Dauntless issues

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Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
1,027
Union Bridge, Md
To prevent the backpuffing on these stoves you've got to open the airflow enough to maintain a flame of at least a small size. What this does is two things. One, is to pull the gasses out before they can collect in the top of the stove in enough volume to ignite. Two, maintaining a flame will help burn off the off gasses before they can collect in mass and explode (packpuff). When all you see is some red under the wood with no flames smouldering trouble is brewing. These downdraft stoves are draft killers. Keeping the throttle up some to increase the draft some should help with the pack puffing. The cat is really not a player in this issue.
 
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SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
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?
I haven't tried tightening those bolts, I suppose the fact that opening the doors creates a significant draft and when you close them it seem s to choke the flame significantly lead me to believe components were secure and air tight. This happens 100% of the time, the sporadic and scary sudden temp increases baffles me.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
To prevent the backpuffing on these stoves you've got to open the airflow enough to maintain a flame of at least a small size. What this does is two things. One, is to pull the gasses out before they can collect in the top of the stove in enough volume to ignite. Two, maintaining a flame will help burn off the off gasses before they can collect in mass and explode (packpuff). When all you see is some red under the wood with no flames smouldering trouble is brewing. These downdraft stoves are draft killers. Keeping the throttle up some to increase the draft some should help with the pack puffing. The cat is really not a player in this issue.
Interesting.
VC claim of 11 hour burn times is laughable, if I get a couple of hours I'm lucky.
 
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Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
I haven't tried tightening those bolts, I suppose the fact that opening the doors creates a significant draft and when you close them it seem s to choke the flame significantly lead me to believe components were secure and air tight. This happens 100% of the time, the sporadic and scary sudden temp increases baffles me.
After closing the doors completely, I'm assuming you have the bypass open and the air wide open. I don't usually start to close the primary air until STT are between 550-600 deg. After that I only close 2-3 clicks during the day and then exactly half way before bed. I don't think I've ever closed the primary air more than half way...this stove does like air for sure. I consistently get 10-11 hour burn times with the air half way opened. I wake up and STT are usually between 300-350 deg.
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
1,027
Union Bridge, Md
Interesting.
VC claim of 11 hour burn times is laughable, if I get a couple of hours I'm lucky.
A or at least VC's definition of burn time is you have enough coals left to rekindle a fire more easily than if it was dead cold. I was kind of blown away by this definition of a burn time when was first told about it. That sounded ridiculous to me. But I think that is the industry standard of a burn time. The actual time between reloads without rekindling is probably half of what's advertised on most stoves. For my Intrepid the 8 hour "burn time" advertised in the specs as actually what I get if loaded well with the proper species and MC of the wood with what is VC's definition of a burn time. That is with the cat engaged btw.
 
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rwh63

Feeling the Heat
Nov 12, 2019
384
MA
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.

View attachment 290734
like many purchases i make, i buy used. the used item has a track record of reliability and issues that i can search. it also saves lots of money up front.

generally, dealers suck. they are there to maximize profits and minimize unpaid future involvements. they will not tell you about issues like the enamel because they make more money from it and if issues crop up, they will tell you to contact the manufacturer (esp. under warranty). they are happy to help if you want to pay them to fix an issue. don't expect anything for free.

vermont castings will recommend buying enamel touch up paint (there's, of course), and place blame on user error. unless there is a class action suit, or voluntary recall (think toyota rusty truck frames), they will not do much for you.

