Narrowed down to two choices

jjs123January 26, 2009

Hello Everyone:

I am replacing an old, old insert in my downstairs fireplace. It has to be about 30-35 years olf (about 1976) and I couldn't even tell you the brand name of it. No firebrick, no nothing. Its got a blower which I replaced the fan motor once by finding a motor online with the same stem and could handle high temperatures. Its just about had it, and I want to replace it with a new one.

I have my choices down to two: The Joutl C550 or the Quarda-Fire 5100i. Both seem to have the same size (or at least very similar) firebox. The QF seems to be made of steel, and the Joutl seems to be cast iron.

The Joutl seems to be built like a tank

I am leaning towards the Joutl, but the dealer said he might be able to give me a deal on the QF because I actually may be buying a QF pellet insert for my upstairs fireplace.

However, I have crunched the numbers and cannot do two stoves this year, so I will be just replacing the downstairs.

Can anyone who has the Joutl or the QF comment on quality? I would be interested in those of you with anything Joutl/or QF on how each of the companys are to deal with if there's a problem, cost of replacement parts, how long you had your insert/stove before something broke. The guy who cleans my chimney told me he had one lady whose glass broke, and it was $1200 to replace the glass!!! She replaced the stove.

Anyway, thanks for the input.



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Although I am not that familiar with QF, I have heard good things about it. Jotul, on the other hand is an EXCELLENT stove.

The difference id the material they're made of. Steel heats up faster and is more forgiving to an overfire. But it cools down faster too when the fire dies. Cast iron takes a little longer to heat up, but retains the heat longer which could mean less wood to maintain the heat during the fire. And it retains the heat after the fire dies. But when and if the stove is overfired, the cast iron can warp. It happens rarely, but it does happen. And if you get an enamel finish, an overfire can craze the finish.

And as far as the "glass" breaking, it's really a difficult thing to do. Because the "glass" is really ceramic. A very hard material. Broken glass doesn't happen all that often.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 7:31AM
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if you phone the jotul customer service 800 number, you get a recorded message saying that they give first priority to their dealers, and, if you have a problem, you should take it up with your dealer/installer. I am very, very pleased with our jotul gas direct vent insert, and i believe they make excellent products. but they are a little weak in the service department.

therefore, if you decide on a jotul, make sure you are comfortable with your installer and can depend on him/her to deal with complications as they arise.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 7:10PM
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That's good to know. I don't have a problem with working out a situation with the dealer, but these companies also should appreciate that without us, they would have no company.

I have also not heard one negative at all about Joutl or their products.

Well, I guess it all comes down now to the dealer. There are two dealers in my area that sell Jotul, and I will be visiting the second one tomorrow (1/31/09). They are a sizeable dealer that carry 6 or so different brands. We'll see how enthusiastic they are. I've visited about 5 dealers so far. Two of them are really wanting my business (one of them might be a little crooked though). Two of them didn't really care if I bought from them, and one was horrific. I could not even get someone to talk to me so I walked out after about 10-15 min.



    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 1:09PM
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I should have added that we are very pleased with our Jotul gas insert. I agree that they make very fine products. The challenge is finding a dealer/installer you can really trust. I didn't really appreciate that, and just assumed that the installer we went with would do a good job.

Be sure you get a complete, detailed description of the installation. Ours took more than a whole day. Find out exactly what they will do, and try to get them to give you references of other clients they have serviced. Follow up and visit them so you can see first hand the quality of work they do. We didn't do that. If we had, we might have saved ourselves some disappointment and grief.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:47PM
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