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Looked at the Dutchwest Large & XL Large Cat Stoves Today

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by leeave96, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Visited a dealer just a bit ago and looked at the Dutchwest Large and X-Large Cat stoves.

    The XL was about 1/2 again as large as the large cat model - bigger in all respects. Nice looking stoves. Dealer removed the stove top to see the cat and refractory around it and as was pointed out to me, there is no way you can damage the refractory on these stoves.

    Likes: Cat stove, ash pan, front and side load (use the front door only to clean the glass easier for me), nice looking stove with big glass. Also, the price was great too: $1600 for the large and $2000 for the XL.

    Seemed like a decent stove. Convection is a plus and I think the cast iron would radiate a goodly amount of heat too. Stove looked very simple to operate and service.

    Dislikes: 8 inch oval flue on the XL, weak looking legs and manufactured by Vermont Castings.

    All in all, the Dutchwest is the stove to beat for my new install - but still considering others too.

    Thanks!
    Bill

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  2. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Something to consider: DW requires 8" flue. If you ever change out your stove 98% of other stoves require 6" flue.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I always liked the looks of those Dutchwest's. Do they still have a seperate control for secondary air? I know the old ones did.
  4. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hey Bill,
    The dealer is right about the refractory, there is very little chance of damaging it. The fact that it is on top of the stove also makes it a very clean secondary chamber, no gravity driven ashes or debris is getting through that baffle into the cat chamber. The cast iron baffle inside the firebox is also very durable, no chance of hitting with a log and breaking like some other stoves. Believe me, I stuff the firebox, and am not at all careful about not hitting these parts. I jam splits in there. Another plus for my fireplace install is the heat creating cat is on top of the stove and not hidden in the back, tucked away behind the firebox. The cast iron legs are not as weak as they may look to you. I moved my large around in the basement, sometimes pushing and pulling it along the concrete floor and did not have a problem. I now have the short legs on it, to get clearance into a short fireplace. Don't worry about warping parts on it either, I've had this thing up to 850+ (unintentionally) on the side door thermometer and there are no signs of warping going on.

    One thing I would suggest to any cat stove owner is buying an SS Cat. See if you can negotiate with the dealer and get them to put one in for you in place of the ceramic cat that comes in it. According to Raybonz Woodstock sell them for $125 for the 6x2 you would need in that stove. The dealer may put one in for you in order to make a sale. Negotiate with him, but he'll probably try to sell you on the ceramic cat being just as good. Don't believe it, the stailess steel cat gets hot almost as soon as you start the fire and will light off glowing bright orange/red within minutes. This will save you on wood consumtion and create tons more heat. Feel free to read the thread listed in my signature to find out lots about my Dutchwest as well as others with small and large models, beware it is a long thread.

    Good luck with your search. This is the only EPA stove I've ever operated. I'm sure others can do the job as well.
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Only the extra large requires the 8" flue...

    Ray
  6. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    Unless your heating a very large room/area I'd be looking at the large version. My small version heats my 950 sq.ft. main level and the same on the second floor with ease on all but the coldest days. I've a new Steelcat combustor installed in mine. It is an improvement over the ceramic one I replaced, but, the long term reliability is yet to be determined. I kept the <not so old> ceramic unit just in case.
  7. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Yes Todd, the primary air comes in from the front flaps near the bottom of the door on the right and left sides, it travels through the air intake chaimber to above the door and comes down from there, washing the glass door in the process. The secondary air intake is located above the side loading door and is still in form of the screw in/out turn nob. The air travels trough another heated chamber on the top of the firebox and out just under the cat via a stainless steel circular outlet tube. They did away with the air intake on the ashpan door back in 1993, when the stoves changed to what they are today. Only some very small changes were made in 1997. But all parts are still interchangeable. The parts made today in Vermont can still fit in the stoves that were made back in 1993.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good information VCB, thanks for the detailed report. I've liked the stout, solid look of this stove and would love to try one out for a while.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I've been talking about the interiors of these stoves for quite a while being difficult to damage because of no delicate refractory materials for a long time.. There is no reason these epa stoves need to be built so they break so easy.. The only place you have refractory material is above the inner top where it cannot be hit by firewood, pokers etc.. The epa ratings for pollution and efficiency are excellent on this stove as well.. Heck even my much older stove would pass the epa phase II standards! So I am starting to feel that the stove manufacturers are building them delicate to provide income after the initial sale of the stove.. I can't even tell you how many times I've banged large pieces of heavy oak against the cast iron baffles on all parts of the inside of this stove and so far I have never broken a part.. Not many stoves can make this claim! I would love to own a Dutchwest 2461 someday and I will if I can find one in decent shape for the right price.. Chris if you decide to sell yours someday lemme know as I would be interested.. Come to think of I can't recall anyone needing to rebuild these stoves and if you do all you need is some rope gasket and some furnace cement!

