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Cat vs Non-Cat - Half Time Report

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by leeave96, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Well, we've been burning since about September 15th, have burned through 2-1/2 cords of wood in the process. I like to give my chimney a cleaning around the first of the year and with the break between Christmas and New Year's Day, I went about this chore.

    The Woodstock Keystone (cat stove) is on an interiior chimney, 6 inch rigid with 1/2 insulation. The Englander 30-NCH (non-cat stove) is on an exterior chimney, Metalbest, 6 inch with a chase around it.

    Our weather in my neck of the woods has been colder than normal, hence firing the stoves in mid-September, however, December has been relatively mild. Typically, we burn the Keystone 24/7 or near it and fire off the Englander when the temps plunge. Though we burn the Keystone constantly, we have put about 1-1/2 cord through it and 1 cord through the Englander. The Keystone's firebox is about 1.5 cu ft and the Englander's is 3.5 cu ft. Whatever the real measurements are, we typically load double the amount of wood into the Englander and sometimes more. Both stoves are great burning stoves.

    So - here's what I got today: The Keystone chimney gave-up 1-1/2 quarts of grainy, coffee ground, black creosote. The Englander gave-up 1 quart of very fine, almost dust/dirt like creosote.

    Given my learning curve with the Englander, I expected more creosote, but was surprised at the lack of it.

    For the Keystone, I clean it top down. For the Englander, I set the chimney such that I can do it bottom up - and it worked like a champ. I use flexible rods that screw together with a poly brush. I also have a Soot Eater gizmo and used it to clean the stove pipe. On the Keystone, it is vented horizontally into the liner. I used on section of the Soot Eater and put it throught the top vent opening (which is otherwise capped) and brushed via cordless drill back to the tee - worked great. For the Englander, I took down the stove pipe and used the Soot Eater to clean that too.

    The SS cat I am burning this year on the Keystone is working great. It had a bit of fly ash plugging some openings, but was otherwise clean. I vacuumed the cat, took down the scoop, vacuumed it too.

    BRING ON THE COLD WEATHER!!!!!!!!

    How's your stove doing at halftime? How much creosote are you getting vs. wood consumed this year?

    Thanks!
    Bill

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like your doing just fine. I've burned about a cord through My basement stove with the new Supaflu and there was basically nothing in the clean out when I swept last week. It's been so mild I've only burned the other stove a few times so no need to sweep yet. How are your chimney caps? Mine have been totally free of any build up.
  3. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I didn't check the cap on the Englander's chimney since I cleaned it bottom-up. The cap on the Keystone's chimney had some flakey stuff on it, which easily scrapped off.

    Bill
  4. bjkjoseph

    bjkjoseph Member

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    i clean once a year for both..hampton insert, inside masonry chimney, stainless liner...fireview..external masonry..insulated liner...i get very little soot...i could probably go a couple of years without cleaning..maybe longer.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Bill, you got more creosote/soot this year than we have got in the last 4 years. Not really sure why but naturally lean towards the fuel. We do check the chimney on a regular basis but have cleaned it only one time since installing the Fireview.
  6. Osburning

    Osburning New Member

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    rdust - 30 December 2011 09:33 PM
    iceman - 30 December 2011 09:28 PM
    Ok, guys not to be an a@@ but does any of you guys have a stove thermometer on it?
    I would like to hear some stove top numbers at 2hrs and 14hrs and 24 hrs…
    I am thinking about the king but have to justify a new stove..

    I’d be more than happy to get you that for a Princess but it won’t help you much comparing for a King. For a Princess on a higher burn rate I’d have to give you them a 2, 8 and 12 I should have cold enough weather Monday to be able to burn on a higher setting.

    I find a thermometer isn’t really required, I used to hit mine with my IR gun when I first got it but now I pay very little attention to it.





    That would be great!
    If that stove can keep a500-600 stove top for say 12-16+, hrs that would be insane


    I was going to post in the other BK thread but it got off track, so I'll try to pick up here.

    I agree, I want in depth details. 1 1/2 years ago on this forum these types of posts really weren't this prevalent, cats stoves, what? This year it seems the King has arrived(Good and Bad), and that in itself promotes stoves like the Progress etc. which is great for competition among stove brands.

    Be nice to here BK owners with temp readings from start to finish, outdoor temps, and how many splits went in for that time. All we really see now is: just got a 40 hr burn- high five man, 20hrs with a couple -awesome, etc. There's no real perspective of performance other than long burn times.
  7. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Everyone(well not everyone :lol: ) is asking for this with the BK stoves but I've never seen it posted for any other stove. I hear all the time "My xxx brand/model stove burned 16 hours" I have never seen a request for all the detail some people are asking for regarding the BK stoves.

