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Did I make a mistake??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Lucky13evo, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Lucky13evo

    Lucky13evo New Member

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    Hey there new to the forums and new to wood burning stoves.
    I recently pulled the trigger on a encore non cat 1450 stove for $500that is brand new. Actually just left a $100 deposit on it. After doing a little research on this web site it seems to be a terrible stove??!!$&@ Did I make a mistake should I just walk away from the 100 deposit??

    I am in Northern California and am just looking for a green way to heat my new to me house. When i do get a stove I will still have to install the flu and all other items as the house does not have any provisions for that. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thnx in advance.

    FYI the area I am trying to heat is about 1500-2000 square feet. Thats a rough estimate.

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    These stoves are plagued with problems. But there are lots of them out there that have had no problems. $500 is a good deal for a new one. It doesn't hurt as bad if it fails.
  3. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Vermont castings say they have lifetime warranties.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You are correct that there are many bad reviews out on the Encore, but you have to be very careful in that there have been a few different "Encore" models over the years. BrowningBAR is our resident expert on this stove, and I'm sure he'll be along shortly to fill you in on all the details, but I would do my best to find out what model year that stove is, before jumping to any conclusions. The latest Encore and Defiant have (mostly) positive reviews, the only negative point I have seen being the possibly too-fragile catalyst cover / rear burn plate, for which there have been some breakage reports.

    The company is reprehensible. Many users had problems with them before their recent bankruptcy and buy-out. In keeping with the spirit, their new owner weaseled out of supporting the warranties on all product sold just before the buy-out.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    A few things:
    1. Why was the stove $500 brand new? Was there damage to the stove? Did you buy it from a stove shop, or a private seller?
    2. What is the condition of the fountain assembly? Was it damaged? Is that one of the reasons for the extremely low price?
    3. Inspect all gaskets: Double doors, top griddle, ash pan.
    4. If this is going into an existing chimney, the chimney mist have a 6" or 8" liner installed. These stoves are more susceptible to weak draft. If you hook this stove up to a clay lined chimney without putting in a 6" or 8" liner, you are going to have a bad time.
    5. How long has your wood been cut, split, and stacked. These stove react poorly to wet wood. All modern stoves do, but, VC stoves in particular, need dry fuel to perform well. If you are relying on a recent wood delivery for 'seasoned' wood, you're going to have a bad time.
    6. The bad news: The non-cat versions of the Encore have a longer history of giving people problems. Not everyone, but there are a lot more people that report problems with the non-cat version of the stove than the cat version.
    7. The good news: Pretty sure the design of the non-cat stove that you have allows you to upgrade to the new 2-in-1 design of the current stoves. This offers you with a better design, more durable materials, and a better burn.
    8. That being said, run the stove. I know a few people that have, in fact, had good success with the non-cat version of the stove. It will provide heat. It will give you good burn times. It will not blow up on you or eat your children.
    The main issue with the non-cat version of this stove was that maintaining the stove in the right range to achieve the "everburn" mode was difficult at times. I can not speak directly to this as I have never run one. The complaints have been that the temps will crash (drop) or they will rise too quickly or too far. Both issues are manageable. But, can be annoying to deal with. As Webby stated; at $500 you will be more forgiving of it's issues as you have less invested into the stove.

    Don't fear the stove. Don't be overly worried about it. Use dry fuel, have it installed properly, use a stove thermometer on the griddle. If you do those three things your life will be a lot easier.
    raybonz and jharkin like this.
  6. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Where (what city?) in Northern Cal? Its been pretty cold here latly.
  7. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The search keyword to find old threads on the 1450 is "neverburn" ;)

    That said, Browning gave you good info. The non cat system is inherently more problematic then the cat version of these stove (what browning and I both have) but other than that most VC issues were due to poor quality control in the years the company was bought out- twice. All those issues can be adressed if you carefully inspect the stove and are willing to fix any bad gaskets, missing cement, etc.
  8. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Well I had the 1997 VC Encore with a cat and it was always needing a new one and I had to rebuild it so many times (at $400 a pop) that I eventually cut my losses and bought a Napoleon 1900. Never been happier nor have I looked back.
    Btw, I still have lots of 8" red enamle stove pipe if you are interested. (90, 45 degree, and 2 foot sections - good shape). Looking to get rid of it as they have been sitting around for years now.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I run the Encore with 6" pipe/liner.

    Did you have a cat probe?
  10. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Hi,

    No. Just cat prob-lems :)
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The cat probe would have helped minimizing the problems. Glad the1900 is working out for you. Running a stove that you aren't happy with is never fun.
  12. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    No, it was not fun. Especially since I didn't have reputable dealer in town. If Lucky13 had that, he might be in better shape as far as spare parts, advice and such is concerned. I would just rely on Obadiahs if not. Been very pleased with them - for 5 years now.
  13. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Hmm my encore was built in 97 also. Its still on the original refractory, unless the previous owner replaced it, and they don't strike me as the type whom would have.

    I'm going to replace it this year due to age.
  14. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Well I road that toad pretty hard. But its what it took to keep just 2000 sqft of my 3000sqft house warm. Don't know how big your house is. I love my Napoleon which does the job well - for 6 years now.
    ScotO likes this.
  15. Lucky13evo

    Lucky13evo New Member

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    Wow guys. What a great active community. I was not expecting so many responses.
    Well to answer some of the questions browning bar asked it was two new stoves that apparently both were damaged in shipping so the owner took the good parts from each to make a complete good one and never used. The stove was also so cheap because it is missing the griddle and the handles for the air flow and dampener. The condition of everything appears to be new including the fountain thing you are talking about.

    The chimney is not installed yet and i have no parts for that as well. That will be a whole other mess I imagine. Lol
    Either way should I walk away and buy a better stove or go for it? Honestly budget is tight and this is realistically my price point as i will still need some money for the chimney install. Thnx again guys for all the input.
  16. Lucky13evo

    Lucky13evo New Member

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    Area needed to ne heated is realistically about 2000 sf
  17. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    Well $500 isn't going to get you a better deal than what you have now. But if you are above San Fransisco, its getting pretty cold these days.
  18. Lucky13evo

    Lucky13evo New Member

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    Yup in granite bay ca
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Yes you will have to push this stove hard to heat 2000sf if you dont have good insulation and a moderate climate. I'm heating 1400 with so-so insulation. When it gets into the low teens I have to run it hard.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    He/she should be fine. I am running a defiant and an endure, both used, and with a little patients all the maintenance can be done yourself and buy all the parts online.
  21. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Knowing nothing about the Encore, I'd be leary of any stoves where two damaged ones have been used to build one undamaged, and some parts are still missing. To me, good money following bad. I'd cut my losses and maybe look for an Englander 30 NCH on sale soon.....
    Joful likes this.
  22. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Well, this is great information to know as I just sent my boss a link to Vermont Castings because he wife is refusing to allow a black stove to be installed and he was looking for some that offered color options and that was the only company I could think of outside of soapstone ones.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Send him to Jotul!

    I'm with rideau... TWO stoves, and he's still missing parts? Something fishy...

    What about an Englander 30NC? No beauty queen, but one of the most preferred stoves among the serious heaters here. Unless I've lost track, I think BrowningBAR may have replaced one of his Vermont Castings stoves with a 30NC.
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Best looking wood stove on the planet. >>
    rideau likes this.
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Brother Bart, I never realized you have (gulp) 5???stoves....

    Love it when someone loves his stove....or stoves, as the case may be...

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