So what do these temps mean?

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Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
Union Bridge, Md
Just trying g to get other thoughts here on this. So I can run my Intrepid flexburn burn with a stt of 300f, flue pipe single wall temp of 270f right above the stove with a cat temp of 1000f. What does this say about how the stove is running just using these temps alone? All temps save for the cat with an IR gun. Cat temp is with an Auber 100. All thoughts welcomed.
STT seems a little cool to me but I’m not sure if that’s the hottest place on your stove? Flue temp looks good, 200-300 external is a good range.
To me it says at least for my stove the cat in and of itself is not a significant heat producer. In the Intrepid flexburn the cat is tucked away further back than it's bigger sisters and the back of the stove there has a insulated board in back of it
We've all come to the conclusion the cat does little for heating the home. I can put more heat in my house when I don't use the cat because I can control the STT without worrying about overfiring the cat. It does use a little more wood but even VC only claims 15% better efficiency and I'd say that's an optimistic claim.
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I ordered a ceramic cat to replace the metal one in there now. Just curious to see if there's a difference with the smoke cleanup. Can't tell if the metal one is working or not. It can be at identical temps with smoke or no smoke. In VC's the cat just does a final stage of clean up and the combuster does the main cleanup so who knows. The existing metal cat is 3+ years old and I've had it above 1400 a couple times. Condar that made the metal one says temps should not exceed 1300. BTW they also made the ceramic one I ordered.
I believe Applied Ceramics makes the cat blanks for everyone. I know they make the Vermont Castings OE cats and market through Midwest Hearth. I don't have a combuster, just a cat in my stove.
So new ceramic arrived from Condar and installed this morning. Huge difference! Cat took off running immediately and stays cruising in the 900 - 1000 range consistently. Wood is very dry oak so would not be alot of smoke probably anyways but still a huge difference compared to the metal one that was in there. Condar recommends replacement at 12,000 hrs use. I calculate that roughly every 3 years burning give or take. They didn’t give a top temp limit but just says don't over heat. No warranty once it's installed in the stove and ran though. Guess to many variables with that.