Progress Hybrid

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georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Ok... I'll bite... why is it not safe ?

I know it is not designed that way.. but

The stove is a hybrid, and secondary air burns the smoke on top, just as it did in tube stoves, with or without the cat. In fact, for the initial fire, this is how it should operate.

If you close the bypass in normal operation , you force the air past the cat which raises the exhaust gas temperature. If you have no cat, the exhaust is cooler. How is that not safe?

Except for passing through the cat, the exhaust flow is the same w or wo the bypass open


Of course I think the stove should be run as designed, that's how I run mine. But, so long as he monitors temperature, it is not unsafe to run without the cat

See the flow path here

http://blog.woodstove.com/search/label/Progress Hybrid
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,384
Central Mass
Woodstock has explicitly said to not run the stove without the cat. It's not safe. I'll see if I can find the post from Woodstock but this has been discussed a few times.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,807
Southern IN
No, this is not what we have referred to as “draft”. That’s the primarily air control which everyone here is familiar with. We have been asking if you’ve ever measured the draft of your chimney..
The statement attributed to me is not mine. I don't know who made it.
Who made this statement then?
I did. https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/progress-hybrid.173698/page-3#post-2333249
I have no clue what you're referring to.
;lol
Ok... I'll bite... why is it not safe ?
Well, he only brushes once a year, and gets 2 gallons of creosote, which would no doubt be much less with the cat installed. Adding to that is the fact that he runs an un-insulated liner. He might get away with it, but it's not exactly safe.
So the secondary burns when the bypass is closed or open?
 

TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
No, this is not what we have referred to as “draft”. That’s the primarily air control which everyone here is familiar with. We have been asking if you’ve ever measured the draft of your chimney..
No, I have never measured the draft (as defined by differential pressure). A draft measurement without some reference is fairly useless. So I contacted Woodstock.

I wrote:
"I purchased a Progress Hybrid stove in 2012 and have been using it since then. I am familiar with the various manuals and operating/maintenance guidance. Recently, I have been advised to maintain the draft, as measured by a differential pressure draft gauge, per Woodstock specifications. My question to you is does Woodstock have any draft specifications that would pertain to my stove? Thank you for any assistance you can provide."

They responded:
"Thank you for contacting us about your Progress. There is nothing specific for the Progress readings of water columns of the draft. The general ideal WC for any woodstove chimney should be around .05 WC on a draft gauge. Hope this answered your question. If you have any more, please don't hesitate to write or call."

So 0.05"WC seems to be a generic benchmark for draft.

In the interim, however, I have achieved a MAJOR breakthrough, which I will detail in a subsequent post.
 

TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
A Major Breakthrough

Background:
For years, I could not keep my cat engaged due to plugging of fine ash that would occur within a week or so after cleaning with a vacuum brush. With the clean cat engaged, the stove would not hold temperature so I increased the draft. This undoubtedly caused the plugging. I have pretty much given up on using the cat over the last few years, operating with the bypass open. This year I physically removed the cat.

Present: After interacting on this forum, I though I'd give the cat another try. With a vacuum brushed clean cat, I did something I had never done before: I washed the cat with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water, as described in the Woodstock manual. The wash water contained a fine, brown residue. I then started up the cold stove in the prescribed manner with a partial load of wood. I engaged the cat when the pipe temp hit 300, stovetop at 350, damper at about 20%. Over the next two hours, the stovetop increased to 435, the stovepipe dropped to 250, both quite normal. I then loaded the stove fully for the night, bypass closed, damper at 10%. Four hours later, the stovetop was 450, the stovepipe 270. Eight hours after start (morning), the stovetop was250, the stovepipe 140, with plenty of hot coals in the stove. The room temp was 70, outside 30. I then opened the bypass, added some wood and let it burn to get the stovepipe up to 300, at which point I filled the woodbox, closed the bypass, and set the damper at 0%. Three hours later the stovetop is 510, the stovepipe 250. Operation appears perfectly normal.

Conclusion: My issues were caused by a cat that would not ignite due to surface deposits not removed by brushing. This was resolved by washing the cat per Woodstock the recommended procedure.

