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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. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It is called "New Source Performance Standards". Here is the presentation they saw at HPBA:

    http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/workshop2010/nsps.pdf

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Stove dampers are not recommended any manufacturer (that I know of) unless you have an extreme chimney situation, in other words, you created your own problem there.

    So that makes the non-cat only have one control. Winner.

    As you know, the VC stoves are not typical and really should be dismissed as a company. They also sell that other cat stove with several intake controls.

    Yes, it is silly but is so simple that you understand why the vast majority of stoves sold are noncat. It is mostly because they are easier to operate. I'm with you in regards to which stove tech is superior, I would rather own a cat stove but you and I are not typical, we are stove enthusiasts.
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You're going to have to explain that one.
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Check your manual, the makers of the stoves do not recommend that you install an inline flue damper unless you have a high suction chimney which creates a super strong draft. On our heritages, BAR, the manual specs out a figure for measured suction before you should install an aftermarket damper. So what I'm saying is that adding a flue damper to the non-cat is optional at best, and actually discouraged by manufacturers. Ref1 added the damper to his "lever" count as though it is part of standard equipment when in reality it is not standard. Heck, you could add 8 dampers if you want.
  5. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Damper? What damper? I didn't add a damper. Main air intake and cat bypass rod/lever. Two. But as mentioned a bunch of non-cat stoves have two controls, as well. Dampers in pipes would make three in my book, and not part of the stove.

    Not that I have done any search on Why, but I would suspect the reason manufacturers stayed non-cat, or went non-cat is one of expense. Cats add money to the stove's design and manufacture - cat, housing, chamber, rod/lever connections ...adds to the price of the stove. If you can get the same test burn without the cat - less money to manufacture, but same retail price in the marketplace - more profit. Plus what the EPA regs add to the price of every stove.

    As far as operation I just do not believe it's an issue for any adult wanting to burn wood for heat.
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Fudge factor, just cuz the manufacture recommends no damper doesn't mean you couldn't use one. I think they know most people don't burn properly as is and a damper would only worsen the situation but for stove enthusiests that burn dry wood and monitor stove and pipe temps a damper can help out with efficiency and burn times.

    Didn't you install a pipe damper this year?
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    They don't encourage a pipe damper because if they did their stoves would have to be tested using one. And that would do nothing good for them in the testing with that fifteen foot chimney mandated by the test procedures. Kinda like a blower. If a blower is standard or an option with a stove a test run has to be made with the blower running full blast start to finish.
  8. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    A little off topic......I'm interested in looking at some of the Steel or CAST CAT stoves on the market.(not soapstone or VC) I'm familiar with Blaze King and Buck, who else makes CAT stoves?
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That's funny ref1, you listed your heritage as:

    "Hearthstone Heritage Non Cat: Air Control, Pipe Damper Control. Total: 2"

    I have a heritage and there is no pipe damper unless you add one. So which is it? Did you add one or not? Regardless, the modern heritage only has one little lever to control the whole stove just like all but a handful of non-cat stoves.

    You're right, it just isn't an issue for any of us enthusiasts burning wood for heat. It is an issue for the thermostat crowd, those folks that have no interest in burning wood except for a cheap source of heat with the absolute minimum amount of fuss. The sales folks have spoken as well, additional fuss is not a sales plus. There's a reason that manual transmissions are getting rarer and rarer.

    We're both here because we have this oddly strong interest in burning wood. I think your new stove venture with the elm is great and am watching closely how it goes. Do you think this is normal? Not really, it makes perfect sense to all of us here but most people would think that I am weird for knowing so much about a guy's stove in VA.
  10. bsearcey

    bsearcey New Member

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    Just to put my 2cents in. This was my first year burning with an 1983 Consolidated Dutchwest Federal Airtight 224CCL (man that's a mouthfull). Anyway it has a cat and worked flawless. The reason why I quoted Backwoods was because like he said I put the stove before the wood and spent alot of my winter scrounging for wood. I had enough standing dead trees that I was able to not technically burn green wood, but as all of you know standing dead when first split has a very high moisture content. Aside from the few occasions where I was able to get my hands of some very good seasoned wood I was burning newly split standing dead wood. Well towards the end of February (burning 24/7 since November) I noticed my cat had begun to deteriorate and had cracked. This was a brand new cat from Condar. Anyway it was thermal shock that did it. Totally my fault.

