Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Todd, Feb 12, 2012.
Terry, The cats for the PH are all ss.
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geoxman, for cleaning the cat all we've ever done is use an old paint brush and lightly brush any fly ash off the cat. That is all that has been required.
Sorry I haven't been on the forum much the last couple of days. I will say I am surprised at the pictures of the cats. I'll probably change ours tomorrow morning and will take a picture of it to post on here. We have pulled the cat 2 times just to see what it looked like and basically it looked almost as clean as when we put it in new. Really nothing to even brush off.
I had been a bit concerned last week when we were having a problem getting the cat to light off. Then the weather turned cold and I feared what might happen. We did have a problem getting the cat to light off until we started engaging at a higher temperature. That is, a minimum of 300 stove top and 450-500 on the flue (single wall). Most of the time doing this we have not had so much of a problem and the last couple of days have really gone well so I am quite puzzled.
For those amazed at Woodstock's customer service, you might also find it interesting that I received a call from Mr. Morrissey this afternoon and it was after Woodstock's closing time. Tom is a man who really cares and will find the problems and work them out. Of this I am convinced. I surely wish more companies were run like Woodstock is.
btw, I intended on changing the cat this morning but my ambitious wife decided she wanted a fire going because she wanted to do the laundry. She dries the laundry near the stove then finishes them in the drier. So she got the stove going before I could switch the cat. I warned her about tomorrow. lol We probably won't have much of a fire tonight again as the predicted low is only 33 degrees. So a light fire and the stove should be cool in the morning. I do plan on keeping some records with the new cat in place.
So my suggestion right now to everyone with the cats is to engage at a bit higher temperature than you have been. As for those stating the cat doesn't work at the end of the burn, there just is nothing much there for the cat to do at the end of the burn so it should have no effect.
Another thing Woodstock told me if anyone isn't happy with their steel cat you can exchange it for ceramic. I'm going back to ceramic til this gets figured out.
I think it pretty much has, yes. There is still a difference now that it is broken in, but that cat seems to engage ok as long as the stove top is around 300 and I leave the air open a bit and quite a bit longer than I had to initially.
But I'll be instrumenting this weekend with the hope of catching light off and stall conditions. I'll post more when I know more.
I jammed about 3" of 3/8" fiberglass rope under the center of the cat. My cat has a bit of a bow in it and flipped concave down, the rope pretty much filled in the gap created by the bow. I had to use a flat blade screw driver to push the rope entirely in.
Tom has contacted me as well, and today he states that they will likely have to come up with something to more positively retain the cat.
I cleaned my steel cat today as well. It has only been 2 weeks but wanted to look up my pipe as well. Cat was very clean no discoloring. My pipe is double wall right straight up through hs. The length I can see is grey with some ash stuck to sides. Cannot see real well the important part going through roof, but suspect it is not too bad overall. The reson I am saying is as I posted earlier I have experienced most all comments in this thread as well. At first I hought it might be the pipe closing up. I know that is not the case as with d wall pipe I get it up to at least 250 to 300. Then I don't worry about stovetop. This is the same as single wall at 350 to 400. Usually it will pull so stong that if I don't incrementally damp it down it can jump from 180 to 350 in an instant. Not kidding . That is why it is crazy when with same wood another day I have to often leave damp at 1.5 plus for a bit play with it toward 1 like it was my first time. Tonight went well on real small load right off. Bullshit pieced I mean small not much and stove at 510 1.5 hrs later from 97 degrees. Go figure.
My cat started to fail noticeably after almost 5 months of steady 24/7 use.
Some posters are claiming ss cat disfunctioning after few weeks! This is hard to believe.... Wood is likely part of the
problem! My ss cat does not show any green spots or any discolor... Yet it still stalls and takes a long time to light off.
Btw since I put the ceramic (much used) cat back in I am getting nice 8 hrs burns !
I ordered some new wrap two days ago for my ceramic backup cat and some extra for the ss cat. I mentioned the issues I am having with the ss cat. Was told they are finding the SS cat is not as hyper sensitive as when it was new and to engage after the flue temp is at 380 and hotter stove top temps. For me, I hit 380 degrees pretty fast with out damping down. Old news to most who are posting on this thread.
I mentioned that my cat is red rusty/oxidized and they said they have had a few reports of that. I also talked about the fly ash plugging the new ss scoop and they were aware of the issue and that it was better to have the ash on the screen than on the cat. Apparently during testing they found that poisoning of the cat is the most common failure and that flame impingment, thermal shock and the other types of failures were not really the true cause.
