EasyRay wrote:A friend of mine has a 503 insert.This is his third season with it. Before the season started, he had to replace the frame that holds the grates, because the frame was warped and corroded in a lot of places. That frame rests on a lip thats welded around the inside of the stove. One side of that lip that holds the frame up has come off, so now the whole frame and grates are tilted. I don't know what kind of steel Hitzer is using in this insert, but I would be very upset if it was my stove.
I recommended a Hitzer or Harmon insert to him when he was looking. He used a Hass and Sohn for 30 years with little trouble.
Sounds like he's running it a little too hot. If the insert has the bimetallic thermostat, suggest he closes the ash pan vents some, so the openings look round. I'm not familiar with the Hitzer inserts. I am very familiar with the Hitzer EZ-Flow stoves. Running the stoves with the ash pan vents too far open will cause damage. Ash pan vents are for maintaining a quick responsive fire. Bi-metallic thermostat is for room comfort.