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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Very, very nice.
I've been looking at these upgright flame heaters since last winter. I'd been encountering some resistance at home, but most of my hesitation was due to concerns about quality, looks, fit and finish and price. Yeah, the $1800 Italian designer heaters are great, but jeez. Last year's Fire Sense pyramid stainless steel heater was the leading contender, but there were lots...
Published on November 6, 2011 by Dallas Dave

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful but of limited use
I agree with those who found the assembly instructions a bit confusing; simply increasing the size of the drawing to show the parts more clearly would solve that problem. I too spent about an hour putting it together and yes, a small step ladder is a must when finishing off the top. The assembled unit is very good looking, it fired up right away and it is indeed a...
Published 20 months ago by Californian


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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Very, very nice., November 6, 2011
By 
Dallas Dave (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
I've been looking at these upgright flame heaters since last winter. I'd been encountering some resistance at home, but most of my hesitation was due to concerns about quality, looks, fit and finish and price. Yeah, the $1800 Italian designer heaters are great, but jeez. Last year's Fire Sense pyramid stainless steel heater was the leading contender, but there were lots of bad reviews about flimsiness (can't move with a propane tank installed, door has no brace and bends/flexes), difficulties with assembly, and general perception of solidity and quality. And I just didn't have a good feeling about it--it looked like (and is) a bunch of stamped stainless steel panels. A large part of the resistance at home was due to the cold look of the stainless. Even though we have a contemporary patio, my wife felt it just looked too cold.

I ordered the Mocha Finish model and Amazon, as usual, came through. It arrived the next day in excellent shape. Very well packed. All parts are packed inside the base, which is a fully-assembled, very sturdy unit. The heater went together in about 30 minutes with only 2 minor problems, discussed below. The quality is outstanding. The base is composed of two solid, thick aluminum castings on the top and bottom, with thick aluminum panels on the sides, riveted together and nicely powder coated. No assembly, no flimsiness, no flexing. Can easily be moved with a full propane tank. The top of the column is another heavy-duty aluminum casting, also nicely power-coated.

The manufacturer uses the enlightened method of supplying the screws already screwed into their holes. That way the factory workers can confirm the screw is supplied, I don't have to sort through a bag of parts and, most importantly, the screw hole is cleanly threaded. And no self-tapping screws. Since the base is already assembled, assembly consists of attaching the wheel units (already partially assembled) and handle to the base, assembling and attaching the vertical rods (they contain integral screws and the base has threaded inserts, so no having to climb into the base to tighten nuts), then stacking the two glass columns (they have an internal stainless spring coupling and then are firmly clamped between the base and top). The top is then attached to the rods, the protective grids are attached, and a heat-dispersing plate is screwed to the top piece. That's pretty much it.

Operation and appearance are awesome. I was worried the flame would only come partially up the tube. Not so--it flickers and ranges from about 70% up the tube to all the way into the top section. There's a 2-stage heat diffuser up there, so it's not a problem. At night, the dark brown base virtually disappears and the column of flame seems to float. It takes a few minutes to heat the glass to the point that it radiates heat. Yeah, this doesn't blast heat like the mushroom heaters, but those mainly heated my hair and forehead to the too-hot point and didn't do much for the rest of me. The heat from the glass columns starts about waist height and seems to radiate evenly up to about 6 or 6-1/2 feet. I can feel it 5 or so feet away. It's not a heavy-duty heater like you'd find in a restaurant with massive resistance elements or gas heating tubes. I wanted a visible flame heater and didn't expect a large-area heater. There's something primal about standing around an open flame drinking beer. I didn't want a low fire pit, and I wanted something eye-catching and contemporary. For us, this was the perfect solution. And BTW, guests grab their beers and immediately gravitate to it. The design allows people to stand in a circle and talk, with very little visual obstruction. The only problem we've seen is the occasional zone-out by someone as they watch the flame. It's really something being able to watch a tall column of flame from a few feet away.

