Blaze King Princess Insert Cat Temperatures and Operation

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New Member
Oct 29, 2020
Penticton, BC

I have just purchased a new Blaze King Princess (PI29) Insert to replace an outgoing 1989 Blaze King Insert. I am very happy with the stove, it looks great and feels well made. Going with Blaze King was a no brainer for me as their efficiency and burn times are class leading and they are a local business: one of their plants are in Penticton (close to my home town). This is my first experience with a new CAT stove and I had a few questions about how to operate the CAT and how to prevent overheating CAT or stove and general operation.

1. The manual recommends running the stove on high for 20-30 minutes (or until fire is well established) when starting a fire or reloading. I burned it wide open yesterday and the CAT temperature went way above the upper limit of the CAT thermometer after 25-30 minutes on the high setting. Does it damage the stove/CAT to run above the top of the temperature range? I had to turn the stove down to low and after probably 30 minutes the temperature moved back into the upper range of the temperature.
2. Is there a way to run the stove wide open without excessive CAT temperatures like this? I should mention I am burning seasoned fir. I haven't measured it by I would estimate it is 18-20% moisture content.
3. The bypass lever seemed to be sticky right from the factory, it feels quite different from a free standing princess lever. There is a lot of resistance in moving it past the middle point in between active and bypass points and it doesn't feel right to me. I have tried the bypass lever on a showroom model princess free standing stove and it felt much smoother and had a more positive engagement. I'm wondering if I should contact Blaze King about this while the stove is still new/under full warranty.

Thanks for your help!
I purchased a PI29 last October and have 1 year running this insert under my belt. Similar concerns as you in terms of the high heat and worries about overfire or damage from running it wide open.

Consensus here when I asked that question was not to worry, you really cant overfire the Princess due to the thermostatic plate. I was always careful and would dial back the thermo when it seemed really hot and didn't want to damage anything. This morning I let it rip on high for 20 min after I closed the bypass, it was hot, probably as hot as I have ever had it. No problem, just turned down the thermo to 25%, the fire died down immediately and there was no impact to the unit or my liner. So I would say -- take baby steps as you please, but really do not worry if you run it too long, and there is no problem with the cat gauge being pegged as far as it can go.

Bypass level is stiff, and takes a some pressure to close. You MUST hear the click or a pronounced lock of the plate when closing. Basically close the lever down as far as it goes, and do not worry about breaking it. There is a wire on a pulley that is sort of like a tear drop shape, so it clanks when the tension turns it beyond dead center (difficult to explain, just push the lever down hard till it clicks and cannot go any further)

Good luck and do not be afraid to post questions here. The Blaze King thread is a wealth of info.
The difference in bypass feel between freestanding and insert is that the freestanding stoves the handle actually has a rigid connection to the bypass plate/rod. The insert uses a cable and pulley system so obviously less robust and rigid. It works, I don't recall ever reading on this or the other forum about this cable affair failing.

I burn douglas fir too and I think it is not wise to run the thing wide open for 20-30 minutes after cat engagement but instead, like you said the manual reads, only until the fire is well established. This only takes like 10 minutes when your fuel is dry. This is after the fire was hot enough to engage the catalyst so really at this point you've probably been burning on high for at least 30 minutes. After 10 minutes or so of cat engaged and max thermostat setting the cat thermometer is getting up to 3/4 of max and quite capable of sustaining the reaction without wasting more fuel running on high so I swing the thermostat down to cruise setting and leave it.
Appreciate the quick replies, thanks guys! I'll be sure to ask if any more questions come up!