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Federal Airtight 264CCL Questions

DrewUth

DrewUth

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I don't have a federal...mines a VC Dutch west...basically the same other than primary intake...
these are meant to run with the "cat damper" closed...only to be open when loading/starting the fire...
when I start mine I have it open and I also open the ash door to help get it drafting, then close the ash door and let the wood get going good then shut the cat damper, and control fire with primary intake...secondary stay set at around 1/2- 3/4 of a turn out.
your cat is not always going to be "active" its just the way it works...when its low on wood or temp is down it wont be active...no harm in have the cat damper engaged when its not "active", if it wasn't engaged you would just send all the heat up the stack....
I should also mention my cat has been removed...was removed by previous owner, and I never felt the need to replace it...it still "reburns" even with out the cat just fine...usually just doesn't start working until it hits around 900, and I burn it 24/7 during heating season...no problems.
I would be concerned with operating it at the high end (1200+) for any extended amount of time though, as it likes to warp the baffles...1200 is the hottest I like to run mine...but I usually don't keep it there for long.

as for the cat damper...I don't know what you used for anti seize...but Loctite Nickel anti seize is good up to 2400 degrees, its nickel/graphite...if not then maybe try a graphite base lubricant?
I used the permatex silver stuff, but you're right- graphite would be great. They also make a gold formula (permatex). I am just not too keen on popping the top of the stove off again, and having to go through more furnace cement sealing it down again. I sure wish there was a rope gasket for the top so sealing it wasn't such a pain!

So everything I thought I knew about the cat was that I shouldn't flip the damper to utilize it until after I hit 600* plus. You're saying I can have that damper flipped all the time, just not when I'm loading it or first starting it? I have had luck loading fresh wood in with the cat damper shut, but I thought that when the stove was cold the draft wouldn't be strong enough to go through the cat. But I see what you're saying, and that certainly makes it easier!
 
olympyk_999

olympyk_999

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I thought that when the stove was cold the draft wouldn't be strong enough to go through the cat
I don't shut the cat damper until the wood is going good...(stack temp around 600 on the outside)
it would take quite a while for the temp probe in the middle of the stove to reach 600 with the cat damper wide open, since the is a baffle between the fire and the probe...all of the heat goes up the stack and not towards the probe...
I sure wish there was a rope gasket for the top so sealing it wasn't such a pain
mine has a rope gasket...the gasket is in the top panel and seals on the rim of the secondary combustion chamber...not sure if the federal's are the same?...VC's have the "air jacket" (space around the firebox) for forced hot air, which is why the secondary combustion chamber doesn't take up the whole top of the stove...
 
DrewUth

DrewUth

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I don't shut the cat damper until the wood is going good...(stack temp around 600 on the outside)
it would take quite a while for the temp probe in the middle of the stove to reach 600 with the cat damper wide open, since the is a baffle between the fire and the probe...all of the heat goes up the stack and not towards the probe...
Ah, you know I never thought about stack temp vs probe temp. Thats a good point regarding how the probe is essentially blocked off by the open damper. It does take a while to get it to 600*.

mine has a rope gasket...the gasket is in the top panel and seals on the rim of the secondary combustion chamber...not sure if the federal's are the same?...VC's have the "air jacket" (space around the firebox) for forced hot air, which is why the secondary combustion chamber doesn't take up the whole top of the stove...
Maybe I need to add a rope gasket. I had a 5/8" wide by nearly 1/4" deep groove in the top that, from reading this thread, I was under the impression needed to be filled completely with furnace cement to seal to the rims of the different chambers. I do have the two chambers on either side of the secondary combustion for forced hot air. There was no rope gasket in it when I took it apart, and I did post earlier about just using cement and no one corrected me, so I went ahead and did it that way. I bought a gasket kit for it and it came with plenty to do all the doors, there was some left over but the instructions didn't say a thing about the top. I sure thought real hard about adding some, now I am again.
 
olympyk_999

olympyk_999

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I don't shut the cat damper until the wood is going good...(stack temp around 600 on the outside)
it would take quite a while for the temp probe in the middle of the stove to reach 600 with the cat damper wide open, since the is a baffle between the fire and the probe...all of the heat goes up the stack and not towards the probe...

mine has a rope gasket...the gasket is in the top panel and seals on the rim of the secondary combustion chamber...not sure if the federal's are the same?...VC's have the "air jacket" (space around the firebox) for forced hot air, which is why the secondary combustion chamber doesn't take up the whole top of the stove...
Ah, you know I never thought about stack temp vs probe temp. Thats a good point regarding how the probe is essentially blocked off by the open damper. It does take a while to get it to 600*.



Maybe I need to add a rope gasket. I had a 5/8" wide by nearly 1/4" deep groove in the top that, from reading this thread, I was under the impression needed to be filled completely with furnace cement to seal to the rims of the different chambers. I do have the two chambers on either side of the secondary combustion for forced hot air. There was no rope gasket in it when I took it apart, and I did post earlier about just using cement and no one corrected me, so I went ahead and did it that way. I bought a gasket kit for it and it came with plenty to do all the doors, there was some left over but the instructions didn't say a thing about the top. I sure thought real hard about adding some, now I am again.
its a good size rope gasket that goes in there...then just the 4 bolts hold the top down ...easy for cleaning as my stove doesn't have the little cat access plate in the middle of the top...so its the only way someone would be able to access the cat on my stove
heres the manual for my stove...operation is basically the same other than air controls...http://www.hayneedle.com/images/PDF/NED220.pdf
 
DrewUth

DrewUth

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Well let me tell you, that manual has a great deal more information in it than mine. Thanks for that. While much of it is not applicable, a large portion of it is. I agree that since I have the removable plate for catalyst inspection, it is likely that rope was not used for my top plate. That being said...I'm sure I could put some in next time I have it apart to ensure it is even better sealed. Thanks!
 
