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24-09-2008, 10:13   #1
varney
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Which solid fuel stove do people recommend?

Hello All,

Only discovered Boards recently and find it brilliant as a source of valuable advice, especially as it is specific to Ireland.....Keep it up!!

My question(s):
We have an old cottage which over the years has been restored and extended onto. In the old sitting room there's a largeish fireplace which we hope to put a solid fuel stove into. We really need it to heat the water and link into our existing oil fired rads.

I believe there was a new flue put into this fireplace about ten years back, but am not certain. Should it be obvious from shining a torch up the chimney?

Which stove would people recommend for the job? I tried a local fire centre here in Sligo and they dismissed all cast iron stoves as short-lived. The guy informed me that all the Stanley stuff is Chinese and you'd be lucky to get five years out of one. He recommends getting a steel model by and English company called Charnwood.

I've asked around and people seem to agree. Does anyone out there have one, and how do they rate them?

Thanks in advance to all replies.
Michael,.
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24-09-2008, 13:10   #2
Eurorunner
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Originally Posted by varney View Post
Which stove would people recommend for the job? I tried a local fire centre here in Sligo and they dismissed all cast iron stoves as short-lived. The guy informed me that all the Stanley stuff is Chinese and you'd be lucky to get five years out of one. He recommends getting a steel model by and English company called Charnwood.
When did waterford stanley start to get their stuff manufactured in China? Just trying to establish whether people are assuming that because its chinese made, its inferior ...OR ...that its clear that the stuff is inferior?
I have only made comparisons on one model (the smallest), but its hard to justify going with another make given that the alternatives are at least 100% more expensive. I suppose it depends to what degree the stanley stove is inferior to the rest.
What part of a stove is likely to break over time? Can bits and pieces be replaced or is it more likely a case of chucking it out and starting again?

Last edited by Eurorunner; 24-09-2008 at 13:29.
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24-09-2008, 13:18   #3
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I have a feeling your fire centre could be trying to sell you something that they have a greater margin on. Ask the Stanley centre in Archers Ballina for their opinion (if there isn't one in Sligo). They'll tell you whether they're made in China and whether there are quality issues, which might be more important than the location of the manufacturing plant.

I know loads of people who have stanley stoves for more than 10 years and I know plenty that have newer ones too and they don't seem to have had any problems except for one, where they used to put on blazing coal fires and it warped the grate inside.

If you want loads of heat for the room and hot water for the rads best going with someting like the Erin. My in-laws put in one last year and it has transformed the house.

Like any stove, the heat you get out is directly proportional to the amount of fuel you put in. They have an ample supply of turf and it really works well.

Hope this helps.
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25-09-2008, 08:52   #4
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I could have the complete wrong end of the stick but I think my father told me last year (after researching and buying a stove) that there was a breakaway group (of engineers, or designers, or whatever) from Stanley who started making their own stoves, but manufactured in China. So basically, it was the same as Stanley, but not Stanley, but cheaper....
Just my tuppence worth and it could be completely wrong. I'd check with a stanley supplier as recommended by Avns1s, but wouldn't write off something just cos it's made in China. I think Dad went with the Chinese one - it's still going (1 year later?! ) and no probs so far. hth and apologies if I'm wrong.
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25-09-2008, 10:47   #5
varney
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Thanks for your replies,
I wasn't sucked in by the showroom assistant's sales pitch, but I have asked a few people who do agree that the steel stoves are better. I'm told they can withstand greater heat and are pretty indestructible. I still don't know if that means they're worth the huge cost ( the Charnwood I was shown was around €2000). The Stanley model my neighbour got was close enough on this ( around €1500).

We would pay the extra if we knew that the stove will heat the water and run at least ten radiators reasonably well. Has anyone had experience of linking a new solid fuel stove into an existing central heating system? I'd be interested to hear their experiences.

A chap who does jobs for us ( and is earmarked to fit this stove, ) tells me you need to insert a plate into the chimney and run the flue from the stove through it. Also needs to have a trapdoor opening to clean out the soot, which I hadn't thought about.

Anyway, we have no idea which is the best type of stove to go for and are in the hands of the showroom salesmen..........help!!!

Michael.
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25-09-2008, 18:37   #6
charliecon
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I'm in the same position as you and have narrowed it down to a Harmony 3 or a Hunter Herald 14. They are both cast iron which is better than steel ,the harmony is around 2000 and the Hunter is 1590. There is a huge showroom near Navan called Hickeys Fireplace and Stove Centre and there are loads of different models on display ( no Stanley - they said they wern't reliable) .I have no connection to them but they could be worth a look if you were ever round that way - they really know their stuff and they're not a bit pushy.
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25-09-2008, 20:40   #7
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Charlie I can whole-heartedly recommend the hunter herald 14, we have one and its the bees knees.

It throws out some serious heat to both the boiler and the room, and we have no oil or gas just the stove to heat rads and water , if you light a good fire your rads will be to hot to touch within an hour.
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25-09-2008, 23:10   #8
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Yea the girl in Hickeys recommended it also .How many rads do you run of it ?The room I want it for is about 26' x 16' - its a kitchen livingroom combined and the reason I was thinking about the harmony is it has a model with a hotplate so you can cook on it also. Do you think it would be possible to cook on the hunter ,nothing major now just like boil a kettle or a pot of stew without ruining the top of it?
Thanks again
Charlie
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26-09-2008, 09:38   #9
varney
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stoves

Thanks for that information guys,

I must admit I was a bit surprised to hear people say Stanley are dodgy. I always associate their name with ranges and stoves etc since childhood. Still,....I'm here to learn!!

