Blaze King problem/question

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Patapsco Mike

Feeling the Heat
Jun 3, 2008
277
Maryland
I was away for work for 3 days, and during that time my wife tried to keep our Princess burning. When I got home, it was jammed full of wet wood and was smoldering with the cat bypass damper closed. It may have been "burning" like this for a couple days. I took out the wood and replaced it with dry wood, which got the fire going right away. The fire burned great with the bypass damper open, but when I shut the bypass damper the fire started to go out and a smoky smell filled the room. Since then, every time I shut the damper the fire dies way down and the smoke smell comes back.

I'm guessing that either the combuster is totally gummed up, or worse, my liner (which I brushed less than a month ago) is clogged. I believe it's the former, as the stove runs great with the damper open. Has anyone else experience this with a BK or other cat stove?

Thoughts/opinions welcomed.
 

BKInsert

Member
Oct 23, 2011
151
Long Island NY
Patapsco Mike said:
I was away for work for 3 days, and during that time my wife tried to keep our Princess burning. When I got home, it was jammed full of wet wood and was smoldering with the cat bypass damper closed. It may have been "burning" like this for a couple days. I took out the wood and replaced it with dry wood, which got the fire going right away. The fire burned great with the bypass damper open, but when I shut the bypass damper the fire started to go out and a smoky smell filled the room. Since then, every time I shut the damper the fire dies way down and the smoke smell comes back.

I'm guessing that either the combuster is totally gummed up, or worse, my liner (which I brushed less than a month ago) is clogged. I believe it's the former, as the stove runs great with the damper open. Has anyone else experience this with a BK or other cat stove?

Thoughts/opinions welcomed.
I don't believe it is the liner because it works well with the CAT bypassed. Like you said it is probably the CAT, it is all jammed. Did you try to run a very hot fire for a long duration without the CAT to see if you can burn/clean the CAT? Try to do that and engae and disengage the CAT until hopefully the residue will be burnt.
 

jeff_t

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2008
4,202
SE MI
Hmm, doesn't sound good. If it was me, I'd get another cat and replace it. If the other one isn't totalled, clean it and keep it for a spare.
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,538
Michigan
Try to burn a hot fire with the bypass partially closed(you may have to hold the handle) this will allow some exhaust up the chimney and some into the cat. If the cat is nasty you should be able to see it rather easily on the princess.
 

Lanningjw

Minister of Fire
Oct 15, 2008
514
Plymouth, Minnesota
Let the insert cool down and pull the cover off (with holes in it) and look at the honey comb of the cat material to see if it is clogged up. You maybe able to take a pipe cleaner and work it thru the holes in the cat to get the hot air/smoke moving through it. Be very careful when you do this because it could harm the cat. Then have another hot fire with dry wood to see if the smoke will go through the cat with the by-pass closed.

If that doesn't work you may have to pull the cat to clean it up and then replace with new seal tape. I would try the pipe cleaners first before I pulled the cat......
 

jeff_t

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2008
4,202
SE MI
Lanning said:
Let the insert cool down and pull the cover off (with holes in it) and look at the honey comb of the cat material to see if it is clogged up. You maybe able to take a pipe cleaner and work it thru the holes in the cat to get the hot air/smoke moving through it. Be very careful when you do this because it could harm the cat. Then have another hot fire with dry wood to see if the smoke will go through the cat with the by-pass closed.

If that doesn't work you may have to pull the cat to clean it up and then replace with new seal tape. I would try the pipe cleaners first before I pulled the cat......
That's a good idea. Get something moving through it, maybe it will get hot enough to burn itself clean. Providing thermal shock and wet wood hasn't killed it. Just be careful, that ceramic is pretty fragile.
 

greythorn3

Minister of Fire
Oct 8, 2007
1,002
Alaska
wheelordie.com
open bypass, take flame gaurd off front of cat, put flashlight up over bypass inside stove pointing to back of cat. look at front of cat. if you see light thru it then its not bypassed.

i believe if you burn a hot fire you wwill clean that cat, with the bypass closed open then closed. or partially opened.
 

Patapsco Mike

Feeling the Heat
Jun 3, 2008
277
Maryland
Thanks everyone. A HOT fire was the first thing I did, and it helped a bit but didn't solve the problem. I looked at the cat with a flashlight, and there was no obvious gook on the front of it. Pipe cleaner is a great idea. I'll try that tonight.

I am tempted to just pull the cat and clean it per the instructions in the manual. It's been burning 24/7 during the heating season for going on three years.

I guess I'd better order some gasket material first...
 

greythorn3

Minister of Fire
Oct 8, 2007
1,002
Alaska
wheelordie.com
Patapsco Mike said:
Thanks everyone. A HOT fire was the first thing I did, and it helped a bit but didn't solve the problem. I looked at the cat with a flashlight, and there was no obvious gook on the front of it. Pipe cleaner is a great idea. I'll try that tonight.

I am tempted to just pull the cat and clean it per the instructions in the manual. It's been burning 24/7 during the heating season for going on three years.

I guess I'd better order some gasket material first...
shine the flahlight thru the back of the cat while your looking at the front.
 

bogydave

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2009
8,426
So Cent ALASKA
All good suggestions.
I'll add one. Write up some "instructions" for stove operation. Leave them near the stove.
I did that & when my wife burns, she refers to the instructions. After a few burn, she won't need to read them. We all have to learn.
I also have identified the "dry wood" section so any wood brought in to burn is ready to go.
When you fix the problem, burn a load or 2 real hot to clean the inside of the stove & bypass area.
Good luck.
 

