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Vermont Castings Defiant

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by AL Moyer, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. AL Moyer

    AL Moyer New Member

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    OK folks, new to this forum, like to get some opinions. Have a Vermont Casting Vigilant Multifuel stove, 1980's vintage, like to go to the larger Defiant stove. Someone has a Defiant stove for sale privately, in the *RARE* Country Cookware Gray -Limited Color as in the ad, non-catalytic, said only burned twice, & I looked at it, & indeed It really looked as it had only been burned twice. It's top & front loading, no side door, He's asking $2100., far price ? I'm gessing it was probably close to a $ 3000. stove new ? I'm thinking maybe offering $ 1600-1700. ? Any & all feedback would be appreciated ! Thanks, AL Hoping this is the right section to post pilotgc1b@yahoo.com

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  2. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Oh boy, apples and oranges. From a Toyota to a Jaguar. If you run it alot, burn like 3 cords or more, be ready for potentially hefty maintainence fees. Defiant's a great stove, but all those cool features come at a price.

    Consider converting the old Vig to a wood burner. Increased firebox space means more heat, and still that old workhorse reliability. I've done many!
  3. slindo

    slindo Member

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    Newer VC stoves can be a real can or worms compared to the old ones. The newer ones have delicate refractory structures inside, and need periodical rebuilding, which can easily cost $800. VC has changed hands many times and does not stand behind the older stoves and parts prices are exhorbitant. There is no way to tell condition from the outside. So most of us here wouldn't buy a used VC stove, for more than scrap value.
  4. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Non-cat Defiant? I would run from it! There are a handful of people that love there non-cat VC, and most of those people have never looked into the back of their stoves combustion system. If they did, they would see that it needs replaced at a very high cost.
    These non-cats were a total flop IMHO, they have chronic problems.
  5. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    This stove will only work in a perfect setup. I would walk away!
  6. schortie

    schortie Member

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    They sure look pretty, but not worth the frustration. Listen to Diabel, but run, don't walk.
  7. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    @AL..That probably was not what you wanted to hear, but there is a lot of first hand experience on this forum. Why not provide some details of your setup (house size, layout etc, ) as well as what you'relooking for in a new stove, and see if someone could recommend a different stove? Just a thought. Best of luck.
  8. AL Moyer

    AL Moyer New Member

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    OK Guys, What am I missing here ? I thought I read about people having problems with the catalytic stoves, or not really burning them properly. I must confess that I really haven't been using the stove that much over the last couple of years. Did they really change that much ?, yes I was somewhat aware of the problems that Vermont Castings were having, but not really kept track of everything. My stove is in the basement, it's a 2 story colonial, brick chimney, with 8" square flue, plenty of draft. I'm a builder by trade, & when I built my own house, I made sure that I had a outside air supply vent so not to create the negetive pressure. What really is so different inside the newer stoves over the older ones ? My Vigilant needs to be broken down/ taken apart, cleaned & re-sealed, & not looking forward to doing that, just figured the Defiant, being a little bigger would be a bonus. I'm not trying to heat the whole 2400sq. ft. house with the stove, more a supplement, as I have electric radiant heat, & there's no heat in the basement. I can, but haven't done it as yet, is to make an opening into the return air duct for airconditioning, & pull some heated air & just run the blower. What's the most or biggest problem with the newer Defiants ?? Thanks, AL
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Part failures, unreliability and poor customer service.
    @$2,100 I wouldn't take the risk. Do a search on here for non-cat Defiant problems.
  10. schortie

    schortie Member

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    Our 2008 Defiant had a few problems. It was finicky about kicking in the "everburn" and needed a lot of attention. It would fart smoke whenever it wanted to and increased in frequency as the first season wore on. All of the advice here and elsewhere about futzing with the air control, opening the damper etc. seemed to ease the farting sometimes, but not others. We would often come home to a house that reeked of wood smoke - not healthy for us or our three dogs at the time.

    By January of the first season, the burn chamber and the rest of the "styrofoamy" inerds in the back of the stove were breaking down so badly we had to replace them. Thankfully VC and our dealer covered it under warranty. When the same problem arose midway through the second season, it was time for it to go. Word was that it was going back to VC for testing and investigation. I haven't heard the results of their study.

    I do know that when we were shopping for new stoves in 2010, we got a look at the "newer" Defiants. It looked like they had added some metal on the sides of the burn chamber / fountain assembly. Dunno if that put an end to the rapid deterioration of the "styrofoamy" stuff. I also seem to remember hearing that they changed the recipe for whatever that material was, but that could have been a dream I had. I haven't heard of problems here like there were about the time we had our Defiant, so I suppose we could have had a lemon, but we're still much happier having a stove with one little moving part to control the stove.
  11. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    I bought mine VC Encore NC new (way too much $$$), sold it for 1200.00 after three burning seasons! I was a happy man!
    As they say you are soooo happy when you purchase your first car.....you are extatic when you sell it!
  12. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    That's one of the problems we had with Leyden. It sucks
  13. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    When the EPA reg.s went into effect in the 80's, V.C. andf most everyone else had to redesign their products or fold up shop. So Castings built it's reputation on their 1st generation stuff (original Defiant, Vigilant, Resolute Intrepid) and that carried them for many years, even though their products changed completely. Apples and oranges like I said.

    By the way, did I miss what part of the world your 2400 sq.ft. are in? Makes a diff. Heating in Alaska's not the same as Connecticut, as you know...
  14. AL Moyer

    AL Moyer New Member

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    In Eastern Pa, halfway between Philly & Allentown, I believe the stove in question is only 2-3 years old, I know from reading that the newest ones are 2 piece backs. Would the one I'm looking at have some of the those issues brought up here been rectified when this one was built ? Thanks
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    No. If this was the previous generation stove (before the 2-in-1) The non-cat Defiant is tough to run for many, and expensive to maintain for everyone.

    You can find them for a LOT less than $1600-1700.

    I got my cat Defiant last year for $400, rebuilt. It was a great find, but deals are out there if you are willing to go with a VC stove.
  16. AL Moyer

    AL Moyer New Member

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    Browning Bar, You aren't far from me, just up in Hilltown, Pa. Bucks County, I see you used to have the Vigilant, did you replace that with the Defiant ? Alan
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The short answer is yes.

    Why do you ask?
  18. AL Moyer

    AL Moyer New Member

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    Because, The reason I ws looking at the Defiant was to replace my Vigilant Multifuel stove
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The Defiant will put out a little more heat than the Vigilant, but it moves heat around a lot better than the Vigilant.

    The Cat Defiant will sit at 500+ degrees for 9+ hours on a full load and will have a stove top of 300+ degrees for 10-16 hours. The Vigilant would be over 300 degrees for 5-6 hours.

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