

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Hi all,

Thanks again for your help so far with this project. The original installation called for a rear-venting stove, but now the design has changed and I can use a top venting stove, opening up a lot more options.

Previously, I'd settled on the woodstock progress hybrid and now I'm looking at the pacific energy alderlea T6 (Steel/cast iron) and Summit (steel).

People seem to really like all of these stoves. There is a PE dealer in town, so I wouldn't have to worry about shipping/loading/unloading/moving/installing the woodstock stove. Plus, I wouldn't have to buy the heat shield and ash pan. The T6 is $3,400 locally and the Progress Hybrid is $3,800 + Ash pan ($200) + heat shield ($100) + shipping ($800) = $4,900. $1,500 more expensive for my location.

The question is whether the PH is a better stove? Seems to give longer burn times, but has a catalytic converter. Is it really a hassle to deal with a Cat? Do you have to treat the PH more gently due to the soapstone? Is it really that much more complex to run?

I think both stoves look nice, and my ultimate goal is to buy the longest-lasting highest quality stove. I'm okay paying more for that as we plan to be in this house for the next 20+ years.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Adam
 

snaple4

Burning Hunk
Dec 18, 2017
215
AR
I don’t own one of those stoves but have done a lot of research. This is a hard decision especially based on the increased cost for the PH (I frequently get sale prices from Woodstock so you may want to get on the mailing list). I am going to do a checklist of what I like about the PH and PE T6 stoves to give an example of what I would do.

Looks. = 1 point PH
Low burn = 1 point PH
Efficiency. =1 point PH
Blower. = 1 point PE
Yearly maint = 1 point PE


The list would keep going till done.


Edit. Looked at prices you have and you may have the PH winter sale price.
 

toddnic

Minister of Fire
Jul 13, 2013
748
North Carolina
I'm not familiar with the other stoves. I have owned the PH since 2013. I have never questioned the money spent on the PH. I would do it again without hesitation. Also, is Woodstock Soapstone Co. going to run a special? You may want to inquire. Sometimes you can get a good deal on shipping as well as on the PH.
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Woodstock is doing $300 off for the “winter special”. They’re doing free shipping on some of the other models right now.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,845
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The PH is only 2.8 cubic feet as measured by Woodstock who have earned a reputation for overestimating. The t6 is definitely bigger and likely much bigger along with a square firebox for easier filling. The ph is side load only.

Well designed cat stoves like the Woodstock add a great amount of output flexibility. You can run them low or high. The cat is not hard to replace or even expensive but it is a maintenance item. Stone looks great but doesn’t offer performance improvements as the marketing department wants you to think. 4900$!!! Ridiculous. The IS is cheaper, bigger, and more controllable.

Oh and running a cat stove is substantially more complicated to run than a noncat. Especially so for inexperienced or uninterested operators. Extra levers to pull based on particular thermometer readings, can’t just open the door and throw a juice box in, cat life, cat stall worries, etc. You don’t realize it until you have to teach someone that just wants heat.

One thing to be careful of is hearth requirements. Woodstock hasn’t been able to design their stoves to avoid a huge insulative value requirement under the hearth. That PH is like 700 lbs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mech e

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,339
North Eastern MA
Oh and running a cat stove is substantially more complicated to run than a noncat. Especially so for inexperienced or uninterested operators. Extra levers to pull based on particular thermometer readings, can’t just open the door and throw a juice box in, cat life, cat stall worries, etc. You don’t realize it until you have to teach someone that just wants heat.
I'm surprised someone who owns a cat stove says its "substantially more complicated to run than a noncat".
Yes there is that extra lever that has to get pulled after the thermometer on the stove gets up to temp. And we clean the cat about every month by dusting off the flyash - takes a few minutes.

Even a non-cat stove should not burn certain items for the sake of air quality. I've run both cat and non cat and I would not say the cat is a deal breaker.
 