    Does it seem like we're making stuff up and people want more details because of it? :vampire:

    Also I'd suggest making a thread so we don't derail this non BK thread with this.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I cleaned mine 1st of Dec I think. maybe a coffee cup full, of black sandy creo.
    Most of it was in the top 3 feet & on the cap. The bottom where I pull the plug on the clean out "T", a thin layer of gray dust.
    Roof was snow covered & as I worked it got icy. I'll check it monthly now, shouldn't need cleaned again till Spring.
    I may work from the bottom up next time if I get a flexible rod, but still like to clean the cap (but after the snow leaves the roof next time.)
  9. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Dennis - somehow I missed your reply.

    The deal with my wood is this - I cut dead wood only. When I say dead wood, it's the stuff that has been dead so long that it's got bark falling off it and the bugs are/have made tunnels inside it. The stuff is half as light it seems as a piece of seasoned green wood. Our moisture readings are coming-in at 10-20%

    We cut the stuff, split it and stack it off the ground. As a side note with regards to our stacks is - each row is one cord. This is intersting for me and my boys as we can see exactly how many cords we are burning and how much is left.

    Generally my wood is aged from 8 months to 18 months depending on how we "grade" it for burning. I envy your situation in having so much wood years in advance. That simply is not possible for us - heck we'll likely burn (with both stoves going) about 7 cords this year - 3 in the Keystone and 4 in the Englander. I don't have room for a three years supply - 21 cords and I doubt my neighbors or the city's big brother department would take kindly to it.

    So we burn what we burn and make the best of it. The good news is - I get a quart of creosote. I can vividly remember my Dad scooping out gallons of creosote from his chimney multiple times a year - back in the day.

    Enought of that wood crap. WHEN IS THE PROGRESSIVE GOING TO ARRIVE!!!!!!!

    Thanks!
    Bill
  10. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Bill nice to hear things aregoing well with the two stoves! I miss coming around here and chatting with yall. I'm learning all the ins and outs of my pellet burner. Cleaning these things is sort of a pain. I miss the easy ash pan clean ups once a week. My glass gets dirty quickly. But the stove cools off really fast and cleaning the glass has become easy, vaccuming the inside and cleaning the burnpot and liner take a bit longer. I do it once or twice a week because the stove works better clean. The noise is a major downfall. Three motors do make all sorts of noise happen. The heat is a lot more controlable no question. I miss the option of turning the blower off and getting the quiet heat. It is a different kind of heat almost like having a hot air furnace in your livingroom with a blowing flame to watch. My stove is attractive, but I miss watching the logs burn too! The penetrating heat of a wood burner is not recreated by a pellet stove. I can get lots of heat really quickly, though.
    Call me crazy, but I miss cutting, splitting,stacking and loading wood into the stove. The simplicity and natural feeling of a wood stove. The rewarding feeling you get from a wood fire, like it is heating because you did it. Throwing bags in the hopper just doesn't have the same feeling. We are warm though. The oil man is still not taking us to the cleaners! :) For that I'm still smiling!
    happy new year to all!
  11. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I feel your pain! My Dad tried a pallet stove for several years and then back to a wood stove. I think the thing he missed most was the radiant heat. Everyone bunched up to the front of the stove to keep warm!

    Happy New Year,
    Bill
  12. Green Energy

    Green Energy Feeling the Heat

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    Bill,

    I would be interested to know which stove, cat or non-cat, you prefer overall.

    I am amazed at how little material I get when I clean my insulated flex liner from my non-cat stove, probably half a soda can last year, it it was gray fly ash. i don't burn as much as you, probably 2 cords through one stove last year.

    Also, it feels like we are still in the first quarter, Nov and Dec, were mild around central MD - but the January forecast is promising winter has arrived - doesn't feel like it today though.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Bill, I wish I could tell you when the Progress will be shipped but can't just yet. Still waiting for some things for the plinth base. But then, we are in no hurry and if we didn't get this stove in until next year it would not be bad for us. But I think Woodstock would like to see us get it in to give detailed reports. I'll no doubt be working very closely with them in regards to burning this stove. We are also blessed with having wood at different moisture contents and also some different varieties but mostly right now will still be ash, simply because we have so much of it. You can bet we'll keep you posted when we get the stove.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Green, I'm not Bill but you might be interested in our situation. We went from burning an Ashley to the Fireview. With the Ashley, we burned average of 6 cord or more per winter. The worst was, I think, 7 1/2 cord one winter but I also recall another winter when we went through perhaps less than 5 cord. Twas all in the weather. We also cleaned our chimney usually 4 times per year with the Ashley.

