Hello, I'm new here and have a new Defiant Flexburn

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RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
I have a brand new Defiant Flexburn sitting in my rotunda (don't know what else to call it- it is a round room, with 30 ft. high ceiling and half is a loft). It's been there, not hooked up to anything, since before Christmas. The company I bought it from didn't know how to install the chimney liner. So, they hired another company to do it.

Here's the problem (I know, there was clearly already a problem!): Even though the new guys said they are happy to install my Defiant, they made it obvious that they don't think its a good stove. I asked lots of questions and now am thinking about sending it back.
The issues (from their experience):
1. Catalytic combustor needing regular replacement
2. Cast iron- cracking
3. Doesn't burn clean until the converter kicks in
4. Difficult to operate
5. Made in China (I thought it was American made)
6. Only a 7 year warranty

I couldn't find a thread here from anyone with recent experience. These guys are trying to sell me on a Regency -- steel stove.
Thoughts?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,109
central pa
Well I have to agree I don't think vc stoves are very good. Very little of what they told you is true.

1 Yes the cat will need replaced periodically. But most of the regencies have cats now as well.
2 yes cracking is possible. But vc castings are very high quality and cracks are very rare.
3 all stoves burn much dirtier in the startup phase
4 that one is somewhat true for that stove
5 utter nonsense, they are cast in Vermont and assembled in PA.
6 I haven't checked their warranty that may be true.
 

snaple4

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2017
284
AR
I think they have improved a lot of the years. A dealer down the road sells them, among PE and others, and they are very good stoves. They do push the PE a bit more b/c they Personally prefer non-cat.

From my reading I think you have a decent stove. Make sure you have dry wood (under 20%) and follow the manufacturer burn recommendations and you should be good.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,378
Ottawa, ON
@bholler is a very knowledgeable member of this community/forum. However, he has “something” against VC stoves.......

What the installers told you is bunch of rubbish. It is the user that will ultimately determine the life span of the stove. VC stoves have many expensive moving parts and if you continuously abuse the stove, it will not last very long. Unlike some other steel box non catalytic stoves out there.
 

RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
@Diabel Am I understanding you correctly that steel box, non-cats, generally speaking, last longer (all else being equal)?

I don't intend to abuse any stove, but I think the simpler, the better, for my family's life right now. Our space is very unique (30 ft diameter center, where the stove is, with "arms" of rooms extending off the circle at 9 and 3- in total, about 3000 ft). We want to primarily heat with wood and use a fan system in the ducts to pull the heat through the house. Propane is our secondary heat source. We have plenty of wood on property but it needs to dry, so we bought wood this year. Given all this, any other stove suggestions?
 

RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
Well I have to agree I don't think bc stoves are very good. Very little of what they told you is true.

1 Yes the cat will need replaced periodically. But most of the regencies have cats now as well.
2 yes cracking is possible. But vc castings are very high quality and cracks are very rare.
3 all stoves burn much dirtier in the startup phase
4 that one is somewhat true for that stove
5 utter nonsense they are cast in Vermont and assembled in PA.
6 I haven't checked their warranty that may be true.

Thank you for honestly answering my questions. Any suggestions if I return the VC?

I think they have improved a lot of the years. A dealer down the road sells them, among PE and others, and they are very good stoves. They do push the PE a bit more b/c they Personally prefer non-cat.

From my reading I think you have a decent stove. Make sure you have dry wood (under 20%) and follow the manufacturer burn recommendations and you should be good.
I know this may be a stupid question, but how do I know the dryness % of my wood?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,378
Ottawa, ON
Amazon sells moisture meter gadgets.

aside the discussion regarding how bad/good VC stoves are. You need to heat 3000 sqf with a wood stove. The stove you have right now will not carry that load.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,109
central pa
@bholler is a very knowledgeable member of this community/forum. However, he has “something” against VC stoves.......

What the installers told you is bunch of rubbish. It is the user that will ultimately determine the life span of the stove. VC stoves have many expensive moving parts and if you continuously abuse the stove, it will not last very long. Unlike some other steel box non catalytic stoves out there.
Yes I dislike downdraft stoves. But I was very honest in my answer to him wasn't I? Vc has improved things with the new stoves for sure. But some of the same old problems are popping up with them
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,109
central pa
And I completely agree that stove will not heat 3000 sqft. Especially not from a room with a 30ft ceiling
 

snaple4

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2017
284
AR
I know this may be a stupid question, but how do I know the dryness % of my wood?

Not a stupid question. As Diabel pointed out you can buy a moisture meter. I got mine from Home depot or Lowes. Purchased one for a co-worker from Harber Freight. Get the contact type, one with pins that you push into the wood. When you test it is best to do it after you split a room temperature piece of wood. Then on the fresh split face you test in a few spots.
 
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RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
Everyone agrees the VC won't heat my house. I appreciate the consensus. Is there anything out there that would do a better job? We do have propane furnaces for back up, but they don't heat the center room and even spending $800 + / month, the house is quite uncomfortable. We are also adding a large ceiling fan in the center to push the heat down.
 

RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
Yes I dislike downdraft stoves. But I was very honest in my answer to him wasn't I? Vc has improved things with the new stoves for sure. But some of the same old problems are popping up with them
Why do you dislike downdraft stoves? Isn't this necessary to use the wood most efficiently and cleanly?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,378
Ottawa, ON
I would return it as well.
And I would start a new thread, inquiring about what stove folks think I should get in order to accommodate your heating requirements.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
OP said "chimney liner", so the stove is probably venting through a fireplace.

You want the biggest stove you can get your hands on, so the first question is whether you can fit an 8" liner in there. If not, you won't be able to use the bigger stoves unless you forget the old chimney and just vent them out the roof with stovepipe.

Once you have the venting figured out, you can see what stoves might work. For example if you end up needing to use a 6" flue through a fireplace, you will probably end up looking for a big 6" flue rear venting freeatander. If you end up deciding to do a new roof penetration and an 8" flue, you can look at the biggest freestanders.

For your space, you may want to consider both an insert on a 6" liner and a second stove located elsewhere.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,109
central pa
Why do you dislike downdraft stoves? Isn't this necessary to use the wood most efficiently and cleanly?
I dislike them because they require complicated expensive and fragile combustion chambers in the back of the stove. A few companies have tried it through the years with varying success. But all have had durability issues. Vc is the only one still using it and yes they have gotten better but there are still much simpler less expensive ways to accomplish the same thing.

And no it is not nessecary to get clean efficient burn from a woodstove. Many other companies use different methods to get as clean and efficient if not better
 
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RoundHouse

New Member
Nov 12, 2019
38
Newfield, NY
OP said "chimney liner", so the stove is probably venting through a fireplace.

You want the biggest stove you can get your hands on, so the first question is whether you can fit an 8" liner in there. If not, you won't be able to use the bigger stoves unless you forget the old chimney and just vent them out the roof with stovepipe.

Once you have the venting figured out, you can see what stoves might work. For example if you end up needing to use a 6" flue through a fireplace, you will probably end up looking for a big 6" flue rear venting freeatander. If you end up deciding to do a new roof penetration and an 8" flue, you can look at the biggest freestanders.

For your space, you may want to consider both an insert on a 6" liner and a second stove located elsewhere.
I will start a new thread, but, you are right, there is a fireplace. However, it is curved and it is blocked off (the damper is broken) and a thimble was put through the wall above it, 15 feet up. I arranged for the company who sold me the Defiant to come pick it up. I'm a little sad about that.