vermont castings stove, need info

vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: gitrdonecoal On: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:28 pm

mailto:sale-1011093039@craigslist.org?subject=wood%20/%20coal%20burning%20stove%20-%20$750%20(Clarence)
Who here has this stove? im thinking about, if i buy it, putting it in my basement to heat entire house. that will be roughly 2100 sq ft, basement and 1st floor. will this stove do it? thanks
gitrdonecoal
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90
Stove/Furnace Make: USSC
Stove/Furnace Model: Hotblast 1557

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:15 pm

From the pictures,
http://buffalo.craigslist.org/for/1011093039.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
,it looks like an earlier model that what I run. There's a fellow that is very successful with burning coal with the older Vermont Casting Vigilant models. Click on --> http://nepacrossroads.com/member/rewinder/ and than on 'search user posts'. I'd bet he'll be one of the next members to respond - I'm surprised I replied before him :lol:

This stove is rated at 50,000 BTU/hr. when burning coal. Basement installations can use up a lot of a stove's BTU output. It depends a lot on the finish/insulation of the basement walls and the circulation characteristics of the house. Typically circulation is aided by cutting (several) vents in the floors above the stove, Installing a louvered door at the openings to the basement steps and a cold air return from the far side of the house (preferably) ducted to the area near the stove.

My model 2310 is the primary heat for 3,100 sq ft.. It's located on the first floor in a large room. It does a fine job but is needs a little help when it is in the low 20s. The oil furnace comes on once or twice an hour for 5 minute cycles/hr. w/thermostat set at 68. When it's zero out, 5-7 cycles/hour. I run it just about full out most of the time. That's 700f for my model. Depending on coal quality, I can expect to get consistent 12 -18 hour burn times in cold weather. I use ~ 4+ ton/ year.
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: stonyloam On: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:15 pm

If it is a 1 st generation stove with the magazine that holds the coal, this thread is a good place to start:

ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

Make sure it has all of the coal parts.

Terry
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

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Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: Conductor On: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:40 pm

Ihave the 1st generation stove with the magazine that holds the coal . mine has 3 shaker grates my stove kicks butt I heat about 1200sf with this stove the front of the house runs about 78-80. In the back of the house where the bedrooms and bath are the temp is about 72 . like
Terry said make sure all the coal parts are there.
Conductor
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker dv 90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont casting vigilant 1980's
Coal Size/Type: Rice and nut

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: oliver power On: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:39 am

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:From the pictures,
http://buffalo.craigslist.org/for/1011093039.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
,it looks like an earlier model that what I run. There's a fellow that is very successful with burning coal with the older Vermont Casting Vigilant models. Click on --> http://nepacrossroads.com/member/rewinder/ and than on 'search user posts'. I'd bet he'll be one of the next members to respond - I'm surprised I replied before him :lol:

This stove is rated at 50,000 BTU/hr. when burning coal. Basement installations can use up a lot of a stove's BTU output. It depends a lot on the finish/insulation of the basement walls and the circulation characteristics of the house. Typically circulation is aided by cutting (several) vents in the floors above the stove, Installing a louvered door at the openings to the basement steps and a cold air return from the far side of the house (preferably) ducted to the area near the stove.

My model 2310 is the primary heat for 3,100 sq ft.. It's located on the first floor in a large room. It does a fine job but is needs a little help when it is in the low 20s. The oil furnace comes on once or twice an hour for 5 minute cycles/hr. w/thermostat set at 68. When it's zero out, 5-7 cycles/hour. I run it just about full out most of the time. That's 700f for my model. Depending on coal quality, I can expect to get consistent 12 -18 hour burn times in cold weather. I use ~ 4+ ton/ year.
Hey VigIIPeaBurner , I watched your video for the first time. Nice Video! Your Vigillant is a whole different animal than mine was. NEVER would I recommend the one I had as a whole house heater. A great room heater, but not whole house. I can see how your Vigillant is much better than the one I had. I'm not sure which one I had, but it wasn't like yours.
oliver power
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II)
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Stove/Furnace Make: HITZER / KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93 & 30-95 , Kaa-2

Re: Vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:34 pm

oliver power wrote: Hey VigIIPeaBurner , I watched your video for the first time. Nice Video! Your Vigillant is a whole different animal than mine was. NEVER would I recommend the one I had as a whole house heater. A great room heater, but not whole house. I can see how your Vigillant is much better than the one I had. I'm not sure which one I had, but it wasn't like yours.


