Calling on Kuma Sequoia owners... (also BK Princess)

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I'm the original poster. believe it or not, about two hours ago I finally lit the first fire in this BK Princess insert. The burning stove paint is enough to run you out of the house. All the doors and windows are open. But I expected that.

Got a question for anyone (like BigBadVooDooDaddy or BKVP).

I called BK's manufacturing facility in Walla Walla, but no one is available to answer my question. The nice lady said they aren't set up for that and referred me back to the installing dealer. I doubt the installing dealer is familiar with the nuances with BK Princess inserts. Very nice fellow though. Hard to reach, he's frequently on a roof top doing something dangerous.

Question is about box temperature vs fan speed. I cannot seem to throttle up the stove to the highest temp setting (temp dial located on the right hand side of the stove) without driving the fire box temperature right off the top of the high end of the temp gauge (located top dead center in the "grill"). I definitely am running the electric fan on the high setting. What's up with this?

I've read and think I understand, "low fan speed matches to low temp setting, high fan speed matches to high temp setting". I just find that for the upper end this is not really true.

My concern is that a family member or someone else will turn the temp setting up too high and overheat the cat converter in the fire box.

I'm burning dry wood, about 20% metered moisture, 1/4 doug fir, 3/4 maple. The firebox was loaded full and has burned down about 1/4 by now. Everything is "settled in". Fire has been going about 2-1/2 hours.

Thanks
 
Got a pic of that thermometer?
 
Question is about box temperature vs fan speed. I cannot seem to throttle up the stove to the highest temp setting (temp dial located on the right hand side of the stove) without driving the fire box temperature right off the top of the high end of the temp gauge (located top dead center in the "grill"). I definitely am running the electric fan on the high setting. What's up with this?

I've read and think I understand, "low fan speed matches to low temp setting, high fan speed matches to high temp setting". I just find that for the upper end this is not really true.

It's a guideline, not a rule. As with everything in life, there's a lot of stuff that can influence outcomes. If your wood is wet you can throttle all the way up and not be able to run the fan on medium without killing the cat. Stoves and drafts vary, and your draft probably varies day to day. As your cat ages you get less heat off the same load, etc. That said, I don't often burn above 50% on the thermostat, even with the fan on high. When I go above that point it seems like I'm heating the flue more than the room. For my after-work load when it's really cold out, I often run the thermostat on 50% and the fan on high without coming anywhere near to stalling the cat.

Also bear in mind that the thermostat control is not purely a thermostat control- it also directly influences the minimum and maximum intake that the thermostat can call for. The magic thermostat can adjust across part of its range automatically- so on a cold stove, 75% and 100% on the dial are the same setting- but on the same cold stove, if you set it to 25%, it will not be able to open itself up as it needs to.

I would actually be quite interested to hear exactly what its range is. I think I have a good feel for mine, though.

My concern is that a family member or someone else will turn the temp setting up too high and overheat the cat converter in the fire box.

I'd tell them not to, but I also wouldn't really worry about it if they did. The stove is designed to withstand WOT burning. You have to step outside of normal operating parameters to overfire a BK. If you want to worry about them damaging the cat, worry that they will open the door before they open the bypass. :)

Re the high cat probe reading, you'll have that while the cat is new and overactive.. Mine wrapped all the way around until it pointed south a couple times when the stove was new, and the cat is still running strong.
 
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It's a guideline, not a rule. As with everything in life, there's a lot of stuff that can influence outcomes. If your wood is wet you can throttle all the way up and not be able to run the fan on medium without killing the cat. Stoves and drafts vary, and your draft probably varies day to day. As your cat ages you get less heat off the same load, etc. That said, I don't often burn above 50% on the thermostat, even with the fan on high. When I go above that point it seems like I'm heating the flue more than the room. For my after-work load when it's really cold out, I often run the thermostat on 50% and the fan on high without coming anywhere near to stalling the cat.

Also bear in mind that the thermostat control is not purely a thermostat control- it also directly influences the minimum and maximum intake that the thermostat can call for. The magic thermostat can adjust across part of its range automatically- so on a cold stove, 75% and 100% on the dial are the same setting- but on the same cold stove, if you set it to 25%, it will not be able to open itself up as it needs to.

I would actually be quite interested to hear exactly what its range is. I think I have a good feel for mine, though.



I'd tell them not to, but I also wouldn't really worry about it if they did. The stove is designed to withstand WOT burning. You have to step outside of normal operating parameters to overfire a BK. If you want to worry about them damaging the cat, worry that they will open the door before they open the bypass. :)

Re the high cat probe reading, you'll have that while the cat is new and overactive.. Mine wrapped all the way around until it pointed south a couple times when the stove was new, and the cat is still running strong.


Great :) Thanks! I was (maybe am) concerned about overheating the cat. Right now with a full firebox I cant get anywhere close to a high temp setting on the left hand dial while running the fan on high. I'm trying to burn fairly hot just to get the stink burned out of the new stove paint.

