2019-20 Blaze King Performance Thread Part 1 (Everything BK)

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
589
NW Ontario
I have the same stove model. Roughly the same amount of years on it. This may be the fifth. Very similar months of 24/7 burning each year. I bought a replacement cat through my dealer this fall after feeling that the original was off in performance. While I waited for it to arrive I let the stove go completely out. Cleaned her out nicely including my pipe. While I was at it I vac'd the face and the rear of the original cat carefully (normal procedure while cleaning my pipe/stove). On a whim I went to town and grabbed a can of compressed air for cleaning electronics etc. Blew out the cat from the front as I had re installed my pipe by then. Figured I had a new cat en route. Why not. Huge cat performance difference. . My new cat is sitting in it's package on a shelf. True story.

If you have not adjusted your door tension I would. Mine had gotten very loose.
I second this sentiment - i blew out my cat with some air, and it is a whole new cat. Definitely noticed a difference in performance immediately, specifically less smoke out the chimney. Worth doin for sure.
 

Kwehme09

Member
Sep 7, 2011
64
Northern N.H.
Have you tied cleaning the combustor?
1) Compressed air can to blow out combustor?
2) Deep cleaning involving removal, distilled water and vinegar?

The place to purchase an OEM combustor is either through a dealer of our products of www.firecatcombustors.com
However, you can purchase from any source you prefer.
I have blown it out a few times. We did at an OAK towards the beginning of this season, which maybe has increased fly ash and clogging? We've tightened the door gasket.

It's taking longer to come up to temperature, and not staying at a temperature nearly as long. The stove is going through wood a lot faster, but our temperatures don't seem to be any higher. It's been feeling less like a Blaze King and more like an ordinary woodstove lately.
 

Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
101
Jackson MS
Then it may really have arrived at the end of it's usable life. I heard that the cats last about 10,000hrs, so if the stove is on more than 2000hrs a year, it probably is.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,174
Iowa
I have blown it out a few times. We did at an OAK towards the beginning of this season, which maybe has increased fly ash and clogging? We've tightened the door gasket.

It's taking longer to come up to temperature, and not staying at a temperature nearly as long. The stove is going through wood a lot faster, but our temperatures don't seem to be any higher. It's been feeling less like a Blaze King and more like an ordinary woodstove lately.
Might be worth blowing out again if it's been a stretch. Otherwise as BKVP mentioned the removal and vinegar/distilled h20 routine may be worth a shot.

Surely a brandy new hot to go cat will shine however!
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I have blown it out a few times. We did at an OAK towards the beginning of this season, which maybe has increased fly ash and clogging? We've tightened the door gasket.

It's taking longer to come up to temperature, and not staying at a temperature nearly as long. The stove is going through wood a lot faster, but our temperatures don't seem to be any higher. It's been feeling less like a Blaze King and more like an ordinary woodstove lately.
Did you check bypass seal?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
Otherwise as BKVP mentioned the removal and vinegar/distilled h20 routine may be worth a shot.
Note that this is not a completely trivial thing you’re going to accomplish in ten minutes. To me, the cost of a new cat is well worth the time I save on not boiling my cat in vinegar, and either stinking up my house or standing over a Weber grill cooking a vat of hot vinegar mid-winter.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
Note that this is not a completely trivial thing you’re going to accomplish in ten minutes. To me, the cost of a new cat is well worth the time I save on not boiling my cat in vinegar, and either stinking up my house or standing over a Weber grill cooking a vat of hot vinegar mid-winter.
You can just use a spray bottle, or I guess you could submerge and soak it without boiling. I sprayed it last time but it's hard to thoroughly soak the insides of all the cells.
It seemed to help some, but I just slapped in a new ceramic a couple nights ago..
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,195
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Note that this is not a completely trivial thing you’re going to accomplish in ten minutes. To me, the cost of a new cat is well worth the time I save on not boiling my cat in vinegar, and either stinking up my house or standing over a Weber grill cooking a vat of hot vinegar mid-winter.
Agree. I've done the vinegar bath and it took a lot of time, effort, stink, and even cost. It did help renew cat activity for a couple of months and then I was right back to a dead cat. These things wear out. The more likely maintenance that will get results in unclogging a clogged cat. If that doesn't do it, these cats are only a couple hundred bucks and super easy to replace.

Then it may really have arrived at the end of it's usable life. I heard that the cats last about 10,000hrs, so if the stove is on more than 2000hrs a year, it probably is.
Full time burning is over 700 hours per month. You'll blow that 12000 hours in 17 months of full time burning, which is only 2-3 years for many of us. I'm on cat #4 and have been averaging closer to 2 years with my 9 month long burning season.

It's taking longer to come up to temperature, and not staying at a temperature nearly as long. The stove is going through wood a lot faster, but our temperatures don't seem to be any higher. It's been feeling less like a Blaze King and more like an ordinary woodstove lately.
This, plus visible smoke during the burn, is a really good description of a worn out dead cat. It is easy and painless to verify that the old cat is not clogged, that the flue system including cap is clear, and that your fuel is still 20% or drier, but you've gotten 4 years of full time burning out of it which is excellent. Treat yourself to a fresh cat!
 
