Vermont Castings | 820 | Operating instructions | Vermont Castings 820 Operating instructions

Vigilant® II
Coal Stove
Model #2310
Installation and
For Use in North America
Cover 8/6/01 djt
Safety Notice: If this appliance is not properly installed, operated and
maintained, a house fire may result.
To reduce the risk of fire, follow the installation instructions. Failure
to follow instructions may result in property damage, bodily injury or
even death. Contact local building officials about restrictions and installation inspection requirements in your area.
Do Not Discard This Manual: Retain for Future Use
2000898 8/10 Rev. 10
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Congratulations on your choice of a Vermont Castings Vigilant II Coal Stove. With this purchase, you have made a
commitment to make the hearth a place of warmth, beauty and comfort in your home. At Vermont Castings, we share
that joy and appreciation for the hearth, and we show it in all our cast-iron stoves and fireplaces.
As you become acquainted with your new stove or fireplace, you will find that its visual appearance is matched by its
functionality, due to cast iron’s unique capability to absorb and radiate heat.
Also, Vermont Castings products are among the cleanest-burning stoves and fireplaces available today. And as an
owner of a Vermont Castings stove, you are making a strong statement for pollution-free energy. But clean burning
depends on both the manufacturer and the operator. Please read this manual carefully to understand how to operate
your stove properly.
At Vermont Castings, we are equally committed to your satisfaction as a customer. That is why we maintain an exclusive network of the finest dealers in the industry. These dealers are chosen for their expertise and dedication to
customer service. They are factory-trained to know the most minute detail of every Vermont Castings product. Contact
your Authorized Vermont Castings Dealer anytime you have a particular question about your stove or its performance.
Be assured that your cast-iron Vermont Castings stove or fireplace has been made with the utmost care and will provide you with many years of service.
This manual contains valuable instructions on the installation and operation of your Vermont Castings stove. It also
contains useful information on maintenance and assembly of this product. We urge you to read the manual thoroughly
and to keep this manual as a reference.
All of us at MHSC
Table of Contents
Specifications............................................................ 3
Installation................................................................. 4
Operation................................................................ 16
Maintenance........................................................... 19
Warranty.................................................................. 27
The Vigilant II Coal Stove is listed by OMNI Test Laboratories of Portland, Oregon according to ANSI/UL 1482
for the United States and ULC S627 for Canada. The
Vigilant II Coal Stove is listed for burning coal. Do not
burn other fuels. The Vigilant II Coal Stove is not listed
for installation in mobile homes.
The Vermont Castings Vigilant II Coal Stove is exempt
from the standards set forth by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, 40 CFR Part 60.530 (g), as
stated on the permanent label attached to this appliance.
Proposition 65 Warning: Fuels used in gas, woodburning or oil fired appliances, and the products of
combustion of such fuels, contain chemicals known
to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.
California Health & Safety Code Sec. 25249.6
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Vigilant II Coal Stove Model #2310
Coal type................................. Anthracite or bituminous
Coal size........................................................ Pea or nut
Maximum heat output........................... 50,000 Btu’s/hr*
Maximum area heated................................... 2,000sq.ft.
Fuel Capacity.......................................... 45 lbs. (20 kg)
Fuel Loading.............................................................. top
Glass Panel.............................. Hi-temperature ceramic
Weight.................................................. 425 lbs. (212kg)
Flue exit position...........................................Top or rear
Flue exit size................................................6” standard
...................................................................... 8” optional
*This value can vary depending on how the unit is
operated, and the type and moisture content of the fuel
used. Figure shown is based on maximum fuel consumption obtained under laboratory conditions and on
average efficiencies.
**These values are based on operation in building-code
conforming homes under typical winter climate conditions in New England. If your home is of nonstandard
construction (e.g. unusually well insulated, not insulated, built under ground, etc.) or if you live in a more
severe or more temperate climate, these figures amy
not apply. Since so many variables affect performance,
consult your Vermont Castings’ Authorized Dealer to
determine realistic expectations for your home.
23" (584mm)
20¹⁄₂" (520mm)
28¹⁄₄" (720mm)
7M⁄," Legs
7M⁄," Legs
10" Legs
10" Legs
20" (510mm)
30" (762mm)
Fig. 1 Vigilant II dimensions.
Vigilant Specs
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Codes and Listings
Conforming to local building codes will be an important
part of your planning. Local authorities make the final
decision on whether or not an installation will be approved. They need to know that your installation is safe
and meets local codes.
The metal label permanently attached to every Vermont
Castings stove indicates that the stove has been tested
to current UL and ULC standards, and gives the name
of the testing laboratory. Clearance and installation
information is also printed on the label. In most cases,
local authorities will accept the label as evidence that,
when the stove is installed according to the information
on the label and in this manual, the installation meets
codes and can be approved.
However, codes vary in different areas. Be sure to
review your installation plans with your local authority
before starting the installation. Check with your local
Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer for help in providing the necessary information to local officials.
This section will answer clearance and construction
questions for almost all installations. Your local Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer will also be able to
help. For questions left unanswered, we recommend
that you refer to the National Fire Protection Association
ANSI/NFPA 211-1988 Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances, or in
Canada, CSA B365. These standards are the basis for
many national codes.
Remember, your local building official makes the final
decision on approvals of installations.
CAUTION: Follow all installation and use instructions
exactly. Failure to follow instructions may result in a
dangerous situation, including a chimney or house fire.
Chimneys and Draft
Understanding how your chimney contributes to stove
operation is essential if you are to obtain optimum performance from your Vigilant Coal Stove. The chimney
provides a safe pathway for hot smoke and exhaust
gases to exit from the stove, but in addition, the chimney strongly influences the “draft” necessary for operation of your stove.
Draft is the force which produces a flow of warm gases
up and out of the chimney, and draws fresh combustion air into the stove. Your Vigilant does not come
equipped with “draft”. Draft is the result of a difference
in weight (due largely to a difference in temperature)
between the gases inside the chimney, and gases outside the chimney. Because gas expands when heated,
warm gases inside the chimney weigh less than cool
gases outside. This weight difference creates the pressure necessary to produce and sustain draft.
As the lighter, more buoyant gases rise up the chimney,
draft causes a flow of cooler air into the stove. When
starting a fire in a cold stove on an unheated chimney, it
may be necessary to provide some assistance by igniting several sheets of crumpled newspaper which have
been placed in the flue collar area.
There are other factors which influence draft, such as
barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, the
height, configuration and size of the chimney, and the
airtightness of the home itself.
Improving Draft With Outside Air
In some modern, super-insulated homes, the air necessary for combustion is inadequate due to restricted air
infiltration into the dwelling. (Infiltrated air is simply
that air which finds its way into a home through various
cracks and openings in the foundation, along windows
and doors, and at other non-weathertight areas.) If the
stove is competing with kitchen or bath exhaust fans for
available air, the situation is aggravated further. Where
poor draft is the result of a low infiltration rate, opening a ground floor window in the vicinity of the stove,
or installing a permanent outside air supply, will often
alleviate the problem.
In some areas, bringing air for combustion from outside
the home directly to the air inlet of the stove is required
for new construction. When the air supply for the fire
is brought directly from the outside, it is not affected by
variations in air pressure within the house. Improved
stove performance often results. An Outside Air Adaptor Kit is available from your local Vermont Castings
Authorized Dealer.
How Draft Affects Stove Performance
A strong draft will allow you to successfully fine-tune
the Vigilant’s performance by adjusting the primary air
supply to determine the rate of combustion and heat
output. With a strong draft, you can restrict the primary
air supply and lower the heat output without risk of suffocating the fire.
A strong draft will be maintained by operating your
stove so that combustion gases entering the chimney
are hot, and stay hot. Air must not be allowed to enter
the chimney without first having passed through the
stove. Make sure that clean-out doors and thimbles are
sealed tightly, and that the chimney is structurally sound.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Weak draft situations are characterized by smoking
and odor problems in the house, low heat output, and
difficulty maintaining a fire, especially at low thermostat
settings. The reverse situation, overdraft, is rare, but
can be recognized by short burn time, poor response
when trying to slow down the fire, or by any part of the
stove glowing red.