I wouldn't mind sending mine in for testing as well once I get the backup ceramic cat installed. I have the same suspected stall out after it lights off, unless I have a full load and a good amount of air rushing through the stove. I have noticed some smoke out of the stack and more creosote than I would like as well.
They also mentioned that they are going to be working on a larger diameter stainless mesh screen for the scoop so that it flows a little better with less fly as plugging. I said put me on the list! I left my notes at work, but I was given a lot of information about the in and outs of the ss scoop design and the benefits.
I do get however the reasoning behind going wih all ss cats. Most consumers are not like us in doing the do diligence of cleaning the cat, proper fuel and monitoring temps.
I did clean my cat again last night with a soft tooth brush and vacuumed out each channel. I was able to hit 600 degree stove top, but I did engage well into the 300 degree stove top range with an air setting at 1. Wasn't awake to see the results a few hours into the burn unfortunately.
Thanks to everyone contributing to this topic.
Precaud...hope your reading this.
A little late to this thread but I fear that mine is acting the same way. I cleaned my screen and cat last weekend, both looked fairly clean, not nearly as plugged as I've seen on other threads here. This week though, my cat doesn't seem to light off like it used to with a 250 stove top temp. I've been waiting until 300+ to close the bypass or it just seems to stall out. I've also noticed a lot more coaling in the morning with lower stove top temps, not sure if this is related or not. I'm going to be watching this thread closely now and hopefully we will get some answers soon.
The last couple days it's been pretty warm here. So, I've been doing half loads. This is the first time I've noticed a sluggish cat. With a fullish load, I haven't had any issues. But, I've been having issues getting the cat to fire off with the half loads. It's a shame because I love doing low, cat burns with half loads in this warmer weather. I had no issues doing this previously.
This is good news that they are looking into a different screen or scoop. I think they're walking a fine line trying to find the right combination between air flow and keeping the potassium poisoning filled ash from reaching the cat. They have tested the flow through both cats and found them to be about identical and the new screen gives a more even flow over the face of the cat than the old scoop.
I know when I changed old scoops, new scoops, steel cat and ceramic cats all around I found you either have to put up with more ash on the screen or more on the cat. I chose the new scoop with ceramic cat. The new scoop does catch more ash but so does the new steel cat. The ceramic cat has larger cells that doesn't catch the smaller ash that can make it through the s/s screen but the steel cat with it's smaller cells can still plug up quicker.
I have a long handled wire brush I use every couple weeks to remove any build up on the screen without having to remove the scoop from a hot stove. Just takes a couple seconds to run it over the front of the screen.
Yeah but I find new scoop hard to remove and reinstall without really cooling the stove down. It's trivial to open the top and, with stove gloves, remove the cat for cleaning. Reaching into the stove to pull those pins with a pliers is easy. Reinstalling the scoop and reinserting the pins with one arm extended over a glowing bed of coals isn't much fun.
And it'd leave an interesting puddle if it was a cast stove. Grey cast iron melts at around 2300ÂºF.
Okay, what is a "scoop" so I'll know what y'all are talking about? Might be important that I know! :blank:
The fire itself can be as high as 2732 though right, I googled it. :lol:
It's a part that fits under the cat, protecting it from flame and ash. The first had a cast floor and expanded metal front with open sides. Just a year ago, they switched to a stainless with a mesh front and sides.
Part W-249 at the bottom of this diagram - http://www.woodstove.com/images/stories/editorial_support/Manual_Img/fv205-internal.gif
How many of you cats are using Super Cedar regularly. I have been assured from Sud Chemie that Super Cedar prolongs the life of com busters. However this was a few years back and I might need them to take another look at this.
I wonder if some ingredient could be added to Super Cedar to combat this reaction. I will be lurking.
We always use about 1/6 of a Super Cedar to start a file. In the Fireview, that's rare during Dec-Feb. Maybe once every 3 weeks or so. Haven't used newspaper since fall of 2010, I think.
This is EXACTLY what I have noticed!
Correct, im talking about small areas intermittently. I spelled out melting points of raw elements, hardly the case with alloy metals.
The stainless scoop will develop color distortion due to heat, with but a few fires. Im saying that at that level, maybe some reaction takes place between this and the wash that cats are dipped, sprayed with whatever. Decreasing the activity of the precious metals.
No chemist here though. Just thinking through a green colored cat and the comments.
Woodstock has a new, loose gasket for the combuster, as of today, so if you are having a problem, by all means call and ask them to send you one.....
This is what I use every couple weeks, takes a few seconds to clean off the screen without removing it and my hands don't even need to go inside the fire box.
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