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Why didn't you buy a cat stove?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dafattkidd, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The cat and the burn tubes (you know, those things that are at the top of the firebox in your equinox) are the result of government regulations require cleaner burning. If "Al Gore is dancing" in one fire box, he's dancing in every EPA approved fire box.

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  2. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    Yea I know, kindof a dumb statement. But what i like about the tubes is the innovation that got rid of the cat. I believe the Enviro is about as efficient as they come... even more than a cat stove.
  3. rogerandbridget

    rogerandbridget New Member

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    Wow.......cat or non cat? either unit will perform better with the liner, and a one piece flex liner has no elbows to worry about. Downsizing from an 8" to a 6" has never been a problem in my experience. The EPA thing has done us all a great bit of good. As washington has the tougtest standards (or did) I can testify that we as dealers survived the regulations, and I even made a crusade of ridding our air shed of the pre phaseII stoves. What ever you choosed......get the education to run it right and it will serve you well for at least 30 years.......I know as almost all of the ones I installed 26 years ago are still heatoing well.....and cleanly.......but you must learn to do it right!
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I don't think that's an accurate statement.
  5. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    What came first cat or tubes?
  6. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    That's good to know. Where should I drop to 6"? Coming right off the top of the stove? This is going to make my install much easier clearance wise.
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Kinda off track here but I always wondered why the Equinox takes an 8" flue. The usable fire box is not 4cu ft, more like 3.2 which is the same size as many 6" flue stoves. Still don't know if I'd vent a 6" for it but if I did It would have to be a taller than recomended chimney.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think the cats came first when manufactures tried to clean up their old smoke dragons by placing a cat near the stove exhaust collar. This didn't work well since they were exposed to flame impingement. Later on they included baffles and screens to protect the cat but the damage was already done and tube stoves came on strong.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Follow the manufacturere's spec. If they require 8" then use it. If they allow you to reduce to a six and the collar is an 8" then they will tell you that. Don't try to outsmart the manual since people smarter than us wrote it, and then of course the legality of your installation depends on you following directions.

    Another huge reason for not getting a cat stove is selection. I can think of only one or two (BK and Buck) cat stoves that are big enough to heat an average or larger home and they are both ugly with the BK being less ugly. Buck stoves are not a national brand really. Yes there are mail order cat stoves but they are small, rated to only heat a 1600SF home.

    It isn't so much a question of whether you want a cat or not but the question becomes do you want a BK or one of the many many non-cat options available at your local dealer.
  10. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    We are all looking for the "magic bullet" in woodstove satisfaction.
    What we are neglecting to acknowledge is what I've found to be
    the two (2) most important aspects that totally "trump" the
    CAT/NON-CAT issue:

    1.) Well seasoned wood

    2.) A chimney that drafts well (the more the better)

    If I have good wood & a chimney that drafts like a bandit,
    I can make a non-cat stove behave like a cat stove, and visa-versa.
    Heck, even a generic box stove looks good against a good chimney.

    With that being said, I would say that the chimney is really what a woodstove
    operator should pay prime attention to, not the cat/non-cat thing.
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yes dry wood is key to getting the max efficiency from any kind of stove but I disagree that you can make your non cat behave like a cat stove. Non cats just let more air into a stove and the more draft from your chimney the more your non cat will suck that secondary air and shorten your burn. In my experience with both types in the same chimney there is just more control with a cat stove. Higher burn rates and BTU outputs the non cats win out but most people burn at low to med settings.
  12. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    My first stove was a non-cat and I bought it because at the time I was relying on the specifications pages given by the stove manufactures and what the sales folks at the stove shops were telling me. I couldn't really see any clear advantages in the numbers given - cat and non-cat seemed about the same in terms of how clean they burned and heat output for comparable stove size etc. I ended up buying a VC Encore NC which had the "Everburn" non-cat design which as many here know is in a class all its own. On paper it looked great - everything we wanted and a beautiful stove to boot. When presented with the cat decision by the stove shop sales force as "they all run about the same overall but the cat has parts to clean and replace" it is hard to imagine why I would want to own a cat stove. I really don't think that statement is fully accurate and is quite misleading. It is not to say that one or the other is superior; rather each has a different personality and thus different folks will have different preferences.

