Blaze King Ashford 30 best stove I've ever owned.

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,839
central pa
bHoller is a highly regarded sweep. His stove is a Princess that was leant to him by a friend. He was accepting of the opportunity so that he could have amore informed opinion. His experiences are his and genuine to his application. I'm not certain how aged the combustor was at the time he accepted the invite.....or it's condition.
Brand new out of the box and all new gaskets
 

BURNard

Member
Oct 20, 2018
60
North East Pennsylvania
bHoller is a highly regarded sweep. His stove is a Princess that was leant to him by a friend. He was accepting of the opportunity so that he could have amore informed opinion. His experiences are his and genuine to his application. I'm not certain how aged the combustor was at the time he accepted the invite.....or it's condition.
My experience as a mechanic tells me that most people get in their vehicles, push a button or turn the key and go. They don't generally think about up keep until the light comes on, the inspections over do, or something breaks. Just kind of human nature I guess. But this tells me that in regards to stoves, like vehicles, there's two groups to consider, the turn key and go guy, and the check the oil and tires guy. Coupled with the fact that not all stoves are made the same and have varying degrees of quality. My assumption is that your data is based on a large swath of folks that do and or don't follow operating and maintenance practices. That said, you can still sight a 6/10 year combustor life. That's impressive.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,524
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
With all do respect to you Mr. bholler, I am a retired mechanic for the US Postal Service with 33 years experience in the field. I'm the guy who knows about, and adheres to operating and maintenance procedures, as specified by the manufacturer. I do it because I put my trust in the research and development of the company and product and because experience tells me it works. I can't speak for your customers Sir, but as for myself, I only use very seasoned wood, as specified by the manufacturer, the stove was installed to the manufactures specs, after a 24 hour burn I run the stove on full throttle with hot embers for 30min. to clean/season the combustor for the days burning, as specified by the manufacturer. That being said, I believe following BK instructions in regards to operation and maintenance will give me the best chance to achieve the 6 to 10 years of combustor life that BKVP is siting, and if it fails I have the warranty. Thank you.

All good, but you may be interested to know that BK does not make the catalysts. The company that does make them provides additional resources and recommendations for use of their product. Uh oh. Still follow BK's instructions for maximum performance of the appliance. Oh, but during that 30 minute charring of the fresh load that you told us you do, be mindful of not exceeding the rated maximum temperature of your chimney which is 1000 degrees. It can happen.

I have found from the manufacturers that the catalysts are expected to last 12000 hours and this has been my experience very consistently over the years and several catalysts. That amount of burn time could take the "Average" wood burner 6-10 years. However, you don't appear to be average and I know I'm not. Do the math and figure out how many years it will take you to get to 12000. Honestly, the cat could last 100 years if the user only burns the stove 12 hours per year. See how that works? Cats don't die from old age.

Above all else, you'll know when it fails. Just wait and see. Smoke, loss of the low end ability, higher wood consumption from the lack of efficiency, less output, etc. Just wait for symptoms and we will help you evaluate the catalyst for change out. It's easy to swap cats and relatively cheap so no big deal.
 

BURNard

Member
Oct 20, 2018
60
North East Pennsylvania
All good, but you may be interested to know that BK does not make the catalysts. The company that does make them provides additional resources and recommendations for use of their product. Uh oh. Still follow BK's instructions for maximum performance of the appliance. Oh, but during that 30 minute charring of the fresh load that you told us you do, be mindful of not exceeding the rated maximum temperature of your chimney which is 1000 degrees. It can happen.

I have found from the manufacturers that the catalysts are expected to last 12000 hours and this has been my experience very consistently over the years and several catalysts. That amount of burn time could take the "Average" wood burner 6-10 years. However, you don't appear to be average and I know I'm not. Do the math and figure out how many years it will take you to get to 12000. Honestly, the cat could last 100 years if the user only burns the stove 12 hours per year. See how that works? Cats don't die from old age.

Above all else, you'll know when it fails. Just wait and see. Smoke, loss of the low end ability, higher wood consumption from the lack of efficiency, less output, etc. Just wait for symptoms and we will help you evaluate the catalyst for change out. It's easy to swap cats and relatively cheap so no big deal.
OK thanks for the feed back. I will absolutely do that when my COMBUSTOR DAY DAWNS LOL, as I know one day it will. I can't state enough how helpful this site and all the kind, knowledgably thought sharing folks have been. Thank you.
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
All good, but you may be interested to know that BK does not make the catalysts. The company that does make them provides additional resources and recommendations for use of their product. Uh oh. Still follow BK's instructions for maximum performance of the appliance. Oh, but during that 30 minute charring of the fresh load that you told us you do, be mindful of not exceeding the rated maximum temperature of your chimney which is 1000 degrees. It can happen.

