Review of Stratford EB 12 HE stove

A good workhorse with only a couple of niggles

Paul Sharkey 6 years ago

I fitted this boiler stove almost exactly two years ago as part of a linked up system with an LPG boiler using a Dunsley Neutraliser (I wouldn't link up a system using a Dunsley again - it's very inefficient, but that's by the way).

The stove is easy to light and heats up quite quickly and looks good in a room especially when lit, obviously. I had a different make of stove before which had steel that was nearly double the thickness, having said that, the build quality seems good and I've had no problems with its construction. It runs the heating and hot water adequately, giving more heat with logs than with smokeless. The one radiator that works by convection (the heat-loss radiator) is piping hot. The others (run by the Dunsley) never get above medium warm as the Dunsley mixes the flow and return cooling down the water that the stove has heated up nicely!

Overall, I'm very pleased.

The 'niggles' are the following:

1. The thermostat on the stove (responding to the water temp) is annoying in my situation. My system heats hot water first and then the radiators, so as the hot water cylinder nears 60C the water returning by gravity to the stove is hotter - therefore, the stove thermostat reduces air intake as it thinks the water is getting too hot. Of course, this means that it's ages before my heating comes on. For me, it would be great to have the option of choosing to use the thermostat or not, but I realise that this is a system problem rather than a stove problem.

2. The other niggle is that the air intake vent is at the side of the stove at the level of the ash tray. This needs cleaning out periodically as ash gets into the vent - but it's incredibly hard to get access to. I lie on the floor (with the stove off) and wiggle a small screw driver in the ash tray trying to clear ash through the slots in the metal which let the air in. To be honest, it would be easier if the connection to the vent was open in stead of using the slotted plate. The outside part is easy to get access to and vacuum, but this is one design feature I would ask Arada to change.

Overall, I'm very pleased although I do have to keep a couple of radiators on in the large room that the stove's in. I would buy this again...but disconnect the thermostat before installing it!

Stove expert replied: The thermostat can be accessed through a side plate and will be much easier for cleaning or using a hoover with crevice tool to remove ash build up may be an alternative. It may be worth exploring an alternative control for your system as you are experiencing problems with the neutraliser, perhaps a heat load unit would do a better job.

Overall rating:

4 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 4.3)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.3)
Value for money 4.5 flames (avg 3.4)
Ease of use 4 flames (avg 4.1)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.4)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 4.1)
How well does the airwash work 3.5 flames (avg 3.6)
Controllability 3.5 flames (avg 4.1)
Handle operation 3 flames (avg 3.8)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 3.5)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 3.5)
  • Andrew Thompson said 6 years ago:

    I have similar set-up using a Dunsley neutraliser. I also experienced similar problems until the following modifications were made: 1)circulating pump fitted in a by-pass loop using an injector tee, controlled by a pipe-stat fitted to supply from wood stove, 2)radiator pump over-ride controlled by pipe-stat fitted and set to start pump before stove thermostat starts closing damper. Pipe stats can be purchased cheaply from places like Screwfix or Toolstation, and really give an improvement in control for a heating system using a wood or multifuel stove.