How do I safely try my wood stove?

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Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
Now that the wife and I have moved in and spent plenty of money elsewhere; there’s nothing really left for a new wood stove. I’m hoping to get what we have working.

Currently there’s a Vermont Castings WinterWarm that needs to be cleaned(externally) but seems to be complete.

We had a sweep come last year after we bought the house and they used a camera inside the liner. There was two very small nicks, well under the size of a dime. I’m thinking that’s plenty safe to use occasionally? Definitely let me know if you think otherwise.

Ive never used a wood stove before and don’t know the EXACT condition of our WinterWarm. What would be the best way to proceed. I’ve read a good bit on how to stack the wood inside and start the fire.

I will say it seems the door won’t seem to close and latch all the way. It latches enough to keep the door shut but I’m not sure how tight of a seal I’m getting.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Now that the wife and I have moved in and spent plenty of money elsewhere; there’s nothing really left for a new wood stove. I’m hoping to get what we have working.

Currently there’s a Vermont Castings WinterWarm that needs to be cleaned(externally) but seems to be complete.

We had a sweep come last year after we bought the house and they used a camera inside the liner. There was two very small nicks, well under the size of a dime. I’m thinking that’s plenty safe to use occasionally? Definitely let me know if you think otherwise.

Ive never used a wood stove before and don’t know the EXACT condition of our WinterWarm. What would be the best way to proceed. I’ve read a good bit on how to stack the wood inside and start the fire.

I will say it seems the door won’t seem to close and latch all the way. It latches enough to keep the door shut but I’m not sure how tight of a seal I’m getting.
What type of liner is it that has nicks in it?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
I wouldn't use a liner with holes in it in my own house.
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
Well that stinks :( guess I need another reline quote regardless. Above all else I want to be safe so I really appreciate your input.

in the mean time I can start tinkering with the stove I guess…. Try and get the door to close entirely? I can fix that plus the damper and door gasket. If they’re bad.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Well that stinks :( guess I need another reline quote regardless. Above all else I want to be safe so I really appreciate your input.

in the mean time I can start tinkering with the stove I guess…. Try and get the door to close entirely? I can fix that plus the damper and door gasket. If they’re bad.
I wouldn't spend much time or money on that stove. They are not reliable stoves at all
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
Unfortunately we don’t have the 6k to reline and get a new stove in there.

I’d really like to make what we have work, at least for a year. Then we can maybe reline this year and get a new stove next year?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Unfortunately we don’t have the 6k to reline and get a new stove in there.

I’d really like to make what we have work, at least for a year. Then we can maybe reline this year and get a new stove next year?
What size liner is it? If it is 6" relining now and getting a new stove later would be fine
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
Is there a way for me to check with the insert still in place?

I had the sweep and inspection last January so it’s hard to remember for sure. Based on what I remember of the photos(from the inside of the liner) I would guess it was at least a 6” diameter liner.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Is there a way for me to check with the insert still in place?

I had the sweep and inspection last January so it’s hard to remember for sure. Based on what I remember of the photos(from the inside of the liner) I would guess it was at least a 6” diameter liner.
There were 2 different sizes of winter warms I believe one was 6 one was 8 but I could be wrong
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
What size liner is it? If it is 6" relining now and getting a new stove later would be fine

I know I have the larger WinterWarm under that puts out something like 75000btu.

I want to say it was model 1280

found the old manual in the house. Says it has a 8” flue.

I can confirm it is a 1280 model but it’s more like 10-30000btu…not sure where I saw 75k.

Additionally I did notice the bottom where you load the box is cracked and deformed…I’m guess this is no good?

ABB77DED-4E3E-4D38-975E-875188E09EBE.jpeg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
The 1280 has a catalytic convertor. This is an essential component for complete combustion on this insert. What condition is the catalyst in?
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
The 1280 has a catalytic convertor. This is an essential component for complete combustion on this insert. What condition is the catalyst in?
What should I be looking for condition-wise? Cracks, tons of ash, etc?

I just got a guide on how to check the "combustor" which I assume is the same thing as Catalytic Converter??
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,506
SE North Carolina
found the old manual in the house. Says it has a 8” flue
I personally would not reline an 8” stove. Just not enough 8” new options on the market
I just got a guide on how to check the "combustor" which I assume is the same thing as Catalytic Converter??
Yes.

Keep an eye out for used inserts. With the new tax credit their may be some around but my shopping for a stove this summer revealed a lot of junk and any thing decent in price and condition went fast.
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
Got it apart although this thing definitely has had some tinkering done before. Throat plates held in with a retainer using an Allen bolt. The bolt is also stripped so it won’t thread out anymore…making the throat plates uneven….cat looks half there and half not.

I’ll attach the photos I attempted to take. I’m guessing this isn’t great?

12785707-5148-42E3-AC2E-018CBBB68461.jpeg F0ACC9CC-3750-4BAD-AE2D-4D87E3380898.jpeg 107FCB56-C312-4D80-91AD-E60B42A395A4.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Got it apart although this thing definitely has had some tinkering done before. Throat plates held in with a retainer using an Allen bolt. The bolt is also stripped so it won’t thread out anymore…making the throat plates uneven….cat looks half there and half not.

I’ll attach the photos I attempted to take. I’m guessing this isn’t great?

View attachment 281718 View attachment 281719 View attachment 281720
Yeah working on those usually involves drilling and tapping holes and generally atleast a few replacement parts
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Based on those photos of the cat, is it usable? I know I can find a replacement grate online but as you’ve said, it’s not worth going whole hog.
I would say probably not any good. I wouldn't bother with the grate
 
Oct 15, 2020
154
New Hampshire
I would say probably not any good. I wouldn't bother with the grate
$332 bucks to replace....guess it's nice that I can just leave the grate....not sure if this is worth trying to replace...I don't even know how TO replace said item. Considering it was from the 90s maybe the manual shows the process.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
$332 bucks to replace....guess it's nice that I can just leave the grate....not sure if this is worth trying to replace...I don't even know how TO replace said item. Considering it was from the 90s maybe the manual shows the process.
You just lift the grate out and drop a new one in I believe