Quadra-Fire Stoves-similar but different models...

mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Hi Everyone...
Have a question regarding Quadra-Fire stoves and looking for a little advice. I am definitely going with a Quadra-Fire stove for a few reasons. I've been comparing stoves, looking into my choices. Looking to heat 1300-1500 square feet, long as it stays 45-50 degree's or higher I'm all set. Well insulated building, heats pretty well really. Would like the option of warming the space up more but not a must, given how stove ratings are almost always exaggerated I think I'm looking in the proper size range with the 2.3 cf firebox.

There seems to be a few Quadra-Fire stoves with nearly the exact same specs, and I believe the same technology. The Discovery 3 for instance according to the specs is same as the 4300 step top...same also as the 4300 Millennium. Is there something I'm missing as far as the technology or are all these pretty much the same stove except for the aesthetics? If it's just looks I'll just go with the most reasonably priced stove, just making sure I'm not missing anything?

I had considered going with the Adventure 2 but simpler is better in this case....although the Adventure stoves sure do look interesting it doesn't make sense to pay extra for tech that I don't need. But taking a glance at online reviews it seems like you either love them or hate them. I suppose that's with most anything anymore though when it comes to reviews.

Love to hear your thoughts on the similar stoves though...Thank you.
Mark
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,610
Central Mass
Are you heating a workshop or house?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,797
South Puget Sound, WA
It's common for a stove mfg. to put the same firebox in different packages to satisfy different tastes and budgets.
 
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mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Are you heating a workshop or house?
Let's just call it an outbuilding....hesitant to call it anything else, last time I posted the entire thread became all about what type of building should be called a garage and what type of building should be called a shop etc...just heating a large open space :)

I was just curious mainly why the company would offer a few models with the same specs and the few I looked at were all priced comparatively the same, within $100 or so of each other...
 

David.Ervin

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2014
258
O-H
I've got an older 4300 millennium in an uninsulated (yes, I know) basement that's about 1200 sq ft, and the heat will run you right out of there if you want it to. An outbuilding with any insulation at all will be kept plenty warm by that kind of BTU output. Mine doesn't have the automatic air controls, just levers you move to open and close them and 4 reburn tubes in the top of the firebox. Dead simple to start and run, just don't forget to close it down once its going. If you're looking at the technology of the stove, just pick something you can reasonably and safely use, and remember you don't have to use the fancy timers and whatnot if you don't turn them on.
 
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mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
I've got an older 4300 millennium in an uninsulated (yes, I know) basement that's about 1200 sq ft, and the heat will run you right out of there if you want it to. An outbuilding with any insulation at all will be kept plenty warm by that kind of BTU output. Mine doesn't have the automatic air controls, just levers you move to open and close them and 4 reburn tubes in the top of the firebox. Dead simple to start and run, just don't forget to close it down once its going. If you're looking at the technology of the stove, just pick something you can reasonably and safely use, and remember you don't have to use the fancy timers and whatnot if you don't turn them on.
Thank you for that David. Actually, if that stove will heat a space with that much concrete around I am certain it'll take care of what I need it to. That helps put me on the right track.

I heat my 2600 sq ft home solely with an RSF Opal so I'm ahead of the curve when it comes to burning with wood.

It's not so much that I'm afraid of the technology, but fast getting to the point of not wanting to depend on anyone or anything. Last fall my "third leg" (220) power went out in my shop (sorry, outbuilding :) I did everything but beg to get a couple electricians to come fix the problem but everyone was busy. I was told don't worry, the remaining power will be fine until next spring. Went over yesterday morning and all power was out. I have heat in the floor. Between waiting for an electrician to come fix this, and even when he does we live in a rural area at the very end of a line where it's not unusual for the power to go out 6-8 hours at a time or get power surges etc, and multiple times the LP gas company has let my tank run dry even though I'm on automatic refill, I just figured what the heck, time to get this wood stove done once and for all. At the very least then I will have heat in the building. My insurance company has given me the okay, so I'm heading up to talk with a gentleman today about a new stove.

Going with a Quadra-Fire product because that's what he sells, and this is a gentleman I have dealt with before, I know him well enough to trust him and that he'll take care of me if there is ever a problem.

