Dauntless issues

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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Sorry for your troubles Skipper. Glad I stayed away from the Dauntless after reading this (went with Quadra Fire Discovery).
I'm sure it's partly operator error and getting used to a different stove, but I'm concerned about the damper rod bending. They are ordering me a new rod, we'll see!
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
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.
Woodlifer, carefully if you can, run your hand over the air intake cylinder in the rear of the stove, adjacent to the floor, do you feel the air entering? Is the flow the same when the primary air is wide open vs fully closed. I would do this to make certain the primary air control is working properly. Just be careful getting to it.
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
Woodlifer, carefully if you can, run your hand over the air intake cylinder in the rear of the stove, adjacent to the floor, do you feel the air entering? Is the flow the same when the primary air is wide open vs fully closed. I would do this to make certain the primary air control is working properly. Just be careful getting to it.
Thanks for the info. I will do that . Easy to get to and I have put my hand over it to see if it stopped the noise. Do you also have that "blow torch" sound for awhile as soon as you close the damper?
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Thanks for the info. I will do that . Easy to get to and I have put my hand over it to see if it stopped the noise. Do you also have that "blow torch" sound for awhile as soon as you close the damper?
Yes, I actually thought the noise was because of the cat, however, where yours does not have the cat it must be just the route the air is taking and making that noise due to the force of the air. How is your glass looking, does it get sooted up pretty quick?
 

Woodlifer

New Member
Feb 5, 2022
13
Millinocket, Me
And the noise is the same no matter what the air intake is set on. Yes on the glass. Sitting here making a list of things to ask dealer tomorrow,. Hope to get some useful info!
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
And the noise is the same no matter what the air intake is set on. Yes on the glass. Sitting here making a list of things to ask dealer tomorrow,. Hope to get some useful info!
And when the stove is cold and you close the damper handle can you see the damper door close inside the fire box?
 

PatrickWR

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
24
Oregon
Just chiming in to share that I also get the blowtorch sound when I close the bypass on my Dauntless. It fades away over a few minutes. I attribute it to the secondary combustion system "firing up" after a period of inactivity.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Just chiming in to share that I also get the blowtorch sound when I close the bypass on my Dauntless. It fades away over a few minutes. I attribute it to the secondary combustion system "firing up" after a period of inactivity.
Yes, I have noticed that the "blowtorch" sound does seem to go away after a short time after reloading and shutting the damper.
 

NewGuy132

Member
Jan 22, 2021
195
Central MA
Yes, I have noticed that the "blowtorch" sound does seem to go away after a short time after reloading and shutting the damper.
I could be wrong, but I believe that the "blowtorch" sound is the secondaries going.

Once the bypass is closed smoke goes through the bottom of the stove where air is added for secondary combustion. Then it goes through the cat as tertiary combustion. At least that is how my Intrepid Felxburn works and I believe all of the Flexburn models essentially operate the same way.
 

Louboozu

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
2
Illinois
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?
Unable to load without getting smoke in the house🤬
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,870
South Puget Sound, WA
Unable to load without getting smoke in the house🤬
Every install is different. Can you provide complete details of the installation including stove location in the house and a full description of the flue system from stove to chimney cap?
 

Swtorguy

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
6
US
TLDR: Horrible product that appears to be inconsistent across the line.

I have the same make and model of stove. It’s horrible in my opinion. So bad the dealer is going to swap it for a different manufacturer all together. My issues are thus:

Open the bypass, let it sit for a minute, then open the front door to load wood: smoke comes pouring in the room from the top of the door opening.

Talked to a fellow online, who has the same stove. This fella has video of the stove maintaining 500F, damper open and controlling intake with the side adjuster. Ran it the same way, and it hit 700F with the intake full closed and damper open.
I can’t adjust the intake to below 4 clicks from full open without it smoking and back puffing. That’s with a full 2 minutes between changes to allow it to adjust. Which means I can’t fully load the stove for the night and walk away like the manufacturer says because anything more than 3 splits and the thing will over fire.

Regardless of how i operate it, the glass gets blacked every time. It will be running 500+, and you can see the soot building up starting from the top center moving outward and downward.


The wood I use is kiln dried hardwood with a moisture content of less than 15% checked on fresh splits in random points of the cord stack. I also had the draft measured and, if anything, it’s too strong according to the tech. Personally, I have no idea what 2 mm vc means, but the dude was happy with it.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Has anyone mastered operating the VC Dauntless woodstove? I can't figure this stove out, can't get long burn times cat in or out, glass is always black, stove is unpredictable, it can flare to high temps in no time, it seems to require constant baby sitting, I'm afraid to leave it alone. Would like to get my money back honestly, as I think this stove doesn't perform as the manufacturer claims.
 
