VC Encore not drafting

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mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
173
PA
I suggest seeking professional help from a dealer or reputable chimney sweep. They should stop using the stove if they smell smoke in the house.

They stopped using it again. Can't get the dealer to come into the house until this is all over...
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,374
Ottawa, ON
They stopped using it again. Can't get the dealer to come into the house until this is all over...
It is unfortunate due to circumstances. Once this passes i truly hope things with the stove/chimney/wood get resolved.
Stay healthy!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
It just doesn't make sense to me that you should have to leave a door open to get a fire going.... I guess it's the tradeoff between getting a manual stove that is idiot proof, vs. a stove full of electronics that does everything for you.

Thanks for your responses. They have been very helpful, even if they aren't what we wanted to hear.
It's usually maple, beech, or ash.... and it's seasoned for a year stacked in the woods, and 6+ months in the woodshed...

I guess the main thing I've learned so far is that new stoves are complete garbage compared to old stoves...
There are a couple things here that should be corrected. First there are absolutely no electronics in you stove at all. Infact there are only a couple wood stoves on the market that use electronics.

Next new stoves are not garbage compared to old ones. They just require better fuel and a more precise setup to work properly. That being said the stove your father chose is one of the hardest stoves to get operating correctly. And by the time you figure it out it will be time to rebuild the internals.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
Also if this is their only heat you should pressure the dealer to address it. We have been doing emergency calls through this whole mess. Just taking proper precautions.
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
173
PA
There are a couple things here that should be corrected. First there are absolutely no electronics in you stove at all. Infact there are only a couple wood stoves on the market that use electronics.

Next new stoves are not garbage compared to old ones. They just require better fuel and a more precise setup to work properly. That being said the stove your father chose is one of the hardest stoves to get operating correctly. And by the time you figure it out it will be time to rebuild the internals.

I know their are no electronics... this is the manual idiot proof stove I was talking about. They tighten everything up so nobody will burn their house down, but it also makes it very hard to get it to work. I think 13% moisture level in the wood should be acceptable for any stove.

Do you have any suggestions for a 40,000 BTU stove that isn't so difficult to get to work?
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
173
PA
Also if this is their only heat you should pressure the dealer to address it. We have been doing emergency calls through this whole mess. Just taking proper precautions.

They are using their oil furnace, which is their backup that they don't need when the stove is working. My mom has health issues, so they aren't letting anyone in the house until this goes away (myself included).
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
I know their are no electronics... this is the manual idiot proof stove I was talking about. They tighten everything up so nobody will burn their house down, but it also makes it very hard to get it to work. I think 13% moisture level in the wood should be acceptable for any stove.

Do you have any suggestions for a 40,000 BTU stove that isn't so difficult to get to work?
40000 is a pretty small stove isn't the vc more than that?

Just about any stove on the market will be easier to operate but we really need to know more about the expectations and needs to make any recommendations
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,460
South Puget Sound, WA
40000 is a pretty small stove isn't the vc more than that?

Just about any stove on the market will be easier to operate but we really need to know more about the expectations and needs to make any recommendations
Might be talking about EPA test output, not peak BTUs.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
Might be talking about EPA test output, not peak BTUs.
Ahhh ok those are not done with full loads so really not very useful in my opinion.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,460
South Puget Sound, WA
It's confusing at times because often it depends on what marketing or the sales staff puts forward.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,097
07462
Why not fire the stove and keep the nearest window open to see if it’s because the house is to tight? Also put the cat back into it
 

