QUADRAFIRE 5700 metal problems???

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flueguyPA

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
19
Central PA
I've shared with Sniper that I went ahead and had the cracks in the stove welded and put the stove back into service. I didn't have time to play around with Quadrafire since it was cold and I wanted heat in the house. If the welds don't hold I might try drilling and plating the crack next. So far though the stove is working ok. It's clear that Quadrafire won't help their customers and if we want heat and we can't afford to throw the stove away we have to do something. I only wish Regency would come out with a stove that took 24 inch logs!

If someone wants to take it to a lawyer and has the patience to see it through they're welcome to the pictures I've posted here along with any info I can give them. If anyone knows how to put a notice on the web for anyone that has a problem with Quads and directs them to this site should give it a go.
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
Here are the pictures of cracks on my Quadrafire 5700 Step Top. The unit is 7 years old and I have used it conservatively. It has never been aggressively used or over-fired and I am certain of this fact. It still looks good with the exception of the cracks. The pictures include the air channel crack in the very back and the cracked outer sides of the combustion chamber. (That is a flashlight shining on the air channel crack and not discoloration). I inspect the inside of the chamber often and the inner crack developed in the last month or so. I did not have the notion to check behind the shields until reading here. Indeed, there are cracks on both sides. I would encourage people who have this stove to inspect the sides behind the shield... but there is a problem to easily inspect some newer models.

My other newer 5700 Quadrafire stove has its right and left shields welded so to inspect it is more complicated. One must remove the rear bolts and bend the shield back while inspecting with a flashlight. The cracks can be seen and felt if they are present. I wonder why Quadrafire made the change of welding the shields?

I should also add that the chimney and unit are cleaned each year and that I have only burned well-seasoned wood. I note that the Limited Lifetime Warranty has a maximum period of 10 years. I wonder what the useful life of a wood stove typically is?
 

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flueguyPA

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
19
Central PA
My last stove was a Quad 3100 made in 1995; it still works good as new. That stove was made way before the present owners took over the company and put profits over quality. As a matter of fact I have almost completed the refinishing of the stove and it will be up for sale on Ebay soon. Looks almost as good as new.

From a guy who makes his living in the heating business I can tell you that I've seen good functioning stoves that were well over 15 years old and older.
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
I have been in contact with the dealer regarding my cracked Quadrafire 5700. He had me send several photos of the burn chamber and Quadrafire is decidedly covering it under warranty. Honestly speaking, the dealer has been quick and responsive so far. They are replacing the unit with a new one in about 10 days and I have to use the same door on my original unit. They are charging $100 to paint it the same custom color as my original, and $250 to install it and take away the old one. I think this is fair and in accordance with the written warranty I received. I will keep this group appraised of how things turn out.

Now some other interesting news: The newer Quadrafire 5700s (and maybe others too) have limiters that control the intensity of the burn. This apparently keeps the units from getting too hot and causing the cracking problems we have faced on this thread. Those brick tabs is what the manufacturer uses to determine if the units have been over-fired. "If they are eroded or gone the unit has been over-fired" according to the dealer. Seems to me, however, that if a crack occurred or if a gasket failed, the unit may over-fire without the user even knowing or even having the ability of controlling the problem. Also, the manual states: "If the chimney connector or stove glows red or even worse, white, the stove is overfired." It says nothing about the the erosion of brick tabs which would be good for consumers to know.

More later. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
WarmHouse
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,279
South Puget Sound, WA
The tab erosion only indicates that there is an air leak nearby. It is not a sign of operator negligence from what I can see so far.

Do you know how the new 5700 "limiters" work? Is there documentation on this change?
 

RonB

Feeling the Heat
Feb 14, 2007
304
Southwest MI
BeGreen said:
The tab erosion only indicates that there is an air leak nearby. It is not a sign of operator negligence from what I can see so far.

Do you know how the new 5700 "limiters" work? Is there documentation on this change?

