1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Progress Hybrid cat question / smoke smell

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by 3fordasho, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I have had the cat issues all along also, the first 2 warped but the 3rd was the new 3 support leg one. I got tired of re shaping the screen all the time so I left it sag for about 3 weeks and kept 24-7 burning during the cold spell. I noticed each week when reloading the cat light off and surface temp climb kept getting slower. When the weather broke I pulled the cat and it looked almost as bad as the one in the above pic, plus there was alot of fly ash down in the stove behind the cat that was never there before when I kept the screen bent tight to the top.
    I Have a very strong draft and my wood will burn really well with the air shut tight (very light flaming)
    So for me the screen is very important with a strong draft to keep the cat alot cleaner, longer.
    I've also learned not to open the air up all the way on reloads or burning down coals faster, I have watched it suck the ash into the screen or the gap at faster pace trying to hurry things.
    The new cat seems to be holding up great, the screen is my biggest complaint.
    Woodstock knows about this screen deal importance and they emailed me yesterday and said they sent a new improved one to try something about bigger support washers i think. I should get it soon and I'll post a pic.
    Even with some issues the stove is still and amazing performer, and the flue is still pretty darn clean.

    This is a little off post track but goes to show what a outstanding company Woodstoock is !
    They(Penny) asked me what do I think of the PH (aside the issues, I think I have had most of them)
    I told them it is still an amazing piece of art that keeps my basement to hot while heating the upstairs, I also told them I should have went ahead and gave up the space upstairs and done a new install with a fire view.
    * Her Reply * You are still under your 6 months Todd If you want to send the PH back and get a Fire View you will be fully credited and they are on sale and you will also qualify for a repeat customer discount and we will pick up the return shipping... I'm still amazed... and I'm thinking about possibly 2 of them. Heat control upstairs and the basement would be sweet. The PH has almost paid for it self this year in oil savings, I'm really thinking on this one.
    The other half is getting less fearful with her new long stove gloves too. :) Amen

    What a Company,

    Todd2
    Dairyman likes this.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Man, as I read this, I have an absolute RAGER going right now! Loaded about 2 hours ago on a huge coal bed, didn't want to wait, it is blowing north at about 60mph, and it's 34f outside, the house was getting chilly. Well, all I had inside was a bunch of raggedy chunks, ripped, 1/2 split, nitty, odd balled shaped. What the heck, I loaded all I could and let it rip. my top is 510 which is super hot for me with the new heat shield under cooktop. And the pipe is 320, so the cat is burning perfectly. And, does EVERYONE in the Western Hemisphere feel the heat? Wow! It is hard to believe this much heat can come out of that little pile of wood I threw in there.

    image.jpg


    image.jpg
  3. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Them PH's will cook Im telling ya, they call my basement south Florida.
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Really interested about that screen. I'm going to call Woodstock. It isthe biggest problem I have with the stove--all the fly ash getting sucked up by the draft. Did they recommend a damper to you Todd? It sounds like you have the exact same situation I have. I will try refraining from opening the air when I am burning down coals. I'm sure if I could get the screen to fit tightly I'd alleviate a lot of my problems with the cat.

    --------------

    Spoke with Penny. They are still working on a better support system for the screen. Penny concurs that it is my strong draft that is sucking ash up the chimney, so a larger mesh on the screen wont be helpful for me...just more ash in the cat, even if the screen clogs more slowly/not at all. I need to: a) get a damper
    b) get the improved support screen when available
    c) avoid having air open more at end of burn to facilitate coal burndown, because this causes too much draft.

    Now that the weather is beginning to moderate, my problem will decrease then cease. Better to have too much draft than too little.
  5. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Nice looking fire! Just looking at it warms me. And I know, from experience trying to photograph my nicer fires, the fire itself is so much more impressive that the photographs of it. I wonder if the infrared filter on the glass contributes to not being able to get a truely representational photograph of the fire?
  6. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Just for comparisons for you two, my screen is straight, and fully blocks the entire opening. I can't even picture where it is sagging for you guys.... you can see it in the first pic above, glowing orange/red hot. I have yet to have anything stuck to that screen since gettign the stove. I can't even image it, cause it gets so hot (as pictured) sometimes, anything stuck on it would surely get burned completely.

    Do you guys see stuff (ash...) flying around in the stove? I don't, and that fire pictured last night was one of the "busiest" fires I've had in it. Between the Super high winds we had and loading a hot stove with lots of chunks and oddballs, the stove was roaring with alot of air movement. But still, no ashes were flying around....
  7. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Funny you say that, I must have taken 200 photo's one night a few weeks ago trying to capture the colors, and more importantly the "Natural Gas BBQ Jets" that come ouf of the 2ndary tubes, and I just could not get it and wondered why. I tried with my iPhone 5, Ipad 3, and high end 20mpixel digital camera. They all lacked what I could actually see and I blew it off to being a limitation of the digital camera's CCD chips. Maybe you have something there, the IR glass?

