Ashley Wood Stove Broken Catalytic Element

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Kentucky Greg

Nov 6, 2012
I have an Ashley wood stove / insert. It is marked as a model AFI-24. I was putting in firewood yesterday and knocked a part down from the top. Google seems to indicate that it is a catalytic element. I don't know much of what's going on but I am having trouble knowing how to put Humpty back together again. If I had a wood stove expert sitting next to me, I would ask:

1) What is the padding / foam that was around the element. Is it important? I don't see it for sale. At first I thought it was just compressed ash but I'm not sure.

2) Can I reuse the element that fell out even though one of them is broken in the middle? Amazon sells something that looks pretty close if I need to replace it:

Midwest Hearth Wood Stove Catalytic Combustor Replacement Catalyst Vermont Castings Defiant and Encore Flexburn (2.5" x 12.75" x 1" Ceramic)​

Amazon product

3) What happens if I use the stove without the catalytic element and cushiony stuff in place?

Any thoughts you all have would be greatly appreciated.

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