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VC Encore 0028 cleaning/maintenance questions......

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by stevenmi, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Hi All,
    I’ve read much great info on the Hearth.com threads but don't see a few things addressed. (Thanks for the great site!)


    My stove is a VC Defiant Encore, model 0028. The manual I have is a download of the ‘1945’ which does not show my fireback or other pieces correctly. (My fireback is all cast and has no firebrick in the firebox itself.)

    I modified a fireplace and installed this stove (from my mom’s house and very lightly used), well back in the alcove. I installed a flex liner kit and everything has passed county inspection. It looks great and burns well but the combustor and secondary burn chamber are full of ash. I pass quite a bit of smoke out the chimney liner cap, so it is not burning well. It does choke down well and leaves me good coals in the morning, but I would like it to be more efficient.

    My question: Can I access/vacuum my secondary/gasses burn chamber & combustor (catalyst) from the firebox? (Its current installation does not allow coming down from the pipe exit.) I’ve removed a number of internal bolts but everything is still tight. Is there a ste-by-step discussion of cleaning of this unit?

    Question 2: Is the ‘0028’ manual available? A correct parts breakdown would help.


    Thanks in advance.
    Steve in Central Oregon

    PS: Though I am not thrilled to, if needed I will un-install it to come down from the top…...

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  2. redhat

    redhat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Central New York
    On the 0028 you can access the cat and the most of the secondary chamber via the access panel on the back of the stove. Since you have the stove installed in an alcove I imagine this panel is not accessible to you now. To access from the firebox you would have to remove the lower fireback to gain access. For instructions on how to do that, you can download a copy of the 0028 service manual from the wiki on this site, located here. Much more useful than the owners manual IMO. Last I checked the 0028 owner's manual was available from the VC website, if you are unable to locate it there send me a PM with your email address and I will send you a copy.
  3. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Thank you for the reply, Redhat.

    Yes, the 0028 Service manual is invaluable.

    It looks like my best method of performing maintenance is to pull the unit out of its fireplace alcove to access the back. Won't happen this week as we are heading into the 'teens the next few nights. I'll figure out a mechanism to roll it forward once it is freed up, then keep the components around for routine maintenance.

    Once I get to it, I re-post here on my status.

    Thanks again.
    Steve
    Central Oregon
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I own a 0028 Encore. As redhat mentioned, you can access the burn chamber and combustor from the firebox. You need to remove the four bolts from the two piece fireback. My stove is partially in a very tight fireplace. It would require me to disconnect the stove, then lift and drag the stove out of the fireplace and down from the hearth to access the back panel. It is far easier to go in from the two piece fireback.
  5. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Thanks for the note BrowningbBar. It sounds like our installations are similar.

    Looking into my firebox, it looks like the 'Damper Link Access Panel' needs to come out first, (2 hex screws, upper left), in order to get the Upper Fire Back out. The UFback appears to be held on with (4) 3/8" hex bolts, and does the entire damper assembly come out together? And it looks like the UFBack needs to be removed before the Lower Fireback, ((2) 3/8" hex bolts).

    Does this sound accurate?

    I suspect also that I need also to get an appropriate prying tool into the joints in order to break the old sealing cement free, and of course have new cement on hand for re-assembly....

    Not removing it from its alcove would be very nice.
    Thanks for your experience. ;-D

    Steve
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Currently my firebox is engulfed in flames, so forgive me for not checking right at this moment. :lol:

    But, based on this diagram it is part # 7 and 17
    [​IMG]
  7. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Thanks BBar,

    I understand it is assembly #7, and fireback #17, but my procedural questions remain.

    You had mentioned (4) bolts, but to get those two pieces out, I see (6) bolts. To remove the Upper, do the (2) bolts up high need to come out also?

    And it also seems that the 'damper link access panel' (upper left) needs to come off before the Upper can come out. Too bad the Service Manual Redhat had referred me to is not more explicit.

    I'll get some cement for re-assembly and cool it down again in a couple days.

    Thanks, Steve
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA

    I probably miss-spoke/typed when I said four bolts. One the next reload I will verify, but the diagram shows six bolts.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I believe you will need gasket material for this and not cement.

    Well, you will need cement to apply the gasket material, but not just cement alone.
  10. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    I may have miss-spoken above about the Service Manual not being explicit enough. Reading further into complete 'Dis-assembly', it is more specific: the Upper Fireback does have (4) retaining bolts, the Lower just (2). The 'Damper Link Access Panel' removal is listed before the 'Upper', so I will assume that it does need to come out, and need to come out first to allow the Upper to be removed.