Pros:
- Solid. Thick, quality aluminum castings on the bottom and top of the base, and the cap at the top. Sides of the base are thick aluminum, and the top, sides and base are riveted before powder-coating. The door is solid and moves / closes properly.
- Base is pre-assembled and solid. Moving the unit with a full propane tank is not a problem.
- Nice powder-coat on the base and top. Since the base is assembled and then powder coated, there aren't any exposed shiny screws.
- Because the base is pre-assembled, the remaining assembly time is minimal, doesn't require three-handed moves with large parts, and in my case didn't cause the usual loss of temper.
- Attachments to the base, such as the poles, handle and wheels, are into pre-threaded inserts in the base. No having to do Houdini moves to hold nuts inside the base.
- Screws are supplied in their holes. They're present, they fit, and there are no self-tapping screws.
- Assembly (with a couple of exceptions listed below), is intuitive and thankfully doesn't require much reference to the instructions. Particularly nice is the grid assembly, which is very secure, but is done after the top is attached, thus not requiring the frustrating alignment of 10 parts that is typical on something like this.
- Good safety features: tilt shutoff switch, stainless protection grid that is very securely put together, good 2-stage heat diffuser on top, and the base top is rounded to discourage placing items on top of it and near to the flame. The glass tube is solidly attached to the base, overlapping a raised area around the burner (good--I was concerned about rain seeping into the base), and continues up into the top piece.
- 10 hours on full burn with a 20# propane tank.
- It's gorgeous. The flame fills the glass column, flickers enough to satisfy primal sitting-around-the-fire instincts, and the dark base virtually disappears.

Cons:
- Minor: the assembly of the stainless grids on the sides is intricate. Good in that, even though there are 8 pieces of grid, they cannot be removed without removing 4 screw-in brackets. Bad in that, if you miss getting a coupling on one pin, it requires removing 2 screw-in retainers and 2 grid pieces to fix.
- Minor: two of the grid bracket retainer screws in the top cross threaded despite my best efforts. Granted, I was in a hurry to play with it. I'll have another go at getting them threaded when I have a chance.
- Major--or at least a major irritation. There's always one of these things. The igniter is battery powered, not piezo. Probably good. But the battery compartment is accessed by unscrewing the igniter pushbutton. The problem is there's a nice cosmetic plate in front of the igniter and gas valve. There's enough of a gap to drop the battery cap/pushbutton behind the panel. It can roll off to the sides and be inaccessible, requiring tilting the whole unit. It absolutely cannot be directly taken out from behind the panel. It must be wiggled back up into position to be screwed closed, then it can be removed. The instructions do not explicitly say where the battery is to be installed.
- Minor: the instructions ain't great. Typical. Illustrations show blobs for anything smaller than about 4". Blobs are too small to see orientation. Not much of a problem except with orientation of the grids. See below.
- There's a *lot* of Styrofoam packing. Although honestly I'm not sure if there's any other way they could ship glass tubes and heavy castings together without it.

Assembly Hints:
- Unpacking: it's an appliance-style shipping box: cut the straps and lift off the top. Don't go crazy with the box cutter like I did.
- The grids have 2 pins sticking out of each end. One set is slightly longer than the other. The long ones go into either the base or the top. The short ones go into the mid-tube couplers. The instructions kinda describe this, but not clearly.
- There's a knurled plastic housing surrounding the red ignitor button. Unscrew it to get to the battery compartment. Don't drop it.
- Even though they described the correct assembly order, based on bitter past experience I was sure the top couldn't be attached before the side grids were in place. It can--that's the reason for the long pins on the grids and the retainer clamps that are installed last.
- Careful with the screws on the grid retainer clamps. They're metric with a fine pitch going into aluminum. I cross threaded 2 of them.

Concerns:
- Also based upon past bitter experience, I'm concerned about the screws rusting. I don't know if they're stainless or not. I've bought $300+ stainless patio heaters before, and they used crappy nickel plated steel screws that rusted after one season. I don't know whether to preemptively replace them or watch for rust.
- The nearly-hidden top heat diffuser on top is a steel (hopefully stainless) sheet bent into a dish shape with raised sides to allow the heat to escape around the outside of the cap. The dish shape will not shed rain to the outside. Instead, there are holes that vertically match with some holes in the ornamental cap which appear designed to allow water to escape straight down. Two concerns: the first is that these holes will direct the water just inside the support poles-- very near the glass tube. Not sure what's going to happen with cold rainwater on hot glass in the event of a sudden shower. The other concern is that directing the water into the cap means that the internal heat diffuser and hardware are exposed to water--again concerns about whether they are stainless, aluminum, or soon-to-rust steel.
- The top is substantially smaller than the top of a mushroom heater, and this heater produces about the same amount of heat. More heat rising out of a smaller area. So far it looks like 3+ feet of clearance are needed to prevent stress to any trees above the unit.
- They don't say anything about gradual heating/cooling of the glass. I worry. So I preheat on a low flame when starting, and let it run on a low flame to cool when shutting it down. Possibly not needed but it makes me feel better.

Overall:
There's finally a high-quality, attractive product positioned slightly above the stamped stainless heaters, but still well below the fancy-schmantzy $1800+ designer products. We're totally satisfied with it. It more than meets our objectives and the quality and value are outstanding.

