Stove suggestion to replace VC 1977 vigilant

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neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
Have an old vermont castings 1977 vigilant stove that I'm looking to replace with a new stove. I figure I may as well get one that qualifies for the the 26% tax credit.

I'd like to be able to have longer burn times 12+hrs, and be able to use the stove at lower heat settings. The VC heated the house more than enough, but it went through wood like crazy and didn't really run well unless it was running at high temps.

House is ~2000sq ft and the flue exits the rear of the stove horizontally into the wall. To keep install costs down I was hoping to get one with a rear flue exit option.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
The rear exit into the wall will be a challenge because it is a fixed height for a specific stove. Is this vented into a metal chimney or a masonry chimney? If masonry, is there a stainless liner? Have you looked at Woodstock stoves for options?
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
The rear exit into the wall will be a challenge because it is a fixed height for a specific stove. Is this vented into a metal chimney or a masonry chimney? If masonry, is there a stainless liner? Have you looked at Woodstock stoves for options?

Masonry chimney, I'm pretty sure there's no metal liner. Just the clay or ceramic flue.

I had not heard of Woodstock until now. Thank you I'll check them out.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Masonry chimney, I'm pretty sure there's no metal liner. Just the clay or ceramic flue.

I had not heard of Woodstock until now. Thank you I'll check them out.
They are relatively close by. Go visit the factory.
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
I suppose a shorter rear exit stove would suffice if it's possible to bend the flue piping at non-90 degree angles, or I could just place the stove on a pad of some sort to make up the difference in height.

Thoughts?
 

Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
136
PA
Rear flue stoves for 2000sq feet are pretty much Jotul F500, Jotul F55, Woodstock Progress, Woodstock Ideal Steel, Vermont Castings Encore, Vermont Castings Defiant.
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
Rear flue stoves for 2000sq feet are pretty much Jotul F500, Jotul F55, Woodstock Progress, Woodstock Ideal Steel, Vermont Castings Encore, Vermont Castings Defiant.

thanks for that, looks like in order to check all of my boxes i'll have to change my installation.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
thanks for that, looks like in order to check all of my boxes i'll have to change my installation.
The Ideal Steel is height adjustable. What is the current stove thimble's height at the top or centerline?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Can't disagree. Good heater, but the steampunked steel look is not for everyone.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
thanks for that, looks like in order to check all of my boxes i'll have to change my installation.
I’m sure it would not be the first stove on a layer of blocks/ bricks. No harder than it a to make a raised hearth would be my choice if I didn’t want the tax credit. Yeah I know its more work.

If I was going use tax credit I would line chimney and use a top vent stove.

Evan
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
I’m sure it would not be the first stove on a layer of blocks/ bricks. No harder than it a to make a raised hearth would be my choice if I didn’t want the tax credit. Yeah I know its more work.

If I was going use tax credit I would line chimney and use a top vent stove.

Evan

I plan on using the tax credit. I just went to a local shop this morning any talked to the owner. It seems like the price to move the thimble location to enable a top exit stove might be cheaper than buying a rear exit that fits my current installation (VC, jotul, woodstock). Plus it opens up the option to a steel stove which is preferred.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Good that you are checking other choices. An option might be to seal off the current thimble hole and place one much higher, say at 72" to open up more possibilities now and in the future.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
Good that you are checking other choices. An option might be to seal off the current thimble hole and place one much higher, say at 72" to open up more possibilities now and in the future.
I like the way two 45s looks better than a single 90.
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
716
Southern WI
I had the same trouble finding a replacement when I replaced my old Vigilant. Ended up going to a top vent stove. Opens up the options tremendously. Recommend adding an insulated liner at the same time.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,784
Northern Maine
I like the way two 45s looks better than a single 90.
No question. I’d get that new thimble higher as well.
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
73
new hampshire
So I guess the next logical question would be what stove should I go with? With the additional cost for updating the installation it makes even more sense to go with a stove that qualifies for the 26% tax credit.

