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Vermont Castings Encore 2 in 1 ?

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

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  1. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful set up Nino. If I were you I'd be running a Defiant to heat that monster house! But beautiful nonetheless!! I like the color contrast of the stove and hearth, against the background. It sounds like you have quite the complex set up. Congrats I love the look of those Encores! Here are some of your pics:

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  2. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I have always loved the looks of Vermont Castings stoves but the refractory material scares the crap out of me.. Sometimes I am not so careful adding wood to the stove and I would be afraid I would damage the interior whether it is hard or not.. I hope it all works out and lasts for many years with little part usage.. That to me is the measure of success...

    Ray
  3. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

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    I did not seal up around the hole where the temp probe goes in. There is insulation there and already a hole through the cast iron. The rear heat shield has a removable button that pries off and pushes back on if you aren't using the probe. I'm not sure what the proper practice is but when I purchased the unit from the dealer (probe) I looked at theirs, and said, you just poke it thorugh, and he said yep. They are usually quite knowlegeable at my particuarlar store. I have been running this way for week and have had no problems. I better call and clarify this with the dealer though. There never are instructions with this sort of thing.
  4. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

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    Wow, I didn't realize someone would post my pictures. Anyway, I don't run the defiant because the Encore is located in a room and not an open space. There is a large opening between it and the kitchen and into other areas, but I have two couches near the stove and when the Encore is blazing, I have a hard time sitting 8 feet away on the couch in shorts and a T shirt when it's 10 outside. I was afraid it would be too much for the room. The room is about 25 by 15 with a 14 foot cealing. I have a 12 by 7 foot opening leading into the kitchen, so it's a large opening but I think the larger stove does better in a more open house layout. We have a new house but built it to act and look like a farm house from the 1800s, which were boxes with box rooms.
  5. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I think if you had a Defiant you would be paying even less to heat and would take less loading to do so. Plus with the little amount you spent on the Encore, I couldn't have resisted the big boy on the Vermont Castings block. Sound like you're happy with the Encore, though, it's is a stunning showpiece. Congrats!
  6. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

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    Does anyone know what these holes are for in the encore 2in1. The are located between the fire box and the 2nd burn chamber. I'm sure they are for airflow. Just trying to figure out the airflow in this box. VC has very few diagrams and I like to understand how the air is suppose to flow inside these cast iron monsters.

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  7. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

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    The Defiant was only about $400 more than the Encore and honestly, I wish I had gotten it if only for the slightly larger firebox, but at the time, I was going from an Intrepid II and did not draw heat off of this back into the return plenum. Also, if you look at the three pictures of our house, you can see the stove is in it's own room and we have couches, I was concerned it would put out so much heat it would blast us out. The encore almost does that now. There is only about 50 more pounds of iron in the Defiant, but the wood box is larger and is speced to handle logs 2 inches longer, 22 v. 24 inches I believe. I'm happy, going from an Intrepid II to an Encore 2in1 has been a great upgrade and the heat simply doesn't run much in a foam insulated home.

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  8. Ductape

    Ductape Member

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    I'm sure everyone who bought the non-cat VC stoves of the past 5 years also felt there was nothing that could go wrong. Heck....... even if something DID go wrong, VC offered a LIFETIME warranty on refractory parts. Just talked to my neighbor the other day after he spent $800 to rebuild his 4 year old stove due to VC's junk refractory parts. My defiant has a crack in the refractory fireback the 'new' VC won't warranty. I'm sure my fountain is next. Call me crazy, but I'm far beyond skeptical of the new 2 in 1 VC stoves. Afterall....... when they start failing, all VC has to do is file for bankruptcy protection again, and not honor any of their 'lifetime' warranties (AGAIN).
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Wow $800.00 bucks to fix a 4 year old stove is crazy!! First a 4 year old stove should very little is any parts and 2nd VC should back up their products! I think I will steer clear of VC based on what you have stated..

