The Mansfield After 12 years or so.......

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swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
Hello Everyone! A long time ago now I had to make a decision between (what boiled down to the PE-T6 and the HS-Mansfield. After a long analysis and lots of discussion here I went with the Mansfield and never looked back; that is until now. And, I still think the Mansfield is a great burner but I have discovered a few issues.
BeGreen and The Chimney Sweep were extremely helpful in my process and continue to be great resources.
I had the Mansfield returned the first season (to the factory) for reassembly as I had issues with rear stones.
The door latch had to be replaced in the third or fourth year; which I learned was a common problem.
I installed a damper in my flue collar at the stove (I have a great draft) and use it to keep the heat in the stove; it works like a champ. (a Chimney Sweep suggestion)
I took the stove internals apart for a cleaning at year 7. It is easy and I didn't have to go as far as I did. But, by removing the secondary air manifold I got it all cleaned out and paid much attention to cementing the manifold in place as I reassembled it. This made a big difference in the draft's pull on the air tube supply and I got a better burn as a result.
I experimented with the baffle and blanket. I used a higher temp baffle material from a ceramic board supplier and it caused my secondary burn to be better. And, traditional aftermarket fire blanket material (ebay) worked just as good as the original. I replace it whenever I pull the baffle. (maybe every two to three years.
My stack gets a slight build up every two years (I check it every year). There is never more than about 1/2 pint of ash dust after I brush the chimney.
These are all positives in my estimation. I've burned the stove and heated a 2500 square foot house including a cathedral ceiling room of 25x40. No problems.
Finally, I have found one issue. When you load any stove for years on end, you sometimes smack the walls with a split; in fact you do it more often that you'd like to think you do. And, when its 24/7 time, your stove is hot and you want to get'm in there and shut the door, you do it too often. At this point, I've smacked the rear and side walls once too often. As a result I have hairline cracks across one stone on each side and the rear. These are not "catastrophic" as the Mansfield has steel tabs that hold each stone all around it's perimeter. But, they are there. And, this is the only flaw I can find after 12 years. With a steel stove you have a similar issue (as pointed out to me) with the fire brick within; but I also think you can replace that easier than breaking down a soapstone unit and rebuilding it.
I haven't bothered Hearthstone about this as the unit is fantastic and actually may heat better than they advertise. I do think that smacking a wall now and then is unavoidable.
I also have a fix. Since the stones are held together all around the perimeter it isn't likely that they are going to separate so applying a skim coat of very hi-temp stove cement (2-3K degrees) to the surface of the interior surface of the stones will seal any potential air infiltration. This is what I'll be doing as soon as I stop burning for the season.
I've also considered creating a safety rail between the vertical air manifolds (sides and rear) out of some steel plate, but I am not sure of the impact to the stove's operation or the stone's heat retention, so I think that the furnace cement solution is a better one.
In the longer run, I'm waiting to see what the PE-T6 LE (certified 2020 compliant) does. Or, if the current T6 is available at a great deal in my area as they changeover.
We'll see. I don't regret the Mansfield as it has paid for itself over and over, still works fine and etc. I might just have that new stove thing going on in my head.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
Always loved the look of that big rock. If you are seeking a current generation T6 it wouldn't hurt to call around to all PE shops within a 50+ mile radius to see if they have a floor model they will discount nicely.
 
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swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
Always loved the look of that big rock. If you are seeking a current generation T6 it wouldn't hurt to call around to all PE shops within a 50+ mile radius to see if they have a floor model they will discount nicely.
Yes, I've been doing that and trying to figure out if the LE might have some benefit. Facts will come together.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,120
Indiana
So it’s been rebuilt once when it was new, the latch has worn out, baffle rebuilt/ modified, now the stones are cracked. I’m sorry but that doesn’t seem like a very good record for a 12 year old stove. Changing those stones are a big undertaking, nothing at all like swapping out $3 bricks in a steel stove. I think the cracked stones have little or nothing to do with getting smacked with logs, I’m seeing cracked hearthstones all the time, all in random places, all different ages.
 

swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
So it’s been rebuilt once when it was new, the latch has worn out, baffle rebuilt/ modified, now the stones are cracked. I’m sorry but that doesn’t seem like a very good record for a 12 year old stove. Changing those stones are a big undertaking, nothing at all like swapping out $3 bricks in a steel stove. I think the cracked stones have little or nothing to do with getting smacked with logs, I’m seeing cracked hearthstones all the time, all in random places, all different ages.
Well, regardless, I am pretty much thinking of moving to the T6. My one question is is the new LE significantly different than the current one? Haven't been able to answer yet. I could likely find either one at this point and I can wait for next Sept. if I have to. We'll see. The cracked stones don't impact burn nor do they seem unstable; just a bit irritating. I'm not unhappy with the maintenance the Mansfield has needed, but it has been more than I'd hoped for.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,120
Indiana
Well, regardless, I am pretty much thinking of moving to the T6. My one question is is the new LE significantly different than the current one? Haven't been able to answer yet. I could likely find either one at this point and I can wait for next Sept. if I have to. We'll see. The cracked stones don't impact burn nor do they seem unstable; just a bit irritating. I'm not unhappy with the maintenance the Mansfield has needed, but it has been more than I'd hoped for.
I have to work on them, so I’m not real happy with their durability. So many other stoves need almost no maintenance are so durable.
 

swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
I have to work on them, so I’m not real happy with their durability. So many other stoves need almost no maintenance are so durable.
I'd agree with that. And, they are a lot of money. My reason for the update is so others can see this flaw which isn't usually covered in the "I'm thinking about a Hearthstone" threads. I think that I'll be happy with a PE T-6 and it'll do a fine job in that space.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,120
Indiana
I'd agree with that. And, they are a lot of money. My reason for the update is so others can see this flaw which isn't usually covered in the "I'm thinking about a Hearthstone" threads. I think that I'll be happy with a PE T-6 and it'll do a fine job in that space.
I wanted a T-6 years ago, I ended up with a Jotul Oslo. The PE dealer didn’t have one on display and wasn’t helpful at all. The Jotul dealer was awesome!
 
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swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
I wanted a T-6 years ago, I ended up with a Jotul Oslo. The PE dealer didn’t have one on display and wasn’t helpful at all. The Jotul dealer was awesome!
I'm getting closer on the T6. The T6-LE complies with the 2020 regs, etc. Do you have any opinions on that since you did not get one then or since? I have to deal with the "looks" issue as well as performance. The T6 seems to be OK. and I need the high BTU's because my 2400 sq/ft includes one room that is 40Lx25Wx18H. What's your take?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,120
Indiana
I’ve never personally used a PE, but I Clean a few and have been real impressed with the design. I’d buy one, but we don’t carry PE. Back when I bought that first Jotul I didn’t work in the industry.
 

swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
I’ve never personally used a PE, but I Clean a few and have been real impressed with the design. I’d buy one, but we don’t carry PE. Back when I bought that first Jotul I didn’t work in the industry.
I see. BeGreen bought his when I got the Mansfield and he's been happy all the way. I would also be happy if it were not for the impact cracks and a few other problems that I don't think a stove of that class should have. And, I noticed this weekend that the hinge pin holes are worn as well. So, I'm thinking that I will be moving on when I can get the T-6 LE. Supposedly it is the same stove as last years with different testing. I looked at the results, pretty good.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,347
Northern IL
The T6 would be on my short list if I were needing a replacement for the IR.
It’s not uncommon for all stoves to need a bit of TLC during their life. I mean - after 17 years with the IR consuming ~5 cords a year, I have had to tap the upper right hinge pin back in place TWICE. That is 15 seconds of my life I will never get back.;lol:p
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
The T6 would be on my short list if I were needing a replacement for the IR.
It’s not uncommon for all stoves to need a bit of TLC during their life. I mean - after 17 years with the IR consuming ~5 cords a year, I have had to tap the upper right hinge pin back in place TWICE. That is 15 seconds of my life I will never get back.;lol:p
Great looking and performing stove. If it weren't for clearance issues I would have had an IR. For our corner install we needed a less radiant stove.
 

swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
Summer's Over! I decided to wait for the 2020 model, delivered yesterday. It'll be a month or so before the first fires, although I'll have a few small load single fires to burn paint, etc. T6 looks good and I'm looking forward to a good long time with it. My wife thinks I'm nuts and a stove addict; so what's wrong with that? I'll post after it's running for a while.
 
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swestall

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2007
1,033
Connecticut
westallinsurance.com
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