A more common cause of overdraft is inadequate
maintenance, such as worn gasket allowing uncontrolled air to enter the stove. Following recommended
maintenance procedures will ensure consistent stove
Following the stove manufacturer’s recommendation on
both chimney size and height will also help ensure adequate chimney flow capacity. Flow capacity measures
the ability of the chimney to evacuate combustion gases quickly. Even the strongest draft cannot overcome
an insufficient flow capacity; the result is a back up of
combustion gases in the chimney which forces smoke
out of chimney connector joints or the stove itself. Remember, the Vigilant and the chimney must function as
a unit. For optimum performance, they must be sized
properly for each other. Your Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer can help you assess your existing chimney
or plan a new one for best stove operation.
Chimney Guidelines
Do not connect to any air distribution duct or system.
New Chimneys
The chimney should extend at least 3 feet above the
highest point where it passes through a roof, and at
least 2 feet higher than any portion of a building within
10 feet.
0 To 10’
2’ Min.
0 To 10’
2’ Min.
Fig. 3 The 2’-3’-10’ chimney rule.
For proper draft and good performance, any chimney
used with a Vermont Castings
wood or coal burning
stove should extendRLTSKC8
at least 16 feet above the flue col2/11/98
lar of the stove.
Existing Chimneys
Both masonry and prefabricated metal chimneys work
Prefabricated Doublewall Insulated Chimney
An existing masonry chimney may work well, but be
sure to have it carefully inspected before using it. Defects may have gone unnoticed if the chimney previously was used only occasionally. Defects must be
repaired before the chimney is used with your stove.
If you are not sure that you can make the inspection
yourself, your local professional chimney sweep, building inspector, or fire inspector will be able to make the
inspection or direct you to someone who can.
The chimney should be thoroughly cleaned before being used with your stove.
Fig. 2 Chimney types.
A new masonry chimney should be constructed to conform to the standards of your local building code or a
recognized nationalchimney
Masonry chimneys must be
lined with code-approved masonry
or pre-cast refractory tiles, stainless steel pipe suitable for use with coal,
or a code-approved poured-in-place liner. The chimney
must have a tight sealing clean-out door.
A new prefabricated metal chimney should be one tested and listed for use with solid-fuel burning appliances
to the High-Temperature (H.T.) Chimney Standard UL103-1985 (2100° F.) and have interior walls especially
designed for use with coal-burning stoves. Be sure to
follow the chimney manufacturer’s instructions exactly
when passing the chimney through a combustible wall
or ceiling. Special accessories may be necessary for
this type of installation.
First, check to see that the chimney has a lining. Do
not use an unlined chimney. Your local Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer or chimney sweep can help
you with information about approved chimney lining
systems. In addition, look for and repair (if necessary)
these defects: (Fig. 4)
A. Improper chimney height and roof clearance; check
local building codes for proper construction.
B. Chimney cap deterioration; rebuild.
C.Creosote stains indicate flue damage; inspect and
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
J. Loose or broken clean-out door; repair or replace.
Existing masonry chimneys, especially older ones, may
have two or more openings through the chimney walls
to the same flue. The openings were used to connect
stoves in different rooms to the chimney. The unused
openings must be sealed with masonry to the thickness
of the chimney wall. Unused openings sealed with
pie plates or wallpaper are a hazard. In the event of a
chimney fire, flames and smoke may be forced out of
these unused thimbles.
Chimney Size
When outfitted with the standard 6” (150 mm) flue collar, The Vigilant II Coal Stove is designed to perform
well when vented through flues that have these dimensions:
Round Liner, I.D. 6” (150 mm)
Square Liner 8” x 8” (nominal)
Rectangular Liner 7” x 11” (nominal)
Round Liner 6” (inside dimensions)
A Vigilant II Coal Stove equipped with the optional 8”
(200 mm) flue collar is designed to perform well when
vented through flues that have these dimensions:
Round Liner 8” (inside dimension)
Square Liner 8” x 8” (nominal)
Rectangular Liner 8” x 12” (nominal)
Round Liner 8” (inside dimensions)
Fig. 6 Existing chimney.
D.Blockage within flue; remove.
E. Improper clearance between chimney and combustible materials. Generally, a clearance of 2” (50
mm.) is requiredST562
to all combustible walls and framing
members; checkChimney
local codes.
F. Improper clearance
djt smoke chamber and
adjacent framing members; check local codes.
G.Creosote accumulation; chimney needs thorough
H.Structural deterioration of the fireplace; must be
repaired before use.
I. Loose or broken bricks or mortar; replace and
Chimneys with liners larger than 8” x 12”
may experience rapid cooling of combustion gases and reduction in draft, especially if they are located outside the
These large chimneys may need to be insulated or the
flues re-lined for good stove performance. Vermont
Castings offers chimney lining accessories to help
make the connection between stainless steel chimney
liners and our stoves and fireplaces.
If you are planning to vent a small stove into a large
flue, particularly an exterior masonry flue, you may find
it necessary to insulate the chimney, reline the chimney,
or operate the stove with the damper open to maintain
high flue temperatures.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Your stove and chimney connector will radiate energy
in all directions when in operation. An important part
of planning a safe installation is to be sure combustible
materials near your stove do not overheat due to inadequate clearance.
Clearance is the distance between your stove (or chimney connector) and nearby walls, ceiling, and floors, as
well as other combustible materials. Correct clearance
must also be maintained to moveable items, such as
furniture, newspapers, or clothes left to dry near the
stove. Keep all combustibles a considerable distance
away from the stove; 48” is a good minimum clearance. Installing your Vigilant to the tested clearance
and keeping those clearance areas empty assures that
nearby surfaces will not overheat.
Clearances must be large enough so that furniture and
other combustibles near your stove will not overheat
and catch fire. Wood framing that is part of a wall
or floor will dry as it ages, and its ignition point (the
temperature at which it will start to burn) will be lowered. The change may take place slowly over a period
of many years, or more quickly if the wood is near a
source of heat such as a stove.
Your Vermont Castings Vigilant II Coal Stove has been
carefully and thoroughly tested by independent testing laboratories to determine safe clearances. During
testing, heat sensors installed in all surfaces near the
stove and chimney connector, including floors and ceilings, show the temperatures reached during a variety
of combustion situations. Clearance distances are
accepted only when the sensors show the stove is far
enough from nearby surfaces to meet strict UL or ULC
Using The Clearance Chart
If your stove will be parallel to the wall behind it (parallel
installation), use the columns of the chart labelled “side”
and “rear”. If your stove will be installed in a corner
(corner installation), use the columns labelled “corner”.
Your stove will be in either a parallel or a corner installation, not both. Use only the part of the chart that applies to your installation. Note: Side clearances do not
apply to corner installations.
Measure clearance between the edge of the stove’s top
plate and the nearby combustible surface. For most
common installations, when the stove has the proper
clearance from nearby surfaces, the chimney connector
will also have the proper clearance. However, installations vary. It is important to double check all installations for proper chimney connector clearance, as well
as stove clearance.
The clearance distance must be empty except for noncombustible heat shields. Air flowing between the stove
(and/or chimney connector) and nearby shields carries away heat. Do not block the air flow by filling this
empty space with any insulating material.
Clearance Reductions
When no shields are used, empty space alone provides
protection against overheating. When shields are used,
it is usually possible to reduce the required clearance,
as the shields offer additional protection.
Stove shields and connector shields (used only on
single-wall connectors) attach directly to the stove or
connector. Wall shields attach to wall surfaces. Combinations of the these shield types may be used.
When shields are attached to the stove or chimney connector, they are mounted 1” - 2” away from the stove
or connector surface on non-combustible spacers. The
shiny shield surface facing the heat source must be left
unpainted, enabling it to reflect heat back towards the
stove or connector and away from the wall.
The greatest clearance reductions result from using
both stove and chimney connector shields in conjunction with walls which are protected with wall shields.
Unprotected Walls
Clearances With No Heat Shields
If the Vigilant is installed parallel to the rear wall (parallel installation) and no shields are used, the stove must
be at least 20” (510 mm) from the wall behind it, and at
least 18” (460 mm) from walls beside it.
