Vermont Castings | VSW20 | Specifications | Vermont Castings VSW20 Specifications

Challenger Small Wood Stove
For Residential Installation
Owners Manual
Model: VSW20
6" (152 mm) Flue Required
634001Read this entire manual before you install and use your appliance. If not propSAFETY NOTICE:
cover
erly installed,SSW20
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, fire officials or authorities having jurisdiction about permits, restrictions and installation inspection requirements in your area.
These units are mobile home approved for U.S. and Canada
20300059 8/09 Rev. 1
VSW20 Wood Stove
CONTENTS
INSTALLER
OWNER
Please leave these instructions with the appliance.
Please retain these instructions for future reference.
IMPORTANT
Read these instructions carefully before installing or trying to operating this woodburning appliance.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACCESSORIES
Safety Information......................................................... 3
Installation Information.................................................. 4
Specifications................................................................ 5
Stove set-up.................................................................. 6
Clearances.................................................................... 8
Installation..................................................................... 9
Operation......................................................................11
Maintenance................................................................ 12
Replacement parts...................................................... 15
FAQs........................................................................... 16
Warranty...................................................................... 19
Variable Speed Blower
Gold Legs
Gold Door Trim
Nickel Legs
Nickel Door Trim
WARNING
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.
!
BLOTWS
SSW30CLGD
VSW20GDTK
SSW30CLN
VSW20NDTK
WARNING
California Health and Safety Code Sec.
25249.6
HOT GLASS WILL
CAUSE BURNS.
DO NOT TOUCH GLASS
UNTIL COOLED.
NEVER ALLOW CHILDREN
TO TOUCH GLASS.
Need to ask questions? Require Parts Information?
First, contact the Vermont Castings Dealer from whom you purchased your stove, for parts and service.
Have the following information ready:
• Date of purchase
• Serial number (from the back of your stove)
• Model number (from the back of your stove)
• Dealer name and phone
If you still need assistance, contact Vermont Castings technical support (below).
Wondering about the warranty?
See the last page of this manual for general warranty information. For additional information, contact your
Vermont Castings dealer or Vermont Castings Parts and warranty.
Vermont Castings
Technical Service, Parts & Warranty
Phone: 877-406-9180
Fax: 877-406-5647
Model and product serial numbers can be found on the certification label of your stove.
20300059
SAFETY INFORMATION
VSW20 Wood Stove
Please Read This Manual Before Installing and Using Fireplace
IMPORTANT: Read all instructions and warnings carefully before starting installation. Failure to
follow these instructions may result in a possible fire hazard and will void the warranty.
SAFETY NOTICE: IF YOUR STOVE IS NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED, OPERATED AND MAINTAINED, A
HOUSE FIRE MAY RESULT. FOR SAFETY, FOLLOW
ALL INSTALLATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
DIRECTIONS. CONTACT LOCAL BUILDING OFFICIALS
ABOUT RESTRICTIONS AND INSTALLATION INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS IN YOUR AREA.
This stove is HOT WHILE IN OPERATION! KEEP CHILDREN, CLOTHING AND FURNITURE AWAY. CONTACT
MAY CAUSE SKIN BURNS.
Precautions
WARNING: Operate only with doors fully closed. If
doors are left partly open, gas and flame may be drawn
out of the stove opening, creating risks of both fire
and smoke.
MHSC stoves and component parts have been tested to operate safely when installed in accordance with instructions
provided in this manual. Carefully read and understand all
instructions before beginning installation.
If you notice any damage to stove or component parts,
immediately report damage to your MHSC dealer.
Only use MHSC components or the warranty will be voided
and a fire hazard may be created.
MHSC warranty will be voided by and MHSC disclaims any
responsibility for the following actions:
• Installation of any damaged stove or chimney
component;
• Modification of stove, chimney assembly or any
•
•
component parts thereof; (except for chase flashings as detailed in MHSC Chimney Top installation
instructions).
Installation other than as instructed by MHSC;
or
Installation and/or use of any component part not
manufactured or approved by MHSC in combination or assembly with a MHSC stove system, notwithstanding any independent testing laboratory
or other third party approval of such component
parts or accessory.
Any such action may possibly cause a fire hazard.
Consult local building codes to ensure that you are in
compliance before installing the stove.
This stove and chimney system must be vented outdoors.
Do not obstruct or modify air inlets/outlets in any
manner.
Burn only solid wood fuel.
