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1977 Vermont Castings Vigilant

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by DavidC, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

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    GA
    Hello,
    Bought a house in GA that has a 1977 VC Vigilant and I do NOT have an idea of how to operate it. Please if there is anyone that can give me some pointers I will appreciate it.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Greetings David. First tip is burn dry, well-seasoned wood. The second tip is to read the manual cover to cover, especially the operation and maintenance section. Given the age of the stove though you want to first make sure it is in decent operational condition and safely installed. Also, was the chimney inspected and cleaned as part of the house sale? If not, that should be done by a certified professional.

    Here is the manual in 2 parts.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/vermont-castings-older-stove-models/
    jersey tamato likes this.
  3. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

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    GA
    Th
    Thank you, glanced at the manual and it is instructing to leave the thermostat at a medium setting, just did that! But it does not mention anything about the damper position? First time ever to use a wood burning stove, and I bought seasoned wood according to the seller! All systems where inspected by a professional before I attempted anything, but I was out of town when it happened and could not ask any questions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2014
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Read it again. The bypass damper is mentioned on page 4 in detail and on page 10 as part of the operation instructions.

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  5. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

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    Thank you !!! How big of a space this stove should be able to keep warm under normal conditions?
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Normal conditions meaning? GA is "usually" a lot warmer than normal winter conditions, so I would say 1500-2000 sq. ft. But normal includes decent insulation, open floorplan, good dry wood to burn, good stove location and a stove in good operating condition.
  7. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

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    Thank you for the information, great help!
  8. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    David,

    Once you get the hang of things, look up 'top down burning' and give it a try. It will change your life!

    MR
  9. Blackcat

    Blackcat Member

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    I second the top down burn! Look it up;)
  10. jersey tamato

    jersey tamato New Member

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    I tried the top down burn and couldn't get it going as quickly as I could with a upward burn.
  11. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

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    Thank you for all the info you guys provided, another unknown. Doe anyone know what are these for? IMG_2452.jpg IMG_2451.jpg
  12. vasten

    vasten Member

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    Upstate NY
    I just installed a vigilant and the seller included copies of the newspapers they used to send out to the owners ...
    Per the paper the images of the skewer like items are mitten driers that you would hang off the side grates
  13. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Yes, those are "mitten driers" which hang off the end of the warming shelves. The warming shelves are bolted to one or both sides of the stove. The shelves are a nice feature which were an option for many of the older VC stoves.
  14. Blackcat

    Blackcat Member

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    We'll be using those today:)
  15. Newbie2014

    Newbie2014 New Member

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    Hello! I found this thread and have a question about my vigilant ( not sure if it's 1 or 2 )- we have never really used the damper mode to heat the house.. Is that called secondary burn? Completely new at this and wondering how to do it- do i close the damper and open the temperature gauge in the back? The more open the better the heat? How long does it usually take to heat the house? We have only used it as a parkour fireplace with the doors open and the damper open. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much!
  16. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    If I recall correctly, some or all of the Vigilants had a secondary reburn chamber which was activated by closing the damper. There was no catalyst or reburn tubes, just a chamber which would force stove exhaust back through the workings of the stove to try and recombust some of the exhaust. I would make sure it was free and clear of creosote, ash, and any other material before trying it out. As far as operation, your best bet is to try and find the right manual for that stove. There may be one in the hearth wiki which you can navigate to from the main page.

    If there is a secondary air inlet, there may be a spring that controls the air flow into that inlet. As long as the spring is functioning (not dirty and full of dirt) and its connected, it should function on its own.

    As far as your other questions, they're a bit more subjective.. heating capability or your perception of the heating ability from the stove will depend on the quality and moisture content of your wood, the size of the space you are heating, floor plan, and quality of insulation.

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