Last edited:

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
The IS is cheaper, bigger, and more controllable.
I haven't read the threads on the PH and IS in depth. Can you detail what's "more controllable" about the IS? I figured that with both, you could cut the air back to get a cat-only burn, at any time.
Not sure where you came up with $4900 for the PH..?
running a cat stove is substantially more complicated to run than a noncat.
I'm surprised someone who owns a cat stove says its "substantially more complicated to run than a noncat".
Agreed. What I've seen with my SIL's new T5 is that you need a good eye to assess when and how much to cut the air when ramping up a fresh load, so that you maintain the reburn, yet don't get too much wood burning and gassing, so that the stove top goes to 700+ every time, no matter how much you cut the air. Of course, you can take measures to get more control, but I haven't done anything yet, other than add a second flue damper.
With my straight-cat stove anyway, I can cut the air back to a cat-only burn which I have control over, even if I got a lot of wood burning in the ramp-up.
 
Last edited:

WoodBurnerInWI

New Member
Feb 2, 2020
18
Madison, WI
I haven't read the threads on the PH and IS in depth. Can you detail what's "more controllable" about the IS? I figured that with both, you could cut the air back to get a cat-only burn, at any time.
Not sure where you came up with $4900 for the PH..?
As an IS owner, the air control is right in the front and has easy to read "notches" that represent the different air levels (100%, 50%, etc). If you purchase a pipe gauge and a catalyst gauge knowing when to activate the catalyst is super easy. Firebox size is quoted as 3.2 cf but honestly I think that's a bit wonky because of the slant that the baffle makes in the firebox, which sadly prevents loading logs to the top of the firebox. Well that and they want you to always leave an inch or two of clearance at the top of the firebox so that the secondaries can fire. But I get burn times easy of over 18 hrs with good wood, 10 to 12 with so so wood, and around 8 hrs plus coals with stuff like pine. The price for the IS is a great value, especially getting it on sale and maybe with a shipping discount. I would also highly recommend buying an extra ash pan for any Woodstock model.

To the OP:

I couldn't find the firebox size for the T6 but it looks like the Summit stove is a 3 cf box. Since both stoves seem to have a squarer firebox, you can probably stuff it full no problem. I'm in the group of people who would recommend going bigger for firebox sizes, as they say you can always make a smaller fire in a bigger box but not the other way around. You'll also appreciate the larger firebox size and extended burn times in really cold weather.

It really comes down to price and what you feel comfortable with paying. It sounds like price wise there's a dealer near you who sells PE stoves, and they would of course deliver and install if needed. Compared to Woodstock where you'll have to pick up the stove at either a freight terminal or some location that can receive freight. And you'll need a good sized truck or a trailer to bring it home, and then you got to get your stove inside. DO NOT use a furniture dolly, even one rated at 800 plus pounds. That's what I had and thought it would work. Nope! Ended up having to call a nearby fireplace shop to come out and bring it in with their equipment.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,667
Central Mass
Cant go wrong with either,vi have the PH because it rear vents. The IS is a better deat and can be turned down lower for shoulder seasons. The PH is heavy, took my brother and two BILs to yet it off my truck
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I’m building my own hearth pad, so I’ve researched the clearances/r values. They only require a R value of 0.8 for the prigress hybrid. (Down to 04. Something with the iptional ash lip). Thats only 1” of cement board plus tile.

mostly, I’m worried that I won’t be able to “turn down” the T6 if we’re getting roasted out of the room. I like fires/fireplaces/wood/science/technical jargon and would find the tweaking of the hybrid interesting. My wife, however, would like to heat the house when I’m at work when the power goes out on her and our 3 boys.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Newburnerwisconsin

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
mostly, I’m worried that I won’t be able to “turn down” the T6 if we’re getting roasted out of the room...My wife, however, would like to heat the house when I’m at work when the power goes out on her and our 3 boys.
I wouldn't think a roast-out would be likely, with the high ceiling in the stove room.
If your wife has some degree of mechanical aptitude, running either stove should be within her grasp. There is a learning curve, of course..
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I’m building my own hearth pad, so I’ve researched the clearances/r values. They only require a R value of 0.8 for the prigress hybrid. (Down to 04. Something with the iptional ash lip).
sorry for the typo. 0.8 r vale without the ash lip or 0.49ish with it. 2 or 1 1/2” durock next gen boards, respectively.
Our last insert had a cat and she remembered to open the bypass prior to loading wood. So, I’m sure it will be fine.
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Well designed cat stoves like the Woodstock add a great amount of output flexibility. You can run them low or high. The cat is not hard to replace or even expensive but it is a maintenance item.
How long should a cat last? How often does it need to be cleaned?

