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Vermont Castings Warranty Woes

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by petrusboots, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. Hermie

    Hermie New Member

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    I feel your pain Petrus!!! Here is my post from the other related thread.

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  2. petrusboots

    petrusboots New Member

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    Hey, although it is good to have company, this sure does suck. Doesn't it? I have had similar stories sent in private and it has to make one wonder. I'm someone who can do things for myself and will figure this thing out but what about other people? Maybe the little old lady who bought one of these stoves in good faith? What do they do? Buy and replace an endless stream of bricks on a pention? I suppose there are not a lot of old ladies burning wood but I have heard of some around my area.
    Point is. What does this new company want me to do for their lack of respecting a lifetime warranty? Give them more of my limited resources in money buying bricks from them? Screw that, I will make my own. Hey, maybe there is an opportunity here to make some extra cash for someone. Make your own bricks undercut the company and sell them to dissatisfied customers.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Since Monessen has decided to move their steel stove fabrication operation up to Vermont and build steel stoves at VC also, they better hope that any new customers don't have an Internet connection or the ability to find hearth.com.
  4. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    HI guys and gals i bought a 2479 in the fall of 2005,, i still like it enough as all i heat with is wood and not a drip of oil. my fuel door refractory is broke in 2 as we speak lol,, its just hanging there by the center bolt. i got the 1800 number for vc on here or whoever owns the co now,,, i was ultra polite[MISTAKE} i called the warranty dept and asked oo soo nicely if they had any information regarding the refractory piece on the fuel door as far as cracking into 2 pieces,,, the guy say no then silence for a long while. i said o ok ahh i just ordered the new piece so i am not looking for anything for free,,, then i asked to the guy do you have any reports on this issue as being widespread problem with the 2479,,,, his reply not as far as i know. silence for a long time.{he was being very short with me} he assured me tha after i replace the new part it shouldn;t happen again.... lol i was like ok ty for taking my call and hung up all the well knowing i just found out and confirmed i got the 2005 SUCKER AWARD .. the initial price on the stove was 1599 the rep was there from dutchwest or whoever they are and said she would allow an additional 200 discount if i bought it today.. i mean i liked the looks of it enough and was probably gonna buy it anyway soo i did buy it ,,, i mean i have been reading the posts on here getting more scared evry paragraph lol,,,,, i do get alot of heat outta this stove and now i don;t feel so bad,,, lol knowing i am not the only 1 who is having these problem {refractory piece on the fuel door} it cost me 116 bucks so far for 3 years of operation.. hope the bleeding stops here. thank you ppl for all the great information please keep up the good work!!! Dave

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  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the report and welcome to the Forums...

    Well, I must say that $116 for 3 years is not bad - not bad at all if you are a 100% wood heat type. Stoves used like that in New England will often need parts and service over the years.....

    The little expenses are not the problem. Where it can run into $$ is those folks who cannot do their own work and must replace a few parts....such a job can run $400-$600+ (for instance, cat converter and refractory, etc. in a cat encore)....

    As with most things, those capable of DIY end up way ahead of the game.
  6. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    i am not a diy person lol,,, although it looks as though becoming that way will become handy... so i did read alot of the posts on here and i thought they were execellent,, but now what? just keep ordering additional refractory plates for the fuel door?/ heck if i have to i;ll stock up on em lol,,, the door on the 2479 just as soon as 15 mins ago is starting to close hard because the fuel door refractory is bowed like a canoe lol if this falls off completely should i not burn the stove?? i realize it would just be a recommendation but will it warp the actual door??? 500 pounds or not if i get determined i;ll through it out on my front lawn head over heels lol,,, kinda wanted my 1399 to go for more than 3 years,,, i have been burning wood here for like 11 years no oil,, i figured it out before but i have saved aprox 10,000 dollars maybe more no counting electricity bill,, over this period of time, we burned wood which i get for free,, when oil was 89 cents a gallon ,, cool ok you ppl keep on reporting and thank you for taking the time to let other ppl know what you have learned ,, keep warm Dave
  7. CTBurner

