New owner of a Vestal stove

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New Member
Aug 23, 2023
I recently bought a home that has this stove installed in the basement. I believe it is original and dates from 1970. Can anyone offer me any suggestions or advice?

I plan on getting a certified chimney sweep to inspect it. I have a masonry chimney now and I imagine I need a stainless liner. I may attempt to DIY or I may just pay someone to do it.

I'm a little concerned an inspector/chimney sweep will just state it is old and therefore unsafe and needs replacement.

Th stove is old and inefficient, but probably functional. After the sweep determines the integrity and safety of the flue system. he main question will be whether the insurance company will insure the house with an unlisted stove.

It looks like the basement walls are uninsulated so the heat loss through them will be large, about 30%. With an inefficient stove the wood consumption will be high. That may be okay if keeping the stove is just for burning when there is a power outage, but could get expensive if one is buying wood for heat.
Thank you! What is interesting is I did get the manual from Vestal. It is dated 1985 and they list a "code compliant" and non code compliant model. They can't tell me which one is which since they haven't made stoves in a few decades.
The stove looks earlier than 1985. Is there a UL label on the back of it?

This is a Fisher stove clone. Much of the info in the Fisher section of the Classics applies.
The manual may have been dated 1985 but I wouldn't be surprised if it is original. I will double check for a sticker.

Edit: this is either an 1833-T or 1833-AT, AT meaning code approved. It allegedly takes a 24" log, so it seems to be a mama bear clone.
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Yup its a Fisher Clone. AKA a" smoke dragon". It may nor many not be able to be used depending on if it has a certification label as most insurance companies require the label.

There is demand for these in many areas despite lack of certification. There is a "baffle upgrade" used on Fishers that would substantially increase the efficiency but it will never be as clean and efficient as new stove. The same modification could be done to yours.
Should I have a gasket on my door? I do now, and the door handle doesn't seem to turn all the way. While reading up on baffles I've read that Fishers did not have gaskets.

I also don't have a "floor" of firebricks in the stove either. I assume I need this?
Can you post some pictures of the inside of the firebox?
Will certified chimney sweeps install a liner on a non-UL stove?

Pic below. I believe there is firebrick under the grate. I will toss the grate.
The grate does not belong there. Floor firebrick is definitely better. Is there a baffle?
Does my door use a gasket? The handle doesn't fully close all the way with it in place.