quadrafire 5100i or blaze king princess insert

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Rudy1

Member
Sep 9, 2017
4
central pa
Hi guys have been reading this site for quite some time learned a lot and now I'm hoping I'm posting this in the correct spot. been burning wood for three years now in an old baker woodstove insert. its a pre EPA stove so no secondary combustion. don't know anything about what kind of btu's it put out. it does a good job at keeping the house warm all day long actually can cook us out at times. house is currently about 1400 square feet. with possibly adding 400 in near future.

I have spent hours looking at the Quadra fire 5100 because of the long burn times. and I like the appearance of it. I know there gonna be a little exaggerated but there saying 14 hour burn times on low of course. but then I started looking at the blaze king princess insert and far longer low burn times. I guess what I'm asking is will the blaze king keep up with the quad when the temps get real cold. what's throwing me off is Quadra fire is saying peak btu hr output of 67000 btus while the princess is showing me only constant output for 9 hours of 39000 btus. I know the two stoves operate on completely different bases one with burn tubes the other with catalytic. in my understanding the quad would be like my current stove and be at its hottest for probably the first two to three hours making the stove room hot as heck and start to dive down. where as the princess would be more consistent.

I'm gone from 4 am till 5 or 6 pm so I want something that's gonna go for a while when loaded. my wife leaves around 9 or 10 she could always throw a couple pieces in but with the princess would she really have to open the bypass or would she be fine just throwing it in and leaving it be. reason I ask is she's really bad at adjusting the draft I don't know how many times she's had our all but closed when I come home. any input is appreciated.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
903
Iowa
Welcome to Hearth. You may want to elaborate on your home layout. Insulation/window, home sealing quality. Main floor or basement install. Is the existing masonry chimney correctly lined with a stainless liner now or is it part of your plan? Lots of details will encourage responses here. Definitely search both stove models here as well. Definitely take all the time you need to research your options. Enjoy.
 

Rudy1

Member
Sep 9, 2017
4
central pa
Stove is located on the main floor at one end of a ranch house. I can get heat to the opposite end perty good. Going to be adding on so the house will go from being a straight house to an L shape thatll put the stove close to center. I have a 7 inch insulated liner. I don't have a block off plate but will when I replace stove. working on replacement windows have about half of them done. Insulation is average for 70s ranch in pa. Going to add more when I get there just haven't yet. I've seen lots of reviews on the blaze king but quadrafire 5100 don't seem to find much alot of 4100 but not much on the 5100. Home does have a hot water boiler system but I try not to use until we hit zero and negative temps.then I run it some to keep pipes from freezing along exterior walls.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
Might also look at the Regency F3500 and F5100.
 

Rudy1

Member
Sep 9, 2017
4
central pa
Looking for an insert. As far as I know them two regency stoves are free standing and I wouldnt have room to put them in with the pedistool. I just happened to find more info after downloading owners manual for the quad that tells me better what the hourly btu rating is so I could compare it to the princes looks like the princess is going to win it'll crank more heat per hour than the quad and burn longer on low than the quad.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
Right, I missed that, sorry for the tangent. The Regency i3100 is their largest that matches the Quad 5100 in size. The Pacific Energy Summit is also 3 cu ft and Lopi Freedom is 2.9 cu ft. Out of these the Princess will be best for burning at a lower steady output, but i think the others will outperform for maximum output when pushed.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
what's throwing me off is Quadra fire is saying peak btu hr output of 67000 btus while the princess is showing me only constant output for 9 hours of 39000 btus. I know the two stoves operate on completely different bases one with burn tubes the other with catalytic. in my understanding the quad would be like my current stove and be at its hottest for probably the first two to three hours making the stove room hot as heck and start to dive down. where as the princess would be more consistent.
Ha! glad you caught that peak output for an hour is pretty meaningless when your plan is to burn this thing all the time. You seem to have a good understanding of the stoves and are really bumping in to the classic cat vs. noncat debate.

I upgraded from a noncat to a cat stove because at my house the low output setting, all day long and constant from my cat stove was sufficient to keep my house warm and comfortable with 24 hour reloads which is very nice when you need to be away from the house all day. No babysitting. That low constant burn rate is awesome! I would rather keep a stove running on low with convenient 24 hour reloads and run the central furnace if needed than come home to a cold house after work. Luckily I don't have to do that, the low output setting is perfectly matched to my home's heat load for 95% of the year. When it's too cold for that I do as you suggest, open the door and toss in 4-5 splits on my way out the door in the morning. It's almost like a 12 hour reload but I'm just throwing in a few splits. Think of the firebox of a cat stove as a fuel tank.

