Replacement
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Replacement

  • Thermal shock

    It occurs when the stove is refueled with wood containing moisture either on it or in it. To get from liquid to gaseous form, water needs about five times as much energy as for being heated from 0C (32F) to 100C (212F). Moisture can thus absorb huge amounts of heat which will reduce temperature in the stove dramatically in a very short time. Moist and cold smoke is then sent to the combustor when by-pass lids are closed and the results are thermal shock and cracking of the substrate. A continual practice of this will cause the combustor to deteriorate.

     
  • Fatigue

    The combustor’s life depends on the stove operator, maintenance – clean it at least once a year, fuels used, and the stove manufacturer’s design. A typical life span when used according to the stove owner’s manual is about six years, after this the combustor will start deteriorating mainly because of abrasion by small particles or dust. Although, some combustors have even operated with efficiency for as long as ten years, the combustor should be replaced after its life to achieve the highest rate of efficiency.

     
  • Mishandling

    Or abuse to the combustor. A few examples would be… dropping it, using abrasive tools for cleaning it, using high pressure air or even worse: a water jet to blow the cells free of any fly-ash build-up; using cleaning solvents to clean it or perhaps even beating on it to get it out from its holding device.

     
  • Direct flame impingement

    It is caused by flames burning for long periods of time directly into the combustor with the by-pass or damper closed. As we heard before: temperature in the catalyst mustn’t exceed 980C (1,800F) because at this point the make up of the noble-metal coating will be changed. Allowing this to happen will thus reduce the efficiency. Since an exothermal reaction is taking place inside the combustor, additional heat will be added to the gas entering the catalyst. If that gas is already burning at a temperature of maybe 700C (1,300F) when entering, it is easy to imagine that heat inside the catalyst will then rise above this level.

    Flame impingement on a continual basis will also cause the substrate to break down. Some of the reasons flame impingement occurs are operating the stove with the firebox door ajar or the ash pan not closed tightly. Other reasons might be that the door gasket needs replaced or the air intakes are left wide open after the by-pass has been closed. Uncontrollable draw or fast draft can be controlled with use of a barometric damper.

     
  • Poisoning

    This happens by burning materials other than seasoned dried wood. When burning foreign matter such as garbage, painted wood, large amounts of colored paper, cardboard, rubber, plastic, paneling with glue, oily products, coal, and so a whole bunch of chemical components will be produced which might be harmful to the combustor. In other words, they may chemically affect the combustors coating. Since no-one can determine which components of these “fuels” will eventually be harmful to the combustor, no warranty claims can be filed with manufacturer. It should be said at this point that it can be easily determined by chemical analysis of the catalysts surface whether one of aforementioned matters were (miss) taken.
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