replacing a 30 year old LOPI wood burning stove - but need some info first

jp4120

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
8
southeast PA
have a 30 yr old lopi that is showing its age, can't get a straight answer from retailers that seem to be pushing wood pellet or gas burning stoves.

I have a couple questions.
  1. is it a good idea to buy a new wood burning stove vs pellet vs gas given the new EPA rules ?
    • we don't have an open floor plan and only heat our family room with the stove but only 3 or 4 fires per week for 4 or 5 mths - room is 20 by 20 (approx)
  2. Lopi stoves at the 'specialty stores are $2400'......home depot and tractor supply sell US stove and others brands for $800.
    • why are pros and cons of the big diff in price? is there a recommended brand or place to purchase online?
  3. Anything else i should know please tell me your thoughts.....
thanks in advance
 

jmb6420

Member
Jun 25, 2019
89
NE Oklahoma
I've got a Lopi Endeavor 2020 stove and so far I like it just as good as my 20 yr old Endeavor I was using before. I get good heat, control and burn times from it. It took a few fires to learn the stove but that will be true for any new stove. The price difference between stoves reflect both quality and paying for the name. I'd rather pay more for a quality stove made in the USA than save save money to get a cheaper import. I'm going to be sleeping while this stove is heating my house.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,151
Salisbury, MD
I'd rather pay more for a quality stove made in the USA than save save money to get a cheaper import. I'm going to be sleeping while this stove is heating my house.
I wouldn't call all stoves sold at the Big Box stores "Imports" as Summers Heat/Englander/Timberridge are made in the USA in VA and are a good value no thrills steel stove. If you wait till early spring sometimes you can get a really closeout good deal on them.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,594
Woolwich nj
Lopi is a good stove, heating the area may change based on the btu output from your old stove as to a new stove to be installed. Example you old stove but output may be 54k the new stove may put out say 65k btus.. so this may change how you run the stove. Me.. I would not go gas or pellets because I don't like to buy fuel. Wood is free and free is good and will offset the cost of the purchase. I personally would not purchase a stove for the big box store. I want a stove dealer. BTW you get what you pay for.. your old stove just wet for 30 years.. 2400 dollars over 30 years is 80 dollars per year or 6.6 dollars per month.. sounds like a bargain to me..
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,459
07462
Summers Heat/Englander/Timberridge are made in the USA in VA and are a good value no thrills steel stove.
Past year or so Englander has taken a dive, customer service not so good, bad doors on some models.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,459
07462
I have seen where some had door issues. I got the 50 last year and sold it to a friend who has had no issues with it so I wouldn't say every stove has issues.
Never said every stove was bad
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,357
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I own a Virginia made Englander nc30 I bought online from the Home Depot and had drop shipped to my house. After my state’s 10% sales tax the price was 800$.

I saw no reason to spend 3 times as much for a dealer only stove. 7 or so years later I still feel the same way. The company has turned out some crap new models so it is wise to research.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,092
central pa
The higher end stoves generally give you more control ability. They are typically built better with higher tolerances and more durable materials meaning longer life with less maintenance. I have found the better stoves also give better heat transfer as well due to internal design.

That does not mean the cheaper stoves are junk. Englander and sbi both usually make pretty good quality stoves for the money.
 

jp4120

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
8
southeast PA
thanks for the feedback - if i recall correctly our Lopi was about $1000 30 years ago and over the years had its share of tarnish on the door trim, gasket repair, squeaky door and rusty top/repainting, but overall we have been happy with it. Since we only heat the one room and use it for atmosphere and not whole house i am leaning towards the under $1000 price point, and will just swap it out myself after a chimney cleaning/inspection. i will keep looking for a couple more weeks before buying.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,936
South Puget Sound, WA
A Lopi costing $1000 30 yrs ago was a high-end stove. What Lopi model is this?
 

jp4120

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
8
southeast PA
the model is the answer premiere, i'm not sure of the cost but i think around $1000, i still have the owners manual which is unusual for me.
it may actually be 35 years old .....we bought our current house in 1984 and it was freezing in the winter due to old school 1980 heat pump so we got a stove right away.
 

