Calling all owners of Esse or Everhot ranges

(36 Posts)
LaughToSeeAPuddingCrawl Tue 13-Nov-12 13:22:21

Please help! We moved to this house in the summer and inherited a two oven gas fired AGA. I am starting to get to grips with it since switching it on about a month ago but the kitchen is often too hot and we couldn't even have it on at all in the summer as it was unbearable.

We are having our kitchen re-done in January and have decided that we should get rid of the AGA. However, it suits the house looks-wise and I do like a lot of features such as it always being ready to cook and the fact that dishes don't seem to dry out as they do in a fan oven. Also, my dd's love coming home and snuggling up to it on a cold day!

After a lot of research I have narrowed it done to the Everhot and the Esse, both of which are more controllable than the AGA and don't (apparently) give out as much heat.

I'd be really grateful for any opinions on either please. Also, due to the controllability (?) are these cookers suitable for using through the summer or would I still need a separate oven?

Thanks in advance.

LaughToSeeAPuddingCrawl Tue 13-Nov-12 18:29:36

Bump - please? Anyone?

LaughToSeeAPuddingCrawl Tue 13-Nov-12 20:53:55

Anyone?

GriffMG Fri 16-Nov-12 20:43:52

Darn, my first post on MN and flippin IE9 saw fit to trash it!

Here I go again.

We have an Aga, gas fired three oven in cream, spanking new - love it.
Just moved into a converted barn/stable/workshop and popped the Aga in the enlarged kitchen. I've been working in the kitchen ever since I turned the Aga on. The kitchen is generally warm and the bedroom behind the Aga is also toasty.

When it was hot, summer hot, the Aga would have been less lovely. So, we bought a pair of 'Cool Covers' (about 100 quid on line) and they are brill.

Stick one under the simmering hob lid and you can't dry a tea towel on the top!

They are a doddle to fit, come with a bag for when they're not needed.

Completely change the character of the Aga - probably won't need to turn it off next year.

So, I would suggest that you lash out on a couple of these before you throw the Aga out!

... Also, we have an Esse Ironheart arriving on Wednesday, to heat the lounge in winter and perhaps to cook on once in a blue moon. I can give you an update after we have fired it up, just in case you can't resist...

Martin

LaughToSeeAPuddingCrawl Mon 19-Nov-12 20:27:42

Thanks Martin. I bought the cool covers already after someone else on here had recommended them. Tbh I've found them a complete waste of money - can't tell any difference and both hob lids seem just as hot (I can certainly dry tea towels on them!). In fact I have found the kitchen to be much too hot this afternoon so we had dinner in the (much cooler) dining room instead of at the kitchen table as usual. Unfortunately the AGA has to go...

Still undecided as what to do. I did look at the AGA total control but it seems to have a lot of problems so have ruled it out. Looking at the ESSE again I think the one I was interested in, with the induction hobs, is not a traditional heat storage cooker as one of the ovens is fan assisted. The website is unclear!

GriffMG Mon 19-Nov-12 21:06:23

Really, I have to take them off (the CoolCovers) to make the room warm!

Please don't think me rude, but is there any chance you're not fitting them correctly?

If not, I'm sorely tempted to offer to buy them off you!

In the summer I had to turn the temp control down inside the Aga as well.

LaughToSeeAPuddingCrawl Mon 19-Nov-12 21:33:52

They're definitely fitted correctly! I did wonder after reading your post, so had a look, but there's only one way they can be fitted. Wish I hadn't bought them - complete rip-off in my opinion. Even if they were cutting out heat from the hobs (which they're not), the main body of the Aga is still extremely warm so I'm surprised you need to remove yours to get any heat.

GriffMG Tue 20-Nov-12 19:16:53

Ah, does that mean you think I was being rude? If so I apologise.

Do you want to sell them?

GriffMG Wed 21-Nov-12 16:11:46

The Ironheart has arrived!

I've put a photo in my profile!

Lambiechop Sat 22-Mar-14 17:28:39

We bought an Esse EC4i which has the induction top. This has been a complete disaster. We have had the induction top replaced, the oven thermostats replaced and the whole oven front replaced due to the enamel chipping. We have battled with Esse for 18 months, love the look of the range but are now asking for a full refund. Avoid this oven like the plague!

