Just wanted to share my story with anyone considering this stove. I purchased this model at end of year clearance sale in April of 07. The dealer I purchased it from was also selling Harmans. I ultimately decided to go with the QF because of its advanced features and ability to burn numerous fuels. Over the past year and a half I had experienced a lot of problems with the stove myself. Never really thought much of any of the problems as this was my first pellet stove. I thought perhaps this was normal. Further, customer service from QF and my dealer has been excellent! They were very responsive and worked around my scheduled. I had a dealer tech working at my house no less then 4 time last winter. The last visit they brought QF regional rep along with them. However, every problem that has been described in this forum has happened to my stove. I have experienced Ash Pan Fires (About a dozen times) My entire house top to bottom is covered in shoot(Furniture window blinds, walls and carpets),had problem with pellets not igniting properly, fan blower failed once and was replaced, blower became loud (fixed with updated motherboard). I have also received all the newest updates (new mother board and wall unit) . Thought they had worked out all the problem and I would be smooth sailing this year. However when I went to go fire it up this past weekend I noticed the cast iron cover inside stove appeared to have had stress fractures (Its Solid Iron). I called the dealer yesterday and they stopped me mid sentence, apparently this was another common problem that others complained about last year. Told me to stop in the store and they would replace no problem. Also told me it would not be a problem to run it in the meantime as it was not a safety concern. So when I finally fired it up it worked for one cycle. When it shut down for its first auto clean it never restarted. I received a vacuum SW error message on my wall unit. First time this has happened but I see now many others have already received this error as well. I sought out this forum to see if any others were experiencing the similar problems. Guess I have found the answer. So just wanted to warn those who are in the market for a new stove and considering this model. The manufacturer seems to be reputable and as I stated the customer service has been excellent. But they clearly have not worked out all the bugs on this particular product. Its a shame because I like the concept of what it should be when it works properly. However in the year and a half I have owned it it has not worked problems for a single day. Further, I am a bit more concerned over the ash pan fires now then I was previously. My dealer had assured me last year that it was perfectly safe and that the fire would be contained within tthe stove. However after reading several other reviews I am now much more concerned. Saving a little money on heating my home is not Worth losing loved ones over in a house fire. Thats my biggest fear. I think I am going to unplug the unit for good now and see what can be done about getting the unit replaced with another model or getting my money. I will be using my propane furnace until then.
To Quad Brand Manager, Steve Tate:
Apparently your stove still stinks, literally and figuratively. Please inform us why your company shouldn't be reported to any testing lab that actually passed this piece of junk.
Further, aren't the BBB and other industry watchdogs calling?
Give me a break Steve. Your stove causes fires outside the firebox. This is not a joke.
Look-- what you Mt. Vernon owners need to do is go to UL labs and contact them about the defective product that Underwriters Laboratories PASSED. Here is the link: How to Report your Quadrafire Mt. Vernon is junk to UL
Quadrafire manufactures this product and obviously doesn't care. Maybe UL values their reputation and will act on this.
Trow1-- "My dealer had assured me last year that it was perfectly safe and that the fire would be contained within the stove."
Have them put that in writing with a backup letter from Quadrafire. Something tells me that will never happen. I think this outfit now owns Harmon. I'd suggest they give you a Harmon Accentra with installation and an apology.
Quadra Fire support is legendary apparently--and not in a good way
I thought we had buried this thread.
It seems to be immortal.
Isn't there someone with a sword who can cut it's head off?
I think what this industry has is about 5 good techs, one of which is retired... and posts on a message board. Those remaining 4 techs work for 2 companies.
That's the problem on the service side. Then you have a manufacturer that is largely unresponsive and irresponsible that apparently doesn't have an interest in generating their service side distributors with higher standards.
How does it stop? -- It's very simple: QF representative posting here or even putting something on their website on how they are solving the issues and how they are going to be responsible with their customers. They are using the Ostrich method instead.
There are at least two HHT representatives that post on this forum. No, I'm not one of them. The transactions posted here do get sent up the line from time to time.
FYI, Steve Tate is no longer the brand manager for Quad--he moved on to pellet sales with another company.
They sent this unit back to R&D, made changes then re-launched back in July 2008, so I'm guessing they thought they had the bugs worked out. The main thing to understand is that venting here on this forum is not going to fix your problems. All I can advise is stay after your dealer.
I know many of you are frustrated but I urge you to demonstrate a level of restraint here. There is a big difference btw someone screaming threats versus someone who is remaining calm but not going away. Just a suggestion. Remember, a company cannot respond to a problem if they are not notified of it. In addition to your dealer, write to Quad including the model and serial number of your appliance detailing the problem. They will kick it up to the dealer but at least it is on their radar. Maybe they thought they had the problem licked and the dealer is so busy he is not reporting it up the line.