20" (510mm)
Fig. 5 Minimum clearances, parallel installation, no heat
no heat shield
8/7/01 djt
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
If the Vigilant is installed in a corner (corner installation)
and no shields are used, the corners of the stove must
be at least 16” (410 mm) from nearby walls. (Fig. 6)
For rear-exiting stoves, both rear and side clearances
are determined by the heat from the stove (provided
that the connector does not pass near a combustible
The rear heat shield protects the wall behind the stove
so that clearance may be reduced to 13” (330 mm),
measured from the rear edge of the stove’s top plate
to the combustible part of the wall. Side clearance remains the same — 18”, measured from the edge of the
stove top to the side wall. (Fig. 8)
16" (410mm)
13" (330mm)
Fig. 6 Minimum clearance, corner installation, no heat shield.
Measure these distances
from the edge of the top plate
of the stove nearest theVigilant
wall to the combustible part of
the wall.
Unshielded single wall chimney
connectors must be
no heat shield
minimum of 17” (430 mm) from the wall or ceiling.
Fig. 8 Minimum clearance, rear exit, rear heat shield.
Clearances With Only the
Stove Rear Heat Shield
If you install a Vigilant with a rear heat shield in a
parallel installation, but use no chimney connector heat
shields, different clearances will be required for top-exiting and rear-exiting stoves.
For top-exiting stoves, clearance to the rear wall is
determined by heat from the unshielded chimney connector, not heat from the stove. Stove placement must
ensure that the unshielded connector cannot overheat
the rear wall. Reminder: Use the Flue Collar Heat
Shield (#140-0924) included with the Rear Heat Shield
#0175 to protect the area directly behind the flue collar.
Rear clearance must be a minimum of 20” (510 mm),
measured from the edge of the stove top to the rear
wall. Side clearance is determined by heat from the
stove. It must be a minimum of 18” (460 mm) , measured from the edge of the stove top to the combustible
component of the unprotected wall. (Fig. 7)
20" (510mm)
For corner instllations, the clearance is 16”, measured
from the corners of the Vigilant
stove perpendicular to the wall.
Clearances With parallel,
rear exit Connectors,
rear heat shield
Or Single-wall Connectors
And Connector
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Heat Shields
The Vigilant II Coal Stove listing includes using singlewall or double-wall chimney connectors. The rows
of the clearance chart labelled “Chimney Connector
Clearance” give clearances measured from the chimney connector to nearby walls and ceilings. (“Ceilings”
is emphasized to remind you that ceiling clearance is
an important clearance that is sometimes overlooked.)
Be sure to double-check chimney connector clearances
before completing your installation.
Reminder: For top-exiting stoves using a rear heat
shield, install the Flue Collar Heat Shield (#140-0924),
included with the Rear Heat Shield #0175, to protect
the area directly behind the flue collar. Instructions are
included with the heat shield package.
When using a chimney connector heat shield on a
single-wall connector, it may only extend 24” (610 mm)
above the flue collar. The shield must come down to
meet the top of the Flue Collar Heat Shield. (Fig. 9)
Fig. 7 Minimum clearance, parallel installation, rear heat
rear heat shield
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Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Protected Walls
A properly constructed wall shield may be used to
change an unprotected wall to a protected wall, allowing the clearances given in the right half of the Clearance Chart.
Wall shields should be
constructed of 24 gauge
or heavier sheetmetal,
1/2” noncombustible insulation board, or common
brick laid on flat (3¹⁄₂" side
down). Shields must be
spaced out from the combustible wall or ceiling 1"
on noncombustible spacers. The spacers should
not be directly behind the
stove or chimney connector.
Chimney Connector
Heat Shield
Fig. 9 Chimney connector heat shields may be used to reduce clearances when single-wall connectors are used.
Clearances With Double Wall Chimney
Connectors And Rear
Stove Heat Shields
chimney connector
When a rear heat shield
is djtused on the stove and a
double wall chimney connector is used, the rear clearance is 15¹⁄₂" (395 mm) and the chimney connector
clearance is 12" (300 mm).
Clearances With Single-wall Chimney
Connectors, Connector Shields And Rear
Stove Heat Shields
Use of both stove and chimney connector heat shields,
on single-wall connectors, in top-exiting installations
reduces the required clearance. (Fig. 10)
Air must be able to flow
between the wall and the
shield. At least one-half
(50%) of the bottom 1"
of the shield should be
open and the shield must
stop 1" from the ceiling.
Protect the top opening
with metal screening to
prevent objects from falling behind the shield.
Air Flow
Wall Shield
Stud Wall Framing
Spacer and
Air Flow
Fig. 11 Wall shield construction.
wall shield construction
12/14/99 djt
Rear wall shields must extend 18" above the top of the
stove or to within 1" of the ceiling, must be centered
behind the stove, and must be a minimum of 48" (1220
mm) wide by 48" high.
Side wall shields must be 48" (1220 mm) wide by 44"
high, and must extend 15" (380 mm) beyond the front
of the stove as measured from a point on the wall that
is on the same plane as the door glass.
13" (330mm)
Fig. 10 Minimum clearance, chimney connector heat shield,
rear heat shield.
rear heat shield,
chimney connector
heat shield
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Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Vigilant II Clearance Chart
Stove Clearance
Unprotected Surfaces
Stove Installed Parallel to Wall
Protected Surfaces
Stove in Corner
Corners Stove Installed Parallel to Wall
Stove in Corner
Corners Single-wall
No heat shields
(457 mm)
(508 mm)
(406 mm)
(178 mm)
(330 mm)
(229 mm)
Single-wall connector
Top exit
Rear and chimney
connector heat
shields 1
(457 mm)
(330 mm)
(406 mm)
(178 mm)
(279 mm)
(229 mm)
Single-wall connector
Rear exit,
Rear heat shield
(457 mm)
(330 mm)
(178 mm)
(279 mm)
Double-wall connector
Top exit
(394 mm)
Rear heat shield
(330 mm)
(178 mm)
(267 mm)
(457 mm)
(229 mm)
Chimney Connector Clearance
All Installations
All Installations
Single-wall connector
No connector heat
17” (432 mm)
9” (229 mm)
Single-wall connector
Connector heat
shields installed
11” (279 mm)
9” (229 mm)2
12” (305 mm)
7” (178 mm)
Clearance to Combustibles in Front of Stove
All Installations
48” (1219 mm)
1. A ceiling heat shield, 24” (610 mm) in diameter and suspended 1” (25 mm) from the ceiling, must surround the chimney connector in installations in which the chimney connector penetrates the ceiling. The chimney connector shield extends only to
24” (610 mm) above the flue colllar.
2. The ceiling heat shield required when the chimney connector shields are used should meet the wall protector. This will require
trimming the ceiling shield along the line of intersection with the wall protector.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
floor protector must meet the same requirements as for
standard legs.
Floor Protection
Freestanding Installations
A tremendous amount of heat radiates from the bottom
plate of a Vigilant Coal Stove, and the floor beneath requires special protection. A Vigilant Coal Stove Bottom
Heat Shield (be sure to install the included shield insert
when the shorter 7M\, (197 mm) legs are used) provides
heat protection. A floor protector provides spark and
ember protection.
Most installations will require the bottom heat shield
together with its shield insert or “double bottom” and a
floor protector be used. Only when the stove is placed
on a completely non-combustible surface such as
unpainted concrete over earth may it be used without
either. In Canada, the double bottom heat shield is
always required.
When using the standard 10” (250 mm) legs on the
stove over a combustible floor, a single bottom heat
shield must be used in conjunction with a floor protector that consists of a minimum of one layer of 24 guage
galvanized sheet metal or .25” thick mineral board or
the equivalent. The floor protector must be at least
45” (1140 mm) wide x 48” (1220 mm) deep and must
extend under the full length of any horizontal run of
chimney connector. For the 6” (150 mm) connector that
is standard with the Vigilant Coal Stove, the protector
must be a minimum of 10” (250 mm) wide, centered
under the connector. When the optional 8” (200 mm)
connector is used, the protector must be a minimum of
12” (300 mm) wide and centered under the connector.