Next week, I will begin travelling until mid-March. I will not resume using the stove until then. Thanks to all for your input. I wish I had tried the vinegar wash 5 years ago.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,896
Downeast Maine
Still though, are you controlling the stove with the stove air control or the damper in your stove pipe? I'm not trying to start a fight and I'm happy you have solved the cat Ignition issue. It still isn't clear to me with what you are controlling the stove.
 

wilsoncm1

New Member
Nov 5, 2018
73
Western NC
The Chemical Engineer forgot basic chemistry! You should have asked one of us stupid Chemistry Majors instead ;-)

Glad you've figured it out.
 

TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
Still though, are you controlling the stove with the stove air control or the damper in your stove pipe? I'm not trying to start a fight and I'm happy you have solved the cat Ignition issue. It still isn't clear to me with what you are controlling the stove.
I do not have a stovepipe damper, only the damper on the stove. Although irrelevant to me, it seems a stovepipe damper creates the potential for positive pressure in the stove which could release smoke into the room.
 

Woodboy

Member
Jan 19, 2011
13
Trumansburg NY
I have a PH that is 1 1/2 years old. I have 2 combusters so I can rotate each month.I did this with my 2008 fireview as well. After reading TJL's problems and running his stove without the combuster, I thought I would give it a try. I didn't have combuster problems, I just thought simpler is better. It is a hybrid. So I have been running it without the combuster installed for about a week. Before this, my combuster would load up in about 2 weeks and I would have to change it out. The stove heats up faster, burns are about 10 to 25% (worst case so far) shorter depending on how open I have the control lever.
Usually I put in 3 Enviro Bricks and open the control halfway until they light off. I then close the control until it is open about 1/8 of an inch. I have a chimney damper and I close that half way after the chimney temp is around 300.
The stove gets to around 450 in about 30 minutes from 250. Only 3 bricks in the stove. With the combuster installed, the stove would only get to 400 without the chimney damper on.
Anyway, I am liking this setup so far. The more bricks I put in the more heat. They are very dry.
If I use regular firewood, 3 or 4 pieces which fills the stove about half way, I get the same performance heat output wise, but the fire lasts a lot longer.
One ton of these bricks lasts 30 days + or - a few days .
I close the bypass so I can get the max heat from the stove.
I called Woodstock and asked if there would be a problem doing this and they would only tell me the stove is designed to be used with the combuster. I could not get them to say it may or may not be ok.
I have a double insulated 6" x 18' chimney. Half of my inside pipe is 6" insulated.
Outside air kit. I reduced the 5" adapter to 4" and cut and taped the 4" hose around my 3" pipe that I had when I has the Blazeking Princess.
My previous stove was a 2015 Jotul Firelight 600. Great stove. I really liked the screen option.
So I noticed that the PH burns almost the same as my Jotul did without the combuster installed. Time will tell.
I do not have anything against running a combuster, I just don't like the tear down every two weeks.
By the way, last year I ran 2 tons of the bricks through the stove and the cat never plugged and there was only a light coating of dust.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,896
Downeast Maine
I have a PH that is 1 1/2 years old. I have 2 combusters so I can rotate each month.I did this with my 2008 fireview as well. After reading TJL's problems and running his stove without the combuster, I thought I would give it a try. I didn't have combuster problems, I just thought simpler is better. It is a hybrid. So I have been running it without the combuster installed for about a week. Before this, my combuster would load up in about 2 weeks and I would have to change it out. The stove heats up faster, burns are about 10 to 25% (worst case so far) shorter depending on how open I have the control lever.
Usually I put in 3 Enviro Bricks and open the control halfway until they light off. I then close the control until it is open about 1/8 of an inch. I have a chimney damper and I close that half way after the chimney temp is around 300.
The stove gets to around 450 in about 30 minutes from 250. Only 3 bricks in the stove. With the combuster installed, the stove would only get to 400 without the chimney damper on.
Anyway, I am liking this setup so far. The more bricks I put in the more heat. They are very dry.
If I use regular firewood, 3 or 4 pieces which fills the stove about half way, I get the same performance heat output wise, but the fire lasts a lot longer.
One ton of these bricks lasts 30 days + or - a few days .
I close the bypass so I can get the max heat from the stove.
I called Woodstock and asked if there would be a problem doing this and they would only tell me the stove is designed to be used with the combuster. I could not get them to say it may or may not be ok.
I have a double insulated 6" x 18' chimney. Half of my inside pipe is 6" insulated.
Outside air kit. I reduced the 5" adapter to 4" and cut and taped the 4" hose around my 3" pipe that I had when I has the Blazeking Princess.
My previous stove was a 2015 Jotul Firelight 600. Great stove. I really liked the screen option.
So I noticed that the PH burns almost the same as my Jotul did without the combuster installed. Time will tell.
I do not have anything against running a combuster, I just don't like the tear down every two weeks.
By the way, last year I ran 2 tons of the bricks through the stove and the cat never plugged and there was only a light coating of dust.
If it didn't foul with the bio bricks, that leads me to believe your wood isn't as seasoned as you thought.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,083
central pa
I do not have a stovepipe damper, only the damper on the stove. Although irrelevant to me, it seems a stovepipe damper creates the potential for positive pressure in the stove which could release smoke into the room.
Yet you have never measured your draft so you have no idea if you could benefit from one or not.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,083
central pa
I have a PH that is 1 1/2 years old. I have 2 combusters so I can rotate each month.I did this with my 2008 fireview as well. After reading TJL's problems and running his stove without the combuster, I thought I would give it a try. I didn't have combuster problems, I just thought simpler is better. It is a hybrid. So I have been running it without the combuster installed for about a week. Before this, my combuster would load up in about 2 weeks and I would have to change it out. The stove heats up faster, burns are about 10 to 25% (worst case so far) shorter depending on how open I have the control lever.
Usually I put in 3 Enviro Bricks and open the control halfway until they light off. I then close the control until it is open about 1/8 of an inch. I have a chimney damper and I close that half way after the chimney temp is around 300.
The stove gets to around 450 in about 30 minutes from 250. Only 3 bricks in the stove. With the combuster installed, the stove would only get to 400 without the chimney damper on.
Anyway, I am liking this setup so far. The more bricks I put in the more heat. They are very dry.
If I use regular firewood, 3 or 4 pieces which fills the stove about half way, I get the same performance heat output wise, but the fire lasts a lot longer.
One ton of these bricks lasts 30 days + or - a few days .
I close the bypass so I can get the max heat from the stove.
I called Woodstock and asked if there would be a problem doing this and they would only tell me the stove is designed to be used with the combuster. I could not get them to say it may or may not be ok.
I have a double insulated 6" x 18' chimney. Half of my inside pipe is 6" insulated.
Outside air kit. I reduced the 5" adapter to 4" and cut and taped the 4" hose around my 3" pipe that I had when I has the Blazeking Princess.
My previous stove was a 2015 Jotul Firelight 600. Great stove. I really liked the screen option.
So I noticed that the PH burns almost the same as my Jotul did without the combuster installed. Time will tell.
I do not have anything against running a combuster, I just don't like the tear down every two weeks.
By the way, last year I ran 2 tons of the bricks through the stove and the cat never plugged and there was only a light coating of dust.
Have you measured your draft? Have you measured the moisture content of your wood?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,896
Downeast Maine
Yet you have never measured your draft so you have no idea if you could benefit from one or not.
It sounds like he has too much draft and even with the stove air controls turned the way down, the always open secondary air inlet is allowing too much air and that's causing the cat plugging issue. Perhaps a stove pipe damper or a non hybrid stove would help this situation.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,083
central pa
It sounds like he has too much draft and even with the stove air controls turned the way down, the always open secondary air inlet is allowing too much air and that's causing the cat plugging issue. Perhaps a stove pipe damper or a non hybrid stove would help this situation.
Yes a if that is the case a damper would help. And a non hybrid would solve the problem of clogged cats but there would be other issues depending upon how strong the draft is..
 

TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
I called Woodstock and asked if there would be a problem doing this and they would only tell me the stove is designed to be used with the combuster. I could not get them to say it may or may not be ok.
I don't think you should be surprised by this response. Woodstock has potential liability issues. I would take the same position if I were them. Over the years, I have found Woodstock customer service to be excellent.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,807
Southern IN
A Major Breakthrough
Conclusion:
My issues were caused by a cat that would not ignite due to surface deposits not removed by brushing. This was resolved by washing the cat per Woodstock the recommended procedure.
Glad you got 'er running good, that's great news! :)
This is a theory I have about those "surface deposits not removed by brushing"...not sure how true it is; Let's say you run smoke through the cat before it's hot enough to burn, or that the cat stalls for some reason (burning semi-dry wood and cutting the air too low) Raw creosote will be deposited inside the cells of the cat. Then, the next time the cat lights off, the creosote burns but the residue sticks to the cell walls. You can't gently blow it out, like you can with fly ash that came from the fire box, because it is "baked on." The vinegar/water wash will dissolve this and unmask the cell walls in the cat.
For this reason, I'm kind of particular about engaging the cat. I get the stove hot enough so that when I close the bypass, that cat is glowing in less than a minute. I understand that you can't see the cat on the PH but there's a provision for installing a cat probe thermometer, correct? If the cat is lighting when you close the bypass, that probe meter should begin to rise quickly, in a short amount of time.
P1030907.JPG
For me to know when it's time to throw the bypass lever, I use a magnetic surface flue thermometer, rather than going by stove top temp. The temp on the stone top is slow to react, and the flue meter gives me more immediate information as to what is happening in the fire box. So I run the flue meter up to "X" temperature (safe temp where the pipe doesn't overheat,) then cut the air to hold it there for maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot the stove is when I reload. Then I know that the cat will light pretty much instantly when I close the bypass, even though the stove top might only be at 150, as opposed to the 250 that is referenced in my manual. The sooner I can close the bypass, light the cat and get the stove cruising, the less wood I burn up in the process and the longer the load will go. You would have to experiment to determine what your flue temp needs to be, how long you need to level off there etc, to find out where the cat will light instantly when you close the bypass. Obviously, you also need to get enough of the load burning as well..
I do not have a stovepipe damper, only the damper on the stove....it seems a stovepipe damper creates the potential for positive pressure in the stove which could release smoke into the room.
I don't think you could ever get positive pressure in the fire box, just less negative pressure, especially with your stack height. The pipe dampers have holes in them and there is also clearance around the edge between the damper and the pipe, so it is far from a complete seal.
damper.jpg
My SIL is running a Fireview on a 21' stack which has two elbows at the top to get past a rafter. I put in a key damper, and it definitely made the burn more controllable, with less heat escaping up the flue. With your 24' of stack, I might even try two pipe dampers (saw bholler recommend that a couple times) in the event that you still have trouble with ash plugging your cat.
You got the stove rockin' just in time...it's getting mighty cold outside! !!!
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,807
Southern IN
I called Woodstock and asked if there would be a problem doing this and they would only tell me the stove is designed to be used with the combuster. I could not get them to say it may or may not be ok.
I don't think you should be surprised by this response. Woodstock has potential liability issues.
Right. It says in the manual something to the effect that it is "a violation of federal law to operate without the cat." Plus as you have seen, it deposits more creo in the pipe, increasing the chance of a chimney fire. They are never going to condone operating the stove like that.
I would never run without a cat anyway. Sometimes with these stoves you just have to keep experimenting until you find a way around the problem. Modifying the stove is seldom the best answer.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,807
Southern IN
Ah, the blazing cat. :cool:

