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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Vermont Castings Merrimack

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by daveydog, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    ok heres an odd one. i started a very small fire round 6:30 pm and at 8:30 the fan wasnt on but i presumed it was because the merrimack wasnt warm enough. i had the primary air control all the way to the right. i then took the lever and pull sharply to the left and then the fan came on. The top of the merrimack was a tiny bit warm and when the fan came on it blew warmish air. Usually for me to get the fan come on i have to have the top of the merri scorching. Is the primary air control actually what makes the the fan come on? i figured it was some sort of thermal switch? maybe the merri had to have several break in fires to sort the fan out? any ideas are welcomed.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. obrien040362

    obrien040362 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Dayton, Ohio
    I think you have the lever movement backwards

    when you start a fire you want the lever to the left. That allows more air to enter which results in more flames (faster burn). Faster Burn heats the stove up faster. The fan kicks in on temperature not air. Continue to let it burn fast (maybe in the middle now) for the first 3-5 logs to develope a good orange coal bed 3 to 4" deep. Now move the lever all the way right and back left 1". This will save logs but will also smoke the glass more.

    If you are using it to heat your house, pack it full at night with thick logs (they last longer imo) and have the lever 1" from the right for a slow burn.

    When you add logs first move the level to the left and turn off the fan. Wait 15 seconds, this keeps smoke from entering you house.
  3. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    musky are u saying when starting a fire keep it to the left - facing the merri? if so thats where the spring is that in my previous post i jolted then the fan came on. if not maybe i got this all backwards.
  4. obrien040362

    obrien040362 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Dayton, Ohio
    yes left to start. I just move it to the left and start the fire. I don't "Joult" it, my fan just starts in 20 to 40 minutes depending on how fast the fire burns to heat up the unit.
  5. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    thanks musky, installers came out they said u should always have a two to three inch asbed to protect the floor and helps with heating up. They also took the sensor out which is on the bottom midsection, there were some screws loose and may have been the culprit, there is also a metal plate on top of sensor they were debating on cutting it but decided not to.

    what do u guys use for kindling? also for firestarters? i have been using ignito's from home depot.
  6. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    also do u guys prime the chimney with the merrimack, if so what do u guys use?
  7. Josh Voelker

    Josh Voelker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I'm still having lots of trouble with very short burn times. I pack the firebox with good oak and it is done in 4 hours. Anyone else experiencing this?
  8. WhitePointBeach

    WhitePointBeach New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Southern Maryland
    Here is the report after my initial attempts at noise reduction. After some consideration of the options available I decided to use Dynamat vibration / acoustic absorbing material. I used 5x 4"x10" Dynamat Xtreme utility pieces. See the attached picture. 1 piece each was wrapped around each blower housing and 1 piece was draped over the motor assembly. 2 additional pieces were attached under the bottom sheet metal to attempt to deaden its vibration.

    The result is a net 3dB(A) reduction in sound. At 100% fan speed the highest volume level is about 66-67dB(A). It is noticeably quieter, but nowhere near my goal of <50dB(A).

    As I thought about it more, no amount of acoustic insulation is going to adequately quiet a noisy, poorly balanced blower.

    So the bottom line is that I am pursuing the design and fabrication of a completely new blower assembly. It will be based on a different fan technology that should be much quieter. I just can not have that kind of noise next to thousands of dollars of home theater electronics and speakers that I really enjoy listening to in a warm house.

    Hopefully I will be testing a basic prototype in 1-2 weeks.

    Attached Files:

  9. obrien040362

    obrien040362 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Referencing the above picture don't forget to clean the intake grills on each end of the blower. It is like cleaning the lint from a dryer screen, just not as often.
  10. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    another question for you guys, having problems when starting a fire it seems that i cant get it to take unless i have the door cracked or open even with the primary air control open. anyone have any sugestions? using fat wood.

    it starts but then just goes out unless i have the door open and yes i do clean the andiron in the front before each burn.

    Can someone post a picture of what the merrimack primary air control looks like when fully open?
  11. Tansao

    Tansao New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    68
    Loc:
    Worcester, MA
    I just installed my VC Merrimack New Years Eve and after several break in fires loaded up the firebox the other night at 11:30p.m. with the hopes the fire would still be active in the morning at 7:30 a.m. I had one visible red coal, then stirred up the coals to have a bed of maybe 30% red coal. The blower was still on, but the temp in the house had gone from 80 (room with the fire) down to 60 by morning I threw a single piece of kindling in, which lit pretty readily. For evaluation, I threw in a 2-3 inch diameter piece that only smoldered with the air controls all the way open.

