It is unfortunate that the last of the Schrader wood stoves were made somewhere between the late 1980's to the early 1990's.
The exact date is conflicting according to records, however, the actual collapse of the company was not sudden. Many small wood stove companies went out of business around this time because of new regulations set forth by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requiring a secondary burn unit.
The first set of strict regulations by the EPA for wood burning stoves became effective in 1988.
The EPA is required to update and review the regulations every 8 years or so.
By 1996 several wood stove companies were forced to go out of business because they couldn't comply with the required certifications and the necessary funding for engineering their existing wood stoves into clean burning units.
No real revisions were made in 1996, but the companies not complying were brought to light and exposed. They either had to abide by the rules or quit manufacturing wood stoves. An amendment was made in 1996 stating that, “All wood stoves with an invalid certification must be removed from the market.”
the falsely certified stoves from the market is good because that leaves only “True
Blue” wood stoves complying with EPA standards. You can be sure that if a stove
company of today says their product is EPA certified, it is.
The Schrader wood stove was a fairly good wood stove back in its day, putting out a lot of heat.
The Schrader was ahead of its time as far as construction material goes. It was made of 3/16th and 5/16th sheet steel as opposed to the standard cast iron. Besides being constructed of steel, it had a lot of similarities to the Franklin wood stove (made of cast iron). They both have large double doors in the front.
There is one major complaint regarding this stove which involved the doors. It's very common to have the doors on the stove warp to the point you can see the glow of the fire though them. This not only makes the fire hard to control because you can't regulate the air flow, it also lets smoke leak out.
The Schrader wood stove has the
features of a standard vintage wood stove, such as a damper and flue, and the fire
box is commonly lined half way up with fire brick. Many use the Franklin and the Schrader as a sort of fire place insert. The Franklin is deemed dangerous when compared to todays modern day wood stoves.
Believe it or not, back in the 1970's, you could buy a brand new version of the Franklin (first invented by Benjamin Franklin) at Montgomery Wards. They definitely are not EPA certified.
The fireplace inserts of today carry the same features as a contemporary free standing wood stove when it comes to meeting the regulations of the EPA. Contemporary means the latest in design, which includes a secondary burn. The secondary burn was the death of the Schrader Wood Stove Company when they could not keep up with the EPA standards of a clean burn, as stated earlier.
The secondary burn unit is actually a
wonderful thing when it comes to fuel efficiency and an almost smokeless fire.
Gone are the days of thick black smoke spewing out into the environment, and the
home itself on occasion.
It is not recommended that you buy a Schrader wood stove for your primary heat source or wood burning needs, unless it is upgraded to meet EPA standards. It would also be difficult to find replacement parts, even if you did upgrade, because it is no longer manufactured.
There are a few of these stoves floating around, and in use. Mostly when you see a Schrader listed, or being discussed by an owner, they are seeking information about the model they own.
There is not a lot of information available for individual makes and models of Schrader wood stoves. If you own a wood stove that is not EPA certified, you might seriously think about the possibility of getting a new wood stove with a secondary burn unit. This way you do not have to worry, and you will save money with a complete burn. You will also be saving the environment with a clean burn.
There are some really affordable wood stoves on the market that are EPA certified. The US Wood Stove Company carries some models that cost around 300 dollars and can heat a fairly large area, depending upon the construction of the building (insulation factors).
Shop around, and see what
you can find. Your best bet might be to trade in your Schrader wood stove for
a reliable contemporary model.