    Now, when I was looking for my replacement for the Encore, I was convinced to buy the cat stove for the ability to control the burn and even out the high peak temps as only a cat stove can do. It came down to the BK and the Woodstock (actually had the BK brochure in the car as we drove up to visit the WS folks and was debating the pros/cons of each). History is what it is and I am quite happy with our final decision. However I do wonder what it would be like to stick a good burn tube non-can in the same spot some day and use it for a winter just for a fair comparison... not likely to happen as it is just too much work/expense to go swapping out for the curiosity factor.
  13. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Dont down size to a 6. They require it for an adequate draft. Not to mention most likely some thermal reqs. The reason they choose an 8 was most likely due do the box design, btu output etc. It could have been that a 6in flue would have had to be too tall for it to be feasible. Thud increasing volume was the solution. Not saying this is the cause, but hearthstone didnt drop thousands upon thousands in development just to write it off later. Its like saying your dodge requires a 4in exhuast pipe, but you could get away with 3...when burning season comes around youd be back here with a why isnt my stove kicking out the heat. Like most if not all things, best to do it right, the first time.

    I kind of wish i had a cat stove, they tend to cost more, wouldnt matter since i can afford new anyways. Dont want to risk an older problematic vc or anyother older used cat stove. Right now seems theres more noncats available to me. Probably because those that have them are holding on to them. Like a cat hanging onto drapes...sorry couldnt help it
  14. rogerandbridget

    rogerandbridget New Member

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    If I may.......tell the story of an installation that taught me a lesson. It was a beach house with a 400 foot cliff above it. The home was 3 stories with a tall upper floor, the liner system was nearly 40 feet of ridged stainless 6" pipe, on the back of an avalon 996. After a month the home owner called and asked if it was "normal" to use a chord of wood in one month. My first response was to ask if he knew what chord measured...and he did. I visited the residence that afternoon and began scratching my head. After much thought I suspected that my chimney system was "overdrafting" the stove which kept the secondary combustion from operating. Long story short...I had to close down the top of the pipe so as to put back pressure on the system to slow the velocity. I accomplished this by having the client sit in front of the burning stove with the door open. Communicating through the pipe I pushed the cap down untill the top was 1/8th inch off the top of the pipe, at this point a few wisps of smoke were seen at the door opening. I backed the cap off another 1/8 inch and the problem was solved. In contrast I saw another installation of a country stove without a liner, just a block off plate. This unit was absolutely hated by it's owner until I put 16 feet of liner on it......and shocked the owner. point being.....there are parameters which must be adhered to, knowing your product and these parameters is something which only comes with experience. Find your local GURU and make friends with him/her. Feed them while they are in your home, treat them like gold as it is largely up to this person to make your system the best it can be. I support the Hearth Industry and it's installer certification program.
    With regards to cat/non cat. we are about to release a new stove which takes the best of both worlds and delivers unprecedented performance without the "temperamental aspects" of early ventures. In effect we have created a gasifier/reburner in one small package. The process is based on the kiss principle....keep it simple stupid. We use both a combustor and an air tube design we call "hybrid technology" in conjunction with two separate vortex's to create massive turbulence within the two combustion zones ensuring complete combustion at temperatures as high as 1600 deg F. in the reburner. Remember that wood combustion is complete at 1100 deg. F. And even this system can be hampered by poor draft conditions. During one test I had used flex pipe in a short run and nearly blew the top off one of the prototypes. Another thing to keep in mind is that wood was used to power vehicles during WWII as gasoline was hard to get. This stuff is very powerful and should be handled by a professional or a well educated do it yourselfer. The down side is that fire has no conscious, feelings, and does not care about your safety....it only consumes. Own and control your fire or it will own you.
  15. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    I am doing that this year and will update my thread through out the fall and winter. I installed the T6 this spring in where most people with a CAT stove will say it is the hardest time of the year to run a non cat because you don't have enough control however I really didn't notice any difference in my burn times or the amount of times I had to restart my stove compared to my Dutchwest XL. The only thing I noticed was the temperature of the living room got a couple of degrees higher in the middle of the burn cycle than it did with the Dutchwest. I partially think the only reason the temps got slightly higher was because the T6 radiates a lot more heat than the Dutchwest (especially with the huge glass window in the front :) )
  16. rogerandbridget

