Aftermarket cat replacement option for Blaze King PI29 insert?

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morningwood187

New Member
Nov 22, 2023
15
Oregon
Hi all,

I have a Blaze King PI29 insert. I bought it second hand last year, it was manufactured in July 2020.
I ran it 24x7 as the primary heat source for my house last year, and it's been running almost 24x7 since October this year. I believe that the previous owner ran it continually as well.

I have recently started to see some signs that the cat might be on life #8 or #9. I burn wood @ 15-18% moisture content (measured on fresh split, stabilized at room temp for 48 hours, ect) and am seeing some increased smoke and some dripping out of my chimney.

My question is-- Since I am not the original purchaser and don't have contact with him, I don't think I can call in the Blaze King cat replacement.
Looking at a new BK cat for this stove, it is $500.
The manual calls for 115-Z0444 PE 2020 ceramic combustor assembly. Dimensions are listed in the below link at 10-3/4x4-1/8. That's slightly different than the standard princess size of 10.6x4.

Does anyone know if there is a aftermarket option here or if this cat is a one-off that I need to order from Blaze King and pay the increased price? $240 is a lot better than $500.
 
Try Midwest Hearth.
 
Try Midwest Hearth.
I've ordered a number of cats for my standalone princess from them.
None of the cats they offer have the same dimensions as the PI29. None of them list the PI29 as a compatible stove.

I was curious if anyone had any first hand experience in one of these fitting.
 
I've ordered a number of cats for my standalone princess from them.
None of the cats they offer have the same dimensions as the PI29. None of them list the PI29 as a compatible stove.

I was curious if anyone had any first hand experience in one of these fitting.
The dimensions you specified are almost exactly 1/8" larger in each direction than the standard princess freestander catalyst. That's the gasket thickness. That's too much of a coincidence. The midwest site for the princess cat says it fits the Princess PI1010A.

I would call. I'm not certain that PI29 cat is or is not the same as a P32 cat.

Oh and maybe it's our softwoods, our long burn season, our mild temperatures, but I'm not a bit surprised that the OEM cat is dead after three burn seasons. That's what I get from my cats before similar drippy smokey failure. 2-3 years which is over 12,000 hours and all they're rated for.
 
OP,

Are you certain the cat was the OEM? You bought the stove second hand, so never assume anything. Maybe the seller can advise?

BKVP
 
OP,

Are you certain the cat was the OEM? You bought the stove second hand, so never assume anything. Maybe the seller can advise?

BKVP
Thanks for chiming in.
When I purchased the stove from him it was 1y 7m old. He included the unredeemed standard cat replacement form which comes with the stove, so I am pretty sure that he didn't replace the cat. If I understand the process correctly, that warranty redemption form is required to do the replacement? He spoke about it as if I could just redeem it myself in one or two years (which I've learnt is likely not the case?)
 
@BKVP, while I have your attention... Can you confirm or deny that the cat for the PI29 is a unique size or if the standard 10.6x4x2 cat would fit in the stove without any air gaps? I called a Midwest Hearth but they did not sound confident in their answer and wanted me to take the cat out and measure it.
 
Thanks for chiming in.
When I purchased the stove from him it was 1y 7m old. He included the unredeemed standard cat replacement form which comes with the stove, so I am pretty sure that he didn't replace the cat. If I understand the process correctly, that warranty redemption form is required to do the replacement? He spoke about it as if I could just redeem it myself in one or two years (which I've learnt is likely not the case?)
Correct. The warranty is non transferable.

BKVP
 
Can you confirm or deny that the cat for the PI29 is a unique size or if the standard 10.6x4x2 cat would fit in the stove without any air gaps?

You'd think BK would know if it's the same part. If it was my company, and it's not, I would fire the guy that designed a stove to "almost" use an existing, common, easily obtained, on the shelf, cat that fits into the huge majority of the other BK stoves.
 
You'd think BK would know if it's the same part. If it was my company, and it's not, I would fire the guy that designed a stove to "almost" use an existing, common, easily obtained, on the shelf, cat that fits into the huge majority of the other BK stoves.
I'm hoping to get confirmation on it. Otherwise I will measure it in the stove at some point when I clean my chimney. That's not going to be as exact as pulling the cat out and measuring it, but it'll give me a pretty good estimate and not cost whatever the gasket cost is.

I suppose if it is just a 1/4" larger height and width wise maybe a double wrap of the gasket tape would take up that difference? That seems shoddy, but it might work in a pinch.
 
Part Number: S.CAT29 Combustor fits PI29


S.CAT1006 COMBUSTOR Fits PE1006/PI1010 PE1006, PI1010, PE1003

Luckily we employ the best engineers that aspire to find the best possible combustor for both emissions control and satisfying test methods specified in the 2015 NSPS. Arriving at a common part does not assure of the best performance.

Size aside, federal law requires (as I have posted dozens of times) we sell the combustor that was tested and approved for the wood heater. We also test for a "suitable replacement but that only goes into effect if the current supplier is unable to satisfy demand.

BKVP
 
So I can’t tell if that answers your question of whether you can use the standard 30 box/princess cat in your princess insert. @morningwood187 are you able to decipher that into a yes or no? Your question is simple enough.
 
Combustors Part Numbers
 

Attachments

  • combustors.pdf
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I believe we may be running into some corporate red tape here where a yes/no answer is not possible.. I understand if that is the case.

@BKVP, is it possible to get the physical size of those two combustors? What has been posted so far is pretty much what I have determined before posting this thread. I.E the part numbers are different and indicate that the PI29 cat is slightly different.

What I really need to know:
Are the sizes of the cats you posted the blaze king part numbers for identical? S.CAT1006 and S.CAT29.
If the sizes are identical, is there a material difference that makes the PI29 cat special / generate the lower emissions of the 2020+ EPA rating?
 
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It is not corporate red tape, thank you. It's Federal law that a manufacturer can only "sell" the same combustors used when tested for certification purposes. Each of the combustors you see the parts list is a different size and/or substrate material.

BKVP
 
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Eventually somebody will have to try it to see if it fits. For crying out loud, the games are silly.
 
It was warm enough here yesterday that I was able to clean out the stove / sweep the chimney / take the cat cover off / clean the cat and measure the cat. The measurements seem pretty close to the 10.6"x4" of the normal princess cat. I will update this thread with actual measurements when I take the cat out.
I did notice that the cat looks different than my other cats -- if I'm not mistaken each section of the cat is a 18x17 grid rather than the standard 14x14 you'll see in the options from Midwest Hearth

PXL_20231206_050609238.jpg
Screenshot 2023-12-06 121217.png
 
Nice pics. Looks like some peeling. When my cats die off, they start growing that brown surface creosote just like your photo shows.

I have a brand new princess cat from midwest on the shelf and can take relatively accurate measurements if you'd like.
 
Sure, measurements would be great. I intend to keep updating this thread as I find out more information. I just installed one of those Midwest cats in my Princess Ultra two weeks ago before this came up.

Most of that brown surface creosote was able to be vacuumed up with little effort. The bottom picture shows what it looks like after passing a shop vac nozzle gently over the surface on the lower portion of the cat. Eventually the entire thing looked like the bottom part of the cat in the second picture there. I don't have a good picture of that.

Hard to say if it's performing better after doing this.