    And yor right, those shots didn't do it justice. ;) I've noticed you can never capture the 2ndaries for some reason. They were jets all the way across last night, yet you can barely see them in pics.
  8. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Many people have had the screen sag. Look inside your stove, at the top rear where the screen touches the secondary burn plate. There can be a pretty big gap there. Mine is a good half inch. If I push the screen forward and up with my poker, it snugs up...for a bit. But comes right back down. My screen gets red hot too...doesn't stop it from plugging, at the E and W edges first. I bent the frame so much, to tighten it, that the screen itself is really dimpled by the cotter pins. Doesn't help at all with the sag. Comes right back as soon as the stove is heated.

    Yes, I have fly ash pulled up by my draft. When I open the air before opening the door, everything really swirls around in there. Am burning sugar maple, primarily, and get sparks when I open the door, flying around vigorously, even at the end of a burn with coals very low. Just have too much draft. Am going to stop opening the air much before opening the door...there is essentially no smoke in there at that point anyway.
  9. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island

    hmm.... I don't have or get either of those. Before opening the door, I open air wide open for about 5 seconds, then unlock door and slowly open it up. Nothing flys around at all, doesn't matter at what point of burn I'm in, or what I'm burning.

    My screen, the rear of my screen has a 90 degree bend in it if I recall (not lookign at it now). I think I remember the last 1/2" of it bent up 90, where it then meets the top of the stove/2ndary plate snugly. I'll double check tonight.
  10. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Rideau, I asked them about a pipe damper possibly and they asked me where I set the air, I told them most of the time closed to just a wisper open for a nice lazy flame and maby a little more open yet when its warmer out.
    They said that seemed normal to them, but like you I wonder what it would do, not really wanting to put one in if you know what I mean but it might come to that. I still think that a tight fitting screen would do it ! That good draft is great for warmer shoulder season. Still waiting on UPS, hopefully this evening, they have showed up as late as 7:30.

    Another note : my yellow locust is really dry, it makes powder ash, the oak, elm and ash I burn is more around the 20% +/- range, the locust seems to ash over the cat the fastest but also is the hottest (naturally) Strange I thought it should be the opposite ? thats where I feel the screen comes into play.

    Michria, what is the length of your chimney ? class A length - stove to A, 90's 45's sounds like its drafting right on.
  11. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I have a dinky 16 feet of insulated liner inside an exterior masonry chimney. My screen has sagged 3/4" and I still never had a clogged cat. I have had a clogged screen a couple times, but for some reason the cat never clogged.

    It sounds like there is a correlation between chimney height and cat clogging. I think rideau said he has a really tall flue. I'm not sure what Todd2 and 3fordasho have.
  12. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Todd, pretty sure Machria has single wall, which may not draft as strongly as double wall.

    Burning hotter probablymakes for greatest draft so most ash sucked up into the cat/pipe. Doesn't surprise me.

    I resisted the damper for over a year...but I'm pretty sure I'll get much better results, so will say forget the appearance and nuisance and get one. Will let you know how it contributes to the burn. Priced the section of ultrablack with the damper today -$74.00 plus tax and shipping. If it results in longer burns, more heat, lower flue temps and less ash in the cat, well worth it. (I'm not expecting much!) Have about March 7th as earliest delivery date. An waiting to hear from one more supplier to see if they have it in stock.

    I think a tight fitting screen is going to help, because there won't be the open path, but I have to look at my screen which gets pretty clogged and realize that the draft is pulling ash through the screen into the cat....don't know how much of the ash is stopped by the screen, but do know a lot is hitting it. May be that most that hits it IS stopped, and what I am seeing in the cat is all stuff that is pulled through the opening near the secondary plate where the screen sags. Won't know until the new screen is available. Even if that stops the plugging problem, I know I clearly have a greater draft than many who are burning very successfully with he PH, and I know my flue temps are higher than I want, and I know I cannot get as slow a burn as I would like when it is really cold out, and I know that I am losing a lot of heat up the chimney because I can't slow the air down enough during cold weather to keep the air in the box for any length of time...so I expect to have better heating results with a damper.

