Can this be done? the stove was given to me and i would rather burn wood than coal. The previous owner said it could be done but the Vermont Castings site dosent say anything,
Yes it can be done, and generally works quite well. The basic vigilant design has been around for many years and is a good stove, the benefit to having one designed for coal burning is that, depending on which year it is (they changed the design slightly over the years) you will have the convienience of an ash pan and shaker grates which are nice to have no matter what you are burning. The reason Vermont castings cannot reccomend burning wood in it is simply because the USEPA since '88 requires wood stoves to obtain a certain level of emissions output and must be tested for this; vermont castings did not do this because it is not required of coal stoves and thus cannot make statements that might be in contrary of what is required of the company by law. So, as you see the reason burning wood is not mentioned is purely a regulatory technicality and not anthing that would negatively impact your woodburning experience. Now, having said that, if possible if it were me i would burn coal, it is a far superior fuel if it is available in your area, and if you don't cut your wood, is generally on a per btu basis less expensive than buying cordwood.
thanks for the answer
I called vermont castings and they said it will burn wood to fast because it has a larger draft. I have a house with alot of downed wood in the forest behind my house. i could switch back to coal later.
Hello, here is a supplementary question to burning wood in a Vigilant. I am after buying an old Vigilant (1988 sale date, green enamel, ash tray and glass in the doors) which was sold into the UK as a coal AND wood burning stove. The original instruction booklet apparently states that the maximum length of log to be 12" although the firebox is much wider. Is there a reason that why longer logs can't be burnt? We have a lot of felled wood too and would prefer to cut the logs into 18" lengths. Many thanks for any help, Jamie
I just purchased a vigilant coal stove and am trying to burn wood in it but cant seam to maintain heat. i am either burning with the dampner open to keep heat in the stove or smothering it by closing the dampner and i was told to use a barometric dampner. what am i donig wrong?
The Vigilant was designed to be capable of burning either coal or wood. In most cases - if I remember correctly - there was a separate removable insert used for coal.
There are many factors involved in your problem - dryness of the wood, chimney height and diameter, etc. A barometric damper is very unlikely to help. I'd suggest you post your question on www.hearth.com. in the section devoted to older stoves. You'll get lots of responses from people with direct experience with this stove. You will need to provide information about your wood supply and chimney.