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Cleaning Cat - Refractory Package?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by knucklescraper, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. knucklescraper

    knucklescraper New Member

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    Opened up the top of my Dutchwest Catalytic stove to inspect the cat and discovered what my manual calls is a refractory package. Can anyone tell me what this is and if its needed? Seems to me it's an unneeded part that looks like it might block an effective draft.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. shredney

    shredney New Member

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    The refractory package or curved and chambered whiteish device under the top of your stove is absolutely required and will have no effect on the draft available to your stove. If the stove is operated without it you will burn out the outer top of the stove and the catalyst will not work properly. Are you having some kind of problem with your stove?

    Steve
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Unless the refactory package is damaged it does not have to be replaced with the cat there should be a pannel covering the cat which you remove. The material is fragile so care is needed to remove it but it should come out ok then clean or replace the cat combuster and shop vack out the ash in the chamber and its sides I duct taped a piece of garden hose onto my shop vac to reach in again be careful not to damage the soft refractory package. Follow the cleanning directions in your manual concerning the cat.
  4. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Your welcome in advance [grin]

    No, that refractory piece is needed. It is an insulated firebox for the secondary burn. It serves the dual purposes of keeping the catalytic fire burning and protecting the cast iron plates surrounding it.

    Please don't take offense, but may I ask what thought process you used to consider this part may be unneeded? What made you stop and ask someone else? What part did a distrust of the manufacturer play? Are you confident that you understand what contributes to an effective draft?

    I am asking because I want to better understand my customers. I have had some of my own clients decide for themselves that a certain part was "unneeded" and either removed a part or modified the stove to fit thier own understanding of what was needed. When I suggest that thier own actions are what has caused a stove failure, and refuse to repair or replace a part free of cost, they often suggest that they should not have to pay to repair a defective stove and that I am not being fair to them. My question is why some consumers believe they know better than both the stove manufacturer and the trained technician? Is this what is being taught in those high-priced universities? Is there an assumption that manufacturers do not use a competent research and development team? Is it assumed that repair technicians simply print up busines cards that "SAY" they are trained but are really just ignorant and are less qualified than the conumer to diagnose failures and repair them?

    Again, plase don't take this personal. I am only trying to learn what precipitates this type of thinking. In your case you stopped and asked before you decided to take out the potentially "uneeded" part. Some other folks just assume they know better and do it. Why?

    Sean Kennedy
  5. shredney

    shredney New Member

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    Well Sean,

    Hmmm I am not too sure what I should say here.:) I wholeheartedly agree with you and hope to learn the same things here myself. But, I am pretty sure someone may take offence to the way you asked. Especially the high priced university bit. I love it, and have been tempted to say something similar to my own customers many times over the past eighteen years. I find it amazing myself what some people come up with for questions. Now Chris please don't take offence because as Sean said you at least found someone to ask, and that is great. Much better to ask than to just go ahead with I don't know what kind of notion. But to reitterate, that combustion package is definitely critical to the operation of your stove. As are most other components. There isn't much that isn't needed. And Sean I would love to meet up with you sometime maybe at the HPBA Expo if you attend. Salt Lake this year again I guess.

    Later, Steve Keeling, Pres Classic Hearth & Leisure Limited
    Wilmot, Nova Scotia
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'd be surprised if a guy calling himself "knucklescraper" is going to be insulted that you question his basic intelligence. I for one thought it was a pretty good question and I give him credit for asking. That's why we do this.
  7. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Let me apologize to any who were offended by the university crack. I do tend to be a bit irritating sometimes. I was just reading another thread where the cost of tuition was skyrocketing and it just gave me fodder for my little diatribe. I respect college education. I just wonder why I have clients who think they know more about their stove than I do and then get upset when I suggest that they do not. I am not suggesting that Chris has this type of attitude. But I am wondering what made him think the way he did. It may help me better understand my own clients.

