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"cat stove's" longevity

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by yooperdave, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    in order not to hijack another members post, and since i do not know enough about cat stoves, will you please post your experiences with how long your cat stove has lasted?? how frequent, if ever, has your cat been changed? i'm the owner or a pre epa non U.L. listed stove (yes, insured too) and by the sounds of the postings, i'm glad i didn't get a cat stove....change my mind and i'll help cook at the hearth.com summer picnic!!!!!

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Here is what I posted in that thread.

    A few hundred bucks every 5 years is nothing when you think of the wood you’ll save burning a CAT stove. Even if you cut/split your own wood your time must be worth that much over 5 years. People going from a Pre-EPA stove to a CAT-EPA stove report saving up to 50% on their wood usage.
  3. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    ah yes! less time on the wood pile! +1 for the cat category!
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I'm tired of this discussion every month. Do a search. Tons of threads on this. And I own a Pre-EPA stove, Non-cat stove, and a cat stove.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Most of those pre EPA non cat steel stoves were built like tanks and last forever. Some cast iron cat stoves are over engineered imo, and do require rebuilds every so often. The steel cat stoves I have looked at are designed different and built to last. I use to burn an old pre EPA Woodsman step top and it threw the heat but it also burned through twice the wood.

    I think my Woodstock Fireview and Keystone should last a life time operated properly and the cat should last 4-6 years with a $125 replacement cost but I have heard of cats lasting much longer. That being said my first two years I cracked the cats, told Woodstock about it and they just sent me new ones for free. They were still together and worked but if they are willing to replace them I'll take it.

    They are making improvements in cat technology like the new stainless steel cat that are resistant to thermo shock cracking, lite off sooner and last longer. We shall see.

    My stove does have more maintenance than an old steel stove but I don't mind, it aint rocket science. The biggest advantage I see is wood savings. I've heated this 2000 sq ft house with 3 cords per year for the last 5 years and from my prior experience burning the Woodsman even though it was in another similar sized house, that stove burned through 5-6 cords per year. After 5-10 or 15 years it adds up and is worth the extra maintenance.
  6. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    What are all the problems that Cat stoves seem to be giving people. Not all Cat stoves are the same as Todd pointed out and if one brand or model had problems doesn't make them all bad. My steel stove is built like a tank. I was a rookie to wood stoves and never even heard of a Cat stove before I bought my used BBF 2 years ago. I have been burning it 24/7 for two seasons now without any problems. It isn't hard to operate and cleaning a Catalytic once during the burn season is no big deal. If someone can't handle engaging the by pass damper after a reload I don't know if having a fire of any kind inside your house is a good idea.

    I have burned a little over 2 cord since the end of October and I am heating 2300sqft in a rather cold climate. My old Big Jack furnace would be double that and I would have to feed it twice as often. I don't need to get up during the night and the house was warm all night even during -20 degree weather recently.

    You need seasoned wood but that should be done in any wood burning situation.
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I know I'm burning less wood. How much depends more on the weather though.
    I had an old no-cat BK king.
    Now a new BK king w/cat.
    10 cords/year average to I'm guessing 6 -7 cords/year. (depending on how cold the rest of winter will be)
    Gone thru a little over 4 so far. Started in Oct.
    Just a tad over a cord/month.
    It is less than the old stove for sure. Longer burn times for a full load, shows me that every day.
    Some of it may be because of better quality wood (seasoned better than before, learned that here)

    2nd year on my stove & cat still glows & heat output is good.

    About once a month, I vacuum the cumbustor out to get any ash. But still working fine.

    Book has a vinegar cleaning method, may try that if it ever quits glowing.

    If I save about $800 to $1000 on fire wood/year (4 cord)
    & every 4 or 5 years I replace the cumbustor for $150+/-.
    I think I'll be ahead a few $,$$$.

    I also worry less about the chimney now. It is pretty clean at the end of a season, less chance of a chimney fire. (much better than the old stove)
    Cleaner burning so it is good for the environment.
    Less wood hauled into the house, less ash out ; so less work there.