Choice123 Fri 18-Apr-14 06:01:12

I bought an esse ec2 13amp. Loved the retro look, one side induction the other side a hot plate. Was enjoying stove and just starting to get used to it. It went wrong. Deeply depressed after calling the stove centre I bought it from and finding they offered no service over the weekend. Stove went wrong late Friday.. Dealers called me back on Monday and rather patronisingly asked me to check my own wiring in case plug was fused and gave me no timetable for when I would be visited. Got cross Tuesday lunchtime and spoke direct to Esse. Man drove seven hours from Lancashire..arrived Wednesday lunch time, very polite, tested, fixed said I had been unlucky with the circuit board, apologised and said I had done nothing wrong, no nothing I had done should have caused the problem and he had not seen this problem before. Showed me the circuit board and guessed I had just been unlucky in terms of its wiring as it was "printed" in the factory, replaced it, left everything clean in good working order.. Very happy with the stove, actually very happy with the customer service from the point at which I spoke to Esse direct. Feeling more than confident that future problems if any will be resolved as quickly as they can and he did say he did not expect to have to come and visit again. I do feel confident, as have had a "Monday" circuit control board before...I bought automatic gates from a Derbyshire company, had them fitted locally, bloody things went wrong fast, called the company that sold them to me and they sent me a new circuit board, paid my local bill for the replacement of that circuit board..and the new gates still work six years on. I guess in electronic world, sometimes one gets duff printed circuits..all very annoying at the time. I guess one could be more unlucky and have a problem just as a holiday period started at which point it would take longer to resolve...so it is worth checking if your local dealership will be offering any kind of help at all in the event it goes wrong...or if they are simply selling it to you and saying we know nothing about this and all follow up service will come from Esse...saves oneself some time and talk direct to Esse customer service who were great and left me feeling valued and very happy with the purchase. I will make a post in a year or so time to let you know how the oven has worked as there were so few reviews to read at the time I bought it. With hindsight I should have realised that something was wrong as it did not heat up quite as quickly in line with the timings advertised...now it is much faster.. Mine has a single induction and a hot plate..The induction has worked well since the start..no problems so far..and was not part of the problem as on a different circuit. For me...if one needs an electric oven..which I did..this is way the prettiest and I am very happy with it.

sozzygee Tue 19-Aug-14 18:40:24

Hi - we're considering replacing our Hunter Herald 14 wood burning stove in our lounge with one with a back boiler or adding a clip-in boiler to our existing stove. However, we've seen the Esse Ironheart and think this would fit into the large inglenook we have in the lounge and think it would look good, but we're a bit concerned that it might look a bit 'funny' in a lounge situation. Has anybody else either got one of these in their lounge or know anybody with one? Would appreciate any help. Thanks.

lottiebeeny Mon 29-Sep-14 20:42:04

Interested to read of your experience with Esse as it is hard to find info other than advertising on the web. I chose the EL 13 as it seemed to offer the best of both worlds - a real cast iron range but with more flexibility than other ranges.
The first Esse had to go back as the enamel was damamged - apparently a quality control failure in the factory.
Now onto the second one I am finding that there is a terrible problem with condensation in both ovens to the extent that the floor of each has gone rusty and I am constantly mopping the enamel top when the oven is in use. I am expecting a visit from the engineer but this has been hard to arrange as there appears to be only one based and he is based in Lancashire and I live in Dorset and am a teacher so cannot take time off work easily.
Apparently there is a modification which basically means removing the 'chimney' and putting a small disc over the outlet pipe. Not sure how they make the top of the enamel good where the holes for the chimney were and the situation will be the same in the bottom oven which has no outlet.
Other irritations include a loose hinge, erratic induction plate and poorly fitted rubber door seals.
When I've spoken to Esse, everyone has seemed helpful and friendly but getting some action is hard work.
Can't believe they charge £6,000.00 for something which has not been properly developed and tested.
Looks nice though.......

