Worth it to rebuild 2008 Hearthstone Tribute 8040 or is it even necessary

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AlaskaTribute

New Member
Feb 13, 2022
3
Fairbanks, AK
I have a Hearthstone Tribute 8040, purchased & installed in 2008. We’ve used it perhaps 40-60x each winter that we’ve lived here.

This past year, we ran out of the wood that we had from clearing our land 13 years ago & bought split, kiln-dried spruce & have been burning much more often than before, perhaps 4-6x/week since early December. We cleaned the flue in late December.

And we noticed it burning kind of hot. Then we noticed sometimes we would get the smell of burning wood in the house. So, we replaced the gaskets and thought that would take care of it. While it burned much better and the smoke smell was less, we still smelled it. We tried using a focused light beam in the dark to see if we could detect the leakage but found nothing, but noticed the smell was strongest at the back of the stove, at the height of the stove.

So we did some more research. First we considered poor draft; swept it again & checked the clearance on the chimney cap. All good. Then, with more research, I inspected the baffle as I’d never known it should be replaced. Sure enough, the thing is disintegrating and has two large, irregular holes in it. We were planning to get that replaced & have someone do an inspection overall. Then I read about finding cracks in the soapstone so I looked it over really well. Sure enough, it appears that we have cracks going all the way through the soapstone, & in fact there is creosote leaking out. There are two spots like this, one on either side of the stove; on the inside of the firebox, those two interior areas are also covered in creosote. A third area in the firebox, at the back, has also accumulated creosote but the back stone doesn’t show leakage though there may be a crack there.

So now we wonder if we need to replace much more than the baffle... I read that cracks can be patched with stove cement, but is that true if the crack goes all the way through, AND has creosote coming out? Does that imply a loss of integrity of the firebox wall? And the interior stones? I’ve also read that taking apart a Hearthstone stove to replace those kinds of pieces can be a headache and result in a stove that is never tight enough afterward.

Another question is about that creosote—- when the flue was swept earlier in the winter, some creosote came down & while we tried to remove it, I don’t think we got it all... I didn’t think much of it, figuring it would burn in the firebox. Did that cause or contribute to the problem?

We have a small super efficient home... the stove is rarely run over 400 and usually around 250, but this winter it has spiked up a couple times before we caught it and shut down the air intake. We have an outside air intake to the stove. Because we have 1200 sq ft, we really can’t have a standard wood stove that would burn so much hotter than a soapstone stove. Replacing this with another Hearthstone would likely be $6000+ installed here in Fairbanks.

Even if we had to replace multiple parts on this, I’m thinking it would cost $2K-$3K including labor though I don‘t have an official estimate yet. But if it resulted in a basically unusable stove, that would‘t be worth it.

We could get rid of it entirely, and because we live in a nonattainment area (air quality), we’d actually get a fair chunk of money in a change-out program, BUT we’d have to promise not to install a new woodstove AND make that a binding part of any sale of the home. We WANT the woodstove— it’s a life and house savior when electricity goes out in the winter.

Any insight you can offer is greatly appreciated.
 

AlaskaTribute

New Member
Feb 13, 2022
3
Fairbanks, AK
Trying again as I got no replies. We’ve got quite the concern about our Tribute. It was new when installed in 2008. We haven’t been conscientious owners & have only just now discovered a disintegrating baffle. Smoke coming into the house when it’s closed up tight; new gaskets. Now we see these cracks with creosote coming out & on the inside there’s corresponding creosote build-up.
1. Are these the kind of cracks that need new stones, or can they be cleaned, sealed with cement?
2. Given the inside buildup corresponding to cracks, do we have cracks in the firebox & the insulating stones, too?
3. Can a Hearthstone Tribute be rebuilt? Or will it forever function less optimally? Ideally, we’d pay the $2-3K to rebuild b/c new stoves cost so much more & we are kinda stuck for type of stove in our super small, ultra-efficient home. Really want the stove due to electric going out & furnace not running during outages.
4. We are in Fairbanks, AK, famous for nonattainment & must have a stove that meets requirements of <2.5.
 

AlaskaTribute

New Member
Feb 13, 2022
3
Fairbanks, AK
Trying again as I got no replies. We’ve got quite the concern about our Tribute. It was new when installed in 2008. We haven’t been conscientious owners & have only just now discovered a disintegrating baffle. Smoke coming into the house when it’s closed up tight; new gaskets. Now we see these cracks with creosote coming out & on the inside there’s corresponding creosote build-up.
1. Are these the kind of cracks that need new stones, or can they be cleaned, sealed with cement?
2. Given the inside buildup corresponding to cracks, do we have cracks in the firebox & the insulating stones, too?
3. Can a Hearthstone Tribute be rebuilt? Or will it forever function less optimally? Ideally, we’d pay the $2-3K to rebuild b/c new stoves cost so much more & we are kinda stuck for type of stove in our super small, ultra-efficient home. Really want the stove due to electric going out & furnace not running during outages.
4. We are in Fairbanks, AK, famous for nonattainment & must have a stove that meets requirements of <2.5.
Here are the photos: from left to right, these are the outside right lower stone crack; inside firebox right side & back creosote build-up; outside left lower stone crack; inside firebox left side creosote build-up

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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,417
SE North Carolina
Personally I wouldn’t want to spend that much money on a stove that only lasted 13 years. Your small well insulated space could be well suited to a Blaze king. If you like the looks of the soap stone just consider it half appliance half decor and fix it up or get a new one.

In a non attainment where you are not burning 24/7 a good medium small tube stove might be just the ticket. (I’d lean towards BK if 100% wood heat was my plan). Top down fire with a good load a kindling gets a clean burn fast. A jacketed steel stove is what I would be looking at. Plenty out there but not sure what you have available.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,188
South Puget Sound, WA
Has the baffle been replaced now? Yes, the stove can be rebuilt. Contact Hearthstone to get a service manual, replacement stones, and their cement.