Vermont Castings fireplace system help.

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
IMG_2662.JPG

I posted last February about this. We have been in our new home about a year and a half. We have this awesome solid brick fireplace built around a Vermont castings fireplace system with a large winterwarm in it. It has a crack in the right side of the firebox. I had someone come look at it and they said parts are not available and it was small enough to use furnace cement on it. So I did and the stove works fine. We only . use the stove on the weekends. Anyway looking to the future I need to find someone with parts that. An overhaul my stove or replace it. I do not want to tear apart this solid masonry set up. Any advice is appreciated, and or information.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
So there is no way to gut it without messing up the brick?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,941
Indiana
Since this is a “system” you really won’t find any info saying that it’s ok pull that VC insert and replace it with a different one. I would agree typically, but your install looks to be different than most. Typically it’s built into a combustible wall, not solid masonry.

Are you certain that there’s no wood in that structure?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
Nope. It’s a big metal cabinet behind that brick.
I'm no expert but that seems dumb to me. No matter how well built, things wear out right? So why was this not thought of during construction and the appropriate measures taken so the unit could be replaced if needed or desired? I'm not expecting you to have all these answers obviously, just asking anyway.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,941
Indiana
I'm no expert but that seems dumb to me. No matter how well built, things wear out right? So why was this not thought of during construction and the appropriate measures taken so the unit could be replaced if needed or desired? I'm not expecting you to have all these answers obviously, just asking anyway.
Like any zero clearance Fireplace, once the facing goes on it’s pretty permanent. It’s very common.

If it’s all masonry like I suspect, I see no reason a liner can’t be ran down that class A chimney to a new insert. We have ran into this a few times, once we were able to install a new insert.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RandyBoBandy

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
Like any zero clearance Fireplace, once the facing goes on it’s pretty permanent. It’s very common.

If it’s all masonry like I suspect, I see no reason a liner can’t be ran down that class A chimney to a new insert. We have ran into this a few times, once we were able to install a new insert.
99% sure there is no wood. I am going to contact the original owner of the house to try to verify but yes it's. It face brick at all it was built by a mason.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
I'm no expert but that seems dumb to me. No matter how well built, things wear out right? So why was this not thought of during construction and the appropriate measures taken so the unit could be replaced if needed or desired? I'm not expecting you to have all these answers obviously, just asking anyway.
The winterwarm insert comes out. But there is a steel cabinet it sits in inside the brick that is permanent. It catches all the heat from the stove and sends it out the vents above the stove in the brick. It wasn't put inside an old fireplace.
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
The winterwarm insert comes out. But there is a steel cabinet it sits in inside the brick that is permanent. It catches all the heat from the stove and sends it out the vents above the stove in the brick. It wasn't put inside an old fireplace.
I see. And the crack is in the insert correct?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
Like any zero clearance Fireplace, once the facing goes on it’s pretty permanent. It’s very common.

If it’s all masonry like I suspect, I see no reason a liner can’t be ran down that class A chimney to a new insert. We have ran into this a few times, once we were able to install a new insert.
What makes the winter warm different from other inserts in the regards of just sliding a new insert in the steel cabinet?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,941
Indiana
What makes the winter warm different from other inserts in the regards of just sliding a new insert in the steel cabinet?
Since this was a VC system, only their insert was approved for it. Like I said, I doubt anyone will actually approve their insert for this application, although it would be fine.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
The local shop(Southwest fireplace) is going to let me know tomorrow if they can get the cracked panel for my stove. If not I will be looking at replacing it in the next year or two. Anyone have any recommendations for a shop in the Joliet area of Illinois?
 

RandyBoBandy

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2015
1,060
Whitmore lake, MI
That's a bum deal. Can you put a free stander on the hearth?
 

Charles1981

Minister of Fire
Feb 19, 2013
762
Michigan
That's a bum deal. Can you put a free stander on the hearth?
I mean this seems like a great idea. Can't you remove the insert. Put a free standing stove on the heart in front (one with a rear exit) and then connect it to the current flu or as someone else said...run a smaller flu through the current one? Seems like a great idea IMO. I would take a free standing stove over an insert any day as well if it was possible.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,941
Indiana
I mean this seems like a great idea. Can't you remove the insert. Put a free standing stove on the heart in front (one with a rear exit) and then connect it to the current flu or as someone else said...run a smaller flu through the current one? Seems like a great idea IMO. I would take a free standing stove over an insert any day as well if it was possible.
There isn’t really a way to connect it to the existing flue. The insert currently has a big oval section of flex that attached to a class A chimney in the top of the cabinet. Running a new 6” liner would be a must.

I also like the idea of a hearth stove rather than another insert. If it would fit.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
Well there is hope! The local fireplace/stove store says they can get the panel I need. It is special order and no returns but supposedly they can get it. I gave them the model number, serial number, and date code. So I hope when it comes it is correct. If so the stove is fine with the furnace cement, it should be good for this winter. Then in the spring I will tackle replacing the side panel. Anyone ever take apart a winterwarm?
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
Since this is a “system” you really won’t find any info saying that it’s ok pull that VC insert and replace it with a different one. I would agree typically, but your install looks to be different than most. Typically it’s built into a combustible wall, not solid masonry.

Are you certain that there’s no wood in that structure?
Hello, well I still have this stove and am now seriously considering changing it. It needs a new refractory chamber along with the catalyst, then resealing all the inside panels. It will have to be pulled out to remove the secondary air probe that goes into the refractory chamber. While it’s out I should change the right side that has the small crack. So adding up the parts I’m at $1,000 plus. So does anyone know a good replacement that is similiar that will fit in it? I have since spoken with the original owner of the house and she confirmed it is solid masonry surrounding the fireplace system. There is 1 course of brick behind the steel cabinet in front of the wall. The cabinet is completely surrounded in solid masonry. Or if it cannot be done what would it cost to have someone Remove the insert disassemble it and rebuild it? I’m located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago any info is appreciated.
 

Styx

Member
Feb 4, 2017
14
Illinois
Hello, well I still have this stove and am now seriously considering changing it. It needs a new refractory chamber along with the catalyst, then resealing all the inside panels. It will have to be pulled out to remove the secondary air probe that goes into the refractory chamber. While it’s out I should change the right side that has the small crack. So adding up the parts I’m at $1,000 plus. So does anyone know a good replacement that is similiar that will fit in it? I have since spoken with the original owner of the house and she confirmed it is solid masonry surrounding the fireplace system. There is 1 course of brick behind the steel cabinet in front of the wall. The cabinet is completely surrounded in solid masonry. Or if it cannot be done what would it cost to have someone Remove the insert disassemble it and rebuild it? I’m located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago any info is appreciated.
Well I ordered most of the parts, the combustor chamber wasn’t as bad as I thought so that saved a lot. Got job weld high temp epoxy and took care of the crack that I have known about for a few years now. Re-gasketed the upper fire back, bypass damper, lower fire back and air intake plate. Also installed the missing nuts and bolts that hold the upper fire back in place, and tightened them down tight they were not in place before so when I took things apart the upper fire back just fell out. This stove should burn a lot better then before hopefully. Also how tight should the two upper fire back bolts be? They weren’t in so I had no reference when I took it apart. I tightened them down tight with a 1/4” ratchet.