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Newbie looking for a new wood stove: firebrick vs. no firebrick? best manufacturers?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by chemist44286, Oct 9, 2006.

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  1. chemist44286

    chemist44286 New Member

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    I've got an old masonry wood-burning fireplace and I'd like to get more heat and still enjoy the beauty of an open fire. I'm looking for a new NC wood stove and am a little overwhelmed by the info and options. I'd like to use wood to heat the house while I'm home, and rely on the gas furnace to keep things from getting too cold in the morning or while away. The house if 1500 sq ft. with a fairly open floor plan.

    I've been reading some reviews here at Hearth.com and have seen morso, quadrafire, and jotul stoves get generally good reviews. VC seems to get mixed reviews.

    My dad, a long-time wood burner, gave me limited advice: Don't get something so big that you close the damper often and burn cold, dirty fires, don't buy a catalytic stove, and get a stove with no firebrick. I guess he had a VC that had no firebrick and cracked. He says now VC uses firebrick, which is cheaper/easier to replace and can be done one brick at a time.

    Do the morso, quadrafire, and jotul stoves have firebrick? If not, do they have issues with the parts cracking after several years or use? If not, I'm wondering why? I'm looking for something that will last long with minimal maintenance (other than regular cleaning/chimney sweeping). Clean burning and high efficiency seem to also make good sense, but seem to be fairly easy to come by with new stoves.

    Models I'm considering:
    Quadrafire Yosemite
    Quadrafire Millennium 2100
    Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim
    Jotul F400 Castine
    Hearthstone Shelburne
    Hearthstone Craftsbury
    Morso 2100

    Any other recommendations? Agreements/disagreements with my dad's advice? Thanks!

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  2. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    You didn't mention your budget, which might be an important factor. I agree that it is nice to have parts that are cheap and easy to replace if you must replace them. The firebrick on my stove is covered by lifetime warantee, but I don't know of any manufacturer who covers "overfiring damage" in any warrantee, and pretty much the only way you are going to damage things (firebrick, cast iron, plate steel, etc) is by overfiring. Your Dad is right in that you don't want to buy a stove that is rated to heat an area much bigger than where you are putting it - if you must choke off air to lower heat it isn't going to burn efficiently, and burning a small amount of wood in a very big firebox also might not be very efficient.

    When I was looking for a stove I was focused on ones that were inexpensive (around $1000) with good specs, EPA phase II certification, and capable of heating at least 2000 sq ft. There weren't that many to choose from (VC Dutchwest, Englander [big boxes sell], and Drolet [Northerntool sells] and there really aren't a whole lot of reviews on any of them). I'm sure you would be pleased with most of the ones on your list, and you have probably already read the hearth.com reviews on them?
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    So do want a stove with firebrick or no firebrick...your post wasn't clear.

    Those stoves all seem like good choices. The hearthstone stoves don't have firebrick, they have soapstone.

    One thing to consider is the type of firebrick. My Osburn uses a firebrick that looks like a cinderblock. Its very lite and porus, and a good insulator so firebox temps remain high. I believe Quad uses the same stuff. Morso uses the ceramic type which I'd be will last longer. Not sure about VC or Jotul. One thing I like on the VC, Jotul, Morso is the grates so that ash goes through and can be removed with an ash pan. That seems like a nice design. Can't comment again on the design of the others I didn't look closely at them.

    Why no CAT? CAT stoves burn really efficiently, especially the VC. Personally I'd stay away from stoves with enamel...it seems to crack after a while, but that's only MHO.
  4. chemist44286

    chemist44286 New Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far.

    To clarify, I'm not looking specifically for a stove that only has firebrick, or a stove that has no firebrick at all. I'm asking for your opinions and experiences regarding what is best. I think the advice I've gotten (selecting the right size and going with a Non-cat stove) is good, but I have no personal long-term experience with wood stoves. For all I know, all stoves have some sort of firebrick now. While most manufacturers report Btus, dimensions, clearances, options, etc. I have not seen any reports of what lines their fireboxes.

    As far as budget, $1500 or less would be ideal, but I might be willing to go as high as $2000 if that's what it takes to ensure I'll have a long-lasting, easy to maintain stove. I don't want to spend more than that, though.

