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Uh oh. Is my old Vigilant too big for my kitchen?

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by Grant Sanders, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Grant Sanders

    Grant Sanders New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
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    Loc:
    Nantucket, MA
    Hello again.

    I got my Vigilant inside and I'm doing some minor repairs to gaskets and the thermostat mechanism. But now I'm wondering if it's too big for the space I have. Here it is on the existing brick hearth pad (there was a smaller stove there when I moved in but it was in rough shape so I donated it). The Vigilant looked right to my eye, but when I checked the Vermont Castings manual, it said my hearth pad was too small.

    [​IMG]

    The minimum required pad calls for an additional 8 inches of brick on either side. I'm wondering what you would do in my situation? I believe I can run this stove safely under these conditions, but I'm not sure my insurance company would agree.

    Also, in the area of clearances, as you can see from the above picture, there's a nice brick backer which is also set off from the drywall by about a quarter inch. And there's at least 36 inches of clearance on either side of the stove. But, as you can see from the next photo, our kitchen island does violate that 36-inch setback by approximately 8 inches.

    [​IMG]

    Also: I'm wondering how close to my chimney I can place the stove. I have a little room to move it forward (an inch or two, maybe), but I like where it is positioned right now. It has 7 inches of clearance from the chimney as you can see here (5 inches if you count the distance from the oval collar to the chimney).

    [​IMG]

    I guess I could fix this stove up and get my money back (and maybe some more) by advertising it locally. But I'd really like to make this work.

    What's the general consensus?

    1. Expand the brick pad (which is a major PITA requiring removal of the wide pine and installation of a backer board more brick and mortar)?

    2. Fix the stove up and sell it, keeping an eye out for a smaller stove at a bargain price (I paid $295 for this beast and I really love it, so it will be hard to part with it.)?

    3. Call in an insurance inspector and a chimney sweep to sign off on it or put the kibosh on the whole thing?

    4. Hook it up and heat it up and don't worry so much?

    Your two cents is greatly appreciated.

    G.

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    What sort of space is the stove in this location going to heat?

    That's a nice looking hearth and floor and I hate seeing it changed.

    The heater you have sitting there could potentially heat you out of this location which would be a real disappointment if you spent the time to mess with the hearth.

    Do you know what the smaller stove was that was in this spot before?

    pen
  3. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Old Lyme CT
    Nice set up, I concur with pen, looks like you have an 8" diameter clay tile for pipe, also curious as to what stove was there prior?
  4. Grant Sanders

    Grant Sanders New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Nantucket, MA
    The room the stove is in now is 15 x 20 and has high ceilings (13-14 feet high, I'd say), plus it opens up to the rest of the house through a five-foot wide doorway that is up two steps from the kitchen. I'm sitting in my living room about 40 feet away from the stove right now and I have a clear line of sight to it. So I'm pretty certain that the heat from that unit will provide warmth to more than just the kitchen. Right now, we don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen when it's cold because it's not as comfortable as other parts of the house. When I'm cooking, it warms up a little. I've done all of the weather stripping and insulation I can in there, it's just lower than the rest of the house so it tends to collect all of the home's cold.

    I'm not 100% sure what the stove was in there when we moved in. It's been several years since I hauled it out of there. To the best of my rocolecton, it was similar in size and shape to this Jotul black bear stove. Although not as nice.
    [​IMG]
  5. Grant Sanders

    Grant Sanders New Member

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    I guess my biggest question is, is it safe. And if so, I would just prefer to go ahead and fire that thing up. It's 20 degrees outside right now. G.
  6. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Looks to be, Check doors with the dollar bill test, make sure all seals are good so stove won't run away on you, and I would start with a small fire and check all surrounding areas to see how hot they get.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've seen a lot less under and around a stove that never burnt the house down. However, no amount of rationalization can make up for a lack of meeting the stove co's minimum requirements.

    So the question becomes........

    [​IMG]

    do ya ? :p

    pen
    Grant Sanders, tbuff and Defiant like this.
  8. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    I know what you're thinking. "Did he load six splits or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a Vermont Castings Vigilant, one of the most powerful wood stoves in the world, and would blow you out of your house, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?;)
    remkel, Grant Sanders, tbuff and 2 others like this.
  9. tbuff

    tbuff Feeling the Heat

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    Would a bottom heat shield kit(like the one used with shortened legs) effect the required space needed on the floor sides of the hearth? I remember reading something like that when considering and install of an old Resolute at a friends house. A Craftsbury, Jotul F100 or a little potbelly would look good there if its a relatively small space.
    Grant Sanders likes this.
  10. Grant Sanders

    Grant Sanders New Member

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    Hmmm. Bottom Heat Shield. Interesting...
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    My old Vigilant did not make the underneath flooring very hot at all. In fact, the cats would hang out underneath the stove. Due to your minimal hearth, I would go with the heat shield as an added precaution.

    Is the stove too big? Well, that depends upon your level of need for warmth. I'd always rather be too warm than not warm enough. Too much heat? Build a smaller fire.

    I can't tell you if you should do it. I can only tell you what I would do. If this was my hearth and stove and home, I'd buy an IR thermometer and I'd give it a go. I'd monitor the hell out of the temps of the flooring, mantle, back wall. If everything checks out, it would put my mind at easy. If combustible temps are too high for my liking, I'd look for solutions to remedy the problem.
  12. Grant Sanders

    Grant Sanders New Member

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    Thanks, BrowningBAR. I think I will do something similar. First I'm going to get a chimney sweep in and make sure the chimney meets spec and that it does not need to be altered in any way (It's seen more squirrels than smoke over the last decade). Then I'm going to invite a friend of mine from the local fire department over to take a look and offer some quasi-official advice and counsel. Then I will make a call to my local insurance agent and make sure that having this beast in my kitchen does not void any coverage I may have. Then, and only then, will I fire the thing up, keeping close attention on temps. How much does a decent IR thermometer cost?
    Defiant likes this.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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  14. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Glad I could help.
  16. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Always wanted one, now I will have:cool:
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Now you also get to see where your air leaks are at in the house.
    Defiant likes this.
  18. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Thanks:cool: Sounds like I will be busy for awhile:p
  19. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    The Vigilant is a beast at heating but if your kitchen is quite open to the rest of the house, you should feel the warmth in other rooms. You can always point a floor fan at the stove to encourage circulation of warm air. I've never noticed much heat on the slate floor under and around our Vigilant. My gut feeling is that you're fine. My gut, however, does not speak for your insurance agent.

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