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  1. 131

    131 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    I bought and used a new VC Encore throughout the entire heating season last year (2012). Ever since we've been using the stove this year the temps soar up to 600-650 within a couple minutes of starting the fire. We are forced to continually switch it over to the CAT to prevent it from getting too hot. Sometimes when there are only a few embers and the temps is down to 150 i put in a tiny log and the temp climbs right back to 600.

    There are no visible leaks, no smoke getting in the house, and the firebox looks good.

    Last year we could load it up half full in non-CAT mode and turn down the temp and maintain 450-550 no problem.

    Any suggestions or ideas as to what is happening would be appreciated.

    Thanks for reading!

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  2. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,320
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    What model number Encore is this? Is it the 2040 2in1 ?

    If its the 2in1 do you have the catalyst installed?

    When you say 'run it in noncat mode' do you mean burning with the damper closed but no cat installed? Or do you mean burning with the bypass damper open?
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,472
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    When you say "non-cat" mode are simply leaving the bypass open? Because to to run in non-cat mode, the cat would actually need to be removed. On the VC flexburn, you don't really get to choose which way to burn unless you take the cat out before you start a fire. Just wanting to make sure we are on the same page.
  4. 131

    131 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    yup, leaving the bypass open.
  5. 131

    131 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    2040 2 in 1. When i sat non cat mode i mean damper is open but catalyst is still in the stove.
  6. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    could be wood to dry and too small
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,472
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    If it is running away when the bypass is open that is a good thing! That means you have good wood and good draft, all you need to do is close the bypass and cruise!:cool: It's designed to run with the bypass open until the stove gets up to temperature, then it should be shut.

    I would guess that last season your wood was a little on the green side? This year it's more seasoned.
  8. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    No. NH
    Probably the diff. IS the wood, but check very carefully tosee that the ash pan door ie sealing well all the way around. Close a dollar bill in it and it should pull out with some resistance at least, or even not pull out at all. Also, does the glass rattle when you tap gently on it with your finger? Glass gaskets on those guys sometimes give up early in the game. Just a few things to look at...
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,320
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Agree with Webby and defiant. The stove is meant to run with damper closed when up to temp. In damper open mode its sending 80% or so of the heat right up the chimney.

    Check all your gaskets as suggested but odds are its just working as designed. With a big load of dry wood and good draft is never going to be very controllable with the damper open... But damper closed in catalytic mode you should get slow lazy flames and hours of intense heat.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Yeah, you're not running the stove correctly.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    If you do not operate the stove how it was design to operate you WILL damage the damper and damper casting as it will not be able to take the heat and will begin to warp. Did you buy the stove new? If so, did the dealer walk you though how the stove is suppose to operate?

    Because, right now, you are wasting a ton of wood and potentially damaging the stove.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    No, the issue is that the stove is not being run correctly.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    What you are currently doing is operating the stove in Updraft Mode. This is not the Non-Cat mode. To operate the stove in Non-Cat Mode you open up the front access panel, remove the cat, and replace the access panel. Then, you restart your stove. But, you still close the damper. This process is close to the old "Everburn" design for the previous generation of VC stoves. In Everburn Mode secondary combustion takes place within the chamber.

    What you are doing is working the stove in updraft mode. This causes a LOT of heat to focus on the damper and damper support casting. Eventually this will warp the casting.

    Your efficiency is also greatly reduced in updraft mode. You are essentially running a Pre-EPA stove with no secondary burn. Your efficiency is probably around 50% or less and probably worse than the old Vigilant I had.
  14. bobabuoy

    bobabuoy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    IL
    I have found that I need to generally burn a first load of small wood to get the stove ready to engage the. Even if I have the stove nice and hot, sometimes that cat doesn't engage.

    This is from the manual. What defines an ember bed?

    Closing the stove damper may also reduce the draft, so to avoid putting out the fire or deactivating the combustor, close the damper only when a fire is well-established and the chimney is thoroughly warmed. When starting a fire, wait until the fire is well established and there is an ember bed of at least 3-4 inches before closing the damper.
  15. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    512
    Loc:
    Michigan
    My encore can soar from cold to ~600 in 20 minutes or so with the right wood. This is what you want. Then you close the by-pass. Stove should drop to around 450-500 within another 20 minutes. Then it should coast at 450-500 for 4-5 hours on a medium load and up to 6-7 hours fully packed.

    Mine will run between 400-500 for 6 hours max. When it gets down to 300 the cat may or may not be glowing anymore and there is about a 3-4 inch coal bed. If I let it get down to 200 or so there are usually very small peices of coal after 7-9 hours with which i can stoke a new fire with small splits and re-establish a coal bed in about 30 minutes and then load it to max again.

    All in all I would say my burn times on a fully loaded firebox is 8-9 hours (full load to stove top temp dropping to around 200-250)...which is about what i was expecting. This is with ash. I don't have any oak. I would potentially expect to get the advertised burn time of 10-12 hours with well seasoned oak but alas i have none.

    I'm generally very happy with the stove...so far.

    If you are soaring to 600 and close the bypass and the stove is still 600 and roaring away I'd say there is a leak somewhere.

    With damper closed and secondary air control turned all the way down I can barely see a flame, just the glowing coal bed.

    I once forgot to close the bypass after 40 minutes and i had a stove top of just over 750...that is definitely scary and I think may have seen the bypass just a tad bit red (maybe, hopefully, i was just making that up in my mind) you don't want this to happen.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    The problem is that OP is not running the stove properly. This needs to be corrected or the stove will be damaged.

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