Update November 2012:
Well, the true test: rolled it out, removed the cover after a summer of storage. It lit immediately. No rust on the screws. The cover, BTW, is really nice: heavy, cut generously enough to actually be able to be lightly pulled over the unit, and the wire stiffener along the zipper is genius. This is one of those good buys.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beautiful but of limited use, December 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
I agree with those who found the assembly instructions a bit confusing; simply increasing the size of the drawing to show the parts more clearly would solve that problem. I too spent about an hour putting it together and yes, a small step ladder is a must when finishing off the top. The assembled unit is very good looking, it fired up right away and it is indeed a dramatic addition during parties. The wheels have allowed me to roll it to a side yard when it's not needed; have done this about 4 times so far and it holds together, with a full tank attached, without any problem (so far). I worry a bit about the glass tubes during the moves, but so far so good.

As for heat. I've given this item only 3 stars because it fails in its purpose, providing heat. I wanted to use it near an 8 seat, square table, to warm at least half the table. It barely warms the seats only 3 feet away. As a heater this unit is good for standing groups only, where they can circle it and get very close. But don't expect much heat if you sit near it. The glass tubing (and heat emissions) start about 3 feet off the ground. What's interesting is you can see the waves of heat pouring out of the top of the unit and even quite a distance outward from the sides of the top deflector, but you can barely see heat waves coming off the sides where the glass tubing is located. So most of the useable heat escapes out the top. Someone else mentioned a mushroom deflector at the top might deflect some of that heat downward where it could be of use. That would be great, but with its current design it's merely a thing of beauty that doesn't function well as a heater. We're going to buy a practical, standard mushroom-top for use near out table and will keep this Square Flame Heater (though I'd return it if I could) for the wow factor only. Hope this helps. We feel we've wasted $400. And yes, I kick myself for not reading these reviews before buying.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot looking, not so hot heating, December 5, 2011
By 
Dax (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
First hats off to David's review. The detail and helpful build hints were huge part of my decision to buy this heater. Here are my impressions after a week of owning and using:
Build :
The shipping was well thought out and everything is inside styrofoam which fits tightly into the bottom cabinet which is metal so even though the cardboard showed some wear everything arrived in great condition. The sheet metal is thick and the only thing that worried me a little was the glass tube seemed a little fragile but its a 'glass' tube. I would recommend having a microfiber cloth handy to wipe the static cling pieces of random styrofoam off and out of corners. If you are worried you are missing the instructions they are inside the styrofoam boxes inside the metal cabinet. Make sure you have a flat surface to open things and lay them out.
The instructions work if you go in the order they give don't try skipping ahead or you'll likely regret it. Like previous review having the screws already in the holes makes finding the right size easy. The one thing to watch is when putting on the final heat panel on top you have to remove all of them and it is in the very top so a step stool or ladder may be needed. Also when putting in the brackets to hold the tank in cabinet you have to remove the preinstalled bolts as it is tight confines and you can't bolt it into bottom otherwise. Only other build tip is reinforce what others said and no where does it tell you where to put the battery and when you unscrew the button to insert it make sure you are holding carefully so you don't drop it behind the facing.
Running :
The pilot lights easily and it uses standard propane tank so hook up and fire up is easy. The back of the book gives recommended clearances but like any heater don't leave it unattended and exercise good judgement. The look is really nice. I had it out on the deck by a bar for a Christmas party and it was quite a hit with guests. That leads me to my one con. It doesn't put out a lot of heat even on high. The design is such that most heat goes out the top and since the heat reflector doesn't extend outward like your typical patio heater none of it radiates back down. So on the upside there wasn't any fear of a guest getting too close/hot the only ones that got any warmth from it had to be standing right next to it. I kept checking and rechecking that maybe I should flip the reflector to have less of gap for heat to go up but the documentation and pictures all show it concave on top which leaves about an inch gap around the circumference for dissipation. The only way I could see of increasing the heat would be if they built some sort of blower in top that would direct some of the heat back down. Anything else would probably leave it with a big dome top which defeats the reason you might buy this type of heater in the first place.
Cover : I bought the optional cover as well to keep elements off it. Quick note mine came with no instructions and a 4 piece metal bar that wasn't real obvious where it goes. After some hunting the bar connects so it ends at each end with the black rubber tips. If you look along the zipper you will see there is a thin pocket for the bar to slide into. Basically it holds the zipper stiff so it open closes with almost one hand. It was a nice touch but the lack of documentation was a little puzzling.
Overall:
A really elegant well built patio heater that creates a great ambiance for gatherings but just don't expect the same heat output as traditional heaters.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Ambiance, average quality control, January 23, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
if you mostly want Great Ambiance, then this is the patio heater to buy. It looks awesome and intriguing to everyone that sees it. First words are usually Wow! Whoa!, Awesome or how does that work? As for heat, not much unless your right on top of it. However for warm ambient lighting outdoors, it can't be beat. Our Family arranges our outdoor chairs around it in a half circle and eat our dinner at half power and it produces just the right ambiance to enjoy and provides enough light to see each other and our meals even in total darkness around. Really nice. The reasons I rated it a 4 instead of 5 are

