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what should I do?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mattjm1017, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Corapeake NC
    What should i do in the morning when im running late and the stove top hasn't gotten up to a high enough temp to engage the cat? This has happened a few times it was around 200* this morning and I couldn't wait any longer I had to go so I went ahead and engaged the cat hoped for the best and left. Did I screw up or is this ok on occasion?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not really a good practice (tough on the cat), but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

    Maybe set the alarm for and additional 10 min. in the a.m.?
    PLAYS WITH FIRE likes this.
  3. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Right or wrong I do that all the time. There is such a temp lag through the stone, I use the pipe thermometer to judge cat engagement. At 400F suface temp on single wall pipe, the cat lights right off.
  4. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    My morning ritual:
    Up at 4:30, stove top 200-250F,house at 70-72F, stir/spread coals (1"-2" covering entire firebox floor), load wood, set draft at 4, lots of flame within 3-5 min, set draft to 1 7/8, go brush teeth etc., at 5:00 pipe temp is 350-400F (stove top temp unchanged), engage cat,set air at 0-.75, off to work.
    P.S. My wood is not fully seasoned (~23% Oak) so I give it a little extra char.
  5. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah im almost always up on time ive already got the alarm set for ten minutes early just every so often its really hard to get out of bed. Ill try not to do it again but im sure it will happen again. I guess it wont be horrible if it happens rarely. Fox9988 thats about my same routine except I done have a pipe thermometer so im going at this on the stovetop thermometer.
  6. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I've got a cat probe and a surface thermo lying on the tee snout. If I get the probe up around 1000/tee at 400-500 and hold that for ten minutes or so, cat will light.
    That's marginal. With dry wood it's a lot easier to get the temps up quickly.

    I guess a thermostat would make it easier to leave early...
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Get enough wood to carry you through next winter stashed and stacked right now. Dry wood is the key to good heating with wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017 Feeling the Heat

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    There is no thermostat in my house so ill just have to make sure im up on time. As far as wood ill be out scrounging for the next couple years ive got a goal of getting12 cords CSS so far ive got about 3/4 cord but thats going to change here soon. I done want to have to go through the struggles I've had this year again.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Matt, I know not if you have a steel cat or ceramic. With the steel, engaging at 200 stove top is usually okay. We still think it best to look at both stove top and flue. Flue needs to be 400 minimum for engaging. This is measured on single wall flue. We usually engage with flue temperatures minimum of 400 but better at 450 and we've even gone up to 500 before engaging.
  10. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    I've always relied on the cat probe to tell me what the cat was doing and when to engage. I've found on my stove if it reads 400 or better it will light right off and start climbing quickly. Seems to me that if you are using stovetop temps you are somewhat guessing as to what the cat is doing and may be wasting smoke and heat up the bypass rather than through the cat.



    To answer your original question, I don't think the occasional engaging of the cat too early will make that much difference. Mainly what we are worried about by doing this is the coating of the chambers which then covers the impregnated platinum or palladium. If this were a regular routine, I would be concerned but the occasional running late and shutting it down, I wouldn't worry in the least. Mind you, I have no expertise in this area other than reading some and critical thinking.

    I think we as a group tend to overthink a lot of these things on occasion.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  11. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    If not reloading on a nice bed of coals, I find that a couple of shorties placed N-S on the bottom helps to get things rolling quicker in the Fv.
    Depending on how dry your wood is and hot the stove is when you reload, 30 minutes may be a bit optimistic. . .

    I can't do a pipe thermometer. SS liner in masonry chimney. I put the thermometer on the appliance adapter, next to the stove's flue collar.
  12. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    I think that's a good point.
  13. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    At the risk of sounding like a Delta Bravo I'd say get your behind out of bed earlier! I'd LOVE to sleep in or just add 10 minutes to my day but I drag my doopa out of bed hours early if necessary.

    I was up at 4 am yesterday because I knew it was about 10 degrees outside and our ancient uninsulated house would be freezing if I wasn't and I don't go in to work until 8 am...

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