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Last Night, I'd had it: Goodbye Defiant; Hello Mansfield!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by swestall, Jan 7, 2008.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    I can't say that I've ever had my Heritage above 500* or so (I've never really tried to either). From a cold start, with the primary all the way open, I'll let the stove top get up to about 3-350, and bring the air down a bit. At this point the pipe thermometer usually reads around 550-600*. A little while later, the stove top will generally level out in the high 400's, and the pipe temp is just a little bit higher than that.

    If I wasn't paying attention, and left the primary all the way open, my guess is that the stove probably wouldn't hit 600 from a cold start on a single load of wood. I would have to re-load, and again leave the air control opened up. I don't think I'll try it. I'm not sure its necessarily by design, or just the mass of the soapstone, but I'd say the stoves are not easy to over-fire

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  2. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I'm getting a draft meter from the dealer...sounds like i might have too much draft - my chimney will skyrocket on a single load of wood if I don't shut it down to almost nothing. Looks like mine might be one of those "two damper" installations.
  3. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Mike, et al, I think you are totally right about not being able to leave a stove totally open and walk out of the room. I don't think there are any stoves can not be trusted under those conditions.
    The big thing with the tube and baffle types is that you can spend the time to get things up to temp. and then regulate and not be concerned that you will over or under fire. (they call that piece of mind up here)

    Craig, how many users are there here? We might have enough for an initial offering on VC: if things continue they will be back down to those lower numbers pretty quick.

    It isn't much different than GM/FORD/Chry - they had total market dominance until the little VW came on the scene and changed the game; Japan INC noticed that change and its history from there.
  4. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    And that's why I have one of those little 84 diesel rabbits and an '03 TDI wagon. Count me in for a VC investor drive...
  5. downeast

    downeast Guest

    It is sad about the story of the original Vermont Castings company. Until the CFM Majestic buyout, VC was a model case study ( MBA stuff) of marketing and manufacture. CFM Majestic went in the opposite direction pushing revenue as a primary goal. Craig's "History" tells the story well. The real story is the experiences of dealers and customers with products that were pushed out with little QC or follow up customer service. Many of us both online and and in the real world :bug: , whined and complained for years about CFM, it's products, the lack of customer service. ( Sometimes we shouted too often and too loud !).

    For those of us heating with wood for all too many years, the story is a sad one. The hearth industry is tiny and limited. The products are expensive to make, to support, to sell, to engineer. No company in that kind of market can afford to have defective products with no customer service. Pre CFM VC was like Apple with "enthusiasts", parties, back slapping goodwill and camaraderie among owners. Rare in our capitalist world.

    Frankly, I'm suprised that anyone with those kinds of problems with an appliance - Everburn- would have that patience for so long.
    Worse is that CFM Majestic NEVER reads this site or that they would not take the product back. Marketing 101 says " one complaint............" :snake:
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Wonder why Hearthstone overfire temp is 600 and Woodstock is 700? I've seen my stove hit 725!
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the stove I guess. My Hearthstone heritage online manual is somewhat vague in that it reads 500 is the "high burn" temp and that temps over 600 can break stuff.

    "Monitor the stove temperatures with a stove thermometer
    (available from your dealer) placed on the top center stone
    of the stove. The thermometer could read as high as
    500°F(260°C) on High Burn and 200-300°F(93-149°C) on
    low burn. Maintaining temperatures in excess of
    600°F(316°C) will cause the stones to crack and other
    damage to the stove."

    I've never seen 600 but been to 550 with lots of effort.
  8. dtabor

    dtabor New Member

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    Break in fires should be done by now....Ive been expecting a follow up praising the new install!!! Hows it going with the new stove?
  9. MANIAC

    MANIAC New Member

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    Hey swestall,

    If you don't mind me asking, what's a Mansfield cost in our area of the county? I am contemplating one for our house in MA.

