2021/22 VC Owner thread

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Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
Newbie to hearth.com. Been burning wood for 30 years on a Noble woodstove. After many reviews and reading all the threads here, I ordered a VC Encore at the end of May and it was finally delivered and installed last week. Sunday I did 2 burn ins and I'm doing the third right now. It's a beautiful woodstove! View attachment 286103
Congrats on the new stove! Wish I had mine fired up this evening.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,664
Ottawa, ON
Gorgeous! You are missing warming shelves however.
 

dmccoole

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
9
Raymond, NH
Warming Shelves as a Xmas present might be on order! Is there an accessory list with descriptions online somewhere? VC website only shows pictures of the accessories.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,464
Woolwich nj
Newbie to hearth.com. Been burning wood for 30 years on a Noble woodstove. After many reviews and reading all the threads here, I ordered a VC Encore at the end of May and it was finally delivered and installed last week. Sunday I did 2 burn ins and I'm doing the third right now. It's a beautiful woodstove! View attachment 286103

welcom.. i really enjoy mine
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Hello everyone! Over the summer I installed a new chimney and tore down our 0028 defiant encore to the bare flat panels and completely rebuilt and resealed it (It was very neglected and never worked properly). I couldn't have done it without you guys, this place has been an incredibly useful resource. I have thermocouples with alarms on the cat, griddle and flue.

It has been running for around two months now and I'm getting the feeling something is wrong. I'm having to run fairly cold temperatures on the griddle to prevent the cat from overheating (My alarm is set for 1600 on the cat). I've had the cat exceed 1600 even with the griddle at 250. This is causing a lot of cresote buildup on the interior of the stove and glass, I've had to replace the door gasket already due to it impregnating the gasket and turning it crunchy causing the thing to leak and almost go nuclear (Along with the secondary air over-extending and opening back up)

I warm the griddle up to 400 before closing the damper but unless I keep cutting the air back the cat just gets hotter and hotter while the stove body/griddle just gets cooler and cooler. There's just no way to run this at a decent griddle/stove body temp without the cat constantly climbing.

I can't find anyone else who has this issue, it seems like you guys have issues with the griddle becoming too hot if anything. It's interfering with keeping the house warm. On the plus side there is very little creosote buildup in the chimney, it has stayed very clean.

EPA holes are unplugged and secondary air inlet appears to function properly. How do I fix this?
I have Intrepid II 1990, not sure how similar it is but I was having the same problem. I partially blocked my EPA holes and it made a world of difference. Just covered them with some foil tape and poked a small hole in the center of each one.

I also restricted the secondary air, not completely as some people have done on this thread but I left a small fixed gap for secondary air and disconnected it from the coil. No more cat over firing.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Some have stuffed aluminum foil in the air inlet. I disconnected the rod and removed the little washer on the pivot screw of the shutter. This allowed me to tighten the screw so the shutter does not move. I also put a little round magnet just under the shutter so it can’t slip down and create a gap on the top side. I suppose you could also seal it up with aluminum tape used with hvac.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
I have Intrepid II 1990, not sure how similar it is but I was having the same problem. I partially blocked my EPA holes and it made a world of difference. Just covered them with some foil tape and poked a small hole in the center of each one.

I also restricted the secondary air, not completely as some people have done on this thread but I left a small fixed gap for secondary air and disconnected it from the coil. No more cat over firing.
The secondary probe needs to be timed perfectly to keep it from rolling over and opening on top. This is a very challenging task. If you feel you want to keep the secondary shutter operational just put a magnet under the shutter so as the coil keeps opening the shutter can’t open up on top. I will look for a picture in my phone.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Here you can see the magnets under the shutter. This kept the shutter from opening back up on top. Now that the shutter is disconnected the magnets are just there in case the shutter slips down. I will probably get some foil tape soon and just cover. I’m sure air is leaking in around the shutter.

5EA42AD4-672B-41C1-AA53-236FD50184D8.jpeg
 

chrisspellman

New Member
Nov 23, 2021
1
MA, USA
Hi all, first timer! Just put 50% down on an install of a VC Encore which is getting installed in mid December.

I've been reading about issues people were having with the catalytic feature? Was this prior to the recent redesigns for 2020 EPA standards? Or is it still an issue?

We likely won't be running it 24/7, but maybe 12h a day for a few days a week.

It sounds like we definitely want a temp gauge for the stove itself, but it sounds like people also temp the secondary burn chamber to make sure it doesn't overheat the cat?
 

Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
Hi all, first timer! Just put 50% down on an install of a VC Encore which is getting installed in mid December.

I've been reading about issues people were having with the catalytic feature? Was this prior to the recent redesigns for 2020 EPA standards? Or is it still an issue?

We likely won't be running it 24/7, but maybe 12h a day for a few days a week.

It sounds like we definitely want a temp gauge for the stove itself, but it sounds like people also temp the secondary burn chamber to make sure it doesn't overheat the cat?
Yes, get a cat temp probe of some sort! Most will recommend an auber digital readout with a type k thermocouple, about $87 shipped the last time I checked. Griddle top on my stove can read 300 and the cat be >1500, without the cat probe I would have destroyed this stove the first winter I used it. Disclaimer I knew less than nothing about wood stoves when I started so the instrumentation helped shorten the learning curve too.
 
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dmccoole

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
9
Raymond, NH
Yes, get a cat temp probe of some sort! Most will recommend an auber digital readout with a type k thermocouple, about $87 shipped the last time I checked. Griddle top on my stove can read 300 and the cat be >1500, without the cat probe I would have destroyed this stove the first winter I used it. Disclaimer I knew less than nothing about wood stoves when I started so the instrumentation helped shorten the learning curve too.
What is the operating temp range of the cat? What do you do when it goes over the recommended high temp? Open the bypass?

