Vermont Castings Blowtorch Sound on Reload

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
If anyone has a Vermont Castings newer stove, I would love to get an educated answer.
🔥


I bought a Vermont Castings Dauntless, and so far, it’s been anything but. The one remaining problem I’m having, which no one seems to be able to answer, is that right after reload, no matter the temp, as soon as I close the bypass, it sounds very much like a blow torch.

I am trying to figure out why this happens. Is it gases building in the firebox, is it the catalytic combustor? Which if so, would seem odd that would kick in at a low temp, (low temp only because I tested it to see if it would happen at lower temperature.)

The reason I’m struggling with this is…in the manual, it says if it sounds like a blowtorch, it’s over firing and can cause loss of life. Seriously? Yet, Vermont Castings customer support is nonexistent, and anyone I’ve spoke to in the industry says, ‘I’m sure it’s fine’, without having a clue. I really need an answer so I can burn without worrying I’m doing something wrong. Any help is greatly appreciated. I’m really hopeful someone will have a solid answer.
 

ajayabb

Member
Dec 10, 2017
90
Moorestown
It’s normal to sound like that after closing the damper. That’s the sound of the gases running through the combustor
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
It’s normal to sound like that after closing the damper. That’s the sound of the gases running through the combustor
Thank you. It’s interesting that you say this because no one seems to know what I’m talking about. I’ve had a couple people tell me they’ve experienced it, but far more have said they haven’t.

Sometimes this only lasts for a short time, but other times it lasts for 20 or 30 minutes. So, you’re saying that’s what I’m hearing? Because it’s pretty disconcerting when the manual tells you if it sounds like a ‘blowtorch’, it’s overfiring. And it can be quite loud.
 

snobuilder

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2021
432
WI
If anyone has a Vermont Castings newer stove, I would love to get an educated answer.
🔥


I bought a Vermont Castings Dauntless, and so far, it’s been anything but. The one remaining problem I’m having, which no one seems to be able to answer, is that right after reload, no matter the temp, as soon as I close the bypass, it sounds very much like a blow torch.

I am trying to figure out why this happens. Is it gases building in the firebox, is it the catalytic combustor? Which if so, would seem odd that would kick in at a low temp, (low temp only because I tested it to see if it would happen at lower temperature.)

The reason I’m struggling with this is…in the manual, it says if it sounds like a blowtorch, it’s over firing and can cause loss of life. Seriously? Yet, Vermont Castings customer support is nonexistent, and anyone I’ve spoke to in the industry says, ‘I’m sure it’s fine’, without having a clue. I really need an answer so I can burn without worrying I’m doing something wrong. Any help is greatly appreciated. I’m really hopeful someone will have a solid answer.
These new EPA satisfying stoves need to burn extremely hot to achieve their efficiency rating which can be unnerving. So many use factors have to be investigated like chimney height, wood moisture, pipe temps, stove top temps., on and on , but I'll leave that to the experts who will be here shortly.
These aren't your grandfathers blow torchs....er I mean wood stoves.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
These new EPA satisfying stoves need to burn extremely hot to achieve their efficiency rating which can be unnerving. So many use factors have to be investigated like chimney height, wood moisture, pipe temps, stove top temps., on and on , but I'll leave that to the experts who will be here shortly.
These aren't your grandfathers blow torchs....er I mean wood stoves.
Yeah, unfortunately I found this out the hard way.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,734
central pa
These new EPA satisfying stoves need to burn extremely hot to achieve their efficiency rating which can be unnerving. So many use factors have to be investigated like chimney height, wood moisture, pipe temps, stove top temps., on and on , but I'll leave that to the experts who will be here shortly.
These aren't your grandfathers blow torchs....er I mean wood stoves.
For the record all of those things have always mattered regardless of when the stoves were made.
 

PatrickWR

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
21
Oregon
If anyone has a Vermont Castings newer stove, I would love to get an educated answer.
🔥


I bought a Vermont Castings Dauntless, and so far, it’s been anything but. The one remaining problem I’m having, which no one seems to be able to answer, is that right after reload, no matter the temp, as soon as I close the bypass, it sounds very much like a blow torch.