buy the best product from the best manufacturer. that is the best way to avoid future headaches.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
Interesting.
VC claim of 11 hour burn times is laughable, if I get a couple of hours I'm lucky.
Do you mean that your stove just goes cold after a couple of hours or you just have no visible flames after a couple hours? When I say that I get 10-11 hour burn times I mean that when I get up in the AM I just open the damper and primary air control all the way, give it about 5 minutes, stoke the hot coals, add wood and let it catch back up. When I burn during the day to really keep the house warm, I will probably have to add wood every 4-5 hours.
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
553
Champion, PA
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.
What you experienced with the flue pipe is what I experienced. In fact, with less than 1/3 of a face cord run through this brand new stove, my stove pipe apparently burned off creosote which is an alarming experience. (backpuffing through pipe joints, and sounds like small firecrackers are going off). Full transparency, I had the top hatch open and was showing my son how the flames WOOSH up so strongly like a blowtorch up through the main hatch. I also had the air intake fully open as it should be on reload. The purpose was to 'catch' a load of about 6 medium size splits after the 2nd step in the startup process (letting 4 smaller splits almost burn down completely to coals).

The glass is non existent. I thought about replacing this with cast iron but would need a metal person to tell me what size as I do not want to warp the doors going too close to the edges due to differences in expansion from heat. Occasionally I will get a nice medium burn at around 500 that subsided from 600 and 1/2 of the glass will be visible and Ill get some nice flames wicking around. The stove though is flawed for flames. Due to how the airflow works with this stove when you are running on secondary so flames are more of a unicorn. That said though, Id sooner sell or try to return my stove as I bought this for the looks as much as the utility for heat.

on the heat side, this stove has bipolar disorder. One day you think you have it down, another day it's blasting heat so fast and uncontrollable you lose hair/sleep over it. Next day, it will just smolder and blacken everything inside and up through the flue pipe apparently.

At first I thought well it has something to do with the outside temps. When I was operating it, it was 50s out..sometimes 60s. It's hard not to overheat a house with a cast iron stove with those temps outside and a very well insulated area. And maybe my draft was wonky. I tried smaller fires, that actually burned hotter. I tried packing it full and running it low, and all it did was create massive amounts of creosote with very well dried wood. Ok I thought well it cannot run at 400, and I dont want it running at 650 or above...Ill use it during the cold periods and operate around the 500-550 range. Well, GL with that. Cold weather is here, and it's teeter tottering back and forth between too cold or too hot. Getting that center sweet spot happens, but as the wood burns down it will then raise up to alarming levels before going back down, or it will just smolder requiring you to turn up the air control which if you walk away from for a couple of hours you will return to a STT of 650+ (if you didnt notice the smell already and rush in with the hopes you dont have a glowing red stove).

I own or have owned ALOT of 'stuff'. Ask me if I own one or have, and I'll probably answer yes. Ive learned much in my time of owning so many things. Due to extensive research, Ive done fairly well to avoid buggy issues with products. But sometimes you run into something you researched, loved your decision, and then run into issues that just cant be resolved. And it's a constant battle. You seek help, and almost always the answer is 'operating error' or 'improper this or that'. So you continue to push on the pull door EVEN HARDER hoping that maybe this time it will work, everyone else cant be wrong..it must be me. Then you realize, no...this is F***ed up like a football bat, and it's time to let go.

And if you are wondering, no I do not have the catalyst. I considered buying one, and was just at that point when I was going to call my dealer back after sending me a quote to get one, when my wife said two things so perfect one evening. "Didnt we spend 3k on this stove, and now we have to buy more stuff to get it to do what the stove you originally wanted for 2k does well with no complaints from their owners? Why dont our neighbors have all these issues and they seem to know very little about their stoves". I literally can see myself spending another 300, then coming back with the same results and then the followup would be 'get a tech out',...when I already did an exhaustive check to make sure everything was working to spec. Dollar bill test, checking that the air control was actually moving, making sure there were no obstructions, moisture checks on wood, countless written logs with wood species, burn times, air control settings, outside air temps, wind direction and speed. Jesus christ this is harder than operating a nuclear sub. Ultimately someone chimes in with the awesome "working good for me,...maybe you are trying to make too big of an adjustment". Sigh. I have spreadsheets man...spreadsheets. The next answer you will hear is to buy a bunch of probes/meters to monitor temps everywhere. I borrowed a setup that a neighbor had as well to measure STT, Flue Temps, and Cat temps. Ive learned only one thing that I suspected long ago. The STT should be measured behind the griddle, not on it. No other continuity can be determined. Im glad I didnt invest further into this. Edit: IM curious what others experience with temps on their digital probes. I was getting wild temps in the cat area that made no sense. No major changes to STT temps and no continuity as to what would happen. Same amount of draft but sometimes Id be just above cat light off range and others into the danger zone of damaging the cat (if it were there)

