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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. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Just imagine what will happen when you start burning pine in that thing!

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Ha, don't tempt us! Back when Woodstock was looking into a hybrid for the Fireview I remember talking with one of their guys and he said they couldn't achieve the long burns and basically all the cat was doing was cleaning up what little is left after the fire boxes secondary burn. They also thought about some kind of hybrid for their new stove but found the cat alone to burn better.
  3. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Does the Fireview have secondary tubes in their box? I didn't know that. Or is it something else? What is their baffle made from? Is it soapstone resting on a frame of some kind?
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    No secondary air tubes, but they were tinkering with the idea and then decided against it and are currently building a new larger stove. The baffle is cast iron and there is an opening in front where the cat sits behind a screen. If you go to their web site and find the cat cleaning slide show you can kind a see how it all works.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    How about an update on that new woodstock. I hear tidbits like this and wonder what the actual status is. Any photos yet? Even some idea if it is a fireview or keystone on roids?
  6. sauer

    sauer New Member

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    I run both. Fireview upstairs and the Mansfield in the man cave. They both are different animals. Both are great heaters. some like ford, some like chevys. The best one is the one you own
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The man said it all.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Last time I talked to them they said they will post pics and details on their site in about 3 weeks and to be patient, well it's been 3 weeks, hopefully we will see something soon. I did notice they changed their web site some and will soon have a blog and videos. They also have a sign up for special pre-release pricing for the new stove but they won't give me those details yet either.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I got an email from one fellow from Woodstock and he is working on the web page this morning. He did not mention anything about the new stove yet though.
  10. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    "Fact is, with board replacement the maintenance costs of this non-cat and a cat stove ain’t gonna be a dime’s worth of difference." BrotherBart

    Hey, I caught ya, BB. At least as far as the argument of cat replacement folks use. Not that you have used it. Have you? In any event, it appears some non cats have probable maintenance costs associated with cat replacement, as well. So, we are down to that second lever. Unless, of course, a PE enthusiast comes in here and says, Sorry, no ceramic baffle. Non cats win.
  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Sure am glad we live in a free country where lots of different stoves get to compete in the market! Everyone can look around and choose which ones they like best and go for it. Stove makers will keep on trying to improve things - whatever that may mean to the consumers paying for them - and thus in theory stoves (cat, burn tube, and whatever else may come down the pipe next) will only get better.
  12. BigBlockChevy

    BigBlockChevy New Member

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    I think (know) the catalytic stoves guys are light years ahead of where they were in the 1980's. I spoke with Matt at Sud Chemie before I bought my King. He pointed out that 80% of catalytic failures are in 1 specific brand of stove. He would not say which brand. The stove builders attend a yearly event where they display new products. They also have classes they teach at the same time. (check out the HPBA.org web site)

    They had a class on catalytic stoves and have this link to the class materials, which seems to support why I love my King model stove. Although no mention is made of brand names, you can bet from these forums who is who!

    The science side of this is cool to read.

    http://www.chc-hpba.org/chc_news.htm

    Enjoy the reading and curent factual test data they taught....
  13. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    I got a 404 link not found window. Is that link correct?
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The link has a space in it. Copy and paste the entire link into the browser address space to connect to the document.
  15. BigBlockChevy

    BigBlockChevy New Member

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    I fixed the link for those interested. What's amazing is that you will see one of the catalytic stoves will burn cleaner for up to 30 years before it burns as dirty as a (highest limit) EPA noncatalytic stove.