I am trying to figure out why this happens. Is it gases building in the firebox, is it the catalytic combustor? Which if so, would seem odd that would kick in at a low temp, (low temp only because I tested it to see if it would happen at lower temperature.)

The reason I’m struggling with this is…in the manual, it says if it sounds like a blowtorch, it’s over firing and can cause loss of life. Seriously? Yet, Vermont Castings customer support is nonexistent, and anyone I’ve spoke to in the industry says, ‘I’m sure it’s fine’, without having a clue. I really need an answer so I can burn without worrying I’m doing something wrong. Any help is greatly appreciated. I’m really hopeful someone will have a solid answer.

Does the sound subside after 5-10 minutes? If so, that's normal. That is the sound of exhaust being forced into the secondary combustion chamber. Mine does it regularly when I first engage the bypass. It subsides (or drops to barely perceptible levels) after 5-10 minutes.

I have observed (after a winter of burning mixed wood types) that the blowtorch sound is more intense when burning softwoods like cedar, which presumably have more off-gassing due to the oils in the wood. The blowtorch sound is almost nonexistent when I am burning my "best" wood, like oak and walnut.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
Does the sound subside after 5-10 minutes? If so, that's normal. That is the sound of exhaust being forced into the secondary combustion chamber. Mine does it regularly when I first engage the bypass. It subsides (or drops to barely perceptible levels) after 5-10 minutes.

I have observed (after a winter of burning mixed wood types) that the blowtorch sound is more intense when burning softwoods like cedar, which presumably have more off-gassing due to the oils in the wood. The blowtorch sound is almost nonexistent when I am burning my "best" wood, like oak and walnut.
At times it stops quickly, 5 to 10 minutes, but I have had it go as long as 20, maybe even 30, which had my heart pounding. It didn’t sound at all normal to me. Not any noise I had ever heard a stove make, but then, I’ve never heard a newer stove.

I’m glad to hear this is normal, though I wonder why so few people seem to have heard it?
 

PatrickWR

New Member
Apr 14, 2021
21
Oregon
At times it stops quickly, 5 to 10 minutes, but I have had it go as long as 20, maybe even 30, which had my heart pounding. It didn’t sound at all normal to me. Not any noise I had ever heard a stove make, but then, I’ve never heard a newer stove.

I’m glad to hear this is normal, though I wonder why so few people seem to have heard it?

To put your mind at ease, get a digital thermometer and get readings on various parts of your stove (griddle plate, stovepipe right where it exits the stove, stovepipe 4 feet up closer to the ceiling, rear combustion chamber) when it's in regular operation and then again in blowtorch mode. Compare the readings and look for discrepancies. As long as you aren't seeing wild fluctuations in those readings, you should be OK.

My stove actually cools down a bit when the bypass is engaged (despite sounding like a blowtoch). I have found that I can only really close the bypass when I have a hot firebox and a really nice bed of hot coals, otherwise the fire starts to choke back too much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jalmondale

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
How tall isyour chimney? Maybe it is drafting hard enough to keep the sound going longer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,868
South Puget Sound, WA
I’m glad to hear this is normal, though I wonder why so few people seem to have heard it?
It's a common sound in VC stoves that have the lower rear combustion chamber. There is a VC owners thread on this forum that you can compare notes with. You might find more information by searching on Afterburner, which is how some VC owners describe it.

Do you have a thermometer on the stovetop and/or stove pipe? That will help you avoid overfiring. If you see any part of the stove glowing, that is too hot.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
To put your mind at ease, get a digital thermometer and get readings on various parts of your stove (griddle plate, stovepipe right where it exits the stove, stovepipe 4 feet up closer to the ceiling, rear combustion chamber) when it's in regular operation and then again in blowtorch mode. Compare the readings and look for discrepancies. As long as you aren't seeing wild fluctuations in those readings, you should be OK.