    It is becoming more clear.
    Today I will get cement and 5/16" "Thermocord" also....and maybe a correct thermometer!

    Thanks,
    Steve
  11. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    397
    Loc:
    No. NH
    1 remove andirons to make more room
    2Remove linkage access panel
    3UFB with damper assy. is held by 4 bolts. This must be removed prior to:
    4Remove lower fireback
    5GENTLY slide refractory assy (white box) out through the front door opening. Be advised, this thing is delicate and costs about $250.00. The catalyst lives inside it, and you remove the Cat. from the back of the refractory.
    6Inspect the 2ndary air probe, which should protrude through the back of the stove and into the refractory. It should be about 2" long.


    Understand that there is the possibility when doing all this that something may go wrong which would preclude running the stove until it's fixed. So wait for a warm week or something...

    Good luck!!!
  12. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Hi All,

    It is cold here for this week so I am still using the stove, but I have uploaded pictures of the 'fireplace-ectomy' I did for this installation. These pictures show one hesitation I have with un-installing it for cleaning; I set it on a slate tile hearth which is easily scratched. I also did not take a picture with the bottom of the fireplace out. Going down 3 courses of hearth bricks, required I pour detritus into the void, top with gravel, and re-pour a concrete hearth. The slate came cheap, so I added that and it looks great.

    I hope you enjoy the pix.
    Steve
    Central Oregon

    https://picasaweb.google.com/shunte...FireplaceInstall?authkey=Gv1sRgCPLZpfW2v7q4cw

    PS; 'Hope that link works for you..... Have fun.
  13. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
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    1,456
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    Fire starter - May be obvious and may not even be an answer you are looking for but FYI.

    I used/use a floor jack and a piece of 2x12 to lift my stove when moving it myself and it worked sweet. I think you could do the same if you placed a towel on the slate first and then put some of those floor slide things onder the feet of the stove to slide it without marking the slate. Just an idea.

    Bob Urban
  14. stevenmi

    stevenmi New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Central Oregon
    Hi All,

    Sorry I did not get back to you all after I did my R&R, so here it is.

    I did consider BobUrban's suggestion for removing my Defiant Encore from its 'alcove', but partial dis-assembly for cleaning proved effective. It took a while to source some 5/16" gasket cord, but with that in hand, I began...with the stove in place.

    I removed the damper actuation arm cover plate (2 hex-screws, top left, looking into firebox). This allows the fireback upper to be removed (4 hex-head bolts). Including the damper itself, this piece is fairly heavy and also attached to its actuation arm, so requires a bit of diddling to get free and out (more to get back in!) With the upper out, the lower is easy (2 hex-head bolts).

    This is the first opportunity to vacuum out ash from the secondary burn chamber. Dis-assembly of the catalytic unit is self-explanatory, but care should be taken. In addition to the fragile nature of the catalyst, there are numerous insulation (blocks?) which can be re-used if they are retained in good condition. I was lucky in that my catalyst was perfect.

    At this time I cleaned my flue, digging the flue's creosote build-up out of the firebox/secondary burn chamber, then re-installed the catalyst assembly.

    Cleaning the old gasket cement from the gasket grooves (cast into the upper and lower firebacks), proved a bit tough, so I fired up a 4" grinder and carefully ground out the old cement. I say carefully, because you'd hate to mess your parts up...just get the cement out. Re-cemented, re-gasketed and re-assembled I was ready to go, right? Maybe not. I let the cement cure for a day before I lit it up.

    The stove works great and better than it had, tho I did not get as big an improvement as I had hoped. Its installation (in a fireplace/alcove) lowers it overall effectiveness, as does its age and design. A rather HUGE thing I have learned this year is that the ELM I had been burning exclusively is a pretty poor wood choice. I bought some Tamarack (Larch) this year, and it builds a superior coal bed. (Because I have Elms on the property, and more split and cured, I will continue to burn it, but it definitely burns best when assisted by an already hotter fire.)

    My house layout is also poor for purely wood heat, so I use it to augment my heat pump, and for that it works well. The VC Defiant Encore is a pretty stove and burns a pretty fire, so I guess I'll keep it. ;-D

    Thanks for all your input.
    Steve Miller
    Central Oregon

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