I just saw another thread about the F 500 Oslo V3 that got me considering that stove as well. Seems like a well-loved brand. The "high flow" cat sounds like a good idea, esp with a 20 year warranty on it. Has a shorter burn time like the PE, so I'd guess the cat is more for EPA compliance than adding to performance?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,845
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
How long should a cat last? How often does it need to be cleaned?

I just saw another thread about the F 500 Oslo V3 that got me considering that stove as well. Seems like a well-loved brand. The "high flow" cat sounds like a good idea, esp with a 20 year warranty on it. Has a shorter burn time like the PE, so I'd guess the cat is more for EPA compliance than adding to performance?
A cat only lasts about 12000 hours of burn time according to the cat manufacturers and even Woodstock . If you are using your stove for all of your heat then you can easily blow through 12000 hours in 2-3 seasons. That’s been my experience and it’s fine. If you only burn on Saturday nights then your cat might last 20 years. This 10 year to 20 year warranty is only about a warranty on the first cat. Cats are cheap enough that a stove maker would plan to lose money on replacing your cat once to get you to buy the stove. It’s a one time cat replacement. Do find out what a new cat will cost for any stove you’re considering, some weird ones are expensive.

How often you clean a cat depends on the installation, fuel, and operation style. I have a paintbrush to wipe off the face but really don’t ever need to do anything. I burn Doug fir and usually on lower settings.

If a cat stove doesn’t have very long burn times like well over 12 hours then you may as well buy a noncat. Lots of poorly designed cat stoves out there that can’t burn clean unless they are cranked way up so the epa limits the turn down. The real benefit of a cat stove is the ability to burn both very low and hot for a wide range of available output levels.
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
A cat only lasts about 12000 hours of burn time according to the cat manufacturers and even Woodstock . If you are using your stove for all of your heat then you can easily blow through 12000 hours in 2-3 seasons. That’s been my experience and it’s fine. If you only burn on Saturday nights then your cat might last 20 years. This 10 year to 20 year warranty is only about a warranty on the first cat. Cats are cheap enough that a stove maker would plan to lose money on replacing your cat once to get you to buy the stove. It’s a one time cat replacement. Do find out what a new cat will cost for any stove you’re considering, some weird ones are expensive.

How often you clean a cat depends on the installation, fuel, and operation style. I have a paintbrush to wipe off the face but really don’t ever need to do anything. I burn Doug fir and usually on lower settings.

If a cat stove doesn’t have very long burn times like well over 12 hours then you may as well buy a noncat. Lots of poorly designed cat stoves out there that can’t burn clean unless they are cranked way up so the epa limits the turn down. The real benefit of a cat stove is the ability to burn both very low and hot for a wide range of available output levels.

Thanks for that! Some quick math for my situation... if I did 24 hr burns 3 days a week (it often warms up quite a bit here in winter) for 6 months/yr, I'd get 7 years out of the cat. The replacement for the stove I'm looking at is about $180. $180/7 = $25/yr. That isn't bad at all.
I'd be burning lodgepole pine during the day and trying to get overnight burns/coals using oak... at least that's what I did with my old insert. I'd only rarely have AM coals though.

I agree that the appeal of the cat stove seems to be the ability to dial it up/down to where you want it. That seems like a big part of a stove's usability for my application anyway.

Thanks again for your help. The knowledge on this board is invaluable. Its a big layout for the stove and chimney and being able to get answers to these questions really helps.

- Adam
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,845
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
There are some new designs hitting the streets that added a cat as a method to pass emissions requirements. These stoves may be so poorly designed that the cat could be destroyed by bad design decisions much faster than the 12000 hours. Good cat stoves can be a great experience but crappy cat stoves would be a bad experience. So be sure to ask us about the particular stove you are considering so that we can help you try to avoid those bad ones. Plus, it’s fun to help you choose!