I guess Sysint doesn't rate me as a good tech!:D
Quite the contrary, you are one of the 5 guys.
I can imagine the guy moved on... Hearthman, your industry stinks to me. There aren't enough professional and qualified guys and I think the reason for that is there isn't enough qualified contractors which directly goes back to Quadra Fire not doing enough to qualify quality contractors. It's their fault, the equipment problems are their fault, and they need to get themselves straight.
An owner shouldn't have to complain to the manufacturer. The manufacturer needs to get their act together with their distribution.
We have all had manufacturers that have made products with issues. The difference is the professional contractors go back and get immediate results. This not showing up for weeks, making false guarantees, parts not being available for weeks, and Q-Fire hiding rather than being forthcoming and proper with their product means everything that is posted here is them deserving what they get.
Quadra Fire needs to do the following:
- Get a real website with technical documentation available like every major heating company does.
- Get real distributors (dealers) that are qualified with trained (approved) technicians. These dealers should have at least one qualified technician. (NATE-- whatever something)
- Get a better handle on parts. Parts taking weeks to arrive is ridiculous.
- Provide bulletins on issues and be quick to state problems and resolutions.
This is the way professional companies act.
Sysint, I cannot argue with any of your points. I just got back from the Board of Directors meeting for the HPBA in Chicago and shook them up on how our industry has gotten away with so little training and education. We are developing our Long Range Planning and this is a key feature to survival and licensure in the future. Right now, it is hard enough to get a manager to commit his people for even one day per yr.
I teach the NFI Certifications and the recertifications are running only about 25%.
Yes, there is a lot more the mfrs. can and should be doing. The HHT training program is very, very basic. For instance, in most cases, you do not have models or cut-aways of actual models to work on and see where things are located, what it takes to get to them, what types of hardware and controls are used, etc. You have to figure it out on your own. They provide only a minimum of technical info. on the various systems and components. For instance: there is nothing written down noting the normal acceptable resistance ranges for each part such as the blowers, vacuum switch, snap discs, etc. There is no information on normal limits for exhaust temps, vent pressures, exhaust velocity, etc. What is the CFM rating of the combustion blower? What is the normal actual exhaust in CFM without any venting? What are the normal surface temps.? They view all this as double naught spy (Jethro) top secret information. What's the normal temp rise on convection air at each fan speed?
The sad thing is, this mfr. gives more data than most other mfrs. Harman does ok with certain aspects of their pellet stoves. However, a lot of things get over looked because the guy responding doesn't have a clue what he's looking at or how to get at things.
There is a troubleshooting guide on the dealer's website for this Mt. Vernon AE stove. It is not available to the public as far as I know. Again, these mfrs. are very nervous about getting sued or the competition getting a leg up on them. Sometimes, this leaves the homeowner stuck in the middle.
I'm doing what little I can to improve this situation not just with this mfr. but across the board. With shrinking margins and rock bottom sales for the new construction channel, there is some major realignment in the market, esp. at the top.
H-man, at least there is some movement for education. If Quadra Fire management had any brains whatsoever, they would be shipping free stoves to any professional training center begging those facilities to train people with them.
I own a QF product. I was shocked at the lack of information. Honestly, I couldn't have the dealer install the product after interviewing him. Plus, they didn't even provide pellet service (how serious were they you have to ask). After digging into the machine it is rather basic (which is probably good) and basically can work. However, compare it to something like a Froeling (or other European manufacturers) and QF is merely trash by comparison.
It doesn't surprise me that QF and others don't have detailed data. My guess is they actually DON'T know and DON'T care. I also wouldn't doubt they don't have a plan for parts and types and change their minds with the wind.
About not having a troubleshooting guide with the unit? --- Every major manufacturer of heating equipment has full manuals delivered with the product which includes troubleshooting. There is no excuse not to have this information. If you cannot empower professionals and give them the ability to work on the equipment all you will ever have is po-dunk Bubbas running around peddling stoves. What a shame. QF should be embarrassed, but I suspect they don't have enough brainpower to figure out they should be.
Anyway, I wish you and the other 3 active professionals in the industry well.
Interesting suggestion that one reason so little information is available is that manufacturers are afraid of being sued.
How true is that?
Is that an issue more than normal? If you buy a ladder it has warnings on it. So does conventional heating/AC equipment, along with electric heaters you buy at the local big box.
What criteria makes a pellet stove any different from all of those products?
Just FYI there was an online 2 part training course for the Mt Vernon AE that had to completed by one person from each dealer or HHT would not ship them any more AE units as of Oct 1st 2008. I completed that for our store and it was pretty good, I put one of the things I learned to use today actually. I know I know its just online flash stuff but it is better than nothing. Like I said the course was pretty good and went through each error message one by one and explained what causes that error and how to troubleshoot it.