When the shorter 7⁷⁄₈" (197 mm) legs are used on the
stove over a combustible floor, the double bottom heat
shield must be used as well as a floor protector. The
45” (1143 mm)
48” (1219 mm)
8” (203 mm)
16” (406 mm)
12” (305 mm)
2” (51 mm) to either side of connector
Fig. 12 Minimum floor protection
floor protection
In many fireplaces the brick or concrete hearth in front
of the fireplace opening is supported by heavy wooden
framing. Bricks and concrete are not good insulators,
so heat radiated to the hearth under the stove will pass
through the hearth directly to the wooden framing.
Such fireplace hearths must be protected like any other
combustible floor. If a bottom heat shield and regular
legs are used, the existing fireplace hearth may provide
adequate spark and falling ember protections if it meets
the necessary size requirement of 45” x 48”. Without
a bottom heat shield (regular legs), or with the double
bottom heat shield (short legs), the hearth construction
must meet the requirements given in the previous section.
We recommend always using a bottom heat shield
when using regular legs, so that your hearth/floor protector may reflect your personal design preference.
Wooden Framing
Fig. 13 Additional protection may be required when the
hearth is built over wooden framing.
Fireplace Mantel and Trim Clearance
Floor Protection for Fireplace Installations
If your installation will utilize an existing fireplace and
its masonry chimney built
to code, you must check your
fireplace mantel and trimVigilant
Rear exit floor
dgrminstalled on
Ventilated shields (noncombustible
non-combustible spac- 8/7/01 djt
ers 1” away from the
combustible surface)
may be used to reduce
clearances. (Fig. 14)
1" (25mm)
Mantel and top trim
shields for the Vigilant
Coal Stove must be at
least 48” long, centered
over the stove; side trim
shields must extend the
full length of the trim.
1/4" (6mm)
Fig. 14 A custom formed mantel shield.
mantel and
trim shield
11/10/00 djt
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
An unprotected mantel must have a minimum clearance of 36”, measured from the stove’s top plate; with a
ventilated shield the clearance may safely be reduced
to 18”.
Unprotected top trim must be a minimum of 36” from
the stove’s top surface; with a ventilated trim shield the
clearance may be safely reduced to 18”.
Unprotected side trim which protrudes 2” or more from
the face of the fireplace must have a minimum 36” of
clearance, measured from the stove’s top side edge;
with a ventilated trim shield, the clearance may be
safely reduced to 18”.
Unprotected side trim which protrudes less than 2” from
the fireplace face must have a minimum clearance of
18”; with a ventilated trim shield, this may be safely
reduced to 12”. (Fig. 15)
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has
established guidelines for passing chimney connectors
through combustible walls. Many building code inspectors follow these guidelines when approving installations.
The illustration below shows one NFPA recommended
method, in which all combustible material in the wall
is cut away from the single wall connector a sufficient
distance to provide the required 12” clearance for the
connector. Any material used to close up the opening
must be noncombustible.
Wall Stud
Chimney Connector
A. Mantel..... B. Top Trim.. C. Side Trim
........ Over 2”
...... Under 2”
36” (910mm)
18” (460mm)
36” (910mm)
18” (460mm)
18” (460mm)
12” (300mm)
trim clearances
Fig. 15 Maintain clearances
to combustible
mantel compo8/7/01
Wall Pass-Throughs
Whenever possible, design your installation so that the
chimney connector does not pass through a combustible wall. If you are considering a wall-pass through in
your installation, be sure you check with your building
inspector before you begin. Also check with the chimney connector manufacturer for any specific requirements.
Accessories are available on the market which have
been tested and listed specifically for use as wall passthroughs. Use only these tested and listed accessories
for wall pass-throughs.
Floor Protection
Fig. 16 An approved wall pass-through method.
Three other methods are also approved by the NFPA.
•Using a section of double-wall chimney with a nineinch clearance to combustibles
ST493pipe inside a ventilated
•Placing a chimney connector
Brick pass
thimble, which is then separated
combustibles by
11/00 material
six inches of fiberglass insulating
•Placing a chimney connector pipe inside a section of
eight-inch diameter solid insulated factory-built chimney, with two inches of airspace between the chimney
section and combustibles.
Chimney Connectors
The chimney connector should be made of 24 gauge
or heavier sheetmetal. Galvanized chimney connector
should not be used, as it may release toxic fumes when
exposed to high temperatures.
The chimney connector should be as short and direct
as possible, with no more than two 90 degree turns.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Horizontal runs of chimney connectors should slope
upward 1/4” per foot going from the stove toward the
chimney. The recommended maximum length of a
horizontal run is 3 feet. The total length of chimney
connector should be no longer than 8 feet to prevent
the cooling of flue gases.
In cathedral ceiling installations, a prefabricated
chimney should be brought down to within 8 feet of
the stove. The whole chimney connector should be
exposed and accessible for inspection and cleaning.
Never pass a chimney connector through a combustible
Installation Procedures
Setting Up the Stove
Our stoves are heavy and require at least two people
to move and set them up. To make the job a bit easier,
you may lift off the loading doors and remove the griddle, grates, and ashpan. Do not try to move the stove
alone as the stove can be damaged by mishandling.
Place the stove close to its final position before installing the stove legs.
The griddle has not been painted in order to allow
cooking directly on its surface. In order to protect the
surface from rust during shipping, a coating of oil has
been applied. Be sure to wash the griddle thoroughly
with soap and water. As the stove is used, the griddle
will gradually darken to match the color of the stove.
Your Vigilant Coal Stove arrives completely assembled
except for the installation of the legs and handle holder,
and the assembly of the removable handle. The only
tool needed are a 9/16” wrench, used to tighten the leg
So that you can easily secure the first section of chimney connector pipe to the stove, three holes have been
drilled in the flue collar and three sheetmetal screws are
included in the hardware package.
If you have ordered any accessories such as heat
shields, they will come with their own installation
instructions. Generally speaking, nothing more complicated than a screwdriver is involved in the installation of
The Removable Handle
The removable handle is inserted into the front door
stub or the damper handle stub when you want to open
or close the doors, or change the position of the damper. The handle is removed when not being used so it
will not get hot, and stored in the handle holder installed
on one of the front legs.
To assemble the handle, pass the long threaded screw
through the ceramic shaft and into the bright metal
insert. Tighten until snug; do not overtighten.
Chimney Connector Dampers
Because of the draft requirements of our stoves, we do
not recommend the use of an in-flue damper. Not only
is this an unnecessary restriction in the flue, but it is an
additional surface directly in the path of the flue gases
upon which deposits can form, creating a potential hazard. Combustion air entering your Vigilant Coal stove
is controlled effectively by the thermostat, so no flue
damper is required.
The Chimney Connector
• Assemble the chimney connector beginning at the
flue collar of the stove, keeping the crimped ends
towards the stove. Using the holes in the flue collar
as guides, drill 1/8” holes in the bottom of the first
section of chimney connector, and secure it to the
flue collar with #10 x 1/2” sheetmetal screws.
• Align the seams of the individual sections. Secure
each joint between sections of chimney connector,
including telescoping joints, with at least three sheetmetal screws.
• Secure the chimney connector to the chimney. Instructions for various installations follow.
• Be sure the installed stove and chimney connector are
correct distances from nearby combustible material.
Your dealer may offer a variety of specialty pipe pieces
to simplify the installation, including slip pipes and
thimble sleeves that can be used to form telescoping
joints between sections of chimney connector. Telescoping joints may eliminate the need to cut individual
sections of connector.
Slip Pipe
Oval to Round
Flue Collar
Fig. 17 An exploded view of the chimney connection in a
freestanding masonry installation.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Securing the Connector to
a Masonry Chimney
Securing the Connector to
a Prefabricated Chimney
Follow the installation instructions of the chimney
manufacturer exactly as you install the chimney. The
manufacturer of the chimney will supply the accessories to support the chimney, either from the roof of the
house or at the ceiling of the room where the stove is
Again, your dealer can supply a variety of specialty
pieces to simplify the installation. Some adaptors, for
example, enable you to make an attachment directly
to the chimney or to the chimney’s ceiling support
package. The bottom of the adaptor is screwed to the
chimney connector. (Fig. 18)
Both freestanding masonry chimneys and fireplace
masonry chimneys may be used for installation of your
Vigilant II Coal Stove.