tommyH

New Member
Nov 10, 2019
15
Alabama
Sure sounds like you are skeptical of the installation. Maybe get a 2nd opinion there? I have a VC top loading stove too, the smaller one intrepid flexburn. I dont have a draft problem and I don't smell smoke but the ONLY way I can get a fire going and stay going well especially in catalytic mode is by slightly having the ashpan open. ONLY way. I am not impressed with their designs. Next time I get something other than a Vermont Castings. Your parents having 40 years experience with wood stoves says it all to me. There is a problem with the install or the stove or both. I sure hope they will be able to exchange it out! Good luck.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
Sure sounds like you are skeptical of the installation. Maybe get a 2nd opinion there? I have a VC top loading stove too, the smaller one intrepid flexburn. I dont have a draft problem and I don't smell smoke but the ONLY way I can get a fire going and stay going well especially in catalytic mode is by slightly having the ashpan open. ONLY way. I am not impressed with their designs. Next time I get something other than a Vermont Castings. Your parents having 40 years experience with wood stoves says it all to me. There is a problem with the install or the stove or both. I sure hope they will be able to exchange it out! Good luck.
You will destroy your stove using the ash pan to start fires.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,374
Ottawa, ON
the ONLY way I can get a fire going and stay going well especially in catalytic mode is by slightly having the ashpan open. ONLY way.
I strongly recommend reading the stove manual.
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
529
Central MA
Seriously... don't you think I have? Come on now.
In fairness, the manual for the Encore says "light the fire and shut the door" which I think any VC owner with less than a 20' liner will tell you does nothing but fill your firebox with smoke, even using high quality wood. The stove is a little tricky to get started especially for someone who expects it to behave like their old stove. However, it's a reliable heater once you know what to do with it.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,374
Ottawa, ON
There are lots of things at work here. I dont want to derail this thread. Collectively, i am sure we will be able to help OP’s parents.
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
173
PA
Thanks everyone for chiming in... My dad called the stove dealer and talked with them about other options, which I'll get to in a minute.

I was wrong, the new stove is 48,000 btu according to the spec sheet.

bholler asked about what their intended use is, so I'll explain:

My parents have a single story ranch style house built in 1983 that my dad designed himself. He put a small square in the center of a piece of paper and said "this is the wood stove, now we'll draw the rest of the house around it." The bedrooms are back the hall straight away from the stove, and the kitchen, dining room, and living room are basically in a horseshoe shape with the stove in the middle of the U.

As I said before they heat their house exclusively with wood, except special circumstances when no one will be home all day to keep the fire going. They are dairy farmers, so those days are few and far between. And of course the furnace is running now that the stove is smoking...

Their old stove was a Carmor top loading 40,000 btu. They never had to supplement heat with the furnace even when it's been 20 below zero.

In the mornings before going to the barn my dad would spread out the hot coals from the night before, load the stove with wood, open the draft wide, and within a few minutes would have a hot fire. He would then shut the draft down to a slower burn level and leave knowing the house would still be warm when he got back. That's why he is so disappointed with this stove requiring nearly 30 minutes to get moving.

They want a stove that can run for 3 seasons, which means the draft will be less-than ideal in the early fall and late spring, but again, this is their primary heat source, and they never had a problem with that before.

As I said before, the wood my dad tested (at someone's request) was 13% moisture, so the fuel is not the issue here.

The dealer has a Quadrafire Discovery II in stock, which supposedly has two drafts, one for getting the fire started, and one for keeping it going. The Discovery II peak output is 57,200 btu. I think they are ugly with the woodbox underneath, but my dad thinks the taller stove might be easier to access, since it's not top loading like they are used to.

They also have a Quadrafire 4300 Millenium in stock, which I like the looks of a lot better. It has 63,700 btu output.

My dad is wondering if getting a higher btu stove than they need will cause problems if they never fire it to that output level?

Does anyone have any thoughts on those stoves? Or any other stove recommendations?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
Thanks everyone for chiming in... My dad called the stove dealer and talked with them about other options, which I'll get to in a minute.

I was wrong, the new stove is 48,000 btu according to the spec sheet.

bholler asked about what their intended use is, so I'll explain:

My parents have a single story ranch style house built in 1983 that my dad designed himself. He put a small square in the center of a piece of paper and said "this is the wood stove, now we'll draw the rest of the house around it." The bedrooms are back the hall straight away from the stove, and the kitchen, dining room, and living room are basically in a horseshoe shape with the stove in the middle of the U.

As I said before they heat their house exclusively with wood, except special circumstances when no one will be home all day to keep the fire going. They are dairy farmers, so those days are few and far between. And of course the furnace is running now that the stove is smoking...

Their old stove was a Carmor top loading 40,000 btu. They never had to supplement heat with the furnace even when it's been 20 below zero.

In the mornings before going to the barn my dad would spread out the hot coals from the night before, load the stove with wood, open the draft wide, and within a few minutes would have a hot fire. He would then shut the draft down to a slower burn level and leave knowing the house would still be warm when he got back. That's why he is so disappointed with this stove requiring nearly 30 minutes to get moving.

They want a stove that can run for 3 seasons, which means the draft will be less-than ideal in the early fall and late spring, but again, this is their primary heat source, and they never had a problem with that before.

As I said before, the wood my dad tested (at someone's request) was 13% moisture, so the fuel is not the issue here.

