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Posted By BrowningBAR,
Nov 7, 2012 at 6:50 PM
I can not get the two piece fireback aligned correctly to re-install it. What am I missing?
Well, good news and bad news.
Good news; got the two piece fireback to align properly.
Bad news; snapped one of the six bolts.
Might mean my stove buying days are not over. The fireback is firmly in place and it should be fin this winter. But, unless I can find a way to remove the remaining bolt piece without screwing up the thread, I might need to locate another Encore.
Tell the Truth. You broke it on purpose... Just to have an excuse...
"But honey, it broke, honest. I haaaaave to go stove shopping again."
No. My Tourette's went to eleven when that happened.
I still can not believe that happened. I am going to have to take that SOB apart again after this winter. This will be the third time I've had that apart. Two of those times were directly related to my stupidity. I hate it when I create work for myself.
It is very possible we are related somehow...
I see you have been busy!!
Why did you have to take the fireback apart? I thought you had done a complete
rebuilt on the 0028 last year.
I did, but I felt I half-assed it didn't take apart the fireback because I felt it didn't need it. But the gasket on the damper came off due to poor application. So, genius me, figured; well, this is clearly a sign that the job wasn't done right.
So... I fixed it. I fixed it REAL good.
That being said, it's burning really well for a first burn. I'll have to see what I can do to drill out the old bolt this summer. Or just buy a flat black Encore (not a fan of the enamel) for $400 during the off season. Which ever comes first.
Oh, after taking apart the fireback, it was obvious it was fine and didn't need to be taken apart.
You have my unending sympathy that my inferior genetics and limited intellect seem terrifyingly familiar. If I was any more incompetent I would qualify for government assistance or a telethon to raise money for my poor wife that has to put up with me.
That is good to know!
My 0028 is really sick...the refactory is falling apart. Also, if I shut the
primary air all the way down I still get good amount of flame in the box and this is in the cat mode.
I would love to be able to fabricate my own refactory
If you can afford it, I would replace the refractory as soon as possible and look into doing a partial rebuild. Otherwise you are going to blow through the wood and your burn times will be annoyingly short.
I called few places regarding prices for the refactory...464.00 before tax PAIN!
Is that with a catalyst or just the refractory? Just the refractory should be about $275
I feel your pain. I snapped a bolt on an Acclaim. It was a bolt that holds on the flue adapter to vent up or back. I took it to a machine shop and they did some electronic boring out of the bolt and cleaned the threads. After messing with too many Vermont Casting stoves, two Encores and the Acclaim twice, I think I am done with them. I ordered a top griddle and handle kit for the acclaim and the casting is crappy. Instead of rebuilding I think I will recommend to buy something else. The Vermont Castings are my parents stoves and dad always has liked the Jotul line. It wouldn't be hard to talk him into an upgrade.
Sorry to ramble. My point is, have fun stove shopping.
I am very limited in my options for this location. The Encore is the largest stove that is guaranteed to fit in that location. My stupidity is to blame at this point. The stove, though high maintenance, runs like a champ.
And I really don't want to purchase a seventh stove in six years.
I understand. My Encore was a workhorse, I would cuss it when I had to work on it though. I really enjoy following your stove buying saga. I have relocated, swapped and traded stoves but have not come close to 7 stoves in 6 years. It is fun to watch from a spectator point of view but I am sure your tired of it. Best of luck.
I wouldn't be overly concerned if you can drill out the bolt and retap the threads. It's easier than it sounds and not very expensive. First try to remove the piece with some penetrating lube, then vise grips. If it snaps, so be it. Drill baby drill.
+1 Ive never drilled out a bolt on a stove, but I have on a lot of other things - just use an undersized drill and then chase the threads with the right size tap. Whatever you do DONT bother with an easy out. I tired that for a snapped off screw holding on my tub drain lever cover... It snapped off of course and now I have to get behind there somehow to take out the overflow pipe and replace it.
You know I wonder If I'm due for a rebuild. I have a hunch that mine probably hasn't been touched since it was new in 1997. I replaced the refractory access panel that was pretty beat, but the main box is still so so. The shelf under the cat is mostly crumbled away but the rest of the box is still intact. What is your criteria for just ripping it all out?
One thing for sure I need to regasket mine. Ash pan, doors to start.
The flames just look too active on a fully closed stove. As for the box, I can see it through the back of the stove as I access the cat and stainless steel plate that partly holds the cat is totally warpped and the actual refactory just crumbles as I touch it.
I don't have one yet. The encore has a crack in the assembly, but it is structural sound and in very good shape. Should last at several more winters. The Defiant's assembly was new, so it should last a while... I hope. I'm going with the "I'll know it when I see it approach" when it comes to replacing.
Yeah, I'd say you need to re-do the assembly and buy some gaskets, at least.
I have an ongoing problem with the gasket around my damper. I can not get the gasket to stay in place. It has the tendency to pull away from rubbing on the fireback lip when I close the damper.
In my case the basic refractory box is intact but inside the box is pretty rough. Cat itself is good and except for occasional big load cat stalls it lights off good and I get decent control and long burns... But I still get some smoke even when the cat is active (making me think some smoke is leaking past the cat - maybe around the refractory box) I also get tons of crusty creosote buildup inside the firebox especially on the front doors. Probably air leaking around the doors or the primary air path messing up the window air wash.
Ive done most of the gaskets except the front doors and damper. The damper passes the bill test. The front doors mostly pass the test except for the lower edge of the left door... and I see some creosote around the glass edges. I'm thinking I should probably take the doors apart and re-gasket everything including glass, but I really dont want to mess with taking them apart during heating season. Maybe next summer I will do a partial rebuild- do the doors, pull the inner side panels and check the primary air channels. I believe I would have to pull the upper fireback to replace the refractory ? (wish I could get a 2550 service manual) - making it easier to regasket and readjust the damper.
I dont want to get into tearing down the entire outer shell.... Hopefully nothing breaks and I'm only in for $250 for the refractory box and gaskets.
The outer shell is easier to deal with than you might think. All you need to do is remove the back casting. The clean-out and re-gasketing is quite easy. A LOT easier than removing and re-installing the two piece fireback. That is a filthy mess of a re-install that offers little room for maneuvering. I would suggest doing the fireback (if needed) and back casting at the same time since the fireback install would be a lot easier to do when the back casting has been removed.
Not so, from our experience. We went half last winter with the cat in pieces at the bottom of the refractory box, along with fragments of the shelf, and didn't even realize the cat was out of action until I tried to clean it. The stove was running about normal for a stove with an older but still functional cat. No problem at all making it through the night at all.
We continued to run it in downdraft to prolong burn time, and it is my belief that a reasonable amount of secondary combustion takes place in the refractory box even without a cat, as superheated air is being injected into the smoke flow there quite similar to how it is in the new air tube stoves. Another tip I have heard of people doing to keep old old Encores going once the cat and refractory is gone is leaving the permanently in updraft, and adding a damper in the flue pipe to help regulate the output.
I'm glad it worked out for you, but I would have to say you are the exception.
Even doing that the burn will be incredibly inefficient. I ran an old Vigilant for a few years. The Vigilant had a crude secondary burn chamber in the back which was active when you closed the damper and switched to downdraft mode, much like the modern VC stoves, except less effective. I also had a damper on the stove pipe. I tested the difference between running it in updraft mode with the pipe damper closed vs running it in downdraft mode.
The burn in downdraft mode was far longer and provide a lot more heat. In updraft mode with the damper closed the stove offered less heat and a LOT more smoke.
This would be no different if you did this with a modern VC stove as the stove damper functions the exact same way.