There are very few catalytic inserts. The princess model insert from BK is the obvious choice. I'm not quite in love with the other BK inserts as they seem to be more for show.

As to the wife factor, on a cat stove she will need to open the bypass to throw more dry wood in and close the bypass after. But the draft is automatic on a blaze king so there is no need to mess with it. Pretty much load and go. Ideally, when you do a full reload you spend some time at full throttle to char the load before turning the stoves thermostat down to the low setting but the cat stoves are surprisingly tolerant of throwing in 4-5 splits to top up the fuel tank.

If you want to look at noncats I would strongly recommend the PE line. They have some very smart features that help with burn times and durability. My house would do well with the super in alderlea cast iron trim.
 
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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
9,973
Sand Lake, NY
I personally think that the facts that the catalyst stoves are more finicky to operate, and require occasional replacement of the catalysts are not positives.

On a high note, they both seem to satisfy my main criterium of having a deep enough firebox to load 16" splits front to back. :)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
I upgraded from a noncat to a cat stove because at my house the low output setting, all day long and constant from my cat stove was sufficient to keep my house warm and comfortable with 24 hour reloads which is very nice when you need to be away from the house all day. No babysitting. That low constant burn rate is awesome!
24 hr reloads during mild weather. Of course this will depend on the house, the area heated, the wood, desired interior temp and most importantly - the outside temperature. Many people report reload cycles of 8hrs during cold winter weather.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
24 hr reloads during mild weather. Of course this will depend on the house, the area heated, the wood, desired interior temp and most importantly - the outside temperature. Many people report reload cycles of 8hrs during cold winter weather.
No, 24 hour reloads during all weather except very cold weather. I thought my actual post was clear that if it's very cold out (like single digits) I will throw in 4-5 splits on my way out the door at the 12 hour point. It snowed today but I am on a 24 hour reload schedule and the house is in the 70s.

I only recall ever hearing of one guy doing 8 hour reloads and he was just partially loading his undersized stove box to fit his schedule. But heck, if you need to crank it up and burn a load on high for some reason, you can do that too!
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
During the cold snap back east, several owners were reporting 8 hr BK burn times, and 12 hr with temps around 30. It's simply a question of heat loss. There are lots of postings on this, not sure how they were missed. These folks were not partial loading. Here's just a few:
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/real-actual-burn-time.174189/#post-2341090
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/polar-vortex-aftermath-how’d-your-stove-do.174010/#post-2340262
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/polar-vortex-aftermath-how’d-your-stove-do.174010/#post-2338702
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,615
central pa
No, 24 hour reloads during all weather except very cold weather. I thought my actual post was clear that if it's very cold out (like single digits) I will throw in 4-5 splits on my way out the door at the 12 hour point. It snowed today but I am on a 24 hour reload schedule and the house is in the 70s.

I only recall ever hearing of one guy doing 8 hour reloads and he was just partially loading his undersized stove box to fit his schedule. But heck, if you need to crank it up and burn a load on high for some reason, you can do that too!
There have been many people other than me that need to load 3x a day. And the same sized noncat was not at all undersized for my home.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
During the cold snap back east, several owners were reporting 8 hr burn times, and 12 hr with temps around 30. It's simply a question of heat loss. There are lots of postings on this, not sure how they were missed. These folks were not partial loading.
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/real-actual-burn-time.174189/#post-2341090
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/polar-vortex-aftermath-how’d-your-stove-do.174010/#post-2340262
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/polar-vortex-aftermath-how’d-your-stove-do.174010/#post-2338702
Good references BG. They're all data points that the OP can use for the minimum burn times possible from a BK.

First one is at zero degrees he was down to 8 hour loads.
The second one was in fact partial loads "on plenty of coals" and at -15 degrees outside.
Third was at -14 outside maintaining 80 degrees in the house.

In those apocalyptic conditions during that storm I am actually quite impressed with the BK's ability to fully heat those homes with only 8 hour reloads. I am willing to bet that none of those data points include full length burns down to an inactive cat since at those dangerously low temperatures you want to keep the stove hot. So they're all almost certainly "partial loads". To be fair, a similar sized noncat making the same output would not have burned any longer. No magic here.

What I hope the OP doesn't miss is that the home's heat load has nothing to do with the stove's ability to run 24 hours on a single load. If, at whatever burn rate the operator chooses to keep the fire going while away from home, the stove can't quite keep up with the house's heat loss then the operator (or wall thermostat) would engage the home's central heat source to make up the difference. That never happens at my house. Even when very cold and I have to drop to 12 hour top-offs of the stove.

