2021/22 VC Owner thread

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WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
Is it possible the “little air inlet door” is the secondary air shutter? This will not move with the primary air control. It’s run by a probe in the refractory box. I’m going with poor fuel or a clogged cap or a flue that needs cleaning. I would inspect the flue pipe at the 90 and also inspect your cap.
Yeah, pretty sure it's the secondary air shutter. Centered on the back of the stove almost at the bottom, about five inches long, one tall?
 

56knoise

New Member
Nov 21, 2021
5
no
I had the chimney cleaned and inspected in October. He also installed a wire mesh wrap on the cap for animal deterrence at the same time.
Get on the roof and check that mesh. It loves to clog up with soot. Same thing happened with mine. Campfire smell, very little to no draft, low temperatures. Happened after a few months of burning day and night.

My chimney was still clean but the low temperature of the mesh will allow crud to condense on it. Mine was nearly 100% clogged. I just removed it completely.
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
Get on the roof and check that mesh. It loves to clog up with soot. Same thing happened with mine. Campfire smell, very little to no draft, low temperatures. Happened after a few months of burning day and night.

My chimney was still clean but the low temperature of the mesh will allow crud to condense on it. Mine was nearly 100% clogged. I just removed it completely.
Thanks, that's where I'm headed next on this troubleshooting journey. We have a couple of feet of snow on the roof, so I'm working on clearing a safe path first.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Thanks, that's where I'm headed next on this troubleshooting journey. We have a couple of feet of snow on the roof, so I'm working on clearing a safe path first.

7% is awful dry.. did you test this on the outside of the split.. or split it open and check the freshly split face
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
7% is awful dry.. did you test this on the outside of the split.. or split it open and check the freshly split face
Left it inside for a few hours, split it, and immediately tested it, pins in the center of the split face, following the grain. It seemed low to me too, which is why I questioned the quality of the mm.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,414
South Puget Sound, WA
Left it inside for a few hours, split it, and immediately tested it, pins in the center of the split face, following the grain. It seemed low to me too, which is why I questioned the quality of the mm.
Yes, it is hard to get cabinetry and flooring wood to that dryness. Our firewood settles in around 16-18%, most likely due to our wet winters.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Yes, it is hard to get cabinetry and flooring wood to that dryness. Our firewood settles in around 16-18%, most likely due to our wet winters.
I agree.. something is a miss.. I can get wood to 14/15% mc with out a kiln, after a number of years in the shed and hot summers.. 7% is pretty low..
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,083
Iowa

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
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RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
I drove through Grand Junction about 12 years ago. I was on my way to Hyattville Wyoming from Phoenix. I was in the middle of nowhere following a napkin map at 2am with deer jumping over the road everywhere. Eventually I just pulled over and took a nap until the sun came up. I wasn’t about to wreck my truck with a damn deer.
On another note I still think you need to check your cap and the horizontal section of pipe. There really isn’t a whole lot to how these stoves breathe.
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
I drove through Grand Junction about 12 years ago. I was on my way to Hyattville Wyoming from Phoenix. I was in the middle of nowhere following a napkin map at 2am with deer jumping over the road everywhere. Eventually I just pulled over and took a nap until the sun came up. I wasn’t about to wreck my truck with a damn deer.
On another note I still think you need to check your cap and the horizontal section of pipe. There really isn’t a whole lot to how these stoves breathe.
Yeah, wildlife is a real hazard out here.

So I went up on the roof today, climbed through two feet of snow, and 'lo and behold, the mesh was completely blocked out with soot. I should have trusted my instincts, but I didn't want to blame the chimney sweep. He's literally the only guy in town.

Anyhow, pulled the mesh off like you recommended, put the cap back on, and fired up another round. Stove's running like gangbusters now.

I'm kicking myself for not checking the cap sooner, but on the plus side, I've learned tons from the experience and my system's tighter than it was when I started.