20181116_170037~2.jpg 20181127_192609.jpg
 
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TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
I am pretty much on the same page as you. I have two surface thermometers, one mounted 10" above the ring on the vertical pipe (per Woodstock manual), a second on the stovetop above where the cat is located. The Woodstock manual indicates OK to engage the cat when the pipe temp reaches 300. That is what I do, along with cutting the damper back. Although I can't see the cat, I use an IR Thermometer to read the stovetop temps at the locations of the cat inlet and the cat outlet. With the bypass open the temp difference is maybe 10 deg. With the bypass closed and the cat activated, the difference is 50-80, depending on how much smoke is being burned. This tells me the cat is working. Other language in the Woodstock manual is a tad confusing about when to engage the cat. If for some reason I don't see the stovetop temp increasing, I know the cat is not ignited and repeat the process.

I control temp with the damper. Right now it has been fully closed for several hours. The room temp is 70, the outside temp is 30 and the stovetop is 460. If I need more heat output, I open the damper and possibly add more wood, keeping stove temps within recommended limits. Thus far, my stove is running like a Swiss watch, but it has only been a short while. What remains to be seen is if my chronic cat plugging issue has been resolved. I think it will since i only seem to need to move the damper between 0-20%. No high draft settings to entrain dust. At the end of a burn, I also rake the ash into the bin before loading more wood. This should also help minimize entrainment. I see no value in monitoring and controlling draft in terms of differential pressure. If the stove is running well, I either need more heat, less heat, or the same heat. It 's not that hard. Thanks for your confirmation that I'm on the right track.