So is it true that cast iron is a better option than steel? This is the opposite to the showroom guy I spoke with, and he had a fair old number of cast iron units there.

Haven't heard of Hunter Herald but having looked at it online it seems that with the large hood it'll be too big for our existing fireplace.

I'd also be interested to hear how many rads 'Demanufactured' has running off it.

Michael.
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26-09-2008, 09:58   #10
charliecon
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Varney you can get it without the hood - just a flat top and its 100 euro cheaper.
Everyone I have asked about stoves has told me that cast iron is better than steel but it is more expensive.

Last edited by charliecon; 26-09-2008 at 10:13.
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26-09-2008, 12:41   #11
John mac
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Originally Posted by varney View Post
Thanks for your replies,
I wasn't sucked in by the showroom assistant's sales pitch, but I have asked a few people who do agree that the steel stoves are better. I'm told they can withstand greater heat and are pretty indestructible. I still don't know if that means they're worth the huge cost ( the Charnwood I was shown was around €2000). The Stanley model my neighbour got was close enough on this ( around €1500).

We would pay the extra if we knew that the stove will heat the water and run at least ten radiators reasonably well. Has anyone had experience of linking a new solid fuel stove into an existing central heating system? I'd be interested to hear their experiences.

A chap who does jobs for us ( and is earmarked to fit this stove, ) tells me you need to insert a plate into the chimney and run the flue from the stove through it. Also needs to have a trapdoor opening to clean out the soot, which I hadn't thought about.

Anyway, we have no idea which is the best type of stove to go for and are in the hands of the showroom salesmen..........help!!!

Michael.
I put in a Stanley last year.
the heat from it is fantastic!
there was a smell from the paint for the first 5 or 6 fires but after that its been fine.

drilled a 125mm hole through back of chimney and put a soot door on the outside.

cleaned the chimney last Saturday very simple and clean. no soot inside.

are you using the stove to heat rads?
have you had a look at this site?

Last edited by John mac; 26-09-2008 at 12:45.
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26-09-2008, 19:17   #12
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At present were only running 6 rads off it , but will be adding 4 more next year, ,and i know itll be well up to the job.

Another good stove i have seen in action is the stanley erin.
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11-10-2008, 05:21   #13
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Just a note on the stanleys to clear up the here say.They no longer do their castings on site in waterford.They are done abroad and brought to waterford where the stoves are assembled and finished etc.I work adjacent to their facility.

Varney you will need to get your flue lined and back filled with vermiculite because of the extra heat the stove will generate. A stove of 11kw upwards to do about 10 - 12 rads. 3 kw to room 8kw to rads as an example.
stanley erin / nestor martin / jotul ,the latter two being more modern versions.
Try fenton fires in greystones ,they will give you top advice ,ask for paul

Last edited by bakerbhoy; 11-10-2008 at 05:32.
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28-10-2008, 14:17   #14
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Mulberry stoves

You should check out Mulberry stoves who are a breakaway crowd from Stanley. We got their smallest one for the front room and the heat is fantastic. We also had an old stanley range cooker that was on it's last legs and are installing a Mulberry solid fuel range that will heat 12 rads. So hopefully turf from now on with no ever increasing oil bills.

Also if you are anyway handy fit the stove yourself, if you are flu lined then all you need to is put the adapter which fits in to clay flue pipe bringing it down from 8" to 5", then depending on the height of your chimney attach the bend or the bevelled straight piece and attach to the stove. I had a bit of chiselling to do but it can be done and it would save on getting a plumber to do the heavy work who'll charge a heavy price, just get him to connect it to your back boiler and rads.

You'll not regret it especially in an old cottage like ourselves it seems to suit that type of building.
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29-10-2008, 09:49   #15
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Just coming in abit late to this thread lads but to clear up a few points if I may. I sell both cast iron and steel stoves so am not biased towards one or the other.
Mulberry and stanley are both cast in China but are pretty good stoves by and large. there are other similar stoves being brought in here that will look very similar but will not be CE approved and may or may not have the back up that the brands have. Imho Mulberry have a better back up than Stanley but this is only anecdotal as i sell Mulberry and not Stanley. Stanleys are through a local Builders merchanst and they are not highly regarded for their back up on anything really.
Efel and nestor martin are cast in europe as are Dovre but these seem to one of the few companies still doing it in Europe.
Hunter stoves and most English made stove are steel bodies with some cast parts and are manufactured in England nearly all in the same area of devon. Arrow, esse, stovax, hunter, charnwood imho not a huge pile to set them apart but Arrow. Hunter and Charnwood are ones i would rate a little higher as their efficiency is a bit higher than most cast stoves. cast stoves usualy have either cast panels or firebrick inside.
Steel stoves have a skamolex heat board inside that allows them achieve higher efficiency. Cast takes longer to heat up but retains heat for longer. Steel heats up quicker but loses its heat quicker also.
not much to set them apart really i have never heard of anyone being disappointed with any of the brands mentioned above and everyone seems to be more than happy with the heat outputs. sorry for the long post but Hope it clears things up a bit.
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