1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Vermont Castings Encore 2 in 1 ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by emt1581, Dec 24, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,509
    Loc:
    Templeton, MA
    Hey Jay,
    Thanks for replying.
    It is nice to know that they are trying to improve the product, and assembly process. It makes a huge difference if the employees are happy to be there and believe in the product!

    Sounds like you have a fun job. I'd love to visit one of these factories!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Clarks ACE Hardware

    Clarks ACE Hardware Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Loc:
    Ellicott City, MD

    I agree, that is clearly a major key to success.... your employees MUST like what they do.

    I think you guys would also find it interesting that VC is now doing all of Jotul's north american castings in Vermont. We also came across some FPI/hampton castings being done as well as Harman. The production manager mentioned they recently shifted a lot of production back to Vermont from China.

    Even the $650 Windsor 244's (old century 244) plated steel stoves are entirely made in VT. It was certainly a breath of fresh air.
  3. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,509
    Loc:
    Templeton, MA
    Wow Jay! Keep the good information coming!!

    Now that's what we need in this country! Let's bring back the jobs and go back to the days when things were made here. Now if we could only come up with a renewable locally produced fuel source... Oh, wait aren't wood, bio diesel and alcohol renewable sources? Someone tell the government we stumbled on to something?! I forgot they already know.

    Sorry, I got sidetracked. So, they are fully using the old plant again, which I imagine was how it was back in the 70's and early 80's. The fuel embargo and gas shortages created a monster that couldn't be supported after oil prices went down, but they are reviving it, up there in Vermont! Good news not only for Vermont and VC, but for the rest of the country. Now more manufacturers need to follow suit. Awesome!
  4. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    nekit, I do push my air back all the way until it can travel no further. Mine stove will not back puff. I beleive the stove is set so that you can choke it all the way back and there is enough air getting in through the alternate air vent that we can't control, to keep a fire burning. Just last night, I had burned down to a hot ash bed. I took a small log, and ground down the ashes that could push throught the holes to the ash pan so the ash bed didn't get too deep. My stove temp was 350 and my probe was reading 500-550 which is on the very cool side in the CAT chamber, but sometimes expected on a 2 in 1. I loaded two smaller lighter logs in the bottom, then the big heavies, include a 10 inch round unsplit as an experiment to see how it would burn, so, my stove was already hot and my ash bed was really hot. I closed up the griddle, I never open the front door when I'm loading as sometimes, a log will jam the doors, but I still try and carefully load, by hand, with long gloves. I pack it like a puzzle with light pieces at the bottom, monster heavy in the middle to the top and often slide smaller ones into the sides and air pockets if there are any. I also use 18-20 inch logs and stand a few up on the side. Okay, so, now it's loaded, griddle is closed, I either crack the door or open the ash pan just a bit to infuse air, oh, CAT is open and air control full open (forward) Once I have a flame, I close the ash pan or door, which took about 20 seconds. I then burn it in non CAT full air, all doors closed to make sure the wood really catches flame. Once it looks good, I close the CAT and wait another 5 mintues to make sure the flames are good and strong after closing it up. After 5-10 minutes, I push the air all the way back and go to bed. I actually did a few things, came back 25 mintues later and the stove had gone from 350 to 500 so I knew I had a good flame on. That's what I think it should do when you close it up. The secondary burn chamber should burn hot and the CAT chamber was reading 1400. I got up at 530am (it was 940 when I closed it all up) and although I only had hot chuncks of read left, no real logs, it was still at 450 after over 7.5 hours. I didn't get it totally hard core packed, but I knew I only had to go 7-8 hours last night before I would be up. Maybe let it burn a bit longer before you close the CAT, then let it burn with full air in CAT mode for 5-10, then choke it back. Also, if you stove is cold, then these times are not relevant and things will take longer. The encore is 471 pounds of iron, it takes a while to heat it up. We are having teens to single digits at night so mine never really gets below 350 before we load and fire it again. It's running 24/7 right now. Lots of ash.
  5. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    I'm going to test runing my Encore without the CAT at some point, but a non CAT stove with a 2nd burn chamber is 80% efficient, a 2 in 1 is 86% so why would you run it without the CAT in place. the second burn chamber is likely going to burn most of the gasses and smoke and the CAT will do much less work so the CAT converter should last a long long time. I'm guessing here as I've only had a 2 in 1 for 8 weeks or so but the theory behind the 2 in 1 is you get the best of both worlds. I was told by the dealer that the reason I'm seeing cooler burn temps in my CAT chamber is because the 2 in 1 burns a lot in the 2nd before it ever hits the CAT chamber. That seems to make sense. The only reason to not use the CAT is because you want dancing flames. At night, when I want 500 degrees and 7 hours of burn time, the only way to go is CAT mode it would seem. Noone I know with a NON CAT stove gets times like that. The wood just burns too hot too fast, even with good air control. Plus if you can get 1000 plus degrees, you are really squeezing blood from a rock no?
  6. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    Someone said they don't clean their ash pan. This is impossible. Within 2-3 day of running my stove 24/7, I would have 8-10 inches of ash and slowly run out of room for logs. If the stove is hot, I leave very little ash in the pan or the bottom of the stove, just enough, if it's hot, to reignite. If the stove is cold, I clear it clear out and start over with kindling and off I go, but I clean my stove ash pan every single day. The design is the best I've seen, but I don't empty this in the house. I have a metal can in the garage so I can empty it when it's burning hot , which often happens when you run 24/7. I slide the cover on, carry it out with my stove gloves, pop my can out the garage door (outside) empty the ash into the can, let the ash blow away, then put the can back in the garage and put the ash pan back in empty. I'm not sure what other way to do it. If you let the ash build up, within 4 or 5 days, you'd have no room for logs?
  7. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    Thought I'd share one more story. This is not really what anyone would recommend, but I'm having GREAT success and I know others who did something a little less elaborate. As some of you know, I have a dryer vent (non-combustable, leaning up against my flew color about 2 inches above the stove. I measure 160 air. I thought, if I could get some of that in my main return plenunm, I could blow it around the house. I do not have an open floor plan. So I cut a hole in the floor behind the stove (pictures at the link I provided) This weekend, I decided to use R6 insulated flex all the way back to my return plenum. I have an 80 foot run and cut a hole in about 6-8 inchs above the filter. I put an inline fan at about the 50 foot mark and wired it up so it runs 24/7 when the stove is on. Uses about $5 of juice per quarter of electric. This keeps my return plenum warm. My air cycler is set to turn the fan on every 15 minutes if there is no call for heat. This is blowing this 100 degree air around the house. My geothermal air is only 88 degrees (which is normal for geothermal) they run long and cool to provide even, less dry heat and use no fossil fuel as you may know. My geo is coming on much less now with this 100 degree air hitting the return. Plus, my metal in my return plenum is always warm, helping to warm the air being pulled by other return vents. To me, this is all bonus heat capture and saving the geothermal from running, which is no fossil fuel, but does run off a 60 amp breaker. I can take pictures of the rig but it seems to work very well. I notice my fan cycler turning on more than the geothermal now.
  8. pixelmountain

