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Review of Vermont Castings --- Encore catalytic -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Vermont Castings --- Encore catalytic -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2010-08-27 16:50:23

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 600 | House Size (Sq feet): 2100
Bought in 2007 , Price Paid: 2400
Location : Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Sierra Timberline

Caluwe Hydronic Wood and Pellet stoves
Likes: great looking stove. If you hardly ever use it then it makes a great room ornament.

Dislikes: interior parts warp in just a couple of years
catalytic converter lasts just a couple years
I am having to buy a new stove after only 3 years!!

Comments: As has been noted by many others on various forums, if you actually use the encore stove on a regular basis the interior parts warp within a couple of years. I have already replaced the throat hood (and of course the catalytic converter) and now basically the entire firebox needs to be replaced.
After having this stove just three winters I am faced with either spending many hundreds dollars of repairs, or buying a new stove. On top of that, Vermont Castings was sold in 2008, and the new company says they are not honoring any warranties on stoves bought before 2008 (I got mine in 2007.) So, after spending $2400 just three years ago, I am now going to go get a new (*not* Vermont Castings) stove. I think Vermont Castings was great 20 years ago (which I guess is why I bought one), but based on my experience (and now the many postings I have read - sure wish I had read them 3+ years ago) I think buying a Vermont Castings (at least if you are planning on actually having fires in it) is a very poor idea.
I also am pretty darn sure I will never buy anything from Sierra Timberlines again (our local retailer), at least as long as they continue to carry Vermont Casting stoves. Their attitude has been\"hey, this is a great stove, any problems must have been caused by misuse.\" I have used wood stoves off an on for 20+ years, had a thermometer on the stove that we monitored constantly, and burned only good/dry wood (almost all oak.) It is not Sierra timberlines fault the company stopped honoring warranties, but given all the complaints I\'ve read, other folks I have heard about in our local area that had problems, and the new VC owenrship\'s attitude toward their warranties, I guess I expected something from our local store other than \'must be mis-use, nothing we can/will do.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004