2022/23 VC Owner thread

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bert670

New Member
Mar 19, 2021
38
Hudson Valley, NY
Hey Bert,
Do you get the long burn times of 11 hours with the cat ? how is your stove holding up in general?
Good question, so I had the stove installed in February of this year. I don't remember if I checked the cat or not after install, but when I went to do my spring cleaning of the stove I found the cat laying down against the floor in the 'cat area' when it should have been standing up long ways in the cat 'area'. So can't say how the burn time was effected by the positioning of it. With that being said I was overall happy with the performance. I burned around the clock for a good portion of the end of the season, and I would say 8-9 hr burns were easy overnight with embers leftover to get a fire going the next morning. I am not sure what wood I was burning since I had to use a wood service last year, some wood burned noticeably longer than others. This year I have some of that leftover, plus a lot of oak and ash that I processed myself, so I should have a better feel for burning different wood types. One thing I wasn't happy with was the handle on he top grate door. It became loose during the season, and when I to tighten it, the bolt snapped off rather easy. I replaced it and will be more careful next time. I have a 15' straight vertical flue, so draft has not been a problem at all. Let me know if you have any questions, I usually check this thread every so often, so might not get a reply for a week or so.
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
686
Central MA
Sooooooo? When can you tell that the Cat is hot enough to be active and ready to be engaged without a temp probe? Curious.

VC stoves work a little differently from other cat stoves, the cat doesn't really heat up until you shut the bypass. Rule of thumb you need the stovetop around 400-500 before you shut the bypass, then the cat can heat up and light off. If you shut it too early, the fire dies down and the cat will not light off...
 

vernorz

New Member
Aug 26, 2021
14
Massachusetts
So I finished the break in fires for our new Dauntless and had our first "real" fire in it last night. No cat installed. I just had a few questions regarding measuring stove and pipe temperatures. Where on the stove top should I measure the temperature? The griddle? Just behind the griddle? The temperature just behind the griddle warms up much faster and is much warmer than the griddle. Should I go by griddle temperature for determining when to close the bypass or the hottest part of the stove?

I have a Rutland pipe thermometer on single wall pipe, 6" above the stove per the instructions. Is this where I should have it? And how far up the pipe should the temps be above 300 degrees as far as creosote is concerned?
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
686
Central MA
So I finished the break in fires for our new Dauntless and had our first "real" fire in it last night. No cat installed. I just had a few questions regarding measuring stove and pipe temperatures. Where on the stove top should I measure the temperature? The griddle? Just behind the griddle? The temperature just behind the griddle warms up much faster and is much warmer than the griddle. Should I go by griddle temperature for determining when to close the bypass or the hottest part of the stove?

I have a Rutland pipe thermometer on single wall pipe, 6" above the stove per the instructions. Is this where I should have it? And how far up the pipe should the temps be above 300 degrees as far as creosote is concerned?
I think 6" above the stove is a little close - you may get a high reading due to radiated heat from the stove top. The number I usually hear quoted for flue thermometers is 18".

I usually use flue temp to decide when to shut the bypass because the flue temperature is most responsive to what the fire is actually doing. On a cold start I let mine get to about 850F internal (would be around 500 surface temp), whereas on a reload I would close it sooner maybe around 650-700 internal.
Once it's operating, as long as the cat is lit off and you're burning clean, it's fine for the flue temp to dip into the yellow a little - after all one of the ways you gain efficiency from a cat stove is with cleaner exhaust at lower temperatures.
Just experiment and figure out what your stove likes.

For measuring surface temps you can use the griddle or the spot right behind it, just always measure in the same place to get consistent readings. I believe the guideline temps in the manual are supposed to be in the center of the griddle.

Edit: just re-read and saw you are not using the cat. In that case I don't know about the acceptable flue temps.
 

vernorz

New Member
Aug 26, 2021
14
Massachusetts
I've seen 18" as the standard as well so I'm curious why Rutland would say no more than 6" on this thermometer. Unfortunately this is a hearth installed stove and 18" is too high up in the fireplace for me to see without sticking my head up in there. So burning with the bypass closed ,and primary air all the way open, the stove is running about 500-550 just behind the griddle, 360 on the pipe just above the stove collar, and 200-230 at 18". These were taken with an infrared thermometer. I'm guessing my wood may not be dry enough, although I did split and measure a fresh split and it was at 17-18%.
 

vernorz

New Member
Aug 26, 2021
14
Massachusetts
I filled it about 1/2 full with 3" splits. It's been steady for the past 2 hours with the bypass closed and primary all the way open, stovetop 400-450, 360ish on the pipe at 6" and 220ish at 18".
 

GrumpyDad

Member
Feb 23, 2022
215
Champion, PA
So I finished the break in fires for our new Dauntless and had our first "real" fire in it last night. No cat installed. I just had a few questions regarding measuring stove and pipe temperatures. Where on the stove top should I measure the temperature? The griddle? Just behind the griddle? The temperature just behind the griddle warms up much faster and is much warmer than the griddle. Should I go by griddle temperature for determining when to close the bypass or the hottest part of the stove?

I have a Rutland pipe thermometer on single wall pipe, 6" above the stove per the instructions. Is this where I should have it? And how far up the pipe should the temps be above 300 degrees as far as creosote is concerned?
I had wildly varying temps on my griddle. A laser thermometer was also challenging to get a good reading on the griddle. I put the thermometer on the cast iron part behind the griddle towards in the center towards the flue pipe. I also tried on the sides of the back and sides of the griddle. You can get a sense of an aggregate number by doing this and taking measurements and determining the variances, so that whereever you put it, you can quickly calculate in your head where the stove is at overall actually.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,271
Woolwich nj
Im keeping mine on the griddle but all the way back and to the center. Im keeping the one on the stove pipe about a foot up from the stove.. If seems that some of you guys are running without the cat... my suggestion is if you're closing the bypass.. it's better if you have the cat in.. your stove performance will be better, less creosote.. you will.see a different also in the stove pipe temperature..

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