Need video on starting a Dutchwest (Vermont Castings) Seneca

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CVCabin

New Member
Sep 25, 2021
4
Monterey California
Hi! I’m new to the forum but have experience with wood stoves; jotul, brass flame, and others. I recently scored a very sparingly used, almost new Vermont Castings Seneca stove for only $200. My husband installed it in a small cabin and it looks great.

That said, the damper, primary air control lever, combuster air control and to a lesser extent, the temp gauge for some reason is daunting to me.

I recently rented the cabin out and I haven’t had an opportunity to start up the stove & experiment with best practices in order to show the new tenant, and there’s more! I read some of the threads here on Seneca and I think the primary air control lever is somewhat frozen, even though it appears in the operation chapter of the manual to be somewhat restricted in movement; (5:00-7:45) but is that correct?

Basically I need a valiant and generous soul here to make a video on how to start and maintain a fire in a VC Seneca stove!

Regarding the knobs for all of this; instead of taking one handle off & moving it around the stove, is there a reason why I couldn’t buy more handles & leave them in place for fire manipulation? Would that be a fire hazard; melt the knob handles? It feels clumsy to have to take the knob off here, insert it there, take it off again, insert it there, etc.

image.jpg image.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,631
South Puget Sound, WA
That's a good find and price for this little stove. This is a somewhat complex stove. It's not ideal for a rental or a first time wood burner. Not only does it have 2 air controls but it also has a bypass for the catalyst that must be closed once the catalyst is up to temperature. The renter needs to read the manual and understand this function or damage may be done to the catalyst and potentially the stove too. This stove needs good fuel. They must already have fully seasoned firewood on hand. If they don't, it will be very hard to get fully seasoned wood at this time and it will be expensive. Note that just because the seller says their firewood is fully seasoned doesn't make it so.

The primary air control has limited movement, as the picture shows. The drop handle for the doors is common on VC stoves. It is so that the handle doesn't get too hot and burn someone's hands. Considering this is in a rental, I would not alter anything. There could be liability charges if there is injury due to a modification.
 
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CVCabin

New Member
Sep 25, 2021
4
Monterey California
Thank you for the insights! Question: does anyone have a video on how to start a fire in this stove that I can share?

If not, I will produce one, but I would like to solicit feedback on the video before posting online! I’ll just be following the instructions myself so if I’ve missed an important aspect I want to make sure I catch that before uploading on youtube. Do we have a way to upload video to share on this site?

Thank you!
 

ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
637
Howell, Mi
Id change the cat if you dont know what the condition or age of it
 
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CVCabin

New Member
Sep 25, 2021
4
Monterey California
Id change the cat if you dont know what the condition or age of it
I was thinking about that! From the looks of the stove it has only been used a few times. That said, I would very much like to take a look at the catalyst to see what kind of condition it’s in. Is it a situation where its best to replace it once you’ve accessed it, or is it easier to take a “look see?”
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,973
Long Island NY
Don't take it out. You can't see whether it is still good (unless it's completely desintegrated). And you will (likely?) need to buy a new gasket to reinstall.

Can you look at it while it is installed?

Just buy a new one, have it as a spare Incase yours doesn't work.
 
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