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Montpelier vermont castings insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by allhandsworking, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. canboy

    canboy Member

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    Loc:
    Ontario Canada
    JFournier: I can't say for certain where the air supply for the 3 holes at the bottom comes from. But, the fresh air connection is on the side of the stove. So, one might assume that all air comes from the sides and is preheated before entering the stove. The air channel that supplies the 3 holes originates at the sides of the stove.

    I read an interesting article in a Drolet wood stove manual today, to help people determine if their wood is dry enough. Thought people might be interested in reading it:

    TESTING YOUR WOOD
    When the stove is thoroughly warmed, place one piece of split wood (about five inches in
    diameter) parallel to the door on the bed of red embers.

    Keep the air control full open by pulling on it and close the door. If ignition of the piece is
    accomplished within 90 seconds from the time it was placed in the stove, your wood is
    correctly dried. If ignition takes longer, your wood is damp.

    If your wood hisses and water or vapour escapes at the ends of the piece, your wood is
    soaked or freshly cut. Do not use this wood in your stove. Large amounts of creosote
    could be deposited in your chimney, creating potential conditions for a chimney fire.

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  2. canboy

    canboy Member

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    JFournier: I found a diagram(attached) on the Napoleon Wood Stove website that clearly shows the air flow for the primary air, secondary air and air-wash on a non catalytic woodstove. This would be essentially the same as for the Montpelier, except that I think that the air supply in the Montpelier goes up the sides and not the back of the stove(but I can't be certain).

    Attached Files:

  3. av8roc

    av8roc New Member

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    Nov 2, 2009
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Been rather warm here in NY so last night around 10p I threw 1 last log on for the night and went to bed. About 7 am the fire was down to a few embers and the fan was kicking on an off. I let it go out today as I knew it was going to get up over 50 here.

    Tonight at about 8 pm I opened up the insert and raked some larger coals forward and I was surprised to find it was still warm inside with a few very small embers buried in the ash. I threw a couple of large splits in thinking I may want to get it going tonight at some point if the temp in the house drops. I was shocked 20 mins later to find a roaring fire going.

    Thats about 22 hours later without paper or starter and I wasn't even trying to get it going. Not bad!
  4. kortynaa

    kortynaa New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Help...I purchased a VC Montpelier insert about 10 days ago. It exhibits every symptom of low draft possible: it's hard to start, it's hard to keep burning, it releases smoke into the room, the glass is always dirty, the stove produces little heat, and the fire is always "leazy" even though the air control is wide open. This list goes on.

    I had the flue checked, and we found that there is good draft when the stove door is open, and there's no sign of downdrafts on the roof. A visual inspection of the flue shows that it is clean and obstruction free (the flue liner is actually a brand-new stainless steel liner). This is the 4th wood stove that I've owned (the third VC), so I know how to operate a stove and what performance to expect. I live in a drafty house built in 1923, so that isn't limiting the draft.

    Everything seems to point towards the stove being a lemon. Has anybody else had similar problems? Can anybody suggest a solution?
  5. kortynaa

    kortynaa New Member

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    Eastern PA
    P.S., I had the moisture content of the wood tested, and it's within an acceptable range (between 5% and 15% water, depending on the piece), so the wood I'm burning isn't the problem.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I believe, in order to get an accurate reading, you need to freshly split one of the existing splits and take a reading from the newly exposed side. Is this what you did?
  7. kortynaa

    kortynaa New Member

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    Eastern PA
    You're right...it appears that we didn't get an accurate moister reading. I haven't re-tested the wood, but I located some drier wood and that made a big difference. I guess it was silly of me to assume that wood sold as "seasoned wood" had actually been seasoned.
  8. chuckda4th

    chuckda4th New Member

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    Philly Burbs PA
    Hey everyone...season's starting up again and I got an email from someone about to purchase a VC Montpelier and thought I'd post another thing I learned last year.

    First off...last season ended up great. Went through 1.5 cords no problem in the Philly burbs, and would have gone through another half cord VERY easily if I hadn't gone skiing up north/out west a few weekends and been away for work a few weeks. My oil bills totaled about $350 all season compared to the ~$1000 they were the year before, so after increased "Main Line" wood costs, I still saved a few hundred dollars on heat last season, and more importantly to me, got to enjoy an intense fire every night. Spent a lot of time with a beer in hand just staring at the thing.