I would surmise that the "limiters" that is being referred to is the new style, spring-wound, timed, start up air control know as the ACC (Automatic Combustion Control). My 5700 does not have this control and there is a little metal triangle tag that hangs from the startup air control warning you not to leave it open longer than 15 minutes. However, I am just guessing. Perhaps there is another type of "limiter"?
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
The dealer told me that my other (2008/09 model. I have two) 5700 has the limiter. Based on that, I would bet that it is just limiting the amount of air that gets to the fire. Nothing spring loaded or anything like that. I've noted that my other 5700 does not "blaze" quite like my first one. In the shop I have a longer run of chimney and I thought this was the cause. I now think it's the limiter. I would bet that the BTU output is lower too.
 

savageactor7

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
3,783
CNY
Kind if difficult to tell when a jacketed stove over fires.

Formerly the old smoke dragons in high winds would glow red in spots, well OK then, you might close the damper or adjust the intake air. Newer jacketed stoves you have to be lucky and catch the thermometer...maybe. I don't think I've ever seen a warning number posted here.

Personally I'd be more worried about replacing those expensive tubes on the top. I suppose cracks could have a plates welded over them on the inside. Sure that's a hassle and not enexpensive but it'll keep most users burning for another 5 years. What's a new stove cost?

Still its make you wonder about today's engineering/manufacturing when considering how hot the stoves of our parents coal generation burned.

I can't help but wonder about the interference format factor government regulations play into this esp when I'm cursing at E-10 or struggling with the newer "non-spill' gas caps etc. imo logic and common sense has been thrown out the window and comes back to haunt us in situations like this.

Manufacturing companies are loath to complain 'publicly' about regulatory problems because the pie faced college kid regulators come back with a vengeance...so they're intimidated in a manner of speaking.
 

timlynne

New Member
Dec 2, 2010
33
No Central Pa
About 5-6 years ago maybe a little longer I bought a 5700 for our hunting camp. It still does great job heating about 2400 sq feet of uninsulated area. It is the older variety that had the two push in- push out levers in the front to control the airflow. Last spring I bought one for my home. This one is the acc style and was built in 2009. I never used thermometers before this fall. I noticed that my home stove even though it is a 5700 does not have the same size firebox as the camp stove. When I get my initial blaze going on the home one my flue temp goes up to 1100 and the stove top get to 725-750. That will level off at about 800 flue and 650 stove when it settles down with the air at about 1/5th to 1/4th. The camp stove if I had it at that setting would not burn near that hot and has to be at least 1/2 to get that temp. With many different guys running it I am afraid that we may be looking at a potential problem down the road with cracking as some guys think you just load it up and let er rip. Another thing I have noticed is the newer one even at full throttle does not burn as hot as the older one.
 

Hog Sniper

Member
Aug 30, 2010
9
York, PA
Heys guys just checking back in..I will post that field fix for you. Interesting that they are standing behind a stove!!?? The thing that started my warranty process was the missing tabs that hold the firebricks. Now that I found the cracks in the side I know why the tabs were burned off...!!! The tabs that are missing are beside the cracks in the firebox...You would think that Quad may have a rep floating around on these boards to monitor problems........
 

flueguyPA

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
19
Central PA
Quadrafire doesn't think they have a problem with their stoves; They think the problem lies in the customer that operates the stove!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!
 

richg

Minister of Fire
Nov 20, 2005
888
My 4300 step top is in its first year of use and this thread is scaring the crap out of me.
 

timlynne

New Member
Dec 2, 2010
33
No Central Pa
I'm not sure but I think the problem was more with their older stoves.
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
I must say that Quadrafire and the dealer stood behind my stove and reacted by what was listed in the printed warranty. They came out, replaced my cracked stove with a new one, and took away the old one. The old door was used on the replacement. The labor was not included in the warranty so I was charged $250 for the installation and another $100 for the custom paint, and sales tax.

I have got some initial observations that may be useful here. The new stove has what they are calling Advanced Combustion Control (ACC) which is different than the other 5700s I own. I don't know if this is a Quadrafire term or one from the EPA. I think this change occurred in 2009 soon after I purchased the one in the shop. It is a completely different animal and it behaves unlike my others.