    Steve, won't be traveling to Salt Lake City this spring. We have a trip planned to visit my brother in Wisconsin that month. I will attend the next HPBA Expo that is held on the east coast. I think it's coming back to Atlanta, although I prefer Nashville. Maybe I'll make it up to Nova Scotia one day. It's on my list of places to visit.

    Sean
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think most people don't consider wood stoves to be very high-tech products and therefore can be excused to some extent for considering simplistic solutions to what are, in fact, fairly complex problems and relationships. And from what little I know about DutchWest, it's not the most sophisticated or well designed and built stove on the planet and that would tend to reinforce the misconception. In other words, people tend to think they know something about wood stoves because they believe there's not that much to know.
  9. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    All points well taken Frank.

    Yes, I admit I do wish it were easier to convince people I am competent before they get to know me. But deep down I understand that they have no choice but to assume I'm a crook or idiot until I prove otherwise. Maybe this is an inferiority complex, I don't know. But I didn't think I have been around here enough to give you that idea. I really was not trying to create a division of the college educated and the un-college educated. In fact, by far the majority of my clients couldn't care less. I just have a problem with this idea that wood stoves and fireplaces are simple and do not require anything more than a casual knowledge before making decisions about thier use and installation.

    There is no doubt that almost everyone who frequents this forum already believes that someone else knows more about their stove or fireplace than they do. Nevertheless, I read many questions and comments here that are repeated here in my real world and I try to learn how to address these types of consumers in my own market. I do not wish to treat my clients with disrespect and I try hard not to. But sometimes I just can't get through to these otherwise intelligent people that their knowledge of the subject is poor and they are misinformed. It may come from some fear inside me that I won't be seen as intelligent. I see this in my Dad and I suspect that I also have that tendency. But I am trying to learn how to be better at being a professional hearth specialist. Instead of trying to impress my clients I am trying to understand where they are coming from and learn how to overcome their ignorance without offending them.

    I have found, so far, that some people are just easier to work with and they readily admit their own ignorance on the subject and reveal that they are just trying to understand. I can help this kind of person and I am glad to do so. It takes less effort. But more and more consumers who are my potential clients are coming to me thinking they know more than they do and get easily offended when I suggest they need more information before they make a decision. I could just throw up my hands and refuse to work with these types of people. That would be ideal. Just work with the easy ones. But I have a feeling that more and more prospects will be difficult to work with because they have this idea that they know more about my profession than I do. We've had customers like this in our store for years and we service many in our current client base where we understand they are that way and have learned how to work with them. But we've always held our ground and allowed them to walk unless they were willing to do it the right way. I have noticed that the percentage of easy customers has decreased. The trend is for "educated" consumers to come in and try to make sure we don't rip them off. I understand, they have been mistreated and assume we are the same as the last guy. Fine. So how do I do a better job of serving these people and gaining their trust BEFORE they make a bad decision and burn the house down? I know I won't be able to serve them all. But I need to learn how to salvage the relationship of more than I have in the past. I need to know how to better put up with this difficult customer. After all, most are not bad people. They only want to be treated with respect and have been abused by other retailers or contractors and have their guard up. All I am trying to do is understand them better so that I can adapt to thier needs.

    I take the chance here, once in a while, of offending someone by asking leading questions. I suppose it is not fair to pick on forum participants but I think that most folks here are open to honest dialog and are willing to put up with a little contention in an effort to learn more or support the greater forum community. I try to type carefully and tread lightly. In the end, it is discussion like this that helps me be a better dealer and treat my customers the way they want to be treated. I have been helped many times to be more patient and caring when dealing with customers that I do not like at first meeting. I continue to work on my attitude and try to be positive even when facing the pressure of an ever increasing bevy of demanding and almost childish (in behavior) consumers. But I admit that I sometimes wonder if all the effort is worth it. I sometimes wonder if I am cut out to be a retail dealer. Is that an inferiority complex? I suppose it is. I guess I have yet to find the balance between arrogance and inferiority. I am working on it.

    Sean
  10. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Oh, funny. You're not the first to notice I get a little verbose! I've never been accused of using too few words!

    Okay, I'm done.

    Sean
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