    I think I have that one!!
  16. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Excellent link. I was impressed with the Omni tests and how long a cat can survive. Also noticed in that chart where they display the gph comparison at different burn rates that the cat stoves actually burn cleaner at the low air setting (0.29) than the higher setting (4.67). When they come up with the overall gph number it must be an average of the whole burn range when in reality 80% of the stove use is in the lower burn range so a cat stoves majority of the burn is usually under 1gph which I find pretty incredible. Non cats are about 3 times dirtier in the lower burn than cats according to that chart.
  17. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I can't get the link to load (perhaps my work connection...). Does it get into other things such as CO output? I've always wondered if cat stoves also burn off more CO than non-cats. Seems to me they just might - isn't this what the cat on a car is there for?
  18. BigBlockChevy

    BigBlockChevy New Member

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    There are two documents on that site. One has to do with the age study and the other the role of catalytic stoves in renewable energy. That second document has some great details and charts on CO and other gases. I did not know how many gases were produced by wood smoke until I read the document. (They call them Volatile Organic Compounds).

    It looks like the cataltyic stoves eat these up 100%, except methane which was mostly consumed at higher catalytic combustor temperatures.

    What I do know and understand is what I see (or don't see) and that is no smoke pooring from my chimney for the past 7 years or more from my King.

    http://www.chc-hpba.org/chc_news.htm
  19. ddown

    ddown Member

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    Very interesting reads think about switching to a cat stove for longer lower burns
  20. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    4. It’s not enough to assume market conditions will sort out those stoves that are durable and
    those that are not. Manufacturers must be held accountable for building durable products. This
    applies to both catalytic wood stoves and non-catalytic wood stoves. An informal survey of
    hearth retailers in February of 2009 showed that a number of components used in the construction
    of specific non-catalytic wood were known to fail, in some models regularly. Secondary air
    tubes, refractory materials and insulating blankets can fail as a result of exposure to higher temperatures
    with the end result being higher levels of emissions being produced. The costs associated
    with these parts can at times exceed the cost of combustor replacement."


    That is a great paragraph in the second study. Goes to the heart of another thread I resurrected last week. The whole thing was extremely useful for me. Lots of good insights into the entire discussion of cats versus noncats.

    If the Fed goes with Washington state regs, there are a number of stoves on the EPA list which will not pass. Until some new technology comes along to replace cats, I imagine they shall not only be around a long time, but even grow in numbers.

    My original Catalytic Elm should have suffered thermal shock. It may have, and cats could have lasted longer than they did. This new one I have prevents that thermal shock possibility, so it should last to an optimum degree. The entire concept of making a stove and then adding a combustor, rather than designing a stove around the combustor is a really important point made in the presentations. Kudos to those manufacturers who hung on and designed better catalytic stoves.
  21. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    The second presentation mentions the CHC's position that there should be only one number that all manufacturers go by, not two - a number for cats stoves and a number for noncat stoves. That does seem fair. Either a certain number of particulates is harmful or not. There is no fair reason why cat stoves should be restricted by lower numbers. It just shows the regulators expect cat stoves to perform better. If the EPA actually set such a low single standard, most manufacturers would start scrambling, that's for sure, looking at the EPA manufacturers list. Lots of good numbers, but if lowered to cat standard, big problems for some companies. Either raise the number for cat stoves, or lower it for noncats.
  22. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    If the numbers in the presentation are solid, and the EPA is truly going after the lowest pollution numbers a stove can make, one might predict the next generation of stoves to be hybrids, or thoroughly redesigned cats. But noncats are not going to remain the current trend, unless they can lobby for the higher numbers to remain for them. Back to politics, which is why I hate politics. There should not even BE an EPA, Constitutionally speaking, but there is, and if they lower the regs to one number everyone meets, it will change the manufacturing industry again.
  23. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think back when phase II went into effect the cats weren't as good as today and probably degraded faster so the EPA set a lower gph standard thinking after a few years those gph numbers would rise to noncat levels.
  24. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, Todd.
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I was referencing your #170 post on why I think the EPA went with a lower gph for cat stoves verses noncats. 20 or so years ago phase 2 went into effect and I'm thinking the cat technology wasn't as good for wood stoves back then as they are now and the old cats probably started out very clean but degraded to non cat levels or worse in a few years so the EPA made it tougher on cats.
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