The stove is intended for operation only with the door
fully closed.
Do not install any products not specified for use with
this stove.
20300059
DO NOT OVERFIRE THIS HEATER. Overfiring can result in permanent damage to the stove. If an exterior
part of the stove or the chimney connector glows, you
are overfiring.
BEFORE INSTALLATION OF YOUR APPLIANCE
1. Check with the building inspector’s office for compliance
with local codes; a permit may be required.
2. This appliance requires a masonry or prefabricated
chimney listed to ULC S629 (Canada) and UL 103HT
(U.S.) sized correctly.
3. A 6" (152 mm) diameter flue is required for proper
performance.
4. Always connect this unit to a chimney and NEVER VENT
TO ANOTHER ROOM OR INSIDE A BUILDING.
5.DO NOT connect this unit to any duct work to which
another appliance is connected such as a furnace.
6.DO NOT connect this unit to a chimney flue serving
another appliance.
7. The connector pipe and chimney should be inspected
periodically and cleaned if nescessary.
8. Remember the clearance distances when you place
furniture or other objects within the area. DO NOT store
wood, flammable liquids or other combustible materials
too close to the unit. Refer to certification label on
back of your unit for required clearances.
9. Contact your local municipal or provincial fire authority
for information on how to handle a chimney fire. Have
a clearly understood plan to handle a chimney fire. In
the event of a chimney fire, turn air control to closed
position and CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
10.DO NOT tamper with combustion air control beyond
normal adjustment.
11. If installing in a mobile home:
a. Use mobile home kit.
b. WARNING: DO NOT install in sleeping room.
c. The structural integrity of the mobile home floor,
walls and ceiling/roof must be maintained.
VSW20 Wood Stove
INSTALLATION INFORMATION
Should you experience such a problem call in a local
chimney expert.
With the door closed, the rate of burning is regulated by
the amount of air allowed to enter the unit through the air
control. With experience you will be able to set the control
for heat and burning time desired.
Once the required chimney draft is obtained, operate only
with doors closed and open slowly when re-fueling. (This
will reduce or eliminate smoke from entering the room.)
Attempts to achieve higher output rates that exceed heater
design specifications can result in permanent damage to
the heater. The recommended wood load is level with the
top of the firebricks. Overloading may prevent sufficient
air entering the heater to properly fuel the fire.
CAUTION
Today’s solid fuel appliances are much more efficient than
in the past. The units are designed to give you controlled
combustion, as well as maximum heat transfer, using less
fuel to do so. The design of your new appliance is such that
the exhaust “smoke” is now at lower temperatures than in
the past, therefore requiring proper chimney size to give
adequate draft. If your chimney is too large, the heating
appliance will have a difficult time to raise the “chimney
flue” temperature to give adequate draft, therefore causing
a smoke back up, poor burn, or both.
CAUTION
Draft is the force, which moves air from the appliance up
through the chimney. The amount of draft in your chimney
depends on the length of the chimney, local geography,
nearby obstructions, and other factors. Too much draft
may cause excessive temperatures in the appliance. An
uncontrolled burn, a glowing red part or chimney connector
indicates excessive draft. Inadequate draft may cause back
puffing into the room and “plugging” of the chimney and/or
cause the appliance to leak smoke into the room through
appliance and chimney connector joints.
After reading these instructions, if you
have any doubt about your ability to
complete your installation in a professional
manner, you should obtain the services
of an installer versed in all aspects of
correct and safe installation. DO NOT use
temporary, makeshift compromises during
installation.
THIS HEATER IS EXTREMELY HOT
WHILE IN OPERATION.
SERIOUS BURNS CAN RESULT FROM
CONTACT.
KEEP CHILDREN, PETS, CLOTHING
AND FURNITURE AWAY
DANGER
WHY THE CORRECT FLUE SIZE IS IMPORTANT — 6" (152 mm)
RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK.
DISCONNECT POWER BEFORE
SERVICING UNIT.
Avoid Damaging the Glass Door
Panel
Do not abuse the glass by slamming the door or striking
the glass with a log. Never operate your stove if it has
damaged or broken glass. If you need to replace the glass,
use only replacement glass provided by your Vermont
Castings dealer.
Important: For optimum heater performance at “low” burn
rate, operate the fan at low speed.
An outside air kit is available from your Vermont Castings
dealer.
