Blaze King King 40 New Cat Stove 2020 Smoke Smell

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
I don't have to keep the door open more than a minute or two to get the kindling going. Makes me think the draft my be an issue here, if this seems necessary to get the fire going?
 

RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
The sequence for starting a cold stove and reload a hot stove is well defined in the user manual. One note is the last statement which explains you may have to very slightly due to operating conditions- Read the note! . In general the procedures work fine in my installation other than when the reload is done, I find there are not enough hot coals at the mark BK recommends, in my application reload works best when temperature is slightly above the reload mark.

RELOADING PROCEDURE WHEN PREPARING TO RELOAD, IF THE NEEDLE ON THE CATALYTIC THERMOMETER IS STILL IN THE ACTIVE ZONE, FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE BELOW; IF THE NEEDLE HAS DROPPED INTO THE INACTIVE ZONE, REFER BACK TO THE “LIGHTING THE FIRE” PROCEDURE ON THE PREVIOUS PAGE. It is important to note that the catalytic thermometer is simply displaying the temperature of the catalytic combustor. It may be used as an aide when it comes to indentifying a reload point, but other factors such as lack of fuel in the firebox or dropping room temperatures should be used as well. 1. Have your next load of wood ready before beginning. Turn the thermostat to HIGH. Wait 2 minutes for the air flow to stabilize. 2. To help minimize smoke spillage into the room, you may wish to open the bypass door and again wait 2 minutes for the air flow to stabilize. 3. Crack open the loading door to allow ambient room air to be introduced into the firebox, this may take a minute to stabilize. 4. Slowly open the loading door and proceed to reload the firebox. If you experience excessive smoke spillage, slightly close the loading door to re-establish a draft through the chimney. 5. Once loaded, latch the loading door shut and (if opened) close the bypass door immediately. Let the fire burn on the HIGH thermostat setting for 20 to 30 minutes OR until the fire is very well established. At that point, turn the thermostat down to the desired setting. Keep in mind you may not see a large amount of flame activity in the lower thermostat setting. The thermometer needle will remain in the active zone indicating that the burn cycle is continuing. 6. Should you burn the stove on a very low setting for extended periods of time, you will begin to see creosote deposits forming on the glass door. To remove these deposits, simply run the stove on HIGH for approximately 30 minutes. The HIGH setting will burn off most of the deposits

Note: Our loading instructions are outlined in general terms due to the vast array of variables that arise with each installation. Such variables include type of wood fuel, chimney hieght and configuration, installation altitude, seasonal weather conditions, and the desired heat output required. Over time you will learn which settings are necessary to achieve optimal performance with your sepecific installation.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
Reloading: I see the word "immediately" - and interpret it as applying both to door and bypass.

For sure once there is flame, the door should be closed. If the cat is still in the active range, I close the bypass immediately. Leaving the Tstat fully open for a while.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
911
NW Ontario
my biggest obstacle was following the directions in the manual to run it on high with the door unlatched for 25 to 35 minutes.
No way does the manual say to run the stove with the loading door unlatched for 25-30 minutes. This is a recipe for disaster. You're nuking your system every time you do this.
 
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TheElementalCashew

New Member
Nov 9, 2021
10
NH
No way does the manual say to run the stove with the loading door unlatched for 25-30 minutes. This is a recipe for disaster. You're nuking your system every time you do this.

I know this is about the King, but the manual for the Princess 32 says to leave the door unlatched for a few minutes (on cold lights, not 25-30 mins). On hot reloads the door is closed immediately. This is the process I've been following as well.
Page 29 in the manual: https://www.blazeking.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/180-PE32.pdf

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
Yes. I only have the door open while reloading (and maybe 30 secs after if no flame yet on a late but warm reload) and initially until the kindling is on fire. Any longer is not needed nor good.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,087
Indiana
Using a flashlight with the room dark, see if you are able to see any light around the door hinge welds. Make sure there’s no creosote around the hinges and shine the light from the inside out.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,087
Indiana
I have talked to another store who sells and installs Blaze Kings and he said the blaze kings usually have a creosote smell, every time he walks into someones house he knows if its a blazeking.
This is the most asinine thing I’ve heard! It’s offensive! With 10’s of thousands of BK’s in operation, do you actually think all our houses smell like creosote? He’s way off.
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
580
Central MA
Sorry I'm late to the party but I just wanted to mention that, although in many ways a different beast, I have noticed a smoke smell from my VC cat stoves on occasion even when the draft is strong, fire is burning well, etc. Definitely coming from the door. I finally traced it down to liquid creosote that had soaked into the fiber of the gasket on low burns, and started pyrolyzing when it met the room air on the other side.

The solution was multi fold, and included charring the load longer before turning down, as well as getting another year ahead on my wood seasoning.

I've observed that the complaints about smoke/creosote smells from cat stoves in general tend to get beaten down on this forum as some sort of user / install error, but it is a real phenomenon and as far as I can tell not draft related.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
Sorry I'm late to the party but I just wanted to mention that, although in many ways a different beast, I have noticed a smoke smell from my VC cat stoves on occasion even when the draft is strong, fire is burning well, etc. Definitely coming from the door. I finally traced it down to liquid creosote that had soaked into the fiber of the gasket on low burns, and started pyrolyzing when it met the room air on the other side.

The solution was multi fold, and included charring the load longer before turning down, as well as getting another year ahead on my wood seasoning.