    I think a NC stove is best for my application since we want to enjoy a lively fire and have less maintenance and parts to replace. There are some very efficient (70-75%) NC stoves that are still in my price range. A NC stove might be more forgiving of a novice, too. If I build some real smokers while adjusting to a wood stove, I'll just have to clean the stove and chimney rather than replacing a cat unit.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I don't think there is a stove out there that is considered the "best" But Woodstock comes very close. :cheese: All new stoves are pretty close as far as efficiency and clean burning. Even the newer cats are user friendly and more maintenance free than the old ones. You can find replacement cats online for less than $100. For heating 2000 sq ft, find something with a firebox over 2 cubic ft or you will be feeding it constantly. Look at how its made, how thick the steel or iron is, check out the loading door, door latches, ash pan, gaskets. Pick out one you like the looks of best from a place that is friendly, good service, and can answer all your questions. Good luck
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    O.k., you thinking on non-cat and the issue of firebrick is clearer now, and totally understandable.

    First off I believe all those stoves have firebrick in them. Morso stoves seem to be somewhat more expensive than the others for roughly the same size sort of stove, but they do some nice things like put gasket material on the seams instead of a refreactory morter material that eventually needs to be replaced. On the otherhand, many here seem to be able to rebuild a stove with little or no issue.

    If avoiding that totally is high on the list, the welded steel stoves eliminate that issue altogether. I personally like the Pacific Energy, Lopi's and Osburns in the steel stove arena. I personally have an Osburn, but I really had a tough time deciding between it, the Lopi and the PE. It basically came down to availability. I was able to get the Osburn, and not the Lopi or PE stoves. The problem is that there was a huge rush on stoves last year, and this year I believe the dealers are anticipating demand better, but still many are claiming that they can't deliver the stoves fast enough to keep up with the purchases.

    If your looking at freestanding stoves, the ability to use the ash tray well sure seems like a nice feature and Vermont Castings and Morso do that very well. I'm not saying the others don't, I just know that their designs seem like they would keep the dust to a minimum. I also happen to really like the look of a cast iron stove. Just seems right to me. Some of the manufactures have nice technology for secondary burn that eliminates the burn tubes. Vermont castings and Harmon have this. (Others?)

    Consider also keeping the stove clean. Enamel is nice to keep clean, but can crack.

    You should also think about your house situation. Will a radiant stove or a convection stove work better. Do you think you'll need a blower? Stoves like the Vermont casting don't have blowers, but somethign like an Osburn or some of the Quadrafires can optionally attach one. Investigate that on the stoves you end up with on your short list.

    Finally, go look at the stoves. In the end all the ones you listed will do a nice job heating, but the joy of the stove is in watching it work, so pick one you like looking at. It's not like any other appliance...you really can sit for a long period of time just staring at a wood stove.
  7. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    It’s not like any other appliance...you really can sit for a long period of time just staring at a wood stove.

    Warren,

    I couldn't agree with you more. Just ask my Cat's. They sleep for 26 Hours a day in front of it!!!!

    Warren also makes a great point on heeping the stove clean.
    Dust is a real pain in the a$$ to get off of regular old cast iron.

    You REALLY do have to go see them in action to make the best choice.
  8. NFreiermuth

    NFreiermuth New Member

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    It’s not like any other appliance...you really can sit for a long period of time just staring at a wood stove.

    Warren,

    I couldn't agree with you more. Just ask my Cat's. They sleep for 26 Hours a day in front of it!!!!

    Warren also makes a great point on keeping the stove clean.
    Dust is a real pain in the a$$ to get off of regular old cast iron.

    You REALLY do have to go see them in action to make the best choice.
  9. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Find a Morso dealer and take a hard look at the Morso 3610 we love ours

    Morso was $300 cheaper than a similar Jotul or VC so I dont understand that logic?
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Maybe particular stove model dependent. Just look at the price of a 4600 series. Same size or smaller firebox as an Intrepid, yet a lot more money.
    Also, may be dealer dependent, so the comment on finding a dealer may be very key here. I like the look of the Morso stoves personally. Nice clean looks. They seem like very good quality stoves.
  11. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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  12. steffes

    steffes New Member

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    hi, what part of the country do you live in? the reason i ask, is that i researched long and hard a couple years back before we bought our first insert and discovered most are made in canada and i saved about 50% by driving a couple hundred miles from ohio to ontario to pick mine up, along with a s/s flexible liner kit. hey, i know these guys in business need to make a profit, but in my case i also wanted to install a flexible s/s liner (due to a rusted out smoke shelf our the steel heatilator) and i couldn't afford $100 a foot (installed--local store won't sell it outright) for just s/s lining for my 14' chimney on top of the cost for a stove. i also prefer to buy u.s. made products, but other than buck stoves in n. carolina and maybe a couple on east coast and few more in washington state, i don't believe there are many made in the good `ol u.s.a. anymore. my stove and reline kit ending up costing me a total of $1500 (U.S.).