Freestanding: If the chimney connector must pass
through a combustible wall to reach the chimney, follow
the recommendations in the Wall Pass-Through section.
Thimble Sleeve
Chimney Connector
Some pieces are designed so the top end will fit outside
the inner wall of the chimney, and the bottom end will
fit inside the first section of chimney connector. In this
way, any soot or creosote falling from the inner walls of
the chimney will stay inside the chimney connector.
NOTE: For double-wall chimneys with an outside
dimension greater than 10¹⁄₄", or with triple-wall chimneys, check with the manufacturer of the chimney for
the right trim collar to finish the installation.
Roof Support
chimney connector
8/7/01 djt
Fig. 19 The thimble, made of either ceramic or metal, must
be cemented securely in place.
The opening through the chimney wall to the flue (the
“breech”) must be lined with either a ceramic or metal
cylinder, called the “thimble”, which is securely cementST243
ed in place. Most
breeches incorporate thimthinble connection
bles, but check to
be suredjtthe fit is snug and the joint
between thimble and chimney wall firmly cemented.
A thimble sleeve, available from your local dealer, will
facilitate the removal of the chimney connector for
inspection and cleaning. The thimble sleeve is slightly
smaller in diameter than standard connector pipe and
most thimbles.
Once it the thimble sleeve is installed, the chimney connector should be attached to it with sheet metal screws.
chimney connector
8/7/01 djt
Lacking a thimble, a suitable length of chimney connector can be extended through the breech to the inner
face of the flue liner, and securely cemented in place.
Additional pieces of connector are then attached with
sheetmetal screws.
Above a fireplace
Fig. 18 Special pre-fab chimney connectors may be available
from the chimney manufacturer.
The thimble sleeve should protrude 1-2” (25-50 mm)
into the room, and should be sealed in place with furnace cement and thin gasketing.
Prefab Connector
Keep sleeve
end flush
with flue tile
It is installed by sliding it into the breech until it is flush
with the inner wall. It should not extend into the actual
flue passage, however, since this could interfere with
the draft.
Prefab Connector
Prefabricated Chimney
In this installation, the chimney connector goes up from
the stove, turns 90 degrees, and goes back into the
fireplace chimney. The liner of the fireplace chimney
should extend at least to the point at which the chimney
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
connector enters the chimney. Follow all the guidelines
for installing a chimney connector into a freestanding
masonry chimney, and watch these additional points:
Thimble Sleeve
Flex Connector
Mantel Shield
Fireplace Adapter
Damper - closed
and locked
Bottom Heat
Fig. 20 In this installation the chimney connector is attached
to the chimney above the fireplace.
• If there is a combustible
ST695 mantel or trim, check the
stove and chimney
connector clearances in the
Clearance Chart. above
Use the
necessary combination of
mantel, trim, and 8/8/01
connector heat shields to provide
the required clearances.
• Double check connector clearance from the ceiling.
• The fireplace damper must be closed and sealed
to prevent room air from being drawn up the flue,
reducing the draft. However, it must be possible to
re-open the damper to inspect or clean the chimney.
Through a fireplace
When installed through a fireplace opening, the chimney connector goes back from the stove, enters the
fireplace cavity, turns upward, and passes through the
fireplace damper opening and smoke chamber, and
finally to the chimney flue. Watch these points:
Fig. 21 In this installation, the chimney connector enters the
fireplace opening and then
connects to chimney.
connector pipe. Do
not make the narrowest width
flex connector
less than 5¹⁄₂".
• The damper should be removed if possible, or
sealed in the open position if removal is impossible.
• A seal must be provided so that room air is not
drawn into the fireplace and up the chimney, reducing draft. The Vermont Castings Flex Connector
System provides a convenient method for making
the required seal and offers a flexible stainless steel
chimney connector which can be bent to allow passage through most narrow damper openings.
Note: Do not vent your Vermont Castings stove
into a factory-built (zero-clearance) fireplace. Zeroclearance fireplaces and their chimneys are specifically designed as a unit for use as fireplaces. It may
void the listing or be hazardous to adapt them for
any other use.
• If there is a combustible mantel or trim, check the
stove and chimney connector clearances in the
Clearance Chart. Use the necessary combination of
mantel, trim, and connector heat shields to provide
the required clearances.
• When passing the chimney connector through the
damper opening it may be necessary to “ovalize” the
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
The Vigilant Controls
High quality fuel gives best results
The Thermostat Lever
Adjust the thermostat lever to control the heat level.
Move the thermostat lever to the left to make the fire
burn hotter. Move it to the right for less heat.
The thermostat regulates the heat level when the stove
is operating by controlling the amount of combustion
air entering the stove. The heat level is based on the
setting of the thermostat lever and the strength of your
chimney’s draft. (Refer to Page 4 for more information
on draft.)
Less Heat
Rear View
The Vigilant II Coal Stove is designed to burn anthracite
(hard coal) or bituminous coal (soft coal). Do not burn
other fuels. As shipped from the factory it is set up to
burn bituminous coal.
If you wish to burn anthracite, call your Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer, and request that your stove be
modified to burn anthracite. The dealer will make the
modification and attach a label to the top of the ash
door stating that the stove has been modified to burn
anthracite, and warning against burning bituminous
coal in the modified stove. If your stove has the label
attached to the top of the ash door, it has already been
More Heat
Do not burn bituminous coal in a stove which has been
modified to burn anthracite. Burning bituminous coal
in a stove which has been modified to burn anthracite
could cause very high temperatures and create a hazardous condition.
Air Inlet Flap
Air Inlet
Fig. 22 The components that regulate incoming air.
The Damper
Use the internal damper
to control the direction of exST697
haust flow within the stove.
Damper controls
When the damper is open,
djt goes directly to the
chimney. The resulting heat warms the chimney and
helps develop and maintain the strongest draft.
When the damper is closed, smoke —and heat— is
held in the stove longer. This results in more heat radiated into the room and less heat going up the chimney.
The Vigilant II Coal Stove may be set for a long burn
with the damper either open or closed. However, some
chimneys may require the extra heat provided when the
damper is open for best operation.
The thermostat lever will continue to control the amount
of combustion air entering the stove to ensure a steady
heat output.
Pea or nut-sized coal, either anthracite or bituminous,
may be burned. Anthracite coal that has a low ash
content will provide more heat with less ash than most
other types of coal. Your fuel dealer may be able to
provide you with information about the ash content of
the coal he sells.
Coal should be stored under cover to maintain dryness.
Even for short term storage, keep coal a safe distance
from the heater and keep containers of coal out of the
areas around the heater used for refueling and ash
Starting a Coal Fire
The most important step to a successful coal fire is
to build a thick bed of hardwood or charcoal briquette
coals on the grates. Coal requires a high ignition
temperature compared to wood, and a concentrated
ember bed is necessary to get a coal fire going. In addition, the heat produced during this step is necessary
to warm the flue and establish a strong draft.
Follow this procedure to start a coal fire:
1. Cover the grates with crumpled newspaper. Add a
layer of short, finger-sized kindling wood, preferably
hardwood. NOTE: Do not build the fire close to
the glass. Open the damper, close the griddle, and
move the thermostat lever to the left.
2. Light the paper, and once the kindling is burning
briskly, add a layer of larger wood or untreated
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
3. Continue building up the fire until there is a thick bed
of hot embers on the grates.
IMPORTANT: Don’t hurry this part of the burn. Inadequate preheating of the chimney system is the most
common cause of poor coal stove performance.
NOTE: The cast iron plates in your Vigilant will “season” as they heat and cool over a period of time. The
thermal shock of very rapid temperature changes can
cause the cast iron to crack. NEVER build a roaring fire
in a cold stove.