    I certainly do not endorse the following, but thought one thing I've found that no one else mentioned was that my fiance' spent $100 or so on a pair of real firefighter gloves as an xmas present for me that I absolutely love when used with the stove. When wearing them I can reach in the stove and pick up a fully engulfed log and move it around as needed. Beats the hell out of the poker/monster pliers combo. Again...I don't endorse this at all :).
  9. diodeduster

    diodeduster New Member

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    Loc:
    warminster pa
    chuck who installed your insert? mine was installed by american chimney in 08 and they never installed a blockoff plate so i had to pull it out and install one which made a world of difference in the performance of the insert. i also had the sales rep out to replace the blower because american chimney would not honor any kind of warranty issues.
  10. chuckda4th

    chuckda4th New Member

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    Some place in Cheltenham, PA. Forget the name.

    Not sure if I have a blockoff plate, but its frankly warm enough as-is I'm not too worried about it. I have to call a chimney sweep this week, so when he's working on it I'll have to ask him whether it has one.
  11. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NYC
    intake holes are located inside fan doors about 2" out from the hinge and about 2" deep past the door! This will be my fourth season with the Monti. Air wash comes from secondary burn tubes that blow towards glass.
  12. mjcarrjr

    mjcarrjr Member

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    Loc:
    Northern DE
    Hi all.

    First post! Have been reading for awhile and have learned so much. I had the Montpelier installed last march and only got a few fires in before the end of the season. Used some 'store bought' kiln dried wood And had no problems with the insert. My first time using any wood burning stove.

    Looking forward to some colder weather. Kind of glad to hear that people are having success with the insert.
  13. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    if you ever need help let me know! I have some experience with this insert! EPA stoves and inserts like really dry wood. Your seasoned wood will be nothing like kiln dried! Smaller splits about 3" burn better than larger. Smaller splits allow you to load more also! (more heat)! My fist season was not the best with subpar wood! Stock up and you will have truely seasoned wood in years to come! Good luck!
  14. mrmoxie77

    mrmoxie77 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
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    Loc:
    Central CT
    Hello all! New to the forum and learned a lot so far - planning to purchase the Montpelier very soon (wife's on the fence) and install myself. A few questions first:
    1. My flue dimensions are 6.5" X 10.5" X 20'. I want to put in a 6" smooth wall flex liner, but it'll be tight and I definitely won't have room for insulation. Does insulating/wrapping the liner make a big difference? I'm hoping to stay away from "pour in" insulation - seems like a mess.
    2. Has anyone placed the insert on bricks to raise it up? Dealer suggested it since the Mead surround will fall 2" short height wise. Apparently the extended trim plates don't look so great, so I could either do a 2" riser plate or put in a piece of black slate to cover the bottom spacing. Opinions?
    3. How has heat distribution been? We live in a Colonial and I'm hoping the heat will get upstairs and migrate to the other rooms (8' ceilings everywhere). Not looking to heat the whole house, just offset the propane use.
    4. Has anyone used the 3" extension kit?

    Appreciate any feedback!
  15. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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  16. mrmoxie77

    mrmoxie77 New Member

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    Loc:
    Central CT
    Thanks for the info! Mine is an exterior chimney and I'm not sure how much a difference that will make. I'm definitely going to do a block off plate.

    Any other thoughts out there?
  17. hoagieadam

    hoagieadam New Member

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    My wife was against the idea of putting an insert into our fireplace, but she did humor me with a few visits to our local stove dealer. The Montpelier was a good compromise between her/our desire for the view of a romantic roaring fire and my preference for an alternate heat source for our home. It is a nice looking stove with a big viewing area.

    We have used the stove regularly for the last month and have been very pleased with its performance. We have a 1,500 ft of living space in our Cape Cod style home. I load it up in the early evening and top it off with wood when I go to bed at 9PM and shut the damper as far as it will go.

    When the kids get us up around 6AM the next morning, there are only hot coals left - but the downstairs is still remarkably warm. Even on days where the temps are in the 20's.

    Once the stove gets hot, it stays hot. If we don't add any wood to the fire in the morning, the blower will continue to run and circulate warm air until late afternoon. The glass is hot to the touch hours after the fire dies down. The stove will not heat our whole house through the coldest part of the winter, but it has kept the furnace from running on chilly Maine fall nights.

    When we are home on the weekends, we like to have a fire in the morning. It is as easy as adding a few logs to the hot coals and opening the damper up completely - the fire flares right back up within minutes.

    Two things I would highly recommend to users:

    1) have it professionally installed (I watched the installation and was glad I didn't attempt myself)
    2) use very dry wood - we purchased kiln dried. The new EPA stoves don't work well with wood with high moisture content.

