Jotul Series 8 Catalytic - back burn plate melting, although never overfired... any ideas?

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tom w

Member
Feb 22, 2015
18
upstate ny
I've had this Jotul Series 8 AP for about 25 years... great stove.

Over about 20 years the back burn plate, the plate with all the holes in it, eventually disintegrated. Been burning wood stoves all my life, and I've never over fired this stove... after coming up to 550 temp (on the stovepipe) to engage the cat I usually I usually run around 400-450 in the early part of the season, and 500-600 max in the dead of winter, with the occasional short bump to 650 or so. Stove top reads around 400-600, rarely over 600 and never over 700.

This "baffle" is the sole route to the catalytic compartment, so when operating in cat mode with the bypass damper closed, the gases go through it to the cat... and as you'd expect it gets pretty hot, and when running around 500 or so it glows (just this part, not the stove). From what I can gather on the internet, it's apparently designed to help the catalytic burn efficiently, and also prevents some of the ash from going into the pocket behind it and reducing airflow to the cat. I attached a photo of the part.

About 3 years ago I did a partial rebuild, replacing that and a couple other parts. Now, just a few short years later, it has also disintegrated. The stove is going now so i can't attach a photo, but the center is gone, and just about 3 inches of the "holes" on each side are left.

Has anyone else had this happen? What's causing it... cheap cast iron? If I wasn't diligent in operating temps I'd say it was over firing, but it's not... unless this stove shouldn't run above 400. I have 3 good thermometers, I've checked them for accuracy. More importantly, what's the best long term solution? I don't want to replace this $250 part every couple years, but I would like to remedy the problem. I've even thought of getting a cast iron BBQ stove grate and cutting it to size and simply resting it in front of this plate, but if the holes are for burn efficiency, I don't think the grates will create the proper volume of gases...? Any ideas are appreciated... thanks!
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,457
South Puget Sound, WA
It is sacrificial and a wearing part. 20 yrs. of service is a good run.
 
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