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overheating vermont casting NC defiant wood stove

Russell, PA

we filled our stove with seasoned wood, closed the damper and put the secondary air on low.. four hours in to the night , the smoke alarm went off and the stove was overfiring (900 degrees!) we had to put a cooking pot to the air intake on the bottom of the stove to help dampen the fire.. any suggestions out there? this is our second defiant replacing a 32 year stove that we loved and never had problem with.... thanks

West Branch, IA(Zone 5b)

Is this stove new to you? I would never load up a new to me stove &go off to bed. Recipe for disaster. Is this a brand new stove with new gaskets? When stoves run away it can mean air is getting in somewhere it shouldn't.900 is too hot,for sure.What kind of wood ?
I am in zone 5 & we just use our lower power wood for the temps we have had so far. If I loaded up with hickory or some other high BTU wood,our Jotul,Oslo would run us out.We used a Defiant Encore for 20 years.Never had it run away. Had a Vigilant by Vermont castings & it would overfire. Problem was bad door gasket Until one gets used to how a stove behaves,it is best to put in smaller loads in the daytime when you can observe it..
Maybe the wood is too small & too dry. That could cause a roaring fire.I hope you get this solved so you don't burn the house down.Iris


You have one of the finest designed stoves available with one of the finest companies behind it. You should be talking with them. I've been firing their stoves in my home and hunting cabin for forty years. Their advise has never left me down. I might add they have been installed and inspected by a local wood stove installing company to their specifications which exceed our local installing specifications.

I do hope you had your stove installed by a professional or at least certified in writing that you have an installation that meets Vermont Casting and /or your local specks. If you have not been properly inspected which includes the smoke stack you may not have met the requirements of your home owners insurance. That means if you burn down your home you may have absolutely no recourse.

This is not the time to play Red Necker. It is time to know the rules of this day and be sure you have followed the to the letter.

Apsley, Canada

I have the same stove (new), and recently had a severe over-fire situation.
The flue temperature was well over 1000 degrees.

It seemed like the damper had no effect on the fire. After making sure no combustibles were in the area, I opened the stove doors and started taking out logs with gloves and tongs and putting them in an old washing copper container, then transporting them singly outside. Mega smoke, mega concern, mega danger.

The next day after things cooled down, I started to look for the problem with the damper, but soon realized that the problem was with the ash pan. Although swung into the proper position beneath the stove, it had not been securely latched. We have a very high chimney, probably 35 feet of draft, and with essentially an open bottom to the stove, we had created a blast furnace.

extremely dangerous, and quite a worry.

After remedying this problem the next fire was, fortunately, well behaved.
The next task is to make sure all those associated with our stove are aware of this danger.

Traverse City, MI

I too have a Defiant model 1945 stove. I have had two instances of severe overheating, and can not find the cause. The stack temp rises so fast, it's like a blast furnace. I have checked doors, the ash pan, and the air control damper. Its like I can't shut the air off to the unit. Ihave removed flaming logs from the stove to get the temp. to drop. The dealer has not been of any help. Vermont Castings has no contact numbers at all for information as to where to look. Tonight was the second time this happened. I will clean the stove completely tomorrow again, and check everything. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!


Let Google take you to Vermont Castings... Contact them and tell them you what you told us. They are a fine company. Apparently your dealer is the weak link in the chain.

Nevada City, CA

somewhere extra air is entering the firebox.
i like to get a fire going, and use an insence stick or sage smoke to trace air entry
i'd guess cracks in refractory cement, as vc's design allows for air leaks overtime
that and gaskets

Guilford, CT

I have a VC Encore NC, model 1450, which is less than two years old. Every once in a while, especially if I load the stove up for overnight, the stove will rumble and the flue pipe connector on the top rear in the back will peg the thermometer at 900 F. At the same time the griddle top never goes over 600 F and there isn't much in the way of flames in the fire box. This happens with both dampers closed all the way down. I have checked all the gaskets on the damper, doors and ash door and they are fine. I replaced the griddle gasket, so that is new. Is the Everburn feature of this stove somehow getting air and burning that hot without heating the firebox?

I have consulted my local VC dealer but they were of little help.

Any help to point me in the right direction would be appreciated.

Victor, NY

Caution to all users..
I've had my damper blow back open in the middle of the night, and the griddle plate pop up and back down, this also blew out the griddle gasket, The stove was running with only a couple of logs in it and on low temp. The griddle needs a stop clip on each end or a bar bolted or welded to the under side to stop this.
If you get a back draft down your chimney, due to a change in indoor or outdoor pressure, it can blow out any part of the stoves seals or gaskets and let air in that you can't control.. Check your stove fo all possible leaks ...
Put a chain and hook to stop the damper handle from moving open when your sleeping...

Post Falls, ID

You are definitely having an unwanted air leak somewhere. Did you purchase this stove new or used? If it was used you may want to check for leaks in the seams of the firebox. I believe the firebox of your stove is sealed with a high temp refractory cement that could have cracked.

Guilford, CT

Since my last posting I had a severe out of control situation which caused overheating of the back of my VC non cat Encore 1450 stove around the flue collar area. My dealer replaced the shoe gasket and checked the stove but the condition has almost happened again on a few occasions but not always. VC told my dealer that this may be caused by "florida_bungalow_syndrome". You can read about it below:

In any case I have been replacing gaskets again and trying to determine what is causing the problem. I also implemented the suggested solution given by VC, which is also shown in the link above, to throttle down the secondary air intake. I do this by putting a brick with a tile on top of it under the secondary air intake on the bottom of the stove. The tile slides under the intake allowing me to adjust how much of the intake is open when conditions dictate throttling it down.

I would be curious whether anyone else has run into this issue since my last post.

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