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VC winter warm overhaul

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Designer Wood, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Designer Wood

    Designer Wood New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    I've had my VC large winter warm about 20 years and burn to heat the house, last year the air control lever broke off cause the mechanism linkage was difficult to move, this year the fan control is becoming very stiff. I would like to remove the stove from the masonry and go over the entire stove and bring it back to 100%. the local stove guy that does my chimney cleaning always has a new guy that doesn't know stoves. I am mechanically inclined so I can do it myself with instructions.

    The questions are this, what is the life expectancy of these stoves? are these linkage mechanisms accessible ? anybody here try this? What is most likely causing this stiffness?
    Any you tube videos?

    thanks in advance for any help.

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  2. jrwhite

    jrwhite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Indian River, Ontario Canada
    Do you have the Large Winterwarm ( 1208 ) or the Small Winterwarm? If the large, I could send you the manual in PDF form if you like. I've had mine for 13 years now, and there is quite a bit or warpage in most parts, so, that's what I would suspect is your issue with your damper linkage and thermostat control linkage. I've never taken mine out, but from the manual it looks like the linkages are accessible from the back.

    http://www.cozycabinstoveandfireplaceparts.com/cgi/display.cgi?item_num=1280 seems to have the largest stock of parts. Blackswan have less parts, but I think they include the linkages that you need. http://www.blackswanhome.com/large-winterwarm.html

    Much more knowledgeable members might chime in here with estimates of stove life, and the procedures to replace the parts on your VC.
  3. Designer Wood

    Designer Wood New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks, it's the large WW . The manual in PDF would be a great start!
  4. jrwhite

    jrwhite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Indian River, Ontario Canada
    Here it is.

    Attached Files:

  5. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    397
    Loc:
    No. NH
    Could there be a moisture issue? Likely the pivot bushing thing is stiff from rusting. I have serviced V.C. products since 1983 professionally, and the Winterwarms are the only thing I'll no longer touch because they just don't want to stay fixed when they get to this point. I'm not saying the party's over, but it';ll probably require a good deal of time, effort and $ to get this one restored, and the results MAY be spectacular... or not. I'd consider all options at this point.
    webby3650 likes this.
  6. Hank195

    Hank195 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    I have recently started refreshing our large Winterwarm which was installed in about 1994. We had the opposite problem with the bypass (damper) control - last year it became difficult on operate and then seemed to be "disconnected" from the bypass door. We also had a good bit of erosion of the throat pieces and warping of the front grate. To get to the control levers you will need to pull the stove completely from the fireplace or enclosure and remove at least the top piece of the sheet metal surround. The bypass door control handle is pined to the control shaft which goes through the firebox. In my case the pin had worked out and the handle was pivoting on the shaft. It sounds like you may a problem with gauling or binding between the shaft and housing. The shaft is fairly large in diameter (1/2" or 5/8" as I recall) and looks to made of solid bronze. To remove you will also need to disconnect the lower attachment to the bypass door control lever. I would expect you should be able to clean up what is causing the binding once the parts are dissassembled.
    As a side note, I have been pleasantly suprised by the disassembly process. I was expecting to struggle with lots of rusted frozen hardware and had the tourch and drill ready, however, things have come apart without problem. The hardware all appears to be high quality stainless steel and things simply unscrew - a few items needed a bit of penetrating oil to help but no big issues.
    Right now I'm waiting for parts (decided to replace the refractory assembly). I will try and post a few photos to show the details (it was a bit difficult for me understand the linkage from the parts diagram).
    If you were previosly happy with stove (and don't have a "burning" desire for something new) I wouldn't see any reason not to consider a rebuild.

    Hank
  7. BowWWL

    BowWWL New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    I've had the VC WWL for 15 years with numerous issues. I can't get more than 2 or 3 years from a CAT. I burn about 2 cords a year. Any advice on how and when you start the CAT along with reloading tips would be appreciated. I've replaced the grate, throat pieces and the refractory box which more or less requires you to stand on your head.
  8. jrwhite

    jrwhite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Indian River, Ontario Canada
    @BowWWL, this is the 14th season for my WWL, and I'm just about to replace my 3rd CAT ( including the original ). I burn about 3 cords, so, similar to you. I'm not looking forward to removing the grate this time, as it's pretty warped. Last year when inspecting the CAT I had to remove the throat plate retaining clip entirely, as the throat plates had warped enough that they couldn't be removed just by loosening the clip. My refractory package was still in good shape, as was the CAT. The only reason I'm replacing the cat now ( after 5 years ) is that it's getting kind of lazy.

    I have a magnetic thermometer that I place on the upper left side of the door frame. I burn the starter load for about 30 minutes, when it's really going, then reduce the primary by about 50%. I then watch the thermometer. When it hits about 300F, I engage the cat. These days I have to get it up to about 350F before the cat will engage.

    Reloads depend on how far I've let it burn down. If I haven't gone down completely to coals, I quickly throw in a few more splits and fully open up the air until they're completely engulfed, then re-engage the cat.

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