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Encore Non-Cat Overfires

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by cmcramer, Feb 19, 2007.

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  1. marc nichols

    marc nichols New Member

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    Great info Elk. Is the above relative to the 1450 model non-cat? How old is the manual you have?

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The manual or Encore I have is for the current model run of Cat Encores basically they are of the same designe pannelks ect so the cast iron has the same tollarance range
    I would not hesitate to opperate the Non cat encore in the mode.Also this is also found in the Modern Model run of the Resolute Acclain whicch is a non cat.

    Here is what I do I have two stove top rutland thermometers on my top one to check the reliability of the other I do not need the two But uses then to cross refference each other

    Tonight will not go below 20 .My zone is holding 70 degrees stove top is 450 I will not be pushing it any more.

    nights below 20 to say 10 I target 500 to 550 griddle temps

    Bellow 10 I'm pushing 550 to 650 the colder the higher stove top temp

    I am able to accomplish this with a 2" or better bed of coals full load of wood primary air open 1/2 to full 10 minuter at 5minutes if primary open full I cut it back to 1/2 Many times I will bring the stove top to 600 or 650 damper it cut primary full closed and wait 10 minutes to make my final setting. At that point I see how the fire has adjusted to dampering down. If I wan more heat then I open the primary 1/8 1 1/4 or 3/8 I may have to adjust it again in 15 minutes.

    Normal burn times the 450 range a full 8 hours a load

    500 to 550 7 of the hours will stay within this range but the last hour will drop between 400 and 450 with a good bed of coals to easilly start up a fire

    600 /650 6 to 6.5 hours in this range then it starts dropping to 400 possibly 350 the last 30 minutes still stirring the coals and gathering them the fire will easilly ignight the next load

    however I may use smaller splits first and not fully load till the smaller ones get fully in flame.

    This is using woos that has been seasoned 2 years, good decent hardwood and decent size splits. My Cat Encore has consistantly given me these results this is not a one tome lucky
    opperation but truthfull results

    Really the temps you are reporting does not indicate over firing but learnig what it takes to run your stove. Every new stove has a learning curb. I am giving you realistic guidelines
    and not manufacturing hype about BTUs or area heated. Your wood supply or moisture containt, will retard the results I posted here if it is not as seasoned as mine.

    I hope this gives you a range to target for productive opperations


    BTW I have a non Cat Encore here but it relfects an newer model than yours 1451 which I will pull the manual from and compare it to the prior 1450 models
  3. marc nichols

    marc nichols New Member

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    Again, more really pertinent information and I thank you kindly.

    As to learning how to operate etc., I assure you that while I would not indulge myself wity a handle such as "master" or king of tye fire box etc., I am a trained professional fire fighter and in a former life, schooled in engineering. One focus had been carburetor design which fits in nicely with the way some of these systems work. In any case, I completely understand how to run this thing. the problem is, the parts involved are not functioning as designed. This may well be as analysed by some; too much draft. Bottom line, the primary air control has zero effect on the burn in my stove and we have confirmend that the flap is responding to the handle. Instruments such as a manometer would be useful for certain. For now, the local rep is looking into next steps with VC and I feel better armed with some reasonable expectations as to the "normal" controllability of this stove.

    Again, thank you.

    Marc
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Marc, the reson your air control doenst work is because your chimney is pulling all the combustion air through the secondary combustion chamber, which is not controllable by any leaver. When you have proper draft, the air control turns down the stove because it forces air through the secondary burn chamber which casues air resistance, and slows every thing down. when you have to much draft, the stoves engineered resistance wont work because the draft is out of the scope of the design of the stove. I hope that makes sense.
  5. marc nichols

    marc nichols New Member

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    Yes, it does make sense and it is the basis we are going with for now. It will be interesting to see what VC says/does. If I went to the 6" pipe, that may help but it would be contrary to their published specs for my application. I understand in this forum VC has clearly stated no to a damper. That leaves little unless I just do it anyway.