4. Add a moderate layer (1” - 2” ) of coal. When this
is burning well, indicated by a blue flame just above
the first layer, you may add coal layer by layer. Be
sure each new layer is burning well before adding
the next layer.
CAUTION: Hot while in operation. Keep children,
clothing, and furniture away. Contact may cause
skin burns.
5. Coal may be loaded to the top of the front grill, and
to within one inch of the exhaust ports in the top of
the left and right side plates. Keep the coal level at
least an inch below the exhaust ports.
SAFETY NOTE: Do not burn garbage or flammable
fluids such as gasoline, naphtha, or engine oil. Do
not use charcoal lighter fluid or any flammable liquid to kindle or re-establish a fire in your coal burning stove. Also, never use self-starting charcoal
briquettes. The volatile gases given off by these
materials when heated may explode if ignited.
Caution: Follow these instructions carefully to get the
safest, most efficient results with your stove. Failure
to follow these instructions may result in a dangerous
chimney or house fire.
Daily Operation
Surface Thermometer
Use a surface thermometer to monitor stove performance.
The Vigilant’s surface temperature, determined by placing a stove thermometer in the middle of the griddle,
can provide helpful information about how the stove is
Surface Thermometer
The normal range of operating temperatures is between
400° and 700° F, although temperatures slightly outside
of this range may be expected. However, if temperatures go above 700° F for extended periods, decrease
the air supply (move the thermostat lever to the right)
and slow the fire to avoid overfiring.
When starting a new fire, or after re-loading the stove,
leave the damper open until the surface temperature
reaches at least 500° F. Do not close the damper on a
fire before it is well-established.
If the surface temperature drops below 400° F, revive
the fire by one of the following:
• Increase the air supply by moving the thermo
stat lever to the left.
• Open the damper.
• Clear ash from the grates and empty the ash
• Re-load the stove.
• Add a layer of untreated charcoal or non-
self-starting charcoal briquettes.
• If the coal needs to be re-ignited, try placing a small amount of very dry, finely split kindling on top of the coal bed. The heat produced by the burning kindling will increase the draft, and the improved draft will increase the air flow through the coal bed to create better conditions for ignition.
Internal Damper
The internal damper provides operating flexibility
Operate the Vigilant with the damper open when starting the fire, when re-building the fire after a long burn,
or when burning a small fire with moderate heat output.
Close the damper only after establishing a strong fire
and a good draft by burning the stove with the damper
Because installation characteristics vary, the time necessary to establish a good draft may also vary, from approximately 5 to 30 minutes or more. Exterior chimneys
are generally more difficult to heat up, and may require
the longest period of time.
On large and/or outside chimneys, the damper may
always need to be open for the flue to be sufficiently
warmed so that it will support an adequate draft. Even
if this is necessary, the Vigilant will operate effectively.
Be sure to open the damper and run the stove for a few
minutes before opening either the griddle or the front
doors. This will direct extra heat to the flue to increase
the draft, and will clear exhaust gases from the baffle
system. Do not leave doors and griddle open simultaneously to avoid having gases escape.
Fig. 23 A stove thermometer can provide helpful information
about how the stove is performing.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Reloading the Stove
Remove Ash Regularly
Put on a small layer of fresh coal and allow it to catch
before clearing the grates of ash. Once the new coal is
ignited, shake the grates with full, steady strokes of the
shaker handle. Stop shaking when red coals cover the
ashpan or when you feel resistance. Using the slicer,
clear ash from between the bars of the front grill. Also,
clear ash from along the sides and the back of the grate
area. Leave a bed of hot coals on the grates to ignite
new fuel.
To avoid blocking incoming air, empty the ash pan before the ash reaches the top of the pan.
Empty the ash pan before shaking the grates so you do
not have to handle an ashpan that is full of hot embers.
Use care when handling and disposing of ash, particularly if there are hot embers.
If the fire has burned very low before reloading, add just
a small amount of fuel at a time and leave the damper
open while the fire is regaining strength. Once the fire
is burning briskly again, you may add coal layer by
layer until you have re-built a full bed.
Check that there is no accumulation of ash in the bottom of the stove, and remove any that is found before
replacing the ashpan.
The new fuel must be burning briskly before you reduce
the air supply or close the damper.
Important Warm-weather Considerations
Draft strength depends on the temperature difference
between the outside air and flue gases. When the
outside temperature rises, this temperature difference
becomes smaller and draft problems can result.
Avoid draft problems when the outside temperature
is 35°F. or higher, by operating your stove with the
damper open to keep flue temperatures high.
If draft problems occur when the wind is blowing, install
a chimney cap designed to stabilize draft under windy
To empty the ash pan, open the ash door and remove
the pan from the stove. Carry the pan to your ash disposal container.
Dispose of Ash Safely
A container for ash disposal must be made of metal and
must have a tight fitting lid. It must be located outdoors
away from all combustible material. Ash taken from an
operating stove may continue to burn and to generate
heat and gases for many days.
Dispose of ash properly. Coal ash should not be used
in the garden, as it may contain unacceptable levels of
toxic heavy metals.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
The fire must be out and the stove no longer hot before
you work on the stove. We suggest you wear gloves
and safety goggles when working on your stove.
Cleaning Cast Iron
An occasional dusting with a dry rag is usually all that is
necessary to keep your Vigilant looking new. From time
to time, you may wish to go over the cast iron surface
with a damp cloth; do this while the stove is cool, and
make sure no water remains on the stove surface.
If your stove’s paint needs retouching, allow the stove
to cool completely. Brush any areas needing attention with a wire brush, and make sure the entire stove
is clean and dry. Remove the griddle and set it aside.
Touch up the stove with Vermont Castings High Temperature Stove Paint. Apply the paint sparingly. Two
light coats are better than one heavy one.
Cleaning Porcelain Enamel
Use a dry rag or soft brush as necessary. Do not use
water or other liquids on your stove. Fingerprints usually can be buffed off porcelain enamel with a dry, soft
rag. If marks remain, allow the stove to cool completely, then buff with a slightly damp, soft rag. Dry
completely before starting a fire to avoid streaking.
Never use abrasives or harsh chemical cleaners on the
porcelain finish.
If you must remove spills or stains from porcelain
surfaces, make sure the fire is out and the stove is
completely cold before cleaning. Use ONLY a kitchen
appliance cleaner and polish especially formulated for
enamel surfaces. Apply cleaner sparingly with a soft
rag, and buff away ALL traces of the cleaner.
Adjusting The Door Latch
The front doors should be securely closed when the
handle is pointing down. If the doors are loose when
closed, adjust the latch by loosening the small locking
nut, extending the striker screw one turn, and re-tightening the small locking nut. Keep making adjustments
slowly until the setting is right. The handle should resist
slightly as it is turned to the closed position, and the
doors should pull in slightly.
SmallLocking Nut
Striker Screw
Locking Nut
Set Screw
Handle Stub
Fig. 24 Turn the door latch striker screw in or out to tighten or
loosen the door latch.
Check the AirDoor
Inlet Pawl
The air inlet shutter must open
and close freely. If it
doesn’t, check to be sure the shutter or shutter pin is
not bent.
Be sure the gaskets are in good condition
The gaskets used in the assembly of your Vigilant Coal
Stove play an important part in ensuring consistent,
reliable performance. Inspection of the gaskets and
replacement when necessary is an important part of
routine maintenance. Gasketing is used to guarantee
that the incoming air and outgoing combustion gases
flow through the stove along the proper pathways. All
the gaskets in your Vigilant are fiberglass, secured with
Vermont Castings High Temperature Stove Gasket Cement.
Light colored streaks on the inside of the stove near the
door or griddle openings may indicate air leaks due to
worn or damaged gasketing. You may also check for
leaks by shining a strong light along gasketed seams
to see if light leaks through. While minor leaks may be
repaired by building up the gasketing in just the area of
the leak, it is usually better to replace the gasketing in
the door or griddle.
Anytime you remove or replace parts is a good time to
examine the exposed gasketing. Replace any gasket
which appears frayed or worn. Pay particular attention
to any point where a continuous gasket meets itself.
