1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

VC Defiant Encore 0028 Air Leak?

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by Bret Hart, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    Got the stove installed a few weeks ago with a new class A chimney and have been using it regularly with good results. A few days ago the boy put some wood on a small coal bed and didn't close the door all the way and she got hot. The flue thermometer was over 700 when I came in and closed the door to choke it out.
    Since then I don't have much air control so I'm figuring I will need to tear it down and find the air leak or leaks.

    Is there any part of the stove that would be more likely than others to start looking for leaks?

    I've replaced the following gaskets and they all still look good:
    Griddle.
    Ash door.
    Damper.
    Front doors.
    Cat access panel.
    Flue collar.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Was this surface temps for the flue thermometer?

    700 surface temp on the pip could have meant well over 800 for the griddle. Is there any warp castings? Have you lit the firebox up with a flash light to see if any light is poking out from the casting seems?
  3. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    That was Flue temp. I brought my laser thermometer home from the shop to double check things and the flue therm. is close.

    Nothing warped that I can see and I've held a lighter to the seams looking for wind pushing or pulling the flame but found nothing. Haven't tried the flashlight trick yet but I've got a small fire going in it now so I'll go shut off the lights and see what's going on.
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    You won't see it with a fire unless you have a mighty big leak.

    Is the stove going into class A pipe or a chimney with 6" liner?
  5. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    Well, you're right. I didn't see any light any where with the fire. I'll check it out in the morning.

    Class A 8" chimney which worked well for a few weeks before she was over fired.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    So, you have no visible cracks anywhere? Nothing is warped?

    Is the ash pan door closed properly?
  7. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    No visible cracks or warping that I can see. Ash door is closed and sealed properly.

    If I decide to strip it down and cement all the seams, what is the best type of cement to get and how much will it take to get the job done?

    I see the manual says 5/16 gasket but I see some kind of cement sealer around some seams on the stove.
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Before you do that, you really need to figure out what the issue is. Tearing down an Encore is a pain in the ass and it would be a shame to do it if it wasn't needed.

    I believe the fireback and back casting take 5/16 gasket. Not sure about the back panel. I do know the back panel is gasketed and cemented. Sometimes they will also cement the fireback into place along with gasketing.
  9. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    Checked the stove with a flashlight this morning and I can't see any light coming through the seams.

    Any other tricks to find an air leak????
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Get the stove going again. A small fire, but one with active flame. Once the flame is going, close the air down completely. Then cover the primary air in the bottom, back center of the stove with aluminium foil to prevent the primary air from getting any air. This should eliminate the stoves ability to get air from the primary air control and should allow you to see where the stove is still drawing air from in the firebox.


    Remember, it is natural for a modern stove to still be able to draw air from secondary air supplies as they are designed that way, but it should be very minimal and your fire should die down to nearly nothing with the primary air completely closed off.

    Now, you mentioned you changed the gaskets on the follow areas:
    Griddle.
    Ash door.
    Damper.
    Front doors.
    Cat access panel.
    Flue collar.

    Are you sure the gaskets are seated properly and haven't created their own air leaks? Did you clean out the gasket channels of all debris and excess cement before putting in the new gaskets?
  11. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    I covered the primary air intake yesterday to see if I could choke it down as much as it did before the over firing. Didn't help much. I did notice that I have slightly more air control when the fire is 250 or so degrees. Once it gets up around 400 or so on the flue therm. I don't have near as much air control which makes me think the heat is expanding the air leak and allowing in more air.

    Gaskets are most definitely seated properly. Channels were cleaned down to either bare metal or ceramic paint and triple checked for anything out of the ordinary.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Is this with the damper open or closed?
    What are the griddle temps?
    What does the flame look like when the damper is closed and the cat is engaged with the air closed down?
  13. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    That was with the damper open. Griddle temps average 100 to 150 above flue temps.

    I haven't run it with the cat engaged since the issue started because I'm afraid to get it that hot and the fire will get away from me but the flame looks different too. Don't know exactly how to explain how it looks.

    Once I got the kindling going well enough, I dropped a single split on the coals and waited 15 or 20 mins. for it to get going. Closed the air down some and watched what it did. The flames will slowly die down, much slower than before, and kinda dance around differently. Slightly side to side I guess. The glass is getting a uniform layer of soot starting to build up which is also different than before.
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    With the damper open the flue temps aren't going to give you the best indication of how it is burning.

    You also indicated that the air is closing down and it is effecting the flame, so you do have some control.

    At this point, based on the fact that the stove does not have any cracks or warped parts, you replaced a lot of the gaskets, you haven't mentioned any whistling (indicating air is being sucked in from some other area of the stove), and you know you can shut down the primary air, I would give it a go with a fire large enough to engage the cat.

    Keep in mind, there isn't any magic to this. What you see is what you get. Unless you have missed some gaping seem between the castings, the stove should operate safely. In fact, it may operate better than before depending upon the last time you replaced the gaskets. So, the flame and temps might be different than what you are used to.
  15. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    I haven't heard any whistling or even any sound of air being pulled into the stove.

    I have only had the stove a month or so and before I installed it I replace all the gaskets

    I'm just nervous because now I don't have as much control over the air, actually very little control, and a runaway fire doesn't sound like fun.

    A few more questions.
    I have a fire extinguisher at the ready, if she does get away from me, how much luck will I have putting the fire out if I just open the doors and blast it?

    I was also thinking about putting some low pressure air into the stove to see if I could find a leak. A cut inner tube slipped over the flue connector with a pressure gauge and regulator from my paint gun. Any thoughts on this?
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Understandable. I think your nervousness might be getting the best of you, at this point.


    If you do a smaller fire (get some kindling going, put a few small splits on, let it catch properly, have the griddle get to 450 and then close the damper), I don't think you need to worry about taking it this far as we have covered a lot of the areas where there could be leaks. But, as a last resort, it would work. It would be really messy, and you would have a lot of work ahead of you to get the stove cleaned out, but that would work.

    That wouldn't work. As modern stoves are not air tight. Again, You have covered nearly every angle with the gasketing. You have not seen any cracks in the castings, no gaps in the casting seals, no air whistling. I think the next step is to build a fire and close the damper on the stove. Put a thermometer on the Griddle and measure the temps. Cut the air back and watch what the flames do.
  17. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    Thanks for all the help. I'll give it a try when I get home this afternoon.
  18. Bret Hart

    Bret Hart Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Canastota NY
    It's fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When I first got the stove I checked all the hardware to make sure it was tight. I found, on the back plate of the stove that the catalyst goes into and the flue attaches to, 2 broken bolts. I drilled, tapped, and replaced them and forgot about them until today when my hardware supplier came in to check inventory.

    I realized that I hadn't checked the bolts since the problem started. Found 4 out of the 6 bolts to be lose. Tightened them, started a fire, and all of my air control is back. I may remove the back plate at some point and re-seal it just for the hell of it.

    Thanks again for the help.
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Glad you've got it sorted out! Get burnin'!

Share This Page