Optional Blower: 110v 130 CFM
Model: BLOTWS
• OPERATE THIS HEATER ONLY WITH THE DOOR
•
•
CLOSED.
DO NOT BURN GARBAGE OR FLAMMABLE
FLUIDS.
DO NOT USE CHEMICALS OR FLUIDS TO START
THE FIRE.
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
SPECIFICATIONS
Stove dimensions
25” (635 mm)
306M”
(781 mm)
286M”
(730 mm)
19” (483 mm)
2156O” (546 mm)
634001 SSW20 dims Log Length
Maximum burn time2
Average area heated (sq.ft)2
Range of heat output3
Maximum heat output1
EPA emissions rating (g/h, non-catalytic)
Weight
Loading Air Control
2456O” (622 mm)
18" (457 mm)
8 hours
1,000 sq. ft.
11,000-45,000
46,000
3.7 gph
400 lbs
Front
Manual
1.Maximum burn times and heat outputs are based on laboratory testing using full loads of seasoned hardwoods,
and may vary in individual use depending on how the stove is operated, type and moisture content of fuel, and
other factors. Maximum burn times are achieved under different operating conditions than are maximum heat
outputs.
2.These values are based on operation in building code-conforming homes under typical winter climate conditions
in the U.S. If your home is of nonstandard construction (e.g. unusually well-insulated, not insulated, built
underground, or if you live in a more severe and more temperate climate), these figures may not apply. Since
so many variables affect performance, consult your Vermont Castings Authorized Dealer to determine realistic
expectations for your home.
3.Under specific conditions used during EPA emissions testing.
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
STOVE SET-UP
1. Check that all brick and tubes are in place.
2. Select the proper location for the stove. These
appliances must not be installed any closer than the
minimum clearance to combustible materials shown on
Page 8 of this manual. The stove must be installed on
a non-combustible surface as shown on Page 9 of this
manual.
3. Remove packing material and packing labels from
glass.
FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE MINIMUM CLEARANCE
REQUIREMENT AND NON-COMBUSTIBLE SURFACE
REQUIREMENTS MAY RESULT IN AN UNSAFE INSTALLATION
4. If non-combustible materials have been installed on the
walls, obtain the minimum clearances from either the
manufacturer of these materials or the local building
inspectors office.
5. Install the stovepipe INSIDE the flue collar on the top
of the stove between the stove and chimney.
6.DO NOT use a grate to elevate the fire.
STOVE PIPE
1. Make sure your chimney and chimney connector meets
safety codes. Check with authorities having jurisdiction
in your area.
2. All pipe sections must be connected with the male end
(crimped end) toward the stove.
3. Fasten the stove pipe to the flue collar by the use of three
sheet metal screws. Do the same at each additional
joint to make the entire installation rigid.
4. Maintain the required diameter flue for the entire
installation.
5. If you are connecting the stove to an old masonry flue,
be sure to have it inspected for cracks and general
condition. Resizing with a stainless steel liner may be
required.
6. It is recommended that no more than two 90 degree
bends be used in the stovepipe installation. More than
two 90 degree bends may decrease the amount of draw
and possible cause smoke spillage.
7. A damper is not required in this installation. Remove
any damper plate in the chimney or secure in the OPEN
position.
8. Single wall flue pipe assemblies must not exceed 10
feet (3 meters) in overall length.
STOVE SET-UP
Notes on Chimney and Stovepipe Insulation:
Maintaining a clean chimney is important. Chimneys
should be inspected regularly for creosote buildup. A
straight chimney is easier to clean than one with 45 or 90
degree bends. A bend requires the pipe to be removed
for cleaning. The stove baffle must be removed when
cleaning the chimney (see page 15). Chimney sweepings
will build up on top of baffle causing a blocked flue and/or
a fire hazard.
Steel Chimney
Most factory made “Class A” steel chimneys have a layer
of insulation around the inner flue. This insulation keeps
the smoke warm and protects the surrounding structure
from the high flue temperatures. Because the insulation is
less dense than masonry, the inner steel liner warms up
more quickly than masonry chimney; this makes the steel
chimney support a good draft more quickly than masonry
does.
Indoor/Outdoor Location
Because the chimney’s function is to keep the smoke
warm, it is best to locate it inside the house. This location
uses the house as insulation for the flue and allows some
radiant heat release form the flue into the home. Since an
interior chimney doesn’t continuously lose its heat to the
outdoors, less heat from the stove is required to get it warm
and keep it warm.
