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Vigilant Cresosote Problems

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by remkel, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Interesting back and forth. My intention wasn't to start any "heated" discussion.

    For me, the long burn in the open position is more to heat my chimney flue than to get the stove up to heat. I have a long run, with a tricky 45 in it that tends to create creosote buildup. That is the reason that I do the long burn in the open position.

    I agree with those who say the stove can heat up quickly- yes, you can quickly get the stove to 600, but it is how it performs once shut down that tends to be my problem. If the flue is not good an warm, I see a significant drop in draw through the baffles, lower stovepipe temps and thus even more creosote buildup. My home solution, run in the open position longer, get more heat into the flue, then shut down.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Yes, your setup is a bit different. I have no bends in my pipe. Straight up, 22-ish feet.
  3. Renaissance

    Renaissance Member

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    Well here's a data point after being damped for an hour, maybe you can compare.

    Griddle: 393F
    Fireback middle rib: 423F
    Pipe exterior 12" above griddle: 232F
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Griddle: 487
    Fireback middle rib: 386
    Pipe exterior 12" above griddle: 220

    Additional temps:
    Front doors: 500
    Left side: 405
    Right side: 400
  5. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I would say my griddle temp runs more in the 450-550 range, stove pipe temp around 280 or so, would have to place a thermometer on the fireback middle rib to get that reference.

    Tend to run mine with the draft open a little to try and keep the pipe temps up.

    Thanks for the reference points. Have a great night and a Happy New Year!
  6. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    It was pretty warm and sunny here today. Inside temp didn't drop below 70º until about 9 PM. Went down and started a fire in a very cold stove. A timed 15 minutes from ignition of wax/sawdust firestarter to 650ºF on both stove top and flue, using scary-dry box elder split small. The air was roaring into the inlet opening at that point, so I closed the air down to about 1/4 open and left the bypass open to burn in updraft in order to warm up the flue.

    Half an hour later I went down to check. Flue was at 550º, griddle top was at 800º! I filled the stove with a mix of low density (box elder) and high density (black locust and shagbark hickory) wood. Left the air all the way open until flue temps got back up to 650º, then closed the bypass. I waited to see that flue temps dropped, then stabilized at 450º. Closed the air to about a 1/4" opening (about 1/8 open), secondary open all the way, and came back an hour later to find:

    Flue temp: 267º
    Right side griddle: 583º
    Center back rib: 477º

    My IR gun has a progressive scan function, so I scanned each plate to get an average for the entire plate:

    Top: 452º
    Front: 570º
    Left side plate: 365º
    Right side plate: 538º

    Couldn't get a progressive scan of the back because it is so close to the cement block wall. I'll estimate it at 425º overall.

    Plenty of heat pushing off that gal!
  7. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Battenkiller. Looks consistent with what I have seen lately after cleaning out the baffles. I think my final problem to address is the 45 in the chimney. I think sometime in the future I am going to have to look at an insulated SS liner. Just have to save up the money and convince the wife that cleaning the chimney every 4 weeks or so is just a pain in the rear.

    Have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to drawind on your and others wisdom as I go forward.
  8. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Don't rely of my wisdom too much. I had the top baffle plate in the wrong position in my Vigilant all last year. :cheese: :red:
  9. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    the vc's i've had, while being good heaters, they did produce the creasote. Of course i was less particular about my wood then and looking back it was probably less seasoned than it could have been but i remember having to clean it at least twice if not three times a year. part of it too was probably shutting it down too quick, having to go to work and not being around all day to kick it up a notch if it needed it. often had some long smouldering fires.....not so good for creasote.

    cass
  10. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    If it is any consolation, took the top baffle plate out ot clean out the stove and realized I did not pay attention to how it was placed. Took be a few minutes and a few positions to finally get it right. Lesson learned!
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    not sure if this applies here, but running my defiant like the manual says, (the manual covers vigilant) kindle a fire to achieve at least 500 degree stove top temp. at that point you can fully load and wait till at least 500 degree stove top temp then you can go horizontal burn or what they call "the long burn". after 5 to 10 minutes adjust the primary air control for your heat output. it also says to start fires with the secondary air wide open and if you burn in updraft to close the secondary air port.

    my experience with my defiant i come across something that the manual doesn't say that makes it easier to get up to temp from cold starting besides doing a top down start cuz that is for the other hundred threads before this one on what is easier for your setup. start fires up against the right side of the stove up against the baffle. that does two things. 1: when starting cold the air that comes into the fire box thru the secondary air port has to go thru the splits to go up the chimney because the damper is in the up draft position. that is like blowing on the fire. the stove comes up to temp in half the time and it also cuts the smoke in half. i've had such little smoke on starting this way that it makes me go to the stove and check to make sure that everything is ok. 2: starting the fire up against the baffle heats up the baffle hot quick which in turn heats the secondary burn chamber after the stove comes up to temp switching to horizontal is quicker and easier this way. i also stuck a nail in the primary air hole just laying there so that the shutter can not close tight. that helps with secondary burning. the manual also says that preheat the stove and chimney to 500 then load most of you wood and after 30 minutes top of the firebox and close the damper. i do somewhat of the same thing. the inside of the firebox is white and somewhat a little white where it exits to stove. so i know i'm getting a good burn. this is after a full load in horizontal. my temps run 475 to 525 cooktop and 300 to 350 15 inches up on the singlewall connector pipe. here is another wierd thing. if i use short lenght wood 12 to 14 inch up against the baffle the inside of the firebox will be white where there was fire thru secondary into the flue, but the left side of the firebox where there is no wood can be brown or sometimes black. strangest thing i've ever seen if you look from the front doors in, the left side of the firebox is black and the right side white at the same time. to help with keeping the secondary burn chamber temps up there i put in a brick right under the air manifold. that also helps if i'm in a hurry after a reload i crack the door with the secondary going to reheat the secondary chamber for light off. i know i'm not suppose to do that but the brick takes all the abuse. just experience with this stove. i hope something helps.


    frank
  12. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    me, too! No wonder it takes 90 minutes to get a fire going if you only use one split.

    I have a Vigilant 1977. I use the top down start method. It get heat in the flue immediately, establishes a strong draft right away.
    I put it in vertical burn, air open all the way with the door cracked an inch or so. I'll hit 600 or so with 10 to 15 minutes.

    I have glass doors on my 1977. They WERE available back then as an option. We still have the original metal doors that are brand new.

    Don't be afraid to let your Vigilant cruise at 650 or so. It's not going to hurt it. I've had mine higher than that many times.

    People talk about small hot fires, or big, smoldering fires as if those were the only options. Once I have a fire well established on a hot bed of coals, I can fill the box, open the air and get the load totally involved. A full box burning hot will really put out some heat. I put it in horizontal, adjust the air just right and it will maintain 575 to 600 easily for a long time.
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Ah, you bring back good memories, Kenster.

    I really miss those 650-700 stove top temps just prior to shutting the vigilant down for the evening cruise.

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