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CFM Vermont Castings Dutchwest Everburn Non-Cat Owners Discussion and Review Thread!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tradergordo, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    The pipe is screwed in there. Hmmmm...maybe another point for VC to add to their operating instructions? Never heard of that and it's sure not in my manual.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    What I do is measure down to the stops and cut my crimped end 1/8" less than the stop so when I silde it in, the rib above the crimp is making a tight seal to the flue collar. I also place a bead of gasket cement just below the rib and that seals it perfectly. This is a common problem found on most stoves .The flue collar can be recessed to the stops 1" but the crimping is 1.5"

    If you are seeing fire and extra spacing is the recesses of the crimping. That's a lot of air getting there, making it much harder to control that stove
    If there is an ash clean out door to that flue duct tape it to stop additional air from entering that flue. The ash clean out doors leak quite a bit ,
    It would not be the first time they caused or contributed to loosing control of your stove.
  3. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    The stove should be cool enough when I get home that I can get the hack saw and give it a try. I am a bit skeptical, but I'm not just going to brush you guys off, either. I won't know if it works immediately due to the temperment of my stove...but if it suddenly starts acting like I think it's supposed to, you all will have to let me buy you a couple rounds. Just to verify...should I use firebrick cement or the rope gasket cement? I have both. If it would hold, it seems that the rope gasket cement would be easier to hide and keep the stove looking nice (instead of some appalachain quick-fix that appears all too common around here - like using an old washing machine for a mailbox stand).
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It will be interesting to see the results of sealing that flue collar. I have never seen a flue collar leak that did anything other than reduce draft through the stove and send too much cool air up the pipe causing creosote deposits in the pipe.
  5. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Mike is your damper fully engaged? Is it possible that it is disengaging sometimes? The inconsistency in your flue gas temps is really weird. It is similar to what happened to me early in the year with the stove I'm burning now. The damper would disengage anywhere from 1/2" to fully open then the flue temp would take off. I had to adjust the tension on it to make it work consistantly. Also I want to verify that your flue temps accellerate after engaging the everburn system correct? I want to get all ducks in a row and then I'll call tech for you. I don't know why you haven't recieved a straight forward answer on the operating temps. As mentioned in the other thread I called tech and they told me 600 degree stove top 600 degree flue gas when probe thermometer is set 24" above the stove top. In addition he told me that the rumble is going to be there. Also you are correct in that your internal flue gas temp is roughly twice what your surface temp is. I tested it today. I need to correct the fire box temps I told you I was burning at I am in reality burning in the 400-700 range I discovered that my stove top thermometer is roughly 200 degrees off in the higher temp range readings.
    So let me make sure my facts are straight.

    - You start a fire get firebox temps in the 450-600 range.
    - Engage the everburn system at this point the flue gas temps start running away one you and in addition while the flue gas temps are running away the chimney is smoking badly?
    - In order to regain control of the stove you have to close the primary air all the way at which point your flue gas temps drop well below 600 and the stove will begin to burn efficiently?
  6. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    With my stove, I am positive the damper is fully closed. It is VERY obvious if it is not - it misses that distinctive "thunk" and the fire acts differently (I actually had a piece of wood block it in the past).

    You are correct with your chronology of events, except that when the stove runs away, there is a VERY loud rumbling and NO SMOKE from the chimney. Also, in your last sentence, the flue gas temp (surface) will drop after 10 minues or so (seems like an eternity), the rumbling will eventually die down, my chimney starts smoking badly.

    I do have to say, I sealed my connector last night and had better results, but I have had decent results at times in the past, so I don't want to immediately say "problem solved". I will keep everyone posted here on my results this weekend.
  7. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Here's a picture of my loaded stove, and one of the setup - if anyone sees anything wrong with this, let me know. This is typical, so if there is a problem, it could be part of what is going wrong. This load would work flawlessly with my dutchwest catalytic...

    Attached Files:

  8. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    here's the stove.