Softwoods like pine and fir are just fine. I think we are both in a climate with a long but not terribly cold burning season.
 

Newburnerwisconsin

Feeling the Heat
Jul 8, 2015
439
wisconsin
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I’m building my own hearth pad, so I’ve researched the clearances/r values. They only require a R value of 0.8 for the prigress hybrid. (Down to 04. Something with the iptional ash lip). Thats only 1” of cement board plus tile.

mostly, I’m worried that I won’t be able to “turn down” the T6 if we’re getting roasted out of the room. I like fires/fireplaces/wood/science/technical jargon and would find the tweaking of the hybrid interesting. My wife, however, would like to heat the house when I’m at work when the power goes out on her and our 3 boys.
I have been over this same problem myself. I can relate to what you are going through. Your wife is very smart to think that way about the power outages. I took a real hard look at the PH but I decided to pass on the catalytic stove. First, there is the installation issue. I am very rural and basically by myself as far as the install goes. This makes the Woodstock a bigger and much more expensive challenge. Once I get the stove off the truck, then I have to get it in the house and on the hearth. Next I have to attach the stove pipe. I even called a moving company to help me with the stove, but that was another $500 to the total cost. So I decided to pass on Woodstock. They look like great products and the people here like them, but it was just not the right choice for me.

My wife runs my stove now too. I respect her opinion. We like the low maintenance and ease of use of the non-cat. Also with some manufacturers, the cost of replacement cats keeps rising so for us, we went with a non-cat.
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
Thanks Highbeam. Unless something changes in the next 24 hours, I'm getting the progress hybrid from woodstock.

One more question: How does one clean the stovepipe from below with the Progress Hybrid? Will I need to remove the pipe from the stove to sweep it? Is there some sort of connection that would facilitate annual removal of the stovepipe?

Newburner: I'm having the same thoughts on moving the stove, etc. I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it. Its going to be quite the "adventure", but I can tell my grandkids someday how grandpa got that hernia and collapsed the sub-floor all in the same day.

Its cold, the power is about to go out. I need to just get this thing done.

Thanks again everyone.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,845
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I use a sooteater chimney brush system shoved through the loading door for both of my stoves with all vertical flues. If this is not possible with the PH then you will need to collapse the slip joint in your double wall flue system and if necessary remove a chunk in order to get the sooteater into the flue.

I’ve never read about anybody not liking the PH. It’s the flagship Woodstock model and the best they could do. I burned a noncat stone stove for about 30 cords. It is a pretty material and with the better design of a cat stove it should be a pleasant experience.
 

toddnic

Minister of Fire
Jul 13, 2013
748
North Carolina
Thanks Highbeam. Unless something changes in the next 24 hours, I'm getting the progress hybrid from woodstock.

One more question: How does one clean the stovepipe from below with the Progress Hybrid? Will I need to remove the pipe from the stove to sweep it? Is there some sort of connection that would facilitate annual removal of the stovepipe?

Newburner: I'm having the same thoughts on moving the stove, etc. I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it. Its going to be quite the "adventure", but I can tell my grandkids someday how grandpa got that hernia and collapsed the sub-floor all in the same day.

Its cold, the power is about to go out. I need to just get this thing done.

Thanks again everyone.
Definitely a good decision! You won't regret it. FYI, there are numerous posts on this forum regarding how to move the PH. Two of us installed mine. You just have to use your head and not your back :)
 

trguitar

Feeling the Heat
Dec 2, 2011
257
Harvard, MA
My PH is rear vented with a tee. It is very easy to clean from the bottom. Just open up the bottom of the tee, and I have a straight shot all the way up.

You will not regret getting the PH. I had high expectations before getting mine, and it has exceeded them. I absolutely love it. I wouldn't get another stove (except for the IS).
 

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
My PH is rear vented with a tee. It is very easy to clean from the bottom. Just open up the bottom of the tee, and I have a straight shot all the way up.