Flue Sizing
The flue size for a controlled-combustion appliance should
be based on the cross-sectional volume of the stove flue
outlet. In this case, more is definitely not better. Hot gases
lose heat through expansion; if a stove with a six-inch flue
collar (28 square inch area) is vented into a 10" x 10" flue,
the gases will expand to over three times their original
volume. As gases cool with expansion, draft strength
decreases. If the oversized flue is also outside the house,
the heat it absorbs will be conducted to the outdoor air and
the flue will remain relatively cool.
It is common for a masonry flue to be oversized for the
stove. Such a chimney can take quite a while to warm up,
and the stove performance will likely be disappointing. The
best solution to an oversize flue problem is the installation
of an insulated steel chimney liner of the same diameter
as the appliance flue outlet. The liner keeps the exhaust
gas warm and the result is a stronger draft. An uninsulated
liner is a second choice—although the liner will keep the
exhaust restricted to its original volume, the air around the
liner will require time and heat energy to warm up.
Check your local codes. You may be required to install a
flue liner in any oversize masonry flue.
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
STOVE SET-UP
Masonry Chimney
Single Venting
Although masonry is the traditional material used for
chimney construction, it can have distinct performance
disadvantages when used to vent a controlled combustion
wood stove. Masonry forms an effective “heat sink”—that
is, it absorbs and holds heat for long periods of time.
Your stove requires a dedicated flue. Do not connect the
stove to a flue used by any other appliance. Chimney draft
is a natural form of energy and follows the path of least
resistance. If the stove is vented to a flue that also serves
open replace or another appliance, the draft will also pull
air through those avenues.
The large mass however, may take a long time to become
hot enough to sustain a strong draft. The larger the
chimney (in total mass) the longer it will take to warm up.
Cold masonry will actually cool exhaust gases enough
to diminish draft strength. This problem is worse if the
chimney is located outside the home or if the chimney
flue has a cross-sectional volume much larger than the
stove outlet.
The additional airflow will lower the flue temperatures,
reduce draft strength and promote creosote development;
overall stove performance will suffer. The effect is similar to
that of a vacuum cleaner with a hole in the hose. In some
extreme instances, the other appliances can even impose
a negative draft and result in a dangerous draft reversal.
Pipe and Chimney Layout
Every bend in the flue will act as a brake on the exhaust
as it flows from the firebox to the chimney cap. The ideal
pipe and chimney layout is straight up from the stove
through completely straight chimney. Use this layout if at
all possible, as it will promote optimum stove performance
and simplify maintenance.
If the stovepipe must elbow to enter a chimney, locate
the elbow about midway between the stovetop and the
chimney thimble. This configuration lets the smoke speed
up before it must turn, keeps some pipe in the room for
heat transfer, and allows long-term flexibility for installing
a different appliance without relocating the thimble. There
should be no more than eight feet of single-wall stove pipe
between the stove and a chimney. Longer runs can cool
the smoke enough to cause draft and creosote problems.
Use double-wall stove pipe for longer runs.
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
CLEARANCES
Clearance to Combustibles (UL-1482 and ULC-s627)
Minimum clearance to combustible materials in inches. Note: All “A,” “C,” and “F”
dimensions are to the stove pipe.
Installation: Full Vertical
A
B
CD
E
F
Single Wall Pipe
15Z\v"
11"
24Z\v"
15"
9"
17Z\x"
Flat top model
(387 mm) (279 mm) (616 mm) (381 mm) (229 mm) (445 mm)
Double Wall Pipe
11Z\v"
7"
24Z\v"
15"
9"
17Z\x"
Flat top model
(286 mm) (178 mm) (616 mm) (318 mm) (229 mm) (445 mm)
B
A
C
I
Top Vent out the Back Wall with Minimum 2' Vertical
D
G
E
GH
F
H
I
F
E
ST1008
Figure 1 Clearances to Combustibles
ST1008
SSW40 clearances
10/08
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
INSTALLATION
Wall Pass-ThrUs
Whenever possible, design your installation so the
connector does not pass through a combustible wall. If
you must use a wall pass-through in your installation,
check with your building inspector before you begin and
construct it in accordance with local building codes. Also,
check with the chimney connector manufacturer for any
specific requirements.
Accessories are available from your dealer for use as wall
pass-throughs. If using one of these, make sure it has been
tested and listed for use as a wall pass-through.
