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New Dutchwest Cat Stoves Question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by leeave96, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Western VA
    What is your opinion of the lastest versions of the Dutchwest Cat stoves? I know they are made by VC and have read mixed reviews of the older ones, but what about the stove and it's design today?

    I like that they are cast iron, have a cat, glass window, offer models with large capacity, front/side load, top or rear stove pipe set-up and ash pan - all in my opinion are good features. They are a pretty nice looking stove from their website.

    How do they differ from the VC Defiant, etc., type offerings? Do they have refactory material parts that are subject to cracking and costly repair? Is the cat replacement an expensive item? Is the cat hard to service/clean/replace? Does the glass stay clean when burning via a decent airwash system? Is this a lifetime stove or can I expect to replace it or rebuild it after 10 years of hard burning?

    They appear to be a convection vs radiant stove. Is a blower required? There must be some radiant heat output, how does it feel standing beside one?

    The extra large model uses an 8 inch flue. Anyone hooked one up to a 6 inch?

    I notice in their manual, there are two air controls, one for the firebox (primary) and one for the cat. How does that work - simple or a pain in the buttox?

    Finally, what kind of prices do these things cost new?

    Thanks!
    Bill

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  2. sparklow

    sparklow Member

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    Does the glass stay clean when burning via a decent airwash system? Is this a lifetime stove or can I expect to replace it or rebuild it after 10 years of hard burning?

    I can speak a bit about my 20 year old CDW A Plus, a Cat model. On my old stove there is definately no "air wash" system while burning in Cat mode, the glass turns black. If I want to burn this off I need to do a high rate of burn out of Cat mode. As far as quality of build I have replaced one part, it fits below the Cat itself, in 20 years of burning the stove. If I were buying a new stove I would definately consider another CDW Cat stove but I am also interested in the answers to your questions.
  3. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    Well mine is now 15 years old and I'm curious as well.

    Mine has air wash and it works well *if* the wood is dry. I clean the glass every 2-3 weeks. I've re-gasketed the damper once (last year), the loading (side) door and the ash pan door once (3 years ago). I've replaced the Cat 3 times (the last time was last fall) and the refractory once (3 years ago). I use the front door only for cleaning the stove. As too the secondary air adjuster for the cat. I've never been able to figure out just what this does as any adjustment seems to make no difference in the stoves performance. I use only an Ecofan to move the air.

    Overall the only complaint I have is that I should have bought the large model when I bought this one. This small one can't quite cut it on these bitterly cold days. With damper closed and primary air shut down as far as it will go I routinely have enough coals after 8-9 hrs to easily fire it back up with some kindling and smaller splits.

    I heat a 1800 sq.ft. home (900 sq.ft open 1st floor) with this stove, supplemented with electric baseboard. If I ever buy a new stove, the DW large w/cat is at the top of my list.

    Hope this helps.
  4. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    When reading through the old posts, I get the feeling this stove may have had more issues early on, (please correct me if I am wrong) but may have not been such a troublesome stove as the Vermont Castings Defiant type stoves during all of the upheaval at VC in the recent past years. May this is due to the Dutchwest stoves being relatively simple/basic stove - hard to screw-up something so simple.

    One thing I can't get a clear answer is - is this an ALL cast iron stove or is it a combo of cast iron and refractory material. I'm also interested in how easy/hard it is to clean/replace the cat.

    I've seen some prices for the extra large cat Dutchwest being at around $2k.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  5. MillHeat

    MillHeat New Member

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    Thought I would give you a bump.
  6. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    This is the only refactory material in the CDW stoves. It slips over the cat itself and is very well protected. There is no way you can hit it with a chunk of wood.

    http://www.blackswanhome.com/product/refractory-package-consolidated-dutchwest

    Cleaning the cat is a 1 hour job. tops. Remove 4 bolts from the stove top, lift off, lift the refraoctory cover off (very gently), lift the cat out of the stove, vacuum and reverse these steps.

    $2000.00 sounds about right for the Xtra large. I can get the large model for $1800.00 + tax.
  7. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    So how is the view on these stoves of the fire? Do they have an airwash system? Does the glass stay clean?

    How long can you go before emptying the ash pan - one day, three days, a week?

    I spoke to a couple of dealers and they told me these were basic stoves, pretty simple, without the bells and whistles of the VC Defiant type stoves and as such were reliable. I would expect them to say that, but none of them tried to upsell me on a Defiant type stove at the expense of the Dutchwest.

    Anyone got a blower hooked-up to theirs? How does it work, how does it look?

    I am thinking that with a basement install, a convection stove w/blower might be a good idea.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    The minimal usage of refractory material is a huge plus in my opinion as this is what will crap out before most anything... If I replace this old CDW I would definately consider one the new large convection stoves.. The cats used on these stoves is a 6"X2" unless they have changed that and they are inexpensive and readily available..I keep an eye on Craigslist and may get a good deal on one someday with low milage..

    Ray

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