    AS I have said several times, my draft was great - just about perfect - with the Fireview, which had that 90 degree exit bend at the rear exit, and was a few feet longer because of the rear exit. Straight up with the PH I have too much draft. May be in part the design of the stove/airflow in the stove/size of firebox, or may be entirely the loss of the 90 degree turn at rear exit.
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Yes. Long internal double wall chimney, exposed location, high winds.
  14. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    from the stove, 3 ft up, 3 ft straight back (Single wall) into clay lined block chimney w/ 22 ft of rap insulated ridged pipe straight up on outside wall. I guess that would be considered 25 ft or does one not count the 3 ft of vertical stove pipe ?
    The clay liner is 7 x 10 1/2 so its in there snug with not alot of dead air space.
  15. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Now that's an easy one. With your hoover-like draft TAKE THE DARN THING OUT! I have lousier draft and took mine out, all is well except in >45F temps.

    I do get some smoke spillage at those higher outdoor temps, but I think with enough practice loading I can eliminate it.
  16. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    Sounds to me like the recipe for really good draft, so this is consistent with cat clogging ash.
  17. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    416
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    For the first month an a half replacing 2 of the warped old style cats they stayed really clean (the screen fit tight then) but after I put the new improved cat in and improved my 24-7 burning that is when the screen started sagging more and faster after every time re shaping it till i gave up on it and the ashy cat syndrome was at its worst.
  18. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Umm... I asked Woodstock about removing it, because I felt the same way. They told me not to...so for the time being I won't. Am awaiting the replacement, then we'll see. But it surely is tempting. I don't think I'd very often have a smoke problem. Only, perhaps, when starting from cold AND having an issue so need to open the door before fire is established. Seldom happens. Usually load the box and don't open the door til down to coals and ready to reload. The screen. especially when dangling, can be a pain then, but there is no smoke issue.
  19. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma

    My guess is you were talking with one of the "play it by the book" types. I took mine off and I'm happy I did.
  20. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Thanks, Tony.
  21. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    253
    Loc:
    Windsor County, Vermont
    Another good draft / sagging screen / clogging cat here. (still better than the initial screen setup)

    I suspect having a better fit for the screen would keep my cat going longer before needing to be cleaned. I do get ash flying around when the damper is wide open, and the Red Maple will spark/pop some when in a hot fire. I re-bend my screen each time I slow down enough to clean, but it seems to lose its shape more quickly now than it did initially.
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    All these comments from PH owners with the same problem I have makes me realize I should definitely go ahead and do the damper install now, so will do so as soon as I can get the unit, and post on my results. If it takes care of the problem, it will be a simple solution that will be helpful for several of us.
  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    See the pics I posted above... I am top vented, with single wall heavy duty stove pipe for 38". I have an immediate 30 degree bend toward the rear, and another 30 to straighten it back out. I need the two 30's to get back about 4 or 5" to line up with the chimney box above. The connector box is 3' (38" to be exact) above the stove. Then I have 13' of tripple wall stainless Class A pipe inside an enclosed and insulated chase staight up. The last 2 feet are outside the roof, with a special Wind/Weather type cap (kind of like a vacu-cap).

    I think my draft is perfect. If I recall, woodstock calls for a 16' chimney for the PH. Well, that's what I gave it! ;)

    I'm not sure why you guys are even hesitating to install a damper. I want to install one, and I don't have any issues. I want one just so I can close the thing when I'm not buning. I actually don't understand why it's not standard and/or mandatory on ALL chimney installs. Just seems to make sense to have it there. Then of course there is the added benifit of having added damper control. I'm installing one as soon as I take my stove pipe apart to do my first cleaning at the end of season.
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    I wanted to avoid installing a damper because I don't like the way a damper looks. Also, a damper has to be removed every time the chimney is swept. And a damper is an obstruction in the pipe: nice place for some creosote to deposit. My initial install was simple, classic, attractive. Threw great shadows.

    The simple installation of a damper will somewhat restrict your draft. If yours is perfect now, I would not add a damper. You may have a less perfect burning situation if you do.

    Most of us don't need dampers. With a good match between flue and stove, the stove is completely controllable with the air intakes. Most of us are 24/7 burners, so we have no need to close off our flues in the winter to keep heat from going up the chimney. In the summer, that's not an issue.

    My Fireview was absolutely controllable with my flue. My Progress Hybrid has some issues. So I'll get the damper.

    But, when one can, the best rule of thumb is KISS, in my opinion.
    HollowHill likes this.
  25. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I agree with rideau: KISS. If you don't need it don't install it. It's an extra obstruction and extra pain when cleaning.

    So that makes two of us with 16 foot chimneys (machria and me) with no swirly ash or cat clogs. Sounds like this stove is kind of fussy about having the right draft. I had problems before I insulated my liner, now it's fine.

Share This Page