Talk me out of the Drolet 1800i

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Hi Everyone,

It is time to make decisions for my downstairs fireplace. Old thread here. https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/should-i-add-a-second-stove.175444/

Quick summary—

I want a wood burning stove or insert down stairs. We have a three year old F400 upstairs. Budget is a major deciding factor. (Anything over 3000$ is going to be a tough sell). I can’t justify another 5k$ install for a secondary space that may only see occasional use. I have estimates for a mini split install and they are cost prohibitive (5-6k$) for the amount of use the system would see while we are still burning wood. We are making our annual trip to Maine where there are actually used stoves available. So I’m exploring the the possibility of a used stove.



option 1–
Drolet 1800i insert from Costco. 1500$ plus tax for a complete system minus any insulation. Can’t beat the value here. It’s not the most aesthetic option. What can you get if you spend another 1500$?

Option 2–
Buy new tax credit eligible stove/insert. Morsoe or BK insert would be my top options. (28.5”hx36”w). Best guess is that it would be 4000$ after tax credit that I may not even get to take this year and depending on the future of the child tax credit may not next year either.



option 3–

Find a used stove. I’d really really like another F400. I think I can make an F3cb or F500 fit. The idea of operating and maintaining two of the same stoves is appealing. I’m not opposed to rebuilding one but I need another project like I need another hole in my head. I could make enough room in the van to get a stove home from the ME,NH,MA area if I could get it loaded.

The Drolet just seems like a no brainer. Talk me out of it! Let’s hear your best arguments!

Thanks in advance for your replies.



Evan
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio

Cosco sells the "trio" kit?
I certainly can't complain about my 1400i (1800's little brother) I found it used for $250...supposedly the blower motor was bad...I guess they didn't realize it had a thermo switch that kicks it on ::-)
Well...I guess if I were to complain about it, I wish it were an 1800i, for the larger firebox...but there is no room for that in my FP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,760
South Puget Sound, WA
The Drolet kit from Costco is a great deal. Hard to beat and a decent medium-size heater. The Morso insert is no longer sold in the US. Did you mean one of their tiny freestanding stoves? If so, another F400 or F3CB would be my preference for the larger fuel capacity. In used, the Hampton H200 & 300 and the Hearthstone Shelburne are also worth considering if they would fit.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Did you mean one of their tiny freestanding stoves?
Yes. A nice non cat stove that’s tax credit eligible was my thinking. I haven’t looked at the prices but just guessing they start at 2500?
Hard to beat and a decent medium-size heater
I agree. It seems that even spending up to 3000$ for a diy install you can’t do much better. And that’s about my self imposed limit.
Evan
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,145
Downeast Maine
What Morso stoves are you considering? I think they would all be a bit undersized for the space if you are looking at an 1800i.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
What Morso stoves are you considering? I think they would all be a bit undersized for the space if you are looking at an 1800i.
2b or 7110. It’s roughly 1000sq ft. I don’t think I saw it below 60 all this winter. I figure the heating load with a heat pump with electric strips and a woodstove upstairs the smaller stoves would be fine. Really our average high temps are around 50 December-January. The term frost line doesn’t exist down here. I don’t NEED another wood burner it would just make the space more comfortable when the stove upstairs is burning. I have the wood already. the heat pump is undersized for heating now. 3100 sq ft on a 3 ton unit with 22k btu at 17 dF with leaky duct in a vented crawl space.

I do think as the family gets older more time will be spent down there.
I think the 1800i could heat 80% of the house on its own from that location. It’s probably oversized unless we get a record breaking cold snap. Our record lows are colder than Houston. I checked after their debacle this year.
Evan
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,145
Downeast Maine
2b or 7110. It’s roughly 1000sq ft. I don’t think I saw it below 60 all this winter. I figure the heating load with a heat pump with electric strips and a woodstove upstairs the smaller stoves would be fine. Really our average high temps are around 50 December-January. The term frost line doesn’t exist down here. I don’t NEED another wood burner it would just make the space more comfortable when the stove upstairs is burning. I have the wood already. the heat pump is undersized for heating now. 3100 sq ft on a 3 ton unit with 22k btu at 17 dF with leaky duct in a vented crawl space.

I do think as the family gets older more time will be spent down there.
I think the 1800i could heat 80% of the house on its own from that location. It’s probably oversized unless we get a record breaking cold snap. Our record lows are colder than Houston. I checked after their debacle this year.
Evan
In that case the 2b should do just fine and that stove installs in a fireplace pretty well. We heat our entire 1200 sqft home with the 2b Classic.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Spent the better part of the morning thinking this over. F500 for 1000$ Is temping but I just don’t want the hassle of moving fixing anything that needs fixed.


