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Blaze King Topics Revisited

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BKVP, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

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    First thought is I wish to thank all of the hearth.com members for their participation on this web site. Your experience has greatly reduced the number of technical calls we receive. And before you ask, no I am not willing to pay for your services. (You know who you are!)

    Second, there was a thread lately that addressed the combustor warranty and I want to make certain that is clarified. Under CURRENT federal law, any solid fuel heater with a catalytic combustor must provide a 3-year, 100% warranty for thermal degradation. Most manufacturers that have confidence in the combustion design offer additional warranty coverage, in our case it is an additional 3 prorated years.

    In March of this year, 2012, we began a promotion whereby any stove purchased after March 1, 2012, a full 10-Year Extended Warranty with 100% coverage against thermal degradation is provided. We reserve the right to end that promotion although it's unlikely. By the by, the leading cause of thermal degradation is without question thermal shock, most often brought about by room air leaking around a poorly maintained door seal. A large amount of ice or wet wood can also result in thermal shock, but that would require such trespasses as an ongoing practice.

    Updating our new product introductions mentioned this past summer, the new Sirocco 30 will begin production in either late December or first week of Janaury. All approvals are in place from EPA etc. Just fitting it into the current schedule has been impossible.

    As for the Ashford 30, our first steel/cast iron wood stove, we are still sourcing suppliers for the castings. Our supplier for past gas product castings has nuked the bridge they had with us and we are on the prowl for a new supplier. Again, all EPA and other approvals are done, we just need production time.

    As for the thread about burn times (and you ask which one because there have been many) while it may be true that not every wood burner needs long burn times, it is also true the length of the burn can be easily influenced by both the burn rate setting and also by the amount of fuel placed into the firebox. Regardless of desired burn time, the Blaze King model KEJ1107 is the most efficient wood stove sold in North America. The Princess ties with my friends at Woodstock for #2. Blaze King's hold 5 of the top 8 most efficient wood stoves, so regardless of desired burn time, less wood is always better in most opinions.

    Next topic, temperatures, both surface and flue. Many of the pipe thermometers are designed to work with the single wall pipe and often we get calls from folks excited about 150 degree temps that indicate massive creosote problems in the particular range. The same thermometers used on single wall will often indicate even warmer temps, but not as high as should be based upon what the thermometer says. This is because they were made and or designed around the lesser efficient and greater heat loss of non catalytic technology.

    One other thought, and then I need to go sight in a muzzle loader. When fan air moves across the top of our stoves, the air can actually cause the bi metallic spring on the catalytic thermometer to relax and indicate a lower combustor temperature. When we do this and at the same time have a thermocouple inside the stove monitoring the actual combustor temperatures at much higher levels, we know we need to improve the cat. therm. design. So if someone suspects the combustor is not as active as it should be, simply turn off any fan or air movement, wait 10 minutes and take a new reading. You will see a marked increase in actual cat temperatures.

    Have a great evening and for all of you that took in your neighbors in the past couple of weeks, God Bless you for your caring for others during the recent hurricane!
    Huntindog1 likes this.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the update Chris. Looking forward to those new stoves. Do you have any pictures of them? So far very pleased with my new Princess, it does everything as advertised and more.
  3. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Interesting that you say the door seal would be harder on the cat then wet or icy wood.
    I would have thought the opposite...good to know.
    I would have thought high moisture content wood would also be detrimental to the cat more then the seal.

    I have noticed how the fans will effect the cat probe reading.
    Not a big deal for me because I rarely run the fans on my stove but I do see how some could be concerned by the drop in temp.

    I really like this stove.
    I ran a 87 BK non cat for years and the difference is huge!

    One question if I may.
    Do the fans shorten the burn time?
    I could be wrong but I don't think they do.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Thanks for the update BKVP.

    I have noticed that even blowing onto the stovetop with a lungload of air to try and clean the ash dust off that the cat probe meter can be lowered by a few hundred degrees.

    I am glad that I switched from a non-cat hearthstone to a BK. We're even "warming" up to the looks.
  5. naptime

    naptime Member

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    Central Alaska
    Well, I would like to know what is "thermal shock", and what is the physical effect on the catalyst?

