Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:30 pm

Hi new here to the site , I have a vermont castings vigilant 1 wood /coal stove it burns wood very well stove temps run around 400 with dampers closed ,650 -700 open . I have a 18 ft high chimmney which protrudes 3 ft from the top of the roof , however when I install the coal kit it takes about 1hour to get the wood fire going and then another 45 min before the coal will get red and when it does get red with a 2 inch bed I will add more to produce a 3 inch bed and the stove temp is only 225 and it has never been past 250 I have burned anthracite pea ,nut , and stove coal all producing around the same temps (nut coal seems to burn the best) and after only burning at 250 for 7 hours the stove will go out and I cannot get it to relight any suggestions . Thanks Wingswheelssnow
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: jcsee On: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:32 pm

New Vigilant stoves usually come with a cover in place inside the stove to restrict the amount of air entering the stove to facilitate the safe burning of bituminous coal. It is held in place with just one screw and is located behind the grates near the bottom left inside the stove. It needs to be removed if you want to burn anthracite. When I removed mine, things improved a lot. Also, if your stove is old like the one I have, you need to check for leeks all around the stove anywhere there is a seem or crack not to mention the door gaskets and glass. Whenever you move a Vermont Castings stove, even new ones everything opens up. Use a lit match or a punk and follow the joints all around and under to find unwanted drafts and use stove cement to seal them. Quite honestly though, after two seasons trying to get my stove to throw good heat, in frustration, I went back to wood. I installed a Jr. Chubby coal burner upstairs in my living space this October. Its all I need to heat 800 sq. ft. and I rarely use the Vigilant downstairs any more.
The best success I had with the Vigilant was with almost all of 5 gal. of Anthracite burning at once, with a good shakedown and replenishment every 8 hours or so and a shutdown and cleaning once a week. It is a tough stove to use! I hope this helps, GOOD LUCK...., Jeff
jcsee
 

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:27 pm

Either air is restricted or it is by-passing coal bed.

Read this thread.

Vermont Castings Vigilant I down... :( for now... :)
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

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Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: stonyloam On: Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:41 pm

First question. Do you have the one with the hopper, is the hopper installed? You need it in place to get the old style coal kits to work properly. I see you have been reading the other posts. Should tell you about what you need to know to get started. Try this thread Vermont Castings Vigilant I down... :( for now... :)

The old style Vermont Castings stoves work just fine, but you have to pay very close attention to properly sealing them, with furnace cement around the seams inside and with extra gaskets on the front lip and doors. Have been using mine for 27 years and will stack it up against most any of the others, easy 12-14 hour burns, and as hot as you like. Stick with it and you will like it.
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:14 pm

Thanks much for the feedback folks I will check the inner plates in the stove and make sure they are properly sealed, and yes I do have the hopper that slides in the top of the stove I wil be sure to use it next time and fill it up with more coal . I was also looking at the grates and when they are in place one of them is bowed thus making a tight fit agaist the other one maybe this could be the culprit on why the ash is not falling through to easy when I shake down. ????? How often do you shake down the coal in your v/c vigilant stove?
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:11 am

every 12 hrs like clock work on my Hitzer--shake & top off hopper--useing 20 lb or so each top off & yes, you need to check out that wharped grate--maybe culprit,maybe not
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: stonyloam On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:21 am

wingswheelssnow wrote:Thanks much for the feedback folks I will check the inner plates in the stove and make sure they are properly sealed, and yes I do have the hopper that slides in the top of the stove I wil be sure to use it next time and fill it up with more coal . I was also looking at the grates and when they are in place one of them is bowed thus making a tight fit agaist the other one maybe this could be the culprit on why the ash is not falling through to easy when I shake down. ????? How often do you shake down the coal in your v/c vigilant stove?


Couple of things here. You have a warped grate, and it will jam up against one of the others when you try to shake it down. You have a couple of options here. You can take the insert apart and move the grate to a position where it does not bind, or get a new grate. Or you can do like I do presently (because one of my grates is binding a little) shake with very short strokes to settle the ash and clean it out with with the slicer (long flat metal thing ). Slicing is very important on the VC v1.0, in fact sometimes I don't bother shaking at all.