Thaks for he comment on the videos. They aren't the greatest but it gets the idea out. The stove does a good job for a 50K BTU stove. I knew of others that had the earlier coal models and they never quite figured out how to successfully burn coal in them. At the time, I was happily burning wood in my old Defiant. When I looked at the Vigilant II in the show room 20 + yrs later, it looked like they had configured the internals to burn coal better than earlier versions. That, my experience with the Defiant and SWMBO's decision place the order :lol: Took me a wile to figure out how to make it do it's thing since I didn't know anyone to mentor me on the ways of burning coal. This Grasshopper sure could have use the knowledge of this forum for a hand fired stove then :D
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: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:56 am

I've practically memorized this website with its great hints for burning coal. Here's our problem: We cannot keep our Vigilant 2310 burning more than 4 hours unattended before it goes out. I realize that air flow is key to keeping the fire going, but even with diligent slicing, shaking, and ash pan-emptying, including through the night, we restart the fire at least once a day. And I'm not a novice; 30 years ago I had a VC Resolute (smaller than Vigilant, with a removable coal hopper and dual coal/wood burning capability). Keeping it burning was a snap, and that's why I fell for another Vermont Castings coal stove. The new Vigilant, however, is a different critter. It's a filthy mess of ashes and coal dust and we are SO SORRY we bought it instead of a "real" coal stove. We are constantly struggling to keep it burning. When the stove is really cooking, the livingroom becomes an unbearable 90 degrees, even with a ceiling fan and floor fan going to push the warm air around, while the back of the house needs space heaters (we are a 1-floor 1,000 sq.ft. rancher). Other times, the great burn (lots of red coals and a nice blue flame) disappears shortly after we try to do something around the house besides mind the stove, and the fire is out. Again. We have experimented with both pea and nut coal; Kimmel's is the brand we use, and we burn 50 lbs. a day minimum in cold weather. There is a prodigious amount of ash, which builds up quickly on the grates despite our constant maintenance--and I do mean constant. Nut coal is particularly bad, because the size of the chunks (salt-shaker size) means the waste chunks can't fit through the grates and they block the air flow within an hour or so. If we don't mind the stove, we lose the fire. Pea coal is almost as bad, but at least the leftover clinkers can make it through the grates for better air flow. We have adjusted the damper and the temperature gizmo as we try to build up and maintain the fire, but they have little effect. After a couple of hours, we have no heat. This stinks--and I feel like a chump for wasting $1,600 on this dratted stove. We've used about 1.5 tons basically to overheat heat our livingroom. Any suggestions? We really need some help. Also, there's an odd little handle on the left rear side of the stove for what is labeled "air control" on the exploded diagram in the manual, but the manual doesn't contain a word about what this thing is for. We're tried it open and closed, but it doesn't seem to do anything. Can anyone explain this? Thanks!
maine2005
 

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: rewinder On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:30 am

Hi maine2005

Sounds like you might have too high a draft. do you have a baro damper? c Can you describe your chimney height/size/ set up ect?? Door gaskets ect tight??

VigIIPeaBurner who posted just above you will surely chime in here and help you out. Did you see his vids?

I'm buning an older VCIg and a Resolut like you had, and am looking for a used VII to replace the resolute. After seeing his vids, the new VigII looks to be able to sustain a higher temp much longer than the older Vig because of it's much larger fire mass. When it's real cold out mine need 4 tendings a day, now only 3 and in warmer times down to 2.

Hang in there

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

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: Pete69 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:37 am

Ash will build up like that in any coal stove and should not need to be tended to every hour. It sounds like a draft problem.
If you bought the stove new, they come with a restrictive plate for wood or bitt. coal burning, on the air intake located inside under the grates on the left as you face the stove. It is held on by two screws, and needs to be removed to burn anthracite.
The air control on the left outside is a source of secondary air for burning wood or bitt. coal and should be closed for burning anthracite. There is also three plates inside under the grates, one on the left, one on the right, and one on the right rear opposite the air intake. these cover clean out access holes, and need to be in place or you will lose draft.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: maine2005 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:06 pm

