2021-2022 BK everything thread

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BKinger

Member
Nov 11, 2018
13
NL, Canada
You can make a dead cat glow if you crank up the thermostat high enough. When running at lower or regular settings, is the chimney smoking? A little white stuff?

Cats only last 10-12k hours. Some of us burn that much in two years. I’ve never had one last for 4!
10-12k? really? thats not long. I burn from Oct to June so that's a couple of years for me as well. I was thinking my wood (softwood) was too dry but i don't think you can have wood that is too dry. Gonna have to visit the dealership and see about a new Cat, hopefully under warranty. Thanks guys.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,532
07462
10-12k? really? thats not long. I burn from Oct to June so that's a couple of years for me as well. I was thinking my wood (softwood) was too dry but i don't think you can have wood that is too dry. Gonna have to visit the dealership and see about a new Cat, hopefully under warranty. Thanks guys.
A good test to see if your cat is worn is to load the stove up, get a good char and make sure the cat probe is within the active range, turn the t-stat to 3 o'clock and then wait, the cat probe should rise to noon, if it gets to noon on a full load and holds then your good to go, if it gets to noon then falls to the inactive / active line while the are large coals or even pieces of wood burning then the cat is shot.
Also when you change your cat, clean the chimney, let the whole system start off fresh. btw I also burn from sometime in Nov - sometime in April and I only get 2.5 burning seasons out of my cat before it needs to be changed, for the ashford free standing stove a ceramic cat will work just fine and they are slightly cheaper then steel ones.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
10-12k? really? thats not long. I burn from Oct to June so that's a couple of years for me as well. I was thinking my wood (softwood) was too dry but i don't think you can have wood that is too dry. Gonna have to visit the dealership and see about a new Cat, hopefully under warranty. Thanks guys.

I burn softwood that is very dry too. 9 month burn season and wood is 100% of our heat so I go through cats.

The best sign for me was white smoke at medium or lower settings and having to use higher settings just to stay warm. You should have nothing but a blue haze occasionally when burning dry softwoods.

Your first cat has a replacement warranty from BK. Use it and then plan on new cats every 10-12k hours. You will love the improvement with a new cat if yours is dead.
 
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BKinger

Member
Nov 11, 2018
13
NL, Canada
A good test to see if your cat is worn is to load the stove up, get a good char and make sure the cat probe is within the active range, turn the t-stat to 3 o'clock and then wait, the cat probe should rise to noon, if it gets to noon on a full load and holds then your good to go, if it gets to noon then falls to the inactive / active line while the are large coals or even pieces of wood burning then the cat is shot.
Also when you change your cat, clean the chimney, let the whole system start off fresh. btw I also burn from sometime in Nov - sometime in April and I only get 2.5 burning seasons out of my cat before it needs to be changed, for the ashford free standing stove a ceramic cat will work just fine and they are slightly cheaper then steel ones.
I'll give this a try when I reload in the morning...
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Really? I had the impression that cats were consumable items. Sure, if it's defective and only lasts 1000 hrs, but after 10k hours I really don't see it as a warranty case as the cat obviously did its job.

That’s fine of course but BK chose to provide you a 10 year warranty not based on hours. Why they did this and why they chose years instead of hours is beyond me but you paid for it so feel free to use your warranty per the terms.

I find any warranty or even talk that includes “years” of cat life to be illogical. Then again, these things don’t have hour meters! Other brands have similar catalyst warranties, perhaps this was a business decision in order to improve competitiveness.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,532
07462
That’s fine of course but BK chose to provide you a 10 year warranty not based on hours. Why they did this and why they chose years instead of hours is beyond me but you paid for it so feel free to use your warranty per the terms.