IMHO here is what you need to do :roll:
Switch over to nut coal.
Set your hopper for nut. You want the throat of the hopper in the highest position. The bottom of the throat should be about 2" below the hopper body. Here is a drawing of the parts: http://www.stovepartsplus.com/Merchant5 ... G-0054.pdf
Seal the insert and add gaskets like we discussed in other threads. Look for some of "rewinder" threads, he is very good with the VC.
Once you are set up with the hopper in place, start with a good hot wood (stove damper handle open), or charcoal fire, and gradually add coal through the hopper till you get a nice bed going and then fill the hopper, When you are sure it is burning OK, close the damper and set the thermostat. Probably about 1/4 open.
For shakedown and cleaning this is what I do (for what it is worth) :D
Tools: gloves, slicer, shovel, old screwdriver, old cookie sheet.
Just did it so still fresh in my mind:
Flip stove damper to open.
Thermostat wide open.
Put on your gloves, I use old welders gloves.
I keep an old cookie sheet under the stove to catch any embers that fall out, so slide it out.
Open stove and remove and empty ash pan (should be full of cold ashes from last shakedown). Use the shovel to remove any stray ash from underneath.
Replace pan, but only put it 1/2 way in.
Take your slicer (hold it at about 85° and from above) and clean out the area immediately behind the front cover of the insert (#25). This give you some room for the coal to move when you shake.
Shove the pan in and close the doors.
Shake, short strokes, to settle the ashes.
open the doors.
Here I take an old leather welders glove ( a no good one) and hold it by the thumb and press it against the coal that has moved down from the hopper, this keeps it from spilling over the front cover when you slice.
Starting at the right side, shove the slicer (held horizontally) under the front cover, above the grates all the way to the back of the stove, then move the slicer handle back and forth. This will clean out all of the ash in an area shaped kind of like a pie slice. At first it will go very smoothly as the fly ash falls through, but you will start to feel more resistance as the unburnt coal starts to move down. When you feel resistance and red coals are falling through, move the slicer over a couple of inches and repeat. I usually do this about 4 times. BE CAREFUL THE SLICER IS VERY HOT!!!
Close the doors.
Drop the slicer in the cookie sheet, and sweep stray ashes off of the lip into the sheet. Slide it back under the stove
Fill the hopper (I keep an old screwdriver handy to open the top, as the slicer is hot)
Close the damper and reset the thermostat (make sure that it did not jam against the heat shield in the back).
The whole thing takes about 5 minutes start to finish.
This works very will for me. Will go about 8-10 hours at 400°, 12-14 at 300° (by my thermometer).
You will want to read stove temp on the top of the shelf on the right side of the stove, not the griddle, because the hopper blocks the heat from there.
That is it for now, hope it was not too long winded. Good luck.
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:08 pm

Ok Terry thanks a bunch !! I was only putting in 3 inches of coal maybe that explains my low temps . Burning wood tonight but I will be putting the kit in tomorrow and hoping for a hot fire I would really like to use this for coal . Again thanks.
Bruce
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: rewinder On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:00 pm

Hi there, Terry gave you a very good tutorial on how to tend the old V first gen stoves. I tend mine almost the same way, since you probably used a lot of wood in the past, you should be sure the Z shaped passage ways behind the fire back are vac'd out and clean, you can take out the removable "baffle " from the top by reaching thru the exhaust pipe casting , (with damper handle down) and clean the top 2/3's of passageways, and the bottom third cleaned from thru the removable door at the bottom left of fireback.

the other key is to apply the gaskets at the door/front grate intersection, that makes allthe difference between a sluggish and rapid fire revival and starting.

If you find you can't rearrange the grated like terry said, i have some slightly warped grates, not too bad, I'd be glad to send you one, free.

Also look on craigs list for V I coal kits, for spare parts, i picked up a complete hardly used kit for 100 bucks this fall, same for my resolute, I was thrilled to say the least.

blashak nut is what I burn in the cold months, pea coal in fall and spring.

Also when you get her going good, check to see how how the pipe is where it goes into the chimny. If too hot, you may need a baro, to keep from wasting btu's up the chimney. both mine have them, as i have very tall interior chimneys. I can hold my hand on the pipe on both stoves, right at the chimney, with out burning it, at temps up to 500 deg on the stove.

Any help ya need sing out, ther are some VC stove fans here, happy to help

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

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: rewinder On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:13 pm

OH, forgot to mention to terry, My brother made up a "tool" for holding the coal from slipping over the grate when he slices ( I need to make one too-lol)

he took a 1/4" diam rod, and welded it to the center of a 1 1/2" X about 10" piece of flat stock steel, to make sort of a rake like thing, he holds it against the coals above the front grate teeth, to steady the coals just you do with the glove, while slicing. (haha, i use a glove like you do)

someday I'll make me one


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

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:34 pm

OK thanks very much this gasket that evey one is talking about on the front doors to the front grate is this an added extra I have to do , I am not sure where it would go do you have any pics? and how many inch bed of red coal do you have before you fill the hopper up ?

Thanks Bruce
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: rewinder On: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:33 pm

ash build up in my vermont coal stove??

in this thread, on page 3, at the bottom, is a pic of the gasket placement, and more info on the vig

the gasket insures that no air can sneak past the gap between the front grate and door, forcing all the air to go thru the coal bed instead.

When I have a couple -2or 3--of inches of coal burning nicely, all across the grates, I'll fill the hopper, close the damper and set the thermostat to where i last had it to keep that temp, or raise or lower the lever to adjust temp accordingly.
rewinder
 
Stove/Furnace Make: VT Castings--early models
Stove/Furnace Model: Vigilant, and Resolute

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: stonyloam On: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:06 am

Hay there rewinder :D That photo is similar to what I did thanks to your suggestion, except I added a second gasket to the lip of the front cover, so that with the door closed the seal is gasket on gasket, seems to work really well for me. Yeah I thought about making a tool too, but just haven't gotten around to it yet LOL
Just stick with it Bruce and you will be an expert like us :roll:
stonyloam
 
Stove/Furnace Make: vermont casting
Stove/Furnace Model: vigilant

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:20 pm

OK Thanks for your help Terry and all the rest I will be putting on the door seals tomorrow cleaning out the stove and putting the coal kit in sealing up all joints and using nut coal I will let you know how I make out.
Bruce
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

Re: Vermont castings vigilant 1 difficulty burning coal

PostBy: wingswheelssnow On: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:28 pm

one other important question , the 4x3 inch plate that is put in the back inside right side with 1 screw and cement is that better to leave this off for more air when burning coal or put it on so the air comes through the holes being evenly displaced, Jeff in another post said something about this on the newer vigilant coal but mine is the first one.
Thanks
Bruce
wingswheelssnow
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnifire111

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