How hot should a combustor on a Dutchwest get, and a question the on the baffle

bmur Posted By bmur, Feb 8, 2006 at 7:04 AM

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  1. bmur

    New Member 2.

    Nov 29, 2005
    My Dutchwest XL is running 1200 to 1250 on the combustor guage at peak. Is this too hot? The dealor says yes, The manual says no. Not sure who to trust on this one. the fire box is 400 to 500

    Also the baffle that sits in front of the combustor gets very hot and sometimes will get a little cherry when the flames are hitting it directly, If the fire is dying back the this is not the case. Is this piece since it is sitting right in the flame and below the combustor meant to take this beating. It is mounted with spring clips so I assume its designed to grow and shrink a great deal.


  2. elkimmeg

    Guest 2.

    Call Mo Heat to the information desk/ This guy has a question about a cat combustor the same one used in your LWW
  3. webbie

    Seasoned Moderator 2.

    Nov 17, 2005
    Western Mass.
    If the probe is in or right above the converter, this is not too hot.

    I measured certain cat stoves with a digital internal probe and regularly ran 1400-1500+ - The kicker was one time when we put some of the 100 year old Southern Yellow Pine from a construction job in there - I remember it going up to 1800, and pehaps even hitting 2000 for a few seconds....lot of gases in the pine.

    So, I would say you are A-OK.

    Cats, but their very nature, HAVE to create hot temps. Although they start working at temps as low as 400 degrees, once they "light off", they are going to burn any gases passing through them, and we all know that wood gases burn at 1200+ degrees.....

    Oh yes, the baffle....sounds fine. It is designed to break up the gases so they flow through the combustor more evenly and also to protect the combustor from logs or direct flame. You will probably be replacing it someday, but it's a relatively inexpensive part....
  4. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat
    Mod Emeritus 2.

    Nov 18, 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    I can only speak for my stove, but 1,250*F is NOT AT ALL hot for my VC Winter Warm Large. I regularly get 1700*F temps and beyond that are said to be ok 'for the cat' (according to Condar, the maker of my cat, and probably yours, too) for short periods. I've had 'em, and no harm done. My Condar digital probe cat thermometer even has a scale on it that says operating temps are between 1000*F and 1700*F. These are acceptable CONTINUOUS operating temps suggested by the maker of my (and probably your) cat and my dig cat probe therm. No problems there.

    I view 1200*F - 1250*F as an IDEAL cat temp on my stove with the digital cat probe thermometer located on the exhaust side of the cat (hottest side).

    Each time I engage my cat, my temps rise well above a 1200*F - 1400*F range. Then 'settle into' that range for a while before eventually dropping off. I refuel at 800*F - 1000*F depending on how much heat I'm needing in a big room, but with me sitting smack dab in front of the stove only about 6 feet away. I can warm the room, or just warm my sitting and viewing area.

    I find there is (sometimes) a (somewhat) counter intuitive relation between the flames I see and the cat temps. Lots of flames in the firebox sometimes equals (relatively) lower cat temps. Few flames in the firebox (sometimes) means much higher cat temps. It makes since if you consider that smoldering wood produces a lot of smoke that is then burned by the cat. The more smoke that gets burned by primary combustion, the less there is left over for the cat. It's interesting. That's why I like the digital probe thermometer. It always lets me know what is going on with the otherwise mysterious cat temps. I am astounded at the high cat temps at times when there appears to be NO fire burning at all. That's one thing nice about a cat. You can maintain a really slow burn if you want to, and not be polluting like crazy as long as your cat is lit off and at operating temps (1000 - 1700). This can save wood IMO regardless of all the conflicting opinions. Slower burn equals slower wood consumption. Of course, if you aren't sitting right in front of the stove, need to heat up a big room, etc., then you may not desire to burn as slow as Mo.
  5. Todd

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 19, 2005
    Lake Wissota

    In the short time I've had my new stove I have noticed the same things you are stating. I was trying to get my stove up to 600 deg so I added more air and wood and it just wouldn't get over the hump. After talking to Woodstock they explained the stove is designed to burn slow and the catalyst will burn the smoke and produce the BTU's.

    So when there is less flames the stove top temps are hotter. More flames seems to equal less heat from my stove. Weird huh? I'm going to purchase one of those digital thermometers to see what is going on inside. Stove top thermometers don't seem to be so accurate on top of soapstone. I can also see how one can burn less wood with a cat stove over a non cat.
  6. Sandor

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 9, 2005
    I have had the same observations. Little visible flame = nice red glowing cat.

    The cat stoves are way easier on wood. I would say my consumption is about 1/3 less compared to the Regency and VC's I have used. I think its the ability to burn with a low air setting and produce alot of heat.

    Clean glass is a nice bonus.
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