Quadra-fire isle royale vs 4300

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Jan 5, 2018
Nw Connecticut
When we moved to our “new home 6 years ago it came with a isle royale and never have used it! My wife has asthma and has been against wood due to the side affects. Our neighbor has told us that the PO had a lot of smoke in the basement, so my wife is against the IR. The neighbor has a 4300 and she has visited in the winter months with no issues.

What’s the difference between the 2 ?

A new 4300 is 2500$ and about 2-3 month wait. What is a 10 year old Isle Royale with little use worth?

We are in southern New England and would run wood November to march oil would keep us warm when the wood goes out and for the cool mornings into late April.

Our home is a 1500sq ft raised ranch with 800 Sq ft or so more in the basement where the stove is. There is no door between the two levels.

Quadra-fire isle royale vs 4300
They are entirely different stoves. The IR is a wonderful big heater and a real beauty. It was made by Dovre for Quadrafire and has some excellent castings. The 4300 is a conventional large steel stove. Moderator Jags has an IR.

The issue with smoke coming out from the stove is likely due to negative pressure in the basement and not the stove. If so, a replacement stove would still have this issue. An easy-breathing stove from Drolet/Osburn, Pacific Energy, Regency might work better if draft is weak due this problem. Or, it may be helped by improving the flue system. Tell us about how the stove is vented from stovetop to chimney cap including heights, and chimney liner dimensions. Another thing that can affect the stove draft can be air leakage on the floor above the basement. Leaky windows, attic vents, etc. can cause negative pressure in the basement.

As for value, someone that knows this stove would grab it quickly. The stove looks almost new. Clean up the rust on the top griddle with steel wool and a little mineral oil. In Sept I would sell it for $1500-2000.

PS: I am wondering if the "smoke" was the paint baking in? If so, that will clear after a few hot fires that take the stove up to 500-600º. If you can do this when the wife is out of the house and put a fan in a window to exhaust the fumes, then the stove may perform well. Do you have the manual for the stove?
Thanks for the reply, I do have the manual,

The chimney is in the center of the house and masonry construction. I’ll pull the stove pipe and get a ID of the flue. I’m guessing it to be around 20-25 feet straight up. I don’t remember what is at the top and it’s a thunder storm here now….

We added spray in foam insolation in the attic before our first winter, I’m sure this sealed up the attic much better then before. The house was built in 85 and the doors/windows all appear to be original. Drafts around the windows are a real thing, I would like to replace but they are not cheep!

I’ll talk to the neighbor maybe he was here for first start up!?!
A central, interior chimney is good. The first few fires will be increasingly smokey, from the paint baking in. These should be done in a series of bake-in fires from just kindling, to say 4- 2" splits, to larger wood, taking the stove up to 250º, then cool, then up to 400º, then cool, then 500º. The paint won't really bake in until the stove has reached 500+º. Make sure that the bypass is open for the first 2 fires. Note that draft may be weak until it drops below 40 or 45º outside if negative pressure is present.

This thread in the DIY forum may be helpful. Pointdexter has made a science of indoor air quality. He has some previous threads on building filters, but this one has posted the excellent results.

PS: where in NW CT? I used to live in Cornwall.
Storm ended and I took a walk out to the garage for the nut driver. The stove pipe in the basement came apart like it was new. Issue looks new too! The chimney is 6” round looking straight up I see daylight so it confirmed it’s a straight shot up. We have 3 flu’s this is the center.

I texted the neighbor, he didn’t know if he was there for first start or how often she used it before we bought. The manual was dated October 2010 and we bought in spring 2016, it was not in use whenever we came pre-purchase. It could very well be in need of paint burn off.

The air filter is a great idea! My wife wanted to buy a 200$ air filter, I will be making one of these! I had better get the fan before they sell out for the summer!

I’m Harwinton born and raised, still here!

Quadra-fire isle royale vs 4300
It should work fairly well unless there are negative pressure issues. Is this an exterior wall chimney?

