Decent low end stove but has some serious design issues
October 01, 2013
I originally owned the freestanding Englander pellet stove with the double auger system with an extended hopper made to carry 80 pounds in my basement and decided I'd get a second stove from them as an insert to heat the upstairs since this first one worked so well. (I could burn it for 48 hours in between refills)Well now I know that was a mistake, this stove would be great if not for 2 seriously flawed design issues, both relating to the hopper. First issue is that this is a single auger stove with an auger tilted at an angle with no vertical drop before the auger (all 45 degrees) so the pellets instead of falling down on top of the auger hold and bunch up on the sides making the stove bring in less and less pellets as the hopper gets lower. Once the hopper is about 50% empty the amount of pellets feeding is noticeably smaller and as a result the flame starts sputtering out so you have to keep opening the lid and pushing the pellets towards the center or else the stove will turn off with about 30% of the pellets still in the hopper. You have to do this 3-5 times each load or else it will go out and turn off which is ridiculous.The other poor design flaw (which makes me wish I saw the stove in person instead of ordering online is that the hopper lid opening is TINY. Compared to the freestanding stove the lid is maybe 25% as deep so when you are filling the hopper with a bag you have to keep putting your hand in there and pushing the pellets towards the back of the stove to make room for the rest. And the hopper does not hold 40 pounds like it says you will never get more then 4/5ths of a 40 pound bag in there and if you are filling it when the stove is hot and having to stop rest the bag on the hot stove while you push the rest of the pellets toward the back of the hopper so you can pour more in as the bag starts giving off wonderful melting smells.Anyways, aside from those two boneheaded design flaws the stove seems to work well.... it annoying that I will have to always be around to make sure the pellets are feeding (and just to note, I have already done the recommended cleaning the hopper, polishing and adding graphite lubricant to make the pellets slide but the sliding issue has nothing to do with the materials surface on the side it has to do with the auger pulling pellets from the sides and having no vertical shaft to drop the pellets on top of the auger. I am almost tempted to pull the stove out and redesign the hopper with sheet metal to make it work properly now. BTW, if any representatives of this company read this. Your hopper lid should stick out to the front of the stove and slope in. There is no reason to have it so small. The extra money for an insert should be more then the same stove with less metal and no pedestal with a reduced hopper lid. DESIGN a real insert please not a chopped up freestanding stove for more money.I'd only recommend this stove if those two issues were fixed. If not this stove is a pain and only worth it if you plan on watching it like a hawk and flipping open that lid and shuffling pellets with your hand every 2-3 hours. Certainly not to be trusted to still be running if you leave the house for more than a few hours.
after convincing my wife we needed this stove, she was very skeptical about it, calling it a waste of money. after a few weeks of perfect operation and awesome heating she is now a believer. this stove burns great even low quality pellets. the ash pan is not that big, but apparently it doesnt have to be. after a week of use without cleaning it out there was not as much ash as i expected. i am very satisfied with this stove and the customer service from the company is the best i have experienced in years.
Bought this Fireplace insert Pellet stove fall of 2011. What a difference in our family room and home. Stove has exceeded our expectations. Love the glass front and the view of the fire. Heats our entire basement area of about 1,500 SF so well that we have never had the stove higher than the 1-3 setting. We have a split so the heat rises up the stairway and keeps our second level very comfortable. We have already noticed a saving on our oil delivery. I have recommended this stove to family and friends.
I have owned this stove for 4 years now. Every year it has multiple breakdowns. Whether it's a worn door gasket, exhaust blower motor, room blower motor,auger motor, malfunctioning control board. It's always something. Its a guaranteed break down. Problems started right from the beginning with a faulty exhaust blower and auger from the factory. I have another pellet stove from a different manufacturer for 11 years now and I never had to replace a thing on it. If you enjoy working on things instead of heating your house, this is the stove for you. Just don't count on it as a main source of heat. I wish I would have just spent my money on a better quality used pellet stove instead of this.
Auger-feed is lousy, doesn't get all pellets, only the ones in the middle of the hopper, have to check the hopper frequently and manually move pellets directly over the auger. This makes it very unreliable when leaving it alone for the day or night. Also very difficult filling the hopper.
Though the instructions for installation were written to convert a free standing stove to an insert they are very clear and correct for the install. The stove worked first time as advertised and after the construction smell burnt off with the first heating it has worked flawlessly.
Nice looking stove although it has cheap gold trim around window that comes loose. Light weight and easy to install, it does a good job of heating area. Has a small pellet hopper ( holds BARELY a 40 lbs bag) and unit shuts off before the hopper is empty.
If this thing breaks out of warranty you are in trouble. My stove has been down for two weeks. This is my second season using it. I have been calling the manufacturer and I get a different story each time. There was apparenrtly an engineering flaw with earlier models. They sent parts to retofit and correct the problem. Parts did fit so I was told to grind them down myself to make them fit. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My last lennox stove lasted for 10 years. This thing didn't even make it much past a year.
The side panels are firmly screwed to the body you have to dismantle them to fix anything on the back.the ignition system is very weak as long as the flame doesn't come out in 10 minutes "E 2" will show up and shut down the stove.When you hook up thermostat to the stove under "H L" mode. the thermostat doesn't prevent temp pass the set temp and when you use "ON OFF" mode you will face weak ignition and the possibility to reduce the igniter's life.
There are more expensive and obviously better quality pellet stoves on the market, but one can save at least 1k and have a good stove for a good price. It's efficient and relatively easy to install.We live at 3400 feet of elevation in Southern California, the house is 1200 ft and has very high vaulted ceilings in the living room. I was spend in too much money in wood, propane and electricity to warm up the house in winter and I now am able to keep at a very comfortable temperature my entire place with this stove only. I start with a high/medium setting (5) for about one hour and then leave it at low set all day (2).I have ordered the remote control thermostat from the same manufacturer and I will install it so that I can have a fair temp also when I wake up. I use a door fan to push the warm air from the living room to the rest house and it does the trick.Only con is the hopper designed in such way that pellets need to be stirred up and pushed down towards the center where the auger is every couple of hours, otherwise they stick on the side walls and don't flow down continuously, causing the stove to shut down. Just make sure the hopper is filled up nicely before going to sleep or before leaving the house for several hours. I can live with that. I am glad I can save money and don't have to carry wood anymore.
Easy to Clean,
Easy to Use,
Easy to Install,
Good Size & Weight,