Advice Needed Vermont Casting Vigilant 1980 - Replace or Adapt

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Oct 15, 2023
Hi everyone, this is a bit long, so I apologize in advance. As I'm not exactly well-versed in the finer points of wood stoves, I could really use some help.

My family has had a VC Vigilant for over 30 years. The previous homeowner bought/installed it, and it came with the house when my family subsequently purchased it. We've recently had some work done on our chimney box, and when we had it inspected for insurance purposes, we were told that due to insufficient clearance distances between the chimney pipe and the box, we either need to replace our wood stove with a new one that can utilize a 6 inch diameter pipe (current piping is 8 inches), or we need to entirely rebuild our chimney box.

Per the price quote we got, rebuilding the box is roughly double the price of replacing our Vigilant with a new Defiant model. So that leaves us with replacing the Vigilant.

However, our Vigilant has sentimental value, so we tried researching to see if there was any way that it could handle a 6 inch pipe. If that was the case, we'd only have to get the converter and the required 6 inch diameter pipe. We found an adapter that might work for it on a parts website, but when we looked up the logistics of converting from 8 to 6 inch pipe, we found conflicting answers about whether this would be a viable solution for our model or not - some places said it wouldn't vent well enough, some said that it would, some even said that there were different ways you had to approach making fires if you did convert to a smaller pipe.

Essentially, what we need to know is:
1.) Would an 8 to 6 inch adapter be viable for our Vigilant (1980) in terms of functionality?
2.) Would it be safe?
3.) If there is a loss of efficiency, would it be drastic, or minor?
per Vermont castings: 8 inch is best, 6 is possible.

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per Vermont castings: 8 inch is best, 6 is possible.

View attachment 316861
Hi there! Thank you very much for your response. We've spoken to our chimney guy, and he seems willing to try the adapter. He is, however, finding conflicting information in the manuals, so if I may ask, which manual is this from? I just want to be able to direct him to the right one. Thank you again.
I have a similar conundrum but I may have found a solution. I am hoping someone here has some experience. My Vigilant sits on relativley short hearth and so the back of the stove goes into the fireplace opening a bit. The issue I have is going from the 8" oval to get to my sheetmetal opening blocking the damper is a squeeze. For 30+ years I have used an 8" T with the short, offset 8 oval to round 8" adapter. But now, for what ever reason, all the 8" T's , 24 gauge, that I attach onto the adapter and squeezed into an oval to go up the chimney are no longer made with an attached snout. Since I have had to cut the entry pipe on the T to get it short enough to fit my opening, with the new design T's it can't be done. Anyway, I have found two possible solutions. One is I found an 8" oval to 8" round elbow which I think will fit for me, just have to fix/tweak my blockoff plate in the damper. A better solution, that I think is available is VC (0r somebody) makes a replacement collar that replaces the 8"oval outlet with a 6" round outlet. That seems like it would make my life easy, a simple solution by making everything 6" round. I have found several posts where the only down side to that approach is (supposedly) if you run the stove with wood, doors open, the exhaust might not be sufficient. Since my only burn time is coal, not an issue. Moreover, I didn't calculate the cross section area, but I don't imagine an 8" oval is dramatically larger than a round 6" exhaust.....maybe 20-25% perhaps? Anyway, here's my question: anyone ever swap the 8"oval to the 6" round? Is there really a part available for a Vigilant? I found what I beleive is the part number..... something like 1580 or p/n 0001580. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I was able to find the 6" round flue collar. Not a big deal but one of the attaching bolts got stripped taking it out, it was plenty rusty/corroded and it seems the threads just quit on the stove. I tapped in a 5/16" bolt and that was fine. So with a 6" exhaust life is a lot simpler. In my search for solution I also found an 8" oval 90 deg T which might have even been a simpler solution to my tight fit,
I have a Vigilant and have a reducer right above the stove from 8” down to 6”. Works great and we burn from Oct - Apr. fire only goes out to clean out ash.
I installed the 6" round flue collar to replace the 8" oval. As I mentioned my set up is tight so the 8 to 6 adapter makes a tough fit. Anyway, I have been burning wood with no issue and started up my coal regimen which will likely go until early March, non stop. The coal is working fine with the 6" round flue.
I have a Vigilant and have a reducer right above the stove from 8” down to 6”. Works great and we burn from Oct - Apr. fire only goes out to clean out ash.
Can I see your setup? Here’s mine, and they said it’s an issue. The chimney is clay and they can only fit a 6 inch pipe