Dutchwest 2461 light smoke smell when running the catalyst.

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joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey
I have a Dutchwest 2461 stove in the home we moved into in 2018. The stove was originally installed in the house in the mid 1990s. We used the stove the first two winters with the catalyst without issue other then having it back puff twice when closing the air vent two low too soon after engaging the damper. This winter when we started using it we began to notice a light smoke smell after several hours of running the catalyst. I could smell a light smoke smell coming from the upper left hand side of the stove in the front corner above the side door. I tested all the gaskets and the side door was not super tight, so I changed the gaskets. This was the first time doing it and I ended up stretching them out to much and had to redo them. I eventually got that done on all the doors and got them tight all around, but the smell was still there when engaging the cat. (I also replaced the damper gasket as it looked worn and the gasket to the catalyst chamber under the stovetop.) So, I current can not use the catalyst as I don't want smoke coming into the house. I get no smell when burning a fire with the damper open. The catalyst is working fine and quickly heats up the 1200 after closing the damper.

So, I've looked through posts on here about Dutchwest stoves and I know the cement between the panels can crack over time and the stove is at least 25 years old. I don't know how much the previous family used the stove, only they probably did not use the stove much in the last several years as there was a cord of wood in the yard that was quite rotted. I right to think that cracked cement is likely explanation for my situation, or could it be something else I'm not thinking of. I don't see any cracking in the metal or any warping. I was looking at the Rutland furnace cement in the caulking tubes and was thinking about cleaning the joints in the firebox really well and running a bead of that along them. Would that be a good idea? I've seen posts about taking one of these apart and resealing the whole thing from scratch and I really don't want to do that. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

*I can post photos of the stove it that would help.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Based on where you are smelling it, I wonder if smoke could getting past the seam of the "inner top," from the fire box into the convective chamber outside the 'horseshoe?' I'd try to examine that seam, and patch it if necessary. I don't know how obvious a leaking section would be, though; It might look OK on inspection.
Meeco gasket cement/stove sealer is more runny than furnace cement, and might work its way into thin gaps better, I don't know.
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
I have a Dutchwest 2461 stove in the home we moved into in 2018. The stove was originally installed in the house in the mid 1990s. We used the stove the first two winters with the catalyst without issue other then having it back puff twice when closing the air vent two low too soon after engaging the damper. This winter when we started using it we began to notice a light smoke smell after several hours of running the catalyst. I could smell a light smoke smell coming from the upper left hand side of the stove in the front corner above the side door. I tested all the gaskets and the side door was not super tight, so I changed the gaskets. This was the first time doing it and I ended up stretching them out to much and had to redo them. I eventually got that done on all the doors and got them tight all around, but the smell was still there when engaging the cat. (I also replaced the damper gasket as it looked worn and the gasket to the catalyst chamber under the stovetop.) So, I current can not use the catalyst as I don't want smoke coming into the house. I get no smell when burning a fire with the damper open. The catalyst is working fine and quickly heats up the 1200 after closing the damper.

So, I've looked through posts on here about Dutchwest stoves and I know the cement between the panels can crack over time and the stove is at least 25 years old. I don't know how much the previous family used the stove, only they probably did not use the stove much in the last several years as there was a cord of wood in the yard that was quite rotted. I right to think that cracked cement is likely explanation for my situation, or could it be something else I'm not thinking of. I don't see any cracking in the metal or any warping. I was looking at the Rutland furnace cement in the caulking tubes and was thinking about cleaning the joints in the firebox really well and running a bead of that along them. Would that be a good idea? I've seen posts about taking one of these apart and resealing the whole thing from scratch and I really don't want to do that. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

*I can post photos of the stove it that would help.
Applying to the surface won't last long at all but it will work long enough to tell you if that is the issue
 

joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey
Yeah, I think I will take the top off tomorrow and take a close look at it. The red circle in the picture below is where I can smell the smoke with the catalyst on. I'll also take close look at the cat chamber itself and make sure there are no cracks. Does anyone have any views on the Red Devil vs the Rutland cement?

Also, when putting on new gaskets I had to put on a slight larger gasket then the manual recommended. The stove calls for 3/8" gaskets for all the doors. That worked fine for the ask tray and the front door, but did not seal tight on the side door in the corner. So, I ended up having to us a 1/2" gasket for the side door. I used Midwest Hearth gaskets, I don't know if that brand is good or not. Is it normal to sometimes have to use a slightly larger gasket for a door?
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
So, if it is one of the seams the only long term solution would be to take the whole stove apart and reseal it?
Yes
 

joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey

Hmm. well I guess I'll take a look and try the sealer and decide what to do from there. I've looked at a post on here of someone taking apart a Dutchwest 2462 and I don't know if I want to get involved with that. If I recall correctly I think I read that it can be difficult to get these stoves back together again after you take them apart because of warping over the years. If that was my only option, then I think I might have a tax credit in my future.:rolleyes: First, I'll see if the sealer fixes the problem for now.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Yeah, I think I will take the top off tomorrow and take a close look at it. The red circle in the picture below is where I can smell the smoke with the catalyst on. I'll also take close look at the cat chamber itself and make sure there are no cracks.
I doubt the "cat chamber"
(what I called the horseshoe) is cracked. The refractory protects it from radiant heat.
I had to put on a slight larger gasket then the manual recommended. The stove calls for 3/8" gaskets for all the doors. That worked fine for the ask tray and the front door, but did not seal tight on the side door in the corner...I used Midwest Hearth gaskets, I don't know if that brand is good or not.
I'm assuming you know of the adjustment provision on the door latch. Sounds like you do, but the door is a little warped and wouldn't seal in that corner. These Dutchwests are cheap for a cat stove, but they have thin castings. If you tear one down, it might be hard to get it back together if the panels are warped. Still, I love my little 2460..nostalgia, I guess. >> Mine seems less warped than my SIL's did; We both were burning wet wood, so I don't think either of us over-fired. :rolleyes: I might even try to rebuild mine at some point, fool that I am. ;lol
Not sure about the MH gaskets, but I gave up on the farm store/stove shop gaskets, and now use only OEM gaskets. That way, I know I've got the proper density/material that the mfgr. wants in there.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
doubt the "cat chamber"
(what I called the horseshoe) is cracked. The refractory protects it from radiant heat.
I see them cracked pretty often
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
I see them cracked pretty often
Hmmm, I guess if you fired the stove hard, the inner top might expand and tear the horseshoe?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
Hmmm, I guess if you fired the stove hard, the inner top might expand and tear the horseshoe?
They warp around the bypass then crack. Don't get me wrong they are great stoves and that happens after a long time but that is the failure point in every one we have taken out or rebuilt.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
They warp around the bypass then crack....that is the failure point in every one we have taken out or rebuilt.
Huh. I figured that was why they put the "web" in there, to relieve stress in that area.
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On ones that you've rebuilt, did you have any problems getting warped panels to fit back together?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
Huh. I figured that was why they put the "web" in there, to relieve stress in that area.
View attachment 275844
On ones that you've rebuilt, did you have any problems getting warped panels to fit back together?
It does work pretty well. These stoves last a long time. And no never had any issue with warpage of other panels.
 

joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey
Well, I think I probably found the issue. There was some cracking in the cement in a few places and then I touched the cement in the corner where the smell is coming from and it popped right out. So, I ordered the cement in the tube and I'll see if that works for now.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
Well, I think I probably found the issue. There was some cracking in the cement in a few places and then I touched the cement in the corner where the smell is coming from and it popped right out. So, I ordered the cement in the tube and I'll see if that works for now.
The cement you are seeing on the surface isn't what matters it is the cement buried in the joint that does
 

joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey
The cement you are seeing on the surface isn't what matters it is the cement buried in the joint that does

Right I understand that, which is why you said in a previous comment that any surface patch will not last long and just end up cracking out again.


It does work pretty well. These stoves last a long time. And no never had any issue with warpage of other panels.

How hard of a job do you think this would be for someone who has never done it before, but is pretty good at taking things apart and putting them back together? I do a lot of my own repair work: fixing my own electronics, simple electrical and plumbing work in the house, simple carpentry etc. I'm guessing this would probably be a two person job and pretty messy with having to grind out all of the old cement.

With this stove, for the long run do you think it would be better to rebuild or just replace with a newer more efficient model?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,087
central pa
Right I understand that, which is why you said in a previous comment that any surface patch will not last long and just end up cracking out again.




How hard of a job do you think this would be for someone who has never done it before, but is pretty good at taking things apart and putting them back together? I do a lot of my own repair work: fixing my own electronics, simple electrical and plumbing work in the house, simple carpentry etc. I'm guessing this would probably be a two person job and pretty messy with having to grind out all of the old cement.

With this stove, for the long run do you think it would be better to rebuild or just replace with a newer more efficient model?
It isn't that hard but you will most likely end up breaking some bolts that will need drilled and tapped. I usually do them by myself with a ratchet strap and a few clamps to help but an extra set of hands is a good thing.

As far as whether it is worth doing I can't tell you that it is a personal decision. These were great stoves in their day and still certainly hold their own against new stuff. But the new stuff is certainly better in some ways
 

joedal

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
8
Piscataway, New Jersey
It isn't that hard but you will most likely end up breaking some bolts that will need drilled and tapped. I usually do them by myself with a ratchet strap and a few clamps to help but an extra set of hands is a good thing.

As far as whether it is worth doing I can't tell you that it is a personal decision. These were great stoves in their day and still certainly hold their own against new stuff. But the new stuff is certainly better in some ways

Alright, thanks for the help. I've ordered the cement in the tube to try for now and I'll have to have a good long think about what to do next with it. Winter is almost over so I've got plenty of time to figure it out. I hate to get rid of a stove that could be fixed and spend a bunch of money on a new one, but at the same time the prospect of doing a complete teardown on one seems a bit daunting. Especially, because I already was planning to do a bunch of other repairs this year. I guess if I do the rebuild myself I'll have some good material to post on here.

Do wood stove dealers do stove rebuilds?