VC Dauntless... not hot enough to engage the cat.

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GP in the UP

New Member
There is no sizzle in the wood and it's at least 12 months old. So I don't think that's the problem. The cat in this stove is at the bottom/back of fire box, so the venting for the smoke has to go through coals/ash. Is this part of the problem? I've had a fire going for several hours now, warming up the house, and the stove still isn't up to temp to engage the cat.

I should mention I am new to catalytic combustion and I've only had this stove for a few days.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,478
South Puget Sound, WA
It still could be the wood. Some species like oak take 2 yrs to fully season inside. Take some 2x4 construction scraps and add them to the mix to see if that helps.

Describe the flue setup on the stove from stove top to chimney cap. What diameter, how tall? Any turns?
 

GP in the UP

New Member
It still could be the wood. Some species like oak take 2 yrs to fully season inside. Take some 2x4 construction scraps and add them to the mix to see if that helps.

Describe the flue setup on the stove from stove top to chimney cap. What diameter, how tall? Any turns?

It's about a 4 ft pipe that turns 90 degrees and then goes into the chimney, which is about 25 ft tall. Since posting this I've noticed that if I keep the front doors of the stove open, the cat temp probe registers higher temperatures. It has me wondering if this is a draft issue? You had responded to another of my posts the other day recommending a different degree elbow (2 45s). So thanks for responding again, I'm beginning to think these two issues are related.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,010
Iowa
It's about a 4 ft pipe that turns 90 degrees and then goes into the chimney, which is about 25 ft tall. Since posting this I've noticed that if I keep the front doors of the stove open, the cat temp probe registers higher temperatures. It has me wondering if this is a draft issue? You had responded to another of my posts the other day recommending a different degree elbow (2 45s). So thanks for responding again, I'm beginning to think these two issues are related.
Where abouts are ya in the UP? We used to ride sleds/motorcycles up there occasionally. Beauty area! Back when real snow showed up....

On the stove issue. It would seem rather odd. At best. To be burning for "several hours now" without being able to engage the cat. I know you consider your fuel to be adequately seasoned. Have you considered grabbing a moisture meter to confirm? Easy peasy routine that can eliminate or confirm suspicion! Many new members here show up with similar issues and are astonished when they find that there supposedly "well-seasoned" fuel is one of the biggest operational issues. No offense, just sayin;)


Do add your stove/venting specifics as mentioned above. Pics help as well.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,450
Northern NH
Draft is related to indoor and outdoor temp. If it was warm day you had less draft than on cold day. Unfortunately most folks with new stoves have to learn when the conditions are less than optimal.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,267
Woolwich nj
sounds like less then optimal wood. I'd get a moisture meter.. like 25 bucks on Amazon. Split open your wood and check it on the fresh split face and make sure you have the pins lined up with the grain.. Your wood should be sub 20% dont check it on the end of the split.. youll get a false reading
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,018
Downeast Maine
If the fire only burns well with the door open I also agree that the firewood is not quite as dry as it needs to be.
 

GP in the UP

New Member
Where abouts are ya in the UP? We used to ride sleds/motorcycles up there occasionally. Beauty area! Back when real snow showed up....

On the stove issue. It would seem rather odd. At best. To be burning for "several hours now" without being able to engage the cat. I know you consider your fuel to be adequately seasoned. Have you considered grabbing a moisture meter to confirm? Easy peasy routine that can eliminate or confirm suspicion! Many new members here show up with similar issues and are astonished when they find that there supposedly "well-seasoned" fuel is one of the biggest operational issues. No offense, just sayin;)


Do add your stove/venting specifics as mentioned above. Pics help as well.
Gotcha. I now have a moisture meter on the way. There seems to be some controversy about the guy that splits and delivers wood around here. He says the wood is all over a year old. Some of his customers aren't so sure....

I've been experimenting. I think part of the problem with the stove was the amount of coals inside. I cleared most of the burning coals out and the cat ended up kicking on. My old stove was incredibly inefficient, but could burn wood no problem with 3-4 inches of ash in the bottom. But you'd have to keep it well-fed, so I'm used to burning wood at a furious pace. This new stove has a learning curve.

I live in Marquette County up toward Big Bay. Lot of sled trail up this way. And yeah, being near the Lake Superior shore line, it's beautiful here. Been here for about 5 years and wouldn't change it.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,478
South Puget Sound, WA
He says the wood is all over a year old.
The tree is probably 30-50 yrs old, but that doesn't make it seasoned. Many firewood sellers consider the date the tree was felled as their seasoning start day. That's a false assumption. It doesn't start real drying out until it is split. And if it sits on the ground after splitting, it's not going to dry well. The important question to ask is when he split and stacked it?

If you find that you have a lot of coals, put on a couple of smaller, known, dry wood pieces on the coals and open up the air half way to burn down the coals while getting some heat. 2x4 scraps split in half work well for this
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,010
Iowa
Gotcha. I now have a moisture meter on the way. There seems to be some controversy about the guy that splits and delivers wood around here. He says the wood is all over a year old. Some of his customers aren't so sure....

I've been experimenting. I think part of the problem with the stove was the amount of coals inside. I cleared most of the burning coals out and the cat ended up kicking on. My old stove was incredibly inefficient, but could burn wood no problem with 3-4 inches of ash in the bottom. But you'd have to keep it well-fed, so I'm used to burning wood at a furious pace. This new stove has a learning curve.

I live in Marquette County up toward Big Bay. Lot of sled trail up this way. And yeah, being near the Lake Superior shore line, it's beautiful here. Been here for about 5 years and wouldn't change it.
Gawds country. When you receive your meter be sure to bring a selection of splits indoors overnight to let them get to room temp. Re-split those splits and test the freshly exposed inner surface for accurate moisture content. Measuring any other way is useless. Should be interesting to hear the results. Excessive coaling/buildup can be due to wood thats not fully seasoned.
Are you burning primarily softwoods or hardwood? Guessing you have nice options on wood. If you get a heavy coal buildup you can place one or two smaller pine splits on top of piled coals and run the stove wide open. Coals will normally burn down nicely. Then reload fully.