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Griddle not sealing well.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tinsley207, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Greetings all.

    I have a Vermont Castings Resolute 1 model 043. I recently had the gaskets replaced by a stove guy. Whenever I run the stove and get it good and hot there's always a rushing sound coming from the stove, like a rushing draft entering the stove through a small opening. My thermostat and secondary air shutter are in good shape so it's not those. Then I noticed one night after turning off the lights that I could actually see yellow flames through both sides of the griddle opening. The front and the back of the griddle were sealed fine but the sides had this very small gap, like less than 1/16" where I could actually see down into the stove and see yellow flames moving around. So I thought, "That's the problem." I've also had trouble keeping this stove under control when really loaded with wood. It just seems to get really hot and even though the damper and thermo and secondary air are shut it still burns so hot as to be alarming to me. That rushing noise also gets louder when this happens. So I called the stove guy and mentioned the griddle and he said, "The griddle area sucking in some air won't really affect your burn rate as much as air leaking in from under the fire." OK I understand that but this thing is really sucking in air where it shouldn't be right? I'm guessing the griddle is a bit warped and was thinking about redoing the gasket myself and building it up a little bit to meet the griddle. Good or bad idea?

    Thanks

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You are correct, no air leaks are good. You want air where VC designed for it to be introduced to the fire.

    Put a straight edge, like a 2ft level on the griddle. If it is not warped, then it could be too much cement under the gasket on the sides.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, you are gonna want to figure out why that is not sealing well. It should. Letting in the excess air from the top can throw the stove air "system" out of whack.
  4. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    OK results are in. Yes the sides of the griddle are a bit warped. The level reveals that the ridge that mates with the gasket is not very true at all in those two areas. In fact it looks more like a manufacturing defect to me than warping due to heat but I may not be that skilled in identifying that. The front and back edges are not perfect but they are MUCH better than the sides. What is helpful is that my Grandmother has the EXACT same model and tomorrow I will borrow her griddle to see if it is a better fit. If so I may try to order another griddle but I may also try adjusting the gasket. If need be can gasket sealer be used to build up the gasket and raise it a bit so that it fills in these gap areas? I'm talking about adding more sealer UNDERNEATH the gasket so that it rises up more to fill the gap NOT packing it on top of the gasket. Thanks.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You could try using RTV silicone for cement to create a conforming gasket by applying it in the channel with a new gasket, then installing the griddle and letting it setup overnight. It's not ideal, but may achieve a better seal.
  6. Brian VT

    Brian VT Minister of Fire

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    What type of gasket did he use there ? I got some that's covered with braided steel that seemed like a good idea. It didn't work out well for me.
    I tore it out and replaced it with standard rope that was more forgiving of inconsistencies of the mating surface, gasket mounting technique, and the person closing the lid.
  7. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Brian VT, that's a very interesting comment because I DO HAVE that metal woven gasket in there you speak of and I also feel like it may be part of the problem. Just seems like it won't seal very well. Does anyone know why they suggest that type of gasket now? When the stove guy replaced the old gasket it was the old rope style and he said, "This is the wrong kind of gasket on here."

    In other news my Grandmother's griddle has NOT improved things. The gap is the SAME! So I think I'm going to redo the gasket and who knows I may even use the older rope style gasket unless someone thinks it's a bad idea.

    Thanks.
  8. Brian VT

    Brian VT Minister of Fire

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    I think the steel is a good idea but it probably would need to be installed with more care than just laying it in the channel.
    I suppose you'd need to "shim" in spots as needed, with the glue or whatever, to have it mate with the griddle exactly.
    It's just a bit too stiff to flex as needed for a good seal since the griddle isn't really heavy enough to compress it.
    I used the black rope that has graphite(?) in it. Most of the stuff I found was really "limp" but I lucked out and found a piece of stiffer stuff in a box at my local hardware store. Not too soft, not too stiff. It seals nicely now.
  9. mikedengineer

    mikedengineer New Member

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    I'm pretty sure I have the same stove as you. I just replaced my gaskets and used that metal style for the lid. I don't seem to be having the sealing issues you are having. I did however have a problem like you described where I had a hard time controlling a really hot fire. It was like I couldn't shut it down. I ended up one day when this happened going to the air flap on the backside and pushing it shut. Wow, this shut it right down. At that point I realized it wouldn't COMPLETELY shut on it own. I found that it was slightly bent causing it not to seal completely. I bent it till it would completely shut on it's own and now it runs beautifully.

    I know you have went a different route with sealing the lid and I don't know why they recommend that metal style seal. I figure it's for some reason so I used it. But, If I was having your issues with the lid I'd try building up those ends with stove cement. I'm sure you have looked at the gap long enough to know how much you would have to build it up. So first apply that amount in the groove of the stove and let it dry. Then apply more to hold the gasket and put your gasket in.

