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"Cat stoves do very well with smoldering fires."

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by soupy1957, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Really? That's pretty much exactly what I see on my Vigilant with the bypass closed. So I'm not running higher flue temps than if I was using a cat stove, rarely see any visible smoke, yet I burned nearly 6 cord last year. Go figure. Never, ever a smoldering fire, though. The stove is always active and hot. Maybe that's the difference?

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    You will never know til you burn a cat stove in that same chimney. My previous Hearthstone Homestead burned a good 100-150 degree higher stack temps in the same exact chimney. Before the Homestead I had a small Regency and I think it burned about the same as the Homestead maybe a tad higher.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't just say I saved wood during the shoulder seasons. This stove just seems to put out more heat with less wood than previous stoves. Now I have another stove so I bet I'll burn a little more, but I'll also be much warmer. :)
  4. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Wonder if the 8" versus 6" flue is a factor.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, good posibility and I'm burning in a 5.5"
  6. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, thought of that. Funny thing is that my thimble has a 7" ID because it is fitted to a nominal 8" tile flue that is 7" across on the inside. I always measure about a 50ºF temp increase as the flue pipe gets necked down from 8" to 7" just before the thimble. I'm sure that a lot of the inefficiency of my system has to do with the fact that the Vig is a real air gulper, so even at the same flue temps, a lot more CFM are moving through the flue. If I could get away with a 6" flue, I'm sure the temps would be much higher.

    I have no doubt that a cat stove would save me a lot of wood. Question is, will it cut my usage by half? I find that hard to believe, but a 1/3 cut would put me back to the 4 cord I used to burn in my old stove. I'm a lot warmer than I used to be with the old stove, and I would never want to give that up. But 4 cord with the house at a uniform 72º like I enjoyed most of last winter... why, I'd be happier than a pig in poop.
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Isn't being in debt the American way? I was in the same boat but the tax credit was too good to pass up and I broke out the credit card for the Keystone. Didn't really want to but I doubt the tax credit will be extended and instead of saving up for the stove I figure I'll just pay off the card instead.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Our house used to be kept around the 70 degree mark and during the coldest part of winter it was a struggle to even get the stove room up there. Now we keep the home closer to the 80 degree mark. I realize that is too warm for most folks but it suits me just fine. I do not want to wear a lot of heavy cloths inside the house. I'll wait to bundle up when I head outside. Besides, I do have a bit of a problem with cold so it is much better to keep it warmer in here. This, to me, is the greatest benefit we have received from the Fireview stove. The burning of less wood is the second greatest benefit of the Fireview. Then comes the clean burning, etc., etc.

    Our temperature on the stove top and flue are pretty close to Todd's.
  9. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    You're right! What was I thinking? I need to help the economy and save the world. :cheese:

    Seriously, what they are offering right now is amazing. One thing's for sure, I wouldn't think of another stove with the prices they are offering. Heavy discount, 10-20% off on chimney components (I'll need a liner for my tile flue). $100 shipping! Really. Then there is the financing at 9.9%. That may not be the lowest rate on a credit card, but try to buy an Apple computer with the same rate (22.9%). I you don't need the stove shipped (I'd pick mine up), you save an additional $100. With the tax credit, I can get a Fireview for $1454... almost 50% off. And... no sales tax because it's in New Hampshire.

    So why ain't this froggy jumping? I really have to decide if it will work in my situation. Here's a pic on my stove when I first got it.


    [​IMG]


    There are two tile-lined flues inside a brick chimney hidden behind all that cement block. Several tons of masonry all told. The chimney rises through the center of the house and gets quite warm after a week or so of running the stove full tilt. I have measured the kitchen wall (chimney runs behind it) in the morning and it has been 96ºF.... a poor man's Tulikivi. This place stays close to 72º throughout the entire house, day in and day out, except in the very coldest months. All I ever use for heat is the stove. This has worked well for me for almost 20 years. Yes, heat rises through the floor, and a lot comes up through a grate I installed in the basement door, but there is so much heat captured by all that masonry. Ironically, that heat that everybody worries about going up the chimney just warms my house when it radiates back. I've read that a setup like this can result in a 15% increase in net system efficiency. If you hung out here for a week, you'd believe that.

