I think a cat running between 650 and 900 is just fine. North of 1300 may be considered too hot. The Condar web page says above 1300 for the steel cat is too hot and may cause it to not function. But other VC stoves have a ceramic cat which maybe different.
- At 650 to 900 I definitely see and smell smoke out the chimney. I think it is fine to run the stove there but it is definitely not running well or as intended. I would keep an eye out for creosote build up.At 650 to 900 are you seeing smoke out the pipe? If yea you are too low
- For the Defiant model 1975 the only cat available as far as I know is the ceramic version. Would love to try a steel one just to see what the effect is, with this stove design it would probably melt the steel cat on the first full load.You have the option purchasing either if its made for your stove. My stove came with a ceramic, but I run a steel one as of last year. steel lights off easier and doesn't get as hot..
Random question. How often is everyone cleaning out ashes? Everything that you read says to keep a couple inches of ashes, but that just makes a giant mess when I go to open the ash cleanout. I've been doing to before i start every fire lately.