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Dutchwest combustor question

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Patrick H, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hey all, new to the forum, but not to wood stoves.
    I've been using the Dutchwest 2461 for about 10 years, and I love it.
    I have a question concerning the combustor. I've replaced the combustor 3 times now, and the air distributor twice. I just replaced the combustor, distributor, and catalytic probe thermometer. The thermometer I bought this time is a Condar unit, with a 1 5/8" probe, which is slightly longer than the old one. Now, I can't seem to keep the temp. below 1800-2000* for the first while.
    It never read this hot with the old thermo, but I think it's not just the new thermometer, I think it's been running hot for years. The distributor I just replaced is completely melted/ blown out. The last one I replaced several years ago was almost as bad. The combustor I just pulled out only lasted for a season and a half. The on before that lasted ~3 seasons. The baffle under the combustor completely glows orange, and actually shows signs of melting and cracking. Last night I ran the stove with the combustor air closed completely, and the primary air almost closed to try and keep the combustor temp down. Even with a small amount of wood, the combustor runs 1800-2000*+, and the baffle glows.
    Thoughts? Experiences?
    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long winded post.
     
  2. traditions

    traditions ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have read that it takes 2000 degrees to ignight smoke in the secondary burn on some stoves.If this stove uses reburn in the combuster it would have to be hot enough to light the gases .Just a thought,I am by far not an expert on the mechanics of wood burning
     
  3. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    Supposed to be 500* minimum with the combustor I'm currently using. 1700* max.
     
  4. KodiakKen

    KodiakKen ArboristSite Operative

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    Hey Patrick

    I have that same stove..I think..it is the middle sized one 6" flue..I have run mine for 6 years without any new parts. I use mine non stop during the winter and supplement with the nat. gas furnace when I am working too much ot. I would say that you need to replace seals..if you totally close your air controls..you should backpuff. sounds to me like you have a major leak and burning that hot I would have to guess that it is coming from the ash door..makes your stove like a blast furnace(I sometimes get mine going in a hurry this way) the only other thing I can think of is too much draft possibly. I burn well seasoned oak and never ever ever hit 2000. with the new probe being longer..might read a little higher being closer to the cat but still..if you are melting parts..something is going on. maybe go buy some cleaner from the local stove shop and get them talking and run it by them. Good luck
     
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  5. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    If the secondary combustion chamber requires 2000 F to work, many chimneys are now melting down or failing. That's about the temp where copper melts. Mild steel becomes red hot at 1500 F. :popcorn:

    At 1000 F, your secondary combustion chamber will work fine and dandy, and your stove will have reached peak effciency.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
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  6. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    Gaskets are all in good shape. I went ahead and snugged up the ash door and side door latches a bit, although I don't think they were leaking. I pulled the top off again this afternoon to double check the top gasket, air distributor, and such. Everything looks fine.

    Right now it's got 4 small splits in it with primary open ~1/4", secondary oen 1/4 turn, and the combustor is 1500*, door @400, and chimney before thimble @ 200 (double wall pipe).
     
  7. stihl sawing

    stihl sawing MAD DOG Staff Member

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    Sounds like an air leak to me too. Mine will back puff when closed all the way off. My old stove was doing what yours is, You could not control the heat. come to find out it had a burned out firebox but it was 25 years old. Check the dampner and make sure it's closing all the way and has no creasote under the lip to keep it from closing.
     
  8. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    Yep, checked the damper. I had replaced that gasket last year, and it's good. Damper adjusted, closes tight.
    The firebox doesn't overheat, just the combustor. I tightened the latches on the ash door and side door, and it's behaving now, but like said, there's not much wood in it right now... We'll see in about 3 hours when I bank it back for the night..

    Thank you everyone for the replies, and keep the ideas coming![​IMG]
     
  9. stihl sawing

    stihl sawing MAD DOG Staff Member

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    Hope it works for ya, usually if one is really out of control it is the ash pan door. I have my pan door pretty tight, It's kinda hard to shut.
     
