Jotul Alpha Bypass Door Gasket Replacement

Mizamook Posted By Mizamook, Aug 15, 2019 at 6:36 PM

  1. Mizamook

    Mizamook
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 24, 2017
    2
    0
    Loc:
    Haines, AK
    Hello,

    Hoo boy, I am at my wit's end with this one. To actually post in a forum!

    The house I am in now has a Jotul Alpha, and while it's in pretty good shape, not having been used too much by the previous owners (they preferred the diesel burner) at one point last season I noticed some gasket material hanging down. A quick inspection indicated that the gasket for the bypass door was compromised. The manual lists it as part #126885, and I assume it is a fitted piece, and it mentions special adhesive. However, no source for this has been found, and while I was moderately successful at reaching up in there with my fingers, only part of my new gasket stayed put ... and I attacked it again today, thinking access from the top would also grant me enough ability to clean the groove and replace the gasket without getting mire gasket stuck to my fingers, etc. .. but ... no luck.

    Without taking the whole stove apart, does anyone have any tricks for this? If I wasn't short of money I'd replace the whole stove . It made heat last year, but not a lot ... frankly, other than burning clean and fairly long (not like a Blaze King, sadly) it was so cold behind the stove that I had trouble keeping my bottles of homebrew at 70F while bottle conditioning .. .and they were stacked right behind it!

    So I'm hoping that if I can get this gasket fully and reliably installed, it will make more heat (yeah, like the Blaze King)

    Fingers crossed for a magic trick! (because they need to be crossed to even access that area)

    Cheers, and thanks!

    Gene
     
  2. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    4,145
    2,888
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Bear in mind that it's a 35 year old stove from the bad old days of earlier catalytic stoves. However, the manual says that 50% of the stove's heat output is from the cat, indicating that it is probably a better design than usual from that time period (and also indicating that you really need to get that gasket sorted out).

    The replacement procedure is on page 13 of the owner's manual. Apparently you need a coat hanger. :)

    It also says you need a "special adhesive" that ships with the gasket. I'd probably call Jotul and ask where you can get the gasket kits- even places that sell Alpha parts don't seem to have the gasket kits.

    While you're in there, I'd pull the cat and at least shopvac it out.

    If you want to re-stick the old gasket, it appears that multiple stove gasket adhesives are available and rated to 2000° or so. I haven't tried 'em, but Rutland sells a widely available one. @bholler?
     
    begreen likes this.
  3. Mizamook

    Mizamook
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 24, 2017
    2
    0
    Loc:
    Haines, AK
    The problem isn't reading the manual (I did that, as indicated) but accessing the channel ... even with a mirror I can't properly see in! The old gasket was in pieces. The gasket kits have every gasket BUT that one, it seems!

    The way I read it, the gasket in the manual is a special one-piece (not just rope) and already has the special adhesive applied. Maybe even something that is not tacky until it is heated maybe?

    I saw that I'd have better access from the rear flue port, but it seemed to be thoroughly rusted into place, so more work to get it out (without breaking something).

    What I ended up doing after cleaning the channel as best I could , is to make a curved tube applicator for the cement, and poured it into the channel from the top while observing the edge and guiding it from below. Then I used MAGNETS to hold 3/8" Rutland gasket in place, got most of it to stay put, then closed the door. Gave that a few minutes to set, then opened back up and found I had a gap, which I filled using a small piece in the same manner.

    Hopefully that will last until I can get a new stove. It won't be a Jotul. I don't trust anyone who would design a replaceable part like this. The cat access is super simple, as opposed to some others, but this gasket thing takes the cake.The stove is small for my house, too, so when I get an extra $3000.... This stove does burn clean, and the lack of heat radiating from its back and sides (it's convective design)makes it a shoe in for a tighter install, say, like in my basement, or out in the shop.

    I have new cat ... the house came with two extras!
     
  4. jetsam

    jetsam
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 12, 2015
    4,145
    2,888
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Inspect the 'new' cats closely. Who keeps 2 replacement cats sitting around? After 35 years, those may be old ones with 20khours each on them. If you see dust and ash in the corners, it's at least a little used. Even a brand new cat looks dirty though, due to the nature of the coating.
     

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