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VC Defiant Encore Cat. 2190 finally burning! New picture.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by VCBurner, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Ok, this question is being asked for my father in law. The stove is having its first fire in his house. I wish I was there to help him through it. He is an old school burner with zero experience with EPA stoves. So, please, I'm all ears.

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  2. pen

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

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    What kind of stove is he going to be running?

    pen
  3. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    A Vermont Castings Defiant Encore Catalytic model 2190. I'll edit the title of the thread!
  4. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Well, I have a 2550. I don't know squat about a 2190. I looked at the parts list for one and it looks like it's a cat stove.

    So I have to assume we're looking at a similar procedure.

    Cold stove, I do top down method.

    Pack her about 3/4 with bigger splits at the bottom then go down in spilt size as you get near the top. When you start running out of space, get some kindling on top and toss a fat stick (that's what I have) or, from what I have read, a better burning SuperCedar.

    With my draft, I close her right up with the air on full (right handle pulled towards you). If your draft is so-so, you may want to leave the front door cracked open until it gets going.

    Once my kindling is going, I back my air down to about 1/2 or 3/4, let her go until my griddle temp is at 450 to 500 and then engage the cat (pull left handle towards you - on my stove). Let the stove contine to go on half air until the griddle temp hits 550 or 600 and then close the air full down. Depending on your wood, she'll either creep up to 700 and sit there, or cruise around 600 and change.

    Hot coals, even easier. Disengage the cat, open the top, toss a couple of smaller splits in there and increase in size until the box is packed. It bounces back up to 500 or so pretty quick, wood should be charred by then, close the cat, shut the air down, you're done.

    That's it.
  5. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Ahh, my bad - you asked for a slower burn. Slight adjustment, let it get to 450ish, engage the cat, let it run until 475ish, shut the air all the way down.

    Sorry, I run mine a bit hotter because she's a bit small for my house.
  6. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    No problem, any operating tips are appreciated. It will all help my FIL operate his stove better. As far as the difference between the 2190 and the newer cat models, I think they are very similar, same cat, somilar air controls and refractory housing as far as I know.
  7. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

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    I have old VC Encore 0028 cat stove. I open air all way and after flames are getting higher in few minutes, I push right air handle back half way if wood very dry. I do this cause I have very good draft in my 8 inch liner. Then after stove top temp hits 500 - 600 I push left handle (cat) back all way and open right handle up for 10 minutes or so to get cat hot. Then slowly push right handle all way back.

    On very cold days, if I am home all day, I just toss a large log in from the top with out touching the left handle. I just pull right handle all way, open top and toss large log or 2 in while stove top is still over 500. Then push right handle back all way. I do this so stove does not cool down on very cold days.
    If I am off to work, then I do the normal reload and pull both handles forward and reload.
  8. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the responses so far!
    I'm sure it will take him a while to learn the ins and outs with his particular instal.
  9. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

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    hey vcburner is your pic your stove setup, right off the stairs like your pic? if so thats cool. how'd you do that?
  10. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Did you mean close the damper?
  11. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    No I wish I had the Encore in here! That is an Enviro Windsor pellet burner, though it is similar looking to the Encore, right? I did not have any other way to do it but this. Had to go through twp walls and a closet under the stairs. It was easier with the close clearance to combustibles of this stove and the double wall 3" pipe. I only had to worry about 8" on the sides & 3" to the rear. Ended up being 42" horizontal from back of stove to the outside of the house. I miss burning wood. The Encore is at my father in law's cobblestone arched fireplace amd it looks stunning! I'll take a pic next time we're there and post it. Here's the bigger one of mine:

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  12. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

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    vc, thats still pretty cool. awesome looking pellet stove. I got to do some research on that one.

    miss my 1991 vc defiant encore but not the maint.
  13. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Maxed,
    Looks like you and I like the same stove style. How do you like the Quad, they make a pretty mean looking pellet burner too heh? The Mt. Vernon. I also dig the Isle Royale. My Windsor is grey enamel and an '03 model, they are now called the Empress. It is a revamped version of the Windsor. Here's the brochure pic, notice the raised hearth is where I got the design idea for mine.

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  14. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Yeah - I meant close the damper. Engage the cat, close the damper. I just kind of lump them both together :) I should be more careful when trying to help out someone with a new stove. That's the last thing that I would want to do is to confuse the crap out of them even more!

    So has your FIL had a few fires yet? How is he doing with the stove so far?
  15. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Wow... some interesting techniques here. I never would have though of trying to start from a cold stove with a full load. In cases where I did need to go from cold to an overnight load I would usually start it with a small load 3 small splits, let that burn down over an hours or so on cat to establish the coal bed and then pack the overnight load. I would be nervous trying to fire off a big load without any coal bed at all.