I should also add, I have seen mixed reviews on the "Adventure" line of stoves, and I'm not naive, I know their findings are always exaggerated, but wow, 20-40 hours burn time on those....even if they're half right that would be impressive....may have to learn a bit more about those while I'm up there....I looked at the Sorroco stoves, 20 & 30 models, and no doubt they are impressive stoves, but can't justify spending that kind of money for this particular building....
 

mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Well folks,
I did something out of character today. Almost the opposite of what I said I was going to do. I ordered the Quadra-Fire Adventure ll stove. I was told by my dealer that if necessary, if the "fancy electronics" or whatever give me any trouble it is easy to bypass them and run it just like any other stove. I had also thought that technology was going to cost me an arm and a leg, but there was only a few hundred dollars difference between this and the 4300 step top. I'll miss that ash pan but with the notion that it might be possible to get anywhere near a 20 hour burn time I'll take that chance for a few hundred dollars every day of the week.

I'm sure looking forward to getting this hooked up and learn more about it. If I have half as good of luck with this stove as I have had with my RSF Opal I'll be one happy customer...

If anyone has any tips or comments good or bad on the Adventure line, I'd love to hear them. Thank you.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,797
South Puget Sound, WA
And so the Adventure begins. Keep us posted.
 
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timfromohio

Minister of Fire
Aug 20, 2007
640
Please post again once you start using the stove. Also, you probably won't miss the ash pan. They are more trouble than they are worth in my opinion! I have an Explorer 2 and am pleased after 3 heating seasons with it. Best of luck!
 

mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Hey guys,
First, thanks for bringing this to my attention Jetsam, this is a post I was thinking of adding awhile back, then I thought maybe I'd wait until I used the stove more, but perhaps you guys might be able to lend a hand with a problem I was having...so please, consider this an "ongoing review" for now...

After having this stove installed last winter. I used it only 7-8 times. I'm still undecided as to whether or not it was a good purchase. I'll take that back the day I get those 12-18 hour burns you guys are talking about! At the moment I'll stay disappointed just because I hate having to mess with stuff like this. There is a learning curve to every stove you'll ever use, but as for "smartest stove you'll ever use", I haven't seen that part yet. Thought I'd share with you my limited experiences with this so far. I'm actually thinking the problem is in the electronics somewhere?...there's clearly comething going on to my way of thinking, and within the next couple weeks I'll get after my dealer to take care of it.

Stove does throw a tremendous amount of heat, seems like it will be way plenty enough to heat my shop, though I haven't used it in any extreme temps yet. Was usually around 15-20 degree's when using last spring. My problem is how to get the fire under control. At least a half dozen times I was able to spend several hours building a nice hot red bed of coals. Once a hotbed of coals was established, I'd push the button, load the stove up, and let it go but keeping a close eye on it. When doing this, I always made sure the shop temps were below what the thermostat was calling for. All I could get the stove to do was burn all out and I wasn't trying for that, i'm looking for that nice even all night 20 hour advertised burn. At 20 degree's outside It would quite easily cruise past the temps I had programmed into the thermostat. The only way I could get it to temper itself and shut the air down was to do it manually. And therein lies the problem.

No matter what I tryed, the red light stays off and the stove still called for heat. If I set the thermostat at 65 or whatever I set it at, the stove would cruise right on past that and burn all out up to 70-75-80 etc. Within a few hours the entire contents of the stove would be burnt up, not just to coals but to ash. I always kept careful watch that there was no overfire, this stove does seem to do a good job of staying cool all around it.

There was a couple days where after it cruised past the set temp by 10-15 degree's I pulled the pin and shut the air down manually and immediately you could see the secondary's kick in and act as it should. So bottom line, the stove wasn't recognizing that the called for temperature had been reached.

The dealer I purchased this from has a place along the Mississippi River and last spring he had an awful lot of terrible flooding to deal with. I have no doubt he's still dealing with the aftermath of that. He's a great guy so I'm not worried, he'll get me straightened out, and I'm looking forward to that.

That's it for now, I see a few posts where others have dealt with this sort of thing, chime in guys, would love to hear what you did to get it all figured out.

TimfromOhio--I agree, I don't think I'll miss the ashpan, easy enough to remove a few scoops of ash here and there.
 

mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Hey guys...
I figured it was high time for an update here. Been a lot colder up here in northern IL than usual so plenty of time to use the stove. When I was using it last spring, it would cruise through a full load of wood in 3-4 hours and you couldn't slow the stove down for nothing.

I took the time to go to my dealer a couple wks back (who I consider to be exceptional). He offered to come out immediately, but before I let him do that, we called support at Quadra-Fire. Super nice gentleman! He said check it out, make sure no wires crossed etc, and if all was hooked up right, almost had to be the motherboard. My dealer is 45 minutes away, and I didn't want to cost him the trip, so the tech sent us a troubleshooting tip sheet. I ended up going home and just took a look at the wiring. All was hooked up perfectly. BUT...I wiggled each connection, and part of the problem solved itself as I heard the air control open soon as I did that. Seems a loose wire connection was at least a part of the problem.

