Q&A Resolute Acclaim Overfiring!

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New Member
Staff member
Nov 27, 2012

I recently installed a new Resolute Acclaim with a 6" straight up chimney, 8' of double wall stovepipe, then 10' of Class A chimney (Accel). My problem is I can't seem to control the fire. With a full load of wood I can only get 3.5-4 hour burn times max with the primary air set to the lowest setting. Even with the air set on low you can hear a torch like sound from the secondary burn chamber and no flames in the firebox. I recently noticed the back of the stove was glowing red. I'm burning seasoned oak which I don't think is too dry. The stove griddle temp is running between 600-700 degrees and the stove pipe runs between 300-450, this is with the air setting on the lowest and the dampener closed.

Last night I built a small fire and tried to keep the flue temp around 225 which seemed to help as I was able to control the fire more and the griddle temp never exceeded 500 degrees, but again the fire only lasted about 4 hours.

I do have a 2' section of class A chimney I could remove to bring the chimney height down to 16' overall but I don't know if that will do any good.

I have read several posts about installing a barometric dampener or stove pipe dampener but I have been told it's not recommended with the new EPA stoves.



I will start by mentioning that I am a Vermont Castings dealer and have serviced and repaired thousands of VC stoves over the years. Yes, it is possible that there is a defect in the manufacture of the stove. Your Warranty should still be in force and if you, in the final analysis, determine that there is a defect in workmanship or materials you should issue a claim through your local dealer. If I sold you that Acclaim I would do everything I could to rule out any defect and if a defect was suspected I would repair it and file a claim with the manufacturer on your behalf. Let me know if it turns out that you bought your Acclaim from me. If not, I'll be of whatever help is practical through the Internet, though a local professional is your best source for effective service.

Now, it is also possible that your wood *is* too dry, or your draft is too strong, or your gaskets are not sealed, or the door is not adjusted properly. Has anyone measured your draft pressure? Have you tried switching to another source of wood temporarily to see if that makes a difference? Have you confirmed that the gaskets are giving a good seal, including the glass? Have you adjusted the door latch and the hinge post if necessary?

Barometric dampers should not be used on your freestanding wood stove but a manual stove-pipe damper could be used, if draft conditions warrant it. If your chimney has a very strong draft that may be the best solution. You could also switch to single-wall connector pipe, if clearances allow it. That might slow down the velocity a little with your 8 feet of connector since the flue gasses will cool faster and it might lower the temperature at the top of the stack. A consultation with a local professional is in order since I cannot see the situation from here.

The Acclaim does not use a bi-metal secondary air probe and shutter. Nor does it have a "flap" of the same design as some of the other VC stoves. The secondary air is not adjustable and the primary air is adjusted by the butterfly damper under the stove. You should have a fair amount of resistance on your air inlet damper handle (immediately in front of the ash lip). If it is loose that may be contributing to the fast rate of burn.

I personally burned an Acclaim in my home for about five years. I also used oak almost exclusively. I found that I had to be careful of loading too often and allowing the coal bed to build up too high. The coal bed should not be more than about 1" in front and 4" in the rear when leveled out. I regularly burned at about 500 degrees F on the griddle and routinely was up over 750 before shutting down.

Your stack temperatures should be above 300 at the top. Meaning you'll want to achieve 350 to 400 at the bottom, just about a foot above the collar. Are you using a probe type thermometer in the connector or a surface type? With low-clearance pipe readings from a surface thermometer need to be adjusted to account for the cooler temps on the outer wall. You may be getting 350 inside even though you are reading 250 on your thermometer. In my opinion your trying to keep it under 500 is counter productive and likely to lead to poor performance. Yes, glowing red is too hot. Better timing will aid you in preventing that. But with oak, 500-750 degrees is not out of line. I would try mixing in some ash or some other less dense wood.

My experience was that "burn time" was about what you are getting but the coals would hold for another four hours. The stove was rarely below 250 when I got up in the morning.

Stay with it. There is a learning curve. It may not be the stove. If it does turn out to be a faulty stove get the warranty claim in and get it fixed. And try to find a local professional who is helpful and competent and then use him or her to both of your advantage.

Take care, Sean Kennedy www.crackerb.com
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