Princess Ultra combustor shield

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panderson03

Member
Oct 21, 2018
70
minnesota
We've had our Blaze King Princess for a few years now. We're in Minnesota so 6 months out of the year our stove is in service. We're finding our combustor shield is easily displaced and that the 2 metal tabs holding the shield up are tilted down a bit, rather than being horizontal as they were when our stove was new. I would love advice around how to fix this problem. thank you
 
Hopefully a Princess user or @BKVP will chime in, but at least on the Ashford, the flame shield itself tends to distort and sag a bit over time. It's just so damn hot in that area, close to the combustor, that I suspect it's bound to happen. We just bend it back to straight with a little hand pressure, and imagine I'd do the same with pliers on the tabs, if they were moving.
 
OP, Which Princess do you own? PE32 (current) or PE1006?

BKVP
 
That piece is called the dome guard. It's very easy to address. You can order a new one or use the one you have.

If you elect to use the one you have, remove just one of the two nuts on the downward facing dome guard. These nuts (left and right) hold small clip in place. Once you remove the nut, push up on the threaded stud and the clip can be removed from the side. Lower down the dome guard on the side you removed and push it the opposite direction.

The dome guard will now come free of the stove. Once out of the stove, you can bend the tabs upward. You can try to do this in the stove but BE VERY CAREFULL TO NOT ALLOW A TOOL TO MAKE CONTACT WITH THE FACE OF THE COMBUSTOR! The part is heavy duty stainless and will take some force (and tight quarters) to bend upward.

Taking it off the dome and putting it on the bench is usually much easier. I did this on my old 1107 and I think it took less than 10 minutes.

BKVP
 
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@BKVP I've been looking for a Dome Guard to buy but cannot seem to find anyone who sells them. Can you make a recommendation? burning season is only 6 weeks away!
thank you
 
Call my office on Monday and speak with Francisco. He can make a recommendation.

509-522-2730

I'm flying next week, so he'll help you.

Chris
 
This thing. My tabs are still good and the actual holey flame shield has stayed flat on mine too. These things are holding up very well after 10 years of 9 months per season burning.

435CC089-41A0-40E2-ADE0-6905352A9E3A.jpeg
 
I will BKVP. Thank you
Yes, Highbeam. That thing. not sure why we're having trouble. Glad you're not, though!
Oh sorry, I’ve just never heard of that part failing. My princess has not been problem free but those easily replaceable parts have held up well.

I’ve got 25 bricks on my bench right now to replace the firebox lining.
 
I’ve got 25 bricks on my bench right now to replace the firebox lining.
I've been talking about doing this for a few years now, most the rear bricks in one of my Ashford are now at half height. ;lol I spent so many countless hundreds of hours rebuilding and repairing those old Jotuls, that I seem to be almost emotionally making up for it by ignoring my BK's. We are now at year 6 for each of my combustors.
 
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that's incredible. my combustors don't seem to last more than a year. we're burning 6-7 months out of the year (mid Oct-mid April give or take). We burn iron wood, bass wood, oak, ash, elm that has been split and stacked under roof for at least a year.
 
that's incredible. my combustors don't seem to last more than a year. we're burning 6-7 months out of the year (mid Oct-mid April give or take). We burn iron wood, bass wood, oak, ash, elm that has been split and stacked under roof for at least a year.
I thought hardwoods like oak need 2-3 years to dry. Are you getting under 20% after one year? I wonder if burning unseasoned wood might be a reason for such short cat life.
 
When you say you're not getting more than a year, what do you mean? How are they failing?

I'll admit my combustor is less reactive than when new, but it's still lighting off and staying in active mode at low burns, through the majority of the burn cycle. No cracks, no crumbling, visibly looks almost new.

Most of it's life was spent on a mix of various oaks, all stacked under cover 3-4 years. The last year or two has seen more hickory and ash, with the majority of what's stacked for this year and the future being ash. Again, all split and stacked 3-4 years, and under a roof.
 
Hey, Ashful
we notice a dramatic reduction in heat output and change in color of the smoke exiting the chimney (changed from the usual white vapors)
and we use the SteelCat combustors not the ceramic ones
 
Interesting. I know the steelcat combustors can be more prone to clogging in the BK 30's, I have had that issue in my Ashford 30's, the result of which is the stove just won't hit the same mid- to high-burn rates until it's blown clean. Do you think that could be happening?

White = steam, and even good dry 15%MC wood will let off some steam, so it's not exactly a smoking gun for trouble. If you're having trouble with stalling when you turn down low, then the wood might not be as dry as it could be, but you didn't mention having trouble with that.

But I'm very surprised you're not getting more years out of a combustor. I put 5 - 7 cords per year thru one of my stoves, and about half that thru the other. We start running evenings around Oct.1, and we're into 24/7 burning by Nov.1 most years. We keep the stoves going 24/7 thru March, and then go back to evening burns into May. So, it sounds like we're probably doing more cords and hours than you're running yours.

Do you have a theory on why the combustors are dying that fast?

Oh, one thing I should mention is that the stove that sees most of our usage (the above mentioned 5-7 cords with combustor in 6th year) has a special version of the combustor in it. But even our other stove's combustor has held up pretty well over this same period, at lower usage.
 
Hey, Ashful
we notice a dramatic reduction in heat output and change in color of the smoke exiting the chimney (changed from the usual white vapors)
and we use the SteelCat combustors not the ceramic ones
What does you're venting system consist of from stove top to termination? Include total length. Describe any 90's, 45's and offsets.
Are you by chance experiencing deformation, warping, cell separation in the steel cats?
Any details may help.
 
Where are you purchasing the combustors?
 
What does you're venting system consist of from stove top to termination? Include total length. Describe any 90's, 45's and offsets.
Are you by chance experiencing deformation, warping, cell separation in the steel cats?
Any details may help.
HI MoreSnow. our stove pipe goes straight up 25' from the top of our stove; no bends or offsets. thanks for your help
 
We get our combustors from Condar
I think you need to first identify the cause of failure. Are the cells breaking apart and crumbling? Or do they remain intact and the issue is continued smoke while burning?
 
I think you need to first identify the cause of failure. Are the cells breaking apart and crumbling? Or do they remain intact and the issue is continued smoke while burning?
the cells are not disfigured in anyway. they are intact. the main issue we see is a dramatic reduction in heat output along with more color to the stuff coming out of the chimney.
 
here's a thought. We inspect the combustor monthly (removing the combustor shield, getting down on our knees with a flashlight). we find after 2 or 3 months of burning, half of the combustor's surface is covered with ash with many cells plugged. so we switch out the current combustor with another one. We clean up the original one by lightly dusting the surface with a soft brush. could our cleaning be shortening the life of the combusters?
 
the cells are not disfigured in anyway. they are intact. the main issue we see is a dramatic reduction in heat output along with more color to the stuff coming out of the chimney.
I suggest you purchase your next combustor from a dealer if you want OEM precious metals coatings.

You can try Midwest Hearth. Their combustors are supplied by Applied Ceramics.
 
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