    It seems to me that a restriction on the air inlet for the secondary to compensate for the overdraft would also work. Once adjusted, that orifice reduction wouldn't need to be a variable and would i think put the system back in balance.

    Marc
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I don't think a fixed restriction on the secondary intake would work reliably - your draft pressure will vary somewhat depending on things like temperatures, wind conditions, etc. so you would need varying amounts of restriction. However putting a variable restriction on the secondary would tend to be defeating the entire design concept of the modern stove, that the secondary is not closeable so that you can't go into "smolder mode"

    I'd be more inclined to go with the manual damper in the outlet, no matter what VC says.

    Gooserider
  7. marc nichols

    marc nichols New Member

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    With a properly sized and balanced chimney pipe such that the system operates per design, there is no adjustment for temp, wind bar pressure etc. but the thermostat flap is effective I presume. So why wouldn't a restriction on the intake for the secondary work? How about a variable inlet? What would be the operating difference between that and a damper?

    This isn't to "defeat" anything by the way. It is to compensate for a design problem....we think.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this.
  8. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    No extended warranty or any warranty for you cmcramer !
    You OVERFIRED your stove son ! :) Warranty VOIDED .

    Alright , I'll quit stirring the pot . Had to came check in on this thread to see if VC made things right yet or even posted to the issues and how to fix them.
  9. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Hey Roospike - Overfired? Whaddya mean, overfired? Glowing red cast iron is "NORMAL", remember? And not a WORD about overdraft in the manual.

  10. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Got some spare time? Call 1-800668-5323 and navigate to VC Woodstove guy. Tell 'em you have a Encore model 1450 (non-cat) that's glowing red.

    "Sounds like you're burning your stove a little too hot, Sir"

    No, Really?

    "What kind of wood are you using, Sir"

    Year old Maple

    "What is the surface temp Sir"

    600 F

    "What's the flue gas temp?"

    Don't know - shouldn't matter. Can I put a damper in the flue to slow down the fire?

    "No. We can't recommend that. VCs never been tested with dampers. Could be dangerous. Call your Dealer for help."

    Bye!
  11. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    VC's lack of response to this thread is troubling. Even after we found the problem you'd think they'd be able to address this somewhat. Any word from VC on a response Elk?
  12. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I am looking back over the last week...I am not going to keep getting involved in this, but I wish you all would read what I have written in the past instead of making assumptions and misquoting me:

    1. My stove was not installed "illegally" or improperly. Two dealers and one inspector failed to mention anything about flue collar gaps and sealing. By the way - NEVER an issue with any other stove. Perhaps special instruction in the maunal are in order? As stated earlier - screws? Inspectors don't even know the code. Why rely on them if they are going to give faulty/innacurate information? Elk, you tried to tell me numerous times that the XL DW cat model could be used with a 6" flue? You had a convincing argument, and then another member popinted out that you were worng? Who do I trust now? Why the hell would you pass on info that you were making up? PARTIAL CREDIBILITY LOSS.
    2. The perceived "overfiring" was NOT necessarily solved by the connector pipe seal. I decided to move to a more dependable model than continue to waste wood and my time trying to fight an uphill battle. I didn't give it a chance to act up again. Don't asssume this solved the runaway stove problem. Doesn't look like it makes much difference to others, either.
    3. the stove was VERY difficult to operate: let me restate. On the cat model and on my new Hearthstone w/tubes, as long as there is a flame in the firebox, the stove will quickly start operating visible emissions-free. with the everburn, flames in the box mean nothing, and getting the secondary to engage can be a time-comsuming and frustrating process. Flames in the DW everburn simply meant that you were getting heat, but 9 times out of ten, smoke was BILLOWING from the chimney. Not efficient. Not easy to operate. this equals crap in my opinion.
    4. despite the fact that thousands of these stoves have been sold over the past couple years, MOST people don't care about the smoke or efficiency. If it looks pretty and puts out heat, it's fine. Hence, I would expect that few people would lodge any complaint.
    5. VC has poor customer service. Three different answers on operation of the same stove from the same 1800 number? I called two dealers. Neither knew what "proper" operation was. VC stated on the phone that rumbling indicates overfiring. Dealers both state "operate just like the cat. model".
    6. I am not outraged. I never said outraged. I am disappointed that VC can't get me a straight answer or train dealers how to operate the Everburn. This might make it easier for the rest of us...
    7. All of this is too much of a hassle.
    8. I am not tring to dissuade anyone from buying any VC stove. Just stating my experiences. Do not try to point fingers at operators and/or installations. For those of you having good luck with the stove, good for you, congratulations. For those of us not, many factors are involved, but I will say in my case, it was not the operator. Remain skeptical if you want, but there are enough of us having the same problem to rule out what many of you are so fixated on: operator error and poor installations.