Follow this procedure to replace worn gaskets:
• Remove the old gasketing.
• Clean the gasket channel or groove with a wire
brush. Remove stubborn deposits of cement with a
cold chisel if necessary.
• Clean all parts to be gasketed. Place on a level
clean surface.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
• Select the appropriate gasket. Your Vermont Cast-
ings Authorized Dealer carries a complete line of
gaskets. Cut to the recommended length plus a 1”
- 2” excess.
Place an unbroken 1/8” bead of gasket cement in
the channel or groove.
Starting at one end, press the gasket into the channel. Where ends of the gasket meet, insure a good
joint before trimming any excess. Do not overlap or
leave ragged edges.
If possible, place the gasketed part firmly against its
normal mating surface to seat the gasket evenly in
its channel or groove. Remove the gasketed part
and clean away any excess gasket cement before
placing the part aside to dry.
Clean-Out Access Covers
Remove the three clean-out access covers to clean
behind the lower fireback, and the left and right side
Slide the cover in the left side plate toward the back of
the stove and pull it to the inside of the stove. Slide the
cover in the lower fireback to the right, and the cover
in the right side plate toward the front of the stove and
then pull them into the stove.
Use a shop vac, or an old household vacuum (it will get
dirty) to clean out the areas on the bottom of the stove
behind the side plates, and the lower fireback.
The three covers are identical. Always put the end
of the cover with the longer offset into the clean-out
opening first, then slide it so the end with the shorter
offset end catches behind the cast iron. Put the longer
end of the cover into the access opening in the left side
plate and then slide it toward the front of the stove so
the end with the shorter offset will be behind the iron.
The cover in the lower fireback will be inserted into the
opening and pushed to the left, and the cover in the
right side plate will be inserted and pushed toward the
back of the stove.
Front Grille
Fig. 25 Interior parts of the Vigilant II.
• Lift the Ash Fettle straight up and out of the stove.
• To remove or replace the
Low Grates, pull the
shaker handle away from the stove. The Grates
may now be removed or replaced on the grate supports. To remove or replace
the High Grates, push
the shaker handle toward the stove. The Grates
8/9/01 djt
may now be removed or replaced on the grate supports. High Grates may be interchanged with each
other, and Low Grates may be exchanged with each
other also. If one grate shows excessive wear, swap
it with another of the same kind.
Low Grates
The Interior Parts
On occasion you may wish to remove the interior parts
to clean unburned coal from the firebox, or to inspect or
replace worn parts.
• Lift the Front Grilel straight up so that you may direct
the tabs on either side of the top of the grille into
the exhaust ports at the top of the side plates. Slide
the tabs of the grille backward and lift the grille to a
horizontal position.
• Move one end of the grille forward and the other end
backward so the tabs may be disengaged from the
exhaust ports. Then lift the grille out through the
griddle opening.
Grate Support
High Grates
low grate
8/14/01 djt
Grate Support
Fig. 26 Placing low grates on grate support.
High grate
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Because access to the areas behind the side plates
and lower fireback is possible through the three cleanout access covers, it usually will not be necessary to
remove any other interior parts. Contact your local
Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer for instructions if it
is necessary to remove the remaining interior parts.
Re-install the interior parts in this order:
• Low Grates
• High Grates
• Ash Fettle
• Front Grille
Clean the Glass as Needed
The Vigilant glass system is designed so that during
normal stove operation you may enjoy the view of the
fire for extended periods without cleaning the glass.
How-ever, the ash residue which accumulates on the
glass surface should be removed regularly to prevent
etching. To clean the glass, follow this procedure:
• Let the stove and glass cool completely.
• Wash the glass with warm water, and a soft paper
towel or rag.
• Rinse and dry thoroughly.
4. Position the two retainer clips on the door with openings in the retainer lining up with the screw holes in the
door. A round hole in the retainer will line up with the
upper screw hole in the door. A slot in the retainer will
line up with the lower screw hole in the door. The section of the retainer which is at an angle with the main
section should point downward toward the glass.
5. Reinstall the retainer screws; do not overtighten.
Replace Thermostat Assembly
Remove the Old Thermostat Assembly
1. Disconnect the ball chain from the air intake shutter.
You may need to grip the chain with pliers.
2. Remove the screw that holds the sheet metal or cast
iron thermostat cover in place, and take the cover
off. You may need to bend the thermostat lever away
from the stove to remove the cover.
3. Unscrew the thermostat lever from the back of the
stove. Save the small compression spring for use
with the new lever.
Never use abrasives, ashes or harsh chemicals to
clean your Vigilant Coal Stove glass doors.
For stubborn deposits use a ceramic glass cleaner
available from your local Vermont Castings Authorized
Dealer. Do not allow the cleaner to touch any brass
ornamentation or porcelain finish on the stove.
How to Replace Damaged Glass
The ceramic glass used in your Vigilant is specially
designed to withstand high temperatures. Although it is
very durable, handle it carefully. It may chip if dropped
against a hard surface, if struck with a hard object, or if
the doors are carelessly slammed shut.
If it should be necessary to replace the glass, use only
high temperature ceramic glass supplied by Vermont
Castings. Do not use substitutes.
Do not operate your stove if glass panes installed in the
doors are broken.
To remove or replace the glass, follow this procedure:
1. Place the door, interior side up, on a level work surface.
2. Remove the two retainer clips. Carefully remove the
old glass.
3. Examine the gasketing. Worn gasketing should be
replaced. Remove the old gasketing. Cut new gasketing to fit around the sides and top of the window opening. Secure the new gasketing in place with a thin bead
of gasket cement.
Bi-Metallic Coil
Fig. 27 Save compression spring for new thermostat lever.
Install the New Thermostat
djton the threaded shaft of
1. Put the compression
the new lever. Start screwing the lever into the back
of the stove, being careful to avoid cross-threading.
The lever should turn easily. If it does not, back the
lever out and start over. A drop of light machine oil
on the threads may help.
2. Keep turning the lever until you feel resistance
caused by the spring being compressed. Turn the
lever one more revolution.
3. Replace the thermostat cover.
4. Bend the thermostat lever into position. The thermostat lever may need to be bent slightly toward the
stove to be easily accessible. (Fig. 28)
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
The Chimney System
For safety, good stove performance, and to protect your
chimney and chimney connector, inspect your chimney
and chimney connector on a regular schedule. Clean
the system if necessary. Failure to keep the chimney
and connector system clean can result in a serious
chimney fire.
Fig. 28 Hold the bar in place as you bend the new lever into
Adjust the Chain Length
1. Make the initial chain adjustment when the stove is
cold. With the lever pointing straight up, connect the
ball chain to the air intake
shutter so the shutter is
half open. This setting bend
will work
well for most installever
3/18/04 djt
2. Replace the back heat shield if there was one installed originally.
3. Check these three important points when the stove
is hot:
• The chain should be long enough so the air intake shutter can close all the way.
• The chain should be short enough so that even
at high temperatures the air intake shutter can be
opened a little.
The lever should always be accessible over the
stove top.
When coal is burned, the products of combustion
combine with moisture to form a soot residue which
accumulates on the flue lining. When ignited, this soot
makes an extremely hot fire. The chimney connector
and chimney should be inspected at least once every
two weeks during the heating season to determine if a
soot buildup has occurred. If soot has accumulated, it
should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
Fly ash, carried from the fuel bed by draft in the chimney, should also be removed from the chimney and
chimney connector. While these particles are non-combustible, they may accumulate enough to reduce the
size of the flue, and restrict draft. This will affect stove
performance, and is a potentially hazardous situation.
(See Safety Tips). Reduce the risk of restricting draft
by keeping the system clean. In addition, fly ash contains an acid which, when combined with moisture, can
cause rapid deterioration of metal or tile chimney walls.
To inspect the chimney, let the stove cool completely.
Then, using a strong light, sight up through the flue collar into the chimney flue. If it is not possible to inspect
the flue system in this fashion, the stove must be disconnected to provide better viewing access.
