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Add-on Catalytic retro-fit kit for Older Buck Stove Inserts

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jjbaer, Nov 14, 2006.

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  1. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    I've got an older Buck Stove Insert with the 2-doors, each with glass....I think it's a Model 26,000 or 27,000 or 28,000. Anyway, I saw an add-on cat retro-fit kit that's available for this (and other) stoves and I was wondering if anyone has added this to their insert and what the results were..... Saw it here:

    http://servicesales.com/woodburning/stove_parts/nutec.html

    thanks

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I have an 8-inch round in-pipe cat retrofit on my boiler, cast, that works pretty well. This looks like it would work even better.
  3. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Looks very cool, how much is it?
  4. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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    Believe it or not, I actually have that unit in my Buck Stove.
    I bought my stove used several years back and it was already built into it. The existing cat was shot and I could actually still get a replacement for it at www.condar.com although I used it for a year without the cat.

    A few years back I was able to find an actual write up on this unit from 1983 when from what I can tell, cats were just starting to be introduced as an add-on to existing stoves. It even had a very scientific study with efficiency comparisons between the stove with and without it. I did a search now and I think the article was on Mother Earth News and it still comes up, but for whatever reason the type is tiny and unreadable! At least on my browser. Maybe they are trying to make you subscribe.

    Anyway, if I remember right, I think the efficiency increase was around 10-20%. Since I used it for a year without replacing the cat I would say thats about accurate. When the cat is engaged you get some seriously hot air out of that top vent for sure and it does not seem to need the wood reloaded as often.

    The bottom line though is it's still a design from over 20 years ago and consumes wood at a very high rate (the nice thing is you can fit almost anything into it). I don't know what this unit costs to buy if its really still available, but if it's more than say $150 I'd think the money would be better spent on a new stove or a used 'newer' stove. It does pump out an incredible amount of hot air and the thermostatic blower still works perfect. We even have the built in screen for it we've used for Christmas parties. But I never knew how efficient the newer stuff could be until getting my Intrepid II for the other end of the house. I do plan on replacing my Buck soon, probably for next winter. Just can't decide if I want another insert or not. I really like top loading on the VC.
  5. kwburn

    kwburn New Member

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  6. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Called the guy today and he said $200
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I have installed and used this exact model over the years. I know the guy who originally designed and sold it (Nu-tec).

    It worked quite well since it is located inside the stove - that is, assuming that the area above and around the cat unit is part of the double wall heat exchanger.
  8. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I love my Buck Stove even though (as you state correctly) they eat wood because they're the older type....the upside is that they burn brightly with lively flame patterns and if I start it at say 6PM with 2 medium sized logs and add a few extra pieces of wood it burns nicely until about 11 PM with coals left glowing when I go to bed about midnight.....with an older stove I wouldn't want to burn all night anyway.

    The cat kit costs $200 and I'm not sure if I want to do it. Right now when the Buck Stove fan is on high it will put out more than enough heat for the 400 sq ft room it's in (easily can raise it to over 85F if I want) and I use the furnace fan to circulate this hotter air into the family room on the other side of the wall (about 300 sq ft) and it easily gets to 72F.

    I have my eye on an Intrepid II for this other room. I saw one in action in a similar sized room and it will actually put out more BTU's than my entire house (1600 sq ft ranch) requires, even in Dec (house used about 15,000 BTU's/hr in Dec 2005) so, as I stated in an earlier post, a typical family room only requires about 4,000 BTU and ANY stove easily provides this. The remaining BTU's will bake you out of the room unless you can distribute them to other rooms in the house.

    Also, my low temp thermostat just went out so I'm left with a med and high and high is way too loud so, tonight I replaced the 2-position toggle switch on the Buck Stove (one position is auto and is controlled by the thermostat and the other is manual high setting) with a light dimmer switch. It works great...I can control the fan from "off" to almost max withut being limited to 3 speeds that the thermostat gives you...AND, the light dimmer has infinite control (max on the dimmer is a little lower speed than the fan max because dimmers reduce power about 5-10% to save light bulbs.....but it works great and now I can actually hear the TV without being drowned out by the fan!!!).
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