I'm having my first real burn today and engaged the cat. The temp on the stove has been showing 450 most of the day.

It's in the 30s today but the house is 77. How do you all keep the stove at a lower temp so not to heat us out? Keep the primary air on low. Small incremental loads of wood? Don't engage the cat?
 
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Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
Hey everyone, question for you seasoned VC owners…is there any way to keep my glass a little cleaner? This is my first experience with a downdraft stove and didn’t know if the “air wash” system is not as good on these as on a tube burner stove. Didn’t seem to be as bad on my tube burner. I burn mostly oak that reads about 18% on the meter. Glass stays pretty clean when the fire is hot of course, but a lot of soot/creasote when the air is cut back for overnight burns. Any suggestions or is this just a VC thing?

Other than dirty glass and a smaller ash pan than I’d like, the new Dauntless has been freaking awesome! I’ve never had a stove heat my house the way this thing does. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! B71DAFDB-C72E-4439-A6DE-EBDE4708E6DB.jpeg
 
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RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Don't forget it's ok if some air gets to the catalyst.... ;lol
It gets it through the primary. Blocking off the secondary does change how you run the stove a little bit. Not much though.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,355
Whitmore lake, MI
Hi all, first timer! Just put 50% down on an install of a VC Encore which is getting installed in mid December.

I've been reading about issues people were having with the catalytic feature? Was this prior to the recent redesigns for 2020 EPA standards? Or is it still an issue?

We likely won't be running it 24/7, but maybe 12h a day for a few days a week.

It sounds like we definitely want a temp gauge for the stove itself, but it sounds like people also temp the secondary burn chamber to make sure it doesn't overheat the cat?
Correct. A cat probe is a must.
 

dmccoole

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
9
Raymond, NH
Question on the Aubor AT100 thermocouple probe WRNK-191:

What connector, mini or spade? and what length, 6" or 10"? for Encore 2040

 

Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
What is the operating temp range of the cat? What do you do when it goes over the recommended high temp? Open the bypass?

I'm having my first real burn today and engaged the cat. The temp on the stove has been showing 450 most of the day.

It's in the 30s today but the house is 77. How do you all keep the stove at a lower temp so not to heat us out? Keep the primary air on low. Small incremental loads of wood? Don't engage the cat?
500-1700F, just off the top of my head. If you have a owners manual handy it’s listed in there and other places on here. I don’t think they can “run” at 1700 but the occasion spike there is not catastrophic. Over temp on the cat-the quickest way to cool it is open the bypass but that sends the heat up your stack (keep an eye in stack temp) and will probably make the fire in the main box bigger/hotter which will make more smoke to feed the cat when you close the bypass making for a vicious cycle.

The two things I’ve found that makes the most difference on control is restricted secondary air flow and bigger splits.

When it’s 40 outside I load the stove for a top down start and a full load of wood, when it’s gone I don’t reload or I start opening windows.

I try to run cat as much as possible, more efficient, less pollution, and no one can smell smoke.

On stove top temp make sure and verify the bimetallic mag mount units. I have 3 that read 100 off from the actual temp. And I’ll get a pic of the thermocouple connector but I think it’s the mini. 6” or 10” will work but the 10” will prevent you from re installing a small heat shield on the back.
My standard disclaimer, I’ve been at this 3 years there are others here that I learned from. Old posts cover this in a lot better detail than I can provide.
 
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Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
Question on the Aubor AT100 thermocouple probe WRNK-191:

What connector, mini or spade? and what length, 6" or 10"? for Encore 2040

Mini connector and either length, 6” will work better but I think the 10” is a few dollars cheaper? Mine has the 10”.
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Question on the Aubor AT100 thermocouple probe WRNK-191:

What connector, mini or spade? and what length, 6" or 10"? for Encore 2040

I bought the AT100 and probe separately, and I ended up having to take the mini connector off and wire the thermocouple directly to the little green connector that comes with the AT100. Not a big deal, but I thought it was odd that the basic AT100 does not take a mini thermocouple connector.
 
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Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
I bought the AT100 and probe separately, and I ended up having to take the mini connector off and wire the thermocouple directly to the little green connector that comes with the AT100. Not a big deal, but I thought it was odd that the basic AT100 does not take a mini thermocouple connector.
I stand corrected, mine has a terminal strip too. Get the cheapest end possible cause you will probably be taking it off. I thought mine took the mini. :(
 

Rusty18

Burning Hunk
Nov 3, 2018
211
Belpre oh
AT100 and WRNK-191 are ordered! Thank you for the help!
If adding a new hole in your refractor for the probe remember use a drill bit but no drill! Turn it with your fingers, that stuff is like soft drywall. If upgrading an already existing probe it will just use the same hole.
 
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Lac a Webber

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
19
Ottawa, Canada
If adding a new hole in your refractor for the probe remember use a drill bit but no drill! Turn it with your fingers, that stuff is like soft drywall. If upgrading an already existing probe it will just use the same hole.
Good advice!! I installed my probe on my brand new encore 4 days ago and even when I gently poked the probe through it made a chunk the size of a dime and thickness of 2 dimes (roughly) fall off the inside. No mention in the manual to be careful of this!!
 
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Lac a Webber

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
19
Ottawa, Canada
Other than that the install went well. It's a heavy stove! Nothing that a hand truck and a couple of car jacks
with a 2 by 8 couldn't fix. Yes I got warming racks but they messed up the order and only one came in.
 
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