So right now it's an ornament in our soon to be dining area. We joked about decorating it and the stove pipe for xmas so it has some usefulness as we really have no interest in using it anymore. It's colder in this space as this is an expansion that has no hvac running to it. The expansion does get airflow from the heated space adjacent but without intervention would be at about 64 on the colder nights. To me, it's not worth playing with this crazy beast to get that additional 6-8 degrees. Dealing with wood, over fires, chimney fires etc. I have a fireplace in the room adjacent. That's enough fire for me and it puts out a great flame and ample heat for that space to keep the furnace from kicking on. I did a breakdown of the wood that I was using in the stove vs the fireplace, and was shocked to see that I put about 3/4 the wood in the stove as I did in the fireplace in the same time period tested (8 hours or so, 40 degrees outside)

To solve my problem with heat in my expansion that is lost without using the stove, I simply bought this: Amazon product
DR Infrared. $150 bucks. Beats my 3k stove, sad but true. I literally love this little heater. It doesnt require wood, it doesnt require constant babysitting, it doesnt make my hair fall out, it doesnt require me to throw another 300 dollars at it only to have it have the same p*** poor results.
DO the math. A piece of wood costs around 30 cents each. If I use around 24 pieces (although I know I use more) for a day, that's $7.20 to operate this stove. Far more wood than I thought I would use in a stove.
If I use the space heater at 1500 watts, .14 cents per watt (yes thats what I pay and I was mad when it went up .02 cents recently), $5 to operate the space heater, ...and honestly for the most part I dont need to run this 24 hours. Maybe 16 at most, and since this is expansion is not in use yet other than for me to do work in, I actually like it a bit cooler as I work in there. So eventually the space will just probably use a mini split and maybe some baseboard heat under the windows.
I really like the look and wanted the heat/flames from a stove. I may opt to sell and get a Jotul or just sell this stove with a giant disclaimer and likely a big loss and forgo having a stove all together.

For those wondering how I can heat a 650sq ft w/ cathedral ceiling area with just a 1500 watt space heater? R38c Ceiling insulation w/ 3/4 tongue / groove paneling. r21 on the walls. No insulation in the crawlspace below, and no wall insulation (foam) on the cement block foundation walls just yet. No openings though for venting(intentionally). I sealed with foam any openings, and my outside walls are plywood, with vapor barrier, and 1" hemlock siding.

All I can say is, ....God have mercy on the souls of the people that designed and sell Vermont Casting Flexchaos stoves.

EDIT#2: Yes I get smoke rolling in after opening the damper and setting air control on high. You have to slowly open the top hatch and usually I dont get much smoke at all when I had a good fire going. If you are smoldering wood low on temps creating a ton of smoke, that is when smoke will billow in. Open the damper and air control, wait a few minutes, then slowly open the top hatch 3/4 of the way and you shouldnt have any smoke come in. If you do, you have a poor draft.
Back puffing, Ive only had this happen once. It's when I realized that these stoves w/ the gaskets arent air tight what so ever. They are pulling in air from the door, ash drawer, top hatch, and even the stove pipe. People assume (as I did) that these are almost air tight. They arent at all. When this happened to me, we had a fairly warm day outside and a fairly new fire going. I did a long swing adjustment of the air control air a few times because it felt stickier to me than previous use so I was trying to 'feel' for a hesitation or issue. Then I had this sudden PUFF that came from every opening. It was just this one time. I would imagine if this is a problem for someone, it's a draft issue. Extend your chimney another 3' minimum and try again.