For this reason, I'm kind of particular about engaging the cat. I get the stove hot enough so that when I close the bypass, that cat is glowing in less than a minute. I understand that you can't see the cat on the PH but there's a provision for installing a cat probe thermometer, correct? If the cat is lighting when you close the bypass, that probe meter should begin to rise quickly, in a short amount of time.
For me to know when it's time to throw the bypass lever, I use a magnetic surface flue thermometer, rather than going by stove top temp. The temp on the stone top is slow to react, and the flue meter gives me more immediate information as to what is happening in the fire box. So I run the flue meter up to "X" temperature (safe temp where the pipe doesn't overheat,) then cut the air to hold it there for maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on how hot the stove is when I reload. Then I know that the cat will light pretty much instantly when I close the bypass, even though the stove top might only be at 150, as opposed to the 250 that is referenced in my manual. The sooner I can close the bypass, light the cat and get the stove cruising, the less wood I burn up in the process and the longer the load will go. You would have to experiment to determine what your flue temp needs to be, how long you need to level off there etc, to find out where the cat will light instantly when you close the bypass. Obviously, you also need to get enough of the load burning as well..
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Woodstock has explicitly said to not run the stove without the cat. It's not safe. I'll see if I can find the post from Woodstock but this has been discussed a few times.
Thanks...did not know that
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,083
central pa
I am pretty much on the same page as you. I have two surface thermometers, one mounted 10" above the ring on the vertical pipe (per Woodstock manual), a second on the stovetop above where the cat is located. The Woodstock manual indicates OK to engage the cat when the pipe temp reaches 300. That is what I do, along with cutting the damper back. Although I can't see the cat, I use an IR Thermometer to read the stovetop temps at the locations of the cat inlet and the cat outlet. With the bypass open the temp difference is maybe 10 deg. With the bypass closed and the cat activated, the difference is 50-80, depending on how much smoke is being burned. This tells me the cat is working. Other language in the Woodstock manual is a tad confusing about when to engage the cat. If for some reason I don't see the stovetop temp increasing, I know the cat is not ignited and repeat the process.

I control temp with the damper. Right now it has been fully closed for several hours. The room temp is 70, the outside temp is 30 and the stovetop is 460. If I need more heat output, I open the damper and possibly add more wood, keeping stove temps within recommended limits. Thus far, my stove is running like a Swiss watch, but it has only been a short while. What remains to be seen is if my chronic cat plugging issue has been resolved. I think it will since i only seem to need to move the damper between 0-20%. No high draft settings to entrain dust. At the end of a burn, I also rake the ash into the bin before loading more wood. This should also help minimize entrainment. I see no value in monitoring and controlling draft in terms of differential pressure. If the stove is running well, I either need more heat, less heat, or the same heat. It 's not that hard. Thanks for your confirmation that I'm on the right track.
Hat I keep trying to tell you is that to me it sounds like your chimney may be creating to much draft. So even when you shut the air not the damper all the way back there may be to much suction and that is what is causing your clogging. I have been doing this a long time and have seen it with cat stoves many times. You need to test the draft at high burn if you want to solve your issues.
 

TJL

Member
Jan 27, 2015
52
PA
Hat I keep trying to tell you is that to me it sounds like your chimney may be creating to much draft. So even when you shut the air not the damper all the way back there may be to much suction and that is what is causing your clogging. I have been doing this a long time and have seen it with cat stoves many times. You need to test the draft at high burn if you want to solve your issues.
When you close the damper, you reduce the air flow which reduces the velocity, which reduces entrainment of particulate matter (ash). "Suction" has nothing to do with it. You may have been doing this a long time but you don't seem to understand the dynamics. You continue to offer a solution in search of a problem. Read my post more carefully. My problem has been solved.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,807
Southern IN
Thus far, my stove is running like a Swiss watch, but it has only been a short while. What remains to be seen is if my chronic cat plugging issue has been resolved. I think it will since i only seem to need to move the damper between 0-20%. No high draft settings to entrain dust. At the end of a burn, I also rake the ash into the bin before loading more wood. This should also help minimize entrainment.
I think what also stirs up dust is when the wood pops. Sassafras, Black Cherry and White Oak are rather "poppy" and may get dust airborne, to float up to the cat. If plugging turns out to be an issue, I would try adding a couple pipe dampers. Very simple to install, to see what differences they might make in plugging, burn time, etc...and easily reversible.
 
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