I think we're getting off in the weeds again. The OP wants the dang stove hot when he gets home from work. The stove is very capable of that nomatter what the weather is like. You astutely point out that the lower burn rate required to provide longer burns means that less heat is provided to the home. I agree.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,615
central pa
Good references BG. They're all data points that the OP can use for the minimum burn times possible from a BK.

First one is at zero degrees he was down to 8 hour loads.
The second one was in fact partial loads "on plenty of coals" and at -15 degrees outside.
Third was at -14 outside maintaining 80 degrees in the house.

In those apocalyptic conditions during that storm I am actually quite impressed with the BK's ability to fully heat those homes with only 8 hour reloads. I am willing to bet that none of those data points include full burns down to an inactive cat since at those dangerously low temperatures you want to keep the stove hot. So they're all almost certainly "partial loads". To be fair, a similar sized noncat making the same output would not have burned any longer.

What I hope the OP doesn't miss is that heat load has nothing to do with the stove's ability to run 24 hours on a single load. If, at whatever burn rate the operator chooses to keep the fire going while away from home, the stove can't quite keep up with the house's heat loss then the operator (or wall thermostat) would engage the home's central heat source to make up the difference. That never happens at my house. Even if I have to drop to 12 hour to-offs of the stove.

I think we're getting off in the weeds again. The OP wants the dang stove hot when he gets home from work. The stove is very capable of that. You astutely point out that the lower burn rate required to provide longer burns means that less heat is provided to the home. I agree.
No heat load has nothing to do with the stoves ability to run 24 hours with an active cat. But it does make a big difference if you actually want to heat your house with your stove.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,615
central pa
It doesn't really matter anyway the op got a princess and I am sure it will serve him well.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
No heat load has nothing to do with the stoves ability to run 24 hours with an active cat. But it does make a big difference if you actually want to heat your house with your stove.
Sometimes, as in this case, maintaining a 70 degree home 100% with wood is not the primary objective. The guy is not home to feed ANY stove. He wants a hot stove when he gets home 14+ hours later. I guarantee that he will be heating his house. Maybe 100% with his stove or maybe less. That depends on the heat loss from his home.
 
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MTASH

Member
Dec 24, 2018
53
Montana
The second one was in fact partial loads "on plenty of coals" and at -15 degrees outside.
This was me. Windchill was also in the -30F range during that period. During +30F weather, I can easily get 20 hour burns, in fact I did on only my second attempt at loading and operating the stove after we installed it. I'm certain I could get 24 hours if I was better at Tetris, in fact I'm going to play with that this spring when temps warm back up. I will also be into a stack of splits that are more uniform and easier to load than some of the random odd-sized stuff I've been into lately.

I should also note that my definition of burn is keeping my house between 68-74F and has nothing to do with the cat or coals.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
Good references BG. They're all data points that the OP can use for the minimum burn times possible from a BK.

First one is at zero degrees he was down to 8 hour loads.
The second one was in fact partial loads "on plenty of coals" and at -15 degrees outside.
Third was at -14 outside maintaining 80 degrees in the house.

In those apocalyptic conditions during that storm I am actually quite impressed with the BK's ability to fully heat those homes with only 8 hour reloads. .
You didn't catch the first posting of the fellow getting 12 hr burn times at 32F and 8 at 0 degrees. There are many more, but I am not going to spend more time on this. It's simply a matter of heat loss and demand.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,217
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
This was me. Windchill was also in the -30F range during that period. During +30F weather, I can easily get 20 hour burns, in fact I did on only my second attempt at loading and operating the stove after we installed it. I'm certain I could get 24 hours if I was better at Tetris, in fact I'm going to play with that this spring when temps warm back up. I will also be into a stack of splits that are more uniform and easier to load than some of the random odd-sized stuff I've been into lately.
Nice! When everything is properly done including sizing the stove, installing a good flue system, and proper fuel quality these things are surprisingly easy to operate and get excellent results.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,615
central pa
Sometimes, as in this case, maintaining a 70 degree home 100% with wood is not the primary objective. The guy is not home to feed ANY stove. He wants a hot stove when he gets home 14+ hours later. I guarantee that he will be heating his house. Maybe 100% with his stove or maybe less. That depends on the heat loss from his home.
You can gaurantee all you want but he lives a few mins away from me with a 1970s ranch similar to mine. And for me when it's cold there is no way I can heat 100% with the princess burning 14 hours.
Will it do the job? Yes I am sure it will but I would bet he won't be running 24 hour cycles
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,568
South Puget Sound, WA
Closing thread. OP has purchased stove, 'nuf said.
 
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