PS. The only bright side of this entire experience, has been these forums. The people on here are truly good helpful people. You've all restored my faith in humanity to some degree. It's was more than an appliance to me, it was yet another hobby. Unfortunately Im just getting any positive out of it anymore, and I have enough hobbies, so I must walk away.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,200
Long Island NY
To get a positive point out of all that:

... like a football bat

Lol. That's a hockey stick. ;p
 
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GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
553
Champion, PA
To get a positive point out of all that:

... like a football bat

Lol. That's a hockey stick. ;p
Hey that's what I can use the stove for...to hold hockey sticks. Kinda like a basket, before we go out to play on the pond (weather permitting).
We joked around about turning it into a custom fish tank as well.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,200
Long Island NY
To close that part off (and get the OP the space he needs to get to a decision): clearly this stove and you are not a match. I'd advise to sell it. Good for the wallet (less bad than it's now), good for your heart.

My $0.02
 

GrumpyDad

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2022
553
Champion, PA
Yea
To close that part off (and get the OP the space he needs to get to a decision): clearly this stove and you are not a match. I'd advise to sell it. Good for the wallet (less bad than it's now), good for your heart.

My $0.02
You are probably right. :)
Hopefully I've scorched enough earth to keep enough perspective buyers from ignoring the glaring issues these vc stoves have. I ignored some of the negative info although there wasn't a lot out there at that time, and am paying for it. Had there been more I would have overlooked the pros a bit more and focused more on the cons and how that would have impacted our overall satisfaction
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
After closing the doors completely, I'm assuming you have the bypass open and the air wide open. I don't usually start to close the primary air until STT are between 550-600 deg. After that I only close 2-3 clicks during the day and then exactly half way before bed. I don't think I've ever closed the primary air more than half way...this stove does like air for sure. I consistently get 10-11 hour burn times with the air half way opened. I wake up and STT are usually between 300-350 deg.
Yes, I close the doors, by-pass open and air wide open except my thermometer on the stove pipe it self 1-1/2 feet above the stove will almost max out so I start to roll back the air. The STT however has not reached 550 at this point.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
Do you mean that your stove just goes cold after a couple of hours or you just have no visible flames after a couple hours? When I say that I get 10-11 hour burn times I mean that when I get up in the AM I just open the damper and primary air control all the way, give it about 5 minutes, stoke the hot coals, add wood and let it catch back up. When I burn during the day to really keep the house warm, I will probably have to add wood every 4-5 hours.
It will have no visible coals at 2 hours for sure, no heat out put for sure. Keep in mind I've been reluctant to fully load the box because of some wild temp swings, but at least half full of red oak.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
What you experienced with the flue pipe is what I experienced. In fact, with less than 1/3 of a face cord run through this brand new stove, my stove pipe apparently burned off creosote which is an alarming experience. (backpuffing through pipe joints, and sounds like small firecrackers are going off). Full transparency, I had the top hatch open and was showing my son how the flames WOOSH up so strongly like a blowtorch up through the main hatch. I also had the air intake fully open as it should be on reload. The purpose was to 'catch' a load of about 6 medium size splits after the 2nd step in the startup process (letting 4 smaller splits almost burn down completely to coals).

The glass is non existent. I thought about replacing this with cast iron but would need a metal person to tell me what size as I do not want to warp the doors going too close to the edges due to differences in expansion from heat. Occasionally I will get a nice medium burn at around 500 that subsided from 600 and 1/2 of the glass will be visible and Ill get some nice flames wicking around. The stove though is flawed for flames. Due to how the airflow works with this stove when you are running on secondary so flames are more of a unicorn. That said though, Id sooner sell or try to return my stove as I bought this for the looks as much as the utility for heat.

on the heat side, this stove has bipolar disorder. One day you think you have it down, another day it's blasting heat so fast and uncontrollable you lose hair/sleep over it. Next day, it will just smolder and blacken everything inside and up through the flue pipe apparently.