DrewUth

DrewUth

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I loaded it up with some dry Poplar I have for the "shoulder season"...let it rip for a half hour and it was up to 600*, closed the damper, decreased the air and lit up the cat and she smoked up to 1400* in about 10 mins! :eek: Too hot, even with the intakes shut it only dropped about 500* (I think it's sucking air in the front doors a bit) so I had to open the damper back up and just run it without the cat.
 
olympyk_999

olympyk_999

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I loaded it up with some dry Poplar I have for the "shoulder season"...let it rip for a half hour and it was up to 600*, closed the damper, decreased the air and lit up the cat and she smoked up to 1400* in about 10 mins! :eek: Too hot, even with the intakes shut it only dropped about 500* (I think it's sucking air in the front doors a bit) so I had to open the damper back up and just run it without the cat.
There was wood left after ripping it full bore with the damper open for a half hour? Especially poplar?
Was that 600 on the outside of the stack or on the cat probe in the stove?
 
DrewUth

DrewUth

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Yup. I loaded it, lit it, about 15 mins later threw some more in (just splitter chunks- not even real splits) and 15 mins later it was at 600* on the probe. I thought, cool- I'll throttle her down, engage the cat like I have been. But the poplar was HOTTTT and it shot up to 1400 wayyyyy faster than usual.
 
olympyk_999

olympyk_999

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again...
it would take quite a while for the temp probe in the middle of the stove to reach 600 with the cat damper wide open, since the is a baffle between the fire and the probe...all of the heat goes up the stack and not towards the probe...
that probe is there to tell you when the cat is engaged NOT when to engage it...the actual fire box temp was way higher than 600 when you shut the damper, shutting it just sent the heat directly through the cat making the probe temp shoot up...
you're letting it get too hot before shutting the damper!
 
olympyk_999

olympyk_999

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Damper Function

The Damper is operated by moving the handle on the upper left side of the stove. (Fig. 24) It has two positions: OPEN, to start the fire and load fuel, and CLOSED, for greatest efficiency and heat. When the damper is closed, exhaust gases pass through an insulated catalytic burner before flowing into the chimney.
Use the door insert handle to rotate the damper handle. Turn it counterclockwise to open the damper and clockwise to close it. You will feel resistance as the damper mechanism engages into the open (counterclockwise) position.
The stove damper must be open when you start a fire, load fuel, or before you open either door for any reason

this is from the manual...open for starting and loading...30 minutes is well beyond starting:innocent:
 
DrewUth

DrewUth

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Ok ok, I dig it. But I have closed it "too soon" and seen nothing but smoke out of the chimney and the probe not rising.
 
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Wood Doctor

Wood Doctor

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Jan 10, 2008
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I must be driving the Cadillac. My 288 has a blower with a thermostat that sticks to the lower right side of the stove with a magnet. I start the fire and then wait until that thermostat kicks on the blower. When it does, I know the fire is ready for the block off to be closed. Sometimes I throw in a dry log and then close it, but regardless, that thermostat coupled with the blower is a great alarm clock. I can't recall it ever going off with the flue gases below 500 F.
 
webgurl

webgurl

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Thank you SO much for posting this photo. Until I have a chance to take one of mine, I am showing this to folks.

Mine was installed in my brand new home in 1989 and HAS NEVER BEEN LIT. I want to swap it out for a pellet stove insert, and hope to sell this one provided the installers can take it out carefully. It is exactly as you see here but in pristine condition....

Can anyone point me to the proper user and installation manuals online anywhere? I'm sure mine are in the house somewhere but can't put my finger on them at the moment.

It is also nice to know that since I only have one handle, they can be bought here:
http://www.hechlers.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1042


Finding a used one of these for little cost is truly fortunate. Keep us posted on events and feel free to ask any question as you move along. Here's my beast:

 
webgurl

webgurl

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I have determined that mine is a later model than above, with the vent across the whole top, so it's a c. 1990-1993 model which makes sense because we got it after moving in.
 
webgurl

webgurl

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The stove shoppe came out to measure and they seem to think the new pellet insert will fit.
The tech also loved the stove (he even knew the model was a Consolidated Dutchwest Woodstove FA264CCL) and that it was pristine, not a speck of indication it had ever been burned. He said they could remove it and keep it intact so that I could sell it. It is a 1990+ model and has a converter so it's compliant.
I have found a detailed manual for it here: http://www.discountstove.com/uploads/5/2/6/0/52607107/267c_manual.pdf
Unless they come back and tell me the pellet insert I chose won't fit, I'm going to put it up for sale.
If you are interested, send me a PM and will send you the name of the shoppe where you can make arrangements to see it.
 
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