I've observed that the complaints about smoke/creosote smells from cat stoves in general tend to get beaten down on this forum as some sort of user / install error, but it is a real phenomenon and as far as I can tell not draft related.

Though, your own solutions do pertain to user behavior.... (Charring time, seasoning time).
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
580
Central MA
Though, your own solutions do pertain to user behavior.... (Charring time, seasoning time).
Yes absolutely, although I should add that it's not a 100% perfect solution, I still get the smell now and then. It's tolerable. However I would not suggest that my previous operation of the stove was the "root cause" of the issue.

The gasket smell, to me, is a byproduct of the incredibly low firebox temperatures that are achieved by a cat stove. I have zero creosote accumulation in my chimney thanks to the catalytic combustor, and that was true even before I started charring my loads longer. If not for the gasket smell, I could turn down earlier and get another ~hour out of my burn. So it is a design issue in that sense. I wish *someone* would come up with another way to deal with it, but I don't have a good solution and I don't think the industry does.

I'm pretty sure I read through all 7 pages of this thread and only a couple times was it mentioned to char the load for a longer time, but without any explanation of why it would help. I am just here to offer my own experience in case it helps the OP or other people who suffer from the very real door gasket smoke smell problem.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
I do smell something sometimes, but only when I'm not burning, so I think it's downdrafts exiting thru the hole in the flapper.

If you are right, an effort to design a gasket from a different, less penetrable, material would be useful.
 

RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
This is the most asinine thing I’ve heard! It’s offensive! With 10’s of thousands of BK’s in operation, do you actually think all our houses smell like creosote? He’s way off.
Just to clarify, I did not make that statement, that was quoted from BLAZZED.
 

RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
I am interested in knowing more about the stain pattern on the glass and would appreciate any pictures showing the stain, mainly the stain after longer slow burns.

As far as the actual point of the leak; for anyone that suspects there is a small leak I ask you make a cone with aluminum foil and use it to find the actual leak location, which I believe will be in the upper left or upper right corners. Using the cone really helps by keeping you away from the stove and funneling any gases directly to your sniffer. My BK representative used it and quickly realized the exact location of the leak, in my case upper left.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,087
Indiana
I am interested in knowing more about the stain pattern on the glass and would appreciate any pictures showing the stain, mainly the stain after longer slow burns.

As far as the actual point of the leak; for anyone that suspects there is a small leak I ask you make a cone with aluminum foil and use it to find the actual leak location, which I believe will be in the upper left or upper right corners. Using the cone really helps by keeping you away from the stove and funneling any gases directly to your sniffer. My BK representative used it and quickly realized the exact location of the leak, in my case upper left.
I guess I missed the part about you found out for a certainty where it’s leaking.
 

Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
710
NE
I always thought a silicone rope gasket would solve most problems. It would keep creosote resin on the inside of the firebox and not allow the gasket to become saturated and sneak through like it does with traditional rope gaskets. Link for relevance:

 
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RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
I always thought a silicone rope gasket would solve most problems. It would keep creosote resin on the inside of the firebox and not allow the gasket to become saturated and sneak through like it does with traditional rope gaskets. Link for relevance:

The problem with the silicon gasket is the operating temperature is too low and the gasket fails is short order. I installed one to do some testing but it failed after a few burn cycles.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,087
Indiana
Does the door gasket have a solid imprint from the knife edge door seal in the middle?
 

RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
The imprint is visible around the complete perimeter of the door and will pass the dollar bill test. The depth of the imprint varies due to the poor door design; the studs under the gasket, causing high points, make it impossible for the door to close properly.

I would like to bring up my original point, why put blame on the gasket for fumes exiting past it? The pressure inside the stove is negative and air should go in if the gasket has a leak, not out. Any wood stove manual will explain the same scenario, if the gaskets are leaking the stove will burn hot due to inrush of air! See attached trouble shooting document taken from KE-40 user manual where is states :
Loading door gasket leaking, admitting excess air into fireboxReplace door gasket and/or adjust door. See “GASKET INSPECTION”

How can it be explained, in the case of BK CAT stoves, suddenly air is rushing out the failed gasket?

Seriously, does this make any sense to anyone here?
 

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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,087
Indiana
You are correct, the stove should pull air in if there is a leak. In the event of smoke or smell spillage, attention generally turns toward a negative pressure situation within the home.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,072
Long Island NY
Though one line of thought is that the gasket may seal (enough ) to prevent air from coming in, if it gets completely creosote-soaked, that could wick through the gasket to the side outside of the knife edge - and at certain temperatures it could start smelling.

Liquid can wick through things where the impedance of gas flow is too low for measurable gas flow.
 

RogueChili

New Member
Feb 21, 2021
65
USA
You are correct, the stove should pull air in if there is a leak. In the event of smoke or smell spillage, attention generally turns toward a negative pressure situation within the home.
Wouldn't the draft gauge indicate that? And if that is the case than the stove air inlet would be the exhaust and the chimney would be the air inlet. It seems if this were the case it would be quite obvious. Remember, the leak is not intermittent but continuous whenever the stove is actively regulating the temperature.

Additionally:
If the door is open a crack there is no spillage ever in my installation and the air rushing in is loud and forceful.
The stove burns well at all settings, responds rapidly to thermostat changes.
With window open there is no change in burn rate or reduction is smell from door.