Dauntless issues

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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
I purchased a new VC Dauntless last season. Manufactured in 2020. I've been using it less than one full season and I've got a few issues. First, I purchased the stove with the enamel finish and it's very unforgiving when it comes to light blows by any solid object causing good sized chips in the finish. Dealer says this is normal, I don't believe it should be and if it is I wish I would have purchased the black finish and saved a few bucks. Second, is the stove seems to fire up very quickly which maybe a characteristic of a catalytic combuster stove but I seemed to have to baby sit this stove more than the one I had for 25 years. Third, and most annoying is the by-pass rod that opens and closes the damper plate keeps bending and jamming up where I can't operate the stove. I've been in touch with the dealer but I'm not getting the support I thought I'd get. Anyone else experiencing issues with the Dauntless?
 

NewGuy132

Member
Jan 22, 2021
160
Central MA
Dont have a Dauntless, but an Intrepid Flexburn, basically a smaller Dauntless. I got the enamel coating and it absolutely chips very easily. Actually one of the guys at the dealer tried to talk me out of it. He said that it looks amazing until you drop 1 things on it or bump it with a tool once. Hell I chipped the enamel on the ash lip on day 1. Luckily the touchup does a good enough job and I have been way more careful around the stove. I still have 1 chip around the opening at the top that I need to fill in, but that may have to wait until the end of burning season.

My stove doesn't fire up quickly, but this is my first year and I have sub par wood so I cant help with that one.

I haven't had any issues with closing the damper. It runs fairly smooth and closes fully every time.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
I told the dealer that they really should tell people interested in the enamel coating that it chips easy so they know going in.
I'm furious that I have not heard back from the dealer or VC not very good for future sales as I'm sure there are many people
on this site and others shopping for new stoves. I had to take things apart to see if I could diagnosis the issue with the damper as this stove is my primary heat source. I discovered the damper rod was bent out of shape. No force was ever used on the damper handle to cause this the rod to bend like it did. I bent the rod back to its original form re-installed and now is working fine. However, I'm afraid this will occur again, heat related distortion maybe? Attached is a pic of the bent damper rod.

IMG_00001.jpg
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
Dauntless owners, is this what you are experiencing when you get smoke smell in the room? Has anyone resolved this issue?
I also hear a pretty noticeable "pop" sound (sound not in video).
 

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PatrickWR

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
24
Oregon
Dauntless owner here. I definitely have not observed that type of fire performance. It looks like it's getting inconsistent airflow, causing it to huff & puff every few seconds.

Maybe the air control system is plugged or jammed?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,354
Long Island NY
Not a VC owner, but what you are seeing is backpuffing. Try dialing down the air a bit slower (more and smaller steps).
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
Dauntless owner here. I definitely have not observed that type of fire performance. It looks like it's getting inconsistent airflow, causing it to huff & puff every few seconds.

Maybe the air control system is plugged or jammed?
Funny, I only had the primary air 3 notches from fully open, so when it did this I opened the air all the way and it stopped. Sometimes I think this stove has a mind of it's own. First I've seen it do this multiple times.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,354
Long Island NY
Funny, I only had the primary air 3 notches from fully open, so when it did this I opened the air all the way and it stopped. Sometimes I think this stove has a mind of it's own. First I've seen it do this multiple times.

That is precisely the issue with backpuffing: fuel rich mixture doesn't burn until enough oxygen comes in (e.g. with a wind gust outside increasing draft momentarily), at which point it "explodes" which is what you saw. That explosion creates a pressure wave, and can (not guaranteed) push smoke out. Hence the smell.
Add oxygen and the fuel mixture will either burn in the box without the explosion, or the flow will increase and it'll be eaten by the cat before it gets a chance to explode.
 
