1986 Vermont Castings Defiant Encore Questions

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
NEW OWNER USED STOVE IN GREAT SHAPE
I just picked up a used, but what appears from the outside to be a new stove.
This thing looks Awesome.. cannot wait to get it installed and running.
I have a few questions.

1. What is the difference in the amount of wood the stove will use with or without the catalyst installed? Note, the old catalyst and the cartridge that holds it in are worn out.. need replacing.. $600.00 or so. We just bought an old house, and do not even have $600.00 right now!
2. Do you think this thing will heat a 1000 sq. foot space that is super well insulated, economically?
3. What do you think would be a good price for this stove, used if the only things wrong with it are that some of the gaskets are worn and the catalyst and holder are worn completely out?

I am thinking I did okay on the price and that next year I can get the catalyst in and running for next year.
Love to see some photos of this stove installed...Thanks to anyone who responds..
 

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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,337
Ottawa, ON
Welcome to the forum. The stove looks in a great shape on the outside. Somehow, you already know that 600 is needed in parts. There is lots of discussion on here regarding these stoves and rebuilding them. I would spend sometime going through the posts here, before making any decisions. 600 is just for the cat and the refactory box. Before you know it you will be 1k out of pocket!!!
And for that amount you will easily be able to pick up a new stove!
 

homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
The catalyst and the "cartridge", which is called the refractory package, are the heart and soul of these stoves. Without it, you can expect about 2/3 less heat. When you have dry wood burning and you shut the damper to engage the catalyst, that process radiates heat throughout the stove. Operating the stove in bypass mode with the damper open results in much of heat leaving out the chimney.

The catalyst is about $200, and the refractory is about $250, so you might only be looking at $450, but it's still something to consider. In my opinion, without these items the stove is worth only a few hundred. If the outside of the stove is immaculate with great paint and seams, and the inside is in great shape with no warps in the fireback plates or any signs of over-firing, then it might be worth a little more.

If you can't come up with the parts, you might consider getting another stove for the upcoming season while you are rebuilding this one.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
THANKS FOR THE INFO....

Well, we are out of money! Once we have this thing installed.. we will be broke!
I got the stove for $500.00 so to me, being ignorant, that was a good price...
I debated a long time before I bought it.
I am hoping to make it through the winter with it, then in the spring, when I get income tax pay for all the needed parts.. supplies to make it like new.
I am stuck with this one... unless I sold it and bought something else....
I am sure I could sell it for what I paid, quickly here in Alaska.. with winter coming on...
One Last Question...
Someone said I need to put in a vent, like a dryer vent below the stove so it will suck fresh air from the OUTSIDE THE home... what are your thoughts on this and does anyone have any examples of this, photos?
Thanks for your help.
All in the stove is like new, close to new, no heat damage, no cracks.. nothing bent...
I am replacing some seals... other than that... I am stuck with what I have.

Note, we are only heating 1000 sq. ft.
 
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homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
The vent you are referring to is called an Outdoor Air Kit, usually abbreviated "OAK" around here. It's purpose is to draw combustion air from the outside rather than from inside the living space to avoid drafts and consumption of oxygen. If your house is really tight, it might be a good idea. A CO detector is always a good idea... check your local codes.

Are you sure the refractory is totally worn out? If you could afford the $200 for a new catalyst, perhaps you could make something work. You can heat without it, but you will get much less heat, and the fire can be a little harder to control. Be careful not to overfire the stove. You will need a thermometer for the top of the griddle, and one for the stove pipe.

I don't know what model you have, but I am uploading a copy of the manual for the model #0028.
 

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alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
THANK YOU for the replies.. info.
I think I will just start out this winter with what I have... and see how it goes.
We are really well insulated.. new double pane windows...
But we have no drywall, sheetrock in our home yet...
I am thinking maybe there is enough draft coming in to allow for good burn.. I can always crack a window a little to input a little air.

