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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. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You do realize I am in favor of cat stoves and own two, right?

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  2. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    All true, but the replacement cat is free, within 2-3 years(or however many years BK now covers.) Mandated by the EPA. I don't think it matters if operator error is determined to be the cause. Basically, you get a freebie or two to learn on, with 'learn' being the key word. It's not a lot, but you do need to learn how to properly operate a new stove.
  3. evilgriff

    evilgriff Burning Hunk

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    "The vast majority of cat stove buyers end up NOT maintaining their catalyst. This is a fact."


    I did little maintenance on my VC, only took the cover off and vacuumed the refractory area, and the cat lasted 8 years till I replaced it. I think its more about not abusing it by overfiring, checking door gasket, using dry wood, etc. I feel the best thing for saving a cat is to NOT abuse it. And if you overfire your stove and all you end up with is a dead cat, you have done ok.
  4. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

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    BK, makes the latch that way on purpose, so you can fix it yourself if it breaks and keep burning. I bought a replacement cat on sale for under $220 last spring.
  5. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Hell im sold on the cat stoves and i dont even own one. One question,when the cat starts to go bad does it stop working altogether or just slowly become ineffective.?
    I do like those long burn times. Same as electric cars,range is everything,almost.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Cat stoves are absolutely more complicated to operate than the standard single lever non-cats that are mainstream these days. No doubt about it. The cat stove is superior when run properly but make no mistake, they require more knowledge and steps.

    I need to teach the wife to use my BK. She had the hearthstone non-cat down with very little effort, after all, it was just load and don't get it too hot.With the BK she has to read the cat gauge, engage at the right time, and adjust the air to avoid overheat. Only a couple more steps but more than twice as hard as the non-cat.

    Totally worth it but you've got to know what you're getting into.

    Maintenance costs? I don't expect any for years and then the only costs are door gasket rope. The cat is a 10 year item. That is a long time. People move to a new house every 7 years on average.
  7. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    From one maintenance person to another, If you work maintenance, you can keep one of these going for much less than a VC cat stove. Just take a look at the exploded diagram of each. No seams to re gasket/cement.

    As a side note, I would prefer a BK, but I just can't look at them.

    Now if I can find a catalytic Elm, The Enerzone is going somewhere other than my house.
  8. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    yeah ,did a VC non cat last summer just too many pieces
  9. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I guess I need to move now ; )
    sorta doubt anybody here is average either;lol

    BK doesn't look to bad when compared to VC
    The cat is located in a much nicer location

    cheers
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The resolute acclaim is a non-catalytic stove....
  12. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Got that info about 3yrs back at a shop in Indiana ,from a misinformed sales person as I just found ! My impression as they were made cat & non cat . I was on my way somewhere else & stopped in to see if they had a fiber dissufer chamber or whatever you wish to call it for that stove .And they offered a new one( acclaim ) for $900 if I remember correctly. She said it was a cat stove .They had my Part for $220 ,I let them keep it. Got one later for$140. And later a fire brick set for about $200 . I know now a lot more about VC & some others thanks in part to you good people here

    Cheers & not a Fan of VC
  13. mtbrewr

    mtbrewr New Member

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    How clean or dirty is the glass on your chinook? I've seen other posters mention that the glass gets pretty black on BK stoves and
    there's not much in the way of flames to look at?
  14. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I believe that. I don't maintain mine. I wonder if I should be ? Just finishing up my 4th winter with mine, and as best I can tell, the catalyst is working just as well as it did when the stove was brand new. I've over-fired it (thermometer off the end of the scale) perhaps a dozen times. Oh, I lied - I did spend a couple minutes vacuuming some ash off the face of mine the other day - and that's literally the first maintenance I've done on the thing; maybe it's because I ran out of good wood with this agonizingly prolonged winter and was burning some damp stuff, or maybe it's just because that needs to be done every few years :)

    As far as the actual physical steps, the additional complication is negligible - close the bypass when the thermometer is above 500-600 degrees, open it whenever you open the door. As far as knowing exactly how to run the thing, I suppose there's a little learning curve, but if one cares enough to be heating with wood in the first place, I'd think he'd enjoy this learning process. (Unless you're heating with wood only to save money, which I've always thought was a fool's errand).
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    True, but is the stove in place to make heat or look pretty? Get an otherwise worthless fireplace if you want to have the flames. I've watched the fire in my stove probably a total of 30 mins in the 4 years I've been running it.
    With good dry wood and the stove running as it should the bottom corners will get black and sometimes a bit in the middle but that's about it.

  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I concur with the window blackening. Only the bottom corners are actually blocked with black, the rest is either clear or is like an amber color. It's not as though the whole window is blocked, not even close. We probably let this rumor get out of hand. More striking than the darkened glass is the lack of significant flames.

    I believe that you can and should have both a heater and a nice looking stove. No reason to choose. Whatever the BK lacks in looks it more than makes up for in function.
  17. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Hmmmm. ;lol
    74964-9e09f16f28a99b72a576b5180069a0ea.jpg

    Actually, I have only had it like this once. Don't know why, it was the same 4-5 year old oak I had been burning.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That is not even remotely normal, by your own admission. Still, was it black like paint or could you see coals through it? I won't say that the BK window stays clean but the worst mine gets is only 30% as bad as that photo.
  19. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    It was completely opaque. It burned off to the amber haze with the black corners, like normal.

    It was totally abnormal, which is why I took a pic.
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I just got into some 4 year old ash that never seems to get burnt...back row in the basement.
    Anyways it's realy light and very dry..smokes my glass more! lol
    Being really seasoned and dry it releases the gasses a lot faster is my best guess.

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