    They are more finicky, in that dry wood is more important than non-cats. & you will ruin the cat if you burn trash, colored ink, paint etc.
    A "good dry wood" only stove.

    Not trying to convince you, each type have good features. Leaning a new way to burn is not for everyone.
    Before the catalytic, it was fire, now it's heat output, With many times not seeing a fire in the stove at all.
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Have owned this cat stove since 1988 and it still heats fine....

    Ray
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The only reasonable comparison is modern cat stoves compared to modern non-cats. Both have wear items and I am convinced that the cost of maintaining either one is the same.

    And the old stoves have wear items too. I used to have to get the local iron works to make me a new baffle every four or five years. Sometimes it could have used one every three years. At fifty bucks a pop.
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I agree there is no free ride.. My most expensive part so far is the cat itself along with one cast iron cat baffle and one fixed center grate.. Bart do the burn tubes ever need replacement and if so what would that cost?

    Ray
  11. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

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    Another advantage to the "CAT" stoves is the ability to have a smoldering fire that the CAT burns all the smoke, clean burning, and to reload like twice a day for days where you don't need full heat.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    In stoves like the PE no burn tubes and lifetime baffle warranty so baffle costs should be nil. With tube types I have never seen anybody say here that one needed replacement because of burnout. Ceramic baffles run about a hundred or so but most of the time pokers bust them more often than heat. And I bet more than a few cats have been replaced because somebody dropped one when cleaning it and busted the ceramic.

    Burn tubes for my stove are $28 apiece plus shipping (four in the stove). ESW had a fall special this year that included both baffle boards and door and window gaskets for $119 shipping included. I ordered it. Didn't need any of it yet in five seasons but wanted it on the shelf. Nothing like busting something on a cold night in January and getting to wait for UPS.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I brought it up originally as I have seen a few threads where secondary tubes have warped or were damaged in some way and needed to be replaced. Here is one thread that talks about it.

    This was the most recent thread I could find that talked about burn tube replacement:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/53891/


    And, to be clear, I own a non-cat stove. I like BOTH types of stoves.
  14. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Your running cost on that stove is very impressive Bart.. All in all I think your stove is a real bargain for a low starting cost and the parts if you need any seem to be reasonably priced.. In real cold weather secondary burn stoves can really crank out the heat and run clean as opposed to a cat stove such as mine which tend to be more efficient on low to medium burns and run clean on low burns which is when you get the best efficiency.. For these reasons those dual technology stoves seem to have the upper hand and give the best of both worlds in one tidy package.. I just turned the heat up to 67 here because I can't do much more than maintain 64 degrees in here.. Once the furnace gets the house to 67 the stove will maintain and probably get the house to 69-70 degrees.. I think your stove would excel in this situation with the temp at zero right now and below again tonight..

    Ray
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    One of the things I considered was that I could put a spare 30 in the garage for the price of the Summit Classic or two for the price of a Blaze King King. So I decided to give it a try. Glad I did. Different folks need different stuff in different localities and houses. We only got down to 8 degrees last night and I loaded at nine o'clock and it was down to seventy downstairs this morning. Were we somewhere colder a reload in the night would have been in order. Or moving that big sucker somewhere other than halfway into the fireplace at the end of the downstairs floor.

    Lots of great stoves out there, cat and non-cat. I think people just need to get'em a stove that they like.
  16. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    +1
    As usual well said!

    Ray
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Dave, we're only into our 4th winter with our cat stove. However, comparing it to our old stove, which was much larger, here is what we come up with:

    1. We use about half the amount of wood we used to burn.
    2. We get more heat! The house is much warmer even with less fuel.
    3. With the old stove we cleaned the chimney 3-4 times per winter. With this one, we've cleaned one time so far and that was after 2 years burning.
    4. There is no comparison when speaking of how the stoves look. The Fireview is a real beauty.
    5. We replaced the old stove but expect this one to last a lifetime.

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