At first I thought well it has something to do with the outside temps. When I was operating it, it was 50s out..sometimes 60s. It's hard not to overheat a house with a cast iron stove with those temps outside and a very well insulated area. And maybe my draft was wonky. I tried smaller fires, that actually burned hotter. I tried packing it full and running it low, and all it did was create massive amounts of creosote with very well dried wood. Ok I thought well it cannot run at 400, and I dont want it running at 650 or above...Ill use it during the cold periods and operate around the 500-550 range. Well, GL with that. Cold weather is here, and it's teeter tottering back and forth between too cold or too hot. Getting that center sweet spot happens, but as the wood burns down it will then raise up to alarming levels before going back down, or it will just smolder requiring you to turn up the air control which if you walk away from for a couple of hours you will return to a STT of 650+ (if you didnt notice the smell already and rush in with the hopes you dont have a glowing red stove).

I own or have owned ALOT of 'stuff'. Ask me if I own one or have, and I'll probably answer yes. Ive learned much in my time of owning so many things. Due to extensive research, Ive done fairly well to avoid buggy issues with products. But sometimes you run into something you researched, loved your decision, and then run into issues that just cant be resolved. And it's a constant battle. You seek help, and almost always the answer is 'operating error' or 'improper this or that'. So you continue to push on the pull door EVEN HARDER hoping that maybe this time it will work, everyone else cant be wrong..it must be me. Then you realize, no...this is F***ed up like a football bat, and it's time to let go.

And if you are wondering, no I do not have the catalyst. I considered buying one, and was just at that point when I was going to call my dealer back after sending me a quote to get one, when my wife said two things so perfect one evening. "Didnt we spend 3k on this stove, and now we have to buy more stuff to get it to do what the stove you originally wanted for 2k does well with no complaints from their owners? Why dont our neighbors have all these issues and they seem to know very little about their stoves". I literally can see myself spending another 300, then coming back with the same results and then the followup would be 'get a tech out',...when I already did an exhaustive check to make sure everything was working to spec. Dollar bill test, checking that the air control was actually moving, making sure there were no obstructions, moisture checks on wood, countless written logs with wood species, burn times, air control settings, outside air temps, wind direction and speed. Jesus christ this is harder than operating a nuclear sub. Ultimately someone chimes in with the awesome "working good for me,...maybe you are trying to make too big of an adjustment". Sigh. I have spreadsheets man...spreadsheets. The next answer you will hear is to buy a bunch of probes/meters to monitor temps everywhere. I borrowed a setup that a neighbor had as well to measure STT, Flue Temps, and Cat temps. Ive learned only one thing that I suspected long ago. The STT should be measured behind the griddle, not on it. No other continuity can be determined. Im glad I didnt invest further into this. Edit: IM curious what others experience with temps on their digital probes. I was getting wild temps in the cat area that made no sense. No major changes to STT temps and no continuity as to what would happen. Same amount of draft but sometimes Id be just above cat light off range and others into the danger zone of damaging the cat (if it were there)

So right now it's an ornament in our soon to be dining area. We joked about decorating it and the stove pipe for xmas so it has some usefulness as we really have no interest in using it anymore. It's colder in this space as this is an expansion that has no hvac running to it. The expansion does get airflow from the heated space adjacent but without intervention would be at about 64 on the colder nights. To me, it's not worth playing with this crazy beast to get that additional 6-8 degrees. Dealing with wood, over fires, chimney fires etc. I have a fireplace in the room adjacent. That's enough fire for me and it puts out a great flame and ample heat for that space to keep the furnace from kicking on. I did a breakdown of the wood that I was using in the stove vs the fireplace, and was shocked to see that I put about 3/4 the wood in the stove as I did in the fireplace in the same time period tested (8 hours or so, 40 degrees outside)

