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What is this for (part of insert)...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DeanBrown3D, Oct 18, 2006.

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  1. DeanBrown3D

    DeanBrown3D New Member

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    Loc:
    Princeton, NJ
    I believe this is a cat at the back of the fireplace insert. I also have a couple of cast iron plates that overhang this, but they were not on there when I bought the house, and I have never used them.

    What am I supposed to do with this? Do I shut off the top damper once its hot and all the smoke will go through the cat? Do I need the extra plates?

    Also, anyone know what make this is? I heard its a heat-o-later or something.

    Thanks for any help,

    DeanB.

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  2. DeanBrown3D

    DeanBrown3D New Member

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    Here's another pic from farther away:

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  3. DeanBrown3D

    DeanBrown3D New Member

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    Here's another pic from farther away:

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  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Vermont Castings Winterwarm insert - you can get a manual for it at the VC web site.

    Yes, there is a cat inside the back wall. When the stove is going well and the damper is closed, the smoke goes through the cat for much better efficiency. Some Forum members have this stove - Mo Heat, for one (moderator) - although he has not been online a lot lately. PM him if he or another WW owner does not help out here.

    Also search the forum for winterwarm - between that and the manual you should be set.
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    you have a VC winter warm insert I suggest tou go to VCC web site and download the manual. The pieces missing are vital to that stove opperation it should not be opperated without then You are correct there is a cat bombustor again your manual will tell you that it needs to be cleaned and inspected. judging for the front grate that insert has seen some over firing. This is common with these stoves if the door gasket needs replacement or latch neede to be adjusted tighter. We commonly employ the dollar bill test.
    Close the door on a dollar bill t you should feel resistance to pulling it out. you have to re-position it allround the door to check for the seal not just one place. It is also common to unse the next size up gasket from 1/2" to 58/ to 3/4" if replacing then adjusting the door latch. Like I said it is typical the door gasket leaks. Part is the design of using 5 cast pieces to comprise the door seal
  6. DeanBrown3D

    DeanBrown3D New Member

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    Well thanks for the help here! I got the manaul, and run the fire as it's supposed to be run (with the damper closed), and I'm probably burning only 1/3 of the amount of wood I usually burn, and more heat too. The cat is glowing bright orange for a while after I put in new wood.

    Are the cats supposed to glow all the time, or only on adding new wood?

    Cheers!

    Dean
  7. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Wow, that stove (VC Winter Warm Large) has been seriously over fired! I can't imagine the degree of heat it would take to melt that front cast iron wood-coals/log retaining grate, but I guarantee it was HOT!

    You should probably put the cat cowl back on if you have it. That is part of the design. Or at least contact VC and ask if it's ok to burn without it.

    I wonder if your variable speed fans are working? You really need these to prevent the heat from accumulating in the unit. Do you use them?

    As far as the cat glowing... I've never actually seen my cat since the cowl obscures the view, but I suspect that once it gets hot it glows until it cools off. So basically it starts glowing after you engage it and it lights off and probably keeps glowing as long as you keep fuel in there.

    You need to study a bit on cat usage. They are typically damaged when they are hot (glowing I guess if you don't have a cat thermometer like me) and you put a fresh load of relatively cool (< 500*F) wood in there and quickly close the damper. *POP*. Time for a new cat. So let your stove burn about 1/2 to 1 hour before initially engaging the cat to prevent smoke fouling and then let each new load char and start burning (2 to 10 minutes depending on how dry and hard your wood is) to prevent cat shock (POP).

    You might seriously consider replacing your gaskets if they look old. I like elkimmeg's advice about the next size up. Good luck, and let us know what happens.
  8. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Halifax, VA
    To answer one question, yes the cat combustor will glow. In my dutchwest you can lift the lid and take a peak at the combustor while she's firing.
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