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 - Shielded Cooktop and screen - diff stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by HollowHill, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    OK, so I did a major maintenance effort on the stove in the past week or so. Redid the top gasket, redid the cat gasket, got a new cat, got a new, shielded cooktop (mine was one of those that cracked). I moved the thermometer over to the back cast near the oval for the top vent (mine's rear vent). And, the stove is behaving quite differently, I think. Whereas with the old 3 stone top and heat shield I was getting stove top temps in the 500 - 600 range, I'm now getting stove top temps in the 350 - 450 range. Before I couldn't entirely shut down the air without getting a glopped up glass, now I can and the glass remains clear. When I engage the cat, I'm only seeing a temp rise of 20 - 50 degrees, which gets me thinking cat stall, but when I check out the chimney, no smoke.

    So, it seems that things have changed and I'm not heating the house like I need to. Obviously I need to adjust my operating technique, but I'm not adept enough to figure out what to do. Is anyone else seeing these differences? bDoes anyone else have the shielded cooktop? If you are seeing differences, how have you adjusted your burning technique? I realize moving the thermometer might result in different temp recordings, but the changes also seem to have affected the amount of heat going to the house, so I don't think its merely a discrepancy of the thermometer. I can't move the thermometer to the stove pipe as that is double wall. By using my IR thermometer, it appears that the place I used to put the thermometer (few inches behind the medallion), is now much cooler due to the cooktop shielding. I"d like to know what temps I should be aiming for on the stove thermometer. For instance, when should I engage the cat? When am I in danger of an overfire (I don't think 700 is the temp anymore)?

    I just feel like I'm flying blind without knowing what the thermometer readings I should be aiming for are. And, of course, the outside temps are different (colder), so that has some bearing on my perceptions as well, but it seemed as if things were warmer last year, even when it was colder than this.

    For instance, I've got a full load in right now, it's an hour into this reload on a hot but not overly large coalbed, I have the air setting at about 25%, and it's burning at 450. If I had the air setting lower, it would be in the 350, 375 range. Does that seem right? Thanks. Sorry for the longwinded post.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    Hey HH. You're going to have to talk to Woodstock for sure. I don't have a shielded cooktop (didn't know they existed) so I can't really comment. The only way to know for sure if you are losing heat would be to monitor flue temps with a probe. I guess it's possible that the extra shielding is sending more heat up the flue. I am seeing slightly lower top temps with the regular cooktop (no shield) versus the original shield/single stone top. But, it seems like only 50 degrees or so and the overall heat output seems the same.

    Good luck!
  3. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    nw ohio
    HH, with the air damper open 25%, are you getting a lot of secondaries. If so that would lower your stove top temps.
  4. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Some secondaries, more flame. And actually, it raises my stove top temp, not lowers it. Which is different, before it would be the opposite. If I gave it more air, it would cause the stove top temp to stagnate where it was ( I think because the cat wouldn't be as busy), now it causes it to rise??? Yes, I'm mighty confused and kerfuddled.

    I did find out that as I was typing my OP in the cold and frustration, the back door was open (left so obligingly by my 15 year old >> ). Not helping...
  5. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    nw ohio
    Sounds like your cat isn't operating at full capacity. Check your cat gasket and look for leakage around the cat.
  6. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    That's a good thought and entirely possible. I'm a newbie at installing gaskets - this was my first time using gasket glue - and that back cat gasket is a toughie. I suppose I'll have to let my stove cool down quite a bit to check. Not scheduled to do that until next Friday. Hmmmmm...
  7. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Too many changes made at the same time to easily diagnose the problem. . .even for Woodstock, I suspect.
    No warm weather until next Fri?
    Can you try putting your old top back on the next time you reload?
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Apart from the cracked cook, why so much maintenance so soon? Why a new cat with less than a year of burning?
  9. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    Not to put words in her mouth, but I know the answer to this. Several people had problems with the original stainless cat (stalls, sluggish, etc.). I think this with the PH and all their other stoves. The new SS cats use a different manufacturing process and materials (same as what BK switched to with their SS cats). I don't think the new cats have been around long enough to get reports back though.

    HH switched her top gasket to a high density gasket to accomodate her new cooktop. I guess WS is recommending the HD gasket with the cook top now although I'm still running the original with no issues.

    Several people have had the gasket behind the cat come loose. I did almost right away and recemented it in place. I believe WS is recommending gasket glue for this gasket now instead of furnace cement. My recement job has held it in place just fine.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I forget, but is the cook top an option or do they all come with the stove? What is the temp difference on the top stones with and without the cook top?
  11. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    The cook top is an option. Apparently, now the cook top is somehow shielded which it wasn't before. This makes a total of 4 different tops the stove has had or could have depending on if you want the cooktop option.