    rogerandbridget New Member

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    One needs to be comfortable with their purchase. I am still after 26 years not convinced that there is one product which will make everyone happy, but the idea that the cat is superior just doesn't ring true when you spend 26 years cleaning the same chimneys year after year. I also monitored fuel usage and didn't find the average consumer got any different economy than the other. Just remember the most important factor, the uncertified units of old were dumping 60+ grams of particulates/hour. Today both cat and non cat are below 4 grams, some below 2.5.......so where the finish line? In some regards, who cares? As long as this is attainable in the field. Attaining this lie's much more in the use habits than the technology.
  17. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    What manufacture is this? More details please.
  18. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    I guess with my first stove non-cat (Englander 30) was because quite honestly........the price!

    Second was the performance for the price that everyone spoke of on this forum.

    I already had about 5 cord of white ash that had been cut/split/stacked for a few years. (split way to small) :roll:

    My Dad's and Grandparent's stoves were non-cat so.......

    I really didn't know that much about being a "Wood-Geek" until I came here looking for answers in Oct 2007.

    So fast forward to 2010 and after a few years of burning, reading this forum, a remodel, and saving up some duckets led me to the cat stove.

    And once you go CAT you never go back......... :lol:
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    My first stove was the Vigilant. Bought it because it was cheap, reviews stated it put out a ton of heat, and it was cheap. We couldn't rationalize spending more than a few hundred dollars on a stove when we did not know what to expect out of it.

    So, not only did I not get a cat stove, mine didn't even have burn tubes.
  20. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    Excellent reading. Definitely learning a lot. I had no intention of going 6" on my 8" Equinox. I was just playing devils advocate in a sneaky way. I wanted some backup before I said anything. I'm not an experienced burner but I knew going with 6" when the manufacturer says 8" is not a good thing. I'm sure it can be made to work but I'm not trying it. Back to my post where I said I was working with a fellow with over 30 years experience... it's really not so easy to find this local "expert". At first I trusted what this guy was saying until he said the 6" flue thing and the block off plate for the insert. Heck I called a well known stove shop in Phoenixville, Pa asking if they had any Micore. They never heard of it and asked me what I needed it for. These are seasoned wood stove professionals. I said for a hearth pad. He said you don't need that. Just use some cement board and some tile and you'll be fine. You know what, he's probably right but I would rather go by the manufacturer's spec.

    Here's another one. There's a coal stove made by the Amish.. you all know which one I'm talking about. You can't burn wood in it. But buy the same stove in Canada and they change the label... you can burn wood.
  21. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Fallopian tubes of course!

    :cheese:

    Ray
  22. rogerandbridget

    rogerandbridget New Member

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    Hello Todd......Thanks for asking. The manufacturer you ask about is my wife and I. We invented this unit after 26 yrs. selling/installing/maintaining all forms of residential bio mass stoves. The wood stove in question is called the Kimberly and is the first of several stove we will offer globally. you can view our unfinished web site, and or see our profile for a picture....however be forewarned that the pic is of the last prototype, not the finished unit. We eagerly await the august 24th release date, and being abet to fill orders some of which are a year old.
    The stove weight 55 lbs, measures 10" in diameter and is 30 " tall. It is basically a two stage process where the bottom fire box serves as a gasifier, and the upper part of the stove is a reburner, burning the gasses at temperatures of up to 1600 deg f. It was designed originally for use on the boat we were living on at the time in the cold and wet Seattle winter. We are able to get up to 12 hours (easy 10) on one load of fuel....depending on type of fuel and draft settings. The stove is made completely of stainless steel for use with salt water drift wood, charcoal, and coal. The best part is the lack of smoke from the chimney....just heat plume, and not even much of that.
    Thanks for asking!!!
  23. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    No whats it called i assume maybe one my parents had...name?
  24. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    DS Machine

    These aren't old stoves. They are new... you can buy them now.

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