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Older VC's water heating capabilities ?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by 94ranger55, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    I was reading in my late 70s/early 80s VC manual about the capabilities to heat water....but there was no pictures or diagrams about it ?I thought it would be awesome if some how the stove could heat the water,then go in to a secondary tank.Then transfer the hot water to my POS electric hot water tank!I figured I wouldn't have to pay for hot water from October-April !So If anybody has done this or knows about the VC water heating package lets hear it .Thanks !
    P.S. My stove is 1980 vigilant.

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  2. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    V.C. made water heaters for the Vig. and Defiant for some years, and they worked quite well. They were really just stainless steel boxes that bolted to the fireback with fittings to go through the back of the stove. Quite brilliantly simple really, and somewhere in the cyberworld there must be a pic. of one. Anyway, it would likely be a small matter for a good welder to fabricate one and yes, it would be COOL!
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Thats interesting that they offered a hot water option. They must have had a custom stove back casting as my outer casting has no evidence of where pipes might have passed through it. I sure wouldnt want to try to drill the exisitng casting on my defiant. I would consider having a SS box made up and hang it off the studs that were used to hold the back heat shield on. There would still be a lot of radiant heat from the back of the stove to heat water. I would make sure the tank has a clean out on the bottom to remove any crud that settles out of the incoming water and make darn sure there is a relief valve in the system with no way to valve it out. I expect if you pipe it right it would thermosyphon over to the water tank, but you may have to install a circulator.

    The biggest concern is what do you do when you dont need hot water but do need heat? As some point you could start boiling water and pop the relief. This is definitely not recomended! I expect you probalby could disconnect the cold and hot water piping and leave the ports open.
  4. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    Very interesting thanks for the feedback! I would love to not only heat my house but heat the hot water as well.My stove is located in the basement so installation would be easy I think ....Hot water tank is only about 15 feet away from the stove and plenty of room to work! I would assume with all the VC users on hearth some one must have dabbled in this before ? I mean it makes to much sense right ? haha
  5. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    Hmm still some engineering to do I guess but ...on the bright side I already have a sweet 150 gal old cooper tank on my hands just need to figure out the rest.....By the way how much snow do you guys have up north , after that little warm spell I still a good 15-20 inches (I am about 15 miles inland) looks like more coming tonight/tomorrow am .
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  7. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    In fact the factory water heaters came with a template so you could drill holes in the back and right through the fireback, so using the same actual parts of the stove. It was fun plowing through a customer's stove with a hole saw! The looks on some of their faces...
  8. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Boy, I hate drilling cast iron. Always paranoid that it will crack.
  9. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    What kind of drill bits would you use? Cobalt?
  10. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    What are the chances of finding a OEM so to speak VC kit or at this point buling your own homemade set up is the way to go ?
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think you need a VC kit. Use the Yukon HotRod or a Hilkoil kit...
    Or, you can get something made as a serpentine to fit outside the rear of the stove - and then put a heat shield behind that...works pretty well.

    Cast iron drills easily with just about any bit.
    A hole saw was needed for these larger holes. The structure of cast iron makes it very machinable.....the stove factories drill and mill is all day long with no problems.

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