    I am NOT going to buy another one of these stoves. I would recommend everyone considering one to see one in operation, and get PROFESSIONAL, knowledgable operating advice (something not necessary with the cat or burn tube stoves). I would also recommend to VC to train your dealers, installers, etc. with this everburn stove inparticular because it so finnicky and requires some majorly unorthodox operating techniques. What I am reading here is that you have to baby sit the stove for over an hour to get the prerequesite coal bed (this is what I experienced). Don't let it go too long, or you have to start over again!!!!

    No more from me on this subject. Too many people ready to jump in and start bashing people, knowledge, and stoves they know little or nothing about. Good luck everyone. Good luck VC. I hope all of you enjoy your "normal" glowing red stoves and hours upon hours of frustrating fun.

    FYI: you won't hear from me again. I can see that everyone who thinks that this everburn crap is the greatest thing in the world is going to continue to place all blame on the "ignorant" user and "inexperienced" installer and all of their sub-standard materials and skills.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    For what it is worth, zilch, I agree with you on all points Mike. Glad ya have a stove now that gets the job done without all of the hassle.

    Personally I think that 99% of wood stove buyers should get ones with the top re-burn tube design. At least they can simply "enjoy the fire" with decreased emissions even if they aren't pyros like a lot of us here that want to run'em at max efficiency and aren't pursuing their Masters of Stoveology.
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Well with a properly working system, I still see comments about needing to adjust burning habbits for different conditions. My assumption is that when the system is doing right, the variation in draft falls within the range the stove can deal with. In the systems that aren't doing right, at least some of the time the variation falls outside the range on one side or the other - note that at least some of our "problem users" have reported things occasionally work OK. From some of the other manuals I've looked at where they DID talk about draft numbers, it looks like the "tolerable range" is about 0.75" WC - below 0.25" you don't have enough draft to get a good burn, and over 1.0" you have to much to control the stove.

    I'm guessing here, but assume that the "conditions induced variation" is on the order of 0.25"WC, if this variation falls entirely inside the tolerable range window, then you never have problems. If it occasionally goes towards the low side, you have intermittent draft failure, or intermittent overfire problems if it occasionally goes on the high side. How far outside the window you get would say how often you have problems and how bad they'd be. If you were constantly on the high (or low) side, then you would have a chronic problem.

    Adding a restriction should effectively "shorten" the stack, reducing the draft to the point where it falls within the range. Since this would be making the system work outside it's "natural" range, I'd expect it to be a bit fussier about sensitivity to conditions changes. The question is whether or not it would be possible to find a single fixed restriction that would work under all conditions, or if you would need a variable restriction to allow better control because of the fussier nature of the setup. I don't know.

    Now the question becomes where to add the restriction. If you put it on the intake side, then the chimney will still be pulling on the stove with the full draw, and you'd get an effective partial vaccum inside the stove. Since fires need air to burn, this might reduce the ability to get a good burn, plus the air that does get into the stove would be really sucked through fast, again prossibly not letting the controls work.

