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Can't remove throat hood on VC Encore 2550

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by David Hodges, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. David Hodges

    David Hodges New Member

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    I have this Vermont Castings Defiant Encore model 2550. The catalytic combustor has apparently not been changed in 20 years and is probably completely gone.

    I ordered a new combustor and went to replace it, and I'm stymied at the first step. The instructions in the manual say "release the hood from the fireback by swinging the hood upward and then sliding it to either side".

    Sounds simple enough. The hood swings out a little bit - maybe an inch before it stops, hitting a lip above it. There is no way it is going to the left or right, as the sides of the hood hit these ribs that go up the fireback inside the edge of the hood. I banged around on it for more than an hour, and it's just not going anywhere.

    Something's not right here - but what? I can't think of anything to do but get in there with a Dremel and remove a bunch of metal until it has clearance to come out.

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  2. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like warped fireback which is pretty common
  3. 31 bertram

    31 bertram New Member

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    You think that's bad....wait til you put it back. Took me 2 days and still had to hammer the heck out of it.
  4. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    You are doing it right... It swings up about 30 degrees then will just barely clears those ribs. You got a warp. I'm still amazed Ive never warped mine as Ive seen that thing glow orange a couple times.

    When you get it out... and get new unwarped parts to put it back together it will be a royal pain the first time like bertram mentioned. The first time you try you will fight with it swearing for hours. But there is a trick to getting it to slip in and once you get the feel for it becomes quick and easy. I cant even describe it... one of those feel things.
  5. 31 bertram

    31 bertram New Member

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    Yeah when I took mine out, I practiced replacing it several times with no trouble. But after I changed the gaskets on the fireback I guess it shortened the clearance. I was so sore after the second day of struggling with it was ready for a replacement stove. But she's in good shape now waiting on the last glass which should be here Friday and 70's the rest of the week until I leave for work to return in March. Maybe next year.
  6. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    Seems that if you absolutely cannot find the magic combination to get it off, ya got nothing to lose by buying a new hood and cut the original out. Mine comes out best by sliding it to the right while tilting it just a right amount and jiggling it. Be prepared to find other stuff (refractory) not quite right once ya get the lower fireback off.
  7. 10-cc

    10-cc Member

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    I first thought that I only needed to change the hood. I ended needing changing: hood, fireback plate, sides plates, cat kit, air control cable kit and all gaskets. Ho, and one of the double door glass....( 2000$ quote)
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Wait a minute. There is NO WAY that should cost you $2,000.
  9. 10-cc

    10-cc Member

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    Parts and labor, that was the stove shop estimate.
  10. 31 bertram

    31 bertram New Member

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    I ended up changing the gaskets and both glass pieces. The combuster and refractionary looked good so I've got maybe under $300 in money and about 3 days labor of cleaning/replacing gaskets. So that ain't bad for 15 or 20 years of neglecting. And I've never had much trouble with operation. I figured I'll hang on to her for awhile longer since Mama bought me the new dragon warming shelves (another $230) I've been wanting for years.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    $2,000 is a brand new stove and only about $400 less than a new Encore. If you can't do the repairs yourself, I'd put the money towards a new stove.
  12. David Hodges

    David Hodges New Member

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    Thanks to everyone... so would I be better off ordering some parts (a new hood and fireback) before going any further? I was thinking I could cut the hood just enough to go on and off, but it sounds like I will run into other problems if the fireback is warped as well.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    No, I'm saying if your stove needs all those parts to run properly, and you also need to pay for labor, at $2,000 you might as well buy another stove. If you half-ass the repairs, the stove will not function well. What would a new hood and fireback do for you if your cat and assembly are still shot? And your glass still cracked. Those are items that need to be repaired if you hope to have a properly functioning stove.
  14. 31 bertram

    31 bertram New Member

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    I plan on grinding my throathood assembly just enough to clear next time I remove it.
  15. slindo

    slindo Member

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    Or $200 less than a new Oslo ;-)


  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Tons of options if you are going to spend $2,000.
  17. 10-cc

    10-cc Member

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    That is why I got the PE T6 instead of spending 2000$ on that succer (and do not regret it, LOL) and kiked the Encore outdoors...
  18. lekorules

    lekorules New Member

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    I've got a question. My throat hood is so warped it keeps falling out. I've ordered new ones twice now but they apparently aren't as wide now so they don't fit.

    Question is...is the throat hood more than just decorative? What about burning the stove without it in place? A big deal or not?

    Thanks
  19. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    It supposed to reduce the amont of flame hitting the cat directly. This is my thinking.
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Yes, and it also routes the incoming secondary air into the cat intake, and gives some protection if a split rolls against the cat inlet.
  21. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    Threads like this help me to know I'm not the only one 'dealing' with a 2550... :) Misery loves company.
  22. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Oh indeed there area few of us here.

    I'm getting myself prepared mentally for a partial internal rebuild next summer. I know mine needs it as I get visible smoke even when the cat is over 1200F and all the usual suspects (cat, 2nd probe, fireback gasket, etc) have been ruled out. I figure time for a new refractory box and probably replace all the gaskets for the upper & lower FB, damper, inner sides ,etc. Hopefully just $300 or so for the refractory and gasket kits an a weekend of swearing (per BBar ;) )

    My throat is thankfully not warped and the controls work good so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when I get it apart I wont find anything else wrong :(


    I'll try and do a photo thread when I get around to it.....

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