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Defiant 2-in-1, noob owner need some help

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Deadwoodz, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Deadwoodz

    Deadwoodz New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
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    This is our first wood stove, my fiance and I are a little scared of the creosote "burn you and your whole house down" possibility. I'm from Alabama so I have no knowledge of wood stoves and everyone online has different stoves so it's hard to find answers. Might ramble a bit, sorry lol

    It's a Vermont Castings Defiant 2-in-1. I'm confused where I should put the magnetic thermostat, about 18" up on the pipe or directly on the stove's griddle? Here's my current situation:

    -I put the thermostat on the pipe and let it get to 450F+ degrees. Box is full, good burn, no smoke out chimney.
    -I pull the left lever to activate catalytic mode.
    -I leave the right lever (air control) fully open.

    Less than a minute & the pipe temp drops to between 200-250F. This puts it in the range of "creosote" on the thermostat. The fire can be RIPPING but once I activate cat mode the flames die to almost nothing, like a smoldering appearance, and it's just bright red logs/coals with a little flame and the pipe temp drops 200 degrees.

    I just tried something after being in cat mode, I moved the thermostat from the pipe to the griddle, turned the air control past half way and the stove top temp is sitting at 500F while the pipe is 150-200F. No flames really, just glowing red.

    Is it ok for the pipe to be at a really low degree when cat mode is activated? I just thought a low temp pipe meant more creosote.

    Pic of our stove and hearth:

    [​IMG]

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  2. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Welcome, DW. :) I don't have that stove but mine does the same thing; Flue temp drops when the cat's engaged. I think that's due to the path of the flow being longer in cat mode, allowing more heat to be captured and emitted by the stove top. As long as you're not getting smoke out of the stack, whether the cat is engaged or not, you can be fairly sure that your liner is going to stay relatively clean for a while. For safety's sake, if you are a new burner you should inspect your flue frequently (and brush if necessary) until you get a feel for what to expect as far as deposits in the flue, and how often you will need to brush. If you are burning clean, brushing will only yield 'coffee grounds' or powder and no big flakes or gooey deposits, which are more dangerous. The heaviest deposits will be where the chimney exits the building and is cooled by the outside air.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    BTW, I haven't seen much about this stove yet so I hope you'll post here about running it so that people can learn more about what to expect if they are thinking about getting one.
  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    welcome to the forum and beautiful setup you have there
  5. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    As long as you see no smoke from the chimney, the low pipe temp in cat mode is OK and completely normal. Those burn ranges on the thermo are holdovers from pre epa stoves that sent a lot of unburned particles up the stack. Keeping the pipe very hot was the only way to prevent that stuff from sticking inside the pipe. In a modern stove the unburned stuff just doesn't go up the pipe to begin with... Enjoy some great high efficiency heat :)
  6. Deadwoodz

    Deadwoodz New Member

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    Dec 24, 2012
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    I am getting smoke this morning. I reloaded when I woke up, let the pipe get to 450 (so box was probably 600+) and then activated cat mode and ran outside, for 20 seconds there were big plumes of white smoke which gradually lessened into a little bit of white smoke coming out, about 30 min later I checked again and it's still a little smoke coming out. I was under the impression that the cat mode should be burning ALL the smoke so there's none.

    Usually without cat mode burning a hot fire I get no smoke. The wood in the stove is black charcoal pretty much so maybe that's why I'm getting smoke?

    [​IMG]
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Put the thermometer on the griddle like VC recommends.
  8. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    If the smoke is more white in color and has no smell it is mostly moisture...steam.
    Wood at even 20% MC still has water in it of course.
    Looks ok and like someone said..check the pipe/chimney every 3 or 4 weeks for this season.
  9. Deadwoodz

    Deadwoodz New Member

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    So it's been about an hour and the smoke has stopped, all I see are fumes (no smoke at all) so it's burning clean. Griddle top is at 600F with the airflow turned more than half. I guess we're good! Just gonna take some time to know the perfect settings.
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yep, and steam is also a by-product of combustion (to a lesser degree, I think.) Steam will have that white color, smoke will be darker gray. Depending on relative humidity etc, steam may dissipate fairly quickly and smoke will carry further from the stack. Steam also just seems to move differently...smoke moves like it is 'heavier.'
    It's a learning process, for sure. You'll discover a lot of stuff about your stove and how it burns as you go along. Different woods also will yield varying results. You might use the 'search' feature here to read some other threads on areas that you have questions about. You'll have questions, no doubt...don't hesitate to ask. :)

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