    OTOH, putting the restriction on the exhaust side has the stove side of the restriction pulling with less draft, but still pulling hard on the stack side. This leaves the stove pulling in air at normal pressure, and exhausting into a draft that it thinks isn't pulling as hard, so the stove will think everything is "normal". The stiffer draft on the stack side will simply make sure the smoke clears quickly, which is a good thing.

    Thus I think you would be better off putting the restriction on the exhaust side, simply because it would have less impact on the dynamics of the stove itself.

    As to the "defeat" issue - I'm not saying that your intent was to cause the stove to burn dirty, just that the effect of adding a variable restriction would potentially allow you to do so - Just like they have taken a great deal of the adjustability out of our car engines because if they left you able to adjust things you might set the engine up to run dirtier (and better in some cases) I suspect that just like in the auto industry where the car makers are very constrained in what they can tell you to do about adjusting things, the stove industry is as well - (possibly in an effort to keep the gov't from mandating more stuff on them) And just like in the car / bike industry that has spawned a sizeable aftermarket industry of devices to "fix" the EPA regs induced "design defects" we have the equivalent in the stove industry with things like inline dampers, etc.

    Gooserider
  15. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Gooserider -

    Sure sounds correct to this layman: great analysis.

    And your analysis is why I put a manual damper in my flue. It will still take some fussin'- no doubt about it. But I'll work it out.
  16. marc nichols

    marc nichols New Member

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    Gooserider,

    Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful analysis. It all makes sense to me though I still wonder about choaking down the primary inlet. Essentially, that is the simple operation of older stoves...close down the incomming air but only one air input. That however could be THE problem, if any, with trying that on the VC.

    In any case, my rep called this morning after speaking with the distributor sales guy (25 years in the biz) and with the distributors engineer. they concluded that this 8"x25' chimney pipe is overdrafting the stove. design parameters. My dealer will try a damper tomorrow. In a few days after I get a chance to test it, I'll report the results.

    Tonight I loaded with soft wood, my first such fueling. The stove is burning a little cooler but...no adjustability. Same old thing.
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    O' Thats right , my bad . ;-)
  18. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Update and Epilogue:

    Using my newly installed manual damper definitely slowed the stove....but did not prevent the stove from glowing red under all situations. I still had a red hot stove near the flue collar a couple times over 2 weeks as I waited for VC Field Rep to show. To produce a red stove, it needed to be really hot at surface (650), with a big bed of hot coals, and a firebox packed full of new wood. After engaging secondary burn and turning primary air all the way down, temp would climb slightly and stove would glow.

    VC Field Rep was 100% professional, informative, and all business. He began by listening real hard and asking a few pointed questions. He immediately zeroed in on the gaskets, using the dollar bill test to check for air leaks. Front Door was acceptable....and ash pan door at latch end was acceptable. Now I'm thinking to myself.....sure glad I tested these like hearth.com guys suggested.....I'd be really embarrassed if he found a bad gasket that I missed.....

    Then he tests the hinge end of the ash pan door and the dollar bill simply falls out to the floor. Dang! Turns out the latch end can be tight while the hinge end is loose, something that just never ocurred to me, even though now that I look back over this thread, someone did say to use the dollar bill every few inches all the way around each of the doors.

    Rep unbolted the ash pan door hinge, tapped it in a few times with what looked to be a vinyl-covered steel mallet, and tightened it back up. You could tell he had done this before.... Rep says "it's VC's responsibility, not yours." Made me feel a little better.

    I can not reproduce my glowing red stove anymore. It's only been 5 days, but I've given it my best shot. Instead of climbing in temp and glowing, the temp drops 50 or 100 and steadies out for a nice long, steady burn.

    Interestingly enough, VC Rep did not think overdraft was a significant factor. If I remember his explanation properly, he said the Everburn chamber's proper operating temp is its maximum temp, and its maximum temp is its proper operating temp....when the primary air is closed and the stove is otherwise operated properly. So overdraft might pull more air in through the secondary air inlet, but that by itself would not - could not - get the Everburn any hotter than it was....because it runs at it's maximum temp. And adding 'cooler' air from the secondary inlet is not gonna increase the Everburn's internal temp. Now, if excess air is leaking through the dang ashpan gasket (on the door-hinge end!!!)....this can cause overly hot gases to enter the Everburn.....gases hotter than the stove is engineered for ....and this can cause the Everburn to burn hotter than it is designed to burn......and can cause glowing cast iron nearby. That's my best recollection - hope it makes sense.