    CTBurner Member

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    116.00 3 years= bargain, even an oil burner has to be cleaned once at year at about 125.00
  8. petrusboots

    petrusboots New Member

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    It has been a while since I added to this thread and since I started it I will fill in on how things have been going.
    First of all, early this morning I got a call from another Vermont warranty casualty. He found my personal page on the issue. Seems like we are a growing breed. This guy (sorry it was early and I didn't get your name) who called me at the ungodly hour of 7 something was in a familiar turmoil. Like brigadier1 his loading door is split down the middle and ready to fall off. Mine looks the same. As yet I have not followed tradergordo's instructions in making one of my own. Link to tradergordo's site http://gordosoft.com/woodstove/ A wealth of info.
    One day I will get to it, as for now, I am just burning the stove and loading it with care.
    The hairline crack in the upper refractory has not travelled any further, so for now I am cool with that also.
    Anyway... the guy who called me got the same song and dance from his dealer as numerous others have gotten. Vermont Casting the blame on the customer seems to be their new motto. Saddly there was not a whole lot I could do to help him short of telling him to go to this site and ask questions of the helpful. He was not computer fluent and as yet I don't see his question posted. So I will relay what he told me of his problems. I think his major concern was some serious back puffing. I have not had this problem, so does anyone here have any suggestions?
    On a side note... the page I put up linking to my dealer's website numerous times has moved it to one below his site in the searches and I think he has noticed. The reason I believe this to be true is because one day when I went to the end of the drive, taking my daughter to the bus, on the telephone pole directly across from my drive, he had put up a sign advertising his store. Wow... that's the best he could do? They actually went through the trouble of using a ladder to put it up because I had to knock it down with a long stick. If they had only put that much effort into customer service, I might be impressed.
  9. kb richard

    kb richard New Member

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    Prefire.

    When I am using refractories in areas of importance or high service or some other necessity I fire the parts first at or above their intended use points. I do this slowly and carefully in an electric kiln.

    If it's not possible to pre fire your refractory I'd suggest keeping a very small fire going for a long time then slowly turning it up over the course of at least one day if not longer till the stove is ripping hot and then keep firing at that temp for at least a few more hours, and dont just shut the stove off, turn it down, somewhat slowly.

    If the refractory shapes are stock shapes you can always buy a better brick from a refractory supplier. If the part is not a stock part you can always buy a better castable or ramable product from a refractories dealer. If your going to make your own shapes be sure to account for shrinkage.
  10. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    hi everyone!!!! this morning the bottom half of the fuel door refractory finally fell off,,lol [o what a big surprise as it has been hanging there for a coupke days if not more,,, i took a chance and loosened the center screw{in the middle of the fuel door inside} put the broken piece of refractory back in its original spot,, and tightened the center screw-------hey it stayed there!!!!!! less than a half hour later i opened the fuel door,,, and it fell off agin....lol---- i put it back in place 1 more time,,, and now have to act like i am handling rotten eggs when opening fuel door, i went to my woodstove dlr where i had purchased stove and previously had ordered the new pice 116 bucks... i was soooooooooooooooooooooooo nice to the woman{didn;t make a bit of difference} and asked about my parts--------DID I CALL YOU YET WAS THE REPLY} I SAID NO BUT I JUST WANTED TO CHK ON THE ORDER STATUS as i have already paid for this item. lol she seemed put out but i still smiled{ oscar material} she said it should be in soon??????????????????????????????????????i asked like 1-2 days or 1 week??? she said call me tommorow;;;;;ok so no help again,, i am getting used to it,,, i am now venturing on furnace cement rated at 2000 degrees,,,stove is cooling now{so is my house} tonight i am going to attempt to repair pice of refractory,, i;ll let you guys and gals know what happens,,, gettin a tad chilly over here in newhampshire Dave
  11. sullystull

    sullystull Feeling the Heat

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    Don't waste your time with the cement. Spend the $20 or so, get some castable refractory material--Rutland sells some-and follow TraderGordo's instructions for casting a new one. But first, call the dealer and tell them to stick that new part you know where and get your money back.
  12. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    Sully stull,,,, I like your attitude,,and although the mold job sounds like its outta my league,, i think i am going to get educated on it, for future use,, now i Never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the wood shed,, but today i was sitting at the 2479 and low and behold this stove has 2 doors hmmmm ok lets make the original fuel door into like a dukes of hazard thing where that door never ever ever gets reopened{ kinda like welding your doors shut} and load the wood in the front door- which by the way i never ever ever used it so the seal and everything is like brandy new.now in doing this i will have to wait until the coals all burn down almost all the way but..i refuse to call for oil over here so,,, if none of these options work i guess someone could cut a hole on the top of the stove and we can convert it into a top loading stove lol--------- sully thanks for your advice as it sounds very solid... renaming stove as of today Daisy duke keep your heels warm Dave
  13. ImagineSolace

