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Posted By emt1581,
Dec 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM
Aha great. Thanks for the pic
I think anyone running a cat stove should have a cat thermometer, and in fact I'm really surprised all cat stoves don't ship with one. After buying one for my first stove, I actually learned I was burning too cool with the small loads I was running in the early days, with the cat typically below the magic 500F light-off temperature. However, I can very easily see how one could be burning way too hot with full loads, especially when throttling down, as this usually temporarily drives cat temperatures up. If I were processing catalyst warranties, maximum operating temperature would be among the first questions I asked.
The maximum operating temperature listed for most catalytic combusters is approximately 1800F, as this is the temperature at which the palladium material starts to delaminate from the ceramic substrate. A few spikes to 1800F shouldn't kill your cat, but frequent operation there will shorten its life.
If you're blowing holes in catalytic combusters, or seeing them mechanically crumble, I wonder if you're accidentally running them much hotter, without even knowing it?
I'm guessing that dealer is Black Swan. They have a very well established reputation, I would not hesitate to work though them on your issues if you can.
Everything you ever wanted to know about catalysts, from the folks who make them...
sounds right. How much did you pay for cat thermometer?
Well, since my stove is stuffed back into a fireplace (and more importantly, I'm a geeky scientist), I decided to go with a thermocouple and thermocouple meter, instead of the typical mechanical dial probe. This permits me to track min/max/ave temperatures, and more importantly, not crawl behind the stove to see the gauge. You can buy a thermocouple probe for $30'ish, and meters for anything between $30 and $10,000. I have a few of the Amprobe dual-channel K-type meters, which I think run $50 - $60 each (Amazon.com), and come with two surface thermocouples. I bought a 12" long 1/16" diameter probe good for +1700F from McMaster-Carr, bent it to 6" long, and it's been working great.
Another option is to get the same thing in one box from condar (but sans the cool tracking)
Yeah, I looked at that Condar rig first, but then decided I could do better for cheaper. The only down side to mine is that the meter body is bright red, so while I want to mount it to the rear wall of the fireplace, it doesn't exactly blend in. Right now, I just have a meter sitting on the floor next to each stove.
I'm really pleased with the $37 PID controller I installed in my bookshelf to monitor the cat temps. I connected a ceramic wrapped K type thermocouple good to 2200 F. It will turn on a blower or sound an alarm, and the best part is I can see the output from the couch, recliner or my computer.
I'm amazed PID controllers can now be had for less than the cost of a cheap thermocouple meter. Are they also available for 120vac supply now, or do they still require a dc supply?
I wish they had offered one of these as an option when I bought my stove!
This unit uses ac power. The ceramic thermocouple cost me more than the controller, but I'm sure I could have done alot better.
Couple of days ago i lost my draft. Smoke coming in the housewhen i open the top loader or the glass door. Theflames used to shoot toward the damper opening and the fire would take off running. Now the flames go toward the griddle and i cant even keep the front door cracked or smoke literally pours into the living room. I took off the clean out trap door. I looked up with a flashlight and do not see any blockages, but, the liner takes a little turn so i cant see past 3 - 4 feet. I have to get on the roof and look down maybe there is something blocking the liner.......does anyone have any troubleshooting thoughts on this one?
I think you already nailed it, Moses... gotta do a top-down inspection on that liner, if you can't see sky from the bottom up. Most build-up happens at the top of the liner, although many also report build-up occurring at the stovepipe-liner interface. I think this is because cool air can be pulled in at this interface, causing localized cooling and creosote condensation.
Yea just came down from roof. The screen under the cap was clogged with gunk. Guess gotta clean that maybe once a month, or cut it off....? What purpose does the screen serve? It's not that big maybe 6 inches wide...
Keeps squirrels and birds out. If you hang around here in the springtime, you'll read many, many stories of squirrels and birds in wood stoves.
The mesh should be 3/4", unless you live in one of the wildfire areas, where they often specify 5/8" or other smaller openings. Larger mesh = fewer clogged screens.
Oh ok. Thanks Joful. Appreciate it
Nothing can make a mess of your living room like a soot-soaked squirrel on the loose. I had to deal with exactly this situation last spring, before I added the screen to one of my chimneys.
OK, I got my morning laugh.
Greetings fellow wood burners. I have the encore with enamel finish. I must have neglected to clean it regularly so now I have baked on stains on the biscuit color...it is basically an off white that my wife picked... I would have chosen black. Does anyone know what i might use to safely remove baked on stains on the enamel? Thanks.
I have woken up in the morning to my decorative panel broken on two different instances in the two years I've had the stove. I do not drop wood in the stove. I have to deal with smoke pouring out the top load while I lightly drop wood in...such a pain!
I'm now on my third decorative panel (always replaced 100% under warranty since refractory brick has lifetime warranty) but I'm tired of driving 50 minutes to the closest dealer. The gas I do pay for! This time, however, I have high hopes since it is no longer a shell patter on it. There is a simple circle and the panel seems to be sturdier. We'll see...
Mine says Oct 30 2010.
My panel just broke today...pain in the butt.
split and stacked all my firewood much earlier, the earliest i have ever done it...burning this year is much easier. easier to get into secondary burn mode. much more enjoyable. get wood now for next year