FireplaceX Large Flush Wood Hybrid-Fyre

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mjrotor, Oct 16, 2018.

By mjrotor on Oct 16, 2018 at 9:43 AM
  1. mjrotor

    New Member 2.

    Oct 15, 2018
    Hello everyone. I am new to this forum, and hoping to find some help. Over the weekend, we purchased the FireplaceX Large Flush Wood Hybrid-Fyre. What intrigued me about this stove was that it's a hybrid. I am not a fan of the catalytic stoves, but the sales guy, at Deans Stoves in CT, told me that you can run the stove without the catalytic element. They had it running without the element at their store. ( safety hazard ?? ) My previous house I had a Regency Ex90, and I loved it. So, since we just purchased it, the efficiency of the stove goes from .58 to 1.6 or so when not using the cat element. There is no documentation on this. The next day after making the purchase, I decided to read the owner's manual. In the owner's manual it states "it is illegal to run the stove without the catalyst element" I spoke to two other fireplace distributors in CT with the same stove, and they said that it would create problems. One person even called Travis Industries and spoke to their sales rep. They said that if the stove is run without the catylst it could over fire and you would not be able to regulate the temp. When I say over fire, I mean a chimney fire. This does not make sense to me, since the non-cat stoves could have the same result. I know this is a little long winded but here our my questions. I am questioning the decision, and wondering if I should go with the Lopi Freedom ( non-cat )insert instead. Also, if you are wondering why we did not go with a non-cat stove, it's because we liked the look of the X being flush. Most of the non-cat inserts are not flush and stick out.

    1) Does anyone own this and how do they like it? I have a 3000 SF colonial. I don't expect it to heat the upstairs very well, but our downstairs is pretty open.
    2) Has anyone ever run this without the catalyst? Is it safe to run without it?
    3) Can I just run it with the damper open, thus bypassing the catalyst? What are problems with keep the damp open? The only issue I see is that the cat element would not be used

    Any other advice/information would be great.



    1. begreen
      Sounds like you already have the answer. It's not permitted by law, not tested or designed to run that way and in general a bad idea. This wouldn't be the first time that a salesperson was blowing smoke.
      bloyet03 likes this.
    2. mjrotor
      well the interesting part, that in their warehouse, they have it running without the cat element. That's why I am trying to find out more info and why is it illegal ? It seems that Dean's would get into trouble for running a stove that is not supposed to be running this way.
    3. Pertzbro
    4. mjrotor
      Thanks. I am looking for a little bigger firebox. I am not sure if 2.2 cu ft is enough. Our house is 3000 SF. The dealer said we could take the cat element out and still use it. That is what I am questioning, even though they did it at their store
    5. Pertzbro
      I suppose you could technically take out the Cat and run it with just the secondary tubes. I personally wouldn't do it. Not sure why you are so against using the Cat, it burns cleaner and longer while giving off more heat...
    6. mjrotor
      I am concerned about the cat element breaking every couple of years. And when they cost $300 plus, that seems like a lot over the life of a stove. Especially when the initial investment is $900-$1000 more than a non-cat. I guess my main concern is the cat element being replaced. It seems like very high maintenance. A non-cat does not have the maintenance issues.
    7. begreen
      How often will the fireplace be burning? Mostly nights and weekends or 24/7?
    8. mjrotor
      24/7, I work from home 5 days a week, so it will be running as the primary heat
    9. begreen
      The cat life will be about 10,000hrs of service. It is part of the design. From what has been indicated it sounds like a non-cat like the Freedom (or other large insert) should have been purchased. I am assuming this is an insert that we are talking about and not a ZC fireplace, correct?
    10. joshuaboston

      SO I also just purchased this insert. It will be installed in about 3 weeks.

      But I like the fact that it uses a CAT. The wood will burn much slower (don't you save money with this feature?), much more efficient, less build up in your chimney.

      And the life of the CAT really depends... it may last more then 10,000 hrs and it may last less. Either way it is only $300.00 to change out... I would think you may save about that in wood by much longer burn times with wood.

      Also with a CAT, you put in your wood and it can last like 12 hours!!! with no CAT you put in wood and three hours later you need to put in more wood... etc...

      If you are serious about wanting to use the stove as a second heat source for the entire first floor... Cat stoves are typically more efficient than non-cat stoves, with longer burn times and less heat loss. To me it makes a lot more sense to use a CAT. Just think, no CAT... and at 5:00 AM your heat kicks in gear and that COSTS YOU $$$$ when if u used a CAT... the heat would last and that would save your $$$$
    11. joshuaboston
      I also wanted to add... my friends that have a stove (not an insert), when you enter their house the entire house smells of the fire... their stoves are not efficient. I would think that a more efficient stove/insert would not have such a strong smell.