I find any warranty or even talk that includes “years” of cat life to be illogical. Then again, these things don’t have hour meters! Other brands have similar catalyst warranties, perhaps this was a business decision in order to improve competitiveness.
EPA mandate is 8 years for every stove that’s certified
 

BKinger

Member
Nov 11, 2018
13
NL, Canada
A good test to see if your cat is worn is to load the stove up, get a good char and make sure the cat probe is within the active range, turn the t-stat to 3 o'clock and then wait, the cat probe should rise to noon, if it gets to noon on a full load and holds then your good to go, if it gets to noon then falls to the inactive / active line while the are large coals or even pieces of wood burning then the cat is shot.
Also when you change your cat, clean the chimney, let the whole system start off fresh. btw I also burn from sometime in Nov - sometime in April and I only get 2.5 burning seasons out of my cat before it needs to be changed, for the ashford free standing stove a ceramic cat will work just fine and they are slightly cheaper then steel ones.
Kennyp, it would not hold position when thermo was set to 3:00 so I think this is last bit of confirmation I need that the Cat is burnt. I'll head to my dealer tomorrow to see about getting a new one under warranty. Thanks everyone again.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Kennyp, it would not hold position when thermo was set to 3:00 so I think this is last bit of confirmation I need that the Cat is burnt. I'll head to my dealer tomorrow to see about getting a new one under warranty. Thanks everyone again.

If, for some reason, you are asked to pay for it you should know that replacement cats are available through Amazon for about half the retail price. They are super easy to replace. It’s not a failure, these things just wear out in a predictable manner.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,532
07462
If, for some reason, you are asked to pay for it you should know that replacement cats are available through Amazon for about half the retail price. They are super easy to replace. It’s not a failure, these things just wear out in a predictable manner.
Great point Canada has different rules... I'll elaborate on my 1st message, the epa before certifying wants a locked in emission rate of X amount of time (hourly on a unit) with wood stoves its figured 8 years on a single cat to have emissions at or below the 2012 rate, BK extended the warrantee to 10 years because they took an average of all their customers and figured maybe 15 - 25% of us are hard core and within the US, the rest of the owners are either batch burners or out of country, either way us people here on this website are the anomaly and not in a bad way either.
BTW the US clean air warrantee extends to your personal car or truck, that is also 8 yrs worth of driving, so if your past warrantee but not over 8 years or 80k miles and have emissions issues take the vehicle back to the dealer, they dont want to hear it but the law is vehicles up to 8 years or 80k miles are covered for clean air standards by the dealer / manufacture.
 
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sprawlnstall

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
197
Minnesota
Looking for input from anyone who has had a princess and a non-cat stove. The princess is a great stove but just a little undersized for me, I'm often running it wide open or waking up to a 55 degree house. I'm considering a PE Alderlea T6, Englander NC30, or Drolet HT300. I'm open to other options also. Currently I can get a good 8 hour burn with the princess when the temps are around 0. Once it dips below zero the stove struggles. Can I expect something better from a non cat stove? The princess will be missed in the shoulder season.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Looking for input from anyone who has had a princess and a non-cat stove. The princess is a great stove but just a little undersized for me, I'm often running it wide open or waking up to a 55 degree house. I'm considering a PE Alderlea T6, Englander NC30, or Drolet HT300. I'm open to other options also. Currently I can get a good 8 hour burn with the princess when the temps are around 0. Once it dips below zero the stove struggles. Can I expect something better from a non cat stove? The princess will be missed in the shoulder season.
@bholler has similar observations and personal experience with a lot of stoves. Hope he responds.
I'm puzzled as many folks in Canada and Alaska are happy with their BKs. So, for our education (not to change your mind!), what is your chimney height? (Too much draft could result in what you see, have you measured that?)
 

sprawlnstall

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
197
Minnesota
@bholler has similar observations and personal experience with a lot of stoves. Hope he responds.
I'm puzzled as many folks in Canada and Alaska are happy with their BKs. So, for our education (not to change your mind!), what is your chimney height? (Too much draft could result in what you see, have you measured that?)
My Chimney is 23 feet tall, The stove seems to be working great The princess is a great Stove but for my needs I'm asking too much out of it. I'm not sure if a non cat stove would even be better, just looking for someone who has a similar situation. My house is around 2600 square feet, I need a stove that can push more btu than a princess and still get an 8 hour burn.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
My Chimney is 23 feet tall, The stove seems to be working great The princess is a great Stove but for my needs I'm asking too much out of it. I'm not sure if a non cat stove would even be better, just looking for someone who has a similar situation. My house is around 2600 square feet, I need a stove that can push more btu than a princess and still get an 8 hour burn.
Lopi Liberty could be a contender in your list too.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Looking for input from anyone who has had a princess and a non-cat stove. The princess is a great stove but just a little undersized for me, I'm often running it wide open or waking up to a 55 degree house. I'm considering a PE Alderlea T6, Englander NC30, or Drolet HT300. I'm open to other options also. Currently I can get a good 8 hour burn with the princess when the temps are around 0. Once it dips below zero the stove struggles. Can I expect something better from a non cat stove? The princess will be missed in the shoulder season.