You will not regret getting the PH. I had high expectations before getting mine, and it has exceeded them. I absolutely love it. I wouldn't get another stove (except for the IS).
I'm calling today to place the order. I got an email from Mike at woodstock that the shipping is only going to be $200 instead of $800 because of the winter sale. Since I have the option with my setup for rear or top vent, would it be wiser to set it up as a rear-vent with a "T" for cleaning, or would it be better to maximize draft and keep the straight shot out the roof? The chimney will be about 25' straight up. We do get high winds frequently (monthly or more) of 40 - 50 MPH as we're up on a ridge at 6,800'. We will be installing some sort of high wind cap because I'm worried about downdrafts when this happens (which will also be when the power goes out and we really need the stove to be running).

I spent all of yesterday dispensing 3 cans of "great stuff" foam crack sealer and one tube of caulking. It was one of those windy days and you could stand in our kitchen and have your hair blown like you were driving a convertible.

Thanks again for your help,
Adam
 

snaple4

Burning Hunk
Dec 18, 2017
215
AR
I'm calling today to place the order. I got an email from Mike at woodstock that the shipping is only going to be $200 instead of $800 because of the winter sale. Since I have the option with my setup for rear or top vent, would it be wiser to set it up as a rear-vent with a "T" for cleaning, or would it be better to maximize draft and keep the straight shot out the roof? The chimney will be about 25' straight up. We do get high winds frequently (monthly or more) of 40 - 50 MPH as we're up on a ridge at 6,800'. We will be installing some sort of high wind cap because I'm worried about downdrafts when this happens (which will also be when the power goes out and we really need the stove to be running).

I spent all of yesterday dispensing 3 cans of "great stuff" foam crack sealer and one tube of caulking. It was one of those windy days and you could stand in our kitchen and have your hair blown like you were driving a convertible.

Thanks again for your help,
Adam
I would ask Woodstock about the draft and bottom up cleaning. I have asked them several questions even though I don’t own their stove yet and they have great answers. Just make sure to post the answer.

Your house sounds like my old house. 1970 Huge split level home. It was always cold in that place. it was a calm day with those periodic wind gusts as I was sitting at my desk in the master. You would hear the trees start to rustle and about that time you would feel the air flowing through the room. Loved the house but glad I moved.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,845
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I'm calling today to place the order. I got an email from Mike at woodstock that the shipping is only going to be $200 instead of $800 because of the winter sale. Since I have the option with my setup for rear or top vent, would it be wiser to set it up as a rear-vent with a "T" for cleaning, or would it be better to maximize draft and keep the straight shot out the roof? The chimney will be about 25' straight up. We do get high winds frequently (monthly or more) of 40 - 50 MPH as we're up on a ridge at 6,800'. We will be installing some sort of high wind cap because I'm worried about downdrafts when this happens (which will also be when the power goes out and we really need the stove to be running).
We get huge winds here between the gaps of the cascade mountain range and I've never had wind blow down the chimney. The wind usually increases draft. A regular chimney cap should be fine.

Myself, I would always opt for the fully vertical chimney. With a tee on the back you need to pull the stove much farther out on the hearth.

Can anybody with a PH tell us whether they could shove the sooteater into the loading door and up through the bypass and into the top vent? I feel like it would be impossible but surely somebody has tried.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woody Stover

Tahoe

New Member
Oct 8, 2019
46
Tahoe
We get huge winds here between the gaps of the cascade mountain range and I've never had wind blow down the chimney. The wind usually increases draft. A regular chimney cap should be fine.

Myself, I would always opt for the fully vertical chimney. With a tee on the back you need to pull the stove much farther out on the hearth.

Can anybody with a PH tell us whether they could shove the sooteater into the loading door and up through the bypass and into the top vent? I feel like it would be impossible but surely somebody has tried.
i feel the same way about going straight up. I’d rather have to fuss with cleaning than with burning. Someone had sent me an offline message saying it was necessary to disconnect the stove pipe. I’ll clarify when I talk to Woodstock today.
adam