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Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim, firebrick issue

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lctatlp, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    My new, yet used Acclaim I got a few months ago. I've had a couple of good burns. So then tonight, before the cold weather comes, I decided to clean it out per the owners manual and this is what I came up with. The firebricks are cracked in every imaginable way and repaired with cement. The left side bricks came out easy and then almost fell apart in my hands. I'd like to get the stove fired back up before the cold weather so what would you all suggest?

    I have the stove cement that the guy gave me when I bought it. Or would one suggest to replace the bricks?
    Also, I can't seem to get the right side brick out. I could try to pry more with my screwdriver but I'm thinking that brick might break.

    I hope the photos come through. the last pic was when it fired up around 600 this past Sunday.

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  2. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    My pics are too big, I'll size them down and hope to post soon. Whoops.
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    To replace all the brick will cost you about $260.
  4. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    I may go the route of replacing all the bricks. Or if furnace cement works I could do that. Is it possible to mortor the bricks with cement?
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I've never had a stove with firebrick, but I have seen threads on here where people have used furnace cement to fix cracks and breaks.
  6. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    Well here I try again with pics. Hope you all can see them.

    Maybe I should have never tried to clean out the stove... It was working great a few days ago after a week or so of learning how to adjust the damper.

    Attached Files:

  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Yep, those are a lot of cracks. The right arch that's in the stove seems pretty bad. Someone with more knowledge than me on firebrick will need to chime in as to whether those are salvageable.
  8. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    I cemented the left rear firebrick and I think it may sustain for a while. The left firebrick is in 3 pieces. Not sure what to do here, I may try to patch it back in, heat up the house tonight and then replace it.
  9. Redbear86

    Redbear86 Member

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    I dont think it would be a problem to use the firebrick as long as they are holding together, that cement is rated at 2k degrees, should be good, ive seen alot of the arched brick cemented together like that
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Do some break-in burns after you re-insert the cemented bricks.
  11. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    I used the cement I had which is rated at 2000 to 2500 degrees. I just surfaced the cement on the cracks. I hope it holds up.
    If not, I'm looking at a few bucks for new firebricks.

    Attached Files:

  12. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    After you said that read about the break in period BrowningBar. The directions say to let it sit one hour then low fire the stove.
  13. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

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    I've replaced those firebrick (actually refractory material) many times. Patching them is probably OK. However, I think you need to look further behind the firebrick. See the white combustor box with the little holes in it? That's the vulnerable (and expensive) part. I'd bet that part is also falling apart. There are lots of little baffles inside it that tend to disintegrate.

    Check some old posts of mine for more discussion about this stove and the combustor box. I think "Brian VT" built his own box last year and has had good success with it.

    I liked that stove, but didn't like what you're experiencing. It got expensive.
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Correct. Do a couple of small fires first, otherwise you increase the chances of the cement breaking and crumbling.
  15. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    I was looking to tear down the stove tonight - following directions from the user's guide and fire it back up before the cold weather up here in New England. Now I'm thinking I should have just let it be.
    But... The combustion box may be fine. I had a fire or two and it burned just fine, even with the damper closed.
    I have a bunch of seasoned and non seasoned wood. Now I dug into the basswood and box elder and it seems to burn ok.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The combustion package will run you about $210.
  17. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    How would I know if the Acclaim needs a combustion package? I dismantled the stove about half way tonight, the left firebrick had 3 cracks in it and the left rear one had one crack. I left the right side brick where it is. seems to be stuck.
    If the the stove fires fine why should I be thinking about replacing the combustion chamber?
  18. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

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    Part of cleaning and servicing is also the little boxes to the bottom left and right of the firebox. When you remove the rear firebrick, there will be two bolt heads exposed. I recall that the bolts hold a metal cover in place (2" x 3"?). If you remove those, a bunch of ash will likely fall out. You will now have exposed the sides of the combustor box. If it is in good shape, you're probably OK. However, a thorough cleaning will also include removing the combustor box so that you can clean out the other areas in the rear of the stove. That's when I first discovered how the box deteriorates. I doubt you could remove the whole box in one piece if it's been used for more than 6 months. Mine literally fell into pieces the first time I removed it. (I think I replaced the box 3-4 times over the 13 years I owned my stove).

    I guess the short answer to your question is, if the box looks in good shape on the front and sides, let it go. Don't try to remove it, or it will probably fall apart.
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It's a used stove and the firebrick has shown a fair amount of wear to it. If this were my stove, I'd be curious to see what type of shape the inner combustion package is in. Better to find out now than realize in January you have a problem. And with VC parts, dead of winter is not the time to be ordering 'must-have' parts since there can be a delay in shipping.

    If you do take the back portion of the stove apart, which you might need to do to access the combustion package (not sure, but this was the case for the encore, and based on the diagram, it looks like it might be the case for the Resolute), you should go ahead and order/buy a gasket kit for the stove since I would guess the back gaskets will not take too kindly to being messed with as they probably have not bee replaces in a few years.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Oh good, you can see how it looks without removing the back casing of the stove. I wasn't sure.
  21. lctatlp

    lctatlp Member

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    I think you're right Browningbar.

    So many techs mess around with the combustion chamber. Don't touch it! It does even says that in the manual.

    So I will put it back together, cracked firebricks and all - with a little love of furnace cement- and see how it fires.

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