Friday, October 22, 2010

How to keep your combustor healthy

Never burn foreign matter such as…

painted wood,
large amounts of colored paper,
paneling with glue,
oily products and so on.

Burning these materials will gradually reduce the efficiency of the catalyst.

“Burn only seasoned dried wood”

All catalytic combustors used in EPA certified Phase II stoves have a life expectancy of at least, 10,000 burning hours, when used according to the stove's operating manual. It could be said, that a catalytic combustor’s life is really based on a number of things....

-Operating the stove properly.... (Not burning with firebox door open or perhaps closing the by-pass to soon)

-Proper maintenance habits to both stove and combustor... (Simple things like checking the firebox door gasket)

-Burning proper fuel in the appliance, (This means burning seasoned dried wood only- no foreign matter that could poison the combustor)

-Using a Certified Phase II stove for home heating and not an older stove design. (most stoves built today are designed well and protect the combustor from the firebox flames, the older pre-phase I stoves didn't)


Doug said...

what happens as the fire burns down and the temperature drops below 600? Does the dying fire hurt the converter?

Tim Cork said...

Thanks for the question Doug.
The answer is no harm will come to the combustor. As the firebox temperature drops, the gases feeding the combustor will become cooler. When these gases drop below 500 degrees F., the combustor will begin to stop working.
Remember, the combustor needs 500 degrees of fuel (smoke) mixed with the stove's secondary air to keep the combustor lit. This firebox temperature will allow the combustor to produce an exhaust temperature anywhere from 1000 to 1600 degrees.
Hope this has answered your question.

Doug said...

You sort of answered it thank you. However, since I am not supposed to close the bypass until the combustor is hot (my understanding is that it will plug up if not hot) then why doesn't it plug up when cooling down? And can I just re-stoke the fire and leave the bypass closed or re-heat the combustor first?

thanks again