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Cat stoves are no good

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jeff_t, Mar 22, 2010.

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  1. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    BeGreen, cat stoves are also produced by Woodstock and they work extremely well. But I'm sure you know that and just forgot to mention them.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad I didn't let my bitter taste affect my decision to buy another cat stove.
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think it was an omission there Dennis - rather the discussion was on "Major stove producers" which as much as you and I consider Woodstock to be major since they are central to our solution, I don't think their volume of sales or brand recognition is anywhere near what VC or Jotul enjoy and thus it is hard to consider them a "major player" in the market. Pros and cons to this of course - downside for me (and many other potential consumers) is that I didn't know they existed when I bought my first stove and thus they were out of the consideration (and I made a poor decision). On the bright side Woodstock is small enough that they retain the small company attitude of customer first that seems to become more of a motto and less of a reality the large a company grows.

    I wish nothing but the greatest success on Woodstock, but I'm happy with their size not growing too much. Grow the stove perhaps with a new larger model, but keep the company in the small size so they can maintain their quality and customer service.
  4. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    That becomes a major issue, doesn't it? The huge manufacturer versus the smaller owned company and what each brings, or does not bring, to their units and customer service.

    The big companies have the bucks to deal with the Fed Regs, bring out new models, big advertising budgets, etc. But then they tend to really leave the customer as a sales number.

    The small company seems to truly be into customer service, invests a great deal of passion into their products, but cannot offer alot of variation in their units.

    Back to cat stoves and those who make them. I was surprised to see just how many companies still offer catalytic stoves. They are all on the EPA list. There's quite a bunch of them out there.
  5. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    My friend and mentor in the wood heat lifestyle has an old (early 80's) Buck stove, and when we brought our stove home, he was surprised it wasn't cat, and in fact thought all stoves since the mid 80's where required to be catalytic.
  6. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Man, I remember that deep Buck stove with the deers head on the door. Classic stuff back then.
  7. slindo

    slindo Member

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    To say nothing of firebacks, damper assemblies and andirons.

    Still I can't help but love them. A cat VC when it works, works wonderfully well, and no one makes better looking stoves. Just wish they'd hold up better.

  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Cat stoves are ugly. Cast iron stoves are ugly. Soapstone stoves are ugly.

    My stove is beautiful.
  9. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    meh.. beauty is in the woodpile of the holder..

    oh, and fixed it for you, surely, like your children, you don't have a favorite..
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Dakota brought up your stoves... as in plural. I've been meaning to ask you about them. You only seem to ever mention the 30NC, and based on the posts you've made about your home it seems that only the 30NC is located there. You also mentioned that before you found Hearth you had old smoke dragons (and wet wood). So, this leads to my question of; where are the two Jotuls and the Englander Pellet stove located?
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The F3 is for heating my office in the basement. To conserve wood I moved the office upstairs this year so it heats the outdoor cat that stays in the basement at night. The F100 was heating the small warehouse when we needed to work out there in cold weather but the building collapsed under the snow load this year so the stove is resting in the basement. The pellet stove was purchased with an eye to doing repairs for all of those Englanders sold around here at the box stores and to see if pellets were a viable option when I get to broken down to whack trees anymore. My business liability insurance carrier torpedoed the repair business idea so the stove was hooked up and two bags burned before it was mothballed for later.

    The Jotuls will probably be sold when I get around to it someday. If ESW will ever get it together and make the wood furnace a clean burner I will put one in the basement. If not I will put a 13-NC down there. I just don't like cast stoves and also I want something down there with a longer burn time.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Interesting.

    Few questions:

    How well did the F100 work? Better than an Intrepid? (in terms of heat output and burn time)
    I would love to be able to fit an F3 where the Intrepid is. How short can I make that stove?
  13. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    It is too bad you are only a Control Freak and not also a Fact Freak. :roll: Your response is just silly and no where close to reality!
  14. ErikMacc

    ErikMacc New Member

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    I sell both cat stoves and non cat and i can say that cat stoves are still very good. I sell Vermont Castings and Conolidated Dutchwest and the catalytic systems work just fine and i wouldnt call them "old". Still, with the non cats most of the nicer brands like jotul, hearthstone, ect... use a secondary baffle system which works very well. In sales we sell alot more non cats because the cutomers as i see it want to do less work meaning they rather not open the damper to load and remember to close it, or they rather not even replace a catalyst. All said and done i would side more with non cats, but that only because ive noticed with cats that i dont get as nice of a flame show and the glass tends to get dirtier faster.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Erik.

    Even though I welcome you, I do have to disagree with most of your comments. Perhaps you just have not seen a good cat stove or the good fire it presents or just have not used good fuel in your stoves. And what is this about dirty glass? If you sell stoves then you should also school yourself a bit more about the fuel you put in them. We installed our cat stove 3 years ago and have never cleaned anything other than some fly ash off the glass. If the glass gets dirty, your fuel is bad.

    That always tickles me too about the "extra work" with that bypass lever. Either it is up or down. Open the draft wide for reload and move that little lever at the same time. When it is time to dial the draft down, you also move that little lever and then don't move it again until the next load. If anyone thinks that is extra work, then they should not be burning wood because there is a lot of work involved and to compare that to moving a lever up or down.....is silly.