    we wanted a good quality, nice looking, reasonably priced insert, with the largest capacity (as we could fit in our opening) and biggest view of the fire as possible. the osburn 2200 had the largest glass/view at the time, but because it is square in the back (rather than tapered) it was just barely too wide in the back. so that narrowed our list down to the napoleon 1401, earth stove 2800ht or the pacific energy "pacific" model--all non-cat models. i agree with your dad on avoiding the non-cat models for a few reasons. first, the non-cat models have come a long way in becoming more efficient, plus catalytic models cost more and don't burn quite as hot (more likely to create creosote in chimeny/liner faster), plus, every 3-5 years you'll likely need to replace the catalyst, and finally you get more of a robust fire with a non-cat model.

    lastly, if you do decide to purchase your stove (and possibly s/s liner kit) in canada, you will initially pay 15% sales tax (7% - PST & GST - 8%) but you can recoup both, one instantly at the border (just fill out a form) and the other through forms you send to canada in the the mail--they'll send you a check. also, i was not charged import tax. i told the guy at the border that i came over to purchase a woodstove and he saw it sitting there in the back of my pickup and just said, ok, have a nice day!

    we are VERY happy with our pacific energy "pacific"--medium sized model! they make 3 different sizes, small (Vista, heats up to 1500 sq.ft.), medium (Pacific, heats up to 2000 sq.ft.), and large (Summit, heats up to 3100 sq.ft.). they all look the same, but are sized proportionally differently. our pacific model works great, looks great, glass stays clean long, and we love how the logs load front-to-back, most inserts require you to load the logs sideways--potentlially hazardous when you open the door to adjust or add wood as burning logs could roll out.

    good luck and don't hesitate to e-mail me if you have any specific questions.
  13. steffes

    steffes New Member

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    oops, i also meant to mention that the pacific model uses (18) standard full-size firebricks (9" x 4.5" x 1.25") and (1) cut-size firebrick (7.25" x 4.5" x 1.25"). again, i agree with your dad--firebricks are much cheaper to replace than it is to repair a crack in cast iron or steel!
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    FreeHeat I beg to differ with some of your statements

    i
    First of all all Cast Iron Venmont Castings stoves are made In USA Bethel VT. ,that also includes the winter warm inserts. plus the entire CastIron Dutchwest line. Then there is Harman in PA and Englander in VA US Stove works Then there is almost all soap stone stoves are USA compaines essemble in VT like Woodstock I sure others will add to this impressive list. Buck stoves, the lopi and Avalon by Travis Industries, Hearthstone.

    Did you know Hearthstone soapstone stoves are cat stoves?

    Where did you come with this BS? Cat stoves burn the secondary smoke making the exit so clean that chimneys may never need cleaning that's what the cat does. Did you know the EPA catagorizes cat stove emmissions test to be tested cleaner than non cat stoves .What do you know that The EPA should know? Untill this year the Vermont Ccastings Cat Defiant and Encore where the cleanest stoves tested by the EPA both are cat stoves. So if the Cat burn cleaner then where is the cresote comming from.

    People replace Cats 5 to 7 years unless they are ingorant and burn wet wood and never clean them. IT takes my all of 5 minutes to remove and clean either ccat combustor in both my stoves. I do this at the start of the season and mid season. A small amount of time to burn very clean and effecient

    What do you mean they don't burn as hot? It takes quite an amount of heat to combust smoke. The secondary burn creates heat. Most non cat stoves never ignite. That produces more heat The VC Encore non cat stove is rated for 40,000 BTUS. the cat Encore is rated at 47,000 BTUS So how does the exact stove model the cat burns hotter, longer , And produces 18% more heat?