All combustible material in the wall is cut away a sufficient
distance from the single-wall connector to provide the
required 12" (305 mm) clearance for the connector. Any
material used to close up the opening must be noncombustible.
The following wall pass-through methods may be approved
in your area:
• Use a section of listed factory-built chimney with a
nine-inch clearance to combustibles.
Do not connect the heater to any air distribution duct
or system.
In Canada: The Canadian Standards Association has
established different guidelines. Figure 11 shows one
method, in which all combustible material in the wall is cut
away to provide the required 18" (450 mm) clearance for
the connector. The resulting space must remain empty.
A flush mounted sheet metal cover may be used on one
side only. If covers must be used on both sides, each cover
must be mounted on non-combustible spacers at least 1"
(25 mm) clear of the wall. Your Vermont Castings dealer
or your local building inspector can provide details of other
approved methods of passing a chimney connector through
a combustible wall. In Canada, this type of installation must
conform to CAN/CSA-B365. Installation Code for Solid
Fuel Burning Appliances and Equipment.
NOTE: Do not vent your stove into a factory-built (zeroclearance) fireplace. These appliances 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.
• Place a chimney connector pipe inside a ventilated
thimble, which is then separated from combustibles
by 6" (152 mm) of fiberglass insulating material.
• Place a chimney connector pipe inside a section
of listed solid-insulated, factory-built chimney,
with an inside diameter 1" (51 mm) larger than the
chimney connector and having 1" (25 mm) or more
of insulation and maintaining a minimum 2 inch air
space between the outer wall of the chimney and
combustibles.
18" (450 mm)
Empty Space All Around the
Chimney Connector
12"
(305 mm)
ST1010
Chimney
Connector
12"
(305 mm)
ST1009
Figure 2 Wall Pass-thru Enclosed with
Noncombustible Materials
ST1009
wall pass thru
20300059
Sheet Metal Cover
(This Side Only)
Figure 3 Hollow wall pass-thru
ST1010
hollow wall pass thru
VSW20 Wood Stove
INSTALLATION
Floor Protector
Installation on a Concrete Floor
An appliance mounted on a concrete floor does not require
floor protection.
Carpeting and any other combustible material shall not
cover the floor protector.
If a combustible surface is applied to the concrete floor,
a clearance must be maintained equivalent to the area
reserved for the floor protector. Figure 4
Installation on a Combustible Floor
If the appliance is to be installed on a combustible floor
or a combustible floor covering, it must be installed on a
non-combustible floor protector. The pad must be installed
beneath the appliance extending 18" (457 mm) in Canada,
16" (406 mm) in the U.S. on any side equipped with a door,
and 8" (203 mm) on all other sides. In the U.S. the pad
must cover any horizontal chimney connector runs and
extend 2" (51 mm) beyond each side.
3. The chimney should extend at least 3' (914 mm) above
the highest point where it passes through the roof, and
at least 2' (610 mm) higher than any portion of a building
within 10' (3 m). Figure 5
4. The chimney connector shall not pass through an attic,
roof space, closet, concealed space, floor, ceiling, wall
or any partition of combustible construction.
5. The minimum overall height of your chimney should be
15' (5 m) from the floor.
6. D o n o t u s e m a k e s h i f t c o m p r o m i s e s d u r i n g
installation.
0 to 10’
2’ Min.
0 to 10’
3’ Min.
2’ Min.
3’ Min.
2” (51 mm)
2” (51 mm)
ST1012
Reference Point
8”
(203 mm)
Figure 5 ST1012
The 2'-3'-10' Chimney Rule
2 3 10 rule
8”
(203 mm)
8”
(203 mm)
* 18” (457 mm)
** 16” (406 mm)
ST1059
* Canada
** US
Figure 4 Installation on a Combustible Floor
ST1059
CHIMNEY SSW20 floor protection
Refer to chimney and chimney connector manufacturer’s
instructions.
Contact your local building authority for approved methods
of installation
1. This appliance requires a masonry or pre-manufactured
chimney listed to ULCS629 (Canada) and UL 103 HT
(USA) sized correctly.
2. If a masonry chimney is used it is advisable to have your
chimney inspected for cracks and check the general
condition before you install your unit. Re-lining may
be required to reduce flue diameter to the appropriate
functional size.
10
At the very least, inspect the chimney connector and
chimney at least once every two months during the heating
season to determine if a buildup of creosote or soot has
occurred. If a significant layer of creosote has accumulated
(1/8" (3 mm) or more], or if soot has accumulated, either
should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.
