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Vermont Castings Radiance problem

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Anne2072, May 27, 2009.

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  1. Anne2072

    Anne2072 New Member

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    Sep 16, 2008
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    If any body has any ideas, I bet it would be you guys......... sorry for the length of this.....

    VC Radiance direct vent......about four years old........
    Once in awhile, we would put the rocker switch on and the stove may not come right on. I'd turn it off, wait, turn it back on, and it would come on and run fine. A month ago, my sister used the place and did the same, but the stove made a clanking noise (i've since realized that would be the round vents on the top... the heat exchanger?) which blew the gasket off the vents and shut down the pilot. Evidently this is known as a delayed combustion or something..................

    Had the stove shop out to look at it...... needed a cleaning, bugs, etc. in the tubing. While he was there I had him install the wall thermostat to it. Cost was $150 total.

    In the meantime, the stove hasn't been used, just turned it on to re-assure myself that it was igniting right, which it did seem to do the only time I tried it. I figured for the cleaning and the reassurance that that was the problem, the 150 was totally worth it!

    This weekend I used the cabin and tried to turn the stove on by the thermostat... didn't work. Waited a few minutes and tried by the rocker switch..it did the delay thing again, complete with blowing open those vent doors and shutting the pilot down. I figured i'd call the stove place, let them know that it wasn't actually fixed.... that it needed more diagnosis that just the cleaning. I was disappointed that the same thing happened (I'm a worrier about stupid things....lol) but figured they'd just come out and get to the actual problem.

    Well.....the guy now wants to charge me another 125 minimum to show up. We went back and forth, with him arguing how it was turning on and off fine when he left and that was a month ago, and me arguing that I haven't used the stove, and the original problem was intermiitant, so I had no way of knowing that it wasn't fixed with just the cleaning until it blew again when I tried to use it. I really thought that from good business practice, they would just swing over the five miles and look at it again without the $125 service fee (coupled with the fact that on my next wish list is the sweet Intrepid in the front window of the shop that I am eyeing)

    When I told him that obviously I'd just go to the next VC dealer to have them fix it (the other dealer was going to charge $99 bucks to come out), he ended up saying that maybe he can come out when he is in the area (they are only in the next town anyway). He :::::: thinks:::::: maybe he has an idea what else it could be...like the burner grate on the bottom of the stove and it would be the cost of the part and the labor. I'm glad that he ended up saying he would look at it, but I wonder whether now I'll be paying over inflated labor charges to make up for the service call anyway. Obviously i would have hoped that the cleaning was the only problem, but how was i to know how thoroughly he looked for other problems, or if he just figured the cleaning would do it.

    So anyway.....my question is if any of you have experienced or heard of a similar problem with the Radiance? Does anyone have any other ideas of what the problem could be?

    If you got this far reading this, thanks a bunch..... and any ideas would be MUCH appreciated!

    Anne

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Anne, I moved this posting to the gas forum for hopefully a better response. One possibility might be might be bugs or spiders have built a home in the manifold or burner tubes. If this ends up being the problem, you might discuss with the repair guy methods for preventing them returning while the unit sits idle for long periods of time.
  3. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    Perhaps some in the business can clarify, but I'd think $150 for the house call and thermostat is a great deal. I'd think it would be really hard to get anyone out to your house for less than $100.

    Now to your issue - I'm guessing your cabin burns Propane right? I believe the VC Radiance uses the SIT Nova 820 valve and standing pilot. IMO their pilot on LP is a little short and can lead to problems like you described if your gas pressure drops too far when the main burner ignites.

    If you want to see if this is the issue then WITH THE GLASS OFF ~ DOOR WIDE OPEN, light the pilot and keep a close eye on the length of the flame. It should reach over several of the burner's gas ports. Then turn the main burner on and you should hear a faint click from the valve as it allows gas to flow to the burner. When that happens see if the pilot flame gets smaller. If it does then you likely need to have your gas guy increase the pressure in the line and or turn the pilot flame up with the adjustment screw on the valve. This could also mean something expensive like the gas line itself is too small in diameter to handle the draw of your stove, but I think that's doubtful.

    If you don't feel comfortable checking this then don't, but I'd suggest it to the guy who comes out.

    My $0.02
  4. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    how does this stove vent? is it direct thru the wall or up out thru the roof?
  5. Anne2072

    Anne2072 New Member

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    Sep 16, 2008
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    >>>>> up out thru the roof?

    it goes through the roof.

    Thanks for the replies so far and any coming~ I appreciate it!
  6. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    that is your problem. The VC gas stoves typically do not have much of a damper system in them. What is happeneing is simple. you incur more draft force when venting vert than horiz. most gas units are designed for horizontal termination. the extra draft from going up not only pulls exhaust out more rapidly, but draws the fresh air in at an equally rapid rate since the entire system is sealed to vent and breath to the outside air. this incoming air is pulled through inlets in the bottom rear of most dv gas stoves, often in close proximity to the pilot. this makes the flame flutter over the burner, and also blows some of the incoming gas around and results in the pilot not contacting the in coming gas on the burner.
    check out your pilot when you have this thing set to off, then look at it when it is on. take a log out if you have to to see it clearly. it should have 3 flames pointing south, east, west. north point should have an ignitor element near it. one flame goes over the burner, and the others burn to the seperate thermogenerators (thermocouple; the smaller pointy one. thermopile is the round gray one bout as big round as a pencil). see if the pilot flys all over when you turn it on, and iff it does it when you shut her down. this is likely the problem, and it would not suprise me if sometimes your pilot goes out for no reason once in a while, yet restarts fine. that is a symptom of the pilot acting this way, when it fails to contact the thermocouple solidly for more than 30 second.
    there are restrictor disks made to remedy this issue, it is a simple ring that mounts in the outer layer of the dv pipe. this slows down the intake air via interuption of the flow speed. these are not always effective. sometimes, i have made a simple pilot shield; a bent u shaped piece of metal, that horsehoes across the backside of the pilot and thermogenerators. this simply makes a little pocket or stability around the pilot area, keeping the flames where they should be... in your case out onto the burner. space it carefully, however. if you seat it too close to the ignitor, the spark from the ignitor wil ground out on the metal widget, and not the pilot hood. it will take a long time to light your pilot if this happens.
    hope this helps!!!
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