Once You Go Lumberjack

Which pellet stove?

Discussion in 'Pellet Stoves, Pellet Fireplaces, Pellet Furnaces' started by Hoytman, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. Hoytman

    Hoytman

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    Had a guy ask me about pellet stoves.

    They're not really something I've paid all that much attention to because I don't need one. I know a few brands, but not really much about those few...not talking box store brands.

    I was wondering if some of you who've read this particular sub-forum could share what you think seems to be the most popular, reliable, and talked about pellet stoves on this site. I figure that keeps me from having to research something I'm not too terribly interested in, but would allow me to pass on your information to my friend. He said, money isn't an issue...but he didn't care to buy cheap if it proved to be a better unit. I just told him to keep an open mind be it a top brand or a box store brand...go with what's popular and reliable.

    Looking for more than one brand. Put them in order as best you can, and I'll pass the info on to him and let him research from there. Thanks!
     
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  2. unbidden

    unbidden

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    When you google top 5 or 10 best, you won't find Harman in any of those listings... that being said, my top 3 are Harman, Harman, and Harman. Though, that could be a biased opinion.
     
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  3. imacman

    imacman

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    There are MANY good pellet stoves out there. Lack of proper maintenance and cleaning is usually the owners fault and results in poor "reviews". If $$$ is no problem, them go to the local stove shop and look at a Harman.....very pricey for new, plus cost of install, pipe, etc.

    Quadrafire is good too, as is Enviro.
     
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  4. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    Is your friend too busy to research this site? Perhaps not ‘puter savvy?

    Harman, Fahrenheit, Enerzone(spelling?)... England’s.
     
  5. scajjr2

    scajjr2

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    That is true, you don't always find Harman mentioned. But funny thing is when I was researching pellet stoves back in 2011-12, any forum discussion I came across always said they were easily one of the best, albeit more expensive. That being said, we're into our 7th heating season with our Harman P43 and it has lived up to the Harman reputation- a bit more expensive but rock solid. Have had zero issues with ours. Give it a good cleaning once a month, it just works.

    Sam
     
  6. Hoytman

    Hoytman

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    I suppose I could have googled it also. I guess I will next time.
     
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  7. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers

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    I am a Whitfield Freak...

    Older stove brand that is no longer made, but built like a tank...
    All parts are readily available (Fans, auger motors control boards)

    Can be bought right, and if they are maintained well they are good for decades.

    I have bought very lovely stoves in this brand used for $200

    We have a large one (ADVANTAGE 2 T) and a PRODIGY 2)
    The Harmon is a Cadillac for sure.....
     
  8. BHags

    BHags

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    Hastings st Croix. Cast iron instead of steel outside if looks are important. Going on 15 years, just normal maintenance
     
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  9. subsailor

    subsailor

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    X2
     
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  10. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather

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    I believe Harman doesn't come up because one of the primary criterion that the folks who do reviews consider is price. Very true that Harmans will be more expensive than the box store brands such as Englander. But, there is a market niche for everything, Harman, Englander, etc.
    Please also factor in that many of the people in this forum are considerably more mechanically/electronically adept than the typical pellet stove owner. So, while buying an older stove (or stove no longer produced) can be a great deal, its not for everyone. Part availability, folks who can work on them, etc, could be difficult to find.
     
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  11. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers

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    Tell ya a little story.

    First off, if you are going to own and operate a pellet stove....be as intimate with that stove as you can be....know it's every part and how it functions.

    Understand exactly how the manufacture says to clean and maintain it.
    Do not take anything for granted..
    ****NOTE****
    We have some very good folks here who work on, buy, sell and service pellet stoves and do a stellar job.....but out in the wilds of the galaxy there are many SO CALLED stove techs who DO NOT.

    I bought a used stove locally at a very very good price from a couple.

    The story goes....the fire became lazy with poor heating and finally the stove refused to run at all.
    A major area stove shop was called and the TECH came and charged them $$$$$$$$$$$$ and looked the stove over, cleaned the fire box and fiddled a bit.

    The tech told them they needed a new stove for BIG $$$$$$$
    The couple offered the old stove for sale.

    I took the stove home and opened it up.

    The mechanical cabinet was full of pellets (Literally 1/3 the way up inside the cabinet enough that the room air fan was sucking in pellets.
    The exhaust fan was sticky and would barely turn.

    Cleaned the mess up....
    The auger tube had a leak at the transition where the bottom bearing plate bolted on.
    (Factory sealed it with silicone which had come loose allowing pellets to pop out now and then)

    The exhaust fan likely had never been oiled (Rubber plugs were in the ports and stuck hard..had to drill them out)

    Removed the plugs, oiled the bushing and the fan came to life.

    Blew out the innards.
    Stove ran fine....

    Time to repair....less than an hour.

    The old couple got stuck $5000 plus an install fee when all they needed was a vacuum job, a dab of silicone, a few drops of oil and a good interior ash trap cleaning.