I remember Harwinton. That's a nice area.
Ike I said in the earlier reply it’s in the center of the house. I’m thinking I’ll try the IR and if things don’t work so well, look into something a year from now.🤞
Ike I said in the earlier reply it’s in the center of the house.
I wasn't sure, the chimney picture looked like it might be on an outside wall.
I’m thinking I’ll try the IR and if things don’t work so well, look into something a year from now.🤞
I would do the same. The IR is a great stove. It was on the shortlist for our house, but it was too radiant for our corner install. The clearances didn't work out.
The ir has been a trouble free workhorse for me. I dont have a problem with smoke unless I reload too early.
The ir has been a trouble free workhorse for me. I dont have a problem with smoke unless I reload too early.
Twenty years of service is admirable. Do you mostly top-load?
Might have been a cool fire from wet wood that never got the draft started.

Could be pushing into a 8x12 flue too.
OP says it's 6"r all the way up. By the looks of the grates, this stove has barely been used. Maybe they tried lighting it on a mild 50º day? I'm hoping it's paint that needs baking and they can enjoy this beauty for years to come.
I’m with you on the paint! I didn’t get on the roof, it has been in the 90’s for a few days now. From the basement it looks like a straight shot there is no other access then the basement and the roof.

This will be my first stove that is “sideways” or top loading. None had glass doors and all had a single door, on the small end, not the long. Any tips would be helpful here!

Most of my stove time has been actually with a wood furnace that dad just pulled from their basement. It worked quite well and I’m sad to see him switch to pellets. At 75 having the pellets delivered and feed every few days makes sense. My parents harman:

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Jags has been running the stove for 20 yrs. He can give you the best guidance. When we had a top loader I just gently dropped in the splits once a coal bed was established. Get yourself a pair of long-sleeved leather gloves. VC dealers sell them and welder gloves also work. Some folks load theirs from the front door too.
I rarely top load. I do the batch burn method and find that I get better loads using the front doors.
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Yes there was a fan option. I have it but dont use it much. Mostly I will use it to bring down stove temps if i it gets high.

Good dry wood and a properly operating flue (as with most stoves), and the ir is a heating little monster.
I just wanted to pop back in here and say thank you all for talking me into keeping the Isle Royale. When the fall came and it got cooler, we began firing the stove for short burns just to keep up the temps, then let the fire run out. As the fall turned to early winter, it is still doing its job, currently 72 in the living room. Overnight lows in the high teens earlier this week and still no oil use! Still day time highs close to 40 so still along way to go this winter, but so far so good!

Quadra-fire isle royale vs 4300
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I just re-skimmed the entire topic.

I do believe that the smoke 10 years ago was from baking in the paint.
My wife spent the money before I made my own filter…. She has 3 air filters a large on in the basement near the stove (rarely used) a slightly smaller one in the living room, more use. And a small air filter in the bed room, this gets left on overnight and whenever she is around. Also a humidifier next to the bed.

I do have a box fan moving cool air from the bed rooms to the living room witch is closest the stove.
It's a beautiful stove and a powerful heater. It was on my A list when looking at big stoves.
As I relight this morning, I laugh at “big stove” I think of this as a small stove!

I am still having a hard time keeping it going overnight, most nights I fill it around 9 my wife tops it off whenever she comes to bed. At 5 when I get up it’s a small bed of ashes at best, most mornings I can’t get it going again with newspapers and cardboard. I’ll try that first then relight. With the side load and 2 doors I find it hard to fully pack the stove though….
Side load???
Top and front for sure,
Depends on what your fuel is and air settings are. I can burn through the first load in 3 or 4 hours if so inclined, but with a decent coal load using dry oak and stuffed full and tuned down I can run overnight with an easy morning relight with no issues.
Yeah side ways splits the stove gets wider and then skinny again, I’m not a fan of the fire box shape.
Oak! Yes, we run a mix the oak with air intake cut all the way down is the only way we can get anywhere close to a overnight burn. We have very little seasoned oak for this winter.