    pixelmountain New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Front Range, Colorado
    That was me, although I've changed that practice. But no, it's not impossible. I was referring to the pan underneath the stove, i.e. the swing-out, removable pan that collects the ashes. I was letting ashes build up in that pan, up to the grate above it and then an inch or so above that.

    Regardless, I am now emptying the ash pan, so the whole thing is moot. :)
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,664
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I have been kinda alarmed by the way the refractory panels just sit around the cat, seems very unstable and vulnerable to breakage to me.[/quote] :)
  10. nekit

    nekit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    Yes once I got the fire burning well I was able to turn the air all the way down and had no back puffing. Thanks
  11. harv115

    harv115 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I have been running a new Encore 2N1 for the last month. The stove is a vast improvement over the prior non 2N1 version. The refractory is no longer built of a delicate styrofoam and is now composed of a much harder firebrick type material. The catalyst is half the size of the older one and that translates to half the cost to replace. I have been told it runs about $100. Also, I would never by a non-cat stove as once fire is built and the stove temp is about 450 you can begin catalytic operation. In catalytic mode I have been averaging about one piece of dry split wood per hour with the air intake turned down about one third of the way. Of course if nice flames are wanted and a bit of a shorter burn you can very easily remove the catalyst and turn the stove into secondary burn operation.

    I am extremely happy with my $2400 purchase and highly recommend this stove. My chimney is a 25 foot exterior brick chimney without a steel liner. I am using the 8" flue kit venting directly from the back of the stove into the chimney. I do not think the back firebox plate is fragile and have not experienced breakage issues. Of course I am careful not to drop wood into the firebox for fear of breaking it or the door glass. I can keep a constant 500-550 temperature all day and add wood at the rate of one piece per hour. The glass door on this stove stays relatively clear through my burns but will smoke up during the cool down period in catalytic mode. It also helps to get your fire up to temperature as fast as possible.

    I have easily achieved 10 hour burns but not the 14 hour advertised burn times. I have also not yet achieved overnight burns but I am still getting used to the stove and believe it is more of a user issue. Very, very nice stove and it pumps out some serious heat into my 2,300 sq foot cape. My prior stove was a Encore CAT non-2N1 stove. This new 2N1 stove is tougher and more flexible than the prior version, but performs similarly. I give it 4.5 thumbs up out of 5 as I feel there is always room for improvement.
  12. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    If anyone is intersted in seeing what the 2 in 1 looks like, I took pictures and posted on http://files.jwp-inc.com/Stove/ and you will see the plate, 2nd burn chamber, CAT chamber and where the CAT probe enters. Finally had enough of a warm up to shut it down. I think we burned for 8 days straight and by the looks of -5 weather at night coming to Central Ohio again, we'll be firing her up tonight. Enjoy.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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

