2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
772
Eastern Long Island NY
I wonder if those 4 units where the clock went backwards have any collector valve
Sure, if you want to pay double for them, I might expect those owners are willing to sell them to you :p
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I wonder if those 4 units where the clock went backwards have any collector valve
No...but what would you be willing to pay for one?
 
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Holiday

Burning Hunk
Feb 18, 2013
231
Saskatchewan, Canada
I have focused to much on the best hardwoods (white oak, hickory, beech) this winter not realizing that I may need some softer woods.
Yes it's interesting, I also now burn the softer stuff in cold weather and keep the better stuff for the warmer weather.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
932
Western Washington
I’ve skipped a couple night reloads and it was interesting ( to me ha ha) there’s like one side that never burnes the next morning. Basically a 20 hour burn ( or non burn). House is still 69. The pieces left are weightless and basically crush into pieces. Probably going to skip the reload again tonight so I can get a good full load in the am. What an awesome stove
 
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patrickoneal

Member
Jan 25, 2017
84
Virginia
I installed my Blaze King Princess insert in the middle of the winter in 2017, and it's burned well until recently. I've always used wood that's seasoned at least a year, if not two.

Recently, I've been able to start the stove and get the cat into the active zone in a reasonable amount of time, but the needle doesn't climb nearly as high as it used to. I try to gradually cut the air and blower speed down after establishing a fire and engaging the cat, but on lower thermostat settings the cat often falls out of the active range unless I turn the blower off completely. I've also been getting a bit of smoke odor in the house which has never happened in previous winters.

Because of these issues, I'm having to run higher t-stat settings with visible flames and I'm burning up a lot of wood without getting the same heat that I used to. The cat does glow at times, so I don't think it's completely failed. The door passes the "dollar bill" test in all but one spot where I can pull it out with a firm tug. It's certainly not loose.

Should I definitely be looking to replace the cat or is there something else I should consider?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,720
South Puget Sound, WA
Should I definitely be looking to replace the cat or is there something else I should consider?
First, check the cat to make sure it's not getting plugged with ash.
How many hours would you estimate are on the cat? If it is approaching 10,000hrs it may be nearing end of life.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,802
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I installed my Blaze King Princess insert in the middle of the winter in 2017, and it's burned well until recently. I've always used wood that's seasoned at least a year, if not two.

Recently, I've been able to start the stove and get the cat into the active zone in a reasonable amount of time, but the needle doesn't climb nearly as high as it used to. I try to gradually cut the air and blower speed down after establishing a fire and engaging the cat, but on lower thermostat settings the cat often falls out of the active range unless I turn the blower off completely. I've also been getting a bit of smoke odor in the house which has never happened in previous winters.

Because of these issues, I'm having to run higher t-stat settings with visible flames and I'm burning up a lot of wood without getting the same heat that I used to. The cat does glow at times, so I don't think it's completely failed. The door passes the "dollar bill" test in all but one spot where I can pull it out with a firm tug. It's certainly not loose.

Should I definitely be looking to replace the cat or is there something else I should consider?
How much have you burned? Cats don’t die from old age but from hours of active time. I burn a lot and only get two seasons put of mine.

Verify that the cat is not plugged up and that your flue system including cap is clean. Then verify that your fuel is 20% or lower.

Is it smoking?

Cats are cheap. When in doubt, swap it out. 200$ shipped.
 

Holiday

Burning Hunk
Feb 18, 2013
231
Saskatchewan, Canada
I didn’t notice you were from up north. In USD I have mine shipped from Amazon for 200$. Not sure about loonies.
Don't need one yet but was in the stove store the other day and asked how much, 480 was the answer lol. Be checking Amazon
 

NorthernLight

New Member
Feb 17, 2021
4
Yukon
Hi gang. Anyone have some comparison shots of the king vs a princess? Maybe from a showroom? Trying to gauge the size difference and it’s hard to get a consistent bearing.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I installed my Blaze King Princess insert in the middle of the winter in 2017, and it's burned well until recently. I've always used wood that's seasoned at least a year, if not two.

Recently, I've been able to start the stove and get the cat into the active zone in a reasonable amount of time, but the needle doesn't climb nearly as high as it used to. I try to gradually cut the air and blower speed down after establishing a fire and engaging the cat, but on lower thermostat settings the cat often falls out of the active range unless I turn the blower off completely. I've also been getting a bit of smoke odor in the house which has never happened in previous winters.

Because of these issues, I'm having to run higher t-stat settings with visible flames and I'm burning up a lot of wood without getting the same heat that I used to. The cat does glow at times, so I don't think it's completely failed. The door passes the "dollar bill" test in all but one spot where I can pull it out with a firm tug. It's certainly not loose.

Should I definitely be looking to replace the cat or is there something else I should consider?
What brand of moisture meter do you own and please describe how you take your readings....
 

mewop

New Member
Nov 19, 2020
12
NC
Would you ever use a bit of compressed air to clean your cat? I could see vacuuming not getting very much from the back half of the cat and debris getting stuck to it. I assume you would not use 100psi, but rather a spray can with puffs of air to mobilize it off the cat.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,680
Iowa
Would you ever use a bit of compressed air to clean your cat? I could see vacuuming not getting very much from the back half of the cat and debris getting stuck to it. I assume you would not use 100psi, but rather a spray can with puffs of air to mobilize it off the cat.
Pull your connector pipe and vac the cat from the rear as well as the front. You can also use the canned compressed air for cleaning electronics etc. Rather rare that using a vac front and back wont do it in my experience.
 

patrickoneal

Member
Jan 25, 2017
84
Virginia
What brand of moisture meter do you own and please describe how you take your readings....
I have this one:

Amazon product
I don't particularly trust it, so I don't really use it. If I was going to use it, I would re-split a piece and test the freshly exposed interior. I try to age my wood at least a year after stacking, but I prefer to go two years. I might be doing it wrong, but if the wood is overly heavy, hard to start, and a lot of water boils out of the end grain when starting, I assume it's too wet. I'm not experiencing any of that, but I'll find some time to split and test a piece anyway.

