Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Legendsingray On: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:36 pm

I am in the market to upgrade from my wood burning insert to a coal fired insert as my main heat source. I have an electric central air unit, but try to avoid using it.

I am looking at either the Harman "Magnafire" insert or the Hitzler "503" or "983" insert. My dealer (who sells both brands) is a bit of a drive (1 1/2 hrs) so I can't make a lot of visits to look and examine.

I have a 30 year old brick style home that is 2000(+/-) sq.ft. It hold heats well once it heats, but is drafty when it's really cold (20 degrees). The fireplace is on the lower level (finished basement).

I have burned coal in a previous house so I know all the ins & outs of Anthracite. I just want to hear some reviews/recomendations of both stoves.

Also what is the average price range for the above stoves?

Thanks for the help.
Legendsingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 Insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/ Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Heat pump

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: redlander On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:11 am

I have a fireplace that had a wood only insert in it when i purchased home.when i switched to coal i bought a freestanding stove,used a plate to cover the fireplace opening,sealed around the edges with foam,cut a hole for vent pipe.with this set up the whole stove is in the living space.no btus lost in the chimney.just an option.
redlander
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman,baker
Stove/Furnace Model: sf 3500,heat king

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:22 am

Hopper feed 503...
Got the 'rents hooked on the stove...
Good looks easy to operate...
Heats 2000+ sq ft on The Cape...
72* nice...
Loved the hopper style feeding so much I got a hopper feed for myself...
Now using a DS Machine Basement #4...
Not an insert...
If I had a fireplace to fill...
It would be the 503...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:14 am

The Hitzer stoves are well made, have good features and are fairly priced.. The Hitzer folks will talk to you on the phone, answer your questions and stand behind their products..

The Harmon is a good stove, but i believe it costs about twice what the Hitzer does. It is not a hopper top feed, and your local dealer determines how well you will have support for your stove..

Hitzer about $15-1700. The Harman $~3000.

If you are far enough away from your 'local' dealer, hitzer will sell direct to you. You may save $$ this way, or maybe your local dealer will want to reduce inventory, now that spring is only 2 months away.

Greg L

Do a search for Hitzer 503.. you will find a lot of happy owner.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Legendsingray On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:21 am

I would love to do the freestanding option, but I have an elevated hearth and the stove would be too far into my usable living space. I am also nervous about having a hot stove in the middle of the floor where my 2 small children play.
Legendsingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 Insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/ Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Heat pump

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: topper On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:42 am

This is the second year running my 503. Three bedroom ranch with largely an open floor "design" - 1800 feet. Heats the majority of the house here in northern Maine to 70 - 75 degrees no problem depending upon temps/wind. The 503 has two good blowers that do a real good job moving air around. I am happy with the stove. I can't make any comments about the Harman.
topper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Ashcat On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:32 pm

Both Hitzer's are well built and well designed. Many more 503 owners than 983 owners here. I've enjoyed my 983, which I chose over the 503 since it has a larger firebox (20" x 20", vs 503's 15" x 20") and wanted the extra output for the size of the space I'm heating. My brother ("Beeman" here) has a new 503 this year, so I have some familiarity with both stoves in action. You can burn wood more easily in the 983, since there's no hopper to remove--but my brother burned wood earlier in the season without the hopper, with no difficulties.

Given your space, and the hopper which allows for longer times before reloading, I'd probably go with the 503. You wouldn't be disappointed with either stove.
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Legendsingray On: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:15 pm

It reallly seems that everyone loves the 503. I called my local dealer and she is in love w/ the 503 over the 983 and the harman. That seems to be the way I am leaning right now.
Legendsingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 Insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/ Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Heat pump

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:37 am

I have the Harman and like it a lot. Have never had to use Harman service so I wouldn't know what to tell ya there but have heard many horror stories. Don't forget about the Keystoker stoker insert either. Good stove there and would be a top choice for me if I were to change from the Harman hand fed. And believe me if you do happen to loose any BTUs to the fireplace brick, be thankful since you will not believe how well they will heat your home, lol.
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: newbiecoal On: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:21 am

