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Montpelier vermont castings insert

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

  1. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    It is nice to here that the fan noise has been resolved and thank for the fix tip for us do it your selfers. When I was a kid we had a Gibraltar coal stove that had a fan. Of course there was some noise you soon get used to it. We do live in Queens NYC and I don't here planes,train-es or garbage trucks either so I may not be a good judge. I hope to get my Montpelier in a week or so.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Check the file size, it should be less than 350k. Try saving it as a jpeg image at around 600x 400 pixels. Here's a link with more info about posting pictures. If you're still having problems, PM me.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewannounce/27_2/
  3. Smacker

    Smacker New Member

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    Here is a Mont pic. Thanks for your help.

    Attached Files:

    • Mont.jpg
      Mont.jpg
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  4. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    looks nice! How about another pic when you get good secondary burn! thanks
  5. btj1031

    btj1031 New Member

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    That is a good looking stove. A much bigger and hotter burn will get rid of the glass staining no problem.
  6. Smacker

    Smacker New Member

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    Our wood delivery should be here any day now. I'll update with a bigger and better burn!
  7. jclee

    jclee New Member

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    The fan noise now comes and goes and it seems to be most acceptable when it is set in the mid range. It is not bad enough that I want to call back the installers yet. I checked the door hinges again. The bolts are tight, it is the hinges themselves (the metal being too thin to support the weight of the door) that are flexing. The door stains up less when I burnt it hot but cannot be eliminated - it is particularly worse with oak.

    I also notices after 5 nights of usage that there is some minor pittings (pin size) of the ceramic insert. Hope this won't get worse. The secondary burn is very vigorous and when it is going at full force, the stove is very bright and the radiative heat tranfer dominates over the convective heat transfer with the blower operating. The heat output is fine for my 800 sq ft living room.

    By the way, it is sooty unless the air control valve is fully open no matter what wood I use.

    I am not jumping with joy with the quality but I am not kicking myself either. For $3200 (installation included), I probably can make it back from the reduction in fuel oil usage in two seasons. This is a new product and I am happy that it does not blow up or burn down my place (image a microsoft product in its v1.0 release!). Had I found out this is the first year of its release, I would not have gotten it.
  8. jclee

    jclee New Member

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    Here's a photo showing the second stage combustion occuring at the top of the fire box.

    Attached Files:

  9. Smacker

    Smacker New Member

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    What is the best way to load this insert for max heat and overall loading advise?
  10. jclee

    jclee New Member

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    This is how I do it.

    18 inch logs with crossection about 4 inche in diameter. Load them across the width of the fire box and alternate 4 and 3 logs in each layer all the way up. As you load, turn the log and to leave gaps between logs. Another way is to use 14 inch logs and load them along the depth of the firebox, also alternate the number of logs to increase the packing efficience. Make sure there is 2-3 inche of amber on the bottom. Keep an eye on the temperature and use the air control to make sure the stove is not over firing.
  11. Theo

    Theo New Member

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    VC direct customer support?

    Having difficulty with new insert (see next post). VC site is a bit unclear, but implies that they will not provide aftermarket support if stoves are bought from a dealer - is this correct? Also, if I cannot get needed service from my dealer, does it make sense to ask another to provide warranty service?

    Thanks-

    Theo
  12. Theo

    Theo New Member

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    Not a good experience so far...

    Bought mine over the summer, made the recommended small fires. Seemed to work OK, except fan never came on and air lever was a little sticky.

    Got cold here beginning of October, so started using insert in earnest. Air lever completely stuck about halfway, so couldn't start a fire w/o leaving door open (and setting off smoke alarms), then load would burn through in a couple of hours.

    Called installer, who said that it's a warranty problem and only dealer can fix it. With great difficulty, got dealer to send his repair guy. He was not familiar with innards of the unit, had no manual or parts. He managed to loosen air valve just a little (breaking off the handle in the process), so it could be almost closed, then never came back to finish the job. Still a serious problem to light or re-start fires, still won't go more than about 5 hours between fills (so no overnight heat). And may be piling up creosote in the flue; the face glass is completely black.