1) The paint is already chipping of straight out of the package. I think the pain is not great, but I bough a can of matching paint, so you can amend this issue.
2) The assembly instruction are poor and the drawings too small to see, so if you are not mechanically inclined, it may be a challenge to assemble
3) Some of the factory installed nuts were loose and some in the wrong place and upside down. Again, mechanical like me and you'll be able to figure this out and fix it with some time
4) The knob guides are just a sticker that won't last out in the weather and mine was already peeled off in the box.
5) The instructions dictate that you provide a pressure regulator. For the price of this, they should provide such a mandatory part. It is not optional.
6. the tank is secured by 3 bolts, 2 of which you have to get down on your knees and reach blindly behind the tank to tighten (Every time you change the tank, so multiple times per winter) This should have been some type of quick release clamp like on most gas grills

Again this is not an entry level cheap product so I would have expected better design and quality control, but once it's all fixed, it looks fantastic. It might even be an alternative to Tiki torches in the summer if they could offer some way to use the heat exhaust at the top to emit citronella.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice looking but, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
We bought this heater in December of 2012, we used it about 5 times and it looks great but it does not generate any heat. I already knew this from reading other reviews, there is a big flaw with the heater. We had a few windy days about, 20 mph winds and the heater was knocked to its side and shattered the glass. After cleaning the glass up, I thought maybe its a one time even and I will just order the glass part and keep it. The heater was knock down 5 more times by winds no more than 20 mph with a full tank... I dont want to imagine what it would have been liked if it was on. We have since returned this item.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT HOT HOT and cool looking, December 13, 2011
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
My wife actually put this together so it is not difficult...not that she isn't a good assembler...but she is small, so it wasn't too heavy or bulky for her to handle the parts. I use this on a 10x20 patio under a deck and it heats the space toasty warm! I am very pleased with the results for the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Impressions Are Important, August 26, 2013
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
Received this Fire Sense Square Flame Heater today, the 41,000btu model. Box was flimsy, but all there! Tried to pull the packing slip off and ripped it in three pieces. Removed the box with a box cutter around the bottom and lifted the box off. All the pieces are inside the base in styrofoam. Here's where it gets interesting...I can not get the door open. It keeps on hitting the top lid of the unit. Thought maybe the instructions would tell me how to get the door open, but they are inside as well! I had to lift with force, the lid so the door would clear to open. It appeared to me that the top of this unit was bent down enough to mess with the door. After some investigating, I determined that the top of this unit was in fact bent down. Since this would be a major pain to return, I repaired it to function properly. Assembly took two hours because I needed a drink. This unit is tall and I needed a step ladder to complete the top part. Good instructions for assembly but needed a magnifying glass to see some of the photos. This thing lights the night and is really cool when it is done! Oh yeah, one screw was missing. Prior to purchase I saw a video of this unit in action from the Fire Sense guy, (the one with the skinny legs and the bad tee shirt), I was not surprised with my experience!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars controls didn't line up with sheet metal and door doesn't clear top, August 19, 2013
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
Had to tweak the door to get it open and closed and the controls aren't centered in the sheet metal holes. I works okay, but the design lets most of the heat out the top. I put a ceiling fan over the top at 40 inch, seems to spread the heat better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Coolest Heater you will ever buy, August 3, 2013
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
OK, so we do live in Arizona where temps only get down to low 50's in the Winter at night, and we purchased 2 of these heaters for a Christmas party. They kick out enough heat for an evening dinner party and they are beautiful and very well built. Not a single complaint, my husband assembled them and for the price, wow, they are classy and really impress! No regrets here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire sense patio heater, May 17, 2013
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This review is from: Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater (Lawn & Patio)
Beautiful! Looks great on our lanai. Puts out great heat. Friend put together for me in 2 hrs.But he had previous experience with a different kind.
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Fire Sense Mocha Finish Square Flame Heater
$589.99 $354.00
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