    Expensive to repair? takes 5 minutes ever 7 years to Replace the cat combustor and COST $60 Stovecombustor.com

    Cost for cleaner longer burning more BTUS less wood used $8.30 per year, I'd take that deal any day

    I got to ask the question, Why do you post dissing, cats?
  15. steffes

    steffes New Member

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    well, elkimmeg, i've apparently struck a nerve with you and that was not my intent, but i would like to respond to some of your remarks, as you seem to be considered an icon on this website and i am new, as you most likely know. you've got quite a way of welcoming a newcomer! i see you have more posts than the webmaster of this site, but i wonder how many of those posts were mean-spirited like this was.

    first off, after carefully reading through the comments of the post--especially those from chemist44286, i noticed he was trying to stay within a budget between $1500-$2000...maybe you missed that part. i think spending a little extra towards a flue liner rather than a catalytic model is wiser and safer...i thought that point came through, but apparently you didn't see it that way. do you not agree that catalytic models cost more initially and also cost more to maintain?

    secondly, i would think you are already aware that many non-cat models also provide secondary burn, as does the pacific energy "pacific" model which i was recommending. after looking up the vc encore models you defend so quickly, you might find the info below interesting as i did...

    the following link shows the vermont casting encore (non-cat model) as providing 50,000 BTUs while producing only 0.7 grams/hr (EPA rating--lowest in industry).

    http://www.vermontcastings.com/content/products/productdetails.cfm?id=169

    on the other hand, the next link shows the vermont casting encore (catalytic model) as providing only 47,000 BTUs while producing 1.6 grams/hr (EPA rating).

    http://www.vermontcastings.com/content/products/productdetails.cfm?id=137

    i'm sorry, WHO doesn't know their rear end from their elbow about the product?

    not saying this is always the case, but you did cite the vc encore stoves as your model example

    incidentally, i do not consider either of these models to be your "classic" insert woodstoves as i presumed chemist44286 said he was shopping for to place in his fireplace. i realize some people do have a large enough opening in their fireplace to accomodate such a "freestanding" stove, and now that i've looked at some of the models that chemist44286 is considering, i see it does appear as though he intends to place a freestanding stove in his fireplace--i presumed wrong. that remark probably makes you happy now, right?

    regarding stoves made in the u.s.a., maybe i should've said a "few" are made in the east instead of saying a "couple"--i didn't think anyone would be so anal about this point. some of the manufacturers you mentioned in your response have merged, but the point of my remarks along this topic was that the majority of stoves sold in the u.s. are made in canada and are MUCH cheaper up there. again, i was trying to help chemist44286 stay within his budget, but since i don't know where he lives (it didn't say under his name) i only thought i throw out the suggestion of driving up to the great white north to get more bang for his buck if he doesn't live too far from there.

    it sounds like you own stock in vc to me! there are many great american stoves--harmon and buck are definitely on my list, but again, the budget.

    peace to you, brotherman
  16. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Easy elk...
  17. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Well FreeHeat, I totally agree with Elk, and he saved me alot of typing.

    His post was not mean spirited at all. Sometimes regulars on this site cringe when site newbies start spewing false "information" I am not going to go into the cat versus not cat debate again, but your "information" about cat stoves is total nonsense.

    I have burnt many stoves over the last 22 years, and my Woodstock, made in the US, has a cat. It burns very hot, it burns clean, and it uses about 30% less wood compared to many other models I have personally used.

    I'm outa this thread!
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    First of all welcome aboard .I edited out my last statement it was uncalled for you are right

    Kinda like a old wife's tale, cats cost more are more expensive to run not entirely true. Quite a While back dealers were shying away from Cat stoves and made the same arguements you presented. Truth be told, Cats stoves are not for everbody. They are more draft sensitive. The learing curb takes longer. One more control to use. A combustor replacement down the line. Many 7 years stove probably need attention gaskets ect. There is no free manitaince ride. So why did the dealers promote negativity towards Cat stoves? They never took the time to explain ther proper functions. Too many stoves were sold to newbie's with questional outside chimney drafts. Too many were connected threw or into fireplace flues, where they never had a chance to opperate correctly.
    Due to too large a cross-sectional area, trying to heat and draft and to reverse the downward flow. Finally too many service calls.

    Had the sellers/ dealer informed the purchasers and understood the stove location and set up, most of this dissing cats should have been advoided. Put the blame directly on the person who's only interest is the sale, then on to the next customer.
    All dealers that participate on this forum, try to match the proper stove to the venting situation. All the ones here Know the limits of the cross-sectional codes and the differculties of outside chimneys. Most will not get involved with direct connects to fire place flues.

