Replacing an old Jotul cat

Mech e

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2019
385
NorCal
www.dtengineer.com
Do you want a plain looking steel stove? Or something that is aesthetically pleasing?
The ones you mentioned aren’t anywhere near as good looking as the firelight.
With the money I saved buying my "plain looking" steel stove, I purchased two "very nice looking" toys (-8.
 

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Old thread was about the failing F12. This one was supposed to be called something like “help me find a new stove,” but I think my suggestion was misunderstood.
Erm, not misunderstood, I just phrased the subject poorly, should have been "replacing my old Jotul."
 
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rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
He tried, but couldn’t get the bolt holding the inner fireback to budge. Sometimes you need a torch to get that bolt turning.

There was an earlier thread to discuss the salvaging of the F12, but the OP indicated he wanted something he could burn reliably 24/7. In my opinion, the Firelight 12 is a fantastic looking stove, and could satisfy a weekend burner just fine, but it’s simply not worth maintaining them for 24/7 use. Have you seen Jotul’s recent pricing on the refractory components for this stove? They’ve more than doubled the cost of most parts in the last five years, and more than tripled since the stove went out of production. Many parts are no longer available. And at least when I owned them, no one other than those garbage diesel foil cats from Condar was making a cat without interam gasket that would expand and break the delicate refractory cat chamber. These factors, combined with a marginal design from the start, really makes this a very expensive and frustrating stove to maintain for the sort of wear-and-tear any stove has to withstand for 24/7 burning.
I'll lock down the old thread. It's confusing and repetitive to be answering to two threads on the same topic.

The Costco Escape 1800 is a smoking good deal if you are looking for easy heat. If still going for aesthetics on a budget, the choices are going to be more limited. Have you looked at this stove? It's a Firelight CB, an early F600. Looks like it might go for $750 at this time of year. Worth asking.
That mortar and cobble hearth would be a no go for me. What are the odds of four feet finding level spots while being under the flue? I would pour concrete over the cobbles until it’s level.
Lots of choices.

1) That blue Jotul in Scituate is nice looking but even if I could get it at a good price I don't see going to the trouble to replace this one with another used one specially since I am not nearly qualified to evaluate it.

2) If I'm going to the trouble to replace it with a new one, definitely going to rid myself of the silly Fred Flintstone hearth. Sure do like the idea of pouring concrete over it & maybe putting some nice simple tile over that; the wall shield (what's the correct term?) is bolted to the wall so shouldn't be that hard to replace. But that much work -- assuming I can find someone in RI or southeast CT who would take away the Jotul, rebuild the hearth, AND install a new stove (right now the Woodstock is the leading contender, wouldn't be the first time I've been accused of being gay) -- is probably apt to co$t -- but I'd consider it.

3) Basically it's either spend a little or a lot -- so, to the original idea, Ashful, how would I go about loosening that bolt? the pick didn't accomplish much -- I wouldn't say it's stripped, but defintely seen better days. I've got a torch -- is the idea to heat the surrounds to expand/loosen?

IMG_20200408_103916~2.jpg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
The F600 is a much simpler stove than the F12 you presently have. There is a lot less to go wrong. There is no cat, no bypass assembly, A good visual inspection should suffice, mostly for cracks and baffle warping. We can help with that, especially if you can shoot some pics and post them while there.

If you have repair questions put them in your original thread which is about fixing the F12.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Actually looks like you got the socket head of that screw cleaned out pretty well. You can‘t get the door key to engage in there and turn it? If the socket head is stripped, then I’d just grab the head of the bolt with some vice-grips.

The idea of the heat is to cause a little CTE and free the bolt. I’d be pointing the heat down from above at the plate the bolt threads into. You can probably see that it’s threaded thru that partially-cleaned out keyhole slot in the inner firebox (small plate with the fan shell pattern cast into it), and into the fireback behind that plate. Heat the point where the screw threads into the fireback, if it doesn’t want to turn cold. Try not to get the bolt itself red hot, or you will just deform it when you try to turn it.