It occurs to me that if our home loses power in a storm I won't have the fan. Consequently I probably can't burn that hot of a fire without risking overheating the cat. Not all that impressed yet with the radiant heat of an insert--and my expectations were fairly low to begin with. Bought the BK Princess because it appears to project out onto the hearth a good ten inches or so. More firebox in the room is a good thing on an insert if you lose power to the fan. But if you cant burn the firebox on the high heat damper setting without "pegging" the cat temperature gauge, well where does that leave a fellow?
 
Got a pic of that thermometer?


Because you asked, Woody...

The temp reading was hotter but it settled back after I turned the thermostat down.
 

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Great :) Thanks! I was (maybe am) concerned about overheating the cat. Right now with a full firebox I cant get anywhere close to a high temp setting on the left hand dial while running the fan on high. I'm trying to burn fairly hot just to get the stink burned out of the new stove paint.

It occurs to me that if our home loses power in a storm I won't have the fan. Consequently I probably can't burn that hot of a fire without risking overheating the cat. Not all that impressed yet with the radiant heat of an insert--and my expectations were fairly low to begin with. Bought the BK Princess because it appears to project out onto the hearth a good ten inches or so. More firebox in the room is a good thing on an insert if you lose power to the fan. But if you cant burn the firebox on the high heat damper setting without "pegging" the cat temperature gauge, well where does that leave a fellow?
I lost power for a week and the princess did its job. The heat wasn't spread to all areas of the house but I could walk around in a t-shirt in half the house with temps outside in the 20's. You do have to be careful not to overheat if your without the fan.
 
Because you asked, Woody...
The temp reading was hotter but it settled back after I turned the thermostat down.
OK, I thought you were worried about a stove top temp, not cat temp. That's not too bad I don't think, even though it's at the end of the active range.
 
When I began this post I had a lot of concern whether the Blaze King Princess insert would cheerfully heat a 2,500 square foot, modern construction house since BK lists something like 2200 square feet as the upper end of the stove's range. I'm actually inclined at this point to think that the insert might handle closer to 3000 square feet. Most of the time we run the temperature control at about half throttle and most of the downstairs will hover around 77-degrees. Upstairs is still comfortable at around 70-72 degrees, but this will vary according to a variety of factors relating to how your home is built and where the stove is located. Night time temps have been in the upper 20's so not very cold, but I've got an awful lot of throttle left on the damper/temperature control knob. Seeing as we are already pulling into later February I probably won't get to test it at what passes for real "cold" around here until next year. Other observations? Love the cat. Love the north/south loading. Really, really love the deep ash box. Well built product. Fairly quiet fan, but I think the factory could work on a whisper quiet mode and I wouldn't be offended. Good product. Couldn't be more pleased.

Well, okay, maybe one small thing. It would be swell if the factory sold accessory wood control handles in a couple of interesting wood choices like ash, cocobolo. Whatever wood is used now has all the interest and character of shined up firewood. :) There ought to be a feller or two in Walla Walla that would turn out custom wood handles on a lathe and BK could sell them for three times cost. Heck, there ought to be someone on this board who loves turning wood on his lathe that could build a nice little side business doing the same for many models/manufacturers. Might supplement an old timers 401(k) rather nicely and pass the winter months.
 
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Whatever wood is used now has all the interest and character of shined up firewood.  There ought to be a feller or two in Walla Walla that would turn out custom wood handles on a lathe and BK could sell them for three times cost. Heck, there ought to be someone on this board who loves turning wood on his lathe that could build a nice little side business doing the same for many

Mill around the corner from me has some purple heart and other exotic woods, stuff is harder then oak.
They put scraps out front for us wood burners, ill have to make one for my hampton now that you've mentioned it.

Calling on Kuma Sequoia owners... (also BK Princess)
 
It would be swell if the factory sold accessory wood control handles
Don't worry the handles will get darker / less pronounced over time, mine went from that shinny lite color to a darker wood stained color.
 
Great :) Thanks! I was (maybe am) concerned about overheating the cat.

The cat meter is only to be used to determine when to engage the cat. Pay no attention to how far it continues to climb, just be sure that it stays above the active line. That said, your new cat will mellow soon and will generally not exceed the top of the active range after that.

I too live in the PNW and burn our low btu hard and soft woods in my princess free stander. This size stove in our climate is a good fit for a normal house.
 
accessory wood control handles
The fall-away door/ash pan handle for my Dutchwest was originally ceramic...drop it on a brick hearth once, and it's all over. I replaced it with a piece of Red Oak that I whittled down and drilled. Crude but effective. ==c
Calling on Kuma Sequoia owners... (also BK Princess)
 
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I ran my fan pretty much as the manual suggests the first year I had my PI. This year I quit doing that and run it with the fan off 80% of the time.

I do still use the fan when I am home and I want to run up the temperature a few degrees in a hurry.

I wouldn't worry about freezing if I lost power and my generator died, though.

Glad you are liking it so far. It's been good to me so far. :)


Calling on Kuma Sequoia owners... (also BK Princess)