    Fan only starts after an hour or two, then comes on intermittently - even with a deep bed of coals and strong secondary burn, often turns off for minutes at a time. I'm thinking that the thermoswitch is either defective, or possibly detached from wherever it's supposed to sit. In addition to intrinsic fan noise (inoffensive), there is an occasional, much louder buzzing from loose sheet metal someplace. Will try fix reported above next time stove is cold.

    After weeks of non-returned calls and broken promises, I told the dealer that I'm considering legal action. This got an immediate response - he had the installer call me. I said that I do not want the unit taken out of service for weeks while they wait for parts; that he needs to pre-order whatever might be needed from VC and fix it in one go. Given that he clearly does not know what's inside the unit, I am not optimistic.

    Dealer tells me that VC will not deal directly with customers, and dealer service is terrible (nonexistent, really). I am quite concerned about getting this insert fixed properly for the long term, and would prefer a replacement.

    I don't know if I just got a bad insert, if it was dropped in shipping, rusted in storage, or what. Would appreciate ideas on how to get some decent service or force a return and buy another one elsewhere.

    Hope you're all having better luck with the Montpelier!

    Theo
  13. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Hi All. New to the board, but had a Montpelier with Meade surround installed in September. My existing fireplace was a 'heatilator' type, lined with steel plate, with an exterior masonry chimney. The insert was installed with a full 2 story liner. So far so good with this stove.
    The glass clouds up a litte faster than I'd like, especially on the hinge side, so I clean it regularly. I tried the ash/ newspaper trick, but it didn't work too well for me. I also worry that if I happen to pick up a bit of dirt ( my logs hit the ground sometimes!) that I'll scratch up the glass. My local HomeDepot carries Rutland Glass Cleaner. It's basically the same stuff we use to clean our ceramic cooktop, and it works well.

    The stove takes a good hour to heat up. I light my fires top-down, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Not as intense a fire at the outset. The blower comes on intermittantly at first, then constant. My wife and I find the noise from the blower (which we keep at about the 3 o'clock position) bearable. The fan that we keep in our doorway to distribute the heat to the rest of our cape cod is louder.

    Cleaning the primary air inlets is a pain. I try not to let the ash build up too much before emptying. As for removing ash, I use an old pot with a lid. I have an ash can that sits on the hearth, but ash would always fly out when emptying. Instead, I stick the pot in the stove and fill it there. Any ash that flys out stays in the stove, or goes up the flue.

    Looking forward to trying the advice for an overnight burn.. the floor of the firebox seems a bit small, but the 4,3,4 layering seems like it would work.

    Regards
  14. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    fod your review gives me hope. There have been some negative reviews and i was considering canceling my order. I am constrained buy my fire place depth so there are not to many other makes I can go with. The Montpelier had the biggest fire box and other nice feature's that i liked. It sounds like there are some quirk's that VC needs to iron out other than that it should be a nice insert. I did notice that the hinges look a little flimsey but the door is not that heavy so maybe it wont be a problem. I think every model will get some fog on the glass so that is probably normal. good luck and pray for me!
  15. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    We were constrained by fireplace depth also. Friends have the Jotul, and my parents have a 70's version of the BlackBear, but the local dealer was having trouble getting parts, and no longer sells them. We almost bought a Quadrafire from him, but were concerned when we found out the dealer sub-contracts the install. He was also significantly more expensive than other dealers. We found a VC dealer that installs what he sells, less expensive too. He came and measured, said it would fit. His installers were surprised to find the steel fireplace liner. Its normally their practice to remove firebrick to provide relief behind the inserts, so they attacked my liner with a cutting wheel. If we ever sell the house, I hope prospective buyers will see the advantage of a woodburning insert, as the fireplace is no longer functional.