    Good luck.

    -Mike
  10. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Thank you Brian and Mike,

    I'm definitely going to attempt to shim the gasket now. Mike your story makes sense too. I actually damaged my thermo plate when moving the stove once. I bent it pretty bad. I bent it back as well as I could but it's not perfect. I guess I'll have to check it one more time. Thanks for the tip. For posterity I will post a followup on my results in a few days! Thanks to all who contributed! Hooray for HEARTH.COM!

    Nate
  11. mikedengineer

    mikedengineer New Member

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    Your welcome Nate. I hope you get it running nice. As I was reading your story about not being able to control I thought about that door problem i had. Hopefully that's all it is. Isn't the internet and ESPECIALLY Hearth.com great!!

    Happy burning.

    -Mike
  12. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    OK I've got some results. I removed the gasket and resealed it with a lot of sealer especially under the sides. I did not leave the griddled on as it dried because I wanted it to remain fairly raised in the groove. This was a mistake. When it dried it was uneven and I was back in the same boat. Then as I fired it up the excess sealer came bubbling out and hardened like lava! The seal got a little better after this but not great. I did however notice that the stove did respond better to thermostatic adjustments so I'd say it's half better. I did not adjust the thermostat plate itself yet. I've also noticed that in the updraft mode if I open the front door I instantly get a little smoke leaking out around the griddle. That stinks! Literally! I think I'm going to replace the griddle gasket entirely with a rope style gasket that has no metal wire covering. More to come!
    Nate
  13. mikedengineer

    mikedengineer New Member

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    Sorry to here that didn't work. Hopefully the rope style will do it for you and you'll be enjoying the stove much more.

    Good luck.

    -Mike
  14. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Ok my results are in! Well I ended up having good success with a non wire mesh gasket material of fairly low density, meaning very squishy, at 3/8" diameter. Now the stove calls for 5/16" diameter gasket material but I actually tried that with non-mesh stuff and I still got a bad seal!! Ugh! So then I went with the 3/8 and it was bulky but it WORKS! No more leaks and the stove runs very well! I can control it now and it responds very well to the thermostat! Problem solved!
  15. Free Monomoy

    Free Monomoy Member

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    House--I hope your all fixed....but it sounds like you do have a thermostat problem. the mis-behavior can come and go. You may want to consider replacing as they do die every few years sometimes. Secondary air intake failure will cause the exact symptoms you described.

    Gaskets on the griddle-I've done both. Although VC calls for foil wrapped, they do not seal as well as regular rope. Foil is far more durable vs regular. Regular rope is prone to damage from logs/splinters etc while top loading. Better seal and more frequent replacement is the deal with regular rope.
  16. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Thanks Free,

    I suppose I should update a bit here. The griddle continues to seal well and I load from the front most often so hopefully I won't damage the gasket as much. The stove is responding much better to the thermostat and I feel better about controlling it. It doesn't really run away and get too hot any more. I hope there's no intermittent problem with the thermostat but I will keep an eye on it. How would the secondary air system fail? Too much fly over ash in the tube? I did a lighter test on the opening and it really sucked the flame in FAST! One thing I have noticed is that if I really load the fire box and get it going in updraft, when I close the damper and leave secondary air fully open it does approach 600 degrees F with the thermostat FULLY CLOSED. I like to burn around 450-550 so I usually make an adjustment on the secondary air, closing it half way. This helps bring it back into my prefered operating range. One final note. The right insert in this stove is cracked and warped and is NOT seating well against the inside of the stove. Anyone? Could this be another source of overfiring? My VC part is in and the stove guy will put it in tomorrow night! I'll post results.
  17. Free Monomoy

    Free Monomoy Member

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    House--We may have some differences here due to our models. I'm running a Defiant Encore 0028 and you the Resolute. On the encore, the primary air is manually controlled by a lever on the right side of the stove. The secondary air has no manual control but instead is operated by a coil thermostat attached to a sensor probe that inserts into the refractory. So it's a bit tough to compare burn behaviors with different set ups.
    Good that you have the griddle sealing without a problem, however, the thought of not top loading shocks me. If there were one feature that makes these stoves rise above the rest, it's the ability to top load. Personally, I'd replace the griddle gasket every year if I had to if it meant having the ability to top-load. I don't see how it's possible to get a good solid load packed tight in there for the night by front loading. But if you've got it figured out, more power to ya. Just watch out for the avalanche!

    Good luck, good burnin'.
  18. tinsley207

    tinsley207 New Member

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    Thanks again Free,

    I know what you mean about top loading! I do top load occaisionally but not all the time! I have to be careful when opening the front door but I also keep the ash load down. I try to clean it out every few days!

    Burn ON!
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