First of all it is smaller, about 1-1/2 inch shorter and a little narrower. The firebox is smaller and it is completely redesigned. I think you can put nearly the same length wood inside but not as much. There are no welded tabs to retain the bricks but instead steel buttons that loosely attach to a bracket retainer. There is an ash pan in the bottom with a very small exit crack for emptying into a box located on the belly of the unit. A lever on the left side opens the ash door. The air induction enters the firebox by way of a bottom manifold on either end. No more two tubes in the back and single port under the glass. The upper interior shelf where the insulation lies on top of the reburners has a frontward stainless steel baffle of some kind. The fiber insulation board is in two pieces rather than one. I noted that the collar where the stovepipe attaches is a thinner material but the actual steps/shelves seem to be the same thickness. The side jackets are solidly attached.

On the right side the controls are completely different. There is a nicely located upper lever with a short throw that dampens the airflow. On the lower right side there is a lever that is attached to a mechanical timer. When the knob is pulled back and placed in the center position it starts a timer that slowly dampens down the start-up air over the course of about 25 minutes. It is funky and there is a quiet tick-tick-tick sound that comes from the rear of the unit. It can be over-ridden manually. The instruction booklet reads that it is intended to take the "guess work" out of the start-up process.

Like any stove, there is a learning curve as man and machine "become one" so some of my thoughts may change. Compared to my other 5700s, I note the intensity of the blaze is sharply curtailed. The unit does crank out lots of heat but not as quickly as the other. It very well may be more efficient than my old one with or without her cracks. I also note that there seems to be less heat from the top shelf and more on the lower; lots radiating from the door. Right now it is 1 degree outdoors and 76 in the main room where the new stove is located.

Bottom line, I'm okay with the replacement and I think I was treated moderately well. I definitely was treated better than my last encounter having to do with the broken insulation board. QF and the dealer this time were johnny on the spot. We love our wood heat and our warm house.
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
Hi RichG,
Don't be fearful. I would just inspect the inside periodically and look for cracks in the air channel. For me, that's what clued me in to the other stuff. It also took 7 years for it to occur on my stove used daily during the cold season. Rest easy.
 
flueguyPA said:
Hey, had to reregister because I forgot my old id but anyway....

It appears that Quadrafire has a problem with the 5700 models in that they are developing cracks along the back of the stove in the channel above the bricks. Just yesterday I was in the process of reconditioning a 5700 that I picked up from customer that was moving; I removed the side heat shields (3 screws on the back of each side) and found that BOTH SIDES of the stove were cracked through to the extent that you could actually see light inside the stove! This is probably 1/4 inch plate steel that is cracked around the weld where the channel that holds the air tubes is attached. I also see a couple tabs that hold the brick in are deteriorated also, similar to your situation.

I would strongly suggest checking for cracks in both places on your stove BEFORE burning this season. If yours is cracked like mine then you most certainly will be sucking in cold air and causing the fire to burn hotter than intended.

Quadrafires do not / should not require any additional dampening measures other than the primary and secondary air intakes on the stove.

Oh, and regarding warranty... if you bought the stove you should contact your dealer. Quad is aware of the cracking issue and has directed their dealers to REPLACE THE STOVE with a new one. It seems they intend to screw me though since I'm the second owner even though it hasn't been burned since getting it from the original owner.

Mine did - 4100I with 32 feet of insulated double wall SS rigid liner - over-fired every time. I pulled the stove, cleaned it, took it apart, inspected every weld, seem, corner and connection and all was well. So I put a damper in the flue outlet of the stove and closed it about half way - re-installed stove. Nice controllable burns now - lower wood consumption.
 