To solve my problem with heat in my expansion that is lost without using the stove, I simply bought this: Amazon product
DR Infrared. $150 bucks. Beats my 3k stove, sad but true. I literally love this little heater. It doesnt require wood, it doesnt require constant babysitting, it doesnt make my hair fall out, it doesnt require me to throw another 300 dollars at it only to have it have the same p*** poor results.
DO the math. A piece of wood costs around 30 cents each. If I use around 24 pieces (although I know I use more) for a day, that's $7.20 to operate this stove. Far more wood than I thought I would use in a stove.
If I use the space heater at 1500 watts, .14 cents per watt (yes thats what I pay and I was mad when it went up .02 cents recently), $5 to operate the space heater, ...and honestly for the most part I dont need to run this 24 hours. Maybe 16 at most, and since this is expansion is not in use yet other than for me to do work in, I actually like it a bit cooler as I work in there. So eventually the space will just probably use a mini split and maybe some baseboard heat under the windows.
I really like the look and wanted the heat/flames from a stove. I may opt to sell and get a Jotul or just sell this stove with a giant disclaimer and likely a big loss and forgo having a stove all together.

For those wondering how I can heat a 650sq ft w/ cathedral ceiling area with just a 1500 watt space heater? R38c Ceiling insulation w/ 3/4 tongue / groove paneling. r21 on the walls. No insulation in the crawlspace below, and no wall insulation (foam) on the cement block foundation walls just yet. No openings though for venting(intentionally). I sealed with foam any openings, and my outside walls are plywood, with vapor barrier, and 1" hemlock siding.

All I can say is, ....God have mercy on the souls of the people that designed and sell Vermont Casting Flexchaos stoves.

EDIT#2: Yes I get smoke rolling in after opening the damper and setting air control on high. You have to slowly open the top hatch and usually I dont get much smoke at all when I had a good fire going. If you are smoldering wood low on temps creating a ton of smoke, that is when smoke will billow in. Open the damper and air control, wait a few minutes, then slowly open the top hatch 3/4 of the way and you shouldnt have any smoke come in. If you do, you have a poor draft.
Back puffing, Ive only had this happen once. It's when I realized that these stoves w/ the gaskets arent air tight what so ever. They are pulling in air from the door, ash drawer, top hatch, and even the stove pipe. People assume (as I did) that these are almost air tight. They arent at all. When this happened to me, we had a fairly warm day outside and a fairly new fire going. I did a long swing adjustment of the air control air a few times because it felt stickier to me than previous use so I was trying to 'feel' for a hesitation or issue. Then I had this sudden PUFF that came from every opening. It was just this one time. I would imagine if this is a problem for someone, it's a draft issue. Extend your chimney another 3' minimum and try again.

PS. The only bright side of this entire experience, has been these forums. The people on here are truly good helpful people. You've all restored my faith in humanity to some degree. It's was more than an appliance to me, it was yet another hobby. Unfortunately Im just getting any positive out of it anymore, and I have enough hobbies, so I must walk away.

Thanks for the information, much of what you describe I've encountered as well. If VC feels this stove takes some operator finesse to run then they should provide an extensive video to cover the different operating scenarios.
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
Yes, I close the doors, by-pass open and air wide open except my thermometer on the stove pipe it self 1-1/2 feet above the stove will almost max out so I start to roll back the air. The STT however has not reached 550 at this point.
Sounds like you and @GrumpyDad are having a lot of the same issues and that stinks…I know how it feels to spend a lot on something and then it doesn’t perform as advertised. It may just be a bad batch that y’all got. Maybe something going on with the internals and possibly covered under warranty.

One last idea…the stove pipe is definitely going to heat up quickly first on startup. Have you tried to just ignore the pipe temp and just wait until STT gets up before closing the doors and the damper? I don’t monitor pipe temps at all ever. Like I said, these stoves like oxygen. Also try to load the thing up after it gets going good and see what happens…just keep a fire extinguisher close while you monitor in case you need to put it out really quick. Just don’t tell anyone that I told you to do that…lol…safety first!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,200
Long Island NY
I suggest a bucket of sand. Unless you want to trash the stove (which might be the case...)
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,254
South Puget Sound, WA
Yea