ESSE1854 Thu 04-Dec-14 12:59:30

I work for ESSE and it concerns me to read the nature of your message on one of our more recent electric range cooker models to our product family. We take good care in our research and product development prior to selling any model into the home and upon listening to your feedback it can only help us to improve. Can you confirm whether your cooker is now running to your requirements? Please feel that you can get in touch with us at any time www.esse.com

bilbodog Thu 04-Dec-14 13:53:24

I'm afraid I am an AGA owner and lover and would not consider anything else. I know they do modern ones now which are very controlable but I love the original AGA for what itis - a heat storage cooker. I only have a 2 oven AGA and have it on all year. When it is hot in summer I just open all the doors and windows when I am home and it is wonderful....................
Its not often so hot in this country that I find it a problem - in fact if it is that hot I would be hot with or without the AGA - my home is wonderfully warm now going into winter and I would not be without it............ neither would my reluctant husband now, after 14 years of living with one.

Churchfarm13 Thu 04-Dec-14 20:08:42

My Esse EL13 was delivered in August 2012 and was one of the very first of this new model to be installed. One of the main reasons for buying this cooker was that I was told it did not need external venting, which was essential for the position of the cooker in my kitchen. From the outset I had problems with condensation and rusting. Cooking a roast or casserole would produce pools of water on the rug in the front of the cooker and everything was steamed rather than roasted. I have been battling with the dealers (Carvers of Wolverhampton) and Esse ever since, and the biggest problem is that they kept implying I was the only person having this problem. Eventually they admitted that other people had had similar problems and finally came up with their "solution" which was to install a new top which had a hole in it. This was finally done in August (twelve months after I bought it). It has definitely improved things as far as cooking is concerned, but means now there is a huge plume of steam pouring out of the back of the cooker. So I am now waiting, yet again, for Esse to come up with a solution. Next week they are supposedly going to put a box over the hole which will diffuse the steam, and plan b is to try venting the steam into the chimney behind the cooker. They have agreed that if I am not happy they will remove the cooker and refund my money. This cooker is brilliant, in principle, and does everything I want it to. However, it was released to the public without being properly tested and does not stand up to anything other than heating up pizzas. Anyone wanting to seriously cook on it needs to wait until they have sorted out all the problems.

Dra3on Tue 17-Mar-15 14:43:35

Everhot ovens are hard to beat. Made in England, designed to run on surplus renewable energy, controllable, accurate overn temperatures, really nice all round. Wouldn't go back to Aga!

lottiebeeny Wed 29-Apr-15 20:07:14

Dear Churchfarm 13, I'd love to know whether your Esse problems were ever resolved. I had the "modification" fitted ie pathetic hole in the top of the cooker and plume of steam into the kitchen. The condensation problem is not nearly as bad but I've noticed that anything I want to 'roast' actually browns better on the underside than the top ie is still steaming rather than roasting. I gathered from the engineer that condensation has been a universal problem and he has fitted lots of new tops with the ventilation hole. I agree that it was released without adequate testing - pretty poor on such an expensive cooker. It is really hard to find information anywhere on the net.

MrsJolowicz Mon 15-Jun-15 12:26:46

Our Esse tale is a melancholy one, I fear – and it chimes with some of the experiences described here. We have paid a seriously large amount of money for two cookers and a heating system, none of which works as it should. The manufacturer and the dealer seem to have washed their hands of us. All of which leads me to suggest that if anyone is thinking about installing an Esse, maybe think again?

We have two Esse cookers, a 990CH wood-burning range and an electric companion cooker, the Plus 2. This ensemble was installed five months ago in our house in France and was to be the dream cooker at the heart of our dream kitchen, with the range also heating up to eight radiators and providing domestic hot water. We decided the expense could be justified as we're not planning on moving any time soon.

We've been told that some of the problems with the range are solvable: the chipped enamel top can be replaced; both ovens are very rusty, but the dealer (Fabrica Design of Eymet) has said that seasoning with oil will help (although I am concerned that there may be deterioration in the long term). The range howls ghoulishly whenever there is wind which where we live is a lot of the time. At present the howling can only by stopped by keeping the firebox door open (which you can't do when the range is lit) but the dealer says that an adjustment to the flue should solve this problem.

