Wood Stove Question.... Catalytic?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Blackjack, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Anybody with woodstove experience? I've got an old potbelly out at the farm that will get used if tshtf, but I was thinking an upgrade was in order.

    Catalytic or Non? I know catalytic are more efficient, but would there be any issues with them in a teotwawki sit, i.e. more/difficult repair, things you need to replace from time to time?
  2. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    We are looking into a new one too. does anyone know if you can use newspaper as a firestarter with a catalytic converter? If not what do you use?
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    IMHO; Catalytic converters on a wood-burning device is just another something to blow your money on, another part to break and I don't see that it makes any real difference. More junk on a simple, efficient, heating device.

    Our stove came with one. I found out when I disassembled the stove guts to clean it for the summer. I don't really see that the smoke from our chimney is any different than anyone else's. When I broke part of it (another summer cleaning) and managed to cram the pieces back where they kind-of ;) belonged, I still noticed no difference in the smoke.[peep]

    Before (and after) the break - I start fires with whatever I want. I use my woodstove to test firestarters that I read about here, as well as using good, old-fashioned newspaper. In fact, I only subscribe to the paper during the winter months for fire-starting purposes.

    The best investment you can make with your woodstove is a chimney brush. And I've found that nothing cheers the neighbors up more on a hot summer day than hearing a round of Chim-Chim-Cheree coming from the rooftop. :D
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    In order for the Catalytic converters to work they have to be brought up to proper operating temp or they do nothing.
    Burning trash in a catalytic wood stove will glaze the converter and plug it up, most likely in the middle of a cold night and then release the smoke into the house.
    The bricks in the catalytic area is for insulation against the high generated while heating the converter.
    I have installed lots of these and personally I won’t own one because I don’t like the cleaning it takes to keep one up.
    Also I like being able to brush the chimney from the ground floor and not climb the roof in winter, we have lots of small fires through the winter and that creates lots of creosote.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Quig is very right about the small fires and creosote. Ask me how I know if you want. Or ask my ex, since she ignored me when building and not tending fires in either the stove or the fireplaces we had over the years.

    The cat, to be effective, MUST be kept hot to do it's job of converting unburned gases from the wood, coal, or whatever you are burning into heat. Really does not do much for the environment, but allows a bit less wood hauling if you tend the stove correctly. Put a stack temperature thermometer on the smoke pipe and see the difference a cat makes. Control the stack temp to 350 or so, and the creosote won't condense out and become fuel for your chimney fire.
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    So it looks like Non-Catalytic wins.

    Thanks for all the good info.

    Chim chiminey
    Chim chiminey
    Chim chim cher-ee
    A sweep is as lucky
    As lucky can be

    Chim chiminey
    Chim chiminey
    Chim chim cher-oo
    Good luck will rub off when
    I shake hands with you
    Or blow me a kiss
    And that's lucky too

    I had that album as a child..... and no that doesn't make me gay!
  7. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    IMHO there are about a half dozen woodstoves and all have some advantantages and problems. The old pot belly is fool proof if it has grates. It isn't very efficient and takes good wood to use and is hard to control. But nothing goes wrong with them until they burn out and the smoke going up the chimney is hot enough that you can use almost any chimney in good repair. The next step in New England was the all nighter. It was a simple box of steel with no grates and the lower part of the box lined with fire bricks to raise the temp of the wood burning and a better air contro. They will burn all night and give a lot of heat from good wood, but require a good chimney in order to prevent a lot of moisture and creasote forming when you turn down the air and let it burn a long time. The low volume of chimney smoke allows the chimney to get to cold and you are in trouble. To prevent the smoke problem you can either add a catalic unit or add secendary air to burn the rest of the smoke. While both work, the use of secondary burning prevents all of the problems you have with the catalic unit. The problem is that a good modern wood heating stove burning good hardwoods in New England costs from $1,200 to 2,000 and a good chimney will run another $3,000 or so. Thus you will have about $5,000 in a heating system that will not be part of your bug out kit. On the other hand you can often find older pot belly type stoves for free. If you heat with wood as I do, the modern reburning stove will probably get at lest 50 % more heat out of the wood, protect the chimney, and give even controlled heat. Thus until such time as I get around to a russian stove and its huge mass of brick, I will get my money's worth out of the good stove I have.
  8. Northwoods

    Northwoods Monkey+++

    we live in a passive solar home and heat with nothing but wood.
    granted it is a small house 2 bedroom huge livingroom upstairs.
    and we can heat it all winter long on 2 and1/2 cords of wood,and that is our only source of heat.
    That's is a Maine winter people..
    our wood stove is a smaller shanandoa(forgive the spelling).
    it is an airtight unit and i can get a 8 to 9 hour burn with a 6 inch bed of coals left in the morning.
    we put in a metal chimny liner(cost us a grand to do it but it would be cheaper if you did it yourself).
    you want to clean your chimny?...open the door and let it roll...
    every fall all i have to clean is the 6 inches that sticks above the bricks.
    you ought to look into stovesandmore.com.we'l be getting our next stove from them.
  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I grew up in MN, and my family heated with nothing but wood for most of my life. And this wasn't a small house, well it wasn't huge either. Approx 2800 sq ft (1400 up and 1400 in a basement). Never once do I remember my dad cleaning the chimney, other than opening a small door on the outside of the house and removing "ash", and this was done typically in the spring and fall. I do remember my dad always saying to get a good hot fire going, and we did.
    We almost always were able to get up in the morning and just throw another log on the fire as there was still a fire from the night before.

    Just my experiance with a wood stove, and even though I live in TN, when we build our house it will have a wood stove in it ;)
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I had that album as a child..... and no that doesn't make me gay!

    you are correct, having sex with your own kind makes you gay.....having that album is just a symptom.[grlft]
  11. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I couldn't help myself...no offense BJ[beat]
  12. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    None taken.... I left it hangin out there (and it was quite funny). [LMAO]
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