I do think I will go ahead and raise the money to get a catalyst cartridge and see if the refractory is usable..!
Time will tell!
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
Another question.. I want to take off the metal shield that has 1986 stamped into it.. the bolts on the left are loose, easy to remove, but the top-right bolt is hard to turn.. I am SOOOO SCARED of breaking it off in the hole...
Any thoughts on loosening it up? I thought of penetrating oil?
Heating it up with a small torch?
Pretty scary!
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,337
Ottawa, ON
If the stove looks as you describe on the inside, how do you know you need 600 for replacement parts (cat and refractory box)? Have you opened it up?
 

homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
Another question.. I want to take off the metal shield that has 1986 stamped into it.. the bolts on the left are loose, easy to remove, but the top-right bolt is hard to turn.. I am SOOOO SCARED of breaking it off in the hole...
Any thoughts on loosening it up? I thought of penetrating oil?
Heating it up with a small torch?
Pretty scary!
Are you talking about the fireback plate inside of the stove? Why do you want to take that apart? You need that in there to operate the stove. If you want to inspect the condition of the catalyst, carefully remove the access panel in the back and have a look around. The refractory tends to get more fragile with use and age, so be careful poking around in there.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
I want to look at the full Refractory because... when I opened the Catalyst back panel, I found the Catalyst only consists of a square metal box... no insides... no ceramic honeycomb... and the access door was coated in what looked like gobs of black glass...
I touched the refractory and it is totally crumbly.. I mean like easily falling apart..

I am thinking I will have to replace all. To do that I think I need to remove that cover plate...

At any rate, I was in a local fireplace store today, they had a brand new DEFIANT.. Wow, what an awesome looking unit.. and the refractory is what looks like to be ceramic? It looks really solid... Very impressive! Sure would love to own one of those! lol.
 
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homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
To access the full refractory, you can remove the back part of the stove. It's 6 bolts accessed from the back of the stove. The back part, refractory, corner heat shields, and heat exchanger (wide strip of metal that folds around the the front of the refractory).

The catalyst ceramic material is missing.. its akin to someone hollowing out the inside of a catalytic converter on a car. The globs of black glass are creosote.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
As more people are realizing that presently, Wood is way more economical... and readily available, at least here in Alaska.. a LOT of people have wood stoves..
I wonder.. What would it take to become a VC Repair Man... a person who could re-build VC stoves.. make them air tight, like new... I wonder if there is any money in that?
I asked a local dealer of VC and other stoves if there was anyone who did repairs here in our area.. He laughed.. said there was this one guy, 83 years old.. but dead now!

With all these stoves up here.. and nobody to fix them.. I guess a person has to learn how to do repairs themselves....

I am thinking with all that heat.. and use.. that I may need to re-build my stove.. I hope it will work for me and my family this winter?
Part of the gasket that is around the main vent, the door to let air out on top.. not the catalytic vent.. is missing.. so I know I need to re-gasket that....

Looks like the gasket around the top loading door is way flat.. so I know I need to replace that.. here, that is 10.00 usd per foot...
The only thing about all this that worries me is this,
I hope there are no screws or bolts that will break off in the unit if I have to disassemble it. I would be screwed!

I know I will not over heat the stove, and take great care of it now that I have it.. just hoping I can get it to like new status... lol.

If you ever have your back off.. love to see what it looks like inside.. the refractory unit.. What the heck are they made out of anyways?

I am pretty sure I am going to try to get a new refractory and catalyst before winter.. we get 40 below here! 40 below zero!
That is pretty cold...
Thanks for all your help guys!

Love to see photos of your stove installed!!! lol I feel like a kid with a new toy! Very Excited!
They are coming to install it on Oct 7th. Before then I have to install a hearth, and fire protective panels on the walls where the stove goes..
Going to shoot for 31 inches from the back of the stove to the wall.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
Below are photos of my Wood Splitter Girl.. and the Refractory Opening and Cover.
Not sure what that metal thing is hanging in the middle space where the Catalyst goes is?...
 

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alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
Time to replace gaskets?
Looking at the back of the stove, I see those 6 bolts now...

Question.. If I remove this plate...will I need some sort of cement to put it back on the stove? Cement or gasket material?
 

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homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
I hope your daughter is at least wearing hearing protection while the splitter is running. Don't worry, she'll have plenty of time to ruin her hearing at rock concerts when she's a teenager.

That strip of metal is the heat exchanger. It sits around the front of the refractory and takes heat from the firebox and pre-warms the catalyst to make combustion of secondary gasses easier. It looks slightly warped. If you replace the refractory, consider replacing this, or trying to bend it back a little bit so it fits the new refractory. Anyway, it's about a $50 part.

I would recommend looking at the schematic diagram in the back of the manual. It will help you see how all of these parts go together.

