Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:10 pm

Hi everyone. I'm new to coal but have been doing a lot of research here.

I have decided to buy a hand-fired coal heater to heat most of the house. I need 60,000-80,000 BTU's.

I have found on these forums that the Harmon TLC 2000 has two disadvantages:
1.) There in no hopper
2.) There is no thermostat control on it.
3.) Please feel free reply with any other disadvantages I've missed.

I have come across a deal where I could end up with a NEW (from dealer) TLC 2000 for $1000. Would you give up those disadvantages for the $1000 savings?

Thanks for you opinions; I have 2 days to decide.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:16 pm

Tell us more, where you from? what type of house? how many sqft?

basement or living area?


All these are important, while that is a great deal, it may not be great if it disappoints ;)


Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:43 pm

No.
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Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:45 pm

1.) 1700 square foot ranch home built in 1980 in Harrisburg, PA
2.) 1/2 of the basement finished and is where we spend all of our time since it is fully exposed in the rear and very bright;
3.) The lower level has a nice masonry area/chimney port for a coal/wood burner and a built-in coal bin!
4.) Our oil boiler with hydronic baseboard heat has 3 zones (lower level/bedrooms/living area) and is 115,000 BTUs;
5.) I did a heat loss calc. 2 years ago when installing the new oil furnace and only need 60,000 BTU, but old one was 110,000BTUs with domestic hot water.
6.) We use only 2 tanks of oil per year (275 gallon tanks) as we keep it 60 degrees when we're not upstairs and 70 degrees full-time downstairs.
7.) We added two 15x15 additions facing south since then (making the 1700), so I'm estimating 20,000 more BTU's needed from when we did the heat loss calc. When it's 45 degrees and sunny, it gets to be 65-70 from the solar heat through the huge windowed area while the thermostat is set at 60 degrees.
8.) We still have domestic in the furnace in the winter, then switch over to an electric water heater for the summer.
9.) There are several vents in the ceiling throughout the lower level and a stairway to allow heat to radiate upstairs.
10.) My idea is to heat the lower level plus the living area (living/dining/kitchen). The vents do not exist for the bedrooms area where we'd heat with oil (which takes very, very little since it's off all day then warms up for the night).
11.) I have photos of the house here:
http://www.ad26.com/fsbo.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
...it's not for sale anymore.
12.) I considered a stoker boiler (a AHS Coalgun or Keystoker), but they are very expensive ($5000+) and I don't have room for tons of rice coal. We have 2 tons of nut in bags in a special storage area, so I'm shooting for nut. We'd probably have to get rid of the oil furnace for room (for a stoker boiler), but I don't want to, so I like the hand-fired stove idea).
13.) I don't work, so I have the time and energy to work with coal.

Thanks! -Tony
tony17112acst
 

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:03 pm

Well, given all the horror stories I've heard about of Harmon's customer service I wouldn't buy one. But, I'd not buy it based off the fact there is no bi-metallic thermostat on it. Others seem to enjoy Harmon stoves and I have no doubt that they are good stoves; but their customer service kind of sucks.

I would however suggest a stove by DS Machines; again, I'm biased since I use one myself. But, I can easily heat my 1200 sq. ft. drafty old summer home with poor insulation to 75*+ on a -20* day with the winds blowing with my DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Given the simplicity of these hand-fired stoves, I am putting less of an emphasis on the customer service (famous last words).

I guess I could do without the bimetal thermostat, and maybe even a hopper. But for $1000, it's hard to turn down. I may even get it for $800!

Also, I read that this model my not be as efficient since it's built to burn wood too. Any thought ...everyone invited!

-Tony
tony17112acst
 

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:21 pm

I am probably the most vocal critic of Harman stoves on this board but I would not hesitate to buy a 2000 if it met my needs. The old Harman was great and what can go wrong that can't be simply fixed? Having said that I am struggling to see an application that can't be better served by a Hitzer, Alaska or DS machine. Having said that ugly is a draw back but don't be fooled by looks alone. Take a tip from a old man, that fault is ages old and gets expensive.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Coalnewbie: why would one be better served with a Hitzer, DS, or Alaska?
-Tony
tony17112acst
 

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:40 pm

As you now opened it up on your thread you may be lucky enough to get the true illuminati to respond.
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: Dennis On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:50 pm

You can't beat the price. If it meets your requirements buy it. Then for some reason it dosen't work for you,sell it for what you bought it for. You certinly won't loose any money on it,and maybe make some money on it. Used stoves sell for more than that price. Oppertunity knocking.
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:58 pm

send a PM to 009to090. I believe he has a Harmon TLC 2000. He should be able to give you the ins and outs. Good luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:35 pm

If that stove fits your needs, go buy it. I have read many positive reviews of that model on this forum, and it is simple enough that should need a bare minimum of service.

The guy that started the thread in the link below has a TLC2000. Last I heard he was thrilled with it.

Talk of the neighborhood
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:28 pm

If you need 60 - 80,000 BTU, don't buy a stove rated at 72,000, because you probably will get only 50,000 out of it at best. Maybe manufacturers don't LIE, but they seem to be optimists. I will go out on a limb and say most hand-fired coal stoves will burn very nicely over a range of 15 to 60 per cent of claimed capacity without undue strain. So if you really want 80,000 BTU, look for one rated at 130,000.

Looking at your house description, the other big consideration is distribution of the heat. An oil-fired hot water or hot air system gives a lot of attention to moving the heat to where it is needed, and in fact that is a big component of system cost. A coal stove often stands by itself, not tied into the overall system, so it may produce a lot of heat that can't get to where it is needed.

Harman customer service gets a bad rap because they won't communicate directly with stove owners (that may be changing, I don't know). But a hand-fired stove is pretty simple, and all you need to do to get parts is contact an authorized dealer.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:22 pm

Thanks for all of the input so far ...especially about the over-stated BTU's; I never knew that.

I should have mentioned, that the house came with a basic coal heater: see the photo here:
http://www.ad26.com/coalstove.jpg
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
.

It looks to be a 100,000 BTU job, but as far as air movement, I'm OK there. There are vents (4, I believe) with louvers in the ceiling allowing heat to go up, plus a stairway. I have been burning coal on the weekends with this unit and very successfully heating the desired areas.

-Tony

P.S. I am open to an antique base burner, but I haven't found how many BTU's they are (the larger ones) or if the durability would be the same as a new regular hand-fired stove. I wonder if they need more servicing. Otherwise, I LOOOOOOVE the way they look and would get one if they check out in those two areas. I also want a 24-hour burn capability on a load.
tony17112acst
 

Re: Would you Buy a New Harmon TLC 2000 for $1000?

PostBy: dlj On: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:39 pm

tony17112acst wrote:P.S. I am open to an antique base burner, but I haven't found how many BTU's they are (the larger ones) or if the durability would be the same as a new regular hand-fired stove. I wonder if they need more servicing. Otherwise, I LOOOOOOVE the way they look and would get one if they check out in those two areas. I also want a 24-hour burn capability on a load.


Not likely you'll get a base burner as ready to go, just install and run, for $1000 like the stove you are looking at...

There was a thread on here not long ago talking about the BTU output of the old stoves - sorry, don't remember the name... Durability is the same or better than new stoves - if they are in restored condition. No more servicing either, again with the same caveat. 24 hour burn time would depend on where in the BTU output range you're running the stove. Put a magazine in one and no problem - but now we're not comparing apples to apples...

dj
dlj
 
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