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Smokey Fireview; SS cat gasket

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Flatbedford, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I was having some problems keeping the slow burn temps up with my Fireview and getting a pretty smokey burn too. At first I thought it was my rained and snowed on Black Locust, then I blamed it on the warmer weather. Finally I called woodstock and after some discussion, it was recommended that I replace the gasket that goes around the cat in the holder. the cat felt a little loose in there and we figured there may be too much smoke sneaking around it. the new gasket material came in the mail yesterday and I installed it last night after work at about 11 pm. When I took the holder apart, the old gasket material fell apart. Once I got it back together and installed, I reloaded the stove. After about 20 minutes, I engaged the cat and set the air at around 3/4. An hour later the stove was cruising along at about 550° with a couple lazy flames and no smoke out the stack. Before I was lucky to get a 400° stove top in the same conditions. I'm sure that the increased draft due to outside temps in the teens didn't hurt either. I may have messed up the gasket by knocking the cat around too much when cleaning it. I'll be more gentle next in the future. Either that or I work the stove too hard to make up for the draftiness and lack of insulation in my house.
    Once again Woodstock stands behind their product, even when I am in my third season with the stove.

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  2. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    The only problem was that I didn't get home from work until after 10:30 and had asked my wife to post pone reloading until I got home so I could work on the stove. Even though it was cruising nicely at around 500°F, last night was not a good night to go into without a running start! It was cold in the house this morning! We should be fine now with a day to get caught up.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I didn't even know there was a gasket for the new s/s cat? I didn't have one in my Fireview when I changed it out and didn't think I needed it because Woodstock never sent one with the new cat. I'll have to check my basement Keystone, it has the steel cat and I know it's a little loose in the bracket but doesn't seem loose enough for smoke to bypass it.
  4. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Well, maybe this is the reason i cant get the smolder burn, my cat is quite loose in the holder. In fact the lower half is slightly warped in the middle...
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's what mine was doing. No sag, but some movement. Call them today.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's a good, helpful tip Flatbed. Thanks for the suggestion.
  7. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    I don't have a gasket with my stainless cat either. The cat moves around a little, too. hmmm.....
  8. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Ron at Woodstock told me that they come with a gasket that is supposed to expand when heated. It seems mine didn't expand enough, or I messed it up by banging ash out of the cat. the gaket just crumpled when I took it out of the holder.
  9. jdonna

    jdonna Member

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    My ss cat gasket is partially degraded as well. I am going to have to get a new one as well and give it a try. I am sure there is a bit of increased draft. I have been using a turn key damper to help things along in the mean time. I noticed the gold flecks in the flue neck area the second burn I had with it. Maybe some of the gaskets do not expand properly or have a tendancy to break down at high temps?

    Was the gasket put in wtih the masking tape or did it have self-backed adhesive? When I got mine it had masking tape around the gasket, which I left on per instructions.
  10. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I was instructed to use masking tape.
  11. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    I should clarify that the sag was only in the bottom half of the cast holder piece, cat is fine. I wonder if i should replace that holder along with the gasket. I planned on updating the scoop when i bought the thing, now due to others comments money may be spent elsewhere seeing as the scoop is still in good shape.

    sees ill have to be making my first call to woodstock. now just to convince mrs stump_branch to let me spend more money on stoves.
  12. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have been pleasantly surprised by their parts prices so far. They have been quite reasonable.
  13. jdonna

    jdonna Member

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    I would echo that Woodstock is amazing at customer service and is extremely reasonable on the parts.

    I cannot say the same for the last stove I purchased which is a Harman.
  14. bjkjoseph

    bjkjoseph Member

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    had the same problem..went back to the ceramic....i would say somebody dropped the ball on that one...a year later they still do not have a fix for it..
  15. jdonna

    jdonna Member

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    What were the issues with your ss cat? What observations did you have? I rebuilt my fv when I bought it from someone on craigslist, the original ceramic one had a degraded gasket as well.

    I am using some deductive reasoning here, but SS can expand and contract, which might explain why the gasket could fail from repeated movement. I am guessing the ceramic is way less prone to thermal movements. I wonder if there is any fiberglass or composite type gaskets one could place in the holder to help seal it, but am uncertain that it could handle the range of 400-1800 degrees it would endure.

    My stove does seem to run ok with the gasket partially gone, but would be interesting to see if it restricts the draft a tad further and see if observable stove temps increase.

    I like the fact that I can engage way sooner than with a ceramic. 200 degrees vs 250 is a lot of heat up the stack savings IMO. Not to mention those throw and go mornings before work.
  16. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Shocked rather, less than ten bucks for the lower combustor bottom and .75 a foot for the gasket.

    Tricky part will be timing the shut down when its somewhat warm out to do the work. I dont think its been under 200 stove top in a week.
  17. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I shut mine down on what has been the coldest night so far. We suffered a bit, but it was worth it. I let the stove go down to a smaller bed of coals and opened the bypass, this allowed the cat to cool somewhat. There was still enough draft that I could open the top without smoking out the house. I grabbed the cat holder with my welding gloves and ran outside with it. I set it down on a rock. I could work on it bare handed out in my shop in about 15 minutes.
  18. jdonna

    jdonna Member

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    Wow, a whole new level of dedication! I got a chuckle, ty!

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