Written on: 07/09/2013
Having spent a lot of time researching the best stove for our Victorian fireplace and taking advice for the correct sized stove I took the plunge and paid a lot more than I had planned to on the basis that we would get a burner we could leave going overnight and one which would heat our front room easily and efficiently. I bought the IQ13 nestor martin inset stove in January.
Once the stove was installed I spent 2 months of frustration and shivering as we tried every which way to get heat out of it. We went through 3 cubic metres of kiln dried logs, cleaning the glass daily and watching the heat disappear up the chimney. We contacted the local company we bought it from and were told it must be "user-error" and were somewhat patronising.
The local dealer said they'd send out an "engineer". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't engineers carry things like screwdrivers around with them? I had to lend him my toolkit. While he was here he managed to not only patronise me further but failed to listen to the problems we were having. Whilst here, the pin fell out of the catch at the top of the door, and because the fire was alight, he found it very difficult to put the pin back in without burning himself or melting my screwdriver. He suggested that we'd bought the wrong sized stove for the size of room - it was their company who had suggested this size of stove from the dimension I gave him - and that we needed to upgrade it to a higher Kw machine. Obviously a better salesman than engineer. He eventually left without fixing the problem and left me feeling very frustrated.
I got hold of the UK distributer in April and they were very helpful. I explained everything in detail and they took the same stove and set it up as I had described our set-up. They came back and said that we needed to insulate the chimney with vermiculite (having been told categorically at the outset that vermiculite was unnecessary as the stove was designed to not need it).
The fitter returned and we paid him extra money to do the insulation. We started to get marginally more heat from the burner but now had a roaring sound from the stove. My quiet evenings by the fire became very uncomfortable as the pitch was such that there was no relaxing. I was told that sometimes stoves made some noise. There was too much air going into the combustion chamber but there was no clue as to where it was coming from.
In May Euroheat sent out an engineer after I explained the problem with the whistling/roaring sound, along with the continuing unacceptably high consumption of logs. He tested the seals thoroughly, checked it had been installed properly, then took a small screwdriver to rotate a screw which reduced the amount of airflow into the chamber. Problem sorted!
The stove was fixed in time for the summer, but we continued to use it as we were now getting a reasonable amount of warmth from it.
The nestor martin inset stove heats half of our sitting room effectively, but the rest of the room remains chilly. It's better than an open fire.
It looks good (but don't lose the door wangler as it's the only way to get in). Definitely a case of form over function.
The ash box has no cover (I was told it had a lid which was a plus in my book, but was told they'd stopped supplying them). It can take about 2 day's worth of fire before needing emptying.
Door glass continues to get dirty - sometimes smoke, sometimes brown.
It is meant to need very little tweaking in the air flow department but we have found the opposite to be true. Leave it unattended at your peril.
Forget overnight burning.
In conclusion, this a one expensive piece of kit which for us really failed to deliver. Euroheat have been wonderful and endlessly helpful - I cannot fault their customer service. The local dealer was very poor. If I could turn back time I'd go for a Clearview.
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