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Does serial number help determine Vigilant's manufacturing date?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Libby Roberts, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Libby Roberts

    Libby Roberts New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
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    3
    Loc:
    Whidbey Island, Washington
    Our original VC Vigilant is dying a slow death after 32 years of wonderful service! We are looking at a used Vigilant to replace it and would like to know its manufacture date. How can we do that? Help!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,610
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I wouldn't worry about the mfg. date. They were only made for about 10? years. Focus on the condition of the stove. Look for any cracks inside and out. Look at the bypass mechanism for sloppy action and expect to have to do a really good cleaning of the secondary system no matter what condition. Blowing it out with compressed air often helps. (do this outside only and with a mask).
  3. Libby Roberts

    Libby Roberts New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
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    3
    Loc:
    Whidbey Island, Washington
    Thanks! I don't know what the "bypass mechanism" looks like or what the "secondary system" is, I'm afraid. We've just loaded up our stove and burned wood in it for 32 years! My husband is pretty handy, though. Can you give us more detail re what and where to look?
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
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    The bypass mechanism is the lever on the side that you engage once the stove is burning well so that the flue gases get reburned in the secondary burn section of the stove. Have you been running the stove without engagin the bypass?
  5. Libby Roberts

    Libby Roberts New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Whidbey Island, Washington
    Did you get my response? I'm not used to this process and thought I'd sent one via email . . . I believe we've been using the bypass. We just didn't know it! We load up the stove with wood and ignite it with the handle "up," and then wait til the flue temp reaches 300 degrees before putting the handle "down." That's how we were instructed to use the stove 32 years ago! We have never done anything with the "secondary system." What/where is that?
    Thanks loads for your help! How about some advice re whether or not we should replace our old Vigilant with another one, as long as it looks to be in good condition? We love our Vigilant, but are open to suggestions . . .
    Libby
  6. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    414
    Loc:
    No. NH
    V.C. dated each of the castings, so if you cleanoff the inside of the door for example, it should be dated! For example: 4/10/83 orwhatever it is willappear somewhere on most of the cast pieces. Not sure why that'll help, but there you are!
  7. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    414
    Loc:
    No. NH
    Since you asked, try to find yourself a VIGLANT 1C manufactured from 7/82 thru 7/84. These have the 2 piece fireback, longer doors, and don't have the stupid wrap-around front. CHECK THE BOTTOM CAREFULLY as they are prone to cracking and no longer made!!!!!

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