I am currently burning both a princess and an nc30.

If you have to run the princess wide open to stay warm then it is undersized for your needs on that particular day. It's not a reflection on the stove but of your heating demand. You have to then choose if you want to get a higher output stove for that one day in exchange for an oversized stove the rest of the year. Perhaps you want to just run the furnace to help on that cold day and then enjoy the longer burn times the rest of the year.

Many of us are lucky enough that the range of outputs from the princess matches the range of heat demand from our particular home. Even in Alaska this can happen.
 

jdonna

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2008
290
mn
My Chimney is 23 feet tall, The stove seems to be working great The princess is a great Stove but for my needs I'm asking too much out of it. I'm not sure if a non cat stove would even be better, just looking for someone who has a similar situation. My house is around 2600 square feet, I need a stove that can push more btu than a princess and still get an 8 hour burn.
Do you have a way to measure stack temps? I’ve got 25 feet of stack and we just went through another period of -10 to -22 below zero with the princess.

I’ve had non cats and another brand cat stove in the past and any wind or sub zero temps were a night mare worrying about over firing and or stack temps too high. Let’s not even get into blowing through the firewood in the box.

Our solution here is careful thermostat adjustment and use of a damper when conditions warrant it. Have a manometer and also probe thermometer to dictate adjustment.

I’d have a hard time going back to a non cat, non thermostat stove.

My two bits!
 

sprawlnstall

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
197
Minnesota
Do you have a way to measure stack temps? I’ve got 25 feet of stack and we just went through another period of -10 to -22 below zero with the princess.

I’ve had non cats and another brand cat stove in the past and any wind or sub zero temps were a night mare worrying about over firing and or stack temps too high. Let’s not even get into blowing through the firewood in the box.

Our solution here is careful thermostat adjustment and use of a damper when conditions warrant it. Have a manometer and also probe thermometer to dictate adjustment.

I’d have a hard time going back to a non cat, non thermostat stove.

My two bits!
I don't have a way to measure stack temps, However over firing has never been an issue. I do notice a much stronger draft when the wind is strong, my solution is to lower the thermostat. A king would be the ideal stove for my situation, the princess works 7 out of 10 days on average. I don't mind a hot reload at 2AM but when your gone at work for 8-10 hours is when things get tricky.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
How old is your home? Are windows and doors up to date? What type on insulation is in walls and attic.

I just spent all of last week in Minnesota. Darn cold in Ely! Plenty of folks have Princess models keeping their homes/shops warm....not certain but might be layout of home or rvalue issues?
 

sprawlnstall

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
197
Minnesota
Windows and doors are in good shape, not sure on insulation but guessing R-19-R21. The wind is definitely a factor. I don’t have a problem heating the house when I am home it when I’m gone for more than 8 hours. 2600 square feet is asking a lot from a princess in cold cold climates
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I'm a little surprised that even on high you can't get a 10 hr burn out of a stuffed firebox.
To me that dies suggest an issue. Too much draft or a leak come to mind.

That is independent of the home situation.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I'm a little surprised that even on high you can't get a 10 hr burn out of a stuffed firebox.
To me that dies suggest an issue. Too much draft or a leak come to mind.

That is independent of the home situation.

I've been surprised at what some people consider a stuffed firebox. Lots of short loaders on here that had lots of noncat experience and can't understand full cycles. Also, stuffed with what? Lot's of cottonwood in some parts of the country.

Windy and Minnesota and 2600 SF built long ago is quite a load.
 
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sprawlnstall

Burning Hunk
Jan 15, 2018
197
Minnesota
I can get a 12 hour burn the problem is the house will be 50 degrees. Coaling is a big issue a stove full stove of coals won’t produce enough heat.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I can get a 12 hour burn the problem is the house will be 50 degrees. Coaling is a big issue a stove full stove of coals won’t produce enough heat.

Ok. Then indeed a bigger stove may be useful imo