Jotul wood stove repair

I have a nice large jotul model 118 box stove that recently developed a
small crack on the exteriour cast top surface. This is a cast iron piece
and the crack only appears when the stove is really going good. It's more
of a hairline type crack that, like I said, is only visible when it's
really cranking out some heat when first started, is just -barely- wide
enough to see a bit of light though at the widest point on the edge and is
about 3-4 inches long. Once the stove settles down to a good burn, the
crack closes back up and I can't even see it. It's on the front edge and I
think it happened when I spilled some water trying to fill the tea kettle
that stays on top of it. Below is a link showing what this stove looks
like.
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My question, how hard would this be to have welded/brazed where it would
hold up and what should I expect to pay for a quality repair. A new top is
about $300 so if welding this correctly is more than this, it's not worth
saving. I'm not looking for a cheap patch, I want it fixed right or I'm not
going to bother..
I use this to heat my house so looks aren't that important, functionality is
and I don't want it to crack any worse as right now, it's still very
useable. I drilled the end of the crack and it stopped spreading but I still
would like to fix this if possible. It's a great stove and I want to do
whatever I need to to save it.
TIA for any help or advice. BTW I'm in Atlanta if anyone has advice on who
close by could do this type of repair correctly.
Reply to
Stacey
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It sounds like you want a quality repair. You would have to remove the top, take it in to a shop for repair, pay for the repair and hope the crack would not reappear. For 300 dollars I would just order a new casting. The cost of the repair would be at least an hour's labour so you are looking at a minimum cost of 100 dollars. You still have your time , transportation, and downtime of the stove. The casting is very angular which likely has some critical weak points that crack under heat stress as you have discovered. To add to your problems the colour/surface match may be a problem. Randy
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman
I could suggest what I would do to fix it but the thin cast iron make any fixes pretty dicey to do. And the high heat cycling make it very likely to recrack in the future. If you have no choice, I'd give it a go with a good weld shop. Randy's $100 estimate might be low, any shop that knew enough about what they were doing is likely to want more money than that.
But you seem to have a choice so I'd suggest a new top. It's a few bucks more but you get extra peace of mind. And keep the hot fire down when you do your start up.
Stacey wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
Order a new top. Considering that this is an exterior crack, it's the better option. If you were messing about with a crack that was on one of the interior baffle plates, it might be different. For a crack on the outside of a woodstove, replacement is the better option when possible, and it's clearly possible.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
I wouldn't be in a rush to do anything. You have drilled a hole at the end of the crack, which should arrest it from progressing. You have pointed out that it closes back up when the stove temperature settles down. If it ever reaches the point where you are afraid the top is going to break apart, I would consider my next move (welding or replacing.)
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
I'd patch it. I hate working on cast iron woodstoves, because the thermal cycling is really tough on any repair. So I wouldn't even offer to weld one, it's a patch or nothing. If you don't like it, then buy the new panel (there's not many stoves where you'd have the choice).
Reply to
Andy Dingley
My concern is that it is a gas issue. Does smoke or gas come through the crack or is this only on an outside you might be ok now. If it is the main top - holding back the gases within, I'd be concerned to split longer and source CO to the room just when you are not there. e.g. after bed time.
I have a CO sensor in my front room 12' from my stove.
Martin
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
No, this stove has a very strong draft and if anything is drawing air into the crack, not the opposite. I think I'm just going to watch it and if drilling the end of the crack stops the progression, I can live with it as is. I was afraid welding/brazing something with this sort of heat cycling might be a problem. Thanx for the advice.
Reply to
Stacey
Stacey,
Amazingly I too live in Atlanta and have a Jotul 118 w/cracks :-)
I just got it and it intend to keep it but it has a crack as you describe but... on a side. The other side also has a much smaller/shorter crack.
It is also missing the side baffles, which I obviously need to get.
Please keep in touch on what you decide and do, as I've got to go down this road as well and would be happy to share any experience I have as well.
Courtney
Stacey wrote:
Reply to
Courtney Thomas

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