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Wood burning stove - is the catalytic combustor working?

 
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Hey folks,

I'm completely new to this whole world of wood burning technology and trying to get acclimated with a Regency wood burning stove (Regency F3500) which was in the property I recently moved to.

It's only a year or two old and the previous owner was great at helping me get it fired up and me oriented.
However, after 14hrs of use I now have more questions and I don't want to keep bugging him if this is just simple rookie stuff...

Main issue at present is that the unit is supposed to last 24hrs on a full load of wood (I believe) if the catalytic combustor is closed.
However, with both the air damper closed and combustor bypass closed, it blazed through the stock inside in just a few hours.

I did note that the catalyst thermometer had dropped right out the "active" range and into "inactive", within about 1.5hrs of getting it fired up and running.
I've no idea whether this is correct or not. I know that it has to be into the "active" area for the catalytic process to be initiated, but cannot find any more information about whether it then must stay in the "active" range from that point onwards?

So no surprises this morning when we had no fire.

Loaded it up again, got it going, waited about 30 mins, made sure the needle was way up into the active range - about 2/3 of the way towards the END of the range, in fact.
Closed the catalytic bypass, closed the air damper, set my fan on low. Lovely.

An hour or so later (after breakfast), checked on it. Needle had dropped back to being barely in the active range. Another 30 mins and it was back down to "inactive".
A few more hours, no more fire and the wood was burned to coals/ash.

It's decent wood - the same stuff the previous occupant was using, too.
But I don't quite understand what I'm doing wrong and why a stove which should be able to last 24hrs on a single load (or even 12hrs would be nice) is only lasting 1.5-2hrs.

I checked the chimney outside, closing and opening the bypass and it is putting out a little more smoke (not steam) when the combustor bypass is open, as opposed to closed.
But I'm at a loss to deduce why, when the damper is set to the lowest level and the combustor should be active, is it dropping in temperature and burning through stock faster than I can fill it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

Cheers.
 
Posts: 6
Location: Maple Falls, WA
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solar
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If your wood is being consumed too quickly it's because too much air is getting in your firebox.

Check that your air control is closing down properly. It may be necessary to disassemble the stove to do this, I'm not familiar with the construction of your particular stove.

Before you do that, you can check the condition of the gasket around the loading door. Air leaking here can reduce efficiency and cause very short burns. To check, close the stove door on a dollar bill and check that you cannot easily slide the dollar bill out. Do this at all points around the door gasket. If it's loose on side by the door latch, you may be able to adjust the latch to close more tightly. If it's loose on the side with the hinges, you need to replace the door gasket. Consult the owner's manual for the proper gasket diameter.
 
pollinator
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Location: ALASKA
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I found the manual for your stove online.  https://assets.regency-fire.com/getattachment/e4fcb2d5-55bb-4f99-bda8-addd8d315720/English-Manual.aspx  The operating instructions start on page 22.  Hopefully this will help.  
 
pollinator
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Location: Denmark 57N
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You normaly need to stack them very very carefully to get a decent burn time, almost no gaps at all, wood has to be a perfect fit. I see it says 60lb of wood a load for a 24hr burn, stack it till it's full then take it out and check the weight. Saying this we can never get more than three hours out of our furnace, for the reasons someone else has already said, it leaks air.
 
Jim Roper
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Walt Chase wrote:I found the manual for your stove online.  https://assets.regency-fire.com/getattachment/e4fcb2d5-55bb-4f99-bda8-addd8d315720/English-Manual.aspx  The operating instructions start on page 22.  Hopefully this will help.  



Many thanks for the link.
The owners did leave the manual for me - but I downloaded it all the same, to be sure I wasn't missing something.
 
Jim Roper
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Skandi Rogers wrote:You normaly need to stack them very very carefully to get a decent burn time, almost no gaps at all, wood has to be a perfect fit. I see it says 60lb of wood a load for a 24hr burn, stack it till it's full then take it out and check the weight. Saying this we can never get more than three hours out of our furnace, for the reasons someone else has already said, it leaks air.



Ahh, interesting observation on the stacking, thank you.
I've got gaps all over the place when I stack it - but I actually thought that was the idea!  This could be quite key.
 
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