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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
That is precisely the issue with backpuffing: fuel rich mixture doesn't burn until enough oxygen comes in (e.g. with a wind gust outside increasing draft momentarily), at which point it "explodes" which is what you saw. That explosion creates a pressure wave, and can (not guaranteed) push smoke out. Hence the smell.
Add oxygen and the fuel mixture will either burn in the box without the explosion, or the flow will increase and it'll be eaten by the cat before it gets a chance to explode.
It's a tough stove to figure out, there's times when I think I'm safe to leave it for a few minutes after loading then I get that smell of the stove pipe overheating and I come in the room and have to rush over to shut the damper and primary air. The manual is confusing first it states make sure the holes at the rear of the stove at the bottom are clear from ash, then later in the manual it states to push the ashes to the back before reloading.
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
Newbie here. We just installed vc Dauntless 4 days ago. Have had many woodstoves in the past 40 years. We did all the "break in" fires but are having issues with our stovepipe overheating and getting that smell also. The stovepipe seems to run as hot as the stove at times even with damper shut. Going to call dealer today. We were told we couldn't put damper in flue or it would void warranty. So far not happy. Too much babysitting.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
Newbie here. We just installed vc Dauntless 4 days ago. Have had many woodstoves in the past 40 years. We did all the "break in" fires but are having issues with our stovepipe overheating and getting that smell also. The stovepipe seems to run as hot as the stove at times even with damper shut. Going to call dealer today. We were told we couldn't put damper in flue or it would void warranty. So far not happy. Too much babysitting.
Do you have the catalyst with your stove? When you shut the damper do you close the primary air control on the right side of the stove a bit so it doesn't over fire too much?
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
No cat. We do shut the air control about half way and then have to turn it way down to try to control it. It has run great today but just when I think I've figured it out, it does it again!
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
No cat. We do shut the air control about half way and then have to turn it way down to try to control it. It has run great today but just when I think I've figured it out, it does it again!
I hear you, I've noticed mine runs best when the temp outside is 10 - 15 degrees with the cat activated yet I need to keep the primary air no more than 3 clicks from wide open. However, above 15 degrees it seems I can't get the cat lit (hot enough) so I've actually have taken the cat out and run the stove without it but that defeats the purpose of the cat. What kind of chimney do you have? Mine is stainless steel but outside the structure of the house. Before this stove I had an Erin Waterford stove which, at least, was predictable this stove I'm always nervous to leave it unattended.
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
Yes, we also have stainless but ours is in center of house. We are either struggling to get it going or it's going too much and am , like you, afraid to leave it. We are afraid to put more than 3 pieces of wood in at a time at night because we get that smell when it gets too hot, which is defeating the purpose of why we bought it to run through the night! So frustrating!! Calling dealer tomorrow. See if they have any answers. They were closed yesterday.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
Yes, we also have stainless but ours is in center of house. We are either struggling to get it going or it's going too much and am , like you, afraid to leave it. We are afraid to put more than 3 pieces of wood in at a time at night because we get that smell when it gets too hot, which is defeating the purpose of why we bought it to run through the night! So frustrating!! Calling dealer tomorrow. See if they have any answers. They were closed yesterday.
I see you're from Maine too. If you would, please share any information you receive from your dealer I'd appreciate it. I have not received the support from VC that one would expect from the reputation they have (or did have). Like I mentioned before the stove is running well this morning but it was 0 degrees when I woke up. One thing I was going to mention because you seemed to be over firing is to check for door alignment to make sure your gaskets are sealing as they should and check and make sure the ash pan door's gasket is in it's correct position and sealing as well. These two items have been posted on this and other forums as potential causes of over firing.
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,797
NW Wisconsin
What kind of flue temps, internal or external are you guys seeing?
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
I see you're from Maine too. If you would, please share any information you receive from your dealer I'd appreciate it. I have not received the support from VC that one would expect from the reputation they have (or did have). Like I mentioned before the stove is running well this morning but it was 0 degrees when I woke up. One thing I was going to mention because you seemed to be over firing is to check for door alignment to make sure your gaskets are sealing as they should and check and make sure the ash pan door's gasket is in it's correct position and sealing as well. These two items have been posted on this and other forums as potential causes of over firing.
Thanks! I'll do that and let you know what the dealer has to say.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,467
Lackawaxen PA
Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel has been around forever. I would assume the process is well understood. Shame they didn't get it right on your stove. My stove, Jotul has been doing it a long time, but we heard they had recent stoves with issues. I've never taken a hammer to the stove top, but normal use mine is perfect.

Wonder what you did to chip the finish? Or did it just delaminate do to heating / cooling? Is that a steel stove?
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel has been around forever. I would assume the process is well understood. Shame they didn't get it right on your stove. My stove, Jotul has been doing it a long time, but we heard they had recent stoves with issues. I've never taken a hammer to the stove top, but normal use mine is perfect.

Wonder what you did to chip the finish? Or did it just delaminate do to heating / cooling? Is that a steel stove?
Well, you can tell that whomever assembled the front doors had it wrong because it had a big chip on the upper right side arch. Two other incidents were just a light tap with the metal end of the removable door handle, very light taps caused a pencil eraser head sized chips. Complaining to VC was useless as this is, in their view, was considered "normal" and just sent more enamel touch up paint. They would never admit that the enamel process may have been compromised.
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
What kind of flue temps, internal or external are you guys seeing?
The thermometer we put on stove pipe 18" above stove runs 400-425 while stove top is 500-550 when it is smelling. We have everything shut down and it continues to run as hot. I'm not concerned with stove temp but I just don't want to smell hot metal everything. At other times it runs 325-350 with stove at 500-525 with no problems with air intake open. What is normal for stovepipe temps??
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,797
NW Wisconsin
The thermometer we put on stove pipe 18" above stove runs 400-425 while stove top is 500-550 when it is smelling. We have everything shut down and it continues to run as hot. I'm not concerned with stove temp but I just don't want to smell hot metal everything. At other times it runs 325-350 with stove at 500-525 with no problems with air intake open. What is normal for stovepipe temps??
Are those external temps on single wall pipe? According to Condar thermometers normal range for external pipe temps for single wall is 250-475. Internal flue temps for double wall pipe 360-900. New pipe will have that smell for awhile and every time you exceed the previous hot temp.
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
Yes external on single wall pipe. Thanks for the info on temps. I know it will smell for awhile, just trying to have it not run so hot when I've got it shut down.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
30
Maine
What kind of flue temps, internal or external are you guys seeing?
About 12" above the stove, the pipe is reading approx 300 degrees after shutting down the damper and cat lit. When first starting with the damper open you have to be on your toes because I've had it shoot up in the over fire zone in a matter of 30 - 40 seconds. I seem to be going through wood like crazy. I'm going to buy a moisture meter to see what I'm seeing for readings. I still don't know why I can't get long burn times.
 

Wood Hunter

Member
Dec 29, 2014
16
ESVA
Sorry for your troubles Skipper. Glad I stayed away from the Dauntless after reading this (went with Quadra Fire Discovery).