Replacing an old Jotul cat

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Inherited a Jotul Firelight 12 when I moved into this house in southwestern Rhode Island a year and a half ago, but after some discussion with the kind and knowledgeable folks here (https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/new-to-me-firelight-issues.180920/), I've realized it's essentially giving up the ghost, so I'm in the market for a new one.

It's a small house, 1000 sq ft, and fairly well insulated for its age (asbestos siding!) with a minimal second floor with two small bedrooms I'd like to keep heated. It doesn't often get below 10 degrees F here at its coldest -- typically I'd say 12-15 degrees overnight in the dead of winter.

Folks on the original thread have suggested Osburn, Regency, and Drolet -- and pre-2020 Jotul. I have to say especially with the Costco deal on the Drolet Eastwood 1800, that seems pretty tempting; I wouldn't mind not having to fuss with a catalytic, and it seems plenty efficient, but there are lots to choose from, and I am definitely ok with taking advantage of off-season prices -- and non dead-set against another cat if it's a bargain. Installation (and removal of the old Jotul) are critical, and working with a good dealer in the region would be a plus.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
Do you want a plain looking steel stove? Or something that is aesthetically pleasing?
The ones you mentioned aren’t anywhere near as good looking as the firelight.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
Have you ever pulled the fire back? Which is something that should be done a few times a season if it’s being worked. Under non @Ashful circumstances, this stove works pretty well typically. 1,000 sq ft shouldn’t work this stove anywhere near it’s breaking point. I love a new stove! If that’s what you want I’m all for it!
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,667
Iowa
How long do you expect the stove to run between reloads? This will definately impact your stove selection.
 

Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,127
St.Louis
just to add to the list maybe look at woodstock and blaze king stoves. After you look at all of them maybe post some questions from the ones you like so we can tell you the differences.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,790
central pa
Do you want a plain looking steel stove? Or something that is aesthetically pleasing?
The ones you mentioned aren’t anywhere near as good looking as the firelight.
Really? How are any of them not as good as a firelight? Aesthetics are about the only thing I can think of
 

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Do you want a plain looking steel stove? Or something that is aesthetically pleasing?
The ones you mentioned aren’t anywhere near as good looking as the firelight.
You raise a great question. In fact, I am generally very picky (a snob even) about how stuff looks here. To me, the stove is basically a frame for a fire, & from that viewpoint, I'd say the Jotul looks a little better than say, the Drolet -- partly because this house was probably built before 1930, and the I dunno cathedral-window look of the Jotul suits the place. On the whole, I tend to think it's going to be hard for any big black box to look great in my living room; if I could find a good enameled blue stove that didn't come with a super premium price, I'd be open to that. But I'm definitely looking forward to visiting showrooms.

Something else I'm up against:

IMG_20200407_072218.resized.jpg


Never much cared for the cement rock base/back shield, but since it came with, figured I could put up with it. Probably should get rid of it and replace it with something I actually like -- but what will that set me back?
 

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
just to add to the list maybe look at woodstock and blaze king stoves. After you look at all of them maybe post some questions from the ones you like so we can tell you the differences.
Wow, Woodstock are great looking, not exorbitant either
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
Um, never heard of it, couldn't find it either -- please explain!!
To access the cat. I described it pretty well above. That’s most likely all it needs, they get plugged up with ash.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
To access the cat. I described it pretty well above. That’s most likely all it needs, they get plugged up with ash.
He tried, but couldn’t get the bolt holding the inner fireback to budge. Sometimes you need a torch to get that bolt turning.

There was an earlier thread to discuss the salvaging of the F12, but the OP indicated he wanted something he could burn reliably 24/7. In my opinion, the Firelight 12 is a fantastic looking stove, and could satisfy a weekend burner just fine, but it’s simply not worth maintaining them for 24/7 use. Have you seen Jotul’s recent pricing on the refractory components for this stove? They’ve more than doubled the cost of most parts in the last five years, and more than tripled since the stove went out of production. Many parts are no longer available. And at least when I owned them, no one other than those garbage diesel foil cats from Condar was making a cat without interam gasket that would expand and break the delicate refractory cat chamber. These factors, combined with a marginal design from the start, really makes this a very expensive and frustrating stove to maintain for the sort of wear-and-tear any stove has to withstand for 24/7 burning.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
He tried, but couldn’t get the bolt holding the inner fireback to budge. Sometimes you need a torch to get that bolt turning.