The dealer has a Quadrafire Discovery II in stock, which supposedly has two drafts, one for getting the fire started, and one for keeping it going. The Discovery II peak output is 57,200 btu. I think they are ugly with the woodbox underneath, but my dad thinks the taller stove might be easier to access, since it's not top loading like they are used to.

They also have a Quadrafire 4300 Millenium in stock, which I like the looks of a lot better. It has 63,700 btu output.

My dad is wondering if getting a higher btu stove than they need will cause problems if they never fire it to that output level?

Does anyone have any thoughts on those stoves? Or any other stove recommendations?
Any of the quads will be more user friendly. And cost much less to maintain.
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
173
PA
I wanted to provide an update. My parents bought a Quadrafire Discovery II, which is rated at 51,000 btus. The dealer took the other stove back and is going to try to sell it as a demo unit. My dad thinks we should complain to Vermont Castings about the stove, but they want all correspondence to go through a dealer, so I can't figure out how to make a complaint.

The dealer came back with the new stove and checked the draft with a meter. He said there was plenty of draft. He even took off the ugly turbovent thing he had put on the chimney, because he said it wasn't needed. He also went into the basement and used a mirror to check out the condition of the chimney and said everything looked good.

The dealer reinstalled the pipe, which to this pellet stove owner seems like it was installed backwards. The joints are all open to the back, so under pressurized flow, it would push smoke out through the joints and into the house. I realize this isn't pressurized flow, and my dad read the manual several times, and that is the way the pipe was supposed to be installed.

My dad has a much easier time getting the stove started than the Encore, and the stove is pretty warm compared to what they are used to. My dad also likes the taller stove so he doesn't have to bend over much to put wood in. BUT they still had smoke.

My dad discovered that the cleanout door at the bottom of the chimney wasn't closed tightly after the dealer had his look-see, so he shut that, but they still had smoke!

So finally my dad took all the pipe sections apart, switched the direction so the seams were pointed in the "right" direction, and put stove cement on them. Then he jammed the cemented pipe end firmly down into the collar of the stove.

Since then they have not had any smoke in the house, and it's been a couple weeks of constant burning.

I would think getting a new stove shouldn't be this much of a struggle. Especially for experienced wood stove owners with high quality fuel.

We're glad it's finally over, they are warm again, they can breathe freely again, and I appreciate the help of you folks on here as we went through this.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,460
South Puget Sound, WA
They should seal the cleanout door with a bead of silicone on the door edge, then closing it on the silicone to form a gasket. A stove pipe should have the crimped end pointing toward the stove.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,077
central pa
I wanted to provide an update. My parents bought a Quadrafire Discovery II, which is rated at 51,000 btus. The dealer took the other stove back and is going to try to sell it as a demo unit. My dad thinks we should complain to Vermont Castings about the stove, but they want all correspondence to go through a dealer, so I can't figure out how to make a complaint.

The dealer came back with the new stove and checked the draft with a meter. He said there was plenty of draft. He even took off the ugly turbovent thing he had put on the chimney, because he said it wasn't needed. He also went into the basement and used a mirror to check out the condition of the chimney and said everything looked good.

The dealer reinstalled the pipe, which to this pellet stove owner seems like it was installed backwards. The joints are all open to the back, so under pressurized flow, it would push smoke out through the joints and into the house. I realize this isn't pressurized flow, and my dad read the manual several times, and that is the way the pipe was supposed to be installed.

My dad has a much easier time getting the stove started than the Encore, and the stove is pretty warm compared to what they are used to. My dad also likes the taller stove so he doesn't have to bend over much to put wood in. BUT they still had smoke.

My dad discovered that the cleanout door at the bottom of the chimney wasn't closed tightly after the dealer had his look-see, so he shut that, but they still had smoke!

So finally my dad took all the pipe sections apart, switched the direction so the seams were pointed in the "right" direction, and put stove cement on them. Then he jammed the cemented pipe end firmly down into the collar of the stove.

Since then they have not had any smoke in the house, and it's been a couple weeks of constant burning.

I would think getting a new stove shouldn't be this much of a struggle. Especially for experienced wood stove owners with high quality fuel.

We're glad it's finally over, they are warm again, they can breathe freely again, and I appreciate the help of you folks on here as we went through this.
If you have enough draft you should be able to run with the male ends facing down and no sealer on the pipe. How did the dealer measure draft?