WhatStove?

Review of Stovax Stockton 3 stove

Little hottie

Ken 6 years ago

We deliberated for a good while before buying this stove and to be blunt we had originally set our hearts on a a larger stove and specifically a Morso. However, we soon realised that due to the size of our fireplace / hearth that a larger stove (if we wanted to comply with regs anyway!) was not going to be a straightforward install. In fact finding an engineer to fit a stove at all proved to be hard work.

I guess the truth is that if, like us, you have a small 'British standard' fireplace opening there are very few stoves to choose from that will slot straight in and even less if you are in a smoke control area and want one that is DEFRA approved.

We looked at all the 3 to 4 kw stoves that we could, but the clinching factor in the end was a local HETAS engineer who had an ex display stockton 3 at a knockdown price (£400 inc' smoke kit) and he agreed to fit it with minimal alterations to our fireplace (lifted a wooded mantle so that it was an acceptable distance from the stove top).

We realised that a stove of this size was not likely to heat the whole of our 2 bedroom cottage, but our intention was to use it to compliment our gas central heating and hopefully reduce our gas bills. We would have to say though that as our central heating boiler decided to die on us two weeks after having this stove installed we have 'tested' it a bit more thoroughly than we had anticipated! On that score we have been pleasantly surprised.

Although you could not describe upstairs rooms as toasty warm it is clear that with downstairs landing stairway door closed it is more than capable of raising the downstairs temp' to a very acceptably, comfortable level. Once the downstairs area is reasonably warm we can open the stairway door and enough heat rises to 'take off the chill' upstairs. The stove is fitted in a room that is about 15ft x 17ft with high ceilings, with room doors closed it can heat up that room alone to unbearably warm in about 3/4's of an hour! We are confident that once our central heating is fixed this stove will provide very useful additional heat and will definitely mean that our use of the central heating will be vastly reduced in all but the coldest of weather.

If you are looking for a stove to heat the whole house, unless your house is fairly small, this is probably not the stove for you. We now know that a good quality 5kw stove would probably have done that for us but as already mentioned this would have mean't some fairly seriouse building work.

The build quality of this stove seems good and although early days, we have no complaints so far. A small niggle for me and I guess something that probably will not concern most people, but I would have preferred a square viewing window which I feel would have given a better view and a slightly more modern look. The only real gripe that I have is that the ash pan is not big enough to capture ash falling from the 'grated' area above and had the opening been enlarged a bigger ash pan could have been provided.

Most of the other complaints are largely to do with this stoves size and not really a fault. Because this stove is small regular 'feeding' of fuel seems pretty essential and also regular emptying of the ash pan. We have not managed an overnight burn, again this is probably down to the stoves size. I think it is probably difficult to load with enough fuel to keep an overnight burn. We have however come downstairs to a still warm stove and the odd glowing embers.

We have tried purcite type ovoid smokeless fuels, anthracite and a mix of soft and hardwoods. This stove, providing you riddle regularly, seems to extract every bit of heat from ovoids and anthracite. With seasoned hardwoods we have measured flue temps of up to 360c. having experimented a little with a standard electric fan we have taken the plunge and ordered an 'eco fan' and we do think that this should make a fair difference to spreading heat around the room.

On the whole we have been very happy with this purchase and considering the issues with our central heating have been pretty grateful that we had it installed. If you are after a small stove we feel this stove seems to be a fair choice.

Finally, we do not normally submit reviews like this, but we did use this site a fair bit while we were doing our research and found it extremely useful so it seems only fair that we add our twopennyworth! A big thank you to What Stove and everyone that submitted reviews and we hope our comments help.

Stove expert replied: The ash pan should be emptied regulary especially if burning smokeless fuel, do not let it build up and touch the underside of the grates as this can lead to premature failure. Otherwise it's great addition to this property and with the failure of the boiler it would appear to have been invaluable. Good review.

Overall rating:

4 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 4.4)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.5)
Value for money 5 flames (avg 4.1)
Ease of use 4 flames (avg 4.4)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Firebox size 4 flames (avg 3.2)
How well does the airwash work 4 flames (avg 3.2)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 3.7)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 4.1)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 4.6)