    Sorry about the rant there but I hear these silly things from time to time and it is usually salesmen that pass on these silly ideas. I wonder what folks would have done 50 years ago with the stoves we had. Let me see now. We had the damper in the stovepipe, a slider in the firebox door and then a draft control down by the ash bin. Oh My God! Three things to keep track of! Yet, by the time I was about 8 years old it was my job to keep the stoves filled along with the woodbox and also taking out the ashes. No, I'm sorry, moving a lever I do not consider work.
  16. ErikMacc

    ErikMacc New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and i see what you are saying and i shouldnt have said neccissarily more work because your right in saying that you might as well not even burn wood then. Still, what i mean is that customers that i get seem to take that as foreign. they lke the idea of a traditional fire that you just open the door and place wood in the firebox. Also, what i meant by dirtier glass was simply meant as i feel that i notice more. obviously i wouldnt use that in a sales type of situation because its biased. As for the type of wood or fuel that is burned, yes obviously i burn seasoned wood but many new wood stove owners dont until they come in with issues and are taught how to dry and stack their wood. Just like you i was taught at a young age with old style wood stoves and the proper way to season wood. Sorry everything i said didnt make sense at first, but as far as this being a forum i kind of just gave my opinion not what i would say to a buyer which in a sense can turn them away. Rather i embrace both technologies and let the customer choose.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Eric, I'm sure you do the right thing. I just hate to hear the "extra work" or some even refer to it as being "more complicated" with having that little lever to move. Folks like that should not even burn wood. I think also too many people when the start burning wood tend to think of it just like an oil or gas furnace. You go out and buy wood, put wood in the stove and stay warm. Well, that sounds good, but as you know, there is much more to it and folks need to know this and should know before they buy the stove.

    On the fuel, I like to tell folks if they are looking at stoves to start heating with wood that they are getting ahead of themselves already. The very first thing to look at and get on hand is their fuel supply. That one little subject itself can be very complicated for new wood burners....but they do need to learn. Hopefully we are able to help a lot of folks in these areas. That is the only reason I am on hearth.com is to try to help others.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Greetings Erik and thanks for the observations. What part of NY do you hail from?

    It's great to have a Vermont Castings dealer log on. We don't get a lot of feedback on how things are going from the dealer side. As a VC dealer, how have sales been since the sale to Monnesen? How has it been working with the new owners, especially regarding warranty work?
  19. ErikMacc

    ErikMacc New Member

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    i agree 100% with you and i do take the time out and run through all the detail about burning wood and everything that comes with it. I also sell pellet stoves, coal stoves, gas , ect and many people get turned off by wood because those other heating appliances are targeted for people who want that ease of use but, the people who actually listen and dont mind the work go straight for wood which is nice because in my eyes its the most practical source of heat.
  20. ErikMacc

    ErikMacc New Member

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    Well beGreen, i hail from middletown ny which is one hour north of nyc.

    with the shift over to monessen in the beginning it was rough. because the shift in the economy we had alot of people wanting to restore and fix their old VC models and getting parts were a pain. Now, i think everything is basically back in order they are still producing a great line and not making changes which is great and as for working with the people over at monessen it seems fine the only thing is getting ahold of tech sometimes that takes a long time.
  21. Chad S.

    Chad S. Member

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    About worrying to engage-- I usually re-load and set the draft at 2 for 10 mins then 1.5 for 10 and engage. I have already fell asleep with the draft at 1.5 no cat on for a couple of hours, woke up on the lazy boy and the flue was at 500 the stove was at 400. So I wasted some wood big deal... Now if I had a non-cat and fell asleep for 2 hours with the draft at 1.5 I probably would have over-fired (I think?) so the extra step (engaging) in my eyes is really not THAT important. You'll just use more wood and get less heat. Actually, I don't even bother engaging the cat if the outside temp is like 50+ cause the house gets too hot! Oh, and I get AWESOME secondaries when the draft is choked way down so yeah, the fire is lame....
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I thought the great thing about the cat was "low and slow". :coolsmirk:
  23. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    nothing wrong with a cat stove , i ran one for years as a stand alone heat source. if anything they are a bit more complex to run as you have to "preheat" the cat before closing a bypass which allows this and settle in for a long slow burn, non- cat stoves do not have to be tended to in this way so they are a bit easier to operate. i do not wish to make this sound like a big difference it isnt, literally its just one more step. cat's fire off at about 400-550 F cat stoves are designed to allow smoke to "bypass" the cat during startup until it has fired off , then the bypas is closed to shunt all of the exhaust to pass through the cat. the cat literally incinerates the smoke which comes off the fire, the same process is carried out in the firebox or a secondary chamber with a non-cat.

    it should be noted that "wet" wood , green or saturated by rain, is not good for a cat and can cause thermal shock which could result in an expensive replacement, dry wood is important, non cat stoves dont like green wood either but generally will not suffer the same effects. both types of stoves are great heaters. with a proper chimney and good fuel either one would get the job done for you
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I know one non-cat that gets the job done for me. With a big ass glass and a beautiful view of the fire. Why would I want to look at smoldering wood?

    I think cat stoves are great heaters. I would like to have one. In the basement. :lol:
  25. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    None of the cats I had gave a smoldering fire. To the contrary.
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