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Vigillant vs Defiant

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by 94ranger55, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    I currently run a Vig and I absolutely love this stove ... I am using it as a whole house heater and on some days (but not many) the house stays cool.My question is, would the defiant make the house just enough warmer on those supper cold days ?I know there are a ton of variables but has anybody upgraded to the Defiant from the Vig and noticed a huge difference ?Thanks!

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  2. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    by the way my question pertains to pre epa stoves .
  3. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Well,

    Grew up with a Defiant in the house. Later, heated my house with a Vigilant. I am convinced the Defiant will throw more heat and also will burn longer than the vigilant. Suppose I could go back and look at actual BTU output, but my expereince tells me the upgrade will help with the little bit of extra heat. As always, IMHO.
  4. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    If I was to toss out a number, based on 20 year old memories..I would say the Defiant would hold a fire for 1-2 hours more and make about 20% more heat. If I was to sell one of those stoves now, I would call the Vigilant a 1500 sf heater and the defiant maybe a 1800-2000 ft heater.
  5. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. That is just about the SF my Vigilant was keeping good and warm. Moving on up to a new Jotul F600 or a PE Summit for next year.
  6. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I think you'd be happier wearing a sweater on those cool days and having a stove you can run hot all the rest of the time to get cleaner burns and better efficiency.

    I heat my entire insulated basement, the entire first floor, and a bedroom and bath on the second floor (small but fairly leaky house) with one Vigilant. Yes, there are about 8-10 days a season when it just ain't enough, but the Defiant might be a bit too big for the other 175 days or so. My feeling is that these old VCs should be run hot or you won't get a secondary burn, and you'll end up with a lot of your fuel plastered to the flue walls.

    I get perfect overnight burns in my Vig, so the extra couple hours possible with the bigger firebox is not a good enough trade off for me to make the switch.
  7. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    The Defiant was the next step up in size from the Vigilant, so it probably would keep your house just enough warmer on those extra cold days. Just make sure you can still burn it hot on a regular basis so it will burn relatively (non EPA stoves) efficiently and help keep your chimney clean.
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    my manual covers both stoves. it says that the vigilant has 50,000 btu and the defiant has 60,000. there is nothing saying that you'll have to pack the fire box each time you load. i vari the load depending on the temp outside and if the temp will dip or level off. my defiant will run secondaries at 475 degree cook plate temp. and does it well almost smoke less and long burning. unless you need to get a new stove the difference if you only have a few days it won't heat might not be worth it.

    frank
  9. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    Thanks for the input everybody....I think I am going to go with the Defiant ,even after new windows better insulation the hole nine yards the Vigilant I feel is still going to be to small .I hope that the Defiant will be everything that its little brother was . Anybody in New England want to trade a mint condition Vigilant for a Defiant ?!?!
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Being cold sucks. I'd rather be too warm than not warm enough. If it gets too hot with the Defiant, open a window.
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    if you wind up being hot with the defiant here is what i did to off set some of the heat without burning the stove to cool. this year was the best year for me on keeping the house a steady temp. what i did this year different from any other year is unless it was over night i used pine. the oak and cherry was for the night. worked perfect. the pine was very dry so the secondary worked perfect so the chimney did well also. i usually burn high 3's to 4 cord of hardwood. this year was 1 cord hardwood 5 pine. 2 more than usual but the house was way more comfy.
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Nice. Thats what I am shooting for. This year I displaced about 1 1/2 cords of oak with pine. Next winter I will have a lot more 2 year old pine and burn as few cords of oak as possible.
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey dune how you doing? oak is nice for those -5 degree nights. but having a stove that is to big for it's space i can deal with it via pine. adjustment of btu's via fuel instead of air.
  14. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey ranger the mass craigslist usually has a few defiants if need be.
  15. 94ranger55

    94ranger55 Member

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    Good to know....I have about 11/2 of hemlock ready to go for next winter sounds perfect for the Defiant.....are all defiant's the same threw out the 70's and 80's? Or are some models that I am not aware of ?
  16. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Some of the very older ones had a single pce fireback. If (and I seriously doubt it) you find one with a single fireback that is intact, skip it. They will crack along the back at some point. You would want one that is a dual plate on the inner back. You'll see a horizontal seam about halfway up. I'm trying to remember, did VC ever make the defiant top load like in the last few years of production?
  17. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    frank i think the last version before the new style with the cat had the cookplate on a hinge. but i think if it was the same hole as the cookplate, loading from the side would be a lot easier and could load more on the side than the small cookplate hole. the late ones (the 2 i think) also had holes so that you could bolt down the cookplate. mine must have been the first design. the cookplate can be a royle pain in the butt. on the last piece loaded as i'm trying to get it in and i'm not careful i hit the cookplate, and if there is nothing on the cookplate like a steamer, i'll move the plate and have to while hot place the gasket back into place and the cooktop into place.
  18. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Thats kinda what I remembered also.
  19. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    As far as I am concerned, the Defiant is a definite side load. I have never seen a top loading Defiant, but I would suspect it would not be an easy load from the top. Too far to the bottom of the stove for my comfort.

    As for finding a Defiant, you may want to contact defiant3 who is located in NO. NH. He rebuilds/reconditions Defiants. May be a good place to start.
  20. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you said it. i think i wouldn't load it from the top either. way to deep. got enough burns on the arms from the side door, i'd hate to burn my armpit :-S
  21. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Not certain how you are getting burns fro teh side door, but all I can say to an armpit burn is OUCH!
  22. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Hello Ranger,

    I'd go for the big boy! Longer burns and more heat. Here's a bit of info about the Defiants so you can make a more educated decision:

    The previous came from the following source:
    http://www.fergusonfireplace.com/ferfirdefiantmenu.html
    Where you'll also find hints to help identify these models. Good luck!
  23. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I know this is an old thread but I had to comment:


    Why would you even think about using the top load door if you had to lay the wood on the bottom of the stove? If the stove is almost empty I load through the front doors of my Vigilant. If I want to add to a fire and the box is half full, or if I want to top off for the night I'll add through the top door. Just can't see the point of adding wood through the top door of a near empty stove.
  24. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    All I have ever done since I got my Vig two years ago is load it from the top. Once there is a decent coal bed in there, I've found that precise split placement is totally unnecessary. Top loading is so easy and clean compared to any other method I would almost break down and cry if I had to give it up. If only I could find an easy way to empty the ashes and start a fire from the top, I'd be in pig heaven.
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I love top loading as well. I just find it easier than front or side loading (and by easier I mean I can be lazy and just throw stuff in). I don't mind side loading, but it takes more thought than top loading. And by March I am all about lazy and non-thinking when it comes to stoves.

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