    In 2007 we installed the Fireview and a new SS chimney which runs up along side the house. We've now had 4 winters of heating with the Fireview (and it is our only heat) and can report that in 3 years it was just about exact on 3 cord per year but one winter just a tad over 3 cord so we'll still call it 3 cord average per year. Where we used to clean the chimney 4 times per season, we have cleaned our chimney exactly one time since installing the Fireview. We got about a cup of soot. My wife still checks the chimney regularly and there will be a little bit of dust on the cap when she takes that off to look up the chimney. Aside from that, it is a very clean burning stove.

    Yes, this year we still are not into the good burning and I've only filled our stove one time. Usually 3 or 4 splits is maximum so far this year.
  15. Green Energy

    Green Energy Feeling the Heat

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    Dennis,

    That is a great improvement to go from ~ 7 cords to 3 cords/yr. Much less work hauling that much less wood around. I just checked out the Firelight web page and see that this stove has a rear discharging flue with the center line around 22.5". So the discharge looks like its a few inches below the top of the stove? That would work in my house. One of my limitations is that the flue has to go horizontally into my fireplace with the lintel height of around 27". I somewhat miss the longer cat stove burn times. However, one drawback for me would be the split length, I see it says 16". That is fairly short.

    I'm not in the market for another stove for the next few years (my wife would kill me if I was). Our Oslo is in its third winter. But next time around, I will be serious looking at the cat stoves as an option. But the 27" restriction for a horizontal discharge substantial limits the number of larger stoves would work for me.

    I'm using less wood in the Oslo, in large part because I am not burning 24x7 as much, and I'm getting use to letting the stove go out when its in the 40s outside. But that looks like it will change next week.

    Sean
  16. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I prefer a cat stove. Nothing wrong with the secondary type stoves at all. I just like the turn down of the cat stoves better.

    Bill
  17. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    You all can do this without ever having to get up on the roof??? The reason I ask is, is I have a 9/12 pitch roof! Bill that is interesting as per our discussions on cat vs non. woulda thought the cat woulda been cleaner as that is the purpose of the cat. Hmmm Jeff
  18. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    The difference is two fold. First, we are burning more wood in the cat stove, therefore more creosote. Second, with our learning curve with the non-cat stove, we are/have been burning very hot - that will keep the creosote at a minimum on these type stoves.

    You can't loose with either a cat or non-cat stove. Just buy what you feel comfortable with and you'll be fine.

    Bill
  19. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Ok...that's what I'm starting to learn...Thanx Bill Happy New Years to You! Jeff
  20. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    I have both the oslo and fireview, while i havent yet the chance to burn both at the same time, had them hooked up to the same chimney setup. Both are just wonderful stoves.

    I prefer the cat stove operation to the non cat. For me its the burn time, range of heat output, and i just think they are neat to run.

    I had the short legs on the oslo, and the fireview hooked right up to that flue hieght.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sean, yes, that is a great improvement. Our previous stove would take 23" logs with no problem and we too wondered about the 16" length. Not only that but we also wondered about how small this Fireview is! I actually laughed the first time I saw it and thought it funny that someone would think that little stove would heat our place. As you know, we did buy the stove and are still amazed how this little stove heats our place.

    You are correct on the flue height. Our flue goes straight out the back and through the wall. We have about 1/2" rise per foot of horizontal. Then it goes into a tee and up the side of the house. It works well for us.
  22. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

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    I have both a non cat and cat stove, backwoods comments and posts helped me and my wife pick the fireview for a second stove and having burned both kinds of stoves, I like the idea of being able to control the fire at lower temps, If i want a hot fire, load it up heavy and give it some air or load it up and dampen the air way back. for low heat out put and the non cats do in my opinion use alot less wood just my two cents.
  23. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

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    I was just thinking backwoods salvage, I think that woodstock should give you the new progress, you have sold a alot of fireviews and keystones for them from you viewpoints, posts, and honest experiences with there product. and that is worth something
  24. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Ok ridgerunner...thanx for the input.
  25. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    Now I just did find that the Jotul F118 Black Bear did get a Vesta Award in 2005 for innovation & technology. I don't believe that you could get such an award with being old or antiquated thinking. It was diseminated by Hearth & Home magazine.

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