    The other thing I wonder about is throwing a fresh split on a load that's half burned down... First off, how do you not get smoke spillage opening the griddle with the bypass closed? Must have amazing draft... Other thought is the couple times Ive tried to cheat and add a split midway through the cycle its put my cat into overfire (1800+) territory ...
  16. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    I have a 2550, I get 8 to 10 hours burns.

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  17. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

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    yes I have good draft and not much smoke if I just toss one in quick with bypass closed. I have been doing this and works well when very cold outside.
  18. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if that's good for the cat though, I mean openning the top loading door and allowing all the cold air quickly into the cat=thermal shock? Openning the damper should not completely turn the cat off. With my DW, I used to always shut the cat air off while reloading, in fact I shut both air intakes completely off. It kept any smoke from rolling out of the stove too. As the door would be the only air supply it would suck all the smoke and colder air through the bypass. If anything, opening the bypass while reloading and shutting down all the air intakes would keep the cat temp higher. Then letting the new wood catch for a couple of minutes and bringing the firebox back to temp before shutting the damper again.

    @firewoojunky, no problem. Just making sure you meant the damper. I operated a Vc Dutchwest cat for a while and I already told him, my father'n'law, how to operate it somewhat. I didn't talk to him last night, his first fire was Sunday night, it sounded like he was all set for an overnight fire. He had not even read the manual yet, but there was nothing that he didn't know because I told him as much as I could for basic cat stove operation. Thanks for posting, every detail helps! :)
  19. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

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    If it's not good for the cat, time will show. Stove is performing great. I will inspect the cat next warm spell we have. Ever since installing the insulated liner and new cat the stove performs like a different stove and my gas bill has shrunk. By the way, stove is 1988 and i have replaced many parts over the years keeping it tip top shape.
    2 years ago I replaced the refractory assembly and lower fire back and cable on air valve. I will inspect the cat and report back if any side affects from quick loading with bypass shut.
  20. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hi Jim, I really appreciate the replies.
    This was a technique I learned from watching a youtube video from Dutchwest Japan, no other place suggested the shutting of the cat air while reloading. But everything I've learned so far about cat stoves would point out that openning the bypass is a must. I could see how having the damper down might save on time and some wood too, as less cold air is going up the chimney, as it is being restricted by the cat. I just wonder though, is it really saving time? The cat has to be cooling off considerably more than with the bypass open?! At any rate, it seems to be working for you and I sure appreciate hearing about your experiences and learning new techniques. Do you have a cat probe? Maybe this would be a good tool to see how the secondary chamber is doing . I could not run my DW without a cat thermometer, which was a stock item on those. Stovetop temps are not really a good indicator of what's going on inside the refractory housing of the Encores, others have reported really high temp readings from their cat probes and their stovetop temp was still 700°! Anyway...thanks for the chat Jim!
  21. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hi J, I've read some of your posts. What is your starting technique. Cold start, reloads? Are you running a cat probe on your 2550?
  22. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

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    VCBurner: I do not have a probe in mine as of yet. I base my temps on the performance and how fast the large splits and rounds are lighting up when I do a quick load and the temp of the top of griddle. When I do a full complete load, I can't go by the temp of top of griddle as the draft is very strong and the flames will be drawn up liner very fast if air is open all the way. My wood is well seasoned and that may explain my success with closed bypass quick load. I am one for venturing out and experimenting and even custom building many tools in my business. I don't always go with the flow. After all, how do things get invented if we are not curious. My neighbors all have same house size as we are in a development home. I am the odd ball with the 60 dollar a month gas bill and theirs is average 400 in cold months.
  23. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Great response Jim, I agree 100%. Discoveries and inventions are made because people venture and dare to think outside the box! Thanks for sharing your innovative ideas!
  24. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    I have friends who ran a 2190 for years. For this season they switched out to a new Jotul and love it. I do have a 0028 which is very similar to the 2190. From a totally cold start, I usually clean the thing first. I vacuum out around the base of the firebox where I believe some of the combustion air comes in. Use the preferred method to get a fire started and get a nice bed of coals going. Then, add the wood, let it catch, and close off the damper for catalytic mode. I think you should always put it in bypass when adding more wood.

    My 0028 now heats a much smaller space so a lot of times I run it in bypass, but you get so much more heat running it in catalytic mode. I'm currently running a steel catalyst, which I like. It seems to light off a little easier at lower temps. One thing I've noticed about these stoves is that there are a lot of moving parts, and I don't get good response from the air intake control unless I replace the door gaskets every season. Though, I think I need to replace some of the factory furnace cement on mine as well.
  25. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    So we spent the night at the inlaws last night and the Encore was going. I have been waiting almost a year to see that thing burn and it did not disappoint. I wish it could have been at my house, but this is as close of a second as possible. I have visitation rights! I got to feed it and play with it like it was a new baby! I really miss burning wood and it was a pleasure playing with this stove. It heated the house with no problem and looked so good doing it. For those of you who were waiting for a picture of the midnight blue encore in its new setting here it is:

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