Thanks for the help everyone.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,414
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like a bit of a pain, but I'm glad you are functional again.
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
Yep, it's been a hassle, but worth the learning experience. I really appreciate the advice I got here—it gave me the confidence that I'd tried everything but the cap check.

Next question! This stove is old and janky. Due to a warped damper inlet, the damper won't seal completely, which I understand is needed to get the cat running properly. Is there any partial benefit/risk to shutting it anyhow? I'd say it's probably 80% closed off when the damper is in the 'fully shut' position.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Yep, it's been a hassle, but worth the learning experience. I really appreciate the advice I got here—it gave me the confidence that I'd tried everything but the cap check.

Next question! This stove is old and janky. Due to a warped damper inlet, the damper won't seal completely, which I understand is needed to get the cat running properly. Is there any partial benefit/risk to shutting it anyhow? I'd say it's probably 80% closed off when the damper is in the 'fully shut' position.
Depending on how bad it is.. 1 your cat will not run completely as air/smoke will go up the stove pipe. 2 because smoke will go up the chimney you will be building up creosote due to the unburned fuel in the stove pipe. 3 cat temperatures will most likely be low, maybe the cat will not engage at all. Your stove may not operate well, if the cat doesn't engage your draft will be low creating a worse burn cycle. In my stove when the cats running properly 1000/1400 degrees, that helps keep the stove pipe warm and draft up. If your cat stalls.. so will your draft.
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
Depending on how bad it is.. 1 your cat will not run completely as air/smoke will go up the stove pipe. 2 because smoke will go up the chimney you will be building up creosote due to the unburned fuel in the stove pipe. 3 cat temperatures will most likely be low, maybe the cat will not engage at all. Your stove may not operate well, if the cat doesn't engage your draft will be low creating a worse burn cycle. In my stove when the cats running properly 1000/1400 degrees, that helps keep the stove pipe warm and draft up. If your cat stalls.. so will your draft.
Yeah, all things I'm considering. It's a really old stove, so I don't have a way of determining cat temps. There's no probe that I can see. The manual talks about using griddle temp to determine when to engage the cat. There's also that fact that this cat may be totally trashed, since it's well over a decade old.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
There’s a cat probe port in the rear of the stove. If there’s never been one used then the button cap is probably still there covering the hole. What model stove is this again?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Near as I can tell, it's a Defiant Encore 0028.
Ok so I found the manual online. The cat access panel is on the back of the stove. There’s 4 screws you need to take out. Then carefully remove the refractory cat cover. You will probably need a couple of 1” putty knives to gently pry on the cover and cat. Take that out and inspect it.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,664
Ottawa, ON
0028 has a dedicated inlet for a cat probe. Just like 2550
 

WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
Ok so I found the manual online. The cat access panel is on the back of the stove. There’s 4 screws you need to take out. Then carefully remove the refractory cat cover. You will probably need a couple of 1” putty knives to gently pry on the cover and cat. Take that out and inspect it.
Pulled the cat when I was troubleshooting the weak draft. It looks to be in pretty rough shape:
cRNSQvRv0zNKIvrZd-yISyiv9Pd2juprt159u__y8BOr7_AUCtfKVBCV9dAkH3oeRTzVsWfhDXPRvGSFtjNbRWD0kigfArWst2ykwcOwOf5g06emNCu14J0qwUDUx5mvU-8xUX3gTjH8QyhRgzKaYYrytITVryHLuX9HG9aA_7k9yhgSfxMuGpfqcHf9dmcTT5vMLMk8Y8r95ZLdn7M6EdDtp0LRdga_V559jQYAYxRW8gpzZXilxl9Bw9cUh1ksGfHdXwXVFMS6b2AWlo0rG8dF4bDQ0YCzZCkfPmVTqGMx1CtZwHzQkcwu-afcOvDQX6RvkZPHcQm4IAhVtC2B3smzhfyg3r9TUyYwvtdLK8DqmSdw3X0sOBz6aT3lb3JJyVyO5PeozQFXFxoCQgVGe8w65iPRh4YQ8B2bWBVIxRPZuY-Fr8eT_UD0pkyThRTw8TJuRKe9JpEA9imxIiQPeX8q0JlX8VchEghb8LanoIrmMtCSOqYNXgglcIh0HqGOO0W2nHcFN3e171ZWp954zeFIZByXzA5c7fQrZ7_TqidOfIHQhxNhkOc8DZW8llKoLCRZN4bZE9OXCZNGDU6kS2Xd8fHNN8xgFKwcFa3TgSpzIKerXOLOpgKgXI18YMSoBjBCYoaei0QF7rVQYctq_Jc3lE51KJwMv24yqorl28l8tDLJcQ_sNJzl5DuJmN4k9kIzQsoLD5UG3MsO2abzmNTw=w975-h1294-no
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,664
Ottawa, ON
It does not look all broken up. But it does not mean it still works as it shoud.
 
