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Consumables In Non-Cat Stoves

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BrotherBart, Aug 25, 2006.

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  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    As I start the great replacement insert hunt one of the things I notice is that the non-cat stoves have all manner of ceramic blankets, refractory this and that or whatever in the baffle systems to retain hear for secondary burn. And some of them admit that the stuff is gonna crap out at some point. They probably all should admit it.

    Question is how long do these various and sundries last and, given that they are all proprietrary, could a person be looking at more expense than the after market cats on the market today to replace them?

    Every body has talked about the cost of cat replacement for twenty years but, at a hundred or so a pop for aftermarket these days, are they cheaper to replace than the non-cat consumables?

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    FWIW, the only ceramic blankets i replace are the one cusomters take out becuase they think its packing material. Funny you mention it, today i took out my ceramic board baffle to check it out, i had hit it severl time with splits that had stub branches on them, i was afraid that i damaged it, i had a few dents and dings, but overall its intact and in perfect working order. Now i have heard of in very strong draft situations the blanket getting sucked up and blocking draft.....
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    That's why i like the Lopi & Avalon baffles. They're made of solid firebrick and 5/16" steel supports. Usually they're only going to burn out when overfired. If a brick cracks that's only a couple bucks. The blankets do wear out how long they last is dependant on how they're cared for. There is one Avalon, the Pendleton, that uses a insulation blanket to meet epa standards. We installed one last year and the people called me saying the insert didn't burn right. Turns out the blanket was lodged in the flue. I added a couple more weights and they must have been satisfied from that point because I haven't heard from them since.
  4. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    My local hearth dealer i bought the Pacific Energy Summit from told me that these blankets were under full warranty with P.E. I had a gasket tear that seals the secondary burn chamber to the back air inlet tube , i called my dealer and asked about it and wanted to order 1 ...... he said he would look into the part # . 12 days pass and i get the new gasket part in the mail to my address and no charge from Pacific Energy nor the woodstove shop . I guess Brotherbart you would need to ask the dealer per the model you are looking at buying to see whats covered and whats not . I'm sure it goes per stove company .
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    My Osburn uses bricks also. Again, they're the sort of crappy cinderblock type of brick, but unlikely to need replacing since they only take fire, and not wood sitting on them.

    I know Morso uses the ceramic blankets also. FWIW. Local dealer sure likes Morsos.

    What does VC use? Just curious...Bet Kevin can tell you...Ashleigh's will sell you a Morso over a VC any day.
  6. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Also: I dont know right off what "all" inside of wood stoves look like for the ceramic blankets as i have seen many but not every stove but i can describe mine. The only place i see this ceramic blanket is 2" on both sides of the top secondary burn baffle and the secondary burn baffle has it between the the burn chamber its self and a top sheet of stainless steel. When i cleaned out my stove this year it all like as new except for a little black smoke on the edges .
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    VC typically uses a downdraft system with a combustor system. The only vc I can think of that had a baffle was the Madison and it was brick real similar to the Hearthstone Heritage or a Lopi. I think the reason many dealers recommend stoves over VC relates to the quality issues they've faced in the past. They still have a lot of proving to do for many dealers. Personally I like what I see coming out of their factory and the attitude of the company as well.
  8. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    The womens VC Resolute is downdraft model with a "Space Age" material in the secondary burn chamber. Its a white, very light material that has crumbled near the bottom but the rest appears ok, I guess. It did acheive secondary burn with the lever flipped.

    Didn't price it since we are going to swap in the Woodstock this season.

    Any VC dealer out there that knows off hand what one of these things cost? Would be neat to compare it to the price of a new cat.
  9. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

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    The first fire in my Buck stove was very interesting. The ceramic blanket got sucked up and completely blocked off the draft. Smoke from inside the fire box started pouring out of the secondary air intake opening, and filled the room with smoke. The next day I called Buck Stoves and talked to the engineering dept. and explained what happened. They told me to remove the blanket, that it is not necessary for the stove to function properly. I did so, and the stove has been working fine ever since.
  10. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    My Hampton has the two ceramic planks that "Ship-Lap" together and just rest on top of the seven "Tweers" that inject the secondary air. They are extremely light even though they are 3/4 inch thick each. Overall, they are about 7x10 inches in size. I agree with MSG, mine have a few nicks and scrapes from a few stray branch nibs, but are fine otherwise. There is a standoff welded in the upper smoke chamber "Flue-exit" so they can't lift up and block the flue. I have had some real hot and crazy draft fires and they never move or rattle. I did ask how much they were since I thought I would need another set every few years or so. I was told they were around $30 for the pair. I can handle that if and when needed. A small price to pay for the secondary burn!!!
  11. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Funny that this never came up in the cat vs no-cat debates... sounds like more work than anything I've done with a cat stove.

    BB raises a good point - having used a non-cat stove while on vacation, my first thought loading it was wow what a lot of fragile parts in there that were both exposed and could be damaged when loading wood. I'd give it a lot less than the 6 year std catalyst warranty before those burn tubes were going to have a lot of problems that would not be as simple as dropping in a new catalyst.

