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Calling In The Warranty On Woodstock Steel Cat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Todd, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Have you noticed the differences between your internal cat probe and surface temps? Maybe the external 200-250 temps doesn't really mean the internal cat temps are at that 400-500 light off range?

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  2. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    All the more reasons i feel all cat stoves should come with probes. Something really, its just a good thing to have. Cant really do much without knowing the light off temps
  3. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have been doing about the same thing with my Fireview. I let it get up to around 350 before I engage the cat. I'll then leave the the air at about 1.5 for a few minutes to really heat up the cat and then set it at just under 1 and leave it there for the rest of the burn. With a full load of Black Locust, the stove top will be at around 300 6 or 7 hours later. If it is colder outside, I can engage at a slightly lower temp and run at a lower temp to.
  4. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    Back in November I was thinking about drilling a hole in my soapstone top for a cat probe. Maybe this is the motivation I need to do it. Sure would be nice to know the cat temp when engaging.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Can you see the cat looking through the glass?
  6. Buck1200

    Buck1200 Member

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    The cat is completely out of sight on the Progress. I've ordered a couple of k type thermocouples with the intent of measuring pre and post cat temperatures in the same manner as it's done by WS. They are sending me a new cat, so I'll be able to test before and after replacement on my stove, which should be interesting, and I'll post the results, of course.
  7. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    I could see the Fireview's cat through the old expanded metal screen. But it's hard to see it through the new inconel screen.

    In other news, I noticed that my new inconel screen was completely clogged on the sides and maybe 50% clogged on the front. That would certainly explain the loss of draft. I had cleaned it in-place 5-6 weeks ago but it definitely needed it again. So I took a wire brush and cleaned it off maybe 80%. The draft seems better now but the stove top temp topped out around 400-450 F.

    I don't have any backup heat in the house so it's hard to let the stove get cool enough to remove the screen for a thorough cleaning this often.
  8. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Buck1200: Do you think your seating problem that you fixed solved your cat problem?
  9. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Steve: Why do you engage at such a high temp? I think this may help solve my problem, but WS always said 200F was good for a SS cat, 250F was good for ceramic?
  10. scotsman

    scotsman Feeling the Heat

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    Thinking about doing the same. How much did you use and where did you put it? Did you use the gasket material like came with the PH? It bothers me for stuff to not be secured, at least to a small degree. I didn't like the gravity fit when I saw it, but then I'm not an expert. Thanks--
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    If I engage at a lower temp the stove doesn't really heat up. I will get a low, smokey burn at around 350. If I let it get nice and hot without the cat and then engage, but keep the air around 1.5 - 2 for about 5 minutes and then lower it to to 1 or less the cat seems to heat up much better and do it's job. If I do this the stove top temp usually goes up to 550 - 600 within 20 - 30 minutes and stays there for a while. the stove will end up settling in at 400-450 for next several hours. This is how I have been burning most of the season. I still won't say it is a SS cat issue because of the other variables I mentioned above, warm outside temps and reduced draft, and all this not so quick to light up Black Locust. I did have better results with the little bit of Ash that I have, but I have been saving that for the real shoulder burning this spring.

    I'll summarize by saying that I think the SS cat needs to be engaged much hotter than 200 or 250 for best results. 300 - 350 or even 400 works best for my setup and fuel.
  12. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    +1
    I depend on my cat probe to tell me what it is doing. I run without the blowers when I can and a couple of times I had to turn them on because the cat temps were getting into the 1700-1800 range and I didn't want to damage it. I would have never know that were it not for the probe. Not that I'm that experienced with a cat (on my second season) but it never has made sense to me not to have one. On the other hand, like a lot of people on here, I like to measure everything. %-P
  13. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This should not be the case with the new steel cat, it should light off sooner and the temps should rise quickly as mine did for the first few months. Now it's just like yours, I have to engage a little hotter and give it more air than I use to to get it up over my desired 500 temps before turning the air down for a longer burn.

    The ceramic cat I can just engage at #1 and it instantly glows and the temps go up fast. The steel cat it's more like 1.5 to engage or it stalls out.
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I wish Woodstock would come out with a more accurate thermocouple probe for all their stoves we could purchase instead of the Condar probe which isn't as accurate and not installed in a good location.

    Even drilling through the stove top doesn't make the Condar probe more accurate imo. There is too much radiant heat effecting that coil spring on the dial when you really need the temp right at the tip of the probe within 1/2" of the cat like a thermocouple can provide.
  15. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I received another email from Tom stating he will send me a replacement cat, either s/s or ceramic and would really like to test my old steel cat. Also said they think the greenish color of my cat is chromium and they are trying to figure out the cause and how heat effects it.

    Also was interested in my observations of that trapped floating flame inside the new scoop next to the cat. They have tested and had a hard time creating a situation where flame impingement actually causes harm to the catalyst and thought the whole flame impingement talk was over rated but it was worth taking another look and recreate this situation in their lab.

    Sud Chemie is also testing a few steel cats that were retrieved from Woodstock and they should have results soon.
  16. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    So are you going to try a new ceramic cat and see if there's a noticeable difference?
  17. scotsman

    scotsman Feeling the Heat

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    Does that mean they don't need any more cats to test or work on? Thought I'd call and offer mine, since it's been in service for about the shortest time of any of 'em.

    Also, can a ceramic cat be substituted for the S/S cat one-for-one with no mods? That would be cool, er, uh, great!

    From working with Coors and touring their ceramic plant, they were saying that ceramic can be formulated to meet almost any application. Kinda like stainless: there are several formulations--301, 309, 409, 410, 420 & 430 that I know about and maybe more. Pete Coors was explaining that it was almost limitless. Wonder if WS has explored all the different formulations that might be available. From what I remember, there are always trade offs, like less of this property for more durability, for example, but that it can be made for a wide variety of uses. Just wondering.
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Green like this?

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  19. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Man,that don't look good..very small holes also it seems.
  20. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Here's my cat and screen after about a month burning. It took about 10 minutes to remove, clean, and install them both. The only problem is that the stove has to be pretty cool to do this comfortably.

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  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yep, but mine doesn't get as clogged as yours. What kind of wood are you burning? I'm burning 3 year old Oak.

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  22. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Is there a coating on the steel, some of the steel ones have a coating dont they?
  23. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    You could always ask them? I don't know if they make a ceramic cat for the new stove, I think they were all steel?
  24. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Chromium tends to be the first thing to burn off on stainless. Look at the color distortions on ss welds, or take a torch to a piece. Each color represent a different temp. I think green is lower on that scale.

    Id be concerned that the wash has been compromised, if that was the case. Cr melts at 3465f, Pd 2830f, and Pt 3214f. If the bulk of the wash is palladium, Pd, then id say evidence of chromium burning off posses a problem.

    Wheres the master of chemistry, adios? Id suspect he could give us a good breakdown.
  25. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    I'm burning 2 year CSS oak and my screen was far more clogged than that. The cat was about the same after a month or so of burning.

    stump_branch - Those temps are fascinating but I find it hard to believe that the interior temp on a stove could get anywhere close to 2800f! I'll be very interested to hear what Woodstock says about these cats.

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