In looking at the pictures, the refractory does look fairly used and the inside of the stove could use a good cleaning. There is nothing left of that catalyst. I would replace the gaskets. The gasket for the top, or the griddle, is wrapped in a wire mesh. I realize it's expensive, but you can probably get it cheaper online somewhere. The rest I think are 5/16" gasket, but look in the manual to be sure. The back does come off, and it's sealed to the rest of the stove with 5/16" gasket material, but again, look in the manual to be sure of the correct size.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,337
Ottawa, ON
The 0028 is a great stove when everything is top shape with it. In my opinion it is very well made, and made when VC people cared about their company and what was coming from the production line.

I got mine five years ago, on the outside it looked a bit rough, rusty etc. I got it for free. The inside looked ok. The refractory was ok, cat was marginal. I replaced several gaskets, a paint job, a good cleaning on the inside. It served me very well for 4 burning seasons. Much better than the previous stove I had (long story).
At the end of last season the stove just stopped working correctly. The refractory was completely fallen a part. I decided to take it apart.
I knew this was the stoves last year before a major rebuild. In stead of dishing out 600-700 bones, I decided to repair the box (I had another refractory box from encore 2140) and limp to the end of the season.
The pics are of the repairs (it took a total of 3 hrs)
And one of burning afterwards. My repairs were a bandaid solutions, the stove did not perform as before, but it did fine during spring shoulder season.
 

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alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
I hope your daughter is at least wearing hearing protection while the splitter is running. Don't worry, she'll have plenty of time to ruin her hearing at rock concerts when she's a teenager.

That strip of metal is the heat exchanger. It sits around the front of the refractory and takes heat from the firebox and pre-warms the catalyst to make combustion of secondary gasses easier. It looks slightly warped. If you replace the refractory, consider replacing this, or trying to bend it back a little bit so it fits the new refractory. Anyway, it's about a $50 part.

I would recommend looking at the schematic diagram in the back of the manual. It will help you see how all of these parts go together.

In looking at the pictures, the refractory does look fairly used and the inside of the stove could use a good cleaning. There is nothing left of that catalyst. I would replace the gaskets. The gasket for the top, or the griddle, is wrapped in a wire mesh. I realize it's expensive, but you can probably get it cheaper online somewhere. The rest I think are 5/16" gasket, but look in the manual to be sure. The back does come off, and it's sealed to the rest of the stove with 5/16" gasket material, but again, look in the manual to be sure of the correct size.
I never thought of ear-plugs! lol... yeah, she should probably wear them...
I am wondering if all this money that these stoves cost to run are worth it!?
I thought a wood stove was something you put wood in, lit it and kept it going by feeding it... and it warmed the home...
Never knew there was a ton of service, parts to replace...
I am about to think I should just sell this thing and get some other type of wood stove...
We are only heating 1000 sq.ft. of space.. I had thought it would not be all that much of a problem...

I am a little scared to take off the back plate.. the one with the six bolts... worrying that it will require some sort of cement to put it back together.. I guess I will just dive in.. and see what is going on there.

Question!
What if I burn the stove without using the catalyst? Again, I am only heating 1000 sq. ft. My main thing is that I want to fill it up to the right level of wood at around 11 pm.. then get up at 5 am and have enough coals to throw some wood in and have a fire.
I have this Toyo stove.. set to come on if it gets below 50 degrees in the home...

Hope I am not being a pain.. just trying to figure out how to survive the winter financially. We live on almost nothing.. so every dollar saved means a lot!
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
The 0028 is a great stove when everything is top shape with it. In my opinion it is very well made, and made when VC people cared about their company and what was coming from the production line.

I got mine five years ago, on the outside it looked a bit rough, rusty etc. I got it for free. The inside looked ok. The refractory was ok, cat was marginal. I replaced several gaskets, a paint job, a good cleaning on the inside. It served me very well for 4 burning seasons. Much better than the previous stove I had (long story).
At the end of last season the stove just stopped working correctly. The refractory was completely fallen a part. I decided to take it apart.
I knew this was the stoves last year before a major rebuild. In stead of dishing out 600-700 bones, I decided to repair the box (I had another refractory box from encore 2140) and limp to the end of the season.
The pics are of the repairs (it took a total of 3 hrs)
And one of burning afterwards. My repairs were a bandaid solutions, the stove did not perform as before, but it did fine during spring shoulder season.
I do not have the money to get a new refractory, catalyst... so, hell.. I am going to have to see about using this stove through the winter.. or.. sell it fast and get something else.
Pretty confused... OMG.. this stove looks so impressive.. beautiful... really sucks that it is such a pain to use if you do not have the money to spend every year replacing and repairing things.
 

homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
These stoves do function great when they are great condition, but they have a learning curve, and can be expensive to maintain. Not all stoves are like this, its just that you didn't seem to know what you were getting into. I actually bought mine for $350 knowing nothing, and wound up doing almost a complete rebuild. If I had to do it over again, I personally would have sold the stove for what I got it for, and went with something else.

