vermont castings stove, need info

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: maine2005 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:28 pm

There's unburned coal on top of the dying embers/ashes. Sometimes we empty the stove and clean out the firebox; other times, we start a new fire on top of the leftover coal. We used to pick out the good coal, but that's a slow dirty job.
maine2005
 

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:04 pm

Hi maine2005

I do know first hand how frustrating it can be to learn a new stove. Especially so when there's an unidentified problem in the system. Honestly, when I started burning coal in this stove as the dealer's help had it set up, I couldn't go 4 hours on a burn - and got little heat too :? I found numerous things wrong with the installation by thinking it thru over a few weeks. Here's a short list of what I dealt with: 1)nickle under the leg instead of leveling it with the bolt - took the 5 cent piece (wanted to do something special with it ;) ) and set level with a wrench 2) reducing plate still in place even though I asked it to be set up for anthracite - removed it 3)clean out cover plate missing - found it and reinstalled 4) here's the kicker - double wall SS stove pipe chimney connector had been placed on the collar and there was ~ 1/4" slop and draft was being siphoned off - remove it (it was 6' away from a chimney :mad:) and reinstalled/adjusted DWSS pipe. Finally after all that, I had consistent draft and could burn. Using Reading coal in cold weather ( 25-50) I could get 12-14 hr burns on a full load. Recently got a load of Superior nut and yesterday it ran for 17 hrs on ~ 40 Lb; ~ 30@ 0500hr + ~10Lb@1500hr and put out consistent stove top temps of ~700 till 2230hr. It can be done! See pic series here ---> Vermont Castings Vigilant coal stove

Sorry if I missed it, but what "brand" of coal are you using?
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: rewinder On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:47 pm

here's another thing to check when the stove is cold. When thethermostat lever is straight up and down, the flapper should be about half way open. Also as Pete mentioned you may have a leaky ash pan door gasket or not tightened up enough to compres the gasket, You could put a dollar bill between the gasket and stove at various places around the perimiter as you open and close the door repeatedly to see if it pulls out easily any where. It should be tight.

Take the magnetic thermometer off the pipe and stick it on the top at the right front just clearing the griddle. If your room is at 90deg, the stove will probably be way over 650deg I'd bet. If your flapper is open 1/2 inch or so at this time, you need to close it to cut air from the fire box. If it's closed when the temp is way high, I'd bet your ash door is leaking, making the flapper ineffective. I always peer behind the stove to see how much open the flapper is in regards to the stove temp at the time, and how much I guestimate it should be open to keep the stove temp constant. just like you did on the old resolute.

As for heating the other end of a long ranch house, That's a tough one. I have a small squrill cage fan mounted just under the door way that runs 24/7 to take heat off the cieling,( flat not vaulted) and it pushes it into the main house (2 story) from the cape addition the stove is in. Another stove in another cape addition has the same fan blowing in to the main house too these keep the heat even pretty well . They actually are kick space heater replacement fans used to blow air thru a FHW kickspace heater. Maybe you could put a fan in any hallway that needs heat shoved to the colder areas.


You shouldbe able to control that stove with the thermostat/flapper such that if you propped the flapper closed the fire would die and go out.

Don't dispair yet!!

paul
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Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

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Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:24 pm

maine2005

Since you've got the restrictor and clean out plates configured properly, I'll list some to ponder and what works for me with my set up.

    Coal quality. Can't say too much about this. Members report inconsistency in some bagged brands while other bagged brands provide consistency. Try to find another dealer or someone near you that can supply you with another brand of coal to compare how your Vig II behaves.

    Use reliable thermometers. A magnetic thermometer for a start. Get two if you can swing it. Place one on the stove pipe - make certain it's calibrated for vertical readings - about 2-3 ft above the collar, assuming you do not have double wall stove pipe. Place the other in the center of the ground cast iron loading top door. An instant reading Infrared thermometer is a good tool to upgrade to.

