Input needed on my next stove

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Ohiowoodstove

New Member
Dec 20, 2021
4
Ohio
Hello all I’ve been doing tons of reading on this forum for the last several months. Thank you all for the great info. I’ll break dow my situation:

I purchased and installed a pleasant hearth 1800 for my small country home approx 1400sqft I’ve been burning with it for two seasons now and believe I’ve got the hang of it. Overall I’m pretty disappointed with the stove. Not because of the burn time or because of the quality of fire, it burns great and burns the amount of time I’d suspect for a smaller firebox. The issue I have with this stove is the completely lack of control. I believe this to be a design flaw. This stove will go nuclear on a full load of wood every single time. I’ve shut the air down the varying degrees at various times and I’ve very rarely achieved the lazy blue secondary burn and I feel I just can’t trust it. I have experimented with covering the secondary inlets and that’s helped but it’s not my preferred way of running the stove. If this is a me problem please chime in as im willing to try things to correct it.

So moving on to my question. Im looking to upgrade to something that can achieve good overnight burns but won’t heat me out of the room. From research the obvious choice would be a cat stove. The issue is we really enjoy the fire show. My current choices are: either a bk sirocco 25 or 30 or a non cat stove that can achieve a slower more controlled burn. What are your experiences with either option and are there recommendations you all have for the non cat options?

Thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
There could be other issues besides the stove. Things like too strong draft, loosely packed wood, etc. will affect burntime and control. How thick is the average piece of firewood? What is the flue system on the stove? Is there a key damper?

There are several stoves, cat and non cat that will get the job done. Right now with temps in the 30s we are averaging 10-12 hr burns. A mid-sized, N/S loading stove should work out well. Look at those from Regency, PE, Quadrafire. For catalytics, in addition to BK, look Woodstock and Hearthstone.
 
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Ohiowoodstove

New Member
Dec 20, 2021
4
Ohio
Thanks begreen! From reading on here I’ve learned that larger splits will help control the offgassing and I usually put in larger splits that will fit. I can only load EW in this stove and I hope a NS capable stove will help too. There is no damper which is another thing I’m looking at adding. My chimney isn’t tall by any means it just meets the 15ft minimum. I suppose my main concern is having the ability to get an all night burn without way too hot. Or with the cat stove having a nice fire show without getting the room too hot. It could very well be that a stove doesn’t exist that will meet all my needs and I’ll have to sacrifice something on my list.


Edit: I will also be the first to admit that I have yet to really pack my stove up with thick splits out of fear of a large uncontrolled burn. I realize this could ironically fix my problem.
 
Last edited:

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,231
Western Washington
You can still have a decent flame view with the BK’s on a 12 hour reload cycle from my experience with the princess. But it’s pretty boring and really a set and forget for the most part of your looking for control and steady house temp and even if the glass is clean, not much flames. The steady low heat is deceiving and you’ll probably end up with some 20-24 hr burns during the milder weather times and glass gets pretty black. You can build smaller hot fires and run it similar to a noncat but it’s hard not to be lazy and just let the stove do what it was designed to do.
 
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bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
654
Utah, NJ
post a few pics next time you load and light up your stove. It can be a big help.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
Or with the cat stove having a nice fire show without getting the room too hot.
That will most likely require a hybrid cat stove. The glass goes black on a pure cat stove when running on low output.

Edit: I will also be the first to admit that I have yet to really pack my stove up with thick splits out of fear of a large uncontrolled burn. I realize this could ironically fix my problem.
That's not uncommon. It takes time and practice to learn a new stove even for seasoned woodburners. Post some pictures in advance of it before igniting.
 
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Ohiowoodstove

New Member
Dec 20, 2021
4
Ohio
Thanks for the helpful replies everyone. I most certainly will post some pics next time. I’m definitely not above a little ego check.

The hybrid cat stove sounds like a perfect compromise. I’m having a hard time understanding the performance or intended usage differences between the noncat, cat stove and hybrid.

Can any hybrid owners chime in on their experience and what model they use and if they’re happy with it?