Been burning steady the last two weeks, and there is still a little problem, but I like what I see so far. Like tonight, set thermostat for 70 degree's, loaded 1 1/2 hrs ago, just checked, garage is 81 degree's, air is closed down all but about a third. But it shouldn't be calling for heat, so it should be shut down completely. Green light still on, so the electronics are still calling for heat, at least in a small way, and it shouldn't be calling for any heat at all, so right at the moment I'm in "wasting wood mode". No where near over-firing though, this stove now seems to do a real good job towards that end.

So because of this, it burns the wood too quick, though I have to tell you, even with the small problem, I do like what I see. I do expect it will shut the air off completely and drag the time of the burn out by at least a few hours. Not quite ready to say I wish I hadn't bought the one with the electronics just yet, I don't give up easy :) If we can get the electronics figured out, I'm thinking burn times are going to increase 3-4 fold! I'm not giving up till I hit that 20 hour threshold I was promised...and I think that is attainable if the stove learns to control the air better.

One observation, this stove throws heat like crazy! Coldest it has been is 17-18 degree's so far, so this isn't exactly the best test, but even that night, it kept my garage above 70 all night long. That's heating 1500 sq ft of garage, 10 foot ceilings, and three 7X12 overhead doors. I consider this an ongoing review, be back when I have more news....hopefully the good kind.
DSC_2072.JPG

Mark
 
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mtj53

Member
Feb 16, 2009
74
Northwest Illinois
Also a friendly service reminder for you guys... Only used this stove 6-8 times last spring. This year, I started my first fire without checking, but when it wasn't lighting/burning real well, I shut it down and removed the contents of the stove. I also wanted to see how that section of chimney worked that slides up and down, and I certainly wasn't expecting to find anything, and i ended up cleaning 5 foot of birds nests out of the chimney! Bottom foot was pure black from the smoke that backed up. 3 different birds nests actually....little buggers must of worked all summer hard as they could. So don't do what I did, check your chimneys before starting your fire!
DSC_2054.JPG
Ironically enough, on my house chimney, I've never had a bird nest (knock on wood), but on this one i had 5 foot of it!
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,268
central pa
Hey guys...
I figured it was high time for an update here. Been a lot colder up here in northern IL than usual so plenty of time to use the stove. When I was using it last spring, it would cruise through a full load of wood in 3-4 hours and you couldn't slow the stove down for nothing.

I took the time to go to my dealer a couple wks back (who I consider to be exceptional). He offered to come out immediately, but before I let him do that, we called support at Quadra-Fire. Super nice gentleman! He said check it out, make sure no wires crossed etc, and if all was hooked up right, almost had to be the motherboard. My dealer is 45 minutes away, and I didn't want to cost him the trip, so the tech sent us a troubleshooting tip sheet. I ended up going home and just took a look at the wiring. All was hooked up perfectly. BUT...I wiggled each connection, and part of the problem solved itself as I heard the air control open soon as I did that. Seems a loose wire connection was at least a part of the problem.

Been burning steady the last two weeks, and there is still a little problem, but I like what I see so far. Like tonight, set thermostat for 70 degree's, loaded 1 1/2 hrs ago, just checked, garage is 81 degree's, air is closed down all but about a third. But it shouldn't be calling for heat, so it should be shut down completely. Green light still on, so the electronics are still calling for heat, at least in a small way, and it shouldn't be calling for any heat at all, so right at the moment I'm in "wasting wood mode". No where near over-firing though, this stove now seems to do a real good job towards that end.

So because of this, it burns the wood too quick, though I have to tell you, even with the small problem, I do like what I see. I do expect it will shut the air off completely and drag the time of the burn out by at least a few hours. Not quite ready to say I wish I hadn't bought the one with the electronics just yet, I don't give up easy :) If we can get the electronics figured out, I'm thinking burn times are going to increase 3-4 fold! I'm not giving up till I hit that 20 hour threshold I was promised...and I think that is attainable if the stove learns to control the air better.

One observation, this stove throws heat like crazy! Coldest it has been is 17-18 degree's so far, so this isn't exactly the best test, but even that night, it kept my garage above 70 all night long. That's heating 1500 sq ft of garage, 10 foot ceilings, and three 7X12 overhead doors. I consider this an ongoing review, be back when I have more news....hopefully the good kind.
View attachment 250744

Mark
Your oak really can't go up and out like that