    Yess we all are learning

    You missed the critical words untill this year The VC non cat Encore was just introduced this year. Before that the Encore cat was the cleanest burning stove tested by the EPA

    Price range the Dutchwest cat or non cat fits within 1500, especially the steel plate Dutchwest stoves

    No Not a stock holder, just a proud American. That supports USA manufacturing and jobs for American citizens. VC is under tremedeous pressure to preform in Bethel VT. The constant threat , to follow most other manufactures and outsource to the Pacific Basin. USA looses another Industry, another abandon factory. The fall out would devestate the small surounding towns economy.
    365 workers would be without a job. Look at Pitsburg or Bethel PA. They never fully recovered fron the Steel mills closings. IT is devestating to go to work for 30 years and find out you have not job the next month. and that you are competing for paultry jobs against fellow workers. You may find fault with my reasonings to support fellow USA citizens jobs. IT is my belief we are selling our country away. To this point given the choice,Iwould pay a few $$ more, you bet I would buy a Harman, VC or Travis Industry stoves

    Being new to the forum you may not know about the donnor program. Only one manufacturer has stepped forward and offered to donate stoves,, to help famillies ,that could use cleaner burning and economic relief from heating cost. Famillies that normally could not budget to spend for a new stove In the works now, is recieving 3 such stoves from VC Bethel VT opperations.
    Again I can support a company that is willing to help less fortunate people.

    I might point out VC cat stoves have two other features that should be considered, top smokeless loading. and along with the Cat thermatically controled secondary air. Meaning it self adjust to open and close the secondary air producing longer more even heat
    output. This function is just as important to controling the burn rate, as the Cat combustor. The thermatic control probe sensor is positioned within the cat combustion chamber. ITS the combination of the cat working with the secondary air controls that produces 18% more heat output. Encore models Up to this year, all Encores were Cat stoves. the Everburn technology and perfecting it to burn cleaner, is simmilar to what is found in the PE stoves. and yes design has improved burning secondary smoke in non cat stoves. Did you know the after market replacement Cats costt 50% less but R&D has done them better.
    Instead of lighting off at 500 degrees ,, they are nor capable of lighting off all the way down to 380 degrees. These cats provide a longer range of secondary combustion. CAt combustion has a longer range of secondary combustion and the ability to light off a lot cooler temps than non cat stoves. IT takes 1100 degrees to ignite secondary smoke The chemical counpounds of the combustor reduces that temp now down to 380 degrees.

    We had great Cat debates here. In the end cat stoves are not for everbody, But most wives tales were diss proved. Many more menbers are considering cat stoves. One of you best room heater stoves avaliable today, Is the Cat VC Intrepid II, Replacing that combustor is less than $70. Thermatically controled as well

    You came here seeking advice looking for answers. I got off on the wrong note with you I appologise
  19. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    In all these cat vs. non-cat stove debates I rarely see a good explanation for why someone TODAY should buy a cat stove. I mean if the non-cats have problems such as breaking, clogging, non-performing over time, etc. I would really like to know about it. But based on all of the information I have seen so far, I can't understand why ANYONE TODAY (and I emphasize this TODAY part) would buy a cat stove. That VC encore is a PERFECT illustration - as already mentioned, the non-cat encore produces lower emissions and more heat. The cat stove emissions aren't only worse to begin with, but they will increase every single year until you replace that cat (this is why the EPA requires stricter emissions for catalytic stoves). You mention a whole big list of reasons not to own a cat stove - and yet you are one of the most outspoken defenders of them.

    Do you have any documentation or links showing that these catalytic converters work efficiently for 7 years? Because that's the longest I've ever heard, with most claiming they last just 2-3 years. Also - you said "IT takes 1100 degrees to ignite secondary smoke". Again I am no expert, but according to the technicians at CFM (Vermont Castings) secondary burn with their "Everburn" system works at 500 degrees F. Now if the new cats work at 380 - I am interested - that sounds like the first real advantage I've ever seen posted in these cat vs. non-cat debates! Again, like the 7 year thing, do you have links and/or documentation supporting this 380 figure? And does that number rise as the cat ages?

    Even if the 7 year and 380 degree points proove to be true, this STILL would only be an advantage to someone who burns a lot at lower temps which probably isn't the majority of people out there (?).

    Thanks,
    Gordo


  20. chemist44286

    chemist44286 New Member

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    Thanks again for more replies and recommendations. Seems like a great forum here.

