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Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jrprusak, Nov 17, 2010.
or we are all full of HOT air. >:-(
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Sorry, I haven't waded through all 5 pages of this thread, but as someone who's heated with a catalytic stove for over 20 years (a Dutchwest and more recently a BlazeKing), I think it's absurd not to get one because of the "maintenance and cost" of the catalytic converter. No maintenance or cost is required, other than replacing it every 5-10 years; it's money well spent and a less than one hour job. In daily operation, it's opening the bypass to reload the stove and/or build a new fire, and closing it again once the fire is going good. With a BK, this is two lever activations every 12 hours or so on a slow burn, perhaps every 4 hours with a raging burn. Oh, and you need to remember to not put stupid stuff like pressure-treated or painted wood into the thing - which you shouldn't be doing anyhow, if you care about the air quality around your house and in the world.
By contrast, you want to talk about babysitting, with a non-cat secondary burn you have to make sure the secondary burn stuff gets to roughly double the temperature of a cat in order to get decent secondary combustion (1000 versus 500 degrees), and if you let the thing burn too low, the secondary combustion goes bye-bye and you just have a smoke-dragon with halved heat output. OK ... I will admit my characterization of the non-cat MAY be as biased and exaggerated as the characterization of the cat under which you are laboring, and I am prepared to be corrected ...
You Cat guys are a tough sell, I am down to the wire to get in on the 2010 Tax credit, and free blower offer with the non-Cat Pacific Energy Summit offer. I must admit the Cat BBK is a well built unit, but my gut feeling wants me to stick with the non-Cat PE... One thing I know for sure is either stove should be more efficient the my 25 year old Earth Stove....
Go with the PE then. Done!
Enjoy. Nothing simpler than that.
Almost every time I violate my gut feel I regret it. The BKK is one of the few exceptions. I was burned by a really crappy cat stove experience but couldn't be happier now. Listening to North of 60s experience was the only reason I bought the BK instead of the Summit. I think it really depends on your heat load and your goals. If the stove is going to be running wide open all the time or you don't mind using your furnace when demand is low, it probably doesn't matter. Our goal was to eliminate the furnace completely. So, having a stove that didn't overheat the house when demand was low, could keep up when demand was high and could keep the house from freezing while we are away for days at a time were the criteria.
i love my old blazeking, but i maybe looking into a new blaze king cat for my other place.
I have no complaints with either of my BKs. I have to babysit my 30-NC more than either BK. I've had the King since 03 and the Princess for a few weeks.
I looked around at other stoves a bit before buying another BK. I couldn't find anything that compared in my mind. I always came back to BK due to ease of use and firebox depth. Never having any ash or coals falling out is a huge thing for me.
My only complaint with the Princess is how small the firebox is compared to my King!
I've abused my King too. Running late for work, fill the firebox with -40 snow covered wood, and shutting her down. It was always burning when I got home. I've ran a lot of unseasoned wood through it too, just had to burn it at a higher thermostat setting. Dry wood does produce more heat at lower setting with less wood though.
The PE is a nice stove! I'm sure it will work great for you.
What model did you pull out of your friends house?
John, given the softwood you are likely to burn, I think you may be disappointed in the non catalytic stoves. Generally speaking, non cats have a much greater tendency to thermal runaway on a fresh load of resinous wood. Non cats also have fixed air inlets, since superheated primary and secondary air is their "catalyst substitute" for getting a clean burn. A Cat stove on the other hand has no need for a similar amount of super heated air, so it operates under much closer control (more like a smoke dragon) than a non cat stove.
Given that your home if super insulated, will be sensitive to overheating, I think you may end up uncomfortable with the "peaky" nature of the burn with a non catalytic stove. If you had a masonry home with a lot of thermal mass, it would not make quite the same difference, although one would certainly notice if you were in the same room.
Here in the lower latitudes, with hardwoods or anthracite coal (the ultimate controllable fuel) these issues are less significant than in your part of the world.
I would add that 21 of my 22.5 years of catalytic-stove experience was with a Dutchwest, which is a POS compared to the BK (and a POS in general, by all accounts). Yet even before I drank the BK kool-aid, I was pretty committed to another cat stove.
Uh dude, no offense, but if I understand you correctly, this is nonsense. A cat does a lot more than "slows draft". Stove A and Stove B may both allow exactly the same amount of "heat to go up the flue", in the sense of a certain mass of gas times a certain temperature. But in one case, call it "Stove A", this hot gas may be almost entirely CO2 and H2O. In Stove B, it may contain a bunch of unburned hydrocarbons and such. Stove A is the one you want. Cat and non-cat can both behave like Stove A, but IMHO a non-cat is more likely to backslide to Stove B status.
Yeah, really. Why not just go by the weight of wood you can stuff into the firebox ? The calculation is simpler and the results is more accurate.
Thanks for your report, and your good attitude, which has little to do with intelligence, and lots to do with spirit! (Though it is wise ) Enjoy your stay, good luck, and happy burning!
I actually think there are many good stoves on the market, and a buyer just needs to get the one that suites them best.
But in no way should anyone ever say a BK is not a good unit, or is a high maintenance piece of junk.
Yes a few junk stoves are for sale, but the BK is NOT one of them.
It's easier to tend to the BK cat with thermostat,then the non-cat Bk imo.
So simple even a cave man could do it.
Ok boys, I give upâ€¦ With one hour left before the store closed, and last chance to make the 2010 energy credit, I changed my mind and got the BKKâ€¦ I think it was that funny "Kool-Aid" they were serving for the last day of the year that changed my mind from getting a Non-Cat stove..
I just need to get it into the basement and fire it upâ€¦ I filled the old Earth Stove up for the last time before it goes into retirementâ€¦. Give me a week or so to get the thing going, and Iâ€™ll post a picture..
Thanks for all the advice; it was a difficult decision to make.
I know you will not be disappointed.
You made a great choice in my opinion!
Congratulations, John from Alaska (are you related to John from Cinncinnati ?).
I HOPE you are happy with it. If not, I apologize for helping to convince you to
buy one. Take some comfort in the fact that the re-sale value tends to be quite
high (I'm guessing, especially as BK seems so popular in Alaska).
And Happy New Year to you and all hearth.com'ers !
You will be assimilated, and your distinctiveness added to the collective. Resistance is futile. :snake:
Did a single tear trickle down your cheek?
Given your intense skepticism, it'll be interesting to see what you think. I salute your willingness to change your mind.
Remember, there's a bit of a learning curve with EPA stoves, and you'll need a good draft and dry wood or you'll be posting "This new stove is a piece of ****!"
Good luck, please let us know how you make out.
And oh yes, photos please.
"You have been assimilated. . ." LOL! Congrats! I think you made a good decision, since you already have an 8" flue, ane the jumb0 firebox will come in handy for big loads of softwood.