Owning, or even sometimes renting, a home in North Idaho requires general seasonal maintenance to keep your stove or fireplace in working order. It’s really all about being prepared. Per Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Maintaining your home’s heating system(s) wards off emergency situations and costly repairs while extending the life of the product. Take the time and money to perform general maintenance on a regular basis. Many of the maintenance services require the knowledge, skills, and tools of a professional. During a maintenance or service call, our technicians will make any necessary repairs and/or alert you of a possible situation. Call the Stove Corral and let us assist you in maintaining any of the following hearth products or to answer any questions you may have:
CATALYTIC COMBUSTOR MAINTENANCE
It is important to periodically monitor the operation of the catalytic combustor to ensure that it is functioning properly. A non-functioning combustor will result in a loss of heating efficiency, and an increase in creosote and emissions. Following is a list of items that should be checked on a regular basis:
Combustors should be visually inspected at least three times during the heating season to determine if physical degradation has occurred. Actual removal of the combustor is not recommended unless more detailed inspection is warranted because of decreased performance. Refer to Catalytic Combustor Troubleshooting.
A hot fire will usually prove to be the best method of cleaning the combustion of deposits. However, under certain conditions, ash particles may become attached to the face of the combustor. These may be seen while the combustor is in the glowing stage or when the fire is out. Any deposit on the visible face of the combustor should be removed when the stove is cold. Brushing the combustor with a soft bristle paint brush will remove some deposits. Passing a vacuum cleaner wand or brush near the face of the combustor will remove most deposits. Hot ash in a vacuum cleaner bag will burn, may melt the vacuum or cause a house fire. Exercise caution and never clean the stove when it or the ashes are hot. Never scrape the combustor with any hard tool or brush. Never run pipe cleaner through the individual cells of the combustor. This is not needed and may do more harm than good. Limit cleaning to the face of the combustor. NOTE: Never remove a combustor without approved gasket in hand as original gasket will fall apart when removed from the stove.
If your wood stove has a manual bypass, you can get an indication of whether the catalyst is working by comparing the amount of smoke leaving the chimney when the smoke is going through the combustor to the amount of smoke leaving the chimney when smoke is not routed through the combustor. Significantly more smoke will be seen when the exhaust in not routed through the combustor (bypass mode). Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the fire to stabilize before making your observations.