    The times I was burning wood with 20% or less MC the heat output (especially when the cat and blower were working together) was tremendous. Burn times were excellent considering my stove is very small. The glass would definitely get sooty, but with good dry wood it would usually clear itself up with a nice hot fire. If you burn wet wood you'll never get it clean even with a hot fire.

    As far as cats being "old technology" explain to me why they are in every single one of the cars we drive. Obviously if this technology were not the best out there for efficiency and pollution reduction I would think the car industry would be using something else.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    That was me, not ref1.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I'm so confused. Sorry about that.

    There is no cat in my 2000 model truck. Never was either but they have since added them. Cats are wonderful technology especially in autos since they work with NO human input and last for pretty much the life of the car.

    I did try and put a damper in my stove pipe bacause I wanted additional control over my non-cat for super long burntimes, I'm jealous of the cat guys, but it wouldn't work since Simpson appliance adapters don't adapt to hearthstone flue outlets. I know, I actually wanted to add fuss and steps to stove operation. We are enthusiasts.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It is an older technology for EPA clean burns, though not that old.

    This is why the auto industry is preparing for a switch to electrics and hydrogen powered fuel cells. Though there has been some interesting work on new catalysts recently. It will be interesting to see if it gets applied in the woodstove industry.
  14. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Anytime someone brings up the whole "cat in the car" discussion I am left wondering what the blazes it has to do with stoves? Sure I know they do much of the same thing (i.e. combust remaining CO and other organics in the exhaust) but the purpose is somewhat different isn't it? We don't optimize cars for the heat they produce - the cat there is simply to clean up the exhaust and if anything it negatively affects the performance of the vehicle.

    I do think it is an "older" technology and stoves may well be borrowing/learning from the auto industry research but I don't know as that has much to do with whether or not current cat stoves are good or bad, easy or hard to operate etc. Older does not imply inferior to me - simply mature. This idea that something has to be new (or that newer is automatically better) is, in my opinion, a flawed viewpoint. Now, when IS that new stove from Woodstock going to come out so I can order one? :)
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    "Older does not imply inferior to me - simply mature."

    I'll have to use that. Older VCs were better than new ones, older diesels are better too. I wonder how often newer really does equal better.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Imagine how many cars you would sell if the owner's manual said something like "Start the car and hold the accelerator half way down until the pyrometer reads 500 then pull the lever next to the drivers seat to close the bypass and engage the combustor. You can then proceed to the proceed to drive the car.".
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I prefer manual transmission cars.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Oh great. Now ya gotta open the bypass for each gear change and then close it again. :lol:
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I also like old manual transmission 4x4 jeeps when you need to turn the wheel hubs to use four wheel drive.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You would have been in heaven driving that over the road tractor I drove for a while with the two stick Spicer transmission. Arm crooked through the steering wheel shifting with both hands at fifty miles an hour with 40,000 pounds behind ya.

    Here is how it is done. Notice that you never touch the clutch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3cFz9wzGPw
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Yes, older wine. Some older women. The older the buck the stiffer the horn, etc.
  22. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    I realize the auto/stove illustration is a flawed apples and oranges to some degree. And technology moves forward and perhaps some completely new technology will grab the wood stove industry. Until then, though, in a real world situation of non-perfect firewood, and imperfect conditions which often happen, I cannot fathom anyone who knows how to use any wood stove would complain using a cat is too difficult compared to a noncat. Brand new users? Possible, but again, even using a noncat for the first time ... look at the posts that come in here from newbies totally frustrated with some aspect of using their set up, cat, noncat ... earning curve. Everything has a learning curve.

    I guess my partiality comes from using both and seeing the results of each type of unit. I'll take the second function, and now burn off into the sunset. Great thread, though.
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With your hybrid ref1 you will never know if it is the cat or the burn tubes that are really getting it done. :lol:
  24. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Ha! Both. There ya go. I'm a cat non-cat burner. Who can argue with me now!
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The complexity of merging a cat and non-cat stove has been known to cause nose bleeds and black holes.
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