    Ray
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Anyone know what size the fire boxes are?
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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  12. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Todd,

    The firebox of the large looks to be about the same as the Keystone. The XL is much bigger, but the BTU output is same as the Fireview at 55,000 BTU/hr.

    Are you thinking about getting one of these Dutchwest cat stoves instead of the new Woodstock design ;)

    Thanks!!!!!!!!
    Bill
  13. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I remember seeing some forebox sizes on an online dealer site somewhere, but I can't remember where it was now! Anyway my firebox measurements are about 23wx14hx12d give or take in some spots. This comes out to 2.2 cubic feet. The real useful part of the firebox is probably more like 2 cu. ft. The logs are supposed to have some space on the ends so if you multiply 22x14 or 1.83ftx1.16ft = 2.13 cubic feet. The other measurement is pretty much a foot or 12" so it does not need to be figured into the equation because it would be like multiplying it by 1. I don't know what the size of the XL firebox is. But, by adding the difference between the LG and XL measurements this is what I come up with 24w X 17h X 14d = 3.28 cubic feet. Again this is just an aproximation.

    Dutchwest Lg 2461 = 2.2 cubic feet
    Dutchwest XL 2162 = 3.28 cubic feet ?
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Wonder why you couldn't run a 6" pipe on a XL if it's only rated at 55,000 BTU like my Fireview? Many 3 cu ft burn fine with a 6" pipe. Probably just designed that way back in the day and they never attempted to change it?

    Bill,
    No I doubt I'll be buying a Dutchwest any time soon, I would like either the new Woodstock or another Keystone some day. Also intrigued by that new Jotul top loader but no shop around here has one I can take a look at.
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I think the BTU ratings are different.
  16. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I saw the new Jotul top loader at the dealer yesterday and saw the video. The stove is large, tall and square in shape. It is pretty plain looking, steel box with cast iron trim.

    I don't understand why the XL large cat requires an 8 inch flue. The non cat version of the same size and btu's requires a 6 inch flue. This may be driven by the cat location and refractory around it that channels the exhaust out of the stove - which is on the stove top and near the flue.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  17. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    From Woodstock for the Fireview: Max Heat Output: 55,000 BTUs /hr.

    From the VC Dutchwest webstie: Maximum Heat Output: 55,000 BTUs/hr.

    But I haven't seen a Fireview with my own eyes, but I know it is not much larger than my Keystone and the DW LX cat stove is much larger than my Keystone.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  18. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    VC always quotes their Btu's as an average over a typical cycle so if you are keeping it packed your BTU output will be significantly higher!

    I have the Dutchwest XL and have had a great experience with it! My family has had versions of the Dutchwest since the late 80's and all of them are still in use today. I run my XL on a 6" chimney with an awesome draft and have had no problems at all with it. It easily heats my 2400 sq ft home and gives me long burn times between reloads.
  19. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I may be able to use the large version vs the XL, but I think that since it is a cat stove and long smoldering burn times are possible, then the extra capacity of the XL ought to give me really long burn times - not unlike a Blaze King.

    Thanks,
    Bill
  20. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    You are correct, as my friend heats a house larger than mine 24/7 with a large however I can obtain a 20 hour burn time in the fall with no need to relight the stove and he can't. If I crank the XL it's actually to much stove for all but the coldest of days however the beauty of it is with the cat I don't have to crank the stove which gives me long burn times. On average I heat my house in the middle of winter on 2.5 loads a day (temps ranging between 8° and 20°) One full load in the morning, three or four splits around 5pm, bedtime load around 9pm and the house stays between 70° and 74°. So far to date I have burned about 2.5 cords of 2 year old red oak and hickory since September and we have only run the furnace for 5 days while we were away over Christmas the rest of the time I have the propane shut off at the tank.

