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Installing Vigilant multifuel

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by aks1976, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. aks1976

    aks1976 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Southern Idaho
    Hi, I've learned alot from your forum about the Vigilant. I'm getting ready to install one very soon. We found it on Craig's list, the guy refurbishes wood stoves as kind of a hobby. It is in super good condition, however, in the year that we've stored it in an outside shed, it has a few rust spots. Can I just brush those spots with steel wool and reapply paint of some sort? Does anyone have a suggestion on getting the exterior in tip tip shape again? And would I want to do this before or after the install? The rust spots really are minor, probably moisture damage, but I want it looking as sharp again as when we bought it.

    One other thing, I don't know what year this Vigilant is or the model number. I've looked on the back metal plate and I can't read the bottom inch or so. What I did find was this number engraven 052562. It says it can burn wood or coal, and the inspection date is Sept, 25th 1980. So should I assume it was built in 1980? It has glass windows and is just beautiful, I can't wait to cook some pancakes on the griddle!!
    And where exactly do you find the model number? I can't find any 4-digit number anywhere. I found a manual on this website that I downloaded saying it was for any Vigilant pre 1992. So do I use the installation information in that manual to know the clearance distances? I'm having a general contractor install it and he does a lot of wood stove installs, he's just not really familiar with this particular stove, he's asked me to research it.

    Ok, I know I'm asking a lot here, but do I need to have this stove cleared/inspected by the fire chief BEFORE installing it? I don't want to go to all the time and money installing it just to have it not pass inspection. I am aware that they do have to come when it's all complete anyway...just want to make sure it ok before it's installed. It's going into a modular home built in 2000.

    I welcome any and all comments, but be nice, I'm just a stay at home mom, trying to be more self reliant :) My hubby travels out of town every other week throughout the year, I have 4 small children, and I have to have another source of heat for warmth and for cooking/boiling water. I think this stove will be perfect. The wind blows terrible here and power outages can be frequent, I'm in a rural area.
    Thanks!

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I use stove polish, but my Vigilant was never painted. If yours was painted, then repainting the rust spots is best.


    It's a pre-epa stove. Most likely the stove was produced around the time of inspection. Minimum clearances are 36" to combustibles. Unless it came with the parts to convert it to coal, it is a wood burner only.

    That depends upon your local state and city laws. Some areas, like Washington and Oregon, prohibit the installation of Pre-EPA stoves.

    The stove throws a lot of heat, but it is not a miracle worker. If you have a large home, or a floor plan that is not open, whole house heating will be difficult.

    You can expect 5-6 hours of heat production on a full load during winter. Longer during spring and fall. Sometime you will have plenty of coals to restart the fire in the morning, other times it burns fast and the stove will be cold. If you have a good draft, a pipe damper might benefit you especially on the windy days. They are cheap to install and your general contractor should know what it is.
  3. Boom

    Boom Member

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    Lake Arrowhead, CA
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Western Mass.
    Note that there are many models of Vigilants. If your model was 1980, then it is not a multi-fuel.
    The multi had built in coal grates and was not very good with wood burning. It also allowed for a 6" flue, which was standard on some models.

    If your unit is "burn on the floor" - no grates and ashpan, then it is a regular Vigilant, which is a good thing if wood is going to be your fuel.
  5. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Dec 23, 2010
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    No. NH
    Does it say multi-fuel on it? Then it's a model 1400 made from 1982-1988. CAN burn coal or wood, but if you intend to burn only wood and you can find someone who knows how, it can be converted to a wood only stove(like most Vig.s) and it'll hold more wood, make more heat. Good as is though.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.

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