    Reloading with coal. It's good practice to fill the stove to the top of the fire brick. For the Vig II 2310, this should be 40 -50Lbs for long burn cycle. Add this amount in several additions leaving a bit of the old fire uncovered. Wait for the blue flames to appear, probably nearest the exposed old fire. I speed this along by cracking the ash door but do not leave the stove unattended :!: Watch for previously burning coal left over from the original fire to beginning to glow an excited red, then secure the ash door. For me, this occurs in ~<1minute. Cautiously lift the loading lid a few inches to allow oxygen laden air to contact the hot coal gasses (I often blow gently into the firebox!). Blue flames should appear then slowly close the top. I might get a sudden poof! of blue flames if it's a bit too hot so be cautious.
    Internal Damper. With the damper (handle on stove's right) open, you'll see a smaller temperature difference between the two thermometers. When the internal damper is open and the fire burring w/copious blue flames, it's when I close the internal damper (stove top temps are ~ 450- 500F). (Keeping the damper open after the blue flames appear over most of the fire will just let the heat go up the chimney. Stove top temps won't rise much with this occurring but the stove pipe temp sure will!.) At this time, I look at the silver plate controlling the air inlet**; I adjust its position with the control lever so it's open ~ 1/8" Within the next 30 -60 minutes the stove top temps should rise
    **Thermostatic combustion air control.Once the internal damper is closed and the stove top thermometer's reading begins to rise. Read rewinder's comments in the previous post about setting the air control. With my set up, it's barely cracked at ~1/16" at the bottom when it's in full burn mode. If it's holding @ 1/16" and you're not getting the heat you want, note the thermometer reading from the stove top and open it up another 1/8". Monitor this thermometers and the air flap and adjust accordingly.
    Shaking.Set the internal damper in the updraft mode. After a 12 hour burn, I cycle the shaker handle 50 times, wait a few seconds for the fly ash to be drawn up and then open the ash pan for a peak. Level them out with the slicer by closing the pan just enough so you can insert the knife and even out the ashes. Disturbed ash is under the grates and fly ash is drawn up. Close it up and repeat cycle again, I go for another 20. At this point, I often open the front doors one at a time, gradually and carefully poke with short inward jabs along the grill support (lowest slot) into and down toward the grates, under any red embers. I use a 1/4" round rod for this part of the poke. I push the ash inward & away from the front of the grill until I see the grate ears, sometime I can see into the middle of the lowest part of the grates. Close the doors and repeat the shaking (I do 10 strokes) a few times until you see embers in the ash pan. If the fires seems suspended, I poke down thru the fire from the top in three or four places. I know about those smoking gloves too! I prevent that by placing a thin layer of new coal on top of the fire before I poke downward.

Please ask any questions you have. There are many here to offer suggestions, maybe even answers! Take a peak at the picture, they might help without the proverbial thousand words :lol: Vermont Castings Vigilant coal stove
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:46 pm

FYI ... some of the recent parts of this thread have migrated between this and ---> Vermont Castings Vigilant coal stove
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: maine2005 On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:47 pm

The instructions you sent are perfect, and I'll print 'em out. Just what I needed. The room temp rose to 80 by 10 a.m. and is now 82. We have a ceiling fan going. Top of stove temp has maintained at 500. Back flap is open 1/8", which is the way I left it to run some errands. I had few ashes to empty when we returned from shopping, since I'm not slicing and shaking every 30 minutes! (Go ahead, laugh...it's okay!!!) You have helped restore domestic tranquility. I am eternally grateful; we were approaching our wits' end with the stove. BTW, I did notice a tiny crack at the top of the two doors. The gasket is frayed, and I can look through the space and see the red embers inside the stove, so we need to fix that. We have a CO detector, new, and plan to get a digital thermometer. The metal job that came "free" with the stove isn't accurate enough, IMHO. I have no idea whether it's for a chimney or stove top. The installer left it on the stack, but I believe the chimney is double-wall SS. I don't know if that's for the entire chimney or just part of it. However, the installer is the same person who didn't know what "anthracitic" coal was and had to call the boss for info on removing the bituminous cover, after we brought it to his attention!

Suzanne
maine2005
 

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:44 pm

maine2005 wrote:The instructions you sent are perfect, and I'll print 'em out. Just what I needed. The room temp rose to 80 by 10 a.m. and is now 82. We have a ceiling fan going. Top of stove temp has maintained at 500. Back flap is open 1/8", which is the way I left it to run some errands. I had few ashes to empty when we returned from shopping, since I'm not slicing and shaking every 30 minutes! ...<8...Suzanne


Suzanne, a warm welcome to the club of successful coal burning :up: I'm glad you've figured it out and made it thru your first full day's burn. It was hard for me to learn that to keep it going the best thing to do was do as little as was necessary ;) I use to shake it down every four hours and I'd get crunchy ash instead of the more powdery variety. Now I just load it up, damp it down and let it run for 12 - 14 hours before I shake & poke. I'll end up with a full pan (like in the picture) and maybe a bit more until I see some reds in the ash and a nice glow in the ash drop. That's the sign I use to load up, in stages of course. Good for another 12+ :) :D :lol:

Stay warm ... still more winter on the way!
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: maine2005 On: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:10 pm

Still perking away at 500, living room is at 82, a little too warm, but who's complaining? I think I'm still poking the fire too often, but only 3 times today, lightly, and lightly across the bottom grille opening once, carefully and at an angle, instead of slicing and shaking all day long--we had formerly been trying to break up all the ash every time we sliced. Instead, today we went about our business, and every time I checked the stove it had nice blue flames and was sitting at 500 and there were few ashes in the pan. I did forget to load the fresh coal in layers (I checked your instructions too late). I'd tipped a hod's worth in, but as soon as I realized it was too much at one time, I took the advice that someone here gave and ran the slicer across the top of the coal bed, just far enough down to let some air in. No harm done. Flames came right back. We have a great fire. I'm so relieved. The stove seems like a whole different animal. Chalk our difficulties up to "operator error." Yes, plenty of winter left for us to perfect our skills. Thanks again for your helpful free advice, as well as the help we got from the whole team in the forum. I'm longwinded here, but only to let you know that the suggestions from the group here really worked for me.
maine2005
 

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