    Ray
  10. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hello gentlemen,
    I did a fair amount of reasearch while looking for a used EPA rated stove last year. A lot of people tried to steer me away from my Dutchwest. They said, the stove was easy to overfire, it would be difficult to control, the inside parts would warp, especially the top of the firebox (inner layer of cast iron.) I found this to be completely untrue so far. In my opinion any stove can be overfired if operated incorrectly. Yes, I agree, any stove should be able to withstand an occasional overfire. Not a sustained overfire for a long period of time, but an ocasional oops!

    I agree, that Vc's reputation has not been the best in recent history, but I hate to completely write off the company completely. VC has shifted some of the cast iron production from China back to Vermont. They seem to be trying to rectify what has gone wrong in the past. When a company changes hands there's no telling what happens I guess! It kind of goes to show that nothing is really etched in stone, the only sure thing is we will live and we will someday die. Everything else is subject to change. Here's Jay Clark's quote from reply #47 an #50 on this thread, he visited the VC plant in Randolph, VT :

    I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, they are creating jobs up in VT and with this economy it's what the country needs. It may be a bit naive, but if they can bounce back maybe the whole country can too.
  11. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Those are valid points Chris and the inner tops are not known to be a big problem as far as I know.. I do know that they are hard to get for a stove of my vintage.. My stove was made in Taiwan and any parts I buy now are made here but it has been reliable at least for me.. I love hearing about companies creating work in USA but unfortunately it's usually totally opposite with our work going overseas instead.. I also do not care if a foreign company makes profit here as long as american workers make a decent living working for that fdoregin company.... The executives mean nothing to me as most are very greedy but I don't want to get started on that subject lol...

    Ray
  12. Clarks ACE Hardware

    Clarks ACE Hardware Member

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    Thank you for the kind words, Stump. If not mistaken, we met last weekend? If so, it was my pleasure to meet you in person.

    It is customers like you that have kept us in business for almost 2 centuries! We take our reputation very seriously. We take the products we sell very seriously. We do not hesitate to turn down a sale on something like a stove or a piece of power equipment if it does not fit what the customer is truly looking for and not if safety is a concern.

    We may not have the most spotless store/showroom in the area, we may not sell ALL of the popular brands and sometimes we don't have the best price...... BUT, you have my family's and employees' word that we are going to be honest and straight up about all of our advice and promise that we stand behind everything we sell, if something isn't right.... We will make it right.

    My father literally lives and breathes by this principal. I have to say, he has done an amazing job at having it rub off on others.
  13. NinoVitale

    NinoVitale New Member

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    Can we keep this thread about 2in1 stoves and not about our political/philisophical/business opinions. Now we are making comments about executives that we don't even know. Let's stick to sharing info about our stoves.
  14. Clarks ACE Hardware

    Clarks ACE Hardware Member

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    Nino,

    You have a beautiful setup there. Great choice on the stove and particularly the enamel!



    I wanted to chime in again on the refractory access cover....

    This new refractory material is almost identical in composition to the actual molds that are used in the castings process. I can't imagine a more suitable material than something that is used to house molten iron.

    The part number for the access cover is 30005303, it retails for $53.00

    Here's a blurry image and video of the Randolph Plant Manager showing off the templates for the new refractory panels.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Great post again Jay,
    Thanks for the pics ands imput that would not otherwise be known.

    Chris
  16. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hello Nino,

    Chris here. Sometimes people can get a little sidetracked and comment beyond the topic on the thread. This is just another side affect of having an open forum. However, I don't think that person meant to offend anyone. Don't get dicouraged by this minor occurance. We need all kinds of people with different opinions and views on this thread and in this world. So, stick around, your posts will prove to be very valuable to someone looking for advice in the future. That, I'm sure of.