    BTW - I noticed that you will have a 4' liner installed. It was strongly suggested that we get the full liner. It was explained that if a partial liner is installed, creosote can accumulate on the masonry flue just above the metal liner. When it comes time to service the chimney, the insert will have to be removed to gain access to the masonry for cleaning. This is more $$... If fully lined, then the metal flue can be serviced with the insert in place... less $$. Hopefully this wasn't a line of BS, but having experienced a chimney fire at Mom & Dad's house ( the BlackBear with just a pipe stuck into the fireplace ), you tend to take the experts advice.
  16. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    The dealer gave you good advice. My cousin is a licenced chimney swep he has showed me proper way to clean chimney. and I have done my own installs in the past so I dont mind the extra work. I am probably being penny wise and dollar dumb but you know I never learn!
  17. BluHil

    BluHil New Member

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    We had a Montpelier insert installed in early October and have been using it regularly until recent warmer weather. I have used wood stoves for 30+ years and recently moved into a home with only a fireplace. The insert was purchased to improve on the heating (in)efficiency of the fireplace and get rid of the "burned down house" odor that permeated the family room the morning after a fire. A stainless steel flue liner was installed to the top of the chimney as the original flue was much too large for a good draft. My thoughts after a few weeks of use:

    -The Montpelier insert puts out a fair amount of heat, considering it is installed in a fireplace on an outside wall. It takes about 30 minutes of use before the blower comes on. The fans then run continuously until there are only a few embers remaining, then it runs intermittently for some time. It will go overnight (8 hours) although there isn't much heat or many embers left in the morning---but enough to restart without laying a new fire. Although the literature says the insert will heat by convection alone, I wouldn't want to rely on it during a power outage---the fans seem to be important in getting any real heat output.
    -The fans are noisy at high speed and low speed but are bearable in the mid-range speeds. This has not been a concern for us.
    -I have experienced the problem with the sagging door. I have realigned the hinges to raise the door as high as possible and it is presently not hanging up on the enamel ledge. However, I expect this will be a nagging problem---the hinges seem undersized for such a heavy door.
    -I find it difficult to start or refuel the fire without getting some smoke out the door, particularly at the hinge side of the opening. I'm getting better at tossing, poking and slamming the door. It is important to crack the door for several seconds before opening wide.
    -There has been some depositing of smoke on the glass but it has been minimal and easily cleaned with a damp cloth. We do tend to burn hot with the air intake wide open most of the time.
    -I have found it impossible to start a fire when the outside temperature is above about 50 degrees F. Even lighting just newspaper to initiate a draft leads to nothing but smoldering paper and lots of smoke coming out around the door and out of the fan air intakes! This is probably more of a problem with the chimney---not the stove.

    Overall, I am satisfied with the Montpelier insert---maybe a 4 on a scale of 5. When it is going, it is wonderful. It looks great with the large glass door. It puts out sufficient heat. It has by far the largest firebox size for the fireplace size we had. There is no residual smoke odor. It remains to be seen if the small concerns listed above become real problems. I guess this is the fun of being an early adopter!
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the review and welcome to the forum BluHil.
  19. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    Bluehil I would say your concerns are draft related but there was another poster in this thread that had a problem with the door. I have researched many different stoves and they all seem to have some quark's. I chose the VC because of its feature's and good look also. Thanks for the review How about a picture?
  20. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    Bluehil did they install a blockout plate at the damper it may help with your draft. do a search on the subject.
  21. btj1031

    btj1031 New Member

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    I bought a spray cleaner specifically for stove glass at the stove shop. Works very well, was like $6, one will probably last a bunch of years.
  22. BluHil

    BluHil New Member

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    The installers did put in a plate where the damper was originally. I expect my problem is that the fireplace is at the end of a one-story room at the end of a two-story house. While the chimney meets all the code requirements for height and distance from walls, I feel it is probably too sheltered to pull a really good draft. Once the pipe is heated up, it goes just fine. My wife will just have to wait until the temperature drops to have fire-warmed feet!

    I'll try to post a photo when I get it going again.
  23. Theo

    Theo New Member

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    Fan power?

    Since this insert can only heat my house with the blower on, I'd like to have backup power for winter outages. Can't find a specification for watts/amps in the book or nameplate. Does anyone here know? I suspect that a 100-200W inverter run off a golf cart battery would run it all night. Just need to know what size inverter would be needed.

    Thanks!

    -Theo
  24. RJArthey

    RJArthey New Member

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    Does anyone know who has the inserts in stock as we have been looking in PA area & cannot get one. We have also been given quite a variation on price. Thanks
  25. Smacker

    Smacker New Member

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    We got ours from LanChester Gas. They are located on Rt 41 just south of Rt 30. I guess that is Gap? Maybe Lancaster.
    717-442-8794. Very happy with their service and pricing.

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