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WhatDayJob

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
46
Colorado
It does not look all broken up. But it does not mean it still works as it shoud.
Thanks. Next step would be to get a cat probe thermometer hooked into the system, eh? The stove is maintaining 5-600 pretty consistently, even with the damper as closed as it can get.
The probes that I can find online all seem to be direct-read probes. Is there any reason I couldn't use a wired probe so I wouldn't have to look behind the stove every time I wanted to check the cat temp?
Any recommendations for probes?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Pulled the cat when I was troubleshooting the weak draft. It looks to be in pretty rough shape:
cRNSQvRv0zNKIvrZd-yISyiv9Pd2juprt159u__y8BOr7_AUCtfKVBCV9dAkH3oeRTzVsWfhDXPRvGSFtjNbRWD0kigfArWst2ykwcOwOf5g06emNCu14J0qwUDUx5mvU-8xUX3gTjH8QyhRgzKaYYrytITVryHLuX9HG9aA_7k9yhgSfxMuGpfqcHf9dmcTT5vMLMk8Y8r95ZLdn7M6EdDtp0LRdga_V559jQYAYxRW8gpzZXilxl9Bw9cUh1ksGfHdXwXVFMS6b2AWlo0rG8dF4bDQ0YCzZCkfPmVTqGMx1CtZwHzQkcwu-afcOvDQX6RvkZPHcQm4IAhVtC2B3smzhfyg3r9TUyYwvtdLK8DqmSdw3X0sOBz6aT3lb3JJyVyO5PeozQFXFxoCQgVGe8w65iPRh4YQ8B2bWBVIxRPZuY-Fr8eT_UD0pkyThRTw8TJuRKe9JpEA9imxIiQPeX8q0JlX8VchEghb8LanoIrmMtCSOqYNXgglcIh0HqGOO0W2nHcFN3e171ZWp954zeFIZByXzA5c7fQrZ7_TqidOfIHQhxNhkOc8DZW8llKoLCRZN4bZE9OXCZNGDU6kS2Xd8fHNN8xgFKwcFa3TgSpzIKerXOLOpgKgXI18YMSoBjBCYoaei0QF7rVQYctq_Jc3lE51KJwMv24yqorl28l8tDLJcQ_sNJzl5DuJmN4k9kIzQsoLD5UG3MsO2abzmNTw=w975-h1294-no
It doesn’t look to bad. All the cells are in tact. It looks slightly warped though. I would lightly blow it out with some air. Not compressor air but like the other side of your shop vac or keyboard duster. Then you need to decide how far down the rabbit hole you want to go with this stove. Your cheapest way to test the cat is get an analog cat probe. This will let you know if things are lighting off. If you think you are going to keep this stove for any period of time though, I would invest in a digital cat probe. This will be your best friend in running these VC stoves. Auber Instruments AT100 is a popular one here on the forum.
 
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