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Any way to clean the cat without shutting stove down?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Dustin92, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    We are using our Englander 28-jc insert 24/7 to supplement the furnace, and I am pretty sure the cat has plugged wity ash (again!). It is not putting out as much heat and the bypass has to be left open slightly for about an hour after a new fire or reload, or smoke comes in through the air intakes. The cat is lighting off fine, the chimney doesnt smoke after it is burning well. I am hoping somebody has a genius idea to remove the ash without shutting the stove down completely. I cleaned it before with a long, thin vacuum attachment, but the stove was completely cool. The attachment is plastic and would melt if I stuck it in there now lol... If not, I guess I will have to let it go out tonight and clean it tomorrow.

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I always let mine cool off before I attempt to clean the cat, mainly because I use a fine brush on it and it would melt the bristles if I did it while it was hot. I don't know of any fail safe ways to clean a hot cat without damaging it.
  3. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    Thats what I was afraid of... I guess I will just let it cool tomorrow.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Not sure how your cat is mounted so will just state what we do with our Fireview. We have never let the stove go cold but do let it cool some, that is, burn down the coals a lot. Then I lift the top lid and, wearing welders gloves, just reach in and pull out the cat. Take it out on the porch and brush it with an old paint brush. Put it back in and load it up with wood. Takes 2-3 minutes to do.
    charly likes this.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Sometimes burning her a little hotter will work..so I have read.
  6. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    Ours is bolted in the back left corner with a 1/4" thick plate bolted over it,and only about 1" of clearance between the plate and cat. It is a pretty major project to actually remove the cat, so I just vacuumed it in place before.
  7. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    I do the same as Dennis describes - it is a minor aggravation to let the stove cool down so much, but quick and simple to actually carry out. I do not disturb the coals prior to the cleaning. Once done with cleaning, a raking of the coals shakes off their ash blanket and a fire is restarted without any hassle. No slow-downs on the schedule for this week, with a high of 8 degrees expected on Wednesday (and Alaskan members role their eyes!).
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Dustin92

    Dustin92 Member

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    I think our high tomorrow is 9, it is 5 right now. The stove isnt keeping up, even running it full tilt, the furnace is coming on a couple times an hour and it is 66 upstairs.
  9. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Maybe dust it off with canned air?
    Thermal shock might be an issue with a warm cat though; the air coming out of the can is kinda cold.
  10. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    http://www.woodstove.com/pages/pdffiles/Catalytic Combustor Tips.pdf

    Q. Can I clean my combustor with my air compressor?

    A. It is not a good idea to clean your combustor with an air
    compressor unless you can ensure very low pressure.
    Using high pressure air to blow the cell free of fly ash
    build up can also blow off the precious metal coating
    inside the cells. However, the compressed air that comes
    in a can (for cleaning camera and computer parts) can be
    used very effectively.


    I just had to go re-read woodstocks cat tips and found this interesting, most here say do NOT use compressed air, but they say it is OK, hrmmm.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If it's not keeping up anyway, and it normally does just let it cool and do it right rather than prolonging the agony.

    pen
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Same process here, I appreciate the design of the Woodstock stoves. PH is even easier than the FV in my opinion. My problem is that I find I like to close the cat damper to pull the cat out... not really an issue EXCEPT that twice now (out of 3 times?) I have forgotten to re-open it before loading the stove (duh!). Guess I need to adjust my process eh? ha. Funny thing is that both times I was able to get the stove burning just about the same as if the cat was disengaged and all went well... go figure.
  13. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The feature of WS stoves that allow gasketless, tool less, removal of the cat is a great thing. Always been fond of that system on the fireview.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. charly

    charly Guest

    Dennis , that's one feature that sold me on the Fireview,,, 3 minute cat maintenance:) Even if you had a failed cat that needed to be replaced,,lift out the old and set in the new after swapping the frames.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    In the PH they eliminated the frame too! Now it is even faster, heh.
    Backwoods Savage and charly like this.
  16. charly

    charly Guest

    Nice!;lol
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    But is it sitting up on top right under a liftable cover?
  18. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    It is in fact. However with the cooktop I do have to pull the three stones off first, then lift the cover as before. One more step (removing the stones) but not bad really as they just sit in place and no real tools required unless they are too hot to touch then I use their supplied "L" shaped tool to help lift the stone high enough to get my gloved hand under the stone.
    charly and Backwoods Savage like this.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good job to WS on that feature.
  20. charly

    charly Guest

    When I went to pick out my Fireview,, I couldn't believe when I asked about getting to the cat,, I figured taking something apart,,,, instead the top was lifted up and the cat was handed out to me....I was loving that;lol. By pass adjustment,,,, bingo,,, just as easy as getting to the cat,, right there in the open behind the cat...well thought out...Thank You Woodstock!

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