It's finally going to warm up here next week, so I may just stop burning until next season and see how the wood burns with another summer of seasoning. I'll acquire a new cat in the meantime so I can swap it out if it continues to perform poorly this fall.
 

patrickoneal

Member
Jan 25, 2017
84
Virginia
How much have you burned? Cats don’t die from old age but from hours of active time. I burn a lot and only get two seasons put of mine.

Verify that the cat is not plugged up and that your flue system including cap is clean. Then verify that your fuel is 20% or lower.

Is it smoking?

Cats are cheap. When in doubt, swap it out. 200$ shipped.
It's definitely smoking some, as I can smell it indoors. I'm sure the neighbors can as well.

I'll make a visual inspection of the cat and test the moisture in the wood.

I burned extensively in the winters of 2018 and 2019 with the goal of keeping my natural gas boiler from firing. The shoulder seasons are quite long here, so much of it was burning on low sometimes without the blower on while I was at work. I'd only really let it burn out when we'd get the odd warm day so I could remove a bucket full of ashes. These days I have to burn at such a high setting that it's impossible to keep it going like that.
 
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showrguy

Feeling the Heat
Aug 2, 2015
499
Marysville, Pa.
Hi gang. Anyone have some comparison shots of the king vs a princess? Maybe from a showroom? Trying to gauge the size difference and it’s hard to get a consistent bearing.
What are you looking for ??
I could measure each of mine, or you can go to BK’s website for actual dimensions..
 

NorthernLight

New Member
Feb 17, 2021
4
Yukon
What are you looking for ??
I could measure each of mine, or you can go to BK’s website for actual dimensions..
I'm trying to find a side by side shot of them, and wouldn't ask you to drag one next to the other, obviously! Would you mind taking a photo of something like a cereal box beside each of them for visual reference? I've got the measurements from the BK site but just looking for a visual point of reference for how much of a beast the king is over the princess.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
772
Eastern Long Island NY
I have this one:

Amazon product
I don't particularly trust it, so I don't really use it. If I was going to use it, I would re-split a piece and test the freshly exposed interior. I try to age my wood at least a year after stacking, but I prefer to go two years. I might be doing it wrong, but if the wood is overly heavy, hard to start, and a lot of water boils out of the end grain when starting, I assume it's too wet. I'm not experiencing any of that, but I'll find some time to split and test a piece anyway.

It's finally going to warm up here next week, so I may just stop burning until next season and see how the wood burns with another summer of seasoning. I'll acquire a new cat in the meantime so I can swap it out if it continues to perform poorly this fall.
You say "if a lot of water boils out". My mode is that if ANY wet spot (let alone bubbling) appears on the cut ends of the splits then they are not dry enough. Long Iive N/S loading - allows to view this...

I have the same moisture meter and it works well; below 18% and zero wet spots appear. 20% and an occasional 1/4-1/2" spot appears. Bubbling utterly disqualifies wood for a BK, imHo.
Measure after the split has been in the home for 24 hrs minimum to get to room temp, or you'll measure a lower mc value than is actually in the wood.

One year of seasoning may work for pine, cherry, but most others won't be good enough.
 
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patrickoneal

Member
Jan 25, 2017
84
Virginia
You say "if a lot of water boils out". My mode is that if ANY wet spot (let alone bubbling) appears on the cut ends of the splits then they are not dry enough. Long Iive N/S loading - allows to view this...

I have the same moisture meter and it works well; below 18% and zero wet spots appear. 20% and an occasional 1/4-1/2" spot appears. Bubbling utterly disqualifies wood for a BK, imHo.
Measure after the split has been in the home for 24 hrs minimum to get to room temp, or you'll measure a lower mc value than is actually in the wood.

One year of seasoning may work for pine, cherry, but most others won't be good enough.
I finished burning two year old cherry last year and it was excellent. This is one year old pecan and not so great(or the cat is failing, or both). I've got a wagon full of wood inside my garage, and I'll test a piece if I can put my hands on the moisture meter. Thank you for the advice.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
772
Eastern Long Island NY
I finished burning two year old cherry last year and it was excellent. This is one year old pecan and not so great(or the cat is failing, or both). I've got a wagon full of wood inside my garage, and I'll test a piece if I can put my hands on the moisture meter. Thank you for the advice.
That'll work, if your garage is 60 (65) F or higher. If it is like mine (barely reaching 50), it might still be off by a bit.
 
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John Galt

Member
Oct 22, 2019
99
W Montana
Outside dimensions of the square crates are 32.5" and 34" Two for level on top and 5 gal bucket for reference. The pedestals aren't on but I measured and the height is pretty close.

I never looked at these side by side, the Princess looks cute. It will tuck into that corner behind it without overwhelming the area. The King is set for an open area where the size won't dominate the surroundings.




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