Review of Broseley Serrano 5 woodburning stove
Nice to look at, but overall very disappointed
The inside of this stove really lets it down. The ashpan design leaves debris all around the stove floor because it's burn area is much bigger than the pan, and the metal runners obstruct cleaning out the remainder. The ashtool provided is an very poor - considering the cost of the stove I'm really surprised they supply this very cheap and flimsy tool. I would never even attempt to use it and have replaced it with a widely available grill handle which slides on & works perfectly, although I had to bend the pan lip slightly.I found the airwash system very ineffective - even burning heatlogs the glass needs cleaning every time its used. I also found the air controls ineffective, its either on or off and no gradual difference as you slide them. Furthermore, the ashpan blocks the air inlet by 50% if pushed completely in so one needs to pull it forward 2-3 cm to rectify this. While it has a large area for logs, as a multifuel stove it is far too big, such that a huge amount of coal needs to be used to get a tightly contained fire, which obviously ends up with a room far too hot and a waste of coal. Also, in trying to move coal around to make air holes in the coals, some round coal types have escaped and rolled across the room, which wasn't much fun. I have put 2 60mm x 30 cm angle irons in there now to act as a container for a more modest amount of coal and when burning logs push them out to the sides out of the way. This works fabulously as it blocks the sides and stops ash falling through at the edges where the ashpan doesn't reach underneath. Only cost me £3 for the irons. I've also had rust issues with it,even when it was only 3 months old. I feel the technical design of this stove badly lets it down, especially considering the £700 cost. As I hopefully illustrated above, a coal basket design for smaller homes, a higher coal guard at the front, a better ashpan design and handle, a griddling system, better airwash design and a stop end to keep the ashpan from blocking the air inlet would only cost about £10 in the manufacturing stage and make this a far better product. I think anyone thinking of a woodburner in the modern world of an aesthetic in a centrally-heated and insulated home should be aware of the huge amount of heat these chuck out when operating at a level that keeps your chimney from clogging up, i.e. very hot. I love my stove because of the concept of it, but in all honesty its too much for my modern house - and this is only a small one!
Stove expert replied: Some of the above points raised would be seen as a benefit by other customers (eg large firebox, producing good heat output) If the stove purchased is too large for the room it is in then it would not work effectively being shut down for prolonged periods, there is a smaller Serrano that may have been a better option in this situation. Many customers are looking for large fireboxes so that logs do not have to be cut into small lengths. You will only get out of a stove what you put into it and having a good bed of smokeless fuel will mean that the stove can produce the nominal (average 5kW of heat) with ease. Prior to purchasing a stove it is important to ascertain, max, min and average (nominal) heat that a stove will produce and to undertake the calculations for the space that you are wishing to heat to ensure that they match. Regarding the ash reservoir, this is not normally as large as the firebox due to integrity of the stove body, there needs to be strength in the body and cutting too large a whole for the ash pan needs to calculated and adjusted to suit the stove model, size etc. There are stove hoovers' on the market to remove any ash that fails to be caught in the ash pan for this purpose. The airwash system should enable the glass to stay clean providing the fuel is dry and well seasoned and that it is set correctly, the ash pan position affecting this is interesting. There are clear instructions on its operation in the manual provided with the stove: Secondary Air Intake The secondary air intake is the top slider situated under the ash lip at the front of the stove. Having the lever to the left indicates the air intake is closed. Having the lever fully to the right indicates the air intake is open. This particular air intake is adjustable fully through left to right so the slider can control the total amount of air required for suitable combustion The secondary air intake works by opening a flap located at the back of the stove. The flap slides left to right allowing air into the rear air tunnel. The flap allows air to flow up the tunnel along the back and then across the top of the inside of the stove. This air then becomes warm and is pushed down the back of the glass creating the AIRWASH system – see below. The air wash system allows the glass to remain soot and particle free. This particular design also allows the air to be released on top of the grate which is ideal when burning wood products. Please see section BURNING WOOD. Air wash System Air wash is a system where secondary air is drawn into the stove (by combustion) through the air control under the ash lip and is deflected down the back face of the glass, thus preventing the smoke coming into contact with the glass. It does not mean that you will never have to clean the glass, but substantially lengthens the periods between having to do so. The air-wash system works best when burning dry wood. Wet wood will produce more deposits on the glass. Also, deposits will form on the back of the glass when the stove is operated on low heat for extended periods (where fuel is only just smouldering). Fuel should be loaded higher towards the back of the stove to prevent any from coming out when the door is opened and also to prevent overloading of the firebox.