Vermont Castings Woodstove

victory_tea2085February 18, 2005

I have the Resolute Acclaim model and am about to replace the "upper fireback" due to a crack in the original one. Has anyone ever performed this procedure? I am not mechanically inclined and would appreciate any help. I do have the part (got it today) but the store I bought it at had little advice as to installation. Paul F B

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BTW, here is a schematic of the stove. I plan to replace part # 9. Thanks for any help. Paul F B

Here is a link that might be useful: Resolute Acclaim

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 8:02PM
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Where did you buy the part? If you got it from discount stove you should definitely call them. They were helpful when I called them about my stove. I would think most dealers would be willing to at least give you a little help.

I hope you don't have to do a major disassembly to put that in. Based on the looks of that diagram, that may be a possibility. It looks like it is going to slide in from the top, which might mean the the stove top and who knows what else would have to come off. That's just a guess though.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 9:28PM
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It looked to me like the stove has to be disassembled too. That's why they didn't want to spend much time explaining it to him. It's probably pretty involved.

You could try calling a chimney sweep to come out and install it for you. Don't expect anyone to tell you how to do it for free over the phone. It might actually be cheaper to buy a new stove, especially if other critical parts are starting to wear out too.

You might be in over your head.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 9:50PM
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The stove is only 5 yrs old and, otherwise, in good shape. Paul F B

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 12:01AM
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That's an awfully young stove to be needing a major replacement part. Are you sure that this part really needs replacing? It is normal for firebrick to get hairline cracks. It does not affect performance unless it is major. Is this a cast iron piece or a brick-like piece?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 12:56AM
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It's cast iron and because it is warped and cracked, it limits what wood can be put into the top load door. Paul F B

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 11:35AM
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Because the stove is only 5 years old, there has to be a reason for this part going out already. I can think of some possibilities:
1. Original part is defective
2. Stove is being used nearly 24/7
3. Stove is being over-fired
4. Or combinations

If it is from over-firing the stove, the stove is most likely too small for the area you are trying to heat, and you need a larger stove. You will know if you are over-firing the stove if any of it ever glows red during operation. That's not supposed to happen.

I still think the stove will need to be disassembled and will be a bear to do. All the stove joints will need to be resealed when put back together. You should only attempt this during the summer when you won't be needing your stove running. You could theoretically have this stove in pieces for weeks. Hopefully someone with some VC experience can put in their 2 cents worth and maybe it's not as bad as we think.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I believe we have the right size. Most of the time it runs in the "burn zone" as indicated on our stovepipe thermometer. Burn zone is between 300 and 600 degrees. In the a.m. we burn it out i.e. open it up and it reaches up to 800 degrees. The stove is our primary heat and it does burn 24/7. When we are both away at our jobs, it smolders at around 200 degrees for 8 hrs. I am hoping it is a defective part as 1st I noticed a crack and then it started warping. I plan to clean the exaust channels and will have to remove the firebrick to do this, am hoping I can get a better look at the "upper fireback". Paul F B

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 12:28PM
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I've never been able to recreate it when the stove is cold, but on occasion something having to do with the damper gets off track and something (perhaps the upper fireback?) gets in the way of top loading. If I monkey with the damper mechanism and/or plate, it goes back to normal. This may not be your problem, but it sounded familiar when you mentioned it.

FWIW, I still think the place where you got the part should be able to give you some info. I doubt you will get step by step instructions, but I can't imagine that they wouldn't tell you whether you are looking at a complete disassembly or not (if they know).


    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 9:35PM
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I'll check with them and let everyone know. Paul F B

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 12:21AM
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I finally got the stove fixed, had a guy who used to work at the hardware store "where I bought the upper fireback> do it for me. It was real simple and took about 30 minutes, he removed the brick and the seal plates, then took a screw off each side of the upper fireback. After these screws were out, the whole assembly pulled out including the damper. The damper was then unscrewed from the fireback and screwed to the new part. One gasket was replaced. Next time I'll know and he said there will be a next time in 5-6 years. I will not buy Vermont Castings again as I have already replaced the brick, the fireback and the combustion package ( forgot to mention that that was done while we were in there> and the grates really need to be replaced. These stoves are made for the casual woodburner and not for a primary heat system. I will do more research the next time I purchase a stove. Just thought I would let you guys know the outcome of my dilemma.
Thanks Everyone
Paul F B

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 12:52PM
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I'm glad you got it fixed with a minimum of trouble.
Vermont Castings is one of those stoves that has been way overrated (and over priced) for many years.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 7:54PM
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Your comments caused me to check my manual. It turns out that I have an older model Resolute, apparently without the type of upper fireback that you have. However, my manual covers several models and I saw instructions for removing the upper fireback from an intrepid. They are apparently the same or similar to what you described. I know this is too little, too late - sorry. I am suprised that they weren't in your manual though.

I wonder if the the Vermont Castings reputation was once deserved - or perhaps no one can afford to make stoves the way they used to make them and still stay in business. My older resolute (80's or early 90's) has no firebrick and nothing else that seems likely to need regular replacement. It is a much simpler firebox design. Perhaps it isn't as efficient or clean burning s subsequent models, but at least it seems very reliable.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 11:02PM
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I had a Defiant back in the 70s and used it as a primary heat source. The fireback is in two pieces and warps and cracks with constant use. You have to disassemble the stove to replace the part. I did mine every year for about 10 years. It's an all-day job so it's best to do it in the off season. Most likely you'll have to replace the tie rods, caulking and gaskets. I did just because it was all apart anyway. The stove did a great job of heating a 10-room house so it was worth it - just consider it routine maintenance. You can contact VC for instructions.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 1:03PM
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I have a different question about a Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim 2490, non-catalytic, with secondary combustion chamber. Its one year old and has never operated as promised in the secondary combustion mode (which you start by closing a vent after griddle hits 400 degrees). I was cleaning ashes out and noticed that there is some soft-ish material at the bottom back, inside the opening to the secondary combustion chamber. I first thought it was compacted ash, so dug some out. It is obviously not. The operating manual is completely unhelpful and Vermont Castings (MHSC in Tennessee) will not give technical advice, and the dealer (OKell's in San Francisco) recognized the material as from a "combustion package" -- but insisted there should be no such material in that stove. They checked with their supplier, called back and told me this material should not be there and told me to chip it out with a putty knife.
Reluctant to do that, I researched on line and found a picture of the "combustion package" which is clearly supposed to be there,( Hence the advice to dig it out was totally wrong. The only exposed part of this "combustion package" is the very bottom, but that's what is holding the upper part of it in place.

But here's my question: The picture of this combustion package at the url noted above shows that it has holes at the bottom. Mine doesn't, and I'm wondering if those holes are necessary for proper operation and the lack thereof in mine might explain its poor operation.
So I'm wondering if anyone else has a Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim 2490, and if it has a row of holes in the soft-ish secondary combustion package at the very bottom.

Whatever the answer, it is very poor design to have something soft and easily destructible that is exposed to being evacuated by normal cleaning of ashes out of the stove. And that poor design is exacerbated by an unhelpful users manual, a manufacturer that you cannot contact for technical support, and a dealer who doesn't know his product. AAARRRGGH.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:01PM
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i also have the resolute accalim, in the back is a fibrous type material that IS the combution package, it seems to be very delicate, you probably chipped away the bottom where the holes are, my stove is 3 wks old and mine is also damaged, they tell you to take a shovel and pull ashes forward into ash pan, duhhhh and then tell you to clean it, but dont touch back????? i saw one review where they have a redesigned part. on a mission now to find it...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:03PM
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