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Frs

New Member
Using a BlazeKing Princess, as long as the CAT thermometer is in the ACTIVE zone and that gases are going through the CAT, there is basically no creosote sticking to the chimney and there is a minimal quantity of particles escaping through the chimney? The flue thermometer is irrelevant. Thanks, Francois
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,479
South Puget Sound, WA
Using a BlazeKing Princess, as long as the CAT thermometer is in the ACTIVE zone and that gases are going through the CAT, there is basically no creosote sticking to the chimney and there is a minimal quantity of particles escaping through the chimney? The flue thermometer is irrelevant. Thanks, Francois
That is an incorrect assumption. No stove burns the smoke completely, even though it may not be visible. There are other factors that can cool down flue gases and cause condensation in the flue. Also, a failing or declining cat can still be active, but passing a fair amount of gases and sometimes smoke up the chimney.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,195
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
That is an incorrect assumption. No stove burns the smoke completely, even though it may not be visible. There are other factors that can cool down flue gases and cause condensation in the flue. Also, a failing or declining cat can still be active, but passing a fair amount of gases and sometimes smoke up the chimney.
Good answer. My experience is that the chimney actually gets dirtier with the princess than it did heating the same home with a modern noncat.
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
330
Long Island, ny
Doing a quick sweep today. The shield that is on the top of the fire box, under the cat, the ceiling if you will. It was loose and rattling. The 7/16 bolt would just spin. I was able to get the other one off. Slid a wrench in to hold the other side. It’s broke! Can I run without that shield? I don’t have interam gasket so I don’t wanna pull the cat to see if I can access the bolt.
C57034C4-8D3F-4440-A14F-5842A745ED82.jpeg
 

chazcarr

Minister of Fire
Jan 22, 2012
562
Southbury, CT
Does anyone know if they stopped making Steelcats for the Blazeking Princess inserts? I can't find them anywhere.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,699
Ottawa, ON
Does anyone know if they stopped making Steelcats for the Blazeking Princess inserts? I can't find them anywhere.
Amazon 331.00
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,699
Ottawa, ON
That's canadian dollars right?, much cheaper in USD.
I believe this was USD. I went to the .com site not the .ca site. The ceramic cat was 209.00 usd. Massive swing that surprised me a bit.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,727
Philadelphia
That's canadian dollars right?, much cheaper in USD.
Note the seller. Amazon is rarely the cheapest option, usually very far from it. But they sure are convenient. I have spent over $15k at Amazon every year for the last five years, or more.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I have run steel and ceramic in my Princess insert. I liked both fine.

I would say that if I was the only operator, I'd probably save the $50 and get ceramic. If my wife was running the stove sometimes, I'd get steel just for the thermal shock resistance.

On a day in day out basis, burning 24x7, they do not seem very different. I do have the impression that at the end of its service life, the steel cat is worse at low burns than the ceramic one was towards the end of its life, which makes sense, but I don't have any actual data to back that up.

I am on year 2 with the steel cat now, and it is really falling off in performance. A new cat every 2 years seems to be my speed, unfortunately. (2 years is roughly 11k hours for me.)

For the end of this season I am going to pull the cat and give it a quick vinegar/distilled water rinse every time it gets cool enough and see if that helps it out any.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
For the end of this season I am going to pull the cat and give it a quick vinegar/distilled water rinse every time it gets cool enough and see if that helps it out any.
I doubt it'll be any different than just soaking it good, just once.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,195
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I believe this was USD. I went to the .com site not the .ca site. The ceramic cat was 209.00 usd. Massive swing that surprised me a bit.
Ceramic is 209 and steel is still 249. Just as it was when I bought my current cat in January.

Amazon product
For the record, I got significantly less life from the steel cat than the ceramics so I buy the cheaper ceramic. I'm on the two year plan as well. For me, the cost of these cats is recovered 3-4 times over in wood savings .

Oh and the vinegar boil got me a couple of months extra but was a PITA.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,699
Ottawa, ON
Ceramic is 209 and steel is still 249. Just as it was when I bought my current cat in January.

Amazon product
For the record, I got significantly less life from the steel cat than the ceramics so I buy the cheaper ceramic and am perfectly happy. I'm on the two year plan as well. For me, the cost of these cats is recovered 3-4 times over in wood savings .

Oh and the vinegar boil got me a couple of months extra but was a PITA.
Amazon must’ve switched me to the CAD site in order to quote 331.00 makes sense now. Thanks
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Ceramic is 209 and steel is still 249. Just as it was when I bought my current cat in January.

For the record, I got significantly less life from the steel cat than the ceramics so I buy the cheaper ceramic. I'm on the two year plan as well. For me, the cost of these cats is recovered 3-4 times over in wood savings .

Oh and the vinegar boil got me a couple of months extra but was a PITA.
If the point of the vinegar is to unmask the catalyst by dissolving .mineral depositation, what does the boiling really get you? I had similar results when I boiled my ceramic one (I was initially pleased but I got a new cat a couple months later anyway).

Also, some of those sellers' claims are copy pasted off of Condar's website. Others are not...

SmartSelect_20200310-222457_Firefox.jpg
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,699
Ottawa, ON
Cats do not like baths, period. Some dogs do.....
 
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