My stove actually cools down a bit when the bypass is engaged (despite sounding like a blowtoch). I have found that I can only really close the bypass when I have a hot firebox and a really nice bed of hot coals, otherwise the fire starts to choke back too much.
Thank you. That’s a great idea. I have a thermometer on the top, but I know that’s not really giving me a good reading, so I will pick up the digital as you suggested. I definitely need piece of mind, and I haven’t had it. That noise has held me captive, unable to burn because no one could answer my question. If the manual was written with any thought, they’d have more detail. It’s got one contradiction after another.

I’ve spoken to multiple installers and other wood stove burners, but it seems it’s a common thing with VC stoves.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
How tall isyour chimney? Maybe it is drafting hard enough to keep the sound going longer.
I can’t remember, but I did have someone check it and they said it was good. It’s pretty airtight, so I need to open the door to start the fire or the draft is terrible. I leave a window cracked also to make sure it’s getting enough air.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
It's a common sound in VC stoves that have the lower rear combustion chamber. There is a VC owners thread on this forum that you can compare notes with. You might find more information by searching on Afterburner, which is how some VC owners describe it.

Do you have a thermometer on the stovetop and/or stove pipe? That will help you avoid overfiring. If you see any part of the stove glowing, that is too hot.
I think I’d be frantic if anything was glowing red. I’m checking it constantly to make sure the temps are where they’re supposed to be, but the thought of filling it up to go to bed is nowhere in sight yet, and I’m going to need to get there quickly before our wonderful government cuts our power.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
I think I’d be frantic if anything was glowing red. I’m checking it constantly to make sure the temps are where they’re supposed to be, but the thought of filling it up to go to bed is nowhere in sight yet, and I’m going to need to get there quickly before our wonderful government cuts our power. Oh, and yes…thermometer on the top.
 

bert670

New Member
Mar 19, 2021
35
Hudson Valley, NY
I have a Dauntless and so far haven’t had any issues. I hear the same sound and attributed it to the air drafting out of the combustion chamber (with or without cat engaged). While I’ve ready many people having issues with the Dauntless, I can’t say I’ve had a single issue yet.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
I have a Dauntless and so far haven’t had any issues. I hear the same sound and attributed it to the air drafting out of the combustion chamber (with or without cat engaged). While I’ve ready many people having issues with the Dauntless, I can’t say I’ve had a single issue yet.
Well, this may be my issue as well, but no one has been able to tell me if that noise was normal until I reached this forum, so I hope this will solve my worries. Thank you for your help!
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,353
Whitmore lake, MI
Can you post a video? VC stoves basically require three thermometers. Stove top, flue and probe thermo for the cat.
 

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
Three? Why is that with this particular brand? I’ll have to admit this is the first time anyone has told me I need three thermometers.

I will post a video next time I run it. The weather is too warm to start right now.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
670
Central MA
A digital catalyst probe will do a lot to set your mind at ease. I have been running my VC stoves for a few years listening to the various noises and wondering if they are going to melt down on me. After I installed the probes on both stoves I can see exactly what's going on and it helps me control the stove better.

I do hear the blowtorch sound sometimes with my Intrepid after closing the damper. It's usually loudest when I've really given it a good chance to heat up and there's a really strong draft. I think the sound is from flames being sucked through the throat hood in the fireback, and should be ok for a short time. After the damper is closed for a few minutes the fire should settle down. However if the blowtorch sound continues for an extended time it may begin to toast the catalyst so that's where keeping an eye on the temperatures is helpful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PatrickWR

Halliewest

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
17
Ct
Thank you. This is excellent information! Do you have any suggestions on thermostats for the catalyst and the flue? I’m not sure what to look for as far as specs and quality.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
670
Central MA
Thank you. This is excellent information! Do you have any suggestions on thermostats for the catalyst and the flue? I’m not sure what to look for as far as specs and quality.
A lot of us use the Auber AT100 with a high temp thermocouple. Very practical but it's got a bit of what my wife calls a "90s alarm clock" vibe to it.