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How to replace RSF Opel Catalyst (Catalytic Combustor)

What is a catalyst, how does it work, and how is one replaced? In this post you will learn how to replace an RSF Opel Catalyst

What does a Catalyst do?

A catalyst (or catalytic combustor) ignites creosote-forming gases in wood smoke at significantly lower temperatures. As a result, you get less creosote and more heat from your fire at low to medium burn rates. Less fuel goes up your chimney in the form of smoke. 

DO NOT burn chemical chimney cleaners, as they can contain contaminants that will render the catalyst inoperative.

How does a Catalyst Work?

The catalytic option comes with a bypass damper which serves two functions:
a) to eliminate smoking into the room when the doors are opened.
b) to allow the fire to start quickly when the fireplace is cold.

Make sure the bypass damper above the right door is pulled all the way out before opening the doors. When starting a fire, the bypass damper should be left open long enough to establish sufficient draft (approximately 30 minutes).

The temperature in the firebox and the gases entering the catalyst must be raised to at least 500° F for catalytic activity to be initiated. When you start the fire, keep a medium to high fire for about 30 minutes to stabilize the catalyst at a sufficient operating temperature.

If the fire is allowed to die down too soon after starting, the catalyst may stop working. After the 30 minutes of a medium to high burn, however, the catalyst will operate with the heat generated by the burning smoke, even with a low fire.

RSF Opel Catalyst - WoodChimney.com

How to replace RSF Opel Catalyst in an RSF Opel Wood Fireplace

  1. Remove the screws holding the brackets, one on each side of the catalyst.
  2. Carefully ease out the catalyst, using a knife blade if it is tight.
  3. Replace the catalyst the same way it was removed. If the gasket is loose, re-cement it to the outside using a silicone adhesive.
  4. A damaged gasket should be replaced with a genuine RSF Opel Catalyst gasket.

Note that there are two types of Catalysts for the Opel 2000.

For units made before 2016 you will need part number FR-14.17.61.

For units made after 2016 you will need part number CAPT.

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