    ImagineSolace New Member

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    Since we live in the cold region of northeastern VT in May of last year (08) we felt we needed to look for a new woodstove. We went to several stores and although close to the NH line where we could have purchased it without paying taxes, the dealer in VT appeared more interested in explainig each stove to us. We went to the Chimney Sweep and looked over each stove, told them what we needed to heat and how long we might need to go in between loading, etc. We purchased a Duch West and it was delivered and installed in late July. We started using it (with the pre-burn per instructions) and soon after had problems. The brick (?) on the door cracked, a brink on the back interior cracked and the seal around the door started coming off. We called the dealrer and he said he'd order us new bricks and just use some sealant/adhesive around the door. We had the stove 3 months and they wanted us to fix the seal around the door? After many back and forth calls to the dealer, we finally got our bricks in late Nov. Here it is Jan. of 09 and once again the door brick has cracked and fallen off. I called the dealer and he said (as I suggested) it was a faulty set-up on the door. Tighten it too much and it cracks. Tighten it per instructions and it still cracks. They're now putting a piece of metal or something between the screw and the brick so it won't crack but because DW was bought out, although we have a 3 year warrenty, anything from last year is no longer under warranty and it could cost us about $100.00 for the new brick. We can't afford to just go out and purchase another stove plus having installed so we're stuck and at the mercy of this new owners of the company. I know it isn't the dealers fault although their service department is a bit unorganized, but this is so wrong when it comes to the purchasers of these stoves. I would think the new folks who purchased it would want to get their money's worth by keeping it a good name with good support. But perhaps they were just looking for a write off.
  14. kb richard

    kb richard New Member

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    Eastern Refractories Company, Inc was on Barre St, Montpelier don't know if they are there anymore, they sell bulletproof refractories. Buy a better grade refractory brick then the OEM brick that came w your stove. Call em up...tell them Kraig the glassblower sent you. They sell other awesome refractory too. I am not as into castable as I am into ramable products. These guy sell the real McCoy stuff not crap your going to find retail for consumer or commercial use. Were talking industrial grade here. Stuff aint cheap but it'd as good as you can get. And if you do use a castable/ramable call a potter to get it Cone 10 fired for you. Don'T cast in place. Pay attention to shrinkage rates when building a mold. The guys at Chimney Sweep are good dudes. They probably took some hosing from that company too. See if you can get them to work that company that bought out your stove company for you one more time. ChimSweep does enough volume that they should be able to wring some concessions from those new owners. Remind them about that. They might be one of that stoves biggest distributors. Don't let up. Don't forget to write the attorney general too. Worth a shot. Maybe that moron can do something for you. If he can't chew him out. Public officials are at least good for something. Venting.
  15. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    11-6-09 the new refractory i bought,,, last december is still not cracked. in one of the lower corners it is stamped VC i am assuming this is a vermont castings mark. the first one from the factory did not have this mark on it,, no marks or initials. possibly an up grade because of how many ppl had this refractory break on them,,,{fuel door refractory only} i do not know because the company pretty much refused to acknowledge that this was , an issue. i have now been burning every night,,, as i use no oil in my house for heat,, will keep u updated,, on the new piece,, stay warm,, be careful and have fun Dave
  16. brigadier1

    brigadier1 New Member

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    12-15-10 been 2 years since refractory on door was replaced.. no issues to report, all refractorys inside stove look fine, heat out put is excellent! {oak maple and shag bark hickory wood for fuel. puff backs , is a small to med concern. i suspect this is a short between the wheel and the seat,, the driver,, and that'd be me. very controllable stove though very air tight so when you shut off the air supplys,, stove responds very nicely. easy to light stove with bottom ash pan door,, one or 2 small coals very easy to reignite,, in the early am or whenever. overall i am a happy vermont castings customer,, i was very worried the first time i read these forums, as the trouble other owners had wqere far greater than mine. i;d recommend the stove to someone.. thanks for still having the forum will report back periodically,, with info Thanks D
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