I just can’t do it. 1800i it is. Unless i see an F400 for sale before we leave.
Evan
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,793
Iowa
May as well keep up with progress reports! Sounds like a great project.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
I found a used F400 close enough to go look at. It has some surface rust that the seller says will clean right up. Asking 1200$. Fair price if anything else isn’t a mess. Not a deal at that though I feel.
Evan
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,145
Downeast Maine
I found a used F400 close enough to go look at. It has some surface rust that the seller says will clean right up. Asking 1200$. Fair price if anything else isn’t a mess. Not a deal at that though I feel.
Evan
I would pass at that price as well.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
So, I have an idea that'll work due to your mild climate and I haven't seen it mentioned.

Throw a hoodie on the kids. If they arent wearing shoes outside, than they arent cold. It's cheap as you can just buy a hoodie for the 8 year old and the younger boys will grow into it!

Your garage should stay conditioned enough by the rest of the house. Finish it off, then spend a season figuring out what your true heating/cooling load is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
It's cheap as you can just buy a hoodie for the 8 year old and the younger boys will grow into it!
Yep! We moved down from Maine and spent the first 9 years with the thermostat set at 65 during the day and colder at. Now with a stove it’s harder to go back. I think this stove is half for looks. 1/4 for Texas like winter power emergency, and a 1/4 for actually heating.

Your point of determining heating load is very valid why I haven’t put in a mini split yet. I want to see if we can get by with what we have. The basement isn’t done yet. I have a water intrusion

that I’m hoping my new gutters and rain garden this fall will address but we haven’t got a good downpour yet to see if I am going to have any issues moving forward.

The 3 ton heat pump is 11 years old and I would like to replace all the duct work but not until we replace the heatpump. But it’s still working and it probably will keep chugging along for quite a while longer. Chatting with my hvac tech he said he’s not seeing any issues yet with these units.

Evan
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
He was asking 1000$ for a 2008 stove that had been left out in the rain and was a rusty mess. Functionally looked fine. I Offered 600. He passed. He might get more than that come September
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Well I just placed my order for the 1800i at Costco. It’s been out of stock for weeks or months. Same thing happened last year. In and out of stock then just gone.
With what I am reading about inventory I decided not to put off the decision any longer. You all didn’t do a very good job talking me out of it;)

Evan
Will report back with updates as warranted.
 

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
564
Wildwood MO
I just passed on a Joutl C450 Kennebec for $50keep any out on FB market place stoves and inserts are starting to appear again.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
I just passed on a Joutl C450 Kennebec for $50keep any out on FB market place stoves and inserts are starting to appear again.
I have been looking for two years for anything decent down here. It’s been slim pickings. Passed on an F100. Then passed on a NOS stove I would have been unable to find parts for. Then missed a miss identified F3cb. That’s it for two years.

At the end of the day a decent used stove would have saved 500$ and been on the smaller side. So now I have big stove, a warranty and something that will actually fit back in the firebox. Going to be tight on my 16” front ember protection.

Evan
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Took delivery today. Lighter than I was expecting. Two people and a hand truck easily moved down my gravel driveway and into the house. Saw a crack i the baffle but it looks like it’s still in one piece. Three week delivery time isn’t bad. Insulation kits weighs more than the liner and cap I think.

Evan
 
  • Like
Reactions: kennyp2339

Riteway

Member
Jul 27, 2020
123
Kitsap County, WA
It's a good insert, I've been happy with mine so far. It's certainly hits the quality + value mark.

Here's my install thread, you might find this useful: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/drolet-escape-1800-insert-install.182495/

I had a order a couple additional adapters to get the liner aligned properly and attached to the insert, but you might not need those, depending upon the dimensions of your fireplace. Good luck!
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Saw a crack i the baffle but it looks like it’s still in one piece
Nope it’s cracked in two. Will ask Drolet what to do.
 

Riteway

Member
Jul 27, 2020
123
Kitsap County, WA
Nope it’s cracked in two. Will ask Drolet what to do.
They will probably ask you to send them a picture of it, but Drolet (parent company: SBI) will send you a replacement. SBI is a good company to deal with, and they stand behind their products.

Those vermiculite baffles are really fragile though...a guy could fart in the next room over and that would be enough force to break the baffle. I broke mine in half while cleaning my insert this summer...grrrr. I pasted it back together with furnace cement. I'll probably just end up replacing it with a Superwool baffle board.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sailrmike

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,252
SE North Carolina
Well it’s in. Pulling the mesh wire socked wrapped insulation was more difficult than I thought it would be. It’s as far back as I can set it. I will either run with no surround or make a custom internal. Still needs a block off plate and insulation. I guessing it’s gonna be a really warm winter;)

Evan

250EDF92-B4B0-4573-8635-451883F053F0.jpeg
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
I will either run with no surround or make a custom internal.
Looks fine like it is IMO...maybe a lil stove black on the exposed connector/liner...and a heat shield for that poor TV! ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: SpaceBus and EbS-P

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,145
Downeast Maine
Looks fine like it is IMO...maybe a lil stove black on the exposed connector/liner...and a heat shield for that poor TV! ;)
Heat shield for the TV and maybe just a cover plate for the connector.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P