WarmHouse

New Member
Dec 18, 2010
13
Eastern Washington
The newer Quadrafire 5700s (current ACC model 12/10) does not get as hot as the old model, and it burns through wood faster. I do not believe that it is as efficient as the older ones that tend to crack, plus the firebox is smaller. It will not last through the night unattended like the old one did. The window soots up pretty fast too. Just my observations having dealt with three of these beasts.
 

timlynne

New Member
Dec 2, 2010
33
No Central Pa
I have both versions, the older one at my camp and the new one in my house. The new one is smaller, but I have no problem with the window getting dirty nor do I have a problem with an overnight burn. I can just add wood up to 10 hrs after last load and still it will have enough coals to ignite it. If you look inside I think you will see a different design between the two. The bracket holding the fire brick is different and the welding looks different inside. For overall heat I think the older model was better IMO
 

jtp10181

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
3,734
Marshall, WI
Hog, can you take some better pics of your stove. Specifically zoomed out more so I can see the full picture. I might be able to help get it resolved if it looks reasonable.
 

jtp10181

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
3,734
Marshall, WI
WarmHouse said:
The newer Quadrafire 5700s (current ACC model 12/10) does not get as hot as the old model, and it burns through wood faster. I do not believe that it is as efficient as the older ones that tend to crack, plus the firebox is smaller. It will not last through the night unattended like the old one did. The window soots up pretty fast too. Just my observations having dealt with three of these beasts.

Might be a slight learning curve with the new air controls. Also make sure your startup is closy fully, I have seen a few where they get stuck partially open which would then burn the wood up faster. The glass should stay clean as long as the fire is burning nice and hot, with good wood. I assume you know this already though since you have other stoves.
 

rustynut

Feeling the Heat
Jan 5, 2008
375
mid mich
You folks have told me of this problem a couple of times but today i ran across this post.
First i've seen of these pictures.
It has been a while but this reminds me of a problem that i've seen in a Strengh of Material
class that I had. It looks like "stress corrosion cracking". You can find info on the web regarding this condition.
It has to do with thermal expansion and the metal being locked down and not being able to expand and contract
as necessary from cold to max heat condition and the stresses involved. When expansion is restricted to a certain
point the metal will crack. "www.centralboiler.com/stainless.html" has a description of this in their ad for selling the
stainless model that they have available. sorry for posting that ad but it's pretty good info on this.
It may be that the interior structure that is welded in could be locking the metal down to that point ?
My 5700 has the sides welded on but i'll be looking close at cleaning time myself.
Hope this helps / food for thought anyway
rn
 

Country Chic 99027

New Member
Sep 7, 2011
4
Eastern Washington
My Quadra-Fire 3100 Step was purchased in 2001; the "Lifetime Warranty" on this stove did/does not have a time limitation (i.e., 10 years). The technician cleaning my stove and stove pipe last week discovered the interior back wall of the stove is cracked. I contacted the dealer (as the warranty instructs; NO contacting the company directly!); it was assumed I had a 10 year warranty on this stove, which I explained was not true. Initially the dealer stated he thought Quadra-Fire has a repair kit for this problem (which leads me to believe it must be a common problem). When the dealer called back he stated the manufacturer was giving me the following three choices: 1) have the crack welded; 2) file a claim; or, 3) purchase a new stove. I opted to file a claim, which the dealer had to initiate on my behalf. I was instructed to take photos of the crack, both inside walls of the stove, the front, top, back and each side of the stove, which I did and emailed to the dealer along with a copy of my "Lifetime Warranty." I received a call the next day that my claim had been denied; the reason stated was that, from the pictures, Quadra-Fire determined I had used the stove without the firebrick in place on the back. Taking a photo of the back wall crack necessitated my removing the firebrick--what a joke!! So much for the "Lifetime Warranty!!"

I've moved forward and had the crack welded ($146.00), but I have also filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's Office. Product safety should be of concern to them. I believe should this agency receive enough of these complaints, they are in the best position to seek remedy to the problem.

I encourage everyone with the problem of cracked stove metal in their Quadra-Fire wood stove to also file a complaint with the WA ATG's office. This can be accomplished online at the following web address: https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/ComplaintForm.aspx

Since Quadra-Fire stoves are built in Colville, WA, this ATG office can accept complaints from anyone in any state.
 
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