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  1. tony accurso

    tony accurso New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    vermont
    I found a Vermont Castings Encore not catalytic in Bordeaux Red on Craigslist, and made arrangements to purchase it, but after reading some reviews I am apprehensive, so I thought I could perhaps find some answers here.

    The stove was supposedly purchased in 2010, and my questions are as follows.

    Are the Encore stoves all bad, or are the later ones good, and,

    If the later ones are good, how do I identify the good ones?

    What should I look for to be sure I am not buying a headache?

    What is the warranty for a stove purchased in 2010?

    What types of issues should I expect, or should I just stay away altogether?

    Any info will be most helpful, and very much appreciated.

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  2. downeast

    downeast Guest


    Dear Tony:

    Take a minute to search through hearthnet posts on any recent ( past decade ) products, service, and problems with the many variations of ownership called "Vermont Castings". You've got some real wood burning pros here

    And no, not all Encore stoves are bad. In fact those of us who have had the earlier VC cat stoves ( like the 2550 or 0028 models), AND are able and willing to do the skilled ( ah-hem) maintenance required
    have found joy (sic) in their heating.

    You cannot "identify" good or bad stoves. The Encore non-cat or hybrid stoves have had problems. Read about them here.

    Oh yes: you will get NO warranty on a used VC stove. In fact the latest owner, Monesson, will not warranty product of VC purchased before they bought the Vermont Casting line.
    Yes, stay away and altogether...absolutely. As a new wood stove owner you don't need argita...or issues. Ah yes, "issues".

    Look over recommendations from users here who have owned and heated with any of the wood stoves out there.

    BTW: that Bordeaux Red is romantic. We have a VC Encore cat circa 2001 that has heated this 1200 ft² place in downeast Maine for 12 years: no central furnace, 24/7 wood, firewood all harvested from our woodlot.
    Maintenance is a job, but we've had VC wood stoves almost since the first renaissance of wood stoves in the late 70's. I am tired. So I don't mind the effort from experience to keep the Encore beast humming away.

    Used stove advice:
    Woodstock ( best for service, build, quality. Take a trip near you to their plant. )
    Jotul
    Morso
    PE
    Blaze King

    Better: buy new from a professional dealer. Don't ignore aesthetics or romance. Think about the many years that this appliance will serve you rasther than initial cost.

    I'm done ( errrr: finished. Turkeys are "done" )

    Downeast
  3. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    I was (still am) looking for a used Woodstock and came across a nice looking Encore about the same vintage.. not sure if it was the same one even.. but the guy wanted more than it was worth on the used market. (Most folks do.)

    Here's the thing.. they are complicated stoves that require a lot of regular maintenance. I have a Resolute Acclaim I like, it is a non-catalytic.. but it has a "combuster" and the combuster needed to be replaced. ...and getting at it required disassembling way too much of the stove.. and a stinker to get back together.

    It's easy for stoves to get over-fired and when that happens parts warp and break.. so look for warped panels or parts.. for sure. Ask yourself the question, "why is anyone selling a 2 or 3 year old stove?"

    Good luck.
  4. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Dear Old:
    They are complex, highly engineered stoves. Cast iron will warp and crack with overfiring; don't do it. The VC Acclaims were easily over-fired. For example: use a timer when loading any wood stove with a door cracked, emptying an ash pan, or any stove with a thermostatic primary air control such as a VC cat like an Acclaim.

    However, since your vintage Resolute Acclaim has a combuster, it is a cat stove, and was designed to run as such. VC had many failures with the Resolute Acclaim; took them off the market and passed them off to dealers down below the Mason Dixon line where the heating load ain't. The history of this model is not good.

    Later VC cat stoves were designed for easy cat access for maintenance.

    Repeat: your heating stove should be around through the stove's puberty. Think about the cost/year compared to say your vehicle, or smartphone. Look over the Woodstock line, visit dealers, ask owners who seriously heat with wood.
    If we were going to get another wood stove now for our 24/7 heating, it would be Woodstock (even though Tom will not use a porcelain Bordeaux Red ! ).

    Downeast
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The Resolute Acclaim is a non-cat stove, downdraft stove with a refractory combustor system. These breakdown fairly regularly and are costly to replace. As pretty as the stove is, I would pass on it too.
    Jags likes this.
  6. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Both of us are only partly correct ,and wrong. The term "combustor" is normally used for a "catalytic combustor" --interchangeably. Non-cats cannot have a "combustor" that will chemically re-burn unburnt gases. Non-cats use other means to re burn incomplete gases/smoke such as re-burn tubes. The Resolute Acclaim is/was a dog ( sorry PETA).

    Sorry here--we're both wrong Mr. Green._g

    Anyhow, stay away from this VC model. It has had too many problems and failures. Get a wood stove that works.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The Resolute Acclaim is not catalytic. Call it a combustion package or a combustor using the term that oldhippie was trying to describe. I knew what he meant and didn't try to be a wise ass about it and correct him. Technically he is correct. My response was to correct your disinformation.

    A combustor is a component or area of a gas turbine, ramjet, or scramjet engine where combustion takes place. It is also known as a burner, combustion chamber or flame holder.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combustor
    Defiant likes this.
  8. tony accurso

    tony accurso New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    vermont
    Thanks for the info. I am a bit apprehensive after reading your replies, perhaps a new stove is best.
    Are the current Vermont Casting stoves good, or should we look at something else? I can get a good discount on one . We also like the Hearthstone cast iron stoves.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would love to recommend them to you, but I think you would be better off with the big Hearthstone. What size area are you heating? The new Lopi Cape Cod looks to be a winner also.
    webby3650 likes this.
  10. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,664
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I would steer clear of VC altogether. The quality just isn't there like it was in the past. This is likely the real reason that you were offered a good discount on one.

    Hearthstone makes a great product. You mentioned Iron bit don't overlook the all soapstone stoves, they are impressive heaters and very rarely have any issues.
    Hearthstone is introducing a new 1.9 cubic foot stone stove this year. It's priced right at 2K. It looks like a smaller Mansfield.
  11. downeast

    downeast Guest

    We all agree: "Vermont Castings" is no longer "Vermont Castings", and hasn't been for a decade or more.
    In my list, Hearthstone was omitted; another high quality, excellent customer relations manufacturer. Visit your nearby Hearthstone and Woodstock plants.

    Buying any new product, calculate the cost/year over the projected price for its projected life. Most wood stoves, with care and maintenance, will last at least 10 years. Our 2000 VC Encore 2550 cat still does a fine job.
    The yearly repairs, replacements, and care have been a PITA ( it is penance for something, she says ). But since I've rebuilt a few VC stoves for self and friends ( 2 Vigilant, 70's Defiant, Encores ) , I know the how at least.

    Stay away from VC as others recommend.
  12. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,109
    Loc:
    Old Lyme CT
    I would stay away from all newer units, they all have issues. As for the older ones Encore #2190 and #2550 they will burn with the best but you have to pay attention. Most folks overfired them causing inner damage and warping. Just my .02. I have had great luck with my 2550, I agree on the Acclaim, looks pretty but needs to be maintained.
    Oldhippie likes this.

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