BKInsert

Member
Oct 23, 2011
151
Long Island NY
bogydave said:
All good suggestions.
I'll add one. Write up some "instructions" for stove operation. Leave them near the stove.
I did that & when my wife burns, she refers to the instructions. After a few burn, she won't need to read them. We all have to learn.
I also have identified the "dry wood" section so any wood brought in to burn is ready to go.
When you fix the problem, burn a load or 2 real hot to clean the inside of the stove & bypass area.
Good luck.
This is a great idea regading the instructions! I am going to do it today...
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
There is no way I would pull the cat in January unless I had a spare. Hit the front of the cat with a toothbrush and maybe go in with a pipe cleaner. The cat is only 2" deep so you don't buy much by pulling it out. FWIW, I have recently been told emphatically by a cat vendor that soaking is a last resort nothing left to lose move.
 

SmokeyCity

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2011
428
Western Pa
so your'e saying there's more than one way to skin a CAT ?

SolarAndWood said:
There is no way I would pull the cat in January unless I had a spare. Hit the front of the cat with a toothbrush and maybe go in with a pipe cleaner. The cat is only 2" deep so you don't buy much by pulling it out. FWIW, I have recently been told emphatically by a cat vendor that soaking is a last resort nothing left to lose move.
 

mliiiwit

Member
Jan 4, 2012
98
Southern KS
Is your wife that jealous of the other "princess" in the house? I can ask around for a recommendation for a good divorce lawyer, if you want.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,756
Central Mass
I just cleaned mine with a small brush meticulously, didnt use a pipe cleaner because I was told not too and my cats running much better, I also vaccumed.
 

Hass

Minister of Fire
Mar 20, 2011
528
Alabama, NY
In the manual it says a hot fire is the best way to clean a dirty cat.
I think it also said in the manual you CAN use pipe cleaners.
Not positive about the pipe cleaner part though... But I'm pretty sure.
 

Lanningjw

Minister of Fire
Oct 15, 2008
514
Plymouth, Minnesota
weatherguy said:
I just cleaned mine with a small brush meticulously, didnt use a pipe cleaner because I was told not too and my cats running much better, I also vaccumed.
I agree, but if my cat was so clogged that smoke was spilling out of the stove with the by-pass close I would try the pipe cleaner first before pulling the cat.
 

Osburning

New Member
Dec 9, 2011
58
Southern NJ
So next time you'll remember to bring enough dry wood into the house, stacked next to the stove so barely a finger needs to be lifted, with specific written and/or video instructions on how to/not to operate the stove while you are away correct?
 

Patapsco Mike

Feeling the Heat
Jun 3, 2008
277
Maryland
Osburning said:
So next time you'll remember to bring enough dry wood into the house, stacked next to the stove so barely a finger needs to be lifted, with specific written and/or video instructions on how to/not to operate the stove while you are away correct?
Negative. Next time I let the fire go completely out before I leave...

I just pulled the cat cover off. Upon careful inspection, my God is the cat gummed up. Can't even see the holes on a good chunk of it. Hard to believe it could get so bad in just 3 days.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,756
Central Mass
Patapsco Mike said:
Osburning said:
So next time you'll remember to bring enough dry wood into the house, stacked next to the stove so barely a finger needs to be lifted, with specific written and/or video instructions on how to/not to operate the stove while you are away correct?
Negative. Next time I let the fire go completely out before I leave...

I just pulled the cat cover off. Upon careful inspection, my God is the cat gummed up. Can't even see the holes on a good chunk of it. Hard to believe it could get so bad in just 3 days.
Sounds about right, my wife "gums" things up when Im not around too :lol:
 

Patapsco Mike

Feeling the Heat
Jun 3, 2008
277
Maryland
shoot-straight said:
mike, you should just shut her down, pay for heat, and wait for morel season....

brett
Hey Brett- only 80 days or so until I can start looking. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Heck, with the 62 degrees we have it might be a while until I fire her back up to see if I've fixed the issue.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Good morning Mike. Sorry to hear about the combustor plugging but it can happen with wet wood and low settings.

First, a pipe cleaner is not a good idea. The precious metals on the face (surface) of the combustor can get stripped off by the brushing action. The brush isn't the only culprit, but in combinations with the deposits it can act like a sandblaster.

Closing the by pass in small increments would be one alternative, otherwise pull the combustor and clean it using the distilled water and vinegar instructions.

Also, as part of the instructions for your wife (and you are indeed a lucky man that your wife doesn't just throw the instructions into the fire!) we suggest running the stove 1 hour on high when the stove is first loaded with wood that may not be as dry as 18% or less moisture content.

In running the stove on high the first hour, a major amount of the weight loss in a load of fuel is the first hour, boiling the water from the wood. You'll then be able to shut the stove down without fear of the clogging.

As fo the new stoves in another thread, The Chinook 20 is now available and selling well. The Sirocco 20 comes in two versions. One with a pedestal and optional ash drawer. The other version has legs. The Sirocco models should be available March-April time frame.

Thanks
Chris
 

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BKInsert

Member
Oct 23, 2011
151
Long Island NY
weatherguy said:
Patapsco Mike said:
Osburning said:
So next time you'll remember to bring enough dry wood into the house, stacked next to the stove so barely a finger needs to be lifted, with specific written and/or video instructions on how to/not to operate the stove while you are away correct?
Negative. Next time I let the fire go completely out before I leave...

I just pulled the cat cover off. Upon careful inspection, my God is the cat gummed up. Can't even see the holes on a good chunk of it. Hard to believe it could get so bad in just 3 days.
Sounds about right, my wife "gums" things up when Im not around too :lol:
Don't you start that.......lol........
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I just realized you may wish to see the new Sirocco as well....

Chris
 

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