      I do understand that Technically... there should not be a smell, but that is not reality.
    12. webby3650
      Of course it can be ran without the cat, you can also stick the stove pipe out the window! The list could go on and on with things that are possible, but are terrible ideas.
      The guy at the stove shop simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The stove is designed around the catalyst, without it in place the airflow is significantly altered and can overfire the stove. Not a flue fire, but actual damage to the stove.. The chimney police aren’t going to Deans to arrest him, but I can assure you that Travis Industries won’t honor any warranties for them if the cat wasn’t being used.
      Dmitry and bholler like this.
    13. mjrotor
      @joshuaboston Technically you should be saving money with a cat. You would think, but I am not sure if it is proven. Also, the advertised burn times on cat and non-cat are not accurate. I split my own wood, so I save quite a bit of money there. I can get the wood for free, if I split it. Or I can get it delivery in rounds for $50-$100. If I don't have to load as often, that would be great. My old non-cat I loaded every couple of hours. It had a firebox of 2.5 cu ft. We liked to keep it warm though. The maintenance of a cat seems higher, but I could be wrong. That's why I like hearing other people's input. Thanks
    14. webby3650
      Did the salesman tell you that the Freedom has an available flush kit? It only sticks about about 2” with the kit.
    15. Pertzbro
      even if it needs to be replaced say every 4th season... thats 3 seasons of burning. figure 6 months of burning each season = replacing every 18 months. Thats $16.66 a month for the Cat. Thats only like 6-7 gallons of gas. Less than a case of beer. I would burn it and change it out when needed. You'll love the benefits of a Cat if you're burning 24/7.

      If you're worried about price, buy a non-cat insert from HD or Menards They are significantly cheaper in price than a Lopi (Fireplace X).
    16. mjrotor
      yes he mentioned that the freedom could be flush. Then he mentioned that you lose the radiant heat when it's flush. I guess you can lose a little, but you really need the blowers. I don't see the top of the insert pushing the heat out far to the rest of the room it's in
    17. mjrotor
      thx @Pertzbro how hard is it to clean the cat element? I don't think I would be able to clean it every two weeks, if I am burning 24/7. Do they make it simple to remove the cat? Also, how do you clean it? I am not worried about the price.
    18. webby3650
      No different than the flush unit you chose.
    19. begreen
      The blower will certainly need to be used with the Hybrid-Fyre insert for good heating. Cat cleaning is more of a seasonal task, not bi-weekly.
    20. Pertzbro
      I dont know how it could get any easier... and you only likely need to clean it once a season. At most - check it once a month when you let it go out for 24hrs+.

    21. Pertzbro
      End of season - use a vacuum.

    22. Dmitry
      I own this insert for three years and was burning 24/7, heating my house. I didn't even refill oil last year.
      I bought it from Dean Stove place. What they told you is complete bullshit. There is no reason you need to run the stove without cat, period. I don't understand why you don't want to use it. Yes, you need to brush it once in a while and you can't burn green wood, but that goes for any stove now. I was told the same thing by tall older guy when I first visited store( about burning without cat). It,s a nice big place, but they don't know sh..t about stoves and customer service is horrible. You are not going to ask the guy at Home Depot how to build your deck. You just buy lumber there. Same principle goes at Dean Stove store.

      Now , your questions.

      The good about insert:
      It's a best looking big insert to the day if you want flush contemporary install.
      It has big window and beautiful view of fire.
      It well build.
      It can trow a lot of heat if wood is dry and you know how to operate it.

      What I don't like:
      There is not a lot of radiant heat since it's flush.( That what you pay for nice look of it).
      The firebox is shallow, so you not going to load a lot of wood , despite 3 cu ft volume. it's going to roll on glass if overfilled. No North/South loading.
      The fire box uneven and goes from 20'' in a back to 26" in front. So with wood cut to 20'' it's a lot of unused space.
      You have to attend it and regulate air while you burn, at least for first hour. No automatic thermostat like Blaze King has.

      All in all, it's a nice stove but it's not ideal 24/7 heater. That's why I was considering getting something big with square box with catalyst.

      P.S. The cat should be the least of your worries.
    23. jhjove
      I'm wondering if "Dean Stoves" had a floor model or a unit with a damaged CAT (removed) and was trying to pawn it off on the OP...instead of repairing and selling as a complete unit?

      I'd be unwilling to do business at this joint in the future...and sure as hell call 'em out on this.
    24. mjrotor
      I called two different stores about this in CT, and they said that they have never heard of taking the cat out in these units. I did call Dean's out on it and here is what they said

      "First things first, taking the catalyst out will not void the warranty. You would file warranties through us, not Travis Industries. If you need a part and it's under warranty, we replace it. No questions asked. The stove is designed to be operated with the catalyst so there's no documentation saying it's ok to run without it, but the medium size model (Flush Wood Plus) is a non-catalytic version of the Large Hybrid-Fyre, only smaller. I was speaking from personal experience in my own home, as well as here in the shop. It's 100% safe to use without the catalyst. If you'd like to stop in and speak with me and Dean, the owner, in person for reassurance and peace of mind, I'm available every day except for Wednesday. "

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