Adapting Vemont Castings stove for manufactured home use

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by manygoatsnmore, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi. I've been lurking for about a month now and thoroughly enjoying the site. Kinda like getting a Countryside fix every day! Decided it was time to register and join the fun.

    I bought a Vermont Castings Resolute woodstove last year at a garage sale for $130. Not a bad deal for a stove Lehman's lists for about $1,300, plus I got the stove pad and most of the stove pipe with it. The problem is that I have a 1996 Super Good Cents manufactured home and the stove is not "mobile home approved", although I have heard that Vermont Castings makes one that is or an adaptor kit. I've had no luck getting ahold of the company, although I was able to download the installation/owner's manual. No local company will install a stove they didn't sell. I have to have the stove "permitted" and inspected or my homeowner's insurance won't cover it - in fact, I was told they could refuse to pay ANY claim, even if it didn't involve the stove. The L&I (WA state) will issue me a permit, but can't tell me if it will pass inspection. As far as I can tell, it looks like I have to have a fresh air intake that goes directly into the stove. There is a damper in the back bottom left hand corner (as you're facing the stove). Can a fresh air intake be ducted to that damper opening? Has anyone installed a stove like this in a house like mine? I know this is "for my own good", but it seems like opening a window a crack near the stove and using a CO2 monitor would be adequate. However, the "powers that be" say I have to jump through the hoops before I can put my stove into operation. I know this a long question, but I'm hoping someone out there can give me some sound advice. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Ah.. yikes. You should get that stove inspected by a professional. Vermont Castings stoves were well known for warping. I'm not sure which plate it is that warps, but I do know we had two of them, and both of them did it. Casting stoves, if memory serves, also made use of stove cement to seal the insides... if that cement is cracked or missing, the stove will have to be disassembled and re-caulked. And if it isn't the stove cement it is the "rope" gasketing.

    The stoves for mobile homes were specifically designed with an air intake. I'm not sure how you'd retrofit the stove so that it was properly sealed, although I'm sure someone on here works with metal and can tell you how to do it.

    But before I bothered with that... I'd make sure that stove is in like new condition. I've heated with wood for over 40 years, and owned some 10 woodstoves in that time, operated countless others. An improperly sealed stove is a very dangerous thing, it starts fires that burn your house down.

    Did you ask the people why they were selling the stove and if they'd ever experienced problems with it?
     

  3. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, I did check it out when I bought it. They were selling it because it came with the house, they didn't want a "messy wood stove" and it messed up the decor they were going for in their remodel. We did a test burn in it outside at home and everything works right, no leaks in the gasket or the body of the stove. I grew up in a home heated only with a 2 barrel wood stove in the basement, so I'm used to wood heating. I really hate the thought of living in an all electric home. As a preparedness "nut" (in the eyes of some of my family and friends), it goes against the grain not to have a better way to keep warm in a power outage than to close us up in my bedroom (open floorplan houses are hard to keep warm) with our Aladdins and oil lamps for light and heat. Plus, the stove has a cooking surface, and I love knowing I wouldn't have to depend on the propane camp stove for cooking. We have a good sized woodlot that badly needs thinning and I like heating and cooking for free (frugal female that I am)! Thanks for the heads up on potential problems with the Vermont Castings products. It's nice to know what might happen. In the case of the plate warping, do you know what might have caused it and any way to avoid it?
     
  4. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    I have a Vermont casting stove and we love it. I know the company has a mount that goes on the back of the stoves so it can be closer to a wall. But I am not sure on mobile home installation. THe company has moved from Vermont to Canada. Hope you find someway to use the stove.

    RenieB
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    no offense, but... lick the hand of your masters for permission to be warm.... we all are down to that aint we? :haha:

    who is going to ispect this thing unless you request it to be?
    must be me i've been living free to long.. lol
    you have crappy homeowners insurance, mine only required the stove be installed "to factory specs for a mobile/manufactured home". which meant putting the manufacturers heat shieldings in place.

    that being said, the kits are pretty much just precut sheets of steel you bolt on the stove back and bottom to create a dead air space and a heat shiled between the stove and wall.... vermot castings "kits" are an arm and a leg, the one in the other house i have each shild cost 200 bucks and there is 3 of them plush a air intake kit.. my old mom lives in that house and it set her mind at ease so I put it in the "correct" way.
    the intake you see on thje back goes outside to draw outside air into the stove, instead of drawing inside air to burn.... (like has been normal for 10000000s of yrs before we got soft and whiney lol)

    for the insurance people, they will want the factory kits and the factory method for your type of house.

    now, my house... ununisured and set the way i please, is far more safe. I have a parlor stoveand my all is fireproofed with kiln board as it the floor.
    my air intake is the traditional "open window"....
    I have a huge hitzer coal stove, wait till they find where I plan to put that one.... lol

    if its a seconds hand stove, put a 100 watt bulb in it, turn out the lights in the room till its pitch black and carefully look for cracks and gaps.
    none? ok, now you hook it up and fire the bad boy up.... and watch for leakes and odors, and calk them as ya find em.
    you end up opening a window anyway, to clear smoke, cool off the room or just as a precaution to keep CO cleared out if its there.

    http://www.vermontcastings.com/

    all their manuals are here
    http://www.vermontcastings.com/about/support/show_manual2.php?brandid=1&brandname=Vermont Castings

    you can order the shileds and kits there too.

    anywho...
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    The warping was "spontaneous" although the company would tell you it was from "overheating" the stove our experience was that this wasn't the case. The floor of the stove can warp and I believe the top plate can warp. The floor might be resolvable by adding fire bricks... but that would lift the fire up about an inch and might place it incorrectly in the stove. Too close to the top plates. Or perhaps just a heavy bed of ash... the engineers may have assumed a heavy bed of ash in the bottom. I know we ran a barrell stove for years, well beyond the "life expectancy" of a barrell stove, simply because we kept the bed level with the door. You could put your hand on the bottom of that stove and it was cool to the touch... so we never experienced the burn out common with an old barrell stove.

    My fall back plan B might be to put the stove into an "addition" off the side of the house. A sort of "summer kitchen." Depending on where you are, that stove will crank out some serious heat which could be directed into the house simply by openning a window. Big plus, the dust and debris would be kept "outside" your home. And the insurance company might buy it if it isn't "in" your home and has all the proper clearances. Slap enough old glass as your "walls" and you could call it a "greenhouse" for insurance purposes.
     
  7. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great feedback, everybody! It stove came with the rear plate to reduce the clearance, but not the one on the bottom. I'll check out the links and I may just have to bite the bullet and get the kit (grrr). I won't buy another manufactured home. Costs more to insure, more to finance, and has more restrictions than a stickbuilt house. If I had a regular house, I'd just have installed the stove without a problem.

    Those barrel stoves are really good heaters. I only remember Dad having to work on it once, and my brother's still using it with only one barrel change on the bottom. He did totally rebuild the top barrel to put in baffles for greater heating. Works great.

    Anyone else using a Vermont Castings stove?
     
  8. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Check with your insurance company before putting this in. KNow there rules for covering your home.

    Second Follow the install documents provided by the manufacture. If they say no mobile home then that mean no mobile homes. a mobile home becomes a death drap in a few moements if a fire is started.