Can't speak for the Harman but I have the Hitzer 503. I'm originally from NYC, never knew anything about coal. Moved to central PA and all of my hillbilly co-workers convinced me to go with coal over wood so I went the Hitzer 503 because I wanted something for my fireplace. My co-workers are turning me into a Puerto Rican hillbilly. My house is 65 yrs old and has no wall insulation. After about 1 1/2 months of learning, I've got the house so hot, I have to open the windows. And thats with leaving slots on the ash pan doors just a hair open. I couldn't imagine if my house was adequately insulated. I love my hitzer 503. Although, I do hate having to shake the ashes down. It flares up my tennis elbow (even though I don't play tennis) and I'm lazy.
newbiecoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:45 am

Hello,Legendsingrey

Not to foul you up,but if you have a little bit of room to spare,take a look at http://www.leisureline.com

Once you get there,go to "products" and check out the "Hearth" and "econo sidewinder" models. They're both stokers,have the hopper and mechanism on the side and are designed to mate right up to your existing set-up. Matthaus is one of the new owners of Leisure line. He's posted here often and helped many. From what I've read here both the previous owners and Matt and Dave do a fine job with a PA built product. I'm not their toady,never even talked or posted with them. They are in the Mfr's area here on the board. Looking and talking are free and it couldn't hurt if this would fill your need. I know the kids are a concern,but either may not stick out all that far from your setting,and,depending on your elevated ledge(Per your avatar)should be fully supported......Take Care...Hambden Bob...
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: EasyRay On: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:54 am

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.
EasyRay
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: coal berner On: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:11 am

Few more you may want to look at

http://www.bakerstoves.com/stoves5.htm

http://www.keystoker.com/products.php#krs
HF Insert 70/90
Keystoker Hearth / ZC


http://www.alaskastove.com/site/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=130&category_id=27&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=53
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.



http://www.alaskastove.com/site/index.php?page=shop.product_details&product_id=132&flypage=flypage.tpl&pop=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=53
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.



http://www.altheating.com/dsmachine.pdf
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: baldeagle On: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:59 pm

Legendsiningray:
We have two Hitzers a 503 & a 354 - both of high quality. The 503 is in a 3 story colonial (+/- 3000 ft) and
heats the house easily down to 5-10F. When it goes to colder temperatures we fire up the steam heat and "idle"
the 503. We use about 3 tons of nut/year ......... pea is a little better in the fall and spring but is not easy to
come-bye in SW Penna. If you get the 503 buy Hitzer's ash tote sized to fit your ash pan - let the ashes cool
(for us means next time we shake) and the ash transfer is almost dust free. We keep the tote in the Living room!
Ash tote just fits into the top of our trash can kept on porch ....... dumped into a contractor's bag every 2-3 days
y adios los cenizas. On (lowest air setting) we are able to leave for weekends on Friday (4PM) and have an
existing fire on Sunday - 2PM ....... on highest settings we will burn about 70# of coal in a day. Using N gas
for cooking and hot water our average monthly gas consumption is 6.6 MCF = $ +/- 60/mo
Best Regards, baldeagle
baldeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 354
Stove/Furnace Model: Hitzer 503

Re: Inserts - Harman vs. Hitzler

PostBy: Legendsingray On: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:18 pm

Well....Thank you all VERY MUCH!! I have definiatly (sp?) decided on the 503! Can't wait to get one!! I look forward to smelling that wonderful smell of coal burning again! I like that ash transfer thing, I never heard of one before. The more dust free the happier the wife is. She hates burning wood 'cause its dirty coming in, sitting, loading, and going out.
Legendsingray
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983 Insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut/ Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Heat pump

Visit Hitzer Stoves