1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

How labor & cost intensive are BK 's stoves?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jack Fate, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
    The princeses looks interesting to me . But after having a very costly (parts) and high maint. Stove before I'd to really know what I'm getting into.

    Also closest dealer is 2.5 hrs away
    I do understand cat stoves are said to be the most labor intensive (thats what I've been told )
    And stove ain't cheap either
    But my wood cutting less doses mean something
    I've been reading the long burn stories , but I believe it's not what they tell you but what they don't that seems to me to matter most .

    Love this site , you all are so nice & honest

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    494
    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    Been burning my insert for 4 winters. Maybe your right about the high purchase price of the stove but the cost of running it is low,uses less wood.
    Am still on the original cat with good burning results. The cat thing is no big deal once you get the hang of it.
    I have replaced the latch, its easy to make a new one. It runs 7/24 and heats the house. We are very happy with the BK product.
  3. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
    I get a bit worried about some replacement parts that can't be fabricated
    Got any idea what a cat cost? A VC for a acclaim I was quoted $400+ a couple yrs back . They were trying to sell me a new cat acclaim for$900 and I was interested till the replacement cost stopped me.
  4. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,393
    Loc:
    SE MI
    My sister bought a cat off-season for a king at $257. They should last 6-8+ years with good burning habits and good fuel. Pretty simple to replace. It's a simple welded steel stove. That's the only expensive part.

    Where in NW OH are you? There's a dealer in Toledo. At least the guy can sell them, though he doesn't stock any. He gave me a surprisingly low price quote.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    What was the previous costly and high maintenance stove that you owned?

    Also, dealer support is over-rated.

    Some are more labor intensive than others. But, a BK stove does not have a lot of maintenance involved. I am not a BK owner. I own VC cat stoves. VC cat stoves ARE labor intensive. BK stoves are not.

    It will be more efficient. How much more depends upon what stove you are coming from and if you are sizing the new cat stove appropriately.

    The burn times are accurate as long as the stove is sized correctly for your needs.
  6. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Im looking at the BK Sirocco ,but its $3000. Im not sure its THAT much better than my 2 CU ft Country hearth i paid $499 for brand new. The CH does produce loads of heat but im sure it will never come close to the reported 20 hours of the BK Sirocco.IS that burn time worth $2500? Im not sure. Im going to pack the CH with good wood and do a test to see just what kind of burn times i get .Id be surprised if i got 12 hours.
  8. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
    Would that be coal& wood burner on Alexis ?
    I went to BK web site didn't have Toledo
  9. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,393
    Loc:
    SE MI
    No, it was on Dorr. Country Hearth, maybe? He doesn't advertise them or anything, but he said he could get them and cracked open a book and gave me a price.
  10. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio

    Thanks may check this out Monday , never been to that one before
  11. evilgriff

    evilgriff Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Northern New Jersey
    Only you can decide whether it's worth it. I own the Sirocco and love it coming from the VC. Never owned th CH. For me, burn time is one of the most important things to convenience of the stove. When I leave for work, I may not be home for 14hrs. I have left the house on 30 degree days and come home to a 75 degree living room. Hot coals in the stove, open the thermostat and damper, fully refill, get it cooking a bit, reingage the cat, wait a while cut the thermostat and go to bed. 45 minutes total reload time, good to go for the next 12 hrs minimum. Not the prettiest stove, but awesome. Paid 2700, a tank of oil would cost me 900+, after 3 tanks i'm paid for. Not including the 400 I sold the VC for. Also the 300 credit from the Govt coming back. Payback in one year. I could sell this stove next winter and be turning a profit already. For me, the Sirocco was a no-brainer. And I can sleep all night. My wife has not touched it once, not necessary. Less wood, less maintenance, less labor, more consistent temperatures. I am sure others are having the same luck with the stoves they bought, this is not a BK praise thing, it's about the correct stove for your application. That is critical. I chose what is important to me for comfort and financial over looks. Sometimes you can have all three, I was limited by my surroundings, had less stoves to choose from. For my application, and thanks to the advise on this forum, I nailed it. I owe that to many on this forum.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    The BK is a big steel stove. The BK requires A LOT LESS maintenance than the Acclaim. I believe there is a catalyst combustor and a catalyst gasket, a gasket for the door, and firebrick replacement.
    • If the gasket on the BK door is anything like the 30, it will be a long time before that needs to be replaced.
    • The Catalyst should last between 3-7 years depending upon your fuel and if you over-fire the cat often.
    • Firebrick is cheap and easy to replace. Should not happen often.
    • Cost of the cat varies. If you are not prepared to maintain a catalyst, do not buy a cat stove.
  13. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,058
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    I think the cat is full warranty for 3 years and then pro rated for another 3?
  14. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    BK stoves all come with a 10 year full replacement warranty on the catalytic combusted.
    Not much to maintain the catalyst. All I have done in 4 months is brush off a little ash from the visible face of the catalyst.