More worryingly, our plumbers tell us that the range will never heat more than three radiators, and that two is really the maximum! The plumbers used the pipework layout recommended by the dealer, who after this problem emerged told us that the temperature for water returning to the boiler should be 73C - in Esse's instructions 60C is given. The dealer also said that the maximum moisture content of wood burned in the range should be 15% but the instructions say 20%. (Esse's instructions for the Plus 2 seem to relate to a different cooker. Esse have not commented on this or on the discrepancies between their printed advice regarding the range and what the dealer says.)

The range produces a lot of soot and tar and has had to be dismantled and cleaned twice, having actually ground to a halt, even though it has not been used very much. When we did use it we did not keep it in overnight because we were worried that turning it down might produce even more tar. It is reluctant to burn hot and needs the ashbox door open most of the time, and generally fills the kitchen with smoke when the firebox door is opened for refuelling (this makes the dealer's suggestion of burning anthracite unappealing).

The Plus 2 companion cooker is a disaster. Oven temperatures are unreliable; for example, setting the lower oven to 175C might produce 210C or 200C, but so far not 175C. The top oven is similarly erratic. The dealer has suggested replacing both thermostats but I understand from Esse (who said that the dealer should have told us about this problem before we bought the cookers) that these will still have a 15C tolerance either way – which is not acceptable as it makes the cooker useless for precision cooking. Hob temperatures are unreliable too. When either oven is in use the temperature in the other (not switched on) is so high that it is not safe for warming plates. Both ovens cook unevenly, more on the left than the right. When either oven is in use steam comes out at the back, producing condensation on the wall. I am concerned that this might pool on the floor and rust both cookers from beneath.

I had hoped the range's problems could have been solved (although the difference between what the dealer says and what our plumbers say is worrying) but when Esse admitted that the Plus 2 would always have significant oven temperature variance I asked the dealer to take both cookers away and give us a refund. Disappointingly, Esse (even though some of the problems seem to relate to advice in their own instruction manual) will not engage with us and say that our complaint must be to the dealer – who is not communicating; it is now many weeks since I first raised the subject of a refund. We feel very let down! [url=http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php][img]http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-sad006.gif[/img][/url]

Ondinesdad Sat 27-Jun-15 08:52:02

Hi mrs jolowicz. Quite shocked by your post as my wife and I have been saving up to have a 990ch and a plus 2 installed.we live in Ireland and we have had rubbish service from the two registered Esse dealers in our area they just would not respond to us when we enquires about the cookers and installation etc.i understand that the cookers are made to order so I am shocked to hear there is that in the ovens. Also I have been speaking to Esse directly and they never mentioned steam being a problem in the plus2 unit.

MrsJolowicz Mon 29-Jun-15 10:17:31

Hello Ondinesdad - Since my last post the situation has got worse. I emailed Esse's MD last Tuesday and have not even had an acknowledgement, but we have heard from Fabrica Design who are refusing a refund because in their view our problems are minor. Dismayingly, they now for the first time say that the howling chimney problem may not be solvable, which means the range is not really usable when it's windy which is much of the time here - I'm not sure how that's a minor problem! So it looks as though we'll have to take them to court; something which, as a retired litigation lawyer, I'm reluctant to do as I know how much hassle it is, but there's no sign of any alternative. The court process will take months, so we face a winter with little heating (and it can get very cold here) and no proper cooking. We can't even move the 990 CH and Plus 2 out of the kitchen as Esse told me (the only piece of advice they've given) not to touch them. So getting a cheap reliable cooker as a short-term fix isn't an option.

Have you found the Green Living Forum - www.thegreenlivingforum.net ? Their woodburning section has lots of advice which seems authoritative; I wish I'd found it sooner! There is reference there to La Nordica ranges which I did look at before we bought the Esses; they are not as powerful as the 990 CH claims to be, but then in our experience neither is the 990 CH!

