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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Central NYS
    I'm thinking about getting a stove to supplement my boiler during extremely cold weather and for those occasions in the spring and fall when cranking up the boiler is more trouble than it's worth. Here's my specs--maybe somebody can recommend a stove that meets them, or tell me where I need to compromise and/or get real.

    Very clean burning cat unit;
    Takes 2-foot wood;
    Exhausts out the back;
    Cast Iron
    Glass

    I'd prefer finding a good used one.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    In the VC lineup there are two possibilities both cat stoves both have reversible flue collars to rear exit
    Encore The only criteria that does not match is the 24" log length. It only takes 20" but clean burning
    Plus they seem more available in the used market. There is one near me on Craig's list 7 years old never
    installed asking $1000.. An offer might net it for $900 which is 1/2 the retail new price.

    Then there is the newer Defiant model which is the cleanest Epa stove ever tested. However there are fewer of these,
    that hit the used market. VC started re manufacturing this model in 1998 then made more revisions in 2001
    What is a real convenient feature, Smokeless top loading. I can add links to how the model breaks down and history
    of various models. A negative feature and No one has explained why they do this, is the Encore and Defiant come
    stock with oval 8" flue collars. They make the first connector pipe oval to 8" round. If you cannot get 8" connection
    to your existing chimney, there is as an accessory option a 6" round replacement flue collar. I know it has been tested
    for the Encore and would have to research to see if it will work for the Defiant

    Bought my 1999 Encore $500 used only 2 heating seasons. The nunber one reason I decided upon VC is the rear exit
    fit my existing setup. When you narrow down that and a cat, there will be few other manufacture options..
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you are considering used, then it may pay to be a little flexible. A Defiant is what it sounds you are looking for, but I'd also be on the lookout for a Quadrafire Isle Royale (22", non-cat), or the Haman Oakwood (21" , non-cat), or Jotul F600 (24" non-cat.) There's a Jotul 600 on eBay right now, claims only 1 season use.
  4. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    middleborough, ma.
    Well the only thing my Morso aint got is the CAT
    Burns damn clean though and takes 23 1/2" logs

    Get real on the CAT unit :)
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Eric there is no perfect used stove. The market supply is always limited, and heavy stoves and distance become another factor. As brand name stoves VC is the predominant stove in homes. No other stove Manufacture has the presence of volume in the used market. If we read the consumer rating sections, VC takes a fair share of hits. Reading our forum no major manufacture was spared this year. Many will argue VC
    Stoves are from perfect. What it will come down to, is location proximity to you, and what becomes available in the used market.
    Perfect to me, decent price, (Paying a fair price and not over paying), decent condition, not too far away, I can compromise condition for price, because I am willing to repair.
  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think your smart looking at a cat stove. But it will be hard to find one that will take 2 ft logs. VC or Woodstock are your best bets. Good luck.
  7. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    531
    Loc:
    East-Central Wisconsin
    Hard to find a stove with that length requirements,
    but I believe Buck Stove comes close - 22" - 23" length.
    Catalytic & won't cost you a fortune. Check in to the
    Model 80 & 91 (link below). Very loyal & satisfied owners.
    I'd steer away from Cast Iron, because all it does is
    add cost to the stove and doesn't necessarily add to the
    performance (I recently put my Cast Iron Giant to rest).

    http://servicesales.com/woodburning/buck_wood_index.html

    Rob
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Cast iron may be an aethetic decision. My wife vetoed most steel stoves I showed her pretty quickly. However, she could accept the enamel jacketed models by PE and Napolean. But these stoves are top exit only. That killed the PE stoves :-( in our location becasue we were working with an existing flue.
  9. lepp

    lepp New Member

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    Eric,

    I'm curious - why specify a Catalytic stove?
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'd just like to fool around with a cat. I think that would be fun. I've got one on my boiler, but since it's in an outbuilding, I don't get a chance to sit around and watch it work.

    The cat thing isn't a deal killer--just my preference.

    BTW, thanks to everyone for your input. This gives me a good idea of where to start looking.
  11. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

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    Eric,

    Hi, I'm new here & this is my first post. Excuse me if I am overstepping. What I don't see in your required specs is the size of the area you are trying to heat. If you purchase a stove, especially a cat stove that is oversized it will not work well & you will be very unhappy. Bigger is not best when it comes to woodstoves.
  12. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    I presume you meant to say to avoid a non-cat stove that is oversized?

  13. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    Eric, look into the Dutchwest extra large. max log length...25"

    Cast iron, and it's a CAT.

    That's your stove!!
  14. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

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    No, I really did mean cat stove. The only way a catalyst works is when the stove is burning very hot. If you are burning a too large stove very hot in a small house, it will be too hot in your house, you will not be happy. So you will be building smaller fires, you won’t be too hot in your house, but you will also not be using the catalyst.

    This is how all quality stoves, cat or non-cat work. When you talk to a person that sells stoves, and knows what they are doing, the FIRST question they ask is how big is the heating area. Size is the most important spec when shopping for a wood stove.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah Eric. Ya gotta size the stove right. And be sure you have enough wood too. Too big of a stove and you might not have enough.
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The new aftermarket cat replacements can light off after 380 degrees is attained . One does not have to build it to heat over 500 degrees. Once the cat is lit off one caneasily maintain 450 degrees which falls in the medium heat range. IN VC products the secondary air is thematically controlled by a probe. Once set it, will automatically open or close the secondary air supply, to maintain constant heat production and longer burning times. Plus the primary air can be manually controlled. One has to factor this into the equation.
    Vc stove have matched the secondary controls with the cat operation. I think w one has to factor this info when making generic statements concerning VC cat stoves. There is a reason VC defiant stove is the cleanest stove ever tested by the EPA .08grams approaches pellet stove levels. In no way am I trying to discourage your participation in the forums welcome but VC raised the bar withthematically controlled secondary air feeds
  17. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Given those specs I think of the Defiant Catalytic. For what it's worth, it has been the best performing catalytic sotve we have sold over the years. The Encore is a great stove but it has turned out to be more suscpetible to damage when pushed too far. The Defiant was designed in such a way so as to help prevent the damage to the secondary chambers and firebacks that happened in many Encores. But, as has been correctly stated already, the Defiant will require more volume of space or you will be over heated.

    The good news is that VC just released the Non-cat EverBurn Defiant this year. This will allow a few more catalytic models to hit the used market. But, in general, there are not a lot of used Defiant Cats available. They are still relatively new and they work great. Unless someone wants to change color or move to a different size there would be no need to sell or trade-in. Check your local dealers this summer. VC changed some colors and added the Non-cat version so some dealers are putting some demos on clearance. (We have aa Red Encore Cat on clearance, no Defiants yet).

    I'm not sure how much enjoyment you'll get out of the catalytic combustion. It all happens in a hidden area. You can't see much. In fact, the top baffle non-cats are much more interesting to watch. But, if you like to experiment with wood species and open up the works alot for inspection and maintenance, the cat is for you.

    BTW, the 8" collar is for the open door burn. The Encore and Defiant have large openings when the doors are open and the six inch flue is not enough volume. (Sometimes the velocity of the draft can prevent spillage but it's generally best to use the increased flue size)

    Sean
  18. billoetjen

    billoetjen New Member

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    My idea of a perfect stove, first and formost is that is has to be top-loading. I've been spoiled by my old Acclaim.
    Bill
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