There was an earlier thread to discuss the salvaging of the F12, but the OP indicated he wanted something he could burn reliably 24/7. In my opinion, the Firelight 12 is a fantastic looking stove, and could satisfy a weekend burner just fine, but it’s simply not worth maintaining them for 24/7 use. Have you seen Jotul’s recent pricing on the refractory components for this stove? They’ve more than doubled the cost of most parts in the last five years, and more than tripled since the stove went out of production. Many parts are no longer available. And at least when I owned them, no one other than those garbage diesel foil cats from Condar was making a cat without interam gasket that would expand and break the delicate refractory cat chamber. These factors, combined with a marginal design from the start, really makes this a very expensive and frustrating stove to maintain for the sort of wear-and-tear any stove has to withstand for 24/7 burning.
I failed to notice there 2 separate threads on this stove.
I agree it’s fragile and poorly designed, I’d at least get the back off to assess it. If it’s all fell apart then it’s definitely time to go shopping.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
I'll lock down the old thread. It's confusing and repetitive to be answering to two threads on the same topic.

The Costco Escape 1800 is a smoking good deal if you are looking for easy heat. If still going for aesthetics on a budget, the choices are going to be more limited. Have you looked at this stove? It's a Firelight CB, an early F600. Looks like it might go for $750 at this time of year. Worth asking.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
I'll lock down the old thread. It's confusing and repetitive to be answering to two threads on the same topic.

The Costco Escape 1800 is a smoking good deal if you are looking for easy heat. If still going for aesthetics on a budget, the choices are going to be more limited. Have you looked at this stove? It's a Firelight CB, an early F600. Looks like it might go for $750 at this time of year. Worth asking.
It doesn’t share any of the combustion parts with the #12. That’s a good buy if it’s intact and not abused.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the F600 CB is a non-cat. If the base and body show no cracks this could be a nice replacement, and it's blue.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I'll lock down the old thread. It's confusing and repetitive to be answering to two threads on the same topic.
Old thread was about the failing F12. This one was supposed to be called something like “help me find a new stove,” but I think my suggestion was misunderstood.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN
if I could find a good enameled blue stove that didn't come with a super premium price....Never much cared for the cement rock base/back shield, but since it came with, figured I could put up with it.
Wow, Woodstock are great looking, not exorbitant either
What Woodstock is good-looking?? ;lol
You better know what you're looking at, if you are looking at used stoves; Easy to miss overfire damage, if you're not experienced.
Why not just put a T4 in there? Simple, effective, and a looker like you want. >>
T4 won't burn super-long, but probably go overnight in a small, insulated house..The T5 comes in a maroon red, darker than what they show on the website; That would draw your eye away from the rocks. ;) Might be a bit big for that sq.ft. though..
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,223
Southern IN

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,704
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
You raise a great question. In fact, I am generally very picky (a snob even) about how stuff looks here. To me, the stove is basically a frame for a fire, & from that viewpoint, I'd say the Jotul looks a little better than say, the Drolet -- partly because this house was probably built before 1930, and the I dunno cathedral-window look of the Jotul suits the place. On the whole, I tend to think it's going to be hard for any big black box to look great in my living room; if I could find a good enameled blue stove that didn't come with a super premium price, I'd be open to that. But I'm definitely looking forward to visiting showrooms.

Something else I'm up against:

View attachment 259094

Never much cared for the cement rock base/back shield, but since it came with, figured I could put up with it. Probably should get rid of it and replace it with something I actually like -- but what will that set me back?
That mortar and cobble hearth would be a no go for me. What are the odds of four feet finding level spots while being under the flue? I would pour concrete over the cobbles until it’s level.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I agree that round river rock is about the worst type of stone for this, but there are lots of less than perfectly level natural stone hearths out there, Highbeam. In fact, I currently own a few of them. My stoves have leveling jack screws under each foot, which I suspect could even deal with that river rock. If not, a small dollop of mortar under each foot location, leveled and cured prior to install, could get the job done.

A89B3414-346E-4715-B601-8008A7929A56.jpeg F1A65557-71BC-4120-B121-9B6A091DAAE7.jpeg

Actually, that second photo was probably a poor choice, it was just the first one I found on my phone. The photo is crooked, the stove is plumb.
 
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