Clean the chimney using a specially designed brush
the same size and shape as the flue liner. Flexible
fiberglass rods are used to run the brush up and down
the liner, causing any deposits to fall to the bottom of
the chimney where they can be removed. The chimney
connector should be cleaned by disconnecting the sections, taking them outside, and removing any deposits
with a stiff wire brush. Reinstall the connector sections
after cleaning, being sure to secure the individual sections with sheetmetal screws.
If you feel any uncertainties about chimney inspection,
contact your local Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer,
or engage a professional chimney sweep in your area
to perform the inspection and cleaning of the chimney.
Fig. 29 On a cold stove, a properly adjusted thermostat
assembly will draw the shutter half open when the lever is
straight up.
chain adjust
3/18/04 djt
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
The Maintenance Guidelines given below will help you
develop a schedule that works for you. Once you have
developed a maintenance schedule, stick to it.
• Ashes should be removed before the ashes reach
the top of the ashpan. Check at least once a day.
A build up of ashes under the grates will not only
restrict the supply of air going to the fire, but may
contribute to overheating the grates, causing them to
Two Weeks:
• Inspect the stove interior air ports and passageways;
look for fly ash or coal that might block either incoming or outgoing gases.
• Inspect chimney connector and chimney. Clean if
Two Months:
• Check handles and latches to be sure that they are
working properly. If gasketing becomes compressed
over time, adjust the latch.
• Brush out fly ash or soot that may have been deposited in the chimney connector, particularly in horizontal runs or in elbows.
Yearly Spring Cleaning:
• Check the grates and gasketing for wear; replace
gasketing if necessary.
• Inspect the stove interior air ports and passageways;
look for fly ash or coal that might block either incoming or outgoing gases.
• Remove ashes and place a desiccant in the ashpan
to absorb moisture from the air.
• Clean dust off the bottom heat shield so it retains its
heat-reflective value.
• Tighten the leg bolts and bottom heat shield assembly.
• Paint the stove when necessary.
• Thoroughly brush the chimney and connector to
remove all fly ash.
• Inspect the chimney and chimney connector for any
signs of deterioration. Have a professional mason
repair the chimney. Replace chimney connector
sections if any appear to be corroded.
• Is the door handle adjusted so the doors close tightly? Instructions for adjusting the handle are given in
the Maintenance Section.
Draft Problems
If the draft in the chimney is interrupted, smoke, which
contains carbon monoxide and other toxic gases, may
be forced out of the stove and chimney and into living areas. This is a potentially hazardous condition. If
you notice a sulfur-like smell or if smoke backs out of
the stove frequently, let the fire go out. Be sure all air
inlets are clear, the chimney connector and chimney are
clean, and your stove is being operated correctly before
starting another fire.
The following suggestions may help solve draft related
• When your heating needs are light and you are operating your stove to produce a small amount of heat,
in Spring or Fall for instance, run your stove with the
damper open to direct heat to the flue and maintain
good draft. Small, hot fires, with the damper open,
work well in Spring and Fall.
• Operating your stove with the damper open will
help keep flue temperatures high. When outside
temperatures rise to 50°F., you may begin to notice
draft problems which were not present when outside
temperatures were colder. In this situation it is recommended to refrain from burning coal.
• If you notice draft problems when the wind is blowing, install a chimney cap designed to stabilize draft
under windy conditions.
Safety Tips
Keep all safety equipment ready for use.
• Test the smoke alarm to be sure it is operating properly.
• Be sure the fire extinguisher works and is clearly visible. All occupants of the house should know where
it is, and how it operates.
• Have heavy stove gloves available near the stove.
• Have special safety accessories (e.g., Child Guard
Screen) available for use if small children will be in
the home.
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
46 16 18
MHSC reserves the right to make changes in design, materials, specifications, prices and discontinue colors and products at any time, without
Item DescriptionPart Number
5. Right End
6. Front Grille
7. Fettle
0898 8.
Item DescriptionPart Number
Vigilant parts
Griddle Quad
1300809 8/02 djt
Vigilant Coal II
Model 2310
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Vigilant Coal II
Item DescriptionPart Number
Model 2310 (continued)
Item DescriptionPart Number
Triangle Firebrick
Right Inner Side
Tie Rod (1)
Tie Rod Set (4)
Rear Grate Support
High Grate Bar
Low Grate Bar
Front Grate Support
Left Inner Side
Primary Air Tube
Front with Doors Assembly
Right Door
Left Door
Door Pin (Hinge Pin) 3/16 x 1¹⁄₈ - NJ
Glass Panel
3/16” Fiberglass Gasket and Black
Long Glass Clip Retainer - s/s
Short Glass Clip Retainer - s/s
5/16” Fiberglass Gasket
Latch Pawl Assembly
Ashpan Cover w/ Handle
Shaker Handle
Front Door Handle Assembly
Ashpan Bracket
Ashdoor Hinge
10” Leg
Left End
Shaker Handle Support
Ashdoor Hinge Pin
Ceramic Handle Assembly
Damper Handle Assembly
Lower Fireback
6” Round Flue Collar
Shaker Rod (10¹⁄₂”)
Air Control
5/16” Adhesive-backed Gasket
5/16” Armaseal Gasket
Thermostat Assembly
Thermostat Cover
Thermostat Flap Assembly
Thermostat Pivot Pin
Ashdoor Handle with Shaft
Cleanout Cover
Slicer/Poker Assembly
Ashpan Cover Handle
Allen Wrench, 1/8”
Allen Wrench, 5/32”
Door Handle Holder
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Vermont Castings Vigilant®
Limited Three Year Warranty
MHSC warrants that this Vigilant II Coal Stove will be
free of defects in material and workmanship for a period
of three years from the date you receive it, except that
the thermostat assembly, coal grates, handles, glass
door panels, cement, and gasketing shall be warranted
for one year as described below.
MHSC will repair or replace, at its option, any part
found to be defective upon inspection by a Vermont
Castings Authorized Dealer. The customer must pay
for any Authorized Dealer in-home travel fees or service
charges. If upon inspection the damage is found to be
the fault of the manufacturer, repairs will be authorized
at no charge to the customer for parts and/or labor.
Any Vigilant II Coal Stove or part thereof that is repaired
or replaced during the limited warranty period will be
warranted for a period not to exceed the remaining
term of the original limited warranty or six (6) months,
whichever is longer.
Limited One Year Warranty
The following parts of the Vigilant II Coal Stove are
warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from the date you
receive it. These parts are the thermostat assembly,
coal grates, handles, glass door panels, cement, and
gasketing. Any of these items found to be defective will
be repaired or replaced at no charge, upon the return of
said part to a Vermont Castings’ Authorized Dealer with
postage prepaid.
Exclusions and Limitations
1. This warranty is transferable; however, proof of
original purchase is required.
2. MHSC offers no warranty on chipping of enamel
surfaces. Inspect your Vigilant II Coal Stove prior to
accepting it for any damage to the enamel.
3. This warranty does not cover misuse of the Vigilant
II Coal Stove as described in the Owners’ Manual,
nor does it cover a Vigilant II Coal Stove that has
been modified unless authorized by a Vermont Castings’ representative in writing.
4. This warranty does not cover a stove repaired by
someone other than a Vermont Castings’ Authorized
5. Damage to the unit while in transit is not covered
by this warranty but is subject to claim against the
common carrier. Contact the Vermont Castings’
Authorized Dealer from whom you purchased your
Vigilant II Coal Stove. (Do not operate the Vigilant II
Coal Stove as this may negate the ability to process
the claim with the carrier.)
6. Claims are not valid where the installation does not
conform to local building and fire codes or, in their
absence, to the recommendations in the Owner’s
How To Obtain Service
If a defect is noted within the warranty period, the customer should contact a Vermont Castings’ Authorized
Dealer with the following information:
1. Name, address, and telephone number of the purchaser.
2. Date of purchase.
3. Serial number from the label on the back of the
4. Nature of the defect or damage.
5. Any relevant information or circumstances, ie., installation, mode of operation when defect was noted.
A warranty claim will then start in process. MHSC
reserves the right to withhold final approval of a warranty claim pending a visual inspection of the defect by
authorized representatives.
149 Cleveland Drive • Paris, Kentucky 40361
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