0028 Defiant Encore Questions

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starkmojo

Member
Aug 21, 2017
8
Eugene
Greetings from the great Northwet!

I have a new-to-me VC 0029 manufactured in 1989. Just got the permit and got the stove running after 4 years of installation. This is my first "modern" woodstove and been a learning curve (cat? you want me to put a cat in the stove? It now has a new cat... a pretty expensive one too), and using the stove is also different than the air tight stoves of my youth, so I am not sure is the issue is the stove or the operator. So bear with me.

When the stove is cold the air vent clearly controls the fire. Even for the first ten hours of use. But every evening after hours of 500-600 degree griddle temps the fire quits responding to reduced air vents, and the only way to control it is let it burn down to 450 add one or two logs and even with the vent closed they will flame up fast back to 600 or so and then burn down. I suspect an air leak but I replaced all the gaskets except the glass gaskets because the chimney sweep who inspected the wood stove said they were fine. When I checked out the glass this morning there is a little side to side play in one glass plate (maybe 1/8") and I see what I am assuming is a thermal expansion gap between the glass and the metal on the stove. Is this normal?

Also how do you tell if the thermostat needs replacing? The handle moves up and down and for about ten hours a day the fire responds to the controls, but I am wondering if it isn't expanding all the way anymore? Kind of a drag to put a wear item in a tough to reach location like that.

Other than that it has been great. I have been letting it die out at night because of the issue with controlling the temp but it runs great all day and haven't turned the heat on in two weeks. Can't wait to get my next electric bill!

Thanks for your help and here is a picture. Yes it still needs trim on the stone and a hearth... my wife mentions this about 3 times a day.
woodstove.jpg
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,049
Massachusetts
not sure if that glass is suppose to move. doesn't sound right and you are having control problems. if the chimney sweep says that it's ok i think he either didn't check it or is not knowing. try the dollar bill test yourself. on the doors and the top. see what you come up with. if the dollar bill tests out ok i would tear the stove down and reseal it. as far as the glass hopefully some one who owns the stove can tell you about that. my defiant is 11 years older and glass doors was not a option.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,269
Ottawa, ON
Yes, that stove should have double pane glass. Unless they changed it mid production to single pane. There should be 4 retainer clips that hold the glass in place. You should be able to gently tighten them. If the screws are seized you can try to shim a metal washer between the retainer clip and the glass.
 

starkmojo

Member
Aug 21, 2017
8
Eugene
yes there are double pains- the its one of the inside ones that can move a little. Because this stove wasn't used for several years before I bought it and then sat in my living room for 4 years that the gasket may have been OK when the sweep looked but then gave it up once the stove started expanding and contracting with heat. the original gaskets I did replace all were very old. Either way rerplacing those gaskets seems like a good place to start. I just worry because most of the screws I have replaced on this were seized. The flu collar and catalyst holder both had to have about half the bolts drilled out and the collar I had to re-tap a few holes. I may wait till spring as it works pretty well now I just can't overnight it and I would want to use some penetrating oil and let it sit for a few days before attacking those clip screws.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,269
Ottawa, ON
Good test is, if you turn down primary air (the right lever as you face the stove with the bypass closed) all the way. If the flames go out, your gaskets are ok. If you still have flames then you have a leak. Start with griddle, doors and ash pan gaskets. They are easy to replace.
As for overnight burns.....there is a bit of science to it. If all your firewood is softwood then that science becomes a bit more challenging.

I would post the overnight burns question in the VC thread.
 

starkmojo

Member
Aug 21, 2017
8
Eugene
Good test is, if you turn down primary air (the right lever as you face the stove with the bypass closed) all the way. If the flames go out, your gaskets are ok. If you still have flames then you have a leak. Start with griddle, doors and ash pan gaskets. They are easy to replace.
As for overnight burns.....there is a bit of science to it. If all your firewood is softwood then that science becomes a bit more challenging.

I would post the overnight burns question in the VC thread.

yeah it doesnt go out when the valve is closed. I usually keep the valve closed all the way once its burning. I didnt do the ash pan but I did all the other gaskets you listed. Maybe I will try that one next. Thanks for your help.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,269
Ottawa, ON
While the stove is running for a while, take a lighter and run the lighter flame along all the seams i.e. doors, ash pan as well as where all the wall plates meet. If the flame gets pulled in toward the stove, there you have a leak.
 

starkmojo

Member
Aug 21, 2017
8
Eugene
Well I decided to poke around this morning while the stove was cold as I was installing the new grate as the old one was cracked. The ash door gasket had looked OK at install but after two weeks of use looked cracked and desiccated. Fortunately I have all the stuff to replace it and after digging out the old mortar (fun!) and gasket and washing everything to get the ash off it is drying for a bit while I have coffee. Makes me happy to have more than one heat source. Last time I had a wood stove was in a cabin in Vermont and winter repairs meant freezing mornings until the repair was complete. I will recheck it after this repair is done and see if there are any other leaks.

Thanks for all your help!
 
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starkmojo

Member
Aug 21, 2017
8
Eugene
Just an update for the curios: The stove has been great since the new gasket. I think I have figured out the best way to overnight the wood stove. First live in Western Oregon so it almost never gets much below 28, then have a 92 year old Doug fir fall on your property and take out and oak tree so you have a large supply of hardwood and old Doug fir limbs to use as wood heat, and have this happen before you actually have a wood stove so all this great wood can hang out cut and split and covered for a couple years and be really and truly dry. Then have a job that makes you get up early and a wife who likes to stay up late reading so its usually no more than 6 hours between feedings. Helps if the house has a good spot near the stove to store a few days wood to let it dry the damp off before feedings. Oh and live during a pandemic so no one goes anywhere. Stove hasn't gone out since I fixed the gastket and I have only used newspaper twice to get it going in the morning!