VC Aspen C3 "Temporarily Unavailable"

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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,880
Downeast Maine
I could test this on a mild day by starting the stove with one of the exterior windows open, right? I will try that. Not today, which feels like -30 with this incredible windchill.
That's the best way to check. You don't need all of your windows open, usually just cracking a door or window open an inch or two near the stove will be enough to show you if the house is too tight.
 
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Va aspen

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
5
Virginia
I bought the Aspen in October. The first fires were sluggish but thought that was because outside temp was low 50s. Forward to mid December. Can't start a fire. Flames never get going. Wood charcoals and just smolders. 2 years cut ref oak, under shed for 8 mos. Took stove outside today. Put 6ft pipe on top. Still can't get it to burn. Just smolder.. with kiln dried white oak. Newspaper doesn't burn. The damper closes shut immediately upon lighting paper. Held it open. Liquid bubbling from bottom seems. Dealer hasn't returned calls and messages since December. Vermont casting will not answer calls from Customers...new wood stoves are apparently worthless..ty EPA. Any ideas?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
The stove will not work well at all on 6 ft of stove pipe. There simply is not enough draft. That is not a defect.

The wood may need more seasoning. Oak doesn't start seasoning until it's been split and stacked. Depending on conditions this dense wood needs 2-3 yrs to fully season. Get some unfinished flooring scraps and some 2x4 cut offs so that you have known, dry wood and put the stove back in the house.

Describe the entire flue system in detail, from stove top to chimney top. This also could be part of the problem.
 

Va aspen

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
5
Virginia
The stove will not work well at all on 6 ft of stove pipe. There simply is not enough draft. That is not a defect.

The wood may need more seasoning. Oak doesn't start seasoning until it's been split and stacked. Depending on conditions this dense wood needs 2-3 yrs to fully season. Get some unfinished flooring scraps and some 2x4 cut offs so that you have known, dry wood and put the stove back in the house.

Describe the entire flue system in detail, from stove top to chimney top. This also could be part of the problem.
It is 6ft because I only had 6 ft when I moved the stove outside. How would I stabilize 16 feet of pipe outside anyhow? The flue is about 22ft of seamless stainless steel insulated with ceramic blanket. It has been split more than a year. Moved wood under porch in July. Thr stove replaced a vogelzang frontiersman. Which burned just fine..fine powder in the liner. Also buck stove upstairs just rips thr same wood.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
More desription of the installation please. Is the Aspen in a basement fireplace with a 6" liner? If so, the issue could be negative pressure, especially if the upstairs stove doesn't have an OAK and is running. What model Buck stove is this? Is it an old pre-EPA stove or one of their more modern models?

The Frontiersman was a basic 35:1 stove with no secondary combustion. It could work in a tent with 4' of pipe. It's not comparable to a secondary combustion stove that needs proper draft to burn. It's just a box with a flue outlet and an open air supply.

The draft may be marginal, but could improve with heat. Try the 2x4 cutoffs or other known dry softwood to start a fire and establish a coal bed, then put in some of the oak.
 

Va aspen

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
5
Virginia
What is anOAK?

6in seamless stainless steel ceramic blanket insulated reinforced liner.

Basement approx 22ft vertical run. Basement is a walkout.. essentially a ground floor.

With stove detached you can hold burning newspaper 6 inches from the flue opening and the flame and smoke is pulled up it.

Buck is 94N. Underperforms the 2600 it replaced in terms of making the house feel warm. 8in flue as above.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
An OAK is an outside air kit. It supplies outside air to the stove instead of pulling it from the house.

The 94N is a big heater but it will be more particular about dry wood than the 2600 was. Do you have a moisture meter? If so, what is the wood measuring after being resplit in half and tested on the freshly exposed face of the wood?
 

Va aspen

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
5
Virginia
The buck doesn't have ther option for oak. The house is drafty, the c3 doesnt draw while sitting outside in the yard.

No to moisture meter. I've used 2x4 scraps to start fires..same smoky mess. I think the air passages are clogged with creosote. Did you notice the liquid bubbling from bottom seams sentence?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
Of course the C3 won't draw outside. It's the chimney that creates the draft, not the stove. Seriously, this is a common issue. We get one or two postings a week with exactly this problem . Basements create problem draft due to negative pressure. Drafty houses are worse due to leakage on the upper floors. Read up on negative pressure zones. It's not the stove that is the issue here.


The liquid bubbling from the seams happens with some new stoves as the cement dries out during break-in. If the wood is not fully seasoned it can also be a large source of moisture. Wood at 25% moisture is one quarter water. This is why a moisture meter is handy.
 

Va aspen

New Member
Jan 30, 2022
5
Virginia
Well, this is a first time problem for me. As I said, the chimney draws just fine.

Never needed a moisture meter in 40 years of cooling with wood.

Good to know that bubbling liquid from the seams is to be considered normal after 2 months of use. That is also new to me.
As far as using outside...I had no other option, it will not currently burn newspaper I.n The house. Outside with 6ft should at least burn if not peak efficiency. In fact, it does work better than when installed.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,415
SE North Carolina
I bought the Aspen in October. The first fires were sluggish but thought that was because outside temp was low 50s. Forward to mid December. Can't start a fire. Flames never get going. Wood charcoals and just smolders. 2 years cut ref oak, under shed for 8 mos. Took stove outside today. Put 6ft pipe on top. Still can't get it to burn. Just smolder.. with kiln dried white oak. Newspaper doesn't burn. The damper closes shut immediately upon lighting paper. Held it open. Liquid bubbling from bottom seems. Dealer hasn't returned calls and messages since December. Vermont casting will not answer calls from Customers...new wood stoves are apparently worthless..ty EPA. Any ideas?
Are you talking about the C3 automatically controlled damper flap you can see when you look in the rear air intake?