Hi, and thanks for the input. We got the stove new. It was installed in September. The chimney is 8" metal, also installed new, top-mounted, vertical about 10' in the house and attic crawl space and an additional 6' above the roof. The air vents on the sides and back of the firebox, above the firebrick, have been cleaned out and the covers replaced, and the metal plate for burning bituminous coal was definitely removed when the stove was installed. The V II is not supposed to be used for burning wood, so we only use that to start the fire. We keep the side air control closed, so thank you for explaining what that's for. We don't have a baro damper. The ash that builds up is VERY hard to slice (solid and crunchy)--often the stove is running too hot to reach in and slice, even with 19" long stove gloves. They begin to smolder if we slice more than 30 seconds at a time. Once sliced, the ash builds up again quickly. I have seen the videos, and the one showing the spring/fall burn area reduction is intriguing, since our stove just belts out the heat with no way to "turn it down." We adjust the primitive thermostat on the back of the stove and raise the damper handle so that more heat goes up the chimney rather than roasting us out of the room, as advised in the manual, but it's still too hot (when it burns) and produces too much ash to be left alone for long before the air flow is impaired. Damper handle up or down really doesn't make a difference in temperature. So the stove is either way too hot or out. Compared to the old Resolute, which I loved and which burned 12 hours day unattended while we were at work, this V II is a real disappointment. Fortunately, we're retired and mostly here to tend the stove. We still love the heat that coal produces, despite our griping, and are happy to be using U.S. coal rather than imported oil. I believe the air flow is key; if we could maintain that, we'd have a lasting coal fire. Thanks again.

Suzanne in Maine
maine2005
 

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: stonyloam On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:26 pm

Draft can be pretty important with the VC stoves, especially the older gen I stoves like mine. Any air leak around the coal grate can be very detrimental. I thought mine was burning pretty good, Until I took Paul's suggestion and added a couple of strips of gasket material to the doors (just under the small ridge below the windows) to improve the door to front grate seal. That was an improvement. The next step was to cement a continuous strip of gasket to the front grate, so that with the doors closed it contacted the door gaskets. The result was a very tight seal, and now the burn is OUTSTANDING!

So, maine2005 don't get too discouraged, there is a lot of good knowledge to be gleaned from this site. Good luck

Terry
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: Pete69 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:42 pm

If you can't damp it down and control the heat you may have unwanted air leaking into the stove. check to see that the ash pan door closes tight and seals all around. Check to see that the ash pan door is flush with the bottom of the stove. There is enough play in the mounting holes for the lower ash pan door hinge bracket to get knocked out of whack, leaving air gaps around the door seal. I think leaving the damper open will allow the coal to be consumed rapidly creating an excessive amount of ash. If there are no unwanted air leaks and the stove is overheating you may have too strong of a draft. A baro damper will remedy that problem. This is not a long term solution, but try running the stove with the secondary air open, this may help break the draft if it is too strong.
The stove will perform as well as your old Resolute after you work out all the kinks.
Last edited by Pete69 on Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: rewinder On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:17 pm

Suzanne, when you say it's heating up so much it's overheating the room, what temp is it on the top ( like in VigIIPeaBurneers vid)? Like your old VC stove, you should be able to close the thermostatic flapper by moving the lever to close the flap, and the heat should reduce o lot. I should thinkon a day like this, running at 400* should doo the job and require tending twice a day

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

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: maine2005 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:51 pm

On the chimney exterior, about a foot up, the temp usually reads between 200-300, closer to 225. We were advised to add 100 to this to get an estimate of the stove temp. If we let the needle fall below 200, it will continue to head south until the fire is out. If we catch it in time, we can slice, shake, add coal, empty the ash pan, and leave the ash pan door open for a few minutes to try and revive the fire. This doesn't always work. In response to a possible air leak, that's a good suggestion. I've noticed that small pieces of coal can keep the loading door ajar, so I always check for that. Right now, the stove is cold (what else?), so I can check the damper flap in back to see if it's responding correctly to moving thermostat handle to the right. Another hint: sometimes when we leave the ash door open, we get a great burn; as soon as we close the ash door, we lose the flame and the fire loses its punch. This is the source of our frustration. My spouse is so tired of working on the computer for an hour in his office and coming back to find the stove is out, or too far gone to be revived. He's become awfully good at starting a coal fire. We practice often!
maine2005
 

Re: vermont castings stove, need info

PostBy: Pete69 On: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:06 pm

When the stove goes out is it because the coal is all burned up, or just died out with unburnt coal on top?
Pete69
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Baker/Vermont Castings/Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: fireside /VigilantII/Chubby

Visit Hitzer Stoves