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Cat vs Non-cat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Beno, Mar 6, 2007.

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  1. Beno

    Beno New Member

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You have to give them credit for providing a wealth of information online including prices. They are also very responsive to email. I believe Tom is a member and contributor here so maybe he'll chime in and expand on the article. It is clear that they don't prefer the cat stoves by that article and also by their choice to sell non-cat stoves.
  3. hookspacken

    hookspacken Member

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    I am sure this is a hottly discussed topic. All I can say is I am very happy with my choice of a catalytic stove. After reading the horror stories of the new everburn system, i am doubly glad I went cat.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    elimatede due to a double post sorry same as the post below
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    “Your "Defiant Catalytic", for example, is exactly the same as their old Defiant model, but with a catalytic converter). This "bandaid" approach produced several models which, while clean-burning enough to sell in regulated states, didn't turn out to perform as reliably in the field as the high-emissions models the woodstove manufacturers continued to sell in the much larger, unregulated marketplace”

    . Tom time to re examine the modern Defiant and



    Tom is a very knowledgeable person in the stove industry but his view is slanted to what he sells and a bad experience he once had with VC. Evidently slants his views and show past wounds
    Another factor Tom favors west coast stoves who wouldn’t when the cost of shipping is factored in. My question to Tom the stove is dissing the crap out of when is the last time he’s a burned it 24/7 any length of time

    The original article is quite dated since Harman has not had a cat stove since the early 90
    “I should have checked the web before I bought a Harman catalytic wood burning stove. It is a poor stove and I am disgusted with it. Do you have suppliers in PA for your non catalytic stoves?” Yet he has not used a modern cat of the 2000’s and still is using the same arguments. These modern stoves are not Cat add on’s they are designed with secondary combustion chambers and horizontally drafted to pull smoke over the hot coal bed into the secondary combustion chamber at the same time pre heated secondary air is introduced into the chamber this is thematically controlled to add the right amount to prolong long even consistent heat output. As one can now see these are not the add on cats he is describing on the late 80’ and early 90’s But unfortunately his mind is still stuck in that time warp. We have auto cad now Tom where a stove can be designed and modeled enhanced instantly. As I said VC has made constant revisions and have done a good job of revising past problems I do not think it fair to compare 15 year stoves to modern models today. Tom has basically spread the old wives tales about Cat combustors He has never taken into account technology has increased their longevity and given them a 25% lower temp of ignition. Tom I have toalked to the head of engineering today a month or so back I was giver the entire plant tour when was the last time you have visited the product you diss so much. What’s with you do you hate American workers. I can tell you I saw very skilled craftsmen building stoves in an amazing process Fellow member Goose also attended the tour we posted our opinions
    Goose is about as far politically opposite from me but both of us were impressed with the skill and craftsmanship

    Today’s cat combustor stoves are not the add on combustor stuck in the flue collar some one has to tell Tom. I know I will be hearing for him soon, but we both have had this discussion before.

    Part of why I support VC is patriotism. 365 Americans doing manufacturing Jobs in Vermont USA. Not out sourced to China.

    I feel by buying Vermont Castings cast Iron stoves, I am supporting fellow American workers, the few we have left. A lot of people only look at the bottom line price. That’s why we have Wallmarts.

    My opinion is twisted in this favor but it a lot more than the stove Or Vermont Castings. IT’s supporting Americans USA citizens and their families. There are other USA stove manufactures that USA made steel and build them here again not one of the brands Tom sells Englanders

    You are right this could be a hot topic about as hot as my cat stoves produce productive heat 3 days ago I posted a simmilar article arguing in favor of why Cat combustors enhance stove preformance.. Hey Tom that Car you are driving does it still have the original 1970 co cat combustor on it or do you think technology has made a few enhancements. If cat combustors are all that bad then why do we all drive around using one. Yea think technology might have tweaked them over the years? Yea think there is no use to do so? where are our non combustor cars?
  6. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Beno man what are you doing! here we go again cat vs non cat yeeehaaaa

    How about you tell us more about your expectations from this new stove purchase and what you like/dislike in a stove be it cat or non cat
  7. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I am almost inclined to buy 2 smaller wood stoves, one cat and one non-cat and check by myself.
    Regarding the kind of wood you burn, is this a factor in choosing a non-cat versus cat? For example, if I burn cedar, will this deteriorate the catalyst faster because of the high oil content in cedar?
    I am looking (as all I guess) for a good, reliable, efficient, easy to operate and low maintanance cost wood stove, to burn cedar.
    I wonder though, if cat stoves are better (more efficient, cleaner) why VC is producing more non-cat types stoves?
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    just type in your thread name into the search engine and you will hit 3 pages of discussion on this topic.
  9. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    There is no "BETTER" they both accomplish the same thing in different ways.

    The cat being cleaner debate is long and ugly but YES initially, as tested they are cleaner, however 2gph the difference may total 1 split at the end of the year. They are required to burn cleaner by the EPA because they will slowly degrade over time. They need to be cleaned and eventually replaced.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    In effort not to to start a long heated debate anyone object to me deleting my post for those that read it so be it for the rest TS
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yep, I've seen it. And even made the thread. Like ELk I was tired of people dissing cat stoves so I wrote Tom. He kept writing back with some good spin on what I was saying. I especially liked how he compared similiar sized Hearthstones to my Fireview. He used the EPA's default efficiency of the Fireview (72%) against the Hearthstones cordwood efficiencies that were of course a little higher. If he would of used the EPA number of 63% for Hearthstone or the Fireviews 77% cordwood tests to make a fair comparison, his results would of been much different. Then again numbers don't always tell the story. There is no standard efficiency test for all stoves, to many variables between wood, weather, draft, user and who knows what else.