    My BK is in the basement. I have a Jotul Oslo upstairs. The Oslo is a great stove as well.....but there is NO comparison when it comes to ease of use!

    The BK wins easily in this category...IMHO!! 24 hour burns for milder weather are a cinch...and 12plus hr. burns are all I need for colder weather.

    A reload consists of:
    1. Open bypass and turn up the tstat.
    2. load desired quantity of DRY wood.
    3. Burn on Hi for a few minutes until the fire is going well and the wood is black. also make sure that the cat probe is still in the active zone.
    4. Close the bypass and set the tstat for desired heat. ( some people turn the tstat down in stages, but I haven't found that to be necessary).

    I think it just took me longer to type these directions than it actually does to do it!,
  15. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    BTW, the Oslo cost me approx. $500 more than the BK...I have the chinook 30
  16. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I think its much better looking than the princess or the King BK . Im thinkin about using my $500 CH i my cabin were it does have a much greater chance of getting stolen. Right now i have it in a large apartment i am rehabbing. Woulnt want a $3000 stove in the cabin.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    That's great that you are enjoying the Blaze King, but the OP is looking for actual expectations for maintenance for a cat stove.
    • A cat stove is more complicated to use than a non-cat stove. This isn't good or bad. It just is.
    • You need to be aware of the cat temps or you will fry your cat. You need to be aware of the maintenance needs of the catalyst or the stove will not run properly.
    • Warranty or not, you will still be buying a new cat at, at least, a pro-rated cost. You need to be aware of this. The vast majority of cat stove buyers end up NOT maintaining their catalyst. This is a fact.
    Your reload instructions is more complicated than non-cat stoves. Again, that isn't a bad thing, but an owner must be aware of what is needed to run a cat stove. Most stove procedures are; you throw in wood and turn the air down.

    I run two cat stoves. I will always buy a cat stove, but glossing over the requirements of owning a cat stove is the main reason why so many owners fail to have success with a cat stove.
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Im pretty sure the next stove i buy will be a cat stove. I already have 4 EPA non cat stoves and a slew of home made smoke dragons. The next logical step is to advance to a cat. Long slow burns are worth the extra cost of the cat, IMO.
  19. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio


    I will likely buy an extra cat when I buy the stove & and any other component that reportedly fails (thermostat????)
    This will sound excessive to most but being a maint.person myself & Brother & father it runs in my blood. Also don't trust manufacturers to say afloat .I already have enough junk & boat anchors.And I don't own a boat. I don't mind paying for things that last.& stuff that works. I am also anal about maint on my stuff

    Thanks for your input all ,I like honest information
    PapaDave likes this.
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,625
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Yer not the only one ,I have every moving part "in stock" for my stoker. Cuz i know it will break down friday afternoon and cant get parts till monday. Probably do the same for a cat stove, at least a few years in.
  21. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    381
    Loc:
    Northwest Ohio
    if i deal it in on the original purchase get it cheaper , & hey I like you thinkin'
  22. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,058
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    You're kidding right?
    To me a cat stove use easier to run then trying to get the secondary tubes to light off then stay lit.

    Flip by-pass open..put in wood..char it up and wait a little while to be sure cat temp range is reached..flip by-pass shut...turn down air..on a BK just set the t-stat..walk away .

    I have had a lot of flames licking at the cat..seems fine so far but just into the third season.
    If I had to buy a new cat every 5 or 6 years I would not care..I save more wood then what that cat would cost by a long shot.

    In the shoulder season for sure a cat stove rules..end of story.
    IMO a tube stove is just a cheap way of cleaning up the burn..maybe that's just me though. Cheers!
    nate379 and Lanningjw like this.
  23. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I'm not kidding.
  24. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,058
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Well to each his own.
    I know I would not go to a tube burner for my situation.
    Plus how long do the tubes actually fire after a re load..4 or 5 hours tops?
    A cat is active way longer then that.
    Cheers!
  25. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,795
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Not what I've found from my personal experience. My Endeavor was much more picky of the way it was ran, loaded, fuel type/size and how/when the air was adjusted. It also had a bypass that needed to be opened/closed so that step still happened. It took me 45-60 minutes(sometimes more) to settle in a load with that stove, I can be out the door in 20 minutes with the BK if I need to be after loading it with toothpicks size splits made out of pine. :)

Share This Page