    Attached Files:

  9. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Another with flash- sort of makes it look like there's no flame...this particular load did quite well. I had a good stove temp (500), good flue temp (500 surface), and the secondary worked well after a little adjustment of the load a couple of times. I intentially crammed a lot of wood in there to see if my seal made a difference. I tried to avoid making my "tunnel" from front to back to the throat of the everburn. It drives me crazy if I have to be extra careful in making sure there's a clear path at the bottom of the load from front to back.

    Attached Files:

  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nice installation Mike. First time I've seen one from a cat's eye point of view. Did you do the tile/stone work yourself? It looks especially nice. What types of stone did you use? Do you have a human eye view of the same?
  11. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I don't have a picture that's small enough to meet the size limit. It's all tile - it's the green "Rialto" that you get a Lowes - heavy porcelain that has been smacked with a hammer. It was done just before I bought the house. I would have left the tiles whole, but it works. I eneded up replacing the entire chimney/support package/flashing right after I moved in. It was a 6" flue with adapter going into 8", which I did not like. The lady also used the cheap pre-fab stuff that you get at lowes. I replaced it with Metalbestos SS. It's amazing that a 3' section of the 6" SS pipe weighs more than the 3' section of the 8" lowes-bought pipe. I think the stuff at lowes is a lower-end selkirk product. I don't know why they don't just sell the good stuff everywhere instead of having a cheaper version for wal-mart and lowes? Duh...
  12. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    FYI...we had subzero temps this past weekend with highs in the teens. My house ranged anywhere from 85 F in the kitchen area to 65 upstairs. Though I was happy with the heat output, I still noted major inconsistency with the operation. Specifically, the amount of smoke generated when reloading with a good bed of coals. It burned very smokey for up to two hours with 500+ stove temp and good flames in the firebox. I am still truly disappointed with the stove in that respect. I don't just want lots of heat; I also want a clean, efficient burn. The stove manufacturer's claim of high efficiency and low emissions seems somewhat innacurate based on what I have seen.

    With the connector pipe/collar sealed, I have not yet had another "meltdown", but the flue temp is still above what I would expect (450 F surface temp). Thanks for everyone's help in figuring out what was causing the problem. As far as I can tell, that was it. I think VC should note that the connector pipe should be sealed in their manual - this did not cause a problem with the catalytic model, and appears to be a bigger problem for the everburn stoves. A big lesson for me, hopefully others reading this thread with the same problem will be able to possibly fix their runaway stoves.

    Unfortunately in my situation, consistent, clean burning operation is very important to me. Though I might be losing a bit of claimed efficiency, my wife and I have decided to change stoves out AGAIN. This time, we are going with a Hearthstone Heritage. The switch will be made next saturday. If anyone is interested, I will provide a back to back comparison of heat output, burn times, ease of operation, and emissions between the Hearthstone and Dutchwest non-cat. Tooo bad VC can't make an "extra large" catalytic dutchwest with a 6" flue. That's what I would be going to...
  13. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    What's happening to the Dutchwest mike?
  14. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    The dutchwest is going to be exchanged - I'm actually coming out a bit better than if I had bought the HEarthstone a year ago instead of the dutchwest...

    The dealer is taking it on trade, he has a buyer that has been looking for a used one. He is selling me a Heritage that was used for a few days before being returned (still full warranty and dealer support). All said, I will be looking at coughing up another $650. Why, are you looking for a used one?
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Vermont Castings sent me via e-mail

    "John Davidson asked about one of these with low heat a few days ago, a large Dutchwest w/ double wall connector (not related I'm quite sure). Strangely, these comments are the other end of the spectrum.

    Low heat output or lack of efficiency could be several things. Check the tightness of the fireback bolts and push the shoe all the way in so that its rear edge seals with the soft refractory behind. Leaks behind the shoe or if the shoe gasket is missing would slow down or even extinguish a fire, depending on where the leak was or which portion of the shoe gasket was missing. A good coalbed is needed. Hot coals should be piled around the shoe and loose ash removed (stir at every reload). The outside air kit would not be expected to result in much more heat from the stove (just less cold air infiltration to the house) and a fan would help distribute heat better.

