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New Cat in Fireview 201= Awesome heat!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ESVA Fireview, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. ESVA Fireview

    ESVA Fireview New Member

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    I bought at 1991 Fireview 201 two years ago and refurbished it from top to bottom with new baffles,gaskets, etc. The cat I got for it from Woodstock was a steel one and initially it ran fine in the stove for the first winter of use. This year I noticed it was slowing down on the heat output and I saw alot of posts on here talking about steel cats getting plugged with ash alot. A phone call to Woodstock got me to John who burns the same stove in his home. He recommended the cermaic cat which I immediately purchased and wow what a difference it has made in the stove! It ran great before but now it is like a heating mahcine. The stafff at Woodstock is top notch and John was a pleasure to talk to. He told me to ask for him directly with any other questions I might have with the stove.We absolutely love our soapstone stove and would not trade it for the world. It fits well in our 150 year old victorian home...old house still standing pretty and an old stove still running strong and looking better than ever.

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  2. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to Woodstock wood burning.Nice aren't they. Smooooth heat and good looks.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum ESVA.

    Everyone at Woodstock can answer your questions and they all are wonderful. Glad you got the old Fireview going. I'm still not certain on which is better; steel or ceramic. There has been a lot of testing done and more to be done. So far we like the steel and this summer we're going to try giving it a bath in vinegar and water. One fellow on this forum has done that and said he noticed a big difference. We're just waiting for warm air to hit as we are totally dependent on our Fireview for heat. The cat is working but sometimes it seems a bit slower lighting off. Then the next time it lights off fast so we're still experimenting. I did tell Woodstock that I did not want to change out the cat because it is not that bad. Methinks there are many more years in this one.
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I love it every time I read about someone refurbishing an older Fireview. They are such great little stoves.
    Have you ever posted a picture of your install? If not, please do.:)

    And welcome to the forum.
    ddddddden likes this.
  5. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Nice. I have te same stove and put in a steel cat last year after refurbing. This year our heat is disappointing too - what was John's rationale for ceramic vs steel in the 201?
  6. ESVA Fireview

    ESVA Fireview New Member

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    Accomac, VA
    John at Woodstock said that the 201 needed the bigger cells in the cat for the 201 to heat to its potential. We have noticed a huge difference with the stove. It lights off alot quicker and gets the stovetop temps up fast. The steel cat got plugged alot which really bothered me since it was suppose to be better than the ceramic. John did say that they thought the ceramic cat would only last three years but hey the high heat output I am ok with that.
  7. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I did the vinegar and water wash with my SS cat a few weeks ago. It is working as good as new. I have the current Fireview (205?) and I think the SS cat is better. I also added the new SS air scoop. Our ceramic cat only lasted a season, likely due to operator error, but the SS has held up well. It will be washed regularly in the summers from now on.
    Here's my cat wash thread. http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/fireview-cat-wash.106098/#post-1391201
  8. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Pics or it didn't happen. :)
  9. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    https://store.woodstove.com/product.php?productid=16703&cat=259&page=1

    No inconel screen available for the 201.
    This is what is supposed to keep the ash off of the steel cat. . .the screen gets plugged instead of the cat. ==c

    Personally, I don't have to clean my screen much. My problems with the steel cat have been related to the gasket. . .double wrapping(or "1.5x" as Woodstock says) with the interam gasket seems to be the solution for me. I would encourage anyone having problems with the steel cat to try this, especially if your cat moves around a lot in its frame(~1/4" in my case.) I'm told that the first cats were made too small, and this is why it was such a problem for me, so YMMV.

    Before we figured this out, they did send me a replacement cat with a new & improved wash coat, but after noticing that it did not have the "lattice"construction that the new cat for the PH had, I was hesitant to swap cats just to experience the same disappointment after the "hypersensitivity" of the new cat wore off. I mention this because the replacement cat is wrapped only once with the gasket, so maybe the extra wrap is beneficial only to me and a few other early adopters who got smaller cats. When I first posted this, Charly called Woodstock to ask about his cat, and they told him that some movement of the cat in the frame is normal; slop to allow for thermal expansion of the steel cat.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/fireview-cat-wash.106098/

    OTOH, Condar says it's okay to double wrap, so I don't see the harm in trying it, if you can fit an extra layer inside the frame with your cat. At the end of the day, there may be multiple issues with optimizing the steel cat. As I've posted a few times, I've taken to burning "hybrid style," so I don't have to worry too much about how well the cat is performing. I adjust the air for a good secondary burn, which typically lasts, um. . .say, 3 hours. After the light show is over, I usually lose interest and wander off, but not before observing that the cat is still glowing, even if not brightly. I imagine this continues until the coaling stage. Stovetop temp during the secondary burn period runs 525-575°. . .seems a bit lower than when this cat was new, but when you run more fire in the box, the sides of the stove run hotter. I'm getting plenty of heat for at least 12 hours(8 hours in a cold snap) and nothing but wisps of steam from the top of the chimney whenever I look.
    rideau likes this.
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    My original ceramic cat in the Fireview lasted a lot longer than that.
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Ceramics will last just as long as steel if you take care of them and burn dry wood. Blaze King has a 10 year warranty on their ceramic cats.
    I have also been told by people in the catalyst industry that ceramic burns hotter for longer than steel and I have to agree after doing my own tests.
  12. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Too bad there is no ceramic cat designed for the PH - it would be fun to try! ;)

    It's such a long, narrow cat, I don't know how well a ceramic design would do in the situation. But interesting to think about. I would have to believe that Woodstock tried and tested all options before finalizing the design of the stove and going with stainless, with no option for ceramic. For those few of us with fly ash clogging the face of the SS PH cat, might not be a problem with ceramic cats, sonce the honeycomb openings are a lot bigger and would likely let the fly ash fly right through.

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