As a full-time HETAS installer I got to install many stoves and many different brands of materials. I found my first year or two a painful learning curve. I had liners fall apart during installation, cowls rusting after a year and crashing to the ground, a twin-wall chimney turning yellow and the company blaming the "type of fuel". I had stoves where the paint came off, stoves that warped, boiler stoves that leaked. I discovered vitreous pipe as thin as an oil can and other that could be used for armour plating on a Sherman tank. I started to not sleep at night and I felt like I was forever running around solving problems from previous installs. I was shocked to find out a favourite and well-known brand were being made in the same Chinese factory as a much cheaper brand. Same factory and process, different badge, double the price. It's business, I know, but this company hid where the stoves were made and it felt wrong.
So I set about looking at every product with a critical eye. What is it actually made of? How long will it last? How thick is it? Where is it made? What do other installers know about this product? Gradually I turned things around.
I eventually got to the point where I would leave every job knowing that everything was good and in order, knowing that the phone would not ring six months later, or a year later, or ever.
I have been through the pain so you do not have to.
I am still learning. Only last year we refused a major brand following a period of testing and research. Heat output was lower than their figures suggested and the glass did not stay clear on our test rig. Other installers on trade installer forums also provided feedback. A major brand had problems with paint peeling from stoves. When customers complained they were often told that they had "over-fired the stove" (a fallback used by some stove manufacturers to get rid of "problem customers" with warped stoves or peeling paint). We stopped selling these stoves until we were sure the next batch came through and the faulty stock was exhausted.
Chimney sweeps also provide excellent feedback for me (trade forums again). It is sweeps that tend to spot the problems as they visit stove owners on a regular basis. They know the brands of liner that fail, they know the stoves that underperform, they know the stoves that warp and so on. Sweeps also see longer term use - the years that come after the day the customer gave the stove an initial 5-star review. There are a few stoves that sweeps say again and again are rubbish - not fit for purpose. Yet these stoves are sold by our online competitors? Some of our competitors have hundreds of stoves, they'll add anything to the list.
This website represents every stove and product that I am happy to install or recommend that others install. The vast majority of stoves have been fully tested on our rig and all materials have been thoroughly researched and tested by myself and other installers I trust. In my own home I have one of our stoves (a DG Ivar 5) as well as liner, cowls, twin wall and other materials that I sell. Same for neighbours both side and the local pub. Now that's trust!
Below is a list of stove brands with an indication of those we offer on our website:
|Ekol Adept range||No|