    Unscrupulous dealers can and will do this crap...

    No matter which band you buy...get to know it really well.... LIFE WILL BE FAR EASIER FOR YA

    Another story

    Went to a garage sale.
    Small "tiny" pellet stove sitting in the garage with a very cheap price on it and a sign
    "DOES NOT WORK"

    I looked it over and the owner came over and said "I pressed the start button but there was no heat coming out"

    Hmmmm ?????

    I thanked them and continued to look the stove over.

    Opened the hopper....Owners manual still taped in the hopper and no sign that there had ever been pellets in there .????????????

    Paid them the asking price and tossed the stove in the rig.

    A complete lack of knowledge on this one.

    Somebody paid to have the stove installed and the installer did not explain the operation to the homeowner or even make sure the stove worked.

    That one still leaves me wondering ??????????????????????:picard:

    Have fun.
    Enjoy whatever you decide to get.
    Know it well...
     
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  12. Hoytman

    Hoytman

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    Well, thanks for the stories. Much appreciated. Goes to show there are dishonest business people everywhere and why I do often say, don’t drink the kool-aid.

    Nothing wrong with you going ahead and buying that stove, it was for sale after all. For me, I’d have had to show them the problem before I allowed them to sell it to me. That’s just me thought and I don’t require what I would do if others. Some people can’t help what they don’t know...they are honest in that regard...even without saying a word.

    Just as I said, I don’t know much at all about pellet stoves, which ones are good and which ones are reliable. I did recently come across some EPA reports, but was only paying attention to modern wood stoves when reading those reports.

    Obviously, I realize some of the big name stove makers also produce their own pellet stoves. Harmon is but one name that keeps coming up. Can’t say yay or met about them with regard to quality or efficiency unless I read those reports...which tells me nothing about mechanical failures...why I inquired here.

    Does anyone have an idea what a Harmon Absolute model will cost? A range from minimum to maximum?
     
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  13. Hoytman

    Hoytman

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    Snowy River, thanks for posting those stories so folks can be aware and beware.
     
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  14. imacman

    imacman

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    Member Lousyweather should have a good idea about this.
     
  15. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers

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    I have had a lot of experience with the Whitfield brand and the older Quadrafire pellet stoves.
    I have a friend who has a Harmon...I think its an XXV I hear good things.

    I grew up in the second hand business (Pickers) and the rule I was taught was "If the seller puts the price on it without your help" Pay it and go if you like it...
    If you are asked to make an offer, then the issue is to always be honest and pay a fair price.

    I rarely make offers....let the seller decide what they are comfy with...
     
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  16. Hoytman

    Hoytman

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    Just to be clear, I said what I would do.

    I clarified those comments by first saying, “Nothing wrong with you going ahead and buying that stove, it was for sale after all.”

    What I do and why isn’t important...only to me.
     
  17. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers

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    You need to feel comfortable with how you do things :yes:

    Not a thing wrong with that...
     
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  18. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather

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    I am not allowed by HarmAn to advertise prices online and risk the wrath of the marketing people. I can tell you that an Absolute43 should cost about $3800 and an Absolute63 should cost about $4200. Those are both just painted models, and nothing else is included. You may (and probably will) need additional items to install. Things like floor protection, piping, installation, delivery, removal and disposal of a possible old unit, and pellets would be extra, and they are not nominal costs. Be sure to do as good a job as you can in determining the out of pocket prices here. You can blame the dealer all you want, but you really need to do your own homework here as well. Knowing the out of pocket price also minimizes slick marketing schemes of some dealers (free labor for the install, etc).....this way you can compare dealers. Talk to a bunch of dealers as well....why not? Also, please note that most dealers will have to estimate pipe without actually seeing your particular location for installation.

    Also you must feel comfortable with the dealer. Please know that, at least in the case of HarmAn, the selling dealer is required to do all warranty work. These arent like buying cars. Another dealer, who didnt sell the unit, is NOT required by HarmAn to provide warranty work. So, in buying the stove, you are also kind of buying the dealer as well. HarmAn pays very little to the dealer to provide warranty work....I think its a flat fee of $55, and that includes travel and shipping of replacement parts (which likely means in most cases, warranty work is an easy income loss for most dealers).. They contend that a dealer should include possible warranty work in their sales margin for the unit. Knowing this, maybe you can see why another dealer might not want to provide that work.

    As for good brands.....theres a niche for every brand.....or they cease to exist. Even here, I see folks who LOVE their vastly inferior units, but it fits their niche just fine. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
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  19. imacman

    imacman

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    In your opinion.
    :p
     
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  20. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers

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    Inferior in what way ?????

    I love my modified full race NUT BURNERS :rofl: :lol:
    Built like a tank, hard wired to withstand a cat 5 hurricane and run like a Ferrari.....
    Yeah buddy....:thumbs:
     
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