    This greatly interests me. Are you telling me the refractory assembly has been completely redone? How long will the assembly last and what are the replacement costs? This is a huge sticking point for me. If they have corrected this issue than a new VC could be in my future when I replace the Vigilant in a few years. Previously the maintenance costs on a large VC cat stove could have run you as much as $900 every few years. What are the current maintenance costs?
  14. harv115

    harv115 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Yes, the refractory assembly is completely different. The refractory on my old VC Encore burned through and they quoted me $1,100 for a replacement including the rebuild that would be needed. The only reason I got the newer Encore is because I did not want to have to spend the money to replace a fragile styrofoam refractory and rebuild a ten year old stove. The new refractory is exposed, and not located behind a cast plate as in the old version of the stove. It seems to be made out of a firebrick material that has the consistency of stone. One person on this site has mentioned that he has broken the front plate of his refractory, but he must be dropping in wood instead of placing it in. I see this stove lasting many, many years. I hope this helps you.
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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

    Tell me about the refractory assembly. Specifically it's expected life span and replacement costs.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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

    Hmm... going to have to find out more about it's life span and replacement parts. The only thing worse than VC's previous cat design was dealing with VC the company.
  17. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    The refractory plate (thing with the flower) on my 2 in 1 is thick and solid. No foam. Unless I really dropped a heavy piece of wood on it or dropped it while out of the stove, I can't see it ever breaking. It's about 3/4 thick and solid brick or masonary material. I believe the broken plates people are talking about must be the old non-2in1 design as this new one is thick. I'll try and take a side view picture with ruler tonight and post. It's heavy, really heavy so breaking this, even if slamming wood against it, seems unlikely. They have other plates just like this on the right and left side of the stove held in with metal tabs. Again, I'll take pictures but the broken plates must be from NON 2in 1s.
  18. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    Oh someone said their old plate burned through. I can't see this as being possible as it's about 3/4 inch solid masonry material in the new 2in1.
  19. pixelmountain

    pixelmountain New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Front Range, Colorado
    In case it's not clear here, that was referring to an earlier model:

  20. pixelmountain

    pixelmountain New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Front Range, Colorado
    I agree with you based on my experience with the new Two-in-One Encore, which I have.

    But the person who wrote that is quite clear that he is also talking about the new model:

  21. nekit

    nekit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    NinoUrbana
    When you installed the temperature probe in the back of your stove. Did you seal up around the hole where the probe goes through?
    Thanks
  22. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    I went ahead and took two pictures of my refactory plate from my 2in1 including one with a measurement. It's 3/4 inch thick solid, no way this could be burned through. I also accidentally dropped it and chipped a very very small piece of it out, my stupidity. Anyway, the one good thing is it's solid. If this were designed to burn through it was defeat the purpose of the 2nd burn chamber. This is the plate that sepeartes the firebox from the burn chamber. Temps in the burn chamber, when the damper is closed, easily get to 1000-1500. Most material will melt at that. Since this might be an issue for someone considering a purchase, I wanted tos how as much as I could. This is a pretty heavy solid piece of material and 90% of the time, should never really be taken out so I can't see how it could be broken in any way with standard usage. And again, on both the right and left side of the 2in1, there are plates there made of what looks to be the same material as the refactory plate. I can't confirm that, but it looks and feels the same, but they are held in with clips and I don't feel like getting that busy to take them out. They could be insulator plates to keep too much heat from the sides.
  23. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
    I wanted to bring up another issue I have noticed for the positive on the 2in1. This stove pushes the heat out the top and front and it is amazing to me how the stove can be at 600 (iron, not griddle) and the sides and back are still relatively cool. This makes for a situation where you can really tuck this into a corner or close to a wall on either side. I think VC has done an amazing job making a stove and placing insulation and panels and likely air pockets I can't see, in places where the stove still heats up and radiates heat around the iron cast, but focuses this heat to the top and front. Bravo. I have mine in a corner install only about 20 inches (not sure exactly) from the corner of the stove on either side. It just takes a smaller footprint than most. In fact, the clearnance on this is the same as my old and much smaller Intrepid II, but the Encore 2in1 puts out so much more heat for so much longer with the same amount of wood. All the clearances specs can be found on their web site, but I really notice this when the stove is crankign and feel the dry wall behind the stove, it's warm, but by no means hot. You can really tell the insulation and projection of heat has been worked out with this stove. It's not just a pretty stove, it's smart.
  24. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Urbana, Ohio
  25. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Messages:
    878
    Loc:
    MD
    Clark I will be the first to say (maybe not) that I absolutly love your store. Anyone in the MD area must go. As far as a stove shop gos this thing is tops. I almost expected to see super cedars being sold on the shelf (could you do that).
    My sister and Brother in law recently purchased an 30-nc from you and love it. Your Stihl section is unprecedented. I wish I would have known about it before i purchased my saw and stove. More so the stove, as i caught a break on the saw, but i will be buying all my saw chain etc. there. Lots of folks around here know of you and have nothing but good things to say. I hope you are able to chime in more.

    When I upgrade my current stove I will be paying you a visit.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page