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VC DW2461 Troubles..

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Matt Ruggeri, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Hey all, I'm a very long-time lurker but first time poster! I've got a Dutchwest 2461 (Post 1997), my wife's father bought for us. He bought it used a few years ago, and we had the chimney installed last march. Been a long-time wood burner (Various places with Fireplaces, Stoves, etc) This is my first Cat stove, and was psyched to learn how to use it. Used it during the shoulder months, then started my real burns in October. In August I opened the top, adjusted/fixed the damper, checked the gaskets, general maintenance, etc. The Cat was OK and looked like it had some life left in it. Been using it, with pretty good results until a few weeks ago. The top inner web had completely rusted/rotted apart, and fell out, so I ordered a new one with the tabs. A day or so later i kept finding chunks of gasket cement, and rusted iron on the hearth pad, and couldnt figure it out, until my next burn. I kept smelling smoke in the house, but there were no backdrafting issues i could see, and most of my wood is pretty well seasoned.. It turns out the Gasket around the Flue Collar was flaking apart, and both sides were completely gone. I figured yesterday would be a good day to take it apart and re-gasket/seal it. Upon removing the Flue, i was about to remove the flue collar, when one side literally fell off. :eek: After cleaning it up, it seems that the back of the stove is completely rusted around the collar, (but the collar itself is fine) and there is no place to even lay a gasket into! Flue Collar Connector.JPG
    Then I took the top off again, and to my horror i found the Cat, Reftactory, and Air Distributor were rotted as well.
    Top No Cat.JPG
    My instinct tells me to get another stove (which we don't have money for right now), but the voices in my head tell me to order the outer back and any other parts that need replacing (The Cat, Refractory, Gaskets, etc). What are you guys' thoughts? Another question - Anybody think that running it for a few weeks without the inner top web could've destroyed the Cat, and Refractory? I've attached some pictures to help explain.
    Top W_Cat.JPG
    Sorry for the long-winded paragraph. Just want to say this forum has been a great resource for the last few years, and i've wasted, i mean spent many hours reading here!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,690
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  3. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    It looks like the previous owner had a chimney leak, or a poor installation, but i can't confirm this.. This seems to be the extent of the rust/rot. I'm kind of kicking myself in the butt for not noticing it was that bad when I had it apart the first time. Looked on Woodsmans, but the Outer Back (DW Part# 7001231) isn't in their catalog. On a side note, all the bad things I read about this stove didn't hold true for me. Only time it's been picky is when i've used wood that's not properly seasoned. It just took time and patience to learn it!
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,690
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The cat versions have been pretty reliable stoves from what I've read. Give Woodman's a call to see if they can help you out with the back. That is not a common failure item. You also might be on the lookout for one of these stoves used and scavenge it for parts. Maybe put out a craigslist ad in the region's craigslists for one. They are pretty common in New England.

    http://southcoast.craigslist.org/for/3436575272.html
  5. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Found this one too, about 10 miles from me. http://providence.craigslist.org/app/3402538730.html
    Being Christmas time, Money is a super tight right now, but the wood stove is the primary heat in our house (does very well at heating all 1800Sq Ft). Buy Oil, or Parts right now? Stuck in the ol' proverbial conundrum!
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,690
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If you are thinking long term I would get a stove in the best condition possible. Otherwise you might be in a situation of frequent repair which can nickel and dime you to death.

    Short term you may need to burn some oil. In the meantime, place a craigslist want ad in the tristate area for a used Dutchwest 2461 that needs repair. If you can pick one up for $100 that has a decent back and flue collar you will already be way ahead.
  7. geoxman

    geoxman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    275
    Loc:
    STL City
    The older CDW stoves run without the refractory and mine is rocking as I type. I can't say for sure if it will hurt the stove or not but it should operate ok without it......your decision though. It looks like the cat is on its way out but it still should ignite. What are your probe temps?
    edit..Can flames hit the cat without the refractory? If so I wouldn't JMHO
  8. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Cat temps were between 600 and 900, a little low, but again I knew it was on the outs, and wasn't expecting anything magical in its condition. Like I say, I have no complaints about the performance, was I was shocked to see what open flame touching the cat and refractory did to it in a short amount if time. I'm gonna call the local dealer tomorrow, and woodmans, and see how soon I can get the parts. VC has a facotry outlet, but everything is more expensive than going to the dealers! Only reason I'll look into that first is that I can throw it on my Visa (like I say, severely strapped for cash right now).
  9. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    I keep meaning to post an update on this, and i'm too lazy! Honestly, I feel I contribute more to this forum by reading, than posting! ==c Went to the local VC Dealer, and they were extremely helpful. Instead of trying to sell me on a new stove, they gave me lots of 'suggestions' on how to fix it and get through this heating season. The guys at Wakefield Fireplace & Grill in RI are the best!

    Got all new gaskets, and cement while I was there too. Have a welder friend point me to a guy who works as a Cast Iron welder. He welded a small plate to cover the missing/rotted peice for me. Said the rest of that area looked pretty solid, just surface rust. Took him a long time to get it all pre-heated, but after that he was done in 15 mins. I decided against replacing the Cat/Refractory/Air Distributor, even though i'm sure it's not doing much (judging by the shape it's in), it's over $300 we could put towards a new stove. Oddly, once I get the thing re-loaded and close the bypass, I see secondary burns, the cat glows and almost nothing but Steam comes out of the Cap. Burning a mix of Beech (just happily found on the bottom of one stack), Locust, White Oak, Elm and whatever else we've CSS'd over the last 3 years, almost all pretty well seasoned, and free.

    I realized I never took any pics of the weld, but here's one of the collar connector put back together.
    After.jpg

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