Failure to keep the chimney and connector system clean
can result in a serious chimney fire.
The conditions for a chimney fire develop as follows: When
wood is burned slowly, it produces tar and other organic
vapors which combine with expelled moisture to form
creosote. The creosote vapors condense in the relatively
cool chimney flue of a slow burning fire. As a result
creosote residue accumulates on the flue lining. Creosote
is a flammable and, when ignited, make an extremely hot
fire within the flue system which can damage the chimney
and overheat adjacent combustible material.
To reduce the amount of creosote that may form, remember
to provide adequate air for combustion and to strive for
small, intense fires rather than large smoldering ones.
You can never be too safe. Contact your local fire authority
for information on what to do in the event of a chimney
fire, and have a clearly understood plan on how to handle
one.
20300059
OPERATION
VSW20 Wood Stove
OPERATION
Inspect your chimney frequently and clean it whenever
accumulation exceeds 1/4".
Do not use a grate or elevate fire. Build wood fire directly
on firebrick. When the stove is used for the first time the
solvents in the paint will smoke off.
Wood
This heater is designed to burn natural wood only. Higher
efficiencies and lower emissions generally result when
burning air dried seasoned hardwoods, as compared to
softwoods or to green or freshly cut hardwoods.
Only use dry seasoned wood. Green wood, besides
burning at only 60 percent of the fuel value of dry wood,
deposits creosote on the inside of your stove and along the
chimney. This can cause an extreme danger of chimney
fire. To be called “seasoned,” wood must be dried for
a year. Regardless of whether the wood is green or
seasoned, it should be stored in a well-sheltered ventilated
area to allow proper drying during the year to come. Wood
should be stored beyond recommended clearance from
combustibles.
Fuel
Even the best stove installation will not perform well with
poor fuel. If available, always use hardwood that has been
air-dried (seasoned) 12-18 months. Softwood burns more
rapidly than hardwood and has a high pitch content that
can result in creosote. Decayed wood of any type has little
heat value and should not be used.
Unseasoned (green) wood has a high moisture content.
Much of its heat value will be used to evaporate moisture
before the wood can burn. This significantly reduces the
amount of energy available to warm your home, as well
as the intensity of the fire and temperature of the exhaust
gas. Incomplete combustion and cool flue temperatures
promote creosote formation and weak draft.
You can judge the moisture content of wood by its
appearance and weight or use a commercially available
moisture meter for exact measurement. Unseasoned wood
will be a third heavier than dry wood. Also look for cracks
(checking) in the ends of the log that result from contraction
as the wood dries. The longer and wider the cracks are,
the dryer the wood is.
Creosote
Creosote is a by-product of low-temperature stove operation,
weak draft or both. It is a tar that results when unburned
gases condense inside the flue system at temperatures
below 290 degrees F. Creosote is volatile and can generate
a chimney fire. All of the installation characteristics that
adversely affect chimney draft also promote creosote
condensation. Consequently, you can minimize creosote
accumulation with an effective chimney design and the use
of operational techniques that encourage good draft and
complete combustion.
20300059
DO NOT BURN: Treated Wood, Solvents, Trash, Coal,
Garbage, Cardboard, Colored Papers
NEVER USE GASOLINE, GASOLINE-TYPE LANTERN
FUEL, KEROSENE, CHARCOAL LIGHTER FLUID, OR
SIMILAR LIQUIDS TO START OR “FRESHEN UP” A
FIRE IN THIS HEATER. KEEP ALL SUCH LIQUIDS
WELL AWAY FROM THE HEATER WHILE IT IS IN USE
INSTRUCTION FOR FIRST BURN – CURING
THE STOVE PAINT
Your stove has been painted with the highest quality stove
paint and has special break-in procedures. The heat
generated by the normal operation of the stove, will serve
to harden the paint.
Ventilate the house during the first three times the
stove is used. The paint on the stove will give off smoke,
carbon dioxide and an odor. Without adequate ventilation,
concentrations of smoke could irritate, or be upsetting.
Open doors and windows and use a fan if necessary.
After the initial burns the paint will be cured and there
should be no more smoke. Each of the initial burns should
be conducted as follows:
1. The first 2 burns should be at approximately 250° F
(120° C) for approximately 20 minutes.
2. The 3rd burn should be between 500° F and 700° F
(260° to 370° C) for at least 45 minutes. The important
