Thursday, August 15, 2013

Time for a New Stove?

This breaks my heart, but I’m thinking we may need a new stove. We could fix the one we have, if it needs fixing, which I think it does, but the cost may not make it worth it. Also, from what I can gather, this is not the most efficient stove around, even though we love it. Then again, it’s the only stove we’ve ever had, prior to which I had little to no experience with them.

The current stove we have is an old Vermont Casting Defiant, built about 40 years ago. It’s the original, the first they ever made, and it’s a beauty. It’s big and heavy and a beast, but man does that thing give off heat. The problem we’ve run into is the base plate has developed a crack, and you don’t want your base to collapse when it’s full of burning wood. Talk about a disaster. I noticed that crack last year, and truth be told, we used the stove anyway with no problem. I can’t determine if it’s gotten worse, but my gut feeling is that we shouldn’t ignore it.

One solution would be to prop up the base with bricks or something that can handle the heat, but that is a short term remedy, and doesn’t solve the problem. The other options are to have it fixed, or get a new one. My Mentor is all for getting a pellet stove, he raves about his, but we have been using wood for years, and I sort of like cutting and splitting the stuff. I know how stupid this may seem, because pellet stoves are more efficient and much easier to use, but who said I wasn’t stupid?

Fixing the stove may be practically, economically, and logistically less than optimal. There are people who can fix this very stove, but there are complications involved. First off, we have to get the stove to him, and he’s about 45 minutes away. Then, after he fixes it, we have to bring it back. The cost of fixing it will probably run around a thousand dollars, I’m guessing. The cost of rebuilding the thing alone is $450, but factor in new parts and any other problems he may find, not to mention transportation cost, and it all adds up. Finally, the guy said it has to sit for a month after a rebuild so the cement dries properly. He does have the part we need, however, and I was wondering if I could just do it myself... yeah, right.

The other option is to just replace it. As I mentioned, this stove is old, and the new models are more efficient and supposedly give off more heat. They are also supposedly more eco-friendly, but we’re looking at a pretty big chunk of change (probably a couple of grand), all in the midst of dispensing all sorts of chunks of change building this barn and taking care of all or our living expenses. Life is just a bottomless pit of expense.

We don’t have unlimited time to deal with this, and as usual, I should have dealt with it in the spring, but no sense in whining, because as we’ve all learned, whining gets you nowhere fast. Somehow knowing that still doesn’t stop me from indulging.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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