  10. KodiakKen

    KodiakKen ArboristSite Operative

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    that's kinda funny

    my ash door is the least used and I haven't adjusted it but I can open and shut it by hand without the handle and mine still works great..I LOVE my dutchwest. I tend to overcheck it when burning but I like to see my hard work pay off. 1300 sq. ft. over 70 non stop..when you work outside for a living..it makes for a nice and comfortable home environment..Let us know if and when you figure out the overfiring of your combustor. Did you buy a vermont castings replacement or an aftermarket?
     
  11. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    This cat. is from The Log Rack (they have another name). Sand Hill Manufacturing IIRC. It has the same 6 year prorated warranty as the one from Vermont...
    My Dad just installed one of the Condar steel cat's in his (he has the small dutch). I'm curious how that one will work.
     
  12. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    Seems like if there were a substantial air leak, it would be apparent when I shut the primary air down, but I can pretty much kill the fire by closing it all the way down.
     
  13. KodiakKen

    KodiakKen ArboristSite Operative

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    reason I ask

    contact the manufacturer and see if they may use a different chemical for the reaction that may burn hotter. I am by no means a pro...but 2000 degrees is dam hot. I juice mine up with seasoned oak and when it hits the peak..I have trouble walking in the room to check it..I would say another thing to try is to put a magnetic thermometer on the top and see what the actual surface temp is. when mine cat is burning approx. 1000 degrees the surface temp is real close to 600. I would say if the surface temps go over 1000..I would worry..cast iron typically melts between 1150 and 1200..and if you are burning up parts already..you are in the right place..it is a concern..I hope that someone here can help you more that I have tried
     
  14. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    The claim was "platinum or palladium", just like all the others..
    Thanks for your help, I do appreciate it.. There's a nice bunch of folks here.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    Centigrade of Fahrenheit?

    Ken said, "I would worry ... cast iron typically melts between 1150 and 1200."
    ---------------
    Centigrade of Fahrenheit? If the latter, not true. Cast Iron melts at 1260 Centigrade (Celsius) and 2300 Fahrenheit. Let us get our temp scales established before we proceed. :dizzy:
     
  16. KodiakKen

    KodiakKen ArboristSite Operative

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    not a pro and I am sorry

    just googled it. This may not be the exact composition of what our stoves are made of..and it would be celcius..sorry..I misread that..I just glanced at the article..1150 is celcius..2100-2200 fahrenheit..but still if your combustor is running 2000 degrees..need for concern..thanks for pointing out my ignorance..

    Cast iron usually refers to grey iron, but also identifies a large group of ferrous alloys, which solidify with a eutectic. The colour of a fractured surface can be used to identify an alloy. White cast iron is named after its white surface when fractured, due to its carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through. Grey cast iron is named after its grey fractured surface, which occurs because the graphitic flakes deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks.

    Iron (Fe) accounts for more than 95% by weight (wt%) of the alloy material, while the main alloying elements are carbon (C) and silicon (Si). The amount of carbon in cast irons is 2.1 to 4 wt%. Cast irons contain appreciable amounts of silicon, normally 1 to 3 wt%, and consequently these alloys should be considered ternary Fe-C-Si alloys. Despite this, the principles of cast iron solidification are understood from the binary iron-carbon phase diagram, where the eutectic point lies at 1,154 °C (2,109 °F) and 4.3 wt% carbon. Since cast iron has nearly this composition, its melting temperature of 1150 to 1200 °C (2100–2200 °F) is about 300 °C (572 °F) lower than the melting point of pure iron.
     
  17. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    I guess I'd like to hear someone else with the same stove tell me the baffle under the cat glows on theirs too...:)
     
  18. stihl sawing

    stihl sawing MAD DOG Staff Member

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    Mine does, It will glow red.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  19. Patrick H

    Patrick H ArboristSite Lurker

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    How long is your probe thermo? And what kind of temps do you see?
     
  20. stihl sawing

    stihl sawing MAD DOG Staff Member

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    It's two and a half inches long. It depends on how hot a fire i have, Been keeping it low cause it's not that cold here yet. Probably havent had it hot enough but a couple of times to make the combuster work. I seen it one time at 900 degrees and it was too hot in the house.
     

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