I have found from the manufacturers that the catalysts are expected to last 12000 hours and this has been my experience very consistently over the years and several catalysts. That amount of burn time could take the "Average" wood burner 6-10 years. However, you don't appear to be average and I know I'm not. Do the math and figure out how many years it will take you to get to 12000. Honestly, the cat could last 100 years if the user only burns the stove 12 hours per year. See how that works? Cats don't die from old age.

Above all else, you'll know when it fails. Just wait and see. Smoke, loss of the low end ability, higher wood consumption from the lack of efficiency, less output, etc. Just wait for symptoms and we will help you evaluate the catalyst for change out. It's easy to swap cats and relatively cheap so no big deal.
@Highbeam, the manufacturer says 12,000 hours? Or is the distributor that sells combustors? Every cat manufacturer in the USA will tell you it depends upon the combustion design of the stove (plus other factors).
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,913
Iowa
Wow this combustor life topic has some legs. Even when it's wrapped up in somebody else's topic:p
 
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showrguy

Minister of Fire
Aug 2, 2015
538
Marysville, Pa.
Brand new out of the box and all new gaskets
I can vouch for that, I dropped the stove off with new cat from firecat still in the box, along with an OAK adaptor plate/thingy..
Stove was due for gaskets and paint, which he did...
BKVP, you think bholler’s a stand up dude ?? You aughta meet his Dad !! Seriously !!
I could talk stoves/jobs with that fella for an entire weekend, and be laughing the whole time..
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
I have met his dad!!! And he is a chip off that chunk of granite!
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,524
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
@Highbeam, the manufacturer says 12,000 hours? Or is the distributor that sells combustors? Every cat manufacturer in the USA will tell you it depends upon the combustion design of the stove (plus other factors).

Oh jeez, I can’t dig this up again on the phone. Not Midwest hearth, just don’t remember if it was firecat or ac. Either way, the 12000 hour rating is still out there and many forum members with both of the top brands have experienced that 12000 is remarkably accurate.

That 12000 hour rating doesn’t mean swap it out at that time. It just means that if your cat is dead after 12000 then it owes you nothing.

I won’t pull one out until it smokes like mad and gunks up my chimney. I’m stubborn like that and hate to waste. After popping in a new one I always regret waiting so long. We buy these stoves for that great low end performance and that’s the first thing to lose when the cat wears out.
 
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BURNard

Member
Oct 20, 2018
60
North East Pennsylvania
I'm not saying this because I own an Ashford, but I, and when I say I, I mean my wife and I love the look of the Ashford better. We're cast iron folk. With the King and Princess models, ya kind a have to invoke the, BEATY IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER line. LOL
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,839
central pa
I'm the total opposite...I much prefer the looks of the Ashford. I think the Princess is kind of ugly.
I am assuming that was a joke
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Oh jeez, I can’t dig this up again on the phone. Not Midwest hearth, just don’t remember if it was firecat or ac. Either way, the 12000 hour rating is still out there and many forum members with both of the top brands have experienced that 12000 is remarkably accurate.

That 12000 hour rating doesn’t mean swap it out at that time. It just means that if your cat is dead after 12000 then it owes you nothing.

I won’t pull one out until it smokes like mad and gunks up my chimney. I’m stubborn like that and hate to waste. After popping in a new one I always regret waiting so long. We buy these stoves for that great low end performance and that’s the first thing to lose when the cat wears out.
It was Condar. They sell cats. If I sold cats, I'd tell you every 6,000 hours. They have zero data to support the 12,0000 hr claim.
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
I think the bigger argument here is how much better looking a Princess is than an Ashford.
That or the Swoosh vs Numbers!!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,524
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
It was Condar. They sell cats. If I sold cats, I'd tell you every 6,000 hours. They have zero data to support the 12,0000 hr claim.

I just went back to firecat site which they say = applied ceramic, the sites link to each other repeatedly. I can't tell who is distributor or manufacturer or where that line blurs in their relationship. I mean, there's always some guy or gal with an apron making things and another guy selling things. They may as well be one company as far as the consumer can tell or should care. In the firecat blog it actually shows 10,000 hours still. 12000 may have been from condar or even from the woodstock website. They also have pretty honest information.

Hey look, you buy a lot of combustors from AC for your factory and should probably tell them to stop saying that! Make them remove it? As a consumer, I can just read what's presented but more importantly have direct personal experience and have read numerous accounts of the same from unbiased forum users.

We don't want anybody throwing away perfectly good catalysts, but we do want people to have realistic expectations. Oh and please develop a catalyst that lasts for 20k or 30k hours that would be great!

I am very happy with the current performance of my 50% consumed catalyst burning 14% doug fir split big from a woodshed. It's been really great this year and smoke free.
 
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