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Secondary air. Encore 2n1

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by john84, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. john84

    john84 New Member

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    Can someone tell me where the secondary air comes into this stove?
    Also how many are running cat probes? Was it an easy install?
    Thanks

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    No idea on the specifics of your Encore, but most stoves draw the primary and secondary air thru the same inlet on the outside of the stove, and then divert them internally.

    As to cat probes, I feel so strongly about using one that I'll say I would never own a catalytic stove without a cat probe installed. You're simply running blind in the dark without one, particularly with a new stove. I've experimented with different thermocouple probes in my two stove over the last two years, and on the few occasions I've had to burn without one, I really worry about what the cat is doing. Did it light off? Is it running over 1800F? Who knows?

    I suppose that with a true hybrid stove (Lopi Cape Cod, Woodstock Progress Hybrid, etc.), where you can actually see the cat, the concern would be less. You can see if it lit off, and might assume that the hybrid system is managing any over-temp situation. But does the 2-in-1 fit the class of true hybrid, or is it simply a manually-switched dual burn system?
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  3. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Thats a good question... looking at the manuals and parts diagram at Woodmans its hard to tell.

    Previous generation of the Encore and Defiant catalytic had a separate fixed bimetallic coil controlled air intake door for the secondary that was found behind an sheetmetal cover on the back casting. From here the air was routed through a channel under the refractory box, then up between the refractory and iron fireback to exit into the throat hood, mixing into the smoke stream entering the catalyst. The primary air was let in through a different opening behind the ash drop (controlled via the primary thermostat /air control handle) than routed up through the double side walls to the airwash manifold.

    Looking at the parts diagram for the 2in1 I dont see any secondary opening in the back casting, however the specs does list a "self regulating secondary" which implies something similar to the old model. I have no idea where it is though.
  4. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Its the latter. Not hybird, but convertible - you can run it with the cat installed or not installed. With the cat removed it operates like a downdraft noncat stove, similar to the old VC Everburn neverburn or Harman firedome.
  5. john84

    john84 New Member

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    What about the primary air? The reason I ask I would like to know where the air enters the stove just in case I get near an overfire, I would like to be able to plug the holes to bring the temp down
    hat
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Most stoves seem to have the intake on the bottom of the stove, near the corners. Mine are hiding just inside the rear legs, on the bottom of the stove.
  7. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I could do without the prob. Just a quick look at the cat tells me all or I just shoot the stove top near the cat and sometimes I compare that spot to the rest of the stove.
    But I guess the probe is faster..lol.
  8. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Looking at the exploded view for the 2in1 it appears that the primary air comes in the same place as every other Vermont castings design - at the back of the stove, center, behind the ash pan assembly. Look back there for a door that opens and closes when you work the air control lever.

    Note that if its anything like the earlier models it WILL close completely when you shut the primary. VC supplies the required minimum airflow through another inlet (3rd inlet if you will) which consists of two 1/4" holes in the ash pan housing hidden behind the front legs that allow a small amount of air to pass through the grate and feed the coal bed directly. People within runaways sometimes Willm try to plug these holes with foil.

    Im in the camp of operating the stove as the designers intended. If you do find yourself in a one time runaway I think a better option is to open the bypass and close primary to let the cat cool off. If you have problems consistently the draft is just to strong and a key dapmper in the pipe might be your best bet.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Difference is that all VC stoves, like Jofuls F12, are downdrafters with the cat in the back in a ceramic refractory. You can't see it, and you can't tell its active by stove top temperature. The probe is the only way to directly tell if its operating for us.
    Joful likes this.
  10. john84

    john84 New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far. I just want a back up plan should something go wrong. I've thought about the key damper, but the problem is my stove sits basically in the fire place. I have a tee that comes directly out of the back of the stove it then connects to a flex liner. Any ideas?
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    How long have you been burning this stove? Most new burners worry a lot about things like run-away conditions, after reading one or two stories of an event which is (a) very unlikely to happen, and (b) probably due to entirely a mistake made by the person telling the story. Bottom line, you have a (almost) catalytic stove, and your ability to shut that stove down and kill the fire far exceeds that of anyone burning a non-cat stove. You really do not hear of run-away fires in cat stoves, unless the operator has done something very wrong, such as stuffing the stove full of pallet wood. This is one of the many advantages of a catalytic stove.
  12. john84

    john84 New Member

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  13. john84

    john84 New Member

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    I started burning in this stove last yr. Maybe put a cord thru it. Yes I am fairly new to wood burning especially a cat stove. I'm probably being a little to cautious. I'm just nervous loading a decent load in it. Any tips would be great on burning or installing a key damper near the tee. If it matters I do have a fairly tall chimney. 25-30 feet.
  14. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Nothing wrong with being cautious. Main thing to avoid is loading the stove full with small very dry splits. If you do that you can overwhelm the cat and hit catalyst temps well over 1700 - I did it a couple times learning to run my 2550, once resulting in upper fireback glowing red, not fun! For big loads use the largest splits you have and pack them tight.


    The 30 foot stack is on the tall side - @BrowningBAR has an Encore on a similar height stack so you might ask him how its working out. When I moved in the previous owner had a key damper installed right in the Tee of mine, 3 inches from the flue collar, however Ive removed it because my stack is only 15ft and its unnecessary.
  15. john84

    john84 New Member

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    That's not a problem having the damper right in the Tee? Anyone have a picture of a similar set up?
  16. john84

    john84 New Member

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    So I pulled the stove out of the fireplace today to clean the chimney. While it was out I looked it over and found the door on the back that controls the air. It looks like the secondary air comes in below the door thru two small holes. I moved the handle to close the air door on the back but I'm not sure if its fully closing. When it's shut I can pull it shut just a hair more. Is that something I should be concerned with? It is a very slight amount.

    Thanks for the help
  17. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

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    I have the 2040 2 in 1. Once the main damper is closed I find the stove self-regulates temperature extremely well. The only problems with the stove over heating have been when I am reloading a massive amount of wood on coals and absent mindedly forget to close the by-pass after 20-30 minutes. The highest stove top temp I got was 700 which probably wasn't good, but I closed the by-pass and the stove self regulates very well I have found.

    Also you can see the cat flames and cat glow behind the removable shell plate unless you have filled the fire box to max. Usually i can stack it so i get a small view of the slit in which you can see the glowing cat.

    You can see when you tamper with the 2nd air control on the rear of the stove on the bottom is a plate that opens and closes (you have to get on your hands and feet and look under the rear) it is fairly central.
    Joful likes this.
  18. Calentarse

    Calentarse Member

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    It seems like you believe that the stove should glow red. I'd be careful with that because the manual states that no parts should ever glow red. Or do they say that just to cover their butts?
  19. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

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    The cat glows when it is active at first and can still be active even if you dont see it glowing. You can see it through a slit in the cover you have had to replace a number of times. Very normal. The refractory nor stove parts ever get red hot. Well tha tree s a lie because I have accidentally over fired the stove twice not paying attention and leaving damper open. Scary stuff

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