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Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
1,154
Union Bridge, Md
Will try to keep it short here. Had the Encore flexburn for few years then the Intrepid flexburn a few years ago. These stoves are complex to get to run right. Probably an understatement. Everything needs to be as per the manual. No deviations on any of it. The puffbacking is a product of not enough draft provided to pull off the off gasses up the flue. The wood can produce more off gassing then it should by the size, amount, and moisture content not being burned correctly. Size matters. To big and it will produce more off gassing than it can process. The manual actually specifies the size splits to use. Usually it's nothing bigger than 5" thick. The biggest issue Usually is getting the appropriate size coal bed established before engaging the cat. This not a fast process from cold. Probably a half hour or so. The glass, good luck with that. Haven't found or heard of a way to keep that from getting mucked up yet.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
95
Richmond, Va
Has anyone mastered operating the VC Dauntless woodstove? I can't figure this stove out, can't get long burn times cat in or out, glass is always black, stove is unpredictable, it can flare to high temps in no time, it seems to require constant baby sitting, I'm afraid to leave it alone. Would like to get my money back honestly, as I think this stove doesn't perform as the manufacturer claims.
Hello, this is my second year with a Dauntless...I wouldn't say that I've mastered the stove, but I am getting the hang of it. Mine was pretty unpredictable last year, but it does much better this year with the cat. I basically get it going and then leave one door cracked about an inch wide with bypass open and air fully opened until STT is 400 deg. Then I'll close the door and usually close the bypass when STT is about 500-550 deg. I usually will keep the air wide open until 600 deg and then add wood, let it catch back up and close the air about 2-3 clicks. Then the cat will light off shortly after that and the thing will cruise at 550-600 deg for 4 hours or so before it gradually cools off. At about 10 pm I'll load up and let it catch and close the air exactly half way, which is 5 clicks if I'm not mistaken and that will last all night and easily start back up at 8 am w/o even using kindling.

I think the black glass is a common problem with these stoves...I's better with the cat in, but not great especially when the stove is low and slow. I can usually burn most of it off by getting STT up to about 700 deg for 20 minutes or so. Of course, make sure your wood is good and dry. I mainly burn oak that has a moisture content of 15-18%. Hopefully this helps...let us know how it goes!
 

PatrickWR

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
24
Oregon
I'm entering my second year with my Dauntless. I have the Flexburn version of the stove, without a catalyst, so that's where I'm coming from.

I find that the stove needs a LOT of kindling and small stuff to get started and build up a bed of coals before putting on typical firewood sized splits. The manual actually states we should be using 4 pounds of kindling and small stuff each time we're lightign the stove. I'm actually going to be adjusting my firewood harvesting techniques to ensure I have more stuff that's closer in size to my wrist, rather than those big monster chunks that we love to toss in before going to bed.

I haven't had any problems with draft or backpuffing, thankfully. My stove lights easily and stays going as long as I use a lot of kindling and small stuff.

After lots of experimentation, I now rarely close my damper unless the fire is very hot (550+ measured from the griddle top, which is where the manual says we should be taking temp readings). I'd say 80% of the time I'm using the stove with the damper OPEN. When running like this, I can close the air intake almost all the way and end up with my desired type of fire (nice and warm, good even burn for a few hours before adding more wood...I believe that's what we call "cruising" on these forums).

As the stove has become broken in, I've noticed that gaps have appeared in the gaskets around both panes of glass on the front door. In both cases I was able to solve the problem by loosening the screws and repositioning the glass panels. FYI - you all might want to look closely at your glass panels to make sure they're airtight.

Overall we're still pleased - the stove is visually beautiful and my wife likes to remind me that it's essentially an end table for 6+ months out of the year. ==c
 
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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Thanks for all the responses. It seems I'm performing the same start-up techniques as you folks. When I do start the stove with the by-pass open the temp usually starts to climb very quickly after closing the doors, in fact in some cases increasing the temp on the stove pipe to the point where I have to close the primary air to cool the stove pipe and let the firebox get hotter. Once the temp gets to 550 on the stove top I engage the cat and open the primary because generally engaging the cat seems to extinguish the fire box.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
95
Richmond, Va
Thanks for all the responses. It seems I'm performing the same start-up techniques as you folks. When I do start the stove with the by-pass open the temp usually starts to climb very quickly after closing the doors, in fact in some cases increasing the temp on the stove pipe to the point where I have to close the primary air to cool the stove pipe and let the firebox get hotter. Once the temp gets to 550 on the stove top I engage the cat and open the primary because generally engaging the cat seems to extinguish the fire box.
Are you still getting crazy temp swings even when the cat lights off? Also, what kind of burn times are you getting? Do you get flare ups or back puffing at all?
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Are you still getting crazy temp swings even when the cat lights off? Also, what kind of burn times are you getting? Do you get flare ups or back puffing at all?
Yes, and very short burn times. Red oak (smaller splits) running about 12% to 14% moisture. Back puffing when cat is lit and primary air is turned down about 3 clicks from closed. It's like watching a toddler all day, I hate it.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
95
Richmond, Va
Yes, and very short burn times. Red oak (smaller splits) running about 12% to 14% moisture. Back puffing when cat is lit and primary air is turned down about 3 clicks from closed. It's like watching a toddler all day, I hate it.
Oh man…sounds awful. Have you made sure that your ash pan door and your front doors are tight? I’ve heard that’s been known to cause flares and back puffing in some cases.
 
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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
38
Maine
Oh man…sounds awful. Have you made sure that your ash pan door and your front doors are tight? I’ve heard that’s been known to cause flares and back puffing in some cases.
Yes, I have checked them. In most cases it smothers the fire when I shut the doors but there's two or three times a week where it unexpectedly shoots up in temp, Im afraid to leave it alone to be honest.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
95
Richmond, Va
Yes, I have checked them. In most cases it smothers the fire when I shut the doors but there's two or three times a week where it unexpectedly shoots up in temp, Im afraid to leave it alone to be honest.
Definitely sounds frustrating. I haven’t experienced a lot of the issues that people seem to be having with this stove other than the dirty glass and occasional temp swings, but that was before I put the cat in. Have you tried tightening the bolts that hold the stovetop on and the bolts at the bottom? I’m just trying to throw out ideas. I wonder if top vent vs. rear vent makes any difference…how’s your draft?