You can run the stove without the catalyst, however it will produce less heat, and you may have to clean the chimney more frequently as you won't be achieving secondary combustion most of the time and reburning tars and creosotes.

The back of the stove should come apart easily, but if you are planning to run it, you might want to replace the gasket. The gasket is cemented in, but the back of the stove is not cemented to the rest of the stove. It is held in by those bolts.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
These stoves do function great when they are great condition, but they have a learning curve, and can be expensive to maintain. Not all stoves are like this, its just that you didn't seem to know what you were getting into. I actually bought mine for $350 knowing nothing, and wound up doing almost a complete rebuild. If I had to do it over again, I personally would have sold the stove for what I got it for, and went with something else.

You can run the stove without the catalyst, however it will produce less heat, and you may have to clean the chimney more frequently as you won't be achieving secondary combustion most of the time and reburning tars and creosotes.

The back of the stove should come apart easily, but if you are planning to run it, you might want to replace the gasket. The gasket is cemented in, but the back of the stove is not cemented to the rest of the stove. It is held in by those bolts.

Thanks, I will consider all of this... really confused right now.. not sure what to do...thinking maybe should just sell this thing and get something else! Looking at a LOT of money to buy the parts to upgrade this thing... If I had 3 grand.. hell, I would buy a new stove! lol.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,337
Ottawa, ON
Personally, I would look at other options. Try selling the stove. At this point this would be a good post in the Hearth Forum, there are many knowledgable people that can point you in the right direction in terms of your heating requirements and different stove options.
 

homebrewz

Minister of Fire
Nov 29, 2005
1,052
East Central, NY
Personally, I would look at other options. Try selling the stove. At this point this would be a good post in the Hearth Forum, there are many knowledgable people that can point you in the right direction in terms of your heating requirements and different stove options.
Yes, I feel I've weighed in heavily here. Sorry for all the bad news, alaskalive. Perhaps others will chime in and present some other sides to the issue.
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska
No, prior to buying the stove.. I was uninformed
Now, after reading here and many other places of research..
Hell... I am thinking this stove is for people who have money..
Maybe enough money to own 2.. 1 to have working and installed, and a replacement to work on, restore then possibly switch them out ever 2 years or so...
I may be stuck with it this winter though.. might just buy the catalyst.. .about 240.00 locally...
See if I can get through the winter..
I , being a novice, also bought 2 cords of un seasond split wood...
Going to get a couple of cords of well seasond wood.. only burn the unseasoned in a stove full of hot coals...

AT any rate.. I love all the knowledge here.. loving it! Thanks a LOT...
going to pull the back plate tomorrow see about what the gasket looks like.
Will post photos.
thanks again
 

alaskalive

New Member
Sep 22, 2014
24
Alaska

First Burn, Just installed! Check this out!
 

HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
No, prior to buying the stove.. I was uninformed
Now, after reading here and many other places of research..
Hell... I am thinking this stove is for people who have money..
Maybe enough money to own 2.. 1 to have working and installed, and a replacement to work on, restore then possibly switch them out ever 2 years or so...
I may be stuck with it this winter though.. might just buy the catalyst.. .about 240.00 locally...
See if I can get through the winter..
I , being a novice, also bought 2 cords of un seasond split wood...
Going to get a couple of cords of well seasond wood.. only burn the unseasoned in a stove full of hot coals...

AT any rate.. I love all the knowledge here.. loving it! Thanks a LOT...
going to pull the back plate tomorrow see about what the gasket looks like.
Will post photos.
thanks again
Put the good dry stuff on the bottom and then a couple pieces of the not so dry stuff on top. The dry stuff burns hot enough to dry out the stuff on top. Most of the time. At least that's what all my customers tell me and they would never lie to me.