Vermont Castings Intrepid 2023

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New Member
Oct 18, 2023
I bought a VC Intrepid earlier this summer. I used it for the first time 3 weeks ago. Suspected there was a problem with air control lever. I did 3 "break in" burns not exceeding 500F. On the 4th burn, I put on 4 logs and damped it down with damper and minimum air control. Within one hour I had a raging inferno that I could not control. The temperature hit 700F. I now realized that this uncontrolled burn was a result of a faulty air control lever inherent on purchase. I complained to the dealer, who dismissed me, saying that as they did not install the stove, they were not liable. In fact, they do not offer an installation service. They referred me to VC. I wrote to VC twice, enclosing all documentation and photographs, explaining the out of control burn. They have not replied. The stove looks fantastic, but the control lever is totally dysfunctional. I stagger along burning burning one log at a time. Having paid nearly $4000, (Including wings) this is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs.
Constructive comments very welcome.
Does this stove have a catalyst? Running one without the catalyst can be more tricky. Where was the 700º being measured? Stove top thermometer or cat?

See if the air control flap is sticking. When the stove is cold, while watching the flap at the lower back of the stove, move the air control over its full range. Do this a few times. Does the flap open and close without sticking?

There are other variables that will affect the burn. The dryness of the wood and strength of the draft. A stove operated on a 50º day is going to behave a bit differently than on a 30º day, especially if the flue system is on the shorter side (14-18'). Poorly seasoned wood will make any stove perform poorly.
Welcome from a fellow Intrepid owner. I'm assuming you have the newer flexburn and not the older Intrepid 2 model. There's a night and day difference between the two so it matters. Firstly read through both the operators manual and the installation manual thoroughly. What leads you to say the air lever is faulty the chain from the lever can be adjusted? It's a simple ball chain with a link. Air lever closed when the stove is cold, there should be a small gap and not completely seated of around 1/16". That's the only adjustment there is for the air lever. The chimney is required to have a certain amount of draft. The specs for this are in the installation manual only. Don't know your set up but the VC's don’t like much horizontal run in the stove pipe. The air lever chain adjustment was way off on mine so readjusted myself.
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I have an older VC model so I don't know specifics about your stove.
You say you put 4 logs on and damped it down with damper. I don't understand exactly what you mean. To me the damper is either in the stove pipe or in the stove to engage secondary burn like a catalytic type stove. Then you said minimum air control, does that mean open primary air control or closing air? Where are you reading 700* temperatures? Is this stove top, flue or the one on the back of the stove if it has one?
How seasoned is your wood?