Newbie questions about repairing a VC Defiant Encore.

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New Member
Nov 20, 2022
I have a VC Defiant Encore Model 2190 (with catalyst) that leaks smoke from between the flue collar and the back of the stove depending on the conditions (air pressure, draft, etc.). I am going to replace the gasket. While the stove is out, I place to inspect everything and make any needed repairs.

I have been using the stove for about five years, since we bought the house. I have had the chimney cleaned and a couple of gaskets replaced. It burns long and didn't smoke. But when I used it this year it was very smokey. BTW, I am in Maryland.

Also, looking in the stove I can see light (a little bit) from a flashlight coming in the junction between the flue collar and the oval-to-round adapter. There is a gasket between the back of the fireplace and the collar, but it looks like there is no gasket or cement between the collar and the adapter. Also nothing between the adapter and next piece of pipe. The installation instructions don't call for any cement or gasket after the flue collar.


1) Is it normal for the joints past the flue collar to have no sealant? Why does it not leak smoke, is it because of the draft?

2) Posts here indicate that these can be sealed with flat gasket. Should I do that even though it doesn't appear to smoke?

3) Is the flat gasket with tape any good, or should I use cement?

4) The catalyst has not been checked since we moved in. The manual says this lasts 2-6 years. I will take it out and look at it. How can I determine if it need to be replaced?

5) I am not going to remove the glass, besides that, it only uses standard rope gasket. Should I buy a set or several individual gaskets? Where is a good place to get a gasket set?

6) Screws and bolts. There are several screws and bolts that will need to be removed. If they need to be replaced, do I need special hardware?




Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, draft creates a vacuum in the stove pipe. If the gap is larger than 1/16" then flat gasket material can fill it. This stops air from getting pulled in and diluting (cooling) the draft. There is no need to seal the other stovepipe joints.
Check the chimney when the stove is burning with flame. If the catalyst is dead or dying there will be blue, lingering smoke coming out of the chimney. If it is white and wispy or clear, then the cat is working.
I am a strong proponent for replacing the gaskets with OEM factory gasket. That ensures the size, density, and weave are correct.
@defiant3 or @D. Hermit may have a suggestion for a reputable source.


New Member
Nov 20, 2022
@begreen Thanks for the reply. That clears up some things.
I looked through threads by starting at the two individuals you mentioned and found posts recommending two suppliers: Midwest Hearth and Woodman's Part Plus.

What are your thoughts on the gasket with tape?


Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2022
I've got an older Encore and just replaced all of my gaskets with the kit from Midwest Hearth. Good kit and it's the same as the older kits that I bought that were labeled VC, same # too. Does yours have a flue adapter on it that bolts on with 2 bolts? That's how mine is made and it has a gasket on the stove that it seals to. I've always used the gaskets with cement and just scrape and wire brush it out before installing new gaskets.