    I will definately be visiting local dealers once I have my short list finalized. I just don't want to miss a good stove because a specific dealer doesn't carry them and I didn't search out a dealerthat does. I try to be an informed, hands-on kind of buyer and I will definately be checking out all the doors, hinges, ash pans, seams, gaskets, etc. to make a final decision. Sometimes you even end up teaching the salesperson a thing or two about what he's selling (though that's not encouraging). Thanks for the tips!

    Sounds like firebrick is not an issue and I'll stick with a stove that has it. I'm willing to consider cat models but think I still lean towards NC for the aesthetic benefit and other reasons posted. Didn't realize cats were so inexpensive to replace as many have quoted under $100. Either way you are stuck cleaning and replacing something, I guess. You'll have that when you try to control/contain so much combustion energy.

    I'm in the Cleveland, OH area and love travelling out east, so freeheat's point about being able to pick up a good deal "factory direct" may be an option no matter which manufacturer I choose. My wife and I just got back from a trip to VT. Could have picked up a stove, but I hadn't done my research... Also appreciate the vigilence of those trying to dispel myths. Good data will show what is fact and what is myth. I knew the cat vs. NC discussion could get "heated".

    Speaking of my wife, she'll probably end up choosing our stove based on appearance. I just have to make sure that all the models available for her choosing are an appropriate size, price, efficiency, etc!!!

    I'm hoping I won't have to wait for a stove, and might even be able to get a bit of a bargain. Demand for wood stoves may go down as natural gas prices are forecast to be much lower this winter. I hear there are some good deals in February...

    The previous home owner had a flexible flu liner installed, so that won't be an additional expense. I'm not sure if it's 10 inch diameter or what, but it fits neating inside the 12" square tile flu. Just need to hook up whatever stove we get to that liner. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Lake Wissota
    [quote author="tradergordo" date="1160596645"]In all these cat vs. non-cat stove debates I rarely see a good explanation for why someone TODAY should buy a cat stove. I mean if the non-cats have problems such as breaking, clogging, non-performing over time, etc. I would really like to know about it. But based on all of the information I have seen so far, I can't understand why ANYONE TODAY (and I emphasize this TODAY part) would buy a cat stove. That VC encore is a PERFECT illustration - as already mentioned, the non-cat encore produces lower emissions and more heat. The cat stove emissions aren't only worse to begin with, but they will increase every single year until you replace that cat (this is why the EPA requires stricter emissions for catalytic stoves). You mention a whole big list of reasons not to own a cat stove - and yet you are one of the most outspoken defenders of them.

    Do you have any documentation or links showing that these catalytic converters work efficiently for 7 years? Because that's the longest I've ever heard, with most claiming they last just 2-3 years. Also - you said "IT takes 1100 degrees to ignite secondary smoke". Again I am no expert, but according to the technicians at CFM (Vermont Castings) secondary burn with their "Everburn" system works at 500 degrees F. Now if the new cats work at 380 - I am interested - that sounds like the first real advantage I've ever seen posted in these cat vs. non-cat debates! Again, like the 7 year thing, do you have links and/or documentation supporting this 380 figure? And does that number rise as the cat ages?

    Even if the 7 year and 380 degree points proove to be true, this STILL would only be an advantage to someone who burns a lot at lower temps which probably isn't the majority of people out there (?).

    Thanks,
    Gordo

    Sorry I'm buttin in here, just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I have no documentation but according to Woodstock tech I talked to, they have had some cats last as long as 8-10 years, but most last 4-6 years. Depends on type, and dryness of wood along with operation and maintenance. I also remember talking with a guy last year that said his has lasted 15 years! And he burned cedar 24/7. I'll let everyone know how long mine lasts down the road.

    As far as the new Everburn stoves the verdict is still out. They are too new to see if they will out perform the cats, but time will tell. This is what I would tell someone "today" why they should buy a cat stove. After burning both noncats and cats I prefer the cats now basically because they are designed to be most efficient at low burns, producing longer burns, and less wood useage. Non cats can't produce as much heat as a cat at low burns because they need to keep the firebox temp higher to burn the smoke. The higher the firebox temp the faster the wood will burn.

    How is your stove performing? Are you getting those 14 hr burn times?
  22. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Trader I will try to present this as objectively as possilbe At one time I was perswaded by a dealerto not to purchase a cat stove
    for the same wives tale reasons I now have two

    Clarification #1
    The Cat Encore is listed at 47,000 BTUS. The non cat Encore is 40,000 btus. Thats 7000 more reasons to opt for the cat or an increase of 18% Even the grams per hour is exeptional 1.6 for the cat stove but not as good and the non cat stove, but again 18% more heat might factor into that.