I think I got $600 - $700 for each of my working Jotul F12’s, and maybe $400 for the parts stove that had been stripped of several parts. That was in 2014 - 2015, I think. My working stoves were in very good condition, and both had mostly new refractory components and fresh gaskets, the parts stove less so. I believe the two working stoves went to folks who just wanted a pretty stove for an occasional Friday-evening fire, the perfect use profile for an old F12. My point is, you’ll get something for your old stove, hopefully at least $500 to put toward the new one. I’d get some nice photos of that thing installed before you pull it out of the house, then set it in the garage and wait for Oct.1 to put it on eBay, for best pricing.

edit: Just saw begreen’s post, we were typing at the same time. Feel free to move or split up this response, as you see fit.
 

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
953
Southern Minnesota
Different stoves have different 'clearance to combustibles. Some stoves won't need a rear wall guard.
 

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Yeah, looks like a new stove for me.

Leaning towards the Woodstock Ideal Steel, but if I could score a great value on something else, especially with the EPA deadline looming, I'd consider it. Yesterday stopped into a nearby shop to see if they anything on the floor they might be anxious to get rid of; the salesman offered a Jotul F400 Castine for 1900 -- didn't really seem like such a great value, also I gather from looking through old threads here it won't burn all night.

Since I'll want to get rid of or at least modify this hearth, I'm going to have to factor that cost in as well -- I really like Highbeam's idea of filling it in.

Different stoves have different 'clearance to combustibles. Some stoves won't need a rear wall guard.
It's 20.5" from the chimney to the wall, if I install a heatshield on the stove, can I do without one on the wall? The Woodstock installation guide says, "We also make a shield for the back of the stovepipe. These shields reduce the clearance for our stoves to fifteen or eighteen inches, depending on the stove model." Or is that going to be a local regulatory issue?
 
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Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
116
PA
There is a F600 for sale near you on facebook marketplace for $750.
 

Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
116
PA
I’m assuming westerly Rhode Island so if that is wrong sorry.

facebook.com/marketplace/item/171549290962759
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks like that was listed 9 weeks ago in Scotland, CT. If they still have it for sale, then they may come down in price for you having to drive the distance.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
...a Jotul F400 Castine for 1900 -- didn't really seem like such a great value, also I gather from looking through old threads here it won't burn all night.
Think of a stove as a fuel tank, and the air control as a valve on its outlet. The valve on a cat stove can close roughly twice as far as that in a non-cat, as the non-cat needs to maintain more than twice the exhaust temperature to maintain a clean burn, which is reflected in the range of potential burn times. But the overall heat output of the stove is fixed to pounds of wood in the box divided by hours of burn time.

so, getting back to that castine, the issues are a small firebox and a limited valve (non-cat), which cannot be closed sufficiently to stretch those ~400k BTU longer than8 hours. Of course, it likely wouldn’t matter much if it could, as the 400k btu that box likely holds may not be enough to heat your house for more than 8 hours in most weather.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
The Castine could work for a small 1000 sq ft home. There are several folks here that live in cold climates and have done so with this stove. With softwood we could get an 6-8hr burn and longer with hardwood during our normal milder winter. As with any stove though when pushed hard during very cold weather it will need more fuel by being fed more frequently. Some just let the boiler or furnace kick in during the rare 10º cold snap, which isn't a bad idea if that also protects plumbing from freezing.

If the F400 is enameled then that is a good price. If not, then it is a fair price, but not a steal.
 
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rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
There is a F600 for sale near you on facebook marketplace for $750.
RI is correct, & turning off the ad blocker did the trick. Messaged him, no word back. If he's got it and it's in as decent shape as it looks, that could be a nice way to next winter.

so, getting back to that castine, the issues are a small firebox and a limited valve (non-cat), which cannot be closed sufficiently to stretch those ~400k BTU longer than8 hours. Of course, it likely wouldn’t matter much if it could, as the 400k btu that box likely holds may not be enough to heat your house for more than 8 hours in most weather.
If the F400 is enameled then that is a good price. If not, then it is a fair price, but not a steal.
For 1900 it's not even a temptation. Much obliged.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
The F600 for a 1000 sq ft house is going to be too much stove most of the time. Look for something in the ~2 cu ft range for a better fit.
 

Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
116
PA
Didn’t know house was 1000 sq ft. Could go for the Keystone or Fireview
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
If I'm looking at Woodstock, is the Ideal Steel overkill? go with the Absolute S? I kind of prefer the look of the IS.
Yes, the IS is overkill. Give the folks at Woodstock a call.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Lots and lots of satisfied Woodstock customers in the history of this forum, but I suspect even their little old Fireview costs substantially more than that $1900 Castine that seemed to cause you some sticker shock.
 
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rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Lots and lots of satisfied Woodstock customers in the history of this forum, but I suspect even their little old Fireview costs substantially more than that $1900 Castine that seemed to cause you some sticker shock.
If I see a stove I like enough, I won't mind paying for it, up to a point -- & I will grant the higher prices of some of the Woodstock units give me pause. But if I saw a stove I liked enough, if it was suitable -- well, I wouldn't walk away from a good deal (but I mean a really good deal) and happily pocket the difference. The Castine looks fine but as you say, it's not apt to do what I'd like it to do.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,063
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like looks are conflicting with value. There are several under $1500 stoves that will do the job well, but they are simple steel stoves.

Like my old aunt used to say, "You can't eat the view"
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Also, keep in mind I’ve never tried to run a non-cat or heat 1000 sq.ft. Heck, I have single rooms almost that size in this house. So, please take begreen’s advice over mine on the suitability of a given stove. What I can say with confidenc is that the burn TIME on a Castine is going to be short, likely shorter than anyone would want for a full-time heater, and that’s based on the size of the firebox.

I’ve never run a Woodstock, either... but being cat stoves, most of their models should have a lot more turn-down than any non-cat. That would mean you can run a somewhat larger firebox without roasting yourself out of the joint, and hopefully get a bigger stove that will provide longer burn times.
 

rayfield

Member
Nov 15, 2018
47
Westerly
Sounds like looks are conflicting with value. There are several under $1500 stoves that will do the job well, but they are simple steel stoves.

Like my old aunt used to say, "You can't eat the view"
The Drolet you pointed out way back when was another temptation -- it's not bad-looking, and I'm sure would do the job, and I probably wouldn't have minded enjoying the flavor of thrift I'd get from looking at it -- and nine times out of ten, I'll take the Costco route for a lot of reasons. But, I don't anticipate buying another house, and as long as I'm going to get rid of the old hearth, I might as well lay out to give myself something I'll enjoy seeing in the mornings-- besides, with what I'll save in heating bills the next few winters, even a $2200 stove will balance out before too many years.

Also, keep in mind I’ve never tried to run a non-cat or heat 1000 sq.ft. Heck, I have single rooms almost that size in this house. So, please take begreen’s advice over mine on the suitability of a given stove. What I can say with confidenc is that the burn TIME on a Castine is going to be short, likely shorter than anyone would want for a full-time heater, and that’s based on the size of the firebox.

I’ve never run a Woodstock, either... but being cat stoves, most of their models should have a lot more turn-down than any non-cat. That would mean you can run a somewhat larger firebox without roasting yourself out of the joint, and hopefully get a bigger stove that will provide longer burn times.
Had a chat with Mike at Woodstock this afternoon, who suggested I have the choice between the Keystone, Palladian, Fireview, and Absolute Steel -- it's a shame the Ideal S would blast me out the front door, 'cause that's the one I like the best. But I'm pretty sure I'm going to be pleased with the Absolute S.

The problem at this point is finding someone to take away the Jotul, build a new hearth, and install the Woodstock -- someone who retails other brands probably won't come out, plus I get the feeling all the chimney folks are doing spring masonry jobs, so I haven't heard back from but one or two. Another issue is Rhode Island is very jealous about who they license to work here, so even though I'm only a few miles from Connecticut, few if any folks from New London can cross the line.
 

Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
116
PA
Put the jotul on Facebook marketplace or craigslist. If you put it on there for a few hundred bucks it might take you a few months to get rid of. If you put it on there for free it will be gone in a day or two.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Yeah, I was able to sell all my old Jotuls pretty easily. $400 - $700, depending on condition. I’d start yours at $500 and drop $100 per week until it’s gone.

Most here tend to do their own installs, heck, it’s probably how most ended up here. I paid to have my chimney work done, as even the chimney sweep gets the heebie jeebies when he has to go up on mine, but then handled everything indoors myself. Lots of ways to skin that cat.