    Anyway I've burned both and now I perfer the cat stoves. It just seems to me that I burn less wood with the cat stove than my previous 2 noncats in this house. About 3/4 of a cord give or take. And My chimney is also a little cleaner. I'm not putting down the noncats, they do the job well, but for me, the cat stove fits the bill.
  12. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Debate is good, don't delete
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Remember that Chimneysweep lives in a climate that does not see New England or upper midwest weather. One of the reasons that non-cats took off bigger in the west at first is that they tend to have a relatively mild climate....a few sticks of pine in the old stove takes the chill off. It is not the same as a -20 chill factor 24 hours a day.

    If anything, cats are making a bit of a comeback. There is something to be said for longer burns and higher efficiency....and although non-cats have been highly tuned, that is resulting in some problems also.
  14. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Did someone say .........."Cat vs Non-Cat" !?

    ******************* :lol: ***********************
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have never owned a cat stove but wouldn't hesitate for a minute to have one. I have never heard or seen anything from cat stove owners to indicate that they are anything other than pleased with their stoves. When I was looking for a new stove I just didn't see any cats that would fit my application, hearth constraint wise.

    The only bad things I hear about cat stoves are from people that don't have cat stoves.
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    we will see what manufactures are producing in next week!!
    whats on the menu? a quadrafire cat? mabey Jotul will reintroduce one...
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Oh No ya dont .......Dont even think to put the "Everburn" in the standard non-cat class , thats its own buger.

    We have the class of stoves as "cat" , "non-cat" and the new "forge" design of everburn. ;-P
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Now that would be interesting. Personally I'm hoping someone introduces an attractive gasifier design.
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Beer vs. Vodka ;) I'll have both
  20. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    The one issue that swayed me toward a cat stove was the ability to burn a SMALL clean fire. That was basically impossible with the two different Regency's I owned. Just about any properly installed stove out there can run wide open and make alot of heat.

    Here in coastal Virginia, the winter temerature is often in the 40-50's. At that temp, burning clean without cooking the house weighed very heavily on my burning requirements. I also figured I wanted soapstone, but that is another can of worms. So after a year, I figured the cat plus soapstone was exactly what I was looking for.

    I read Tom's site, and I also read all of the Hearth.com stove reviews about Woodstock cats.

    It all boiled down to this: You can have secondary burn at tempuratures of 500F with the cat, and that is simply not possible without it. Period. It works, I'm happy.

    Disclaimer: I have no clue what is possible with a PE Summit in these burning conditions. Would like to hear how it works. This is IN NO WAY, SHAPE or FORM an attack on PE stoves. GET IT.

    P.S. I have no clue why I responded.... this issue has been beat to death!!!!
  21. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    While trying to keep this friendly and in the interest of higher learning :) , I pose these questions to CAT owners.

    What is the lowest surface temp you can run your stove at with the cat engaged and doing it's thing?

    If 500deg inside the firebox is all that is required...is it possible to load 3-4 splits and run surface temps of 200deg? What are you stack temps like?
  22. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    WoooooooooooHooooooooooooo!!!!! Anyone want to hear my opinion?!?!? HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA! I dare you to ask what I think of Everburn vs. cat. ANyone? Anyone???
  23. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Ok Mike...I'll bite.....please tell us.
  24. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    That was sort of directed at those who have been involved in some of my past posts. I really was just kidding. Search for everburn posts and you'll get more than you can read in a day. Enjoy!
  25. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Let me try to answer gunners question All that is needed is 500 to 550 for the OEM cats to light off 380 for the stove combustrors.com Combustors. Many have internal cat probe Thermo's in the secondary c at combustion chanber. Again like all stoves a good bed of coals is needed for secondary combustion and the first stage of the wood being charred.
    Upon each re- load with the decent bed of coals. The Cats can be ignited within 10 minutes. I have even had sucess in ignition imediately after reload of a good bed of coals with good dry wood
    I wait the 10 minutes because not all splits are the same and that hot 10 minutes is usually enough. To answer gunner's question one needs various thermometers an internal fire box one possibly a cat probe one a griddle top one and a connector pipe one. Unfortunately I do not have the internal ones So I rely on observation and surface temps not the best sciencitific way but it works. The point is to establish the burn then keep it going just like all stoves and burn as productive and clean as possible. I guess it is possible to ignite the cat at 200 surface as long i as the cat chamber exceeds 550 the combination might be 250 to 300 surface. The point I'm making is ,not trying to just get by, but to wait a bit longer where sucess is a given..

    Are cats combustor stoves better No clear answer Point to this, they have strong suits and weaknesses. I think the only thing important is to disspell generalizations, that don't apply to todays modern cat stoves. but Cat combustors have that tag or immage from early retrofit failures. Up till a year and a half ago I too believed that BS. It was only after I experienced how they function, I saw them in a different light. They are no harder to opperate than any correctly opperated stove. Close a damper for secondary burn that's it.
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