    Chris
  17. Ductape

    Ductape Member

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    If no one talks about Vermont Castings' last generation of junk stoves, then in three years if the current line turns out to be problematic (back of the stove glowing red due to failed fountains) everyone who bought one will be sitting there feeling ripped off. Buyers should at least have knowledge of Vermont Castings' past business practices of manufacturing and selling a faulty probuct and then getting out of honoring their warranties by filing for bankruptcy. When I visited my dealer to inquire about getting a new fireback for my Defiant, I was informed that VC would not warranty it bacause the stove was purchased three months before they went bankrupt. Unfortunately, the current version of Vermont Castings is not interested in making the owners of the last generation of stoves happy over what is probably a few dollars worth of refractory parts (at the manufacturing level) per stove. Best part is, they give absolutely no warranty on their own replacement parts either......... so how long do you imagine the replacement parts are good for?? My advice is, buyer beware. Today's Vermont Castings bears no resemblence to the legendary Vermont Castings that manufactured my first wood stove in 1979.
  18. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Read tis article on the founders and history of Vermont Castings:
    http://www.inc.com/magazine/19890301/5564.html
    It is called "Keeper of the Flames"
    VC is a classic story of the American dream.

    I wish this article was finished on this link, they bring it to the point when VC bought Dutchwest in 1988, then it just ends. But it was written in 1989 so it must not be missing much.

    Then, you can sort of piece some of the remainder of what happened to VC, in a broad sence, from another article here on Hearth.com called History of the Dutchwest: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Dutchwest_History/

    Some more recent details about VC were brought to light earlier on this thread by Jay Clark, who recently visited the VC manufacturing plant.
  19. jstthinkaboutit

    jstthinkaboutit New Member

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    Hey guys, I must say I am new to wood burning and wood stoves. I purchased the Encore 2n1 stove in Dec of 2010. I mainly decided on this stove because of the option of the cat and non cat burning. Since I have had the stove I have been basically burning in the cat operation. I have a stove top grid therm and also installed a probe type flue therm(did this cause I have double wall pipe) to measure internal flue gases. I see many of you have had much more experience with wood burning then I have and just wanted to know if anyone knows what the flue gas temps should be on the probe therm. I have it mounted 24" above the stove. When I first start burning in a cold stove I obviously start with some small kindling and build a good burning fire. When the griddle temps hit about 500 degrees and the flue gases are about 800(about a 40mins to an hour after starting the fire) I close the damper to engage the cat and I have the primary air wide open. At this point I can hear a throaty rumble sound and I can look at the back of the stove through the glass and see that behind the refractory access cover(the one with the shell on it) and if you look through the line you can see some flames and glowing back there and the flue gas tamps start to rise. After a few mins or so I cut the primary air all the way down and the stove temps stay around 550-600 but my concern is the flue gas temps. When the cat is engaged and the primary air is cut all the way down and just about a full load of wood I somtimes see flue gas temps reach 1100. On the probe therm is it says after you get past 900 degress that its "too hot". Like I said I dont see these temps all the time( mostly around 800-900 on the flue gas probe) but when I do see the 1000-1100 range it stays there for about 30 mins or so till it starts to come back down and sit around the 800-900 range and the stove griddle temps do not go much past 600 and if I actually use the hand help digital temp reader and take some temps on the actual cast iron sides its around 450 degrees. I am hoping that this is nothing to be worried about and that it just may be the diffrent wood/load size and maybe because its getting better draft from being colder out on some days. Anyones input on this would be great!.
  20. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    If you were consistantly at that 1100 I might be concered. Short spurts in that range are ok. Take those probe readings with a grain of salt, I think the Condar probes read a little on the high side of things according to thermocouple tests here by Wes999. It sounds like your stove top temps are good as well.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/51880/
  21. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    First off, welcome aboard. I agree. I'm only on my third seasonof wood burning, first full season with an EPA cat stove. But, I would think your numbers look great. The only thing that worries me about the Encores and Defiants is that they don't come with a cat probe thermometer. Mine has a probe and it really helps to see what's going on with the cat. As Todd said, some people here have the flue probes and have readings just like yours: 1000 and slightly more. If I were you I'd get the cat probe that I believe can be purchased for these stoves? When I had my stove downstairs the flue temps reached close to 1000 on a magnetic thermometer. I can't really have access to these numbers anymore because the stove is now in front of a fireplace. I miss being able to see what's going on with the flue temps.