avsmusic1

Member
Jul 26, 2012
192
CT
I’m not in either camp, and can certainly understand the desire to go w/ the more affordable option. I can’t help but be struck by the prospect of buying something cheaper now than 35yrs ago
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,936
South Puget Sound, WA
One of the most rewarding options is to restore the stove and give it another 30 yrs. How is the stove showing it's age? Are the burn tubes still intact and not sagging? Does it need new firebrick?
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,594
Woolwich nj
Begreen has a good point, what about taking the 1k and putting it into your existing stove. alot of people here refurbish there existing stoves or a used that they get. One advantage to this is you already known how it will heat as well as how to operate it
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,459
07462
In the budget market the best bang for the $$$ has been with Drolet lately (particularly with the ht3000)
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,298
Unity/Bangor, Maine
have a 30 yr old lopi that is showing its age, can't get a straight answer from retailers that seem to be pushing wood pellet or gas burning stoves.

I have a couple questions.
  1. is it a good idea to buy a new wood burning stove vs pellet vs gas given the new EPA rules ?
    • we don't have an open floor plan and only heat our family room with the stove but only 3 or 4 fires per week for 4 or 5 mths - room is 20 by 20 (approx)
  2. Lopi stoves at the 'specialty stores are $2400'......home depot and tractor supply sell US stove and others brands for $800.
    • why are pros and cons of the big diff in price? is there a recommended brand or place to purchase online?
  3. Anything else i should know please tell me your thoughts.....
thanks in advance
1) Only you can really say what is preferred. Do you like the idea of just buying some bags of pellets or turning a knob on a gas stove for the heat and ambiance . . . or do you like burning wood? In my own case I ended up with a woodstove mostly because I can obtain free fuel for the stove vs. having to buy pellets or gas and for me, saving money, was a chief consideration in my original purchase. Gas, pellet and wood burners all have pros- and cons.

2) Think of it as the difference between Toyotas and Lexus . . . Chevrolets and Cadillacs. In general most all stoves will do the job -- i.e. provide heat. The higher end ones often have a few more bells and whistles . . . or look a bit nicer. That said, every once in a while there are some cheap stoves which are akin to the Chevette. Again, it depends on what you are looking for. In my case the woodstove is in the living room so I opted for something which I found a bit more visually pleasing . . . of course, there is no accounting for some folks' taste. Different strokes for different folks and all that . . .
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
548
Southern WI
First step is deciding which fuel source you prefer.
4-5 fires a week for 4-5 months is a decent amount of use.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
837
MA
I have a Lopi Answer, too. I also burn nightly in the den to heat the den and kitchen, averaging 160 fires annually. My house isn't set up for air flow to move air around from the den to the rest of the house.

The Answer is great for my use. As others posted above, I'd consider reconditioning the unit you have.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,217
Lackawaxen PA
My thought as I read the thread was what Jake said. After some 30 years of even occasional wood burning, you know what wood burning is all about. Pellet or gas stove, I'd say are easier to deal with. With gas being the easiest. For me that's the first fork in the road. I think you can now get all these stoves with a great fire view. If you go gas stove, make sure it's vented.
Rebuilding what you have, if it's repairable sounds like a nice solution.
 

jp4120

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
8
southeast PA
reconditioning isn't something i had considered, I would hate to just 'dump it' in a landfill so even if i got a new one i may keep it in the basement mancave for atmosphere.
Condition wise, Its got some light rusting on the 'roof', but the firebricks are all good, the door glass is not scratched but the brass around the door is tarnished so i would want a new door probably, and a new trim piece, also needs sanding and a paint job (I had painted the top about 10 years ago for similar rusting or paint bubbling reasons) i have attached a couple pics.
 

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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,217
Lackawaxen PA
A stove with no structural issues, and just cosmetic after 30 years needs a reprieve. That stove is a classic, It's great looking. If the ring is solid brass I think it can be buffed out.