I’ve used a variant of Vermont’s Vigilant Multifuel stove for twenty years now …. thankfully, with very few problems …… however I have one now, water leakage, and wonder if any forum members could guide me on how to tackle this problem ????.
The variant of the Vigilant is one that’s probably unique to the UK where a thin water-jacket boiler was placed in the firebox. Like any other boiler, this arrangement heats water that distributes heat throughout the house from radiators. In my case, I have seven radiators linked to the stove with relative large bore copper pipes and the water circulates slowly by gravity alone ….. and offers continuous low grade heating.
Without dismantling the stove, its difficult to know the exact detail of the water jacket, but in the areas where I can measure the thickness is about 30mm and guessing the boiler plate is 5mm, this would leave a typical section with about 20mm core space for water. The shape is complicated, wrapping round each side, back and top of the firebox, with a 160mm fuelling hole for feeding the anthracite cut in the top member and plugged by a sliding cover.
At the time I bought the stove, Vermonts were imported into UK through a distributing agent and they arrived in UK without boilers but a local UK Company (?) converted those requiring “back-boilers”. No one in the present Vermont organisation seems to know anything about these variants.
Anyway that’s the background …. the problem is that my boiler has sprung a pin-hole water leak inside the firebox. I plan to go on burning through this winter with the problem no more than a very slight weep, but I recognise that I will need to address the problem in the spring.
With no spare boilers on the shelf and no desire to install a different looking stove (if anyone even offers them like this, these days), I’ve decided that having the boiler repaired or replaced is the best route in the circumstances. Instincts tell me that more pin hole leaks are likely to be near at hand in other water-jacket areas …… and I’d like to dismantle the stove and get a new copy of the boiler made.
Does this sound feasible? …. in these days where throw-away and start again seems to be the norm? If so, how would I go about it?
All views on alternative approaches also welcome.
Thanks in advance.