    Question I have is when loading it up, is it ok to load it to the point that the wood is touching the air tubes? I was afraid to, and left a good amount of space (4-5 inches). Also, I did not load up to the andiron, but more or less kept it behind the front refractive brick.

    Anyone have a Merrimack with advice on long burn times? Also, may be a stupid question but does turning the fan down to the lowest setting have any effect on burn time?
  12. obrien040362

    obrien040362 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have loaded my box to the burn tubes with no problems.

    I usually don't load too close to the glass with fears coals might fall out when i open the door but I have once or twice layed wood on top of the front brick with out problems. I did this to help clean the glass.

    I don't think the blower effects burn time, just the dampner.

    I also have problems with 8 hour burns. I did buy a pack of Eco Bricks and they helped with longer fire times mainly because they fill the voids. I can get them for $2.50 per pack (if i buy 81 packs at a time) but still alot of money for the BTU output. So i now try to fill the voids with smaller logs.

    To date my biggest problem is dirty glass. I have to "ash" clean every two days to enjoy the view of the flames.
  13. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    whats a block off plate and is it needed for more heat from the merrimack?
  14. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    http://tinyurl.com/4evr8hr

    [​IMG]
  15. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    vector, yes i googled it but u know i couldnt find if it was needed for a merrimack, really there is no information on the merrimack, except for here. by the way like ur my installation photos. sweet fireplace.
  16. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Just jiving bro...It is more of an installation option...it is recommended but not required. In many installations, kaowool or another type of insulation is used rather than a metal block off plate. Thanks for the compliment on the fireplace. Happy Burning!!
  17. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    thanks, i watched the guys who installed they just, removed the damper, threw it in and connected the liner, nothing more than that. im just trying to get the most heat from this thing as my energy supplier cap has been removed.
  18. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    I would at least stuff kaowool or some other fireplace rated insulation around the liner to block off the flue above your stove to keep the hot air in and around your firebox and insert. Without it or something else such as a metal block off plate heat is being lost up your flue around the liner....I would hope another member here with more experience than me to offer further advice. Mine was installed with stuffed insulation around the liner where the damper used to reside.
  19. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    alright i figured thats what a block off plate was some kind of insulation above the insert. anyone else want to chime in on this as im about to call my installer tommorrow to come back and install a block off plate or fireplace insulation. i am hesitant to do this myself as i do not want to burn down my house as my wife would be quite mad.
  20. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    I believe a true block off plate is a piece of fabricated metal, however some people believe the kaowool is sufficient/good enough.
  21. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    i spoke to the installer and they said they insulated round the chimney top so that should be good enough but there willing to install more on the top of the insert for a price. my chimney stack is quite high 25 feet so do u guys think it would make a real difference if i insulate the top of the merrimack?

    they also said to never insulate the sides of it.
  22. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    My chimney is about 30 feet high also and I upgraded with the insulated liner. However, in all my research on here prior to my install last month pointed to insulated batting with a metal cap at the top of the chimney and then at least kaowool/fire-rated insulation at the bottom where the liner goes through the damper. Upgrade to a metal block-off plate if desired (some consider it best, some consider it overkill).

    If I were you, I would call another installer to have them install the kaowool or a metal block off plate....or do it yourself. Either way, you would have to pay the original installer (since the details were not specified) or a new one a few bucks to do the work. I would go with another installer since the original obviously does not want to do the work. Offer $40 bucks for the 30 minute job....
  23. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    ii might do that as this guy is telling me he has to check his supplier for the insualtion and it might be expensive.
  24. micaaronfl

    micaaronfl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    pennsylvania
    quick question guys - the baffle on the merrimack i know it can be pushed further forward and back. where do u guys have it positioned? i had it positioned towards the back. seems im not getting sufficient airflow or i have really bad wood - verdict is still out on that. i was wondering if the position of the baffle mattered?
  25. WhitePointBeach

    WhitePointBeach New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Southern Maryland
    Baffle all the way back... definitely. Do you have a copy of the instructions? There is a lot of information in there on set-up, burning, and maintenance that you may want to look at.

Share This Page