    Keep hanging around here and you'll find all the answers you need, people are really helpfull. Search flue temps on the search bar at the top of the screen and you may find other cases worth reading about!
    Good luck,

    Chris
  22. jstthinkaboutit

    jstthinkaboutit New Member

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    Wow! Thanks guys for the fast response! The info youhave given me sounds great and makes me a lil more comfortable that I am running this thing somewhat correctly haha. I would love to install the cat probe but im very nervous about doing so. I contacted vermont castings and i see the "button" i am supposed to remove in order to slide the probe in. But they also said that i would have to drill a small hole once i get past that button in order to get the probe in. And they also said they dont have any measurments for me as far as the lenght of the probe i should buy. They told me to measure it lol. I just have a few more concerns that maybe you guys can help me figure out. When the stove got delivered and set up(i had it installed by the place i bought the stove from) when they where going over how the primary air lever works and the guy was showing me in the back how the flap moved he noticed the wire that is supposed to be secured by a allen bolt was loose and that it moved. So he called vermont castings while he was here and they told him to reset the wire he should make sure the primary air lever was all the way down and the door in the back was close and to pull the wire till he feels tension and then tighten the allen bolt. That sounded all well and good to me being a "newbie" to this whole wood stove thing but when he told me that wire was connected to a thermostat coil it kind of made me nervous that it was so simple to just tighten a bolt back up and there was no actuall specifics to it. Also as I was curious about how the whole primary air thing i was looking at the back of he stove and noticed above the primary air door that there was another notch where you could look into and see some small holes(like the ones in the front of the stove in the refractory fireback). As i was looking at these holes the stove was stone cold and i noticed a small metal plate that was almost starting to cover the holes. Is this part of the thermostat system as well? Does that metal plate move to cover the holes when the fire is to hot to cut back some air? I would imagine this is called a secondary air system? If anyone can take a look at the back of there stove in this area when the stove is cold or even hot to see if that plate should be covering the holes or not covering the holes. I just want to make sure that the thermostat system(if that plate is part of it) is working correctly. I must say i have been reading alot of the posts and threads on this forum and there is some great info!
  23. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    I don't know much about this stove aside from what I've read on this thread. If you look at the posts by NinoUrbana you'll find out about how he inserted his cat probe. As far as the secondary burn chamber he has some pics on here, here's the link to his personal pics of the stove:
    http://files.jwp-inc.com/Stove/
    I'm sure some others will chyme in with better answers about this particular stove! Good luck!
  24. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Condar makes a probe that can be used on these stoves. Its the one with the remote digital readout.



    On another note - Is there any talk that VC might upgrade replacement parts for the older stoves to be made from this new improved refractory ?
  25. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the reply J,
    I think it should be a standard item just like mine. Too many people have probably burned out their cats and refrectory housing on their Defiant Encores, Defiants and Encore Cat stoves due to having no idea how hot the stove is or the cat is. The manual only states that thermometers are helpfull and recommended. They should be required with these stoves! I think VC would be saving money if they made it a standard issue! Most stove owners don't have a clue how hot their stoves really are, and don't care about overfiring them until they can't overburn them anymore: cracked, warped parts, huge repair bills, etc...

    As far as the replacement parts for their older stoves, I was wondering the same thing. They would probably benefit from using the new materials as they seem to be more durable and cost effective. I would also benefit from this, as I have a used Defiant Encore Cat coming in a couple of weeks.

    Take care,

    Chris
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