    Craig and discussed this before the new everburn technology is not new the Resolute Acclaim had it years ago. It is marketing hype to renew interest in newer model newer greater better attraction. the Everburn is the same air passage using special fire package material to enhance secondary combustion the same within the Resolute.

    You are right many things die prematurely when no mantaince is done. I clean my Cats twice a year. To super clean them, one mixes 1/2 water and vinegar and boils them 10 minutes. IT will restore a clogged and still good combustor extending its usefull life and restore its effeciency. That's how 7 years is attained possibly more. It is no accident my1972 Mack dump truck. 1966 Mac 10 10
    chainsaw my 1977 backhoe my 1969 tractor still function pretty damn well

    The combustor advantage:
    Longer secondary burns: We all bring our stoves up and beyond 500 degrees damper them to initiate secondary burning and to lenghten the burn times. What the replacement combustors do is fire before 500 degrees and continue firing once the stove cools to 380. No non cat stove will achieve secondary combustionat 380 once they cool to under 500 degrees. That it for secondary combustion. So they can light off earlier and cooler and fire longer and cooler than any non cat stove. This explains why the Encore Cat stove heating capacity is 18% more. Money, the replacement cats are 50% less.

    To back up the warranty and temp setting please visit
    www.stovecombustors.com
  23. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Loc:
    Phoenixville, PA
    Part of the problem is that people are always comparing apples to oranges. Frankly, I could care less about user experiences with non-EPA phase II stoves. So to say "I've burned a non-cat and didn't like it" doesn't provide any insight. For every cat stove you like, I bet I can find a non-cat with very similar if not better specs when it comes to heat output, burn times, and emissions.

    If indeed modern cats can burn more efficiently at low temps, and last for >5 years between cat change outs, and not clog easily, then those are great reasons to buy them. I think your point about the newer non-cat's being "unproven in the field" so to speak, is also a very good point.

    Haven't tried yet, but when I do, you know I'll post my findings. Unfortunately, since this is my first year with a stove, I got a really late start in scrounging for wood. Most of it was split between May and July. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to use my wood this year? Might have to buy some but I really don't want to. My manual recommends a full year of seasoning. Hopefully I can at least do a little testing with some properly seasoned high BTU wood, I will compare and report burn times either way. And just so you know that I'm not totally biased - I have already reported my first unpleasant experience with this stove - the front door gasket stuck to the cast iron and pulled right off. I can also report that there is no "air wash" in the Dutchwest to keep the front glass clean - and after just two real burns, it became very dirty (may also be related to my half seasoned wood). Not that either of those issues have anything to do with the cat vs. non-cat debate. I have not yet run my stove in secondary burn mode.
  24. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Loc:
    Phoenixville, PA
    Elk - I have to call BS on you here. Since you didn't provide links, I will.

    Cat Encore
    EPA Emissions Rating 1.6 (grams/hr)
    Burn Time (Max.) 9 hours
    Btu/h (Max.) 47000 Btu
    Btu/hr Range EPA Test Method 8,700 to 41,700 Btu/hr
    Log Length (Max.) 20 in.
    Combustion Technology Catalytic
    Firebox Volume 2.1 cubic feet
    Heating Area (Max) 1900 sq. ft.

    Non-Cat Encore
    EPA Emissions Rating .7 (grams/hr)
    Burn Time (Max.) 10 hours
    Btu/h (Max.) 50,000 Btu
    Btu/hr Range EPA Test Method 10,600-24,050 Btu/hr
    Log Length (Max.) 20 in.
    Firebox Volume 2.1 cubic feet
    Heating Area (Max) 1900 sq. ft.

    I really don't know how to analyze the difference between max btu and EPA test method range, but the numbers highlighted speak for themselves. They both have the same firebox size but the non-cat is capable of a higher max temp, can burn longer by a full hour, and has less than half the emissions!

    Thanks for the link to the combusters. I see the replacement for the encore costs $147.50 . I do see a 6 year warrantee, so that's good (although its prorated after 3 years). I could not find anything regarding the 380 degree temp but I did see the claim that they ignite under 400 degrees F so that aspect sounds good too.


  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,610
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It might be worthwhile to ignore the max btus and look at the EPA Test method. Not many folks burn at max rating of a stove and if they do it's not continually. The Cat stove seems to put out a lot more under those testing methods.
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