VC Intrepid Flexburn Model 2115 no Cat Primary air question

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chileander

New Member
Feb 19, 2022
3
NC
I have a new install of a new stove and I am pretty new to burning and forums, please forgive me if I am posting in the wrong place.
I have a question about primary air intake. Should it change the nature of the flame while the bypass damper is open?
I can’t tell if it is working or changing anything while the damper is closed either.
I am worried that it is disconnected and not opening a flapper that I don’t know how to access. The thermometer on the griddle is getting good temperatures, up to 600 or so when I burn. I always have the primary air wide open, with no higher temperature or over firing reached.
On the other hand it is making a lot of smoke and creosote on the way to that good temperature and I have to open the doors to keep it going fast enough early on. As soon as I shut the doors ( bypass damper open, primary air control lever all the way up) it dies right back to very lazy flames and if not over 500 on griddle even peters out.
All the other posts on here about this box seem to be about it running away overfiring so I thought I would start a new post.
Just trying to figure out what is normal.
Thanks if you can help.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
669
Central MA
How old is your wood? Tell us about your chimney setup and step by step how you light the fire. It's common to need a little extra air by cracking the door at the beginning. But if your wood isn't nice and dry then shutting the door can snuff it out pretty quick and it will smolder.
 

chileander

New Member
Feb 19, 2022
3
NC
It could be the wood I have been using is too new, I had a local supplier delivery in fall last year , I think it might be maple but not sure, it was supposedly a year old when I got it . I use a mix of that and some smaller sticks of apple and pine that I pick up and dry myself. We keep it under cover of the carport up on a wood storage rack and under a tarp.
However, the old batcave insert we had before was gobbling it up (too fast and all heat gone up the chimney)
The chimney is about 15 feet tall. Stone built with terracotta liner and the installer put a length of insulated pipe that goes part way up inside, about 8 feet I think?
I light up using the method shown in the instruction booklet , pyramid of small wood, a bit of paper and then add bigger bits on top. I am going to try top down method once it gets cold enough to burn again,
The weather is not cooperating here in the mountains!
 

Stevepupnorth

New Member
Aug 18, 2020
1
Woodruff, WI
I don't have much to add other than your experience is not far off of my own. We installed the stove in February 2020 and initially used some very old poor quality wood I'd had around for years, leftover from making syrup for a number of years. Then this year I have some red oak that was blown down in summer of 2020 but not cut and split until early last fall, so I still don't have great wood. But when I mix it with some dry oak or hickory dimensional lumber scraps the stove works more like I expect it should. Like you, I'm not sure that lever for the primary air does anything but I almost always have it wide open. My griddle temps occasionally peak at 550-575 but more typically run 400-450, measured with a Fluke IR thermometer. The chimney is about 12 feet and straight, in a fairly tightly air-sealed 1100 square foot ranch-style house with a basement. 25-40 years ago my parents had a VC Resolute and that seemed to be far more responsive to inputs.
 
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chileander

New Member
Feb 19, 2022
3
NC
Thanks for your reply! I wanted to let people who use this unit know that I had a much more successful burn once the temps got cool again today, using the top down lighting method ( examples of which are posted on YouTube and other threads on this site. )
I am much happier with how the stove performed and that given a very foggy, damp, no-breeze day. It got up to 550 on the griddle in less than 10 minutes and maintained good flame and minimal smoke without having doors open after the initial minute or so at the beginning. The glass is staying beautifully clean. I closed the damper once all the logs were lit and glowing embers. Hearing a good secondary burn noise and griddle is 600.
I put in mixed pine (dry branches) and oak splits in 2 layers with minimal kindling layers between each and on the bottom, I lit a bit of kindling on top.
I think for now my problems are solved and I am looking forward to using this unit!
 
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