Ondinesdad Wed 01-Jul-15 19:50:26

Hi again Mrs jolowicz. I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles.i am in a real quandary here because we really like the look of the 990ch plus 2 combo and it fits right into the space in our kitchen.i have been researching cookers for quite sometime now as we really want to be sure we don't end up with an expensive ornament. I have yet to find anyone online that has anything complimentary to say about Esse 990s or indeed plus 2 units other than from Esse themselves.rayburn seem to be the best as far as I can tell but they do not do an electric cooker similar to the plus 2. We want to have the best of both worlds.how did you come to choose an Esse over the other manufactures? I'm disgusted that Esse are not responding to your emails and I'm sorry that it looks like you will have to litigate.is there any chance at all you could get another plumber to look at the 990 for you? is it possible that the knowledge base in France re installations is not on par with the UK? We live in rep of Ireland and I have to say the Irish Esse dealers/installers we have encountered have been horrendous to deal with.we have sourced another supplier in Northern Ireland but he won't install.we have a stanly installer who is highly recomended who is willing to install an Esse, we will be using a heat genie to connect what ever cooker we get into our current central heating system( sealed oil fired). The cooker won't be sufficient to heat all the radiators in our house. I will look at the forum you recomended.id be interested to hear how things work out for you in the future.best of luck.

Ondinesdad Wed 01-Jul-15 19:58:12

I forgot to mention that I have asked the suppliers that I'm considering ordering through to put me in touch with some of their many satisfied Esse purchasers. I have not heard back from them as of yet on that score. They said it shouldn't be a problem and to be fair to them they already put me in touch with a happy customer before for another type of cooker. I will let you know how that turns out

MrsJolowicz Thu 02-Jul-15 07:29:13

We chose the Esse 990 CH/Plus 2 combination for the reasons you give: it fits into the available space, looks good, and we believed that it would do what we were told it would do. The 990 CH apparently had more heating capacity than its rivals. It is so disappointing, after a lot of research, to end up (as you say) with an expensive ornament.

Our plumbers installed the heating/hot water system for the 990 CH using the layout provided by Fabrica Design (a British-run outfit operating in France), who did the installation. It's impossible to know whether the installation is correct; the French knowledge base is limited but our plumbers who seem intelligent and practical have recently suggested that it might not be.

I'm not sure Esse check the credentials of their dealers - I asked them about this and they did not answer my question.

Yes, do have a look at the Green Living Forum's woodburning section.

It would be interesting to hear how Churchfarm13 and lottiebeeny are getting on. Their Esses are EL13s, of course, but there does seem to be a common thread in terms of disappointing performance both by product and manufacturer.

MrsJolowicz Fri 08-Jan-16 09:03:06

Hello Ondinesdad and anyone else interested in Esse cookers and ranges - I thought an update might be helpful, time having passed since my last post on this thread. Were you ever put in touch with any satisfied Esse owners?
I am afraid the situation here is even worse than before. The supplier, Fabrica Design, fitted a replacement thermostat to one of the Plus2 ovens in August and it is better than it was. However, it is the lower oven – which Fabrica Design said should really only be used as a last resort as it has only one element. The upper (main) oven, which annoyingly behaved perfectly when the supplier was here, has continued to misbehave ever since. I have recently recorded, on a setting of 160c, temperatures of 120c and 190c, and all points in between – unpredictably. For a month I kept a diary recording successes and failures (more of the latter) using the Plus2 and Fabrica Design tell me this was sent to Esse in October - no response!
The 990CH is turning out to be as much of a disaster as the Plus2 - and of course an even more expensive one. After the supplier had cleaned it, it briefly seemed better than last winter, but is very reluctant to burn hot - with all possible encouragement it seldom even reaches "moderate". We have used it only in the evenings because we have been told that it should run as hot as possible rather be than turned down, as you would want to be able to do at times during the day and at night if it worked properly. We are burning drier wood than even the supplier has advised (much drier than Esse say in their owner's manual). When I lit it yesterday evening smoke billowed from round the hot plate and fire box doors and from both ovens so that I had to leave the garden door open. Because it won't reach a decent temperature we have barely used the range for cooking - also, we don't want smokey food. It hasn't yet been really cold here this winter, but I can't imagine that we're going to be able to run many radiators.
Esse and Fabrica Design continue not to respond to my queries. Esse have failed to acknowledge seven emails, the earliest dated 23 June last year, while I am still waiting to hear from Fabrica Design who told me on 23 October that they were waiting to hear from Esse and would be in touch with me when they did. I have chased both parties since, to no avail. The wait continues, as do the stress and disappointment ...

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