    Eric
  10. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Hey Everyone!
    Sorry for the delay in updating all; I have been out of town on business. BUT, you are correct that the Mansfield is in. (end of season price was $2399).
    The install was not without its "fun". We had a difficult time getting the Mansfield in (broke a step on the deck) and a difficult time getting the Defiant out. Were it not for the fact that I've promised it to Corie, I think I'd just have kicked it off the deck and gotten a large $dollar$ thrill!
    And, then there was the installation of the SS liner. There is a little S bend about 8 feet down the stack, and the cleanout just wouldn't go by it. We finally ended up pushing the liner through and attaching the cleanout from below.
    We lit the Mansfield off and I decided to just let her go for a while. We burnt it through the nite; with a few windows cracked. While I love the smell of burning paint; it makes my eyes water and induces lots of sneezing!
    But, in the end a couple of those and it was done with break in.
    When we got back in town, we started up and haven't stopped since. The temp on the stove top gets up to about 500 and just maintains. It is extremely easy to burn. Basically, this stove is as easy to use as the Defiant is difficult. I am still coming down to check for problems, but every time I do there are none. Just load, let it char up a little with an open damper and then close down to low setting and find something else to do. Believe me, I have lots else to do these days as my business is starting to get going again after the holidays.
    I wanted the Mansfield even though at 80K/BTU it is rated above the Defiant's 60K/BTU's. I figured that the heat would just roll of it. Someone here said, it is a gentler or softer heat and I'd agree with that. Yesterday, I had the sliding door and a couple of windows open to keep the house at only 72; and we were only burning a couple of splits at a time.
    On the downside, there is no downside!
    Corie is going to post a few pictures for me as soon as I get them taken and email to him. This week is a busy one for me, so perhaps toward the end of the week.
    There is no doubt in my mind at all that this was the right decision: first to get rid of the poorly designed and disfunctional Defiant and secondly to acquire this new Hearthstone Mansfield. We used a top loader for 20 years, and I already can hardly remember it. The front loading is just fine; no problem at all. And, they guys from Deans treated me OK. I did work along with the installers to make sure everything was done the way I wanted it; we did a fine job together.
    Corie is going to come and get the Defiant in a couple of months for his uses; till then it is sitting in the basement attached to nothing and in that capacity it is just fine.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Congrats!!!!!!!!!!
    Can't wait for the pics.
    Corie seems to take in all those stray VC's that get the boot ;)
  12. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Swestall,

    Welcome to the club of laid back wood burning.

    Only those that cross over to the stoney side of the Mansfield could ever understand how easy this stove is to operate and enjoy.

    I almost feel guilty about it........ahhh well not really :lol:
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Load it, light it, adjust it and forget it. Now thats how its supposed to be. Congrats.

    <sniff, sniff> I love a happy ending.

    It will be REAL interesting to see how Corie gets along with this thing. Just waiting for the sequel "Neverburn returns".
  14. Mandoo

    Mandoo Member

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    Just curious did you just install a liner? What did you have before?
  15. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Mandoo....I have an 8X12 clay flue running up from that location in the house. The Hearthstone is a 6 inch output so it was way too big for it. We installed a SS liner all the way to the top, insulated the top 8 feet of it (above the roofline), installed a blockoff at the top and insulated at the timble. Drafts well.

    The 8X12 was on the edge for the Defiant with an 8 inch flue, but since the Defiant doesn't work, I figured it was just as well to reline at the same time I was replacing it with a unit that works and be done with it.

    NOW FOR AN UPDATE!!! This morning when I got up (about an hour after my wife) and went to look at the Mansfield, my wife had loaded it and had already damped down to the secondary burn, the stove was nice and toasty; no problems, no fuss, no muss, no rearraging the wood to make sure the air could get around it just so, and so forth and so on.

    FURTHER; from what I can tell we are using about 1/2 the amount of wood as well. IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE that this could work out so well....I had to be an idiot to stick with that Defiant for three month of frustration.

    Thanks to all who helped me through this time of terror and thanks to the Soapstone Crew, for taking me into the other side.
    I can not recommend any stove more than I am recommending these units. The only negative is that I won't be using all that wood I have stacked up there and won't be spending as much time bringing the wood in to fill the hearth; OH I just don't know what I'm going to do with all this new found excess time. Maybe I can go back to having a life now.....

    Corie is going to enjoy the stove, they probably have a power vent in the lab and it might even work there.

    Thanks to the Chimney Sweep, Tom, too he's been a big help all the way.
  16. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I wish I had bought my neverburn later so that I could have joined in the fun more. This time last year, I think hearth.com forum members just thought I was some crackpot that didn't know how to operate a woodstove and wanted to groan and blame the stove. I think the whole experience with my dutchwest took about 10 years off of my life.
  17. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    You know I know exactly what you mean.. At first I thought it was me, and I thought...gee I've been burning wood for over 30 years, I should be able to get this. Then, I started to try to figure out how to re-engineer the stove to burn better. Finally, as you know, I just said. this thing is out of here. That was the best thing I did.
    The Soapstone is great and easy to use. And, now we are really having fun!!!
  18. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Swestall. Congrats on your new stove. Just curious...how long are you waiting between reloads? And what stovetop temps do you wake up to in the morning, or after about 8 hrs?
  19. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    I like the broken and the down-trodden VC stoves.