    VC Rep also said that if cast iron is not warped and not cracked - which it is not - then my 14-15 episodes of glowing is not a significant issue in the life of this stove. I sure hope he is correct.

    Now I'm gonna work on getting those long burn times I read about here! Gonna start cutting my wood longer and splitting it less!

    Thanks for all the help!
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Wonderful. Glad it is fixed and the stove is running as designed. Kudos to VC for fixin it up.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good to hear a happy ending. These stoves are finely tuned. A little air in the wrong place can make them tempermental. I am a little dismayed that the hinge side is adjusted by banging on them with a mallet, but hopefully this won't need an annual adjustment.
  21. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Behind the sceens I urged VC to get this issue sloved, From the begining I thought it sounded like a gasket problem. Knowing these stoves, I really also though it was the ash pan. Which I know I mentioned. I never thought of the hinge pin adjustment. I figured the latch adjustment. Well I promised you, your issue would get resolved. and promised VC does take quality issues serious, serious enough to send out their top tech. . If it did not work out , I convinced VC to swap it out with a cat model. You were not going to be ignored or forgotten. Very few manufactures take this step, they all leave it up to the dealerto figure it out. Glad to hear they were able to correct your issues. I'm sure a memo will be going out to all dealers to check or adjust the very few others that have simmilar problems. I am sure that they are checking, at the factory, that this issue is not going out the door without being checked
  22. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Very good deal this issue was figured out on your stove , this is something VC needs to take a closer look at.

    I always feel if you need a damper then there is an issue somewhere else in the stove , pipe damper are a band-aid to another problem assuming its a quality built stove in the first place.

    This problem sounds like a standard issue dealer / vc phone call should of fixed ASAP . There are some stoves like Pacific Energy that one needs to check the door when first installed because the doors are not made with the stove and the stove has so many door options . I dont know if VC builds these stove with the door from the factory but the way Elk talks there all quality checked before going out the door ......if this is the case then it looks like VC just happened to miss a stove to two ( or more with the famous everburn stove problem )

    The issue needs to be standard knowledge with the dealer , the vc stove owners manual and the VC phone service # .

    At least now its standard knowledge on Hearth.com for whatever few everburn owners show up here looking for answers.

    Again , GLADE TO SEE THE PROBLEM IS FIXED! Now , go burn some wood and enjoy the stove the way it was meant to be.

    **************************** :cheese: **********************************
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's like saying if you need to put chains on the tires there is an issue somewhere else in the car. Plain silly.
    Put a PE on a 40 ft stack and it will likely be redder than a whorehouse and about as hard to control. ;-)

    Although VC (and all of us) may have learned a good thing about everburn stoves, that doesn't mean that they aren't a great product. I'm with Elk on this one, we need more stoves that are pushing to burn as cleanly and efficiently as possible. There may be a learning curve and some adjusting, but the everburn stoves are a positive step. If a tall stack needs a damper, so be it. No big deal.
  24. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Hey BB I want to know more about those ribs.
  25. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    "BAND-AID"

    and NO begreen , a damper on a stove to band-aid the possible issues is NOTHING like chains on tires. Not even in the same ball park.

    cmcramer was suggested a damper ( band-aid) to be put on his stove and turns out it wasnt the pipe at all.

    Gunner put a damper ( band-aid) on his pipe to solve a drafting issue and come to find out it was a collar attachment leak and not a over drafting chimney at all.

    I would be walking on egg shells telling people to just slap on a damper when 99% of the time its another issue all togother..........as we have been seeing many times on this forum.

    **************WADR***************
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