The local shop owner I spoke with was very against stoves with cats. However, there really aren't many non-catalytic stoves that qualify for the 26% tax credit.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
However, there really aren't many non-catalytic stoves that qualify for the 26% tax credit.
No there are not a lot. Even fewer above 2 cu ft. ( Only one stove, the evergreen by Travis is non cat). You have to seriously consider cat stoves if you want the credit. If it were me I would be considering a blazeking., Kuma, regency and Woodstock, ( in that order).

Evan
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
I think a store owner making such statements disqualifies him from being regarded as a trustworthy advisor.

The point is that one can like or dislike cat stoves, but that is a matter of taste, not a matter of good or bad. Modern stoves, cat or not, are good stoves.

A store owner pushing his own taste/preference is not using the appropriate input factors to decide on how to advise a customer. I would not trust the advise you are getting from a person with such a mindset.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
There are a number of reasons why the dealer might have this negative opinion. Cat stoves require more maintenance and most people are very poor at maintaining their stoves. Most are not stove enthusiasts, they often view their stoves as an appliance. His opinion may stem from previous experiences, customer complaints, callbacks, difficulty in getting parts, etc. If the dealership has a reputation for excellent customer service then ask why no cats.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
I am sorry, but a dealer saying something like this (as a blanket statement) is not "because many people are..." - because, at least from the reporting here, there was no inquiring as to the habits and personality of the potential buyer.

Second, regarding maintenance cost, that is not a given. This is being vigorously debated in many places.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
Second, regarding maintenance cost, that is not a given. This is being vigorously debated in many places.
We don't know the conversation that happened and perhaps the salesperson was good or perhaps bad. The implication that a dealer that does not like to sell cat stoves is a poor dealer is incorrect. The dealer may have historical reasons for not selling cat stoves. Any cat stove is more complex. By nature of design, it has more components and requires more interaction by the user, even if that is just using a bypass correctly and brushing off ash from the cat. A catalyst has a finite life span of about 10-12k hrs. If one burns a lot, that adds up in costs and possibly dealer calls to service the stove. Most people are not stove enthusiasts like those frequenting forums.

The 1998 Oregon study of wood stove owner's maintenance showed how poorly people maintain their stoves and how badly they can degrade in performance. If a dealer gets frequent complaints that the stove is not putting out heat he may end up getting grumpy customers.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
We don't know the conversation that happened and perhaps the salesperson was good or perhaps bad. The implication that a dealer that does not like to sell cat stoves is a poor dealer is incorrect. The dealer may have historical reasons for not selling cat stoves. Any cat stove is more complex. By nature of design, it has more components and requires more interaction by the user, even if that is just using a bypass correctly and brushing off ash from the cat. A catalyst has a finite life span of about 10-12k hrs. If one burns a lot, that adds up in costs and possibly dealer calls to service the stove. Most people are not stove enthusiasts like those frequenting forums.

The 1998 Oregon study of wood stove owner's maintenance showed how poorly people maintain their stoves and how badly they can degrade in performance. If a dealer gets frequent complaints that the stove is not putting out heat he may end up getting grumpy customers.

Then we have to agree to disagree. A dealer that makes such a statement without reasons is a poor dealer imo. A dealer that consistently has unhappy customers of cat stoves is too - selling a stove and wanting a happy customer entails educating that customer. While there are folks who won't follow instructions, having a consistently unhappy customer base when you are selling good stoves points to the common denominator there: the salesperson.

Finally, there are similar issues with tube stoves: get it fired up enough to have the secondaries going before one changes the air. It is not all that different from a cat operation.

Brushing off the cat, sure. A new cat too. But at some point tubes need to be replaced too.

Anyway, I disagree. I recognize your expertise and that yours is a justified opinion as well.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
There's no way we will know this without speaking to the dealer. There have been some very problematic cat designs and stoves in the past. Perhaps the dealer used to sell one of these brands? If neverstop goes back to this dealer it would be good to ask why.
 
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