    I did want to mention that as much as I like my VC there are some other very nice wood stoves on the market and I would look very closely at Blaze King and the Fireview. I just can't bring myself to replace my stove that is still running like a champ after almost 20 years. It would be to much like losing an old friend at this point even though she is showing signs of aging. I suppose eventually it will be inevitable though and I will definitely take my time looking around when the time comes. Good luck with whatever stove you decide to go with!
  21. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    The Fireview is definately on my list and seriously considered a Blaze King - which is a fine heater, but I'd like something a little more easy on the eyes than a Blaze King.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  22. Patapsco Mike

    Patapsco Mike Feeling the Heat

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    OK, having owned that stove and some other stoves, let me tell you why you might want to reconsider. Yes, the side load, ash pan, and pretty appearance of the large VC are nice. I miss the side loading. But if someone told me now I had to go back to my VC large Dutchwest (bought new around 2003) I would be very upset.

    About the ash pan- I liked it when I had it, but I had to clean that ash pan every day to day and a half. Now, I clean ashes at most once a week. The difference is that my BK has a much, much deeper well below the lip of the door. So I thought the ash pan was nice, but in retrospect it made ash cleaning a daily thing instead of a weekly thing.

    The burn times are about 1/2 of my BK. I used to be tickled that I could keep the cat lit for 8 hours and do a reload without relighting after 11 hours. Now I can do 13/24...

    I always wondered if I had that secondary air intake set right. I was never sure. Now, there is none, no worries.

    The cat on the BK is probably twice the surface area as my old VC, and can be replaced in 1/4 the time with 1/8th the effort not to mention far less cost as there is only one small gasket instead of several.

    No more fragile refractor nonsense.

    The fan on the BK makes far less noise than the one on the VC.

    Those silly detachable door handles! What is up with that? I love my big honking wooden handles that are always where they should be.

    The BK has a thermostat. It's pretty much set and forget. No more fiddling with the controls. My DW needed to be slowly dialed down after getting it lit off, than I had to manually open it back up in the last 2-3 hours. Now, I often don't physically contact my stove for 12 hours. You don't know how nice that is until you have it.

    I do miss the looks, the Dutchwest is a pretty stove and totally functional. When I sold mine, I missed it. But looking back I realize that the drawbacks are numerous and I wish someone had warned me before I dropped $1,000 on mine (which is what the plain one went for when I bought it).
  23. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    If they just weren't so darned butt ugly.......my buddy, who owns a Plumbing & Heating business has been bugging me to get one, at his cost, and I just cannot get my head around having one in the middle of my house. I may buy and hide one in my basement some day though. But, the cost would be prohibitive for that application. Oh well.........
  24. wood-fan-atic

    wood-fan-atic New Member

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    I replaced my VC Large cat with a non-cat insert last summer, but I still have the VC sitting on a dolly in the kitchen. When the installers came to put the insert in, I had them take a look at the VC. The right-side wall seems to have shifted a bit (mustve happened when I relocated it from my parents house to mine 5 years ago). It only seems to have shifted where the side panel meets the back panel....and just a bit( maybe 1/8"-3/16"). Now,the top cover doesnt really sit right because of the tiny height differance. The installer said that once you take the stove apart, it is next to impossible to get it back together again. I dont know what to do. I LOVE the stove and want to re-condition it....but Im a little apprehensive to tear it apart. They suggested grinding down the high area.....but this seems like a Rube Goldberg to me. Any one ever have this problem, or have any suggestions?
  25. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I would not grind down the stove. By no means does that make sence, like you said. If the walls do not line up at the top then it needs to be put back in place. I've never taken mine appart, but it was completely taken appart and recemmented when I bought it used last February. I may be difficult but I would not say impossible to put back together. I'll PM you with the email address to the guy who rebuilt my stove. He may be able to answer some questions. He's a man of few words but his work is impecable. If anyone can assist you with the process of rebuilding this stove, he's the guy.

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