    The original was a thick, solid piece of stone with a thin heat shield underneath. This was my original top. I now run the cooktop with no shielding. My top temps seem to be about 50 degrees cooler dead center top with the cooktop. Overall heat output seems exactly the same. Oddly, the top seems to heat up faster with the cook top.

    HH now has a shielded cooktop and is reporting much lower top temps than with the original cooktop.

    Man, this is confusing.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Is the cooktop easily removable and can it be used as needed or, if you have the cooktop option, does it always have to be installed?
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    HollowHill, I sent an email.
  14. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma

    I seem to remember an earlier post from HH that her cat warped, possibly since the cat gasket had slipped.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    That is true Tony.
  16. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    HollowHill:

    Adding the heat shield under the cooktop really should not change the overall burn characteristics of the stove. It might change the max stovetop temps, but most of the heat comes from the sides and front of the stove. You might have to adjust the temp that you engage at since the stovetop temp has changed.

    I have had excellent luck by engaging the cat based on a WS thermometer placed on the top plate (rear of plate) that says "Progress". I engage at 250F and can send a picture of the location if you want. I don't see how the shield would affect the engage temperature if you measure it on that plate.

    I would like to know how WS thinks the heat shield changes cooktop temps. This was the original cooktop description:

    cooktop.jpg

    Attached Files:

  17. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    I agree with Tony on where to monitor temps, etc. You now have a shielded top and double wall pipe which really limits your options. You may want to get a flue probe at minimum or set up a cat probe which would be the best option. I also can't really see these changes changing the overall heat output of the stove, but I guess it's possible.

    Edit: What I mean is the location Tony recommends should work, but really the only way to know that your cat is working properly and your not sending heat up the flue is to find a way to measure those temps.
  18. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    I think it is one or the other if you order new, but I'm not positive. Those that pre-ordered stove received the cooktop for free so we have the option of putting our original tops back on. I think the stones that come with the top are thinner than what would come if you didn't order the top so you couldn't switch them. I guess you could just order the other top too if you really wanted. Personally, I don't see any reason to not have the cooktop but maybe the shielded one is enough different to make a, um, difference.
  19. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Thanks for all the replies. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, Xmas party last nite. I did end up talking to WS and, as usual, they were very helpful. Suggested moving the thermometer a bit more towards the center (Tony, the place I think you are talking about, in the oval, is much cooler than the surrounding cast on my stove). But mostly they realigned my thinking. The thermometer IS going to show a lower temp because its not above the cat anymore (which is now shielded from the top anyway). If I want more heat into the house, up the air (duh - I get so blinded by attaining cat burns, that I lose sight of the real goal - heat) so that there is some flame in the box. Also suggested I check the cat gasket when I get a chance. So, you guys were all on the money. I tried these suggestions this morning (well, all except checking the cat gasket, had that in my mind to do as I drifted off to sleep, but staggered out of bed at 5am hearing the furnace going (hadn't fed the fire after the party) and there were enough coals going after loading last at 2pm, that I just threw in a couple of splits and started it going again, forgetting my resolution to check the gasket, not my best at 5am) and have been pleased with the results. Got the temp up to 520, throwing out a lot of heat from the window, warming up the house 6 degrees in a couple of hours. So, I think the stove burning isn't so different (although I think the new screen does make a difference, breathes easier) as the parameters I use to judge performance and operate the stove have changed. And, maybe, with the help of the forum and WS, I'll adjust. Thanks again.
  20. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    Sounds good, HH. The new screen definitely does let the stove breath easier. Keep us posted on how that new cooktop works out. I think you're the only one on here so far that has the new setup.
  21. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    The cooktop is really not an "option" anymore. It comes with the order as a line item on invoice, but for free. I did not have an "option" to not order it. ;)
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Is it removable?
  23. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    Removable to clean / replace CAT, yes. Removable to burn without it present, I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think so. I'll let you know for sure on Friday when I hoist it up via scaffolding 3 stories, un-crate it, and set on the new hearth. ;)
  24. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    That sounds like cheating! Lift with the knees! ;lol
  25. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    667
    Loc:
    Central NY
    OK, I've settled down with the stove and it's operating like a champ. Just had to adjust my concept of temps to run at. 450 - 500 it is really cranking out the heat from the front. Life is good. As far as the cooktop, I've only used it once and was surprised how quickly it heated up a pot of chili given that I'd just reloaded the stove from a cool start. Impressed. Can't wait to use it more! So, I don't think the shielding has had a deleterious affect on it. I'll try to IR temps at some point when things slow down for a minute.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

Share This Page