    If I could change anything, I wish it had a little more space for wood. But I suppose it probably wouldn't fit in our fireplace if it were much bigger. I should also note that the glass on the front of the stove requires cleaning. It does fog up after multiple fires, but cleaning it up isn't terribly difficult. We don't do it regularly - only when we are having people over and want to show it off.

    Overall, we are both very pleased with the stove. There is nothing better than coming home after a long day and enjoying the warm fire with the family.
  18. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    NYC
    We are also pleased! NYC winters aren't as harsh as Mains so we do manage to heat all winter with the unit. It would be nice if the unit had a cat. So it could be banked down more to increase burn time. We do manage to get over night burn times also. I do have a two year supply of splits so my wood is nice and seasoned, especially after the hot dry summer that we have had. I find that wood seasons faster in the winter with the high wind and dry air! I have started a large split stack the I will season longer but these will provide an even longer burn time. The unit seems to burn better and hotter when I just put in 4 splits on top of hot coals rather then loading the fire box to the max. Good luck with your Monty!
  19. renure

    renure Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    RI
    Before I comment, I'd like to say I love this site. I found an article for every question I had about heating with wood. I am just a mom with 3 teenagers so my knowledge of woodstove inserts was pretty limited and my attention span very small. We are relatively new to wood heating but love it esp. with the cost of oil in our area.

    I'd like to add my 2 cents on the VT castings, we have a Jotul Kennebec and the VT Castings Montpelier on opposite ends of our colonial house. I have to say of the 2, the Jotul is easier to light and easier to keep going. It's a much simpler design and is easy to care for. However, the Montpelier gives out more heat. It has a bigger firebox and a better fan. Once it gets going which invariably takes longer then then Jotul, the Montpelier cranks. However, I am interested in the discoloration of the glass issue I see mentioned here. I can "wash" the glass once the fire is really hot but as it cools I get the darkening of the glass.
  20. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    I had the same problem the first year. More seasoned splits will solve the problem. less then 25% moisture content is prefered. ends should be checked,bark falling off, silvery or dark color on the wood. Try keeping your splits smaller that 4" around they will burn hotter and season faster.
    As far as start up i build a top down fire with some split pallet or kindling and drop a small piece of fire starter in the kindling it really gets it going fast.
  21. jamiebg

    jamiebg New Member

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    Loc:
    New York
    I just had a Montpelier insert installed, it looks great and works well. I've done 4 burn in fires as per the manual and I've done what i thing are adequate sized, hot fires - 4 18" split logs at one time - and the fans have yet to come on. The dealer, to whom i spoke yesterday and who was very cooperative, thinks I haven't had a hot enough fire yet to activate the fans and that he's NEVER heard of fans not working out of the factory (i've checked my outlets, power is fine). Is this really possible? I thought part of the idea behind an insert is to blow hot air provided by the fire into your house to heat it. Any insight or help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  22. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    4 splits should be hot enough to start the fan. Make sure your switch is turned. Tonight will be cold enough for that switch to kick in! From a cold start my fan usually starts after about 30 minutes. Can you see the wires do they look connnected? It is a simple fix if the fan is shot so don't be pissed! Call that dealer back if it doesn't come on after burning for over an hour!
  23. mrmoxie77

    mrmoxie77 New Member

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    The Monty has arrived! I'm getting excited for the install (kind of...really I'm more excited for the final product), which is going to happen over Thanksgiving. Anyway, the last detail I need to address is the hearth pad. What have others done? Built your own, purchased from a store, or ordered online? According to the manual I need something w/ an R value of at least 1.49 and I'm pretty sure our town inspector will want backup.
  24. briv

    briv New Member

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    Connecticut
    I'll be on board with you guys in a couple of weeks, can't wait!
  25. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Feeling the Heat

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    Ouisconsin
    Dry wood. Last year was my first year burning the Monte and I saw brown glass frequently. I was scrambling frantically to cut wood fast enough to keep up with the heating demands. I learned a good deal about how to sort good wood while in the woods. And I learned to simply stack the wet wood in the woods and not waste trailer space with wood I wouldn't be able to burn right away. Sorting was a PITA. Then as spring/summer approached I could go back and pick up all the trunks and bases that were wet and get them cut/split to dry over the summer.

    Try as I might, the occasional damp log would sneak its way into the Monte and I would immediately suffer the results. Ugly fire, cold house.

    Now that I'm burning wood that has been drying for several months those occasions are happening much less.
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