Whats your opinion of Portage and Main boilers?
Whats your opinion of Portage and Main boilers?
I have an Optimizer 250 and love it! I live in Caledonia, PM me and you can come over and see t if you'd like.
My Portage & Main Optimizer 250 Install (w/Pics)
You can read all about my install at the link above. The install is slick...Operating it, though, that's a whole different story.
To be perfectly honest (and I think I may post my own "1st season report") - there were at least a 1/2 dozen times this past winter that I literally wanted my dealer to come and take my stove away (as in GIVE IT BACK) I was having so many problems with it. If I had it to do all over again I would not choose a P&M.
Bullet points of my problems:
- Smoke free burn? Its a joke. And not a funny haha joke.
- The door gaskets leak. A LOT. So your $11,500 unit will look like it's 10 years old after just one season because of all the smoke/creosote build up on the outside.
- The forced draft mechanism has a very weak spring that operates the intake flapper. If it gets stuck open, creosote will build up, making the stuck problem worse & causing more creosote to accumulate IN the mechanism. Not good.
- The access door to the mechanism is held on with self tapping screws and the box is stainless. Well, I had to take that door off 6 times to fix my mechanism...and now 1/2 of the self tappers have stripped out the threads in the box. Now it can't make a seal...guess what? More creosote.
- The latch to my gasification door broke. It Just plain broke one day. So, $.99 worth of hardware rendered my $11,500 boiler useless.
- They don't tell you this, I had to learn the hard way: You HAVE to either shovel out 6" of live coals (BTUs!!!) or burn some soft wood on top of the coals or the stove will not gasify. Guess how much soft wood I had? Zero.
- The fire bricks on my gasification door broke almost every time I would open and close it. Not a huge deal...but don't forget how hot those broken bricks are when they fall in front of you! Yee-ouch!
Do you think any one of these problems happened M-F 9-5? No. Of course not. So each one was a little more than just a headache.
I will say this: my house was warm this winter. That's about the most positive thing I can say about it. Feel free to ask more questions. If you can think of it - I probably experienced it this winter!
Portage & Main Optimizer 250
Ariens 34 Ton/Subaru 7 hp
Husky 262 XP
Fiskars X7, X11, X25, X27
J1m sorry to hear of your troubles. I'm interested in reading your 1st season report when you get around to it.
Husqvarna 338XPT, 357XP, 576XP autotune & 3120XP
Lickety Log Splitter, Allwood Bloodwood Log Splitter, Fiskars x27 & x7
2008 ASV PT80, Grapple, Road Boss Grader
Central Boiler CL6048, Masonry Fireplace
風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain
I have nothing but great things about my Opt. 250. Gassified correctly right from the start and continued to do so all season long. You had to strain your eyes to see any smoke aside from when it would first fire itself back up. Interested neighbors came to ask me when I was going to fire it up 2 weeks after I had - said they didn't see or smell any smoke at all.
I installed mine last fall and couldn't be happier. I have had some of the issues that J1M had such as the gassifier door latch breaking and the draft door stuck once and I had to take off the back panel to unstick it. My unit has no problem gassifying with no smoke, but I find that if the wood is not as dry as it should be, you can tell the difference in the "jet" and some smoke. What I do like is that the propane truck put $66 in the tank at Thanksgiving and hasn't put any in since!
J1M--P&M has a new latch panel upgrade for the airbox that might solve your stripped out screw issue. I have the kit, but haven't installed it yet.
I've got the NON gasser model.
It works great.
I was going to buy a Central, but wanted an ash pan.
I would buy again.
I'm interested in reading your 1st season report when you get around to it.
I have had a ML30 for three years. I have been happy with it. I have had a few issues, but nothing big. I do need to replace the door gaskets before next year. I have the unit that blows on top of the fire. I am going to install the update this summer to blow on the bottom of the fire.
I would recommend this stove and buy one again. My father-in-law liked mine so much he bought one last year.
flexible duct had hot coal get in it and burn thru
the float broke twice
The door latch is worn and needs to be built up with a welder.
Been running a ml36 for six years, this summer will see a replacement of the thermostat, and some fan work. system has run soild for six seasons and did well to heat 3500sq ft in -40c.
Well constructed and happy with durability so far.
Jonsered 630 (modified to 670)
Jonsered 670 West Coast
Makita dcs 6401
Stihl ms 260 woods port & MM - Masterminded
Makita dcs 401
Dolmar 420 MM
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