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  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    Last week I could hardly keep the stt under 650-700 now I can hardly get it to 500 and the house is chilly. Im burning the same wood and doing everything the same. Wood is oak poplar maple gum hickory mostly oak all seasoned one - two years. I know the wood isn't quite right especially the oak but you gotta do what you gotta do right. Ive been letting the wood burn about 15 minutes longer before I engage the cat and also waiting for stt to get to 3-350. On a reload or new fire I slowly bring the air down and wait until its going good to engage the cat. The screwy thing is it just seems to be struggling to get hot I've waited about 30 minute to engage and even then after an hour its still hovering at 350-400. I was really enjoying all the heat but now its gone. The only thing different now is its about 10* colder outside than last week but I can't see how would make a difference ive read about other fireview owners with much much colder climates burning hotter than me and keeping their house warmer. Sorry for rambling here I appreciate all the help ive gotten so far and I'm sure theres nothing wrong here other than operator error I hope.

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  2. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,464
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    My first thought is to be absolutely sure it's not the wood. I know you said it's the same wood, but you also said it's marginal. It may be time to spend a couple bucks and buy some of that super dry grocery store wood and run a full load of it.

    Next, (or even first) try brushing or vaccuming out the cat. If that does not work WS is recommending a vinegar wash to clean it better.
    Another thought - is the door sealing tight?

    Those are the usual suspects, front and center.
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  3. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,342
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Fire_man hit the nail on the head. Try some properly seasoned wood. It could very well be the culprit.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,923
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Check the flue cap to see if it's starting to plug.
    ScotO, Joful and PapaDave like this.
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,814
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    You might want to take a look up the chimney also.

    It's possible tou could have reached the point of buildup where draft is affected. Have you cleared all of the ash from the stove? You may have ash in one of the air feeds.


    Matt
    ScotO likes this.
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,650
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Those two things would be the first place to look, it could be your just into a batch of less seasoned wood but who knows, let us know what you find.
  7. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    All right sounds like a plan. Im going to start investigating now looking for anything plugged up or blocked I cant get on the roof today its covered in snow and ice but next week its going to be 70s so ill check the topside then. Im also going to buy some of the kiln dried stuff at the grocery store today.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Hopefully you dont have build up and you ignite it with the kiln dried wood.
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,151
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    What, no photo?
  10. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Cat gasket maybe. . .you might want to go ahead and order that + door gasket. Good to have on hand, even if this problem turns out to be something else.
  11. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    Ok heres what I found and did. Cat was clean no plugs in which I expected since I had cleaned it Thursday I looked up the liner from the clean out in the tee it looks goo no build up just looms a little grey I am going to run a brush through it next weekend just to be sure( anyone have some pointers/ pros-cons bottom up or top down) I cleaned out all of the ash and coals took off the top and cleaned all the fine ash that was in there which wasn't much. Then I did the dollar bill test and that failed miserably so I tightened up the door latch and also fluffed up the door gasket. Then i noticed something bad the basket/ screened box the cat sits in was plugged almost completely on the front and completely on the sides so i cleaned that then checked everything again cleaned some more and put it all back together. Heres some photos of the cat box I hope that was the only problem im still going to get some kiln dried wood and use it to supplement my not so seasoned wood. IMG_20130127_084308.jpg IMG_20130127_084314.jpg IMG_20130127_084259.jpg
  12. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    "Cat box!" Heh heh.;lol
    WS calls it the "air scoop." Yeah, the screen needs to be cleaned periodically.

    +1 on fluffing the door gasket. I didn't know about that, and just cranked down the latch adjustment. . .caused the gasket to get extra mashed in the bottom corner next to the hinge, while still not being tight enough on the corner above the latch. Replaced gasket and "fluffed" it on the corner above the latch. Still tighter by the hinges, but passable now. Installing without glue/cement allows refluffing until it's right. . .tips picked up here on hearth.com. :)

    I mentioned the cat gasket because the SS cat is supposed to be wrapped 1.5x with the gasket. Mine was wrapped only 1x, and I started getting spotty performance after awhile. I think what happened was that every time I cleaned it, the cat moved around a bit and became more loose inside the frame . .allowed leakage around the cat. Doh!:oops:
    Rewrapping 1.5x with new gasket fixed it. :)

    Beautiful stove, BTW.;)
  13. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    579
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    I have been burning a lot of Sycamore for the past week. I noticed the srceen building up a layer of fuzzy looking ash after just a few days. I took it out and used an air blower on it. Brushed the cat off, it was still clean. I've been burning Red Oak all season and haven't had any problems before. Sycamore produces very fluffy ash and I assume some got sucked up into the screen.
  14. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Messages:
    864
    Loc:
    Mid-coast Maine
    I couldn't keep afire going once i engaged the cat,then i checked the screen.Ahhhhh! problem solved.
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  15. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    Alright a little update here. After I did my cleaning and inspections this morning I lit a new fire say around 9-915 stt got up to around 550 which was good I had the air open around 1 everything went fine and I'm doing my first reload now at about 6. I had some very large chunks/coals still in the stove and tried to burn them down using some bark worked fairly well. Now to see how she does through the night. Also ddddden mentioned a cat gasket how do i check and change that if necessary?
  16. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
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    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    It's the 2" wide interam gasket wrapped around the edge of the cat, inside the iron cat frame. It would be a good idea to have new gasket material on hand before opening the frame; mine was in pieces.
    My cat would slide around slightly inside the frame when I tilted it around for cleaning, and also had some open space between cat and frame in the corners. If yours is snug, with no movement or gaps, it's probably okay.
  17. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    did you get the New gasket from Woodstock? I think im going to get a new one the cat did seem a bit loose in the frame.
  18. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Yes, I got it from WS. Lorin said that some of their first stainless cats were made too small, so they need to be wrapped extra. I just used the whole length they sent me, covering all of the corners 2x, and three of the sides 2x, leaving only 1 layer on one of the long sides, except the 2x on the corners.
    mattjm1017 likes this.
  19. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    Corapeake NC
    Thanks dddddden ill give them a call this week.

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