    I just want to see what's making this stove tick, why it's so draft sensitive and finicky to get engaged and try to figure out the minimum draft it needs to engage, possible wood loading patterns that work, etc.

    I'm sure this info is useless to 99.99997% of the people in the world, but assuming we can help a few people on the forum, it'd be worth it.

    Just FYI, it can't go in my house because of clearances (I have like 8" to back wall, The Encore needs 493"), so it really will be a tester only.
  20. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Holy crap!!!!!!! that would put it out my front door!!!! In fact, I'd have to put it out in the woods!
  21. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Hey, I am waiting until the splits burn down to coals for reload when I am there. When I am not there of overnight, I just let it go: that is usually from 10PM-6-AM; After that 8 hours the stovetop is about 275-300 which depends on how hot I had it when I went to bed. During the day it is pretty much the same. So we are going from the low of 275 back up to 450-500 and then back down. We are finding that we neeed to let coals burn off once a week or so, then the temp got down to 200.
    The temp in the house is ranging from 68-74; and I see what they mean that it is "softer" or different than the cast iron.
    I asked RED OAK to post some of his experience on temps, etc in another post on Mansfield.
    I think if I burnt this stove at the 450 to 500 temp for an extended time my house would be 90; 2400 SQ/FT +Cathederal ceiling.

    I did find that you can get this thing HOT pretty easy, AND the stone doesn't heat up as much as the cast/iron/stack. That is something to be aware of. I left it open and was just watching in amazement, when I noticed it was getting hot; so I went over and shut it down. My burn tubes were glowing as was a part of the iron rail system that it mounts to: but the stovetop was just at 450: so to answer another question you can overheat parts or it and the stack without a high stovetop temp. I got the temp back down right away and there was no dammage, but it certainly is something to watch. Anyone have comments about that?

    After just a short time I would never change back; kind of the same way I feel about my wife. And, I have to tell you that I think my wife likes it as much as me. She's back to operating the stove and keeping the place warm. All that frustration is over...

    Corie, we will have an interesting discussion on this stove when we get to it. VC could easily resove this problem with a variable draft mechanism that adapted itself by temp vs. draft strenght.

    I hope to take the pictures and send them to Corie so he can post by this Sat.
  22. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    So it sounds like you are getting about 8+ hour burn times... I take it you are burning hardwoods?

    BTW, that is a lot of sq. <cubic> footage you are heating (with the cathedral ceilings). I guess it is no problem for the Mansfield. Is your stove centrally located?
  23. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    You can get 8+ hour burn times on updraft tube-type EPA stoves of 2+ cuft on softwoods, it just depends on which ones. Both Tamarack and Red Fir have this ability. Properly seasoned pine skates on the edge of that time.
  24. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it is a lot of space. The house is set up for wood burning and passive solar gain. My avatar is a picture of the stove location; the chimney is built about 1/3 into the long room (40x27) and separates living space into three areas that are all open. The rear of the house has two floors with 3 rooms up and down. The Mansfield has no problem with this space at all.

    During the day we have the ceiling fans going (one on each end of the open room, one on up, one on down) And, at night we shut the fans off and let the heat float up to the bedrooms.

    I originally sized it to heat with the Defiant Encore which did the job OK, the Defiant added just a bit.
    But the Mansfield has about 20K/BTU more capacity so it is just moping along and having fun: and we are having fun with it. At night for the overnight burn, I'll put about 5 fair sized splits in it and get the 8 hours from it; during the day we just burn 2 or 3 splits to keep the temp up. And, it has no problem keeping the upstairs 74 and downstairs 70-72. I could easily burn with a window or two open at an outside temp of 10 and still keep it warm.

    My stack is 16 feet from stove bottom to top of SS liner.
  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Can't wait to see the photos. I really thought you would get longer burn times though with the larger firebox and hardwood. In my heritage burning pine, cottonwood, or alder I can go all week without lighting a match. There are enough coals in the morning to relight the fire but the stove temp has fallen from a healthy 450 at 10PM to a measly 200 at 6 AM. At 200 there isn't much heat being made but the fire is not dead.

    I have never gotten the cast iron secondary manifold to glow red but the tubes glow at least once per day. I consider it normal and these parts all have a lifetime warranty.
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