    -Colin
  12. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    It hasnt came up, because its rarley an issue.
    As of yet, i havent replaced burn tubes as long as i have been there, (10 years) maybe there ordering them online or something....
    Any other dealer ever replace burn tubes? if so how many and how often?
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I looked into a lot of stoves that had the secondary burn chambers and i didnt notice any "fragile parts" . What brand/model stove do you speak of ?
  14. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    What the hey , i think this calls for PICTURES ! Alright , the stoves is a Pacific Energy "Summit" shown in the pictures you will see one pic with green marks....... what the green marks show is the parts in the stove that is stainless steel . You can also see the "blanket" / "padding" that we are talking about , its stuffed on each side of the secondary burn chamber . Once the burn chamber is set the padding is locked in to its area . ......... O' and before somebody asks the pin in the back is the key that you take out that locks the secondary burn chamber into its spot. I guess if you say stuff a large log into the stove and it hits the sec. burn chamber its not going to move .

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  15. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    Nice Candle!!!

    Where's the Blanket Pic's????

    Your Refractory Brick looks like the pretty "Normal" wear.
  16. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    top of stove / secondary burn chamber

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  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    third .

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  18. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the photos, that system looks real beefy, much more so then some i have seen.
  19. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    With my old insert (Quad 5100i), my annual cleaning consisted of pulling the secondary burn tubes, upper firebrick and blanket. I'd close the door, go up on the roof with the cleaning rod and brush (class A chimney), and clean from the top down, then vacuum up the creosote with a shop vac. As often as not the blanket tore, at best I could get 2 years out of it. It's not expensive or hard to replace. I like the Lopi and Avalons' they run the heavier firebrick and no blanket, looks like a nice way to go.
  20. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Yes, this is better than what we used – the one I didn’t like had exposed air tubes in the top of the firebox. It was in a vacation cabin and I didn't get the name/model - not a great design despite being brand new. The example shown here looks more like the baffle you see under a catalyst box and is much better protection.

    I think the key point the thread illustrates is all stoves, cat or not, are going to have maintenance - in some it will be dealing with burn tubes, their gaskets and "blankets", and in others it will be replacing the catalyst.

    A point that often falls through the cracks when the non-cat folks espouse the virtues of the "maintenance-free" non-cat systems, hence I think Brother Bart started a good thread here.

    -Colin
  21. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Thats fare , I'll let you know in 20 years what expense's i have had. As of now there are hardly any reports on blankets being replaced (with being torn from what understand )and i havent heard of any baffle / burn chambers being replaced. I did have 1 gasket that got torn that seals the burn chamber to the back tube . stove co sent out a new one for free , less than 5 seconds to replace.
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I run a Quadrafire, Isle Royale. It has the secondary burn tubes exposed on the top of the stove. This is also the "hinged" part for the top load access. I have looked, and there does not appear to be any "blanket" in this model. Just fire brick and burn tubes. After 5 years of heavy use, they all still look like new (including the tubes). And I can assure you that they have been banged, thumped, hit and dropped on, like most stoves. Although I will note that I am very in touch with burn temps, so no overfiring has ever occured in this stove. I sure don't have any components of this stove that I would consider "delicate" either. On the contrary, its built so heavy, I think they must have used recycled cannon balls to make it. %-P

    After I purchased this stove I pretty much have been out of the loop when it comes to other models of stoves. Am I getting this correct when I assume these blankets and "space age" materials are being used to hold in heat for a cleaner "secondary burn"? The isle royale has a 3 cubic ft firebox using only secondary burn tubes with an EPA certified 2 Grams per hour output. Does this extra blanket and other materials improve on this?
  23. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    UP-DATE I had called and emailed pacific Energy a wile back because of a thread that we were taking about "lifetime warranty" and replacement secondary burn chambers . I just got off the phone with Pacific Energy them selves and talked about the "lifetime warranty" for Pacific Energy. #1 The secondary burn chamber IS , i repeat IS under lifetime warranty . not 5 years , not 7 or 10 years but LIFETIME .....life of the stove or my lifetime. The lifetime warranty is also for the fire box , Porcelain Enamel finish ( not for self breakage ) door , door glass ( not for self breakage ), burn packing ( burn blanket ) all controls , the EBT , legs , heat shield & burn chamber gasket and if you have the nickle or gold door / leg / trivet package thats also lifetime warranty . The limited lifte time warranty ( 5 years ) bricks , front air inlet manifold . Manifold: its flat stainless steel bar runs in front of the air inlet in the bottom front of the stove , you can see it in my first picture posted on this thread<its the black metal at the front closest to the candle> ........... i was told that in the last 10 years ( sense 1996 ) they have had 1 replacement on record . So folks , there we have it . Pacific Energy's "Lifetime Warranty" .
  24. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Had two different Regency's, and those exposed air tubes at the top of the firebox fell out all the time. PITA

    On my second and larger unit, I went back to the stove store and they said it happened all time and gave me a handful!
  25. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    How did the air tubs "sit" up in there ? I thought i heard somebody state that one model had "pins" to hold the air tubs in .
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