    Will a soft-heating stove with low flue gas temps do the job will my basement install? That's the $1454 question?

    Anybody got an extra Fireview I can borrow for a few months? %-P
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No, but we'll keep our eyes open for any on sale. It would certainly be interesting to see any difference if any at all, but it would be a shame to not install it upstairs.
  11. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. Just out of curiosity, what is the stove temp when you wake up in the morning after an 8-hour burn?
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    After 8 hours in winter we can generally find it around 400 degrees. That is when I start opening the draft a bit.
  13. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Dennis, you're absolutely right. If they made a stove that would fit in my fireplace, I'd be all over it. I'd crank up the Vigilant once a day and let it burn out, just like in shoulder season. Take the chill out of the workshop. Then I'd enjoy that beautiful soft heat of the Woodstock while cozying up with my sweetie on the couch in the evening. I thought about putting an F100 in that spot, but still haven't decided on that either. Woodstock needs to add a smallish stove to their line, I'm sure it'd be a good seller.
  14. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that explains a lot. My stove in the morning? Well, you can usually put you hand on it without burning yourself. 200-250º is good. My heating charts tell me that your stove at 400º is putting out four times as much heat as mine at 200º. That's huge.
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Have you posted these charts? Are they something like surface area * surface temp = btus?
  16. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Basically, yes that's what I have. Doesn't tell the whole story, and it tells you nothing about convection stoves, but I find it interesting. I'll post one specific to wood stoves if you're interested. Of course, you can't tell how much an entire stove is pushing out just from the top temp, but I used my IR gun to scan a running Fireview at the Woodstock plant, and they are remarkably even in temp all over.
  17. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I find it interesting as well. I suppose I already know most of the story as I know when I put X pounds of wood in how much heat I am going to get out over the next 24 hours. The thing I like about the cat stove is being able to control that big of a load over that long a burn.
  18. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Hard to say whether your basement install will work or not but my Fireview will heat 2000 sq ft from my finished basement 90% of the time. I like to keep the upstairs over 70. If it didn't work you can always keep your old stove and send the Fireview back. One of the great things about Woodstocks 6 month guarantee.
  19. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    If I had to it over again I should have tried a fire view (because of the send back option) but we like the look of the summit (i like the fireview also but wife did not) but I remember one guy who did send his back and I think it was in the basement.
  20. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    They're still doing that, even with the huge discounts? H-mmmm.

    Old Spark, do you recall the problem that made the member here return the stove? I recall reading about it, but I can barely remember my own name these days, let alone some forum member's screen name.
  21. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I believe he could not get the upstairs warm from the basement install.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I think you are right on that Old Spark. His basement was not insulated either so the block or cement took most of the heat. I'm thinking also that he only had the stairway to send heat up top.
  23. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It was Wendell. I think he has a 2 story with full basement and was trying to heat around 2400sq ft from basment? He ended up sending the Fireview back and reinstalled his little Morso in the basement and just bought an Oslo for the main floor. I think the rear clearances of the Fireview kept him from installing it on his main floor?
  24. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Ah, not the case with me. I found out almost 20 years ago how important it is to insulate the basement. Night and day difference in heating ability with the same stove before and after insulating. Don't skimp on the rock, either. 5/8", or even two layers of 1/2" overlapped at the joints. Sheetrock holds a lot of heat. Gypsum is up there with firebrick as far as specific heat capacity: 0.26 BTU/lb ºF, compared with 0.23 for soapstone, 0.20 for regular stone and only 0.11 for cast iron and steel. It's a pretty good insulator as well. 0.01 BTU/ft h ºF - about 8 times as effective as regular (hard) firebrick.


    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-solids-d_154.html
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Battenkiller, how much sq ft is your home?

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