You are probably right. :)
Hopefully I've scorched enough earth to keep enough perspective buyers from ignoring the glaring issues these vc stoves have. I ignored some of the negative info although there wasn't a lot out there at that time, and am paying for it. Had there been more I would have overlooked the pros a bit more and focused more on the cons and how that would have impacted our overall satisfaction
Endless rants and/or endless promotion of a stove are against forum rules. The point was made long ago. Repeated bashings or promotions are not helpful. They unfairly bias the forum and are not the same for all persons.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
Sounds like you and @GrumpyDad are having a lot of the same issues and that stinks…I know how it feels to spend a lot on something and then it doesn’t perform as advertised. It may just be a bad batch that y’all got. Maybe something going on with the internals and possibly covered under warranty.

One last idea…the stove pipe is definitely going to heat up quickly first on startup. Have you tried to just ignore the pipe temp and just wait until STT gets up before closing the doors and the damper? I don’t monitor pipe temps at all ever. Like I said, these stoves like oxygen. Also try to load the thing up after it gets going good and see what happens…just keep a fire extinguisher close while you monitor in case you need to put it out really quick. Just don’t tell anyone that I told you to do that…lol…safety first!
You make a good point, I'm monitoring stove pipe temp as well. I know you said you don't monitor the stove pipe, do you use a double wall stove pipe?
 

Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
You make a good point, I'm monitoring stove pipe temp as well. I know you said you don't monitor the stove pipe, do you use a double wall stove pipe?
Mine is setup as a rear exhaust. I have a T that directly connects to my flue liner so I really don't have access to the pipe to measure temps anyways because it sits partially in the firebox of my fireplace. How have the burns been going? Any better?
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
Mine is setup as a rear exhaust. I have a T that directly connects to my flue liner so I really don't have access to the pipe to measure temps anyways because it sits partially in the firebox of my fireplace. How have the burns been going? Any better?
I see, well I suppose using a thermometer on the pipe is overkill but it is handy to see from a distance to get an idea what's happening. Actually the stove has worked better this past weekend, I did the following:

1) Modified a flexible hose to attach to my ash can vacuum. With this, I removed a good amount of ash from below the cat and the area between the cat and the holes at the back of the stove. I wasn't aware that this was an issue until I read this here on the forum.

2) Trying to let the stove warm up longer after closing the doors by leaving the damper open and slowing down the primary air until the stove top is 500 - 550 degrees so that when I close the damper it will move the cat temperature up and activate the cat. The stove seems to be operating a bit better.

Note: I've never been able to reach proper cat temperature without closing the damper first and I don't know if this is normal or not.
 
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Jmorg

Member
Feb 26, 2021
92
Richmond, Va
I see, well I suppose using a thermometer on the pipe is overkill but it is handy to see from a distance to get an idea what's happening. Actually the stove has worked better this past weekend, I did the following:

1) Modified a flexible hose to attach to my ash can vacuum. With this, I removed a good amount of ash from below the cat and the area between the cat and the holes at the back of the stove. I wasn't aware that this was an issue until I read this here on the forum.

2) Trying to let the stove warm up longer after closing the doors by leaving the damper open and slowing down the primary air until the stove top is 500 - 550 degrees so that when I close the damper it will move the cat temperature up and activate the cat. The stove seems to be operating a bit better.

Note: I've never been able to reach proper cat temperature without closing the damper first and I don't know if this is normal or not.
That’s awesome, I hope it keeps performing well! About the cat temp…it is normal since it’s a downdraft stove the cat really won’t heat up much until the bypass is closed and the heat is forced to rout through the cat.
 

SkipperH

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
29
Maine
That’s awesome, I hope it keeps performing well! About the cat temp…it is normal since it’s a downdraft stove the cat really won’t heat up much until the bypass is closed and the heat is forced to rout through the cat.
That's good to know, thank you for your help all great information. I think it's certainly an adjustment from the stoves of yesteryear, just need to get some burn time in! Thanks again!
 
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