    Also, BKVP's statement would seem to imply that opening the stove door with the damper still closed is a big no-no. Not sure that is stated so forcefully in the stove's literature?
  6. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

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    Hot coals you are indeed correct. The surface of any wood stove acts as a heat exchanger. Air movement removes heat from the steel and makes room for more heat absorbtion. All of our burns times are based upon chocked full wood loads and absolute lowest Btu burn rates. Few folks ever disagree with our advertised burn times...unless they claim we are holding back!
  7. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

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    Pictures will be forth coming, but not until we have them to ship! One thing is certain, you show off a new model and dealers get asked for pricing and displays to see them. You have my word I will post them as soon as possible. I won't neglect my fellow wood burners!
    PapaDave likes this.
  8. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

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    First let's define a combustor. A combustor is made of correderite, mulllite or stainless. Technically speaking, the precious metals applied to the substrate are the "catalyst". Regardless, substrate materials are created by mixing chemicals and pressure and temperature. If a combustor exceeds a maximum threshold temperature, it can actually revert to a powder. So when you burn wood, you also generate potassium manganate. This and any form of surface contamination does not allow the smoke, (particulate) or VOCS and vapors to be exposed to the catalyst, resulting in elevated temperatures.. That will cause substrate failure.

    Opening a stove door with the by pass closed is a BIG no no. First because indoor air quality will drop to very poor levels from spillage. Second, any rapid and REPEATED practice can result is thermal shock. So the reason the door leak is worse that fuel with ice or massive moisture (neither is good for the combustor)is the door leak is constant. It's all about exposure.

    Stainless substrates have higher threshold temperatures as a substrate. Stainless combustors react faster upon cold starts due to thinner wall tolerances and get hotter quicker. Conversely, they also loose heat quicker at the end of a burn, which can make ceramic based combustors better on the tail end of a burn. Truthfully, we use both combustors with great success. I have read where folks say we abandoned stainless substrates, but there is not truth to that observation. We did (as did another friend of mine with a wood stove company) migrate from one type of stainless substrate to a much improved version. Hope this answers your question...
  9. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Thanks..btw I have had a few 40 hour burns with this stove,
    Enough coals left to where the fire restarted without help!
    Very easy to get 24 hours in the shoulder with a 2/3 load or so.
    If I were to ask for a refinement on this stove it would be for the tstat to be more sensitive to the temp change of the stove.
    I'm running with the cover off and it rarely moves on it's own till the end of a burn then it will open some.
    Really not a biggie though.
    It seems like last season it did a better job,
    I say that because when i used to reload I would leave it at 3 till the flames got really going then turn it to 2 or a little before it,,then when the stove temp came up the t-stat would close and go into just cat burn.
    It wont do that anymore hardly.
    I now have to turn it down by hand cause it takes way longer now by itself for some reason....otherwise the stove gets way hotter then i need it to be.
    Last season the cover was off also.
    Could my t-stat be going bad?
    It still seems to move easy enough..control knob that is.
    Thanks for your time!
    Dave.
  10. naptime

    naptime Member

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    Wow. The combustor gets hotter when it's NOT working than when it is?
  11. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I'm still thinking about that one..lol.
  12. pen

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

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    A plugged catalytic converter on a car will not work and will overheat as well since the gasses can't easily pass through it the heat builds up and I've seen parts ahead of the cat on a car glow as a result.

    pen
  13. naptime

    naptime Member

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    Yeah, but those automotive gases are being forced through the exhaust system by the pistons. In a wood stove, any blockage of the exhaust acts as a damper on the fire and lowers the combustion rate, i.e. a stove pipe damper. Not trying to be argumentative exactly, just trying to wrap my head around this.
  14. BKVP

    BKVP Feeling the Heat

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    Good morning. (what time do you guys go to bed anyway?
    I would invite any Hearth.com member to visit us here in Walla Walla if you're in the area. You might actually enjoy some time in the lab. Anyway, yes elevated temperatures are definitely possible when the smoke is not exposed the catalytst on the combustor. Someone else said "plugged".

    But speaking of plugged combustors, I had a car back in 1976 that had a plugged combustor. This is way before o2 sensors and ECM's. The next result was warped exhaust manifolds, nearly melted EGR (do they still even use these?) and warped intake manifold. Yes the engine still ran, but ran poorly....then it stopped....forever.

    Ford gave me a new motor and exhaust system at no charge.
  15. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    So which BK stoves have the ss cats? My new Princess came with a ceramic.
  16. evilgriff

    evilgriff Burning Hunk

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    Northern New Jersey
    I own the Sirocco. I don't know it's ceramic or SS. All I do is follow the cat thermometer on the top and it lights off easily. Works better than my old Intrepid ever did.

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