    If there is not enough heat coming out, is that on the highest setting? Hopefully, there is a realization that at the lowest setting you get low heat output. If he's at the highest setting and the output is still low, the loose shoe is the likely culprit.

    Unless there is a compelling clearance issue requiring double wall connector, single wall could be used to get more heat from the pipe as well."
  16. sstanis

    sstanis New Member

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    Mike from Athens, once again sorry for your dillema concerning your stove. I guess maybe the Everburn, as far as the results indicate from this board, was really ready for rollout. It happens with many things that look good on paper, in theory, limited variable testing. I have burned the Heritage for 4 yrs and have been generally satisfied. Over the yrs, based upon my own observations and tidbits gathered from this board, here is my advice concerning the Heritage.

    1) Heritage is made for continous burning. If your lifestyle allows for it, burn it 24/7. Meaning that after loading and dampering dwn b4 going to work. One should realistically expect that it would needed to be reloaded 6 to 8hrs later.

    2) At cold start-up, kindling and 1st few splits should be really dry. Even with well-seasoned wood, it can take some time to get up to good operating temps, therefore the hot fire comes in real handy and will afford you a better, longer burn. Not so well seasoned wood can be burnt, but not b4 the stove has been cruising at operating temps for at least 3 hrs. it is amazing how not so well seasoned wood can kill a fire. This had lead me to actually have 3 piles: start-up wood, well-seasoned, not so well seasoned.

    3) During early fall and late spring, proper draft is imperative, unless you like smoke spilling out of the back of your stove.

    4) Now don't ask me why, but the Heritage burns hot and long with north-south fires. Like I said, I don't know why, and after reading this board I was still very skeptical on north-south burns being better. But this supplier around me was selling "chunk" for 100/cord. Let me tell you that the hottest, longest burn I have ever gotten was with burning this chunk. This nice thick (avg 7 inches in dia.) and 10" long chunk in a north/south burn is phenomenal (sic).

    5) Lastly, do not damper all the way down. With the heritage, unless you have some air coming from the doghouse, there can be alot of charcoal at times.

    I should say that these have been based on my observations and are the only ones that come to mind. I am sure that other heritage burners would like to add their input
  17. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    From what I hear, this stove can be a bit finnicky.

    How about the "small" everburn stove??
    Less fussy??
    Heard lots about the larger units w/ everburn.

    Rob
  18. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    I thought the seal between my flue pipe/collar was in OK shape, even though it is only screwed down (per the instruction manual). However yesterday I was getting ready for another long burn, loaded up the box w/ fresh splits, turned the air up, opened the bypass, and let it go for about 10 minutes. The fire was really roaring, strong draft was evident. I closed the bypass which always forces that large pressure blast through the reburner and causes the largest rumble momentarily. I didnt see any smoke, but I did see a spark shoot out towards the wall. So there must be a small leak, even tho I cannot seem to see/hear it.

    I cannot move the stove at all, so I wont be able to reseat the flue pipe into the collar. Will simply applying some gasket cement around the connection point be sufficient?
  19. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I ended putting gasket cement on mine, the way you are talking about. Seemed to help quell the thermonuclear meltdown events I was having. You might have trouble getting a good bead with the horizontal exit, though. I was able to get the glue to run into the crack. It got nice and fluffy and sealed it up nice. Try to use black instead of the clear stuff, though. Mine looked pretty crappy because the clear turned into white on my black flue collar and stove pipe.
  20. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Thanks for the tip!
  21. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Oh yeah.....,the thing is just plain sensitive..... its dang cold here, the stack is warm, I can hear a faint rumble, and the smoke is clean (what little there is), life is good.

    Most times, the everburn only works when the flue magnetic reads 500+. On rare occasions it has worked as low as 420 (my stove is a stoner? who knew), but that worked maybe twice in 2 seasons at most. Tonight the flue magnetic reads 350 and it's burning well w/ the primary air inlet set to half, and I can raise/lower the temp w/ the inlet and the stove is still burning properly. In all other prior fires, the air inlet is either set to max to try and get the everburn to work at all, the other times its completely closed to prevent it from burning the house down. Tonight is the behavior I'm used to with the stoves I've used to in the past.

    I loaded the splits in the same orientation. I took wood from the same pile that is the same age/batch as the last dozen fires. There is a reasonable coal bed but not a massive one like is normally required. I let the fresh splits, loaded about 3 hours ago, to catch for the same amount of time/magnitude as previous fires. The garage (where the chimney runs) is actually colder than normal since I've been in & out w/ the snowblower several times today. (that no'earster eventually hit, about 8" of snow)
  22. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Just wanted to mention that I am interested in your comparison although since you were unable to get good results out of the Dutchwest your comparison is going to be pretty slanted. For what its worth, it took me weeks to figure out how to properly run this stove. Hope you are satisfied with the new stove.

    Also, unrelated, but I linked to it in another thread and feel I should put a link in this official Dutchwest discussion and review thread - this is my video demonstration of everburn (its a huge file, you should right click the link and "save target as" to download it, then play it).

    EverburnDemo.avi
    This also shows the characteristics of the burn - you can see how the fire looks with the damper open, and how it looks about 20 seconds after closing the bypass to activate the everburn secondary combustion. What I should have added is what it looked like 15-20 minutes later with the primary air completely cut off. The flue temps were stable at about 800 degrees F, the slight rumble was still going, and there were basically no flames in the firebox - just nicely glowing orange coals. This is the beauty of “horizontal combustion” - you get nice hot fires that last as long as possible without the wood on top being consumed too quickly, all with little to no particulate emissions. A snapshot from an hour or two later would show the everburn still going, with stack temps maybe down to 700, same old glowing fire with little to no flames - keeping the house warm all night long.

    Finally, I just got done going though all the different "everburn" threads, I missed most of the discussions when they happened. One common theme I see is what I think is people closing the bypass too soon. It took me a while to figure this out on my own (especially because there is no guidance, as far as temps go, in the user manual). Even in my original review - you can tell I had only just then experienced my first real correct burn (i.e. thermonuclear). I'm pretty convinced now that to get a good efficient burn, you must take it up to 1000 F internal probe flue temp before closing the bypass (all of my past comments about coals around the throat opening still apply as well though). If you do the coal thing, and the 1000 degree thing, it pretty much works 100% of the time - again, it took me quite some time to figure this out, but now that I have, I'm getting better performance but it still requires a lot of futzing around!
  23. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Great vid! I am envious of your hearth setup! Im glad to see that my operations/usage mimic yours. Do you happen to have a magnetic thermometer laying around? I am curious of the temps you would observe (probe vs. magnetic). Im trying to determine a rough estimate of what the interior temp is based on my magnetic readings, as I dont yet have a probe thermometer.

    Like yourself traderg, I'm getting better, more consistent results the more I use the stove. But the behavior has also been better due to outdoor conditions (dang cold!) and good drafting conditions. I've also found that creating a small V shape using two small splits on the lowest level when adding new splits sometimes helps. So if you are looking top-down, the vertex of the V would be closest to you at the front of the stove. Then load large splits on top of those parallel to the stove front as normal. Seems to channel the hot gases/smoke towards the throat where the everburn intakes are.
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Hmmm That "V idea sounds good, but I would have thought it would work better if the point of the "V" was towards the BACK of the stove, rather than the front.... After all the throat and intakes for the Everburn chamber are at the rear of the stove.

    Gooserider
  25. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Yea, I too have found that the way you configure the wood definitely impacts the secondary burn success. I think just a big pile of hot coals at the throat is enough, but a "hot coal tunnel" works even better, I think many configurations would work, even two paralel small splits going front to back with the rest of your wood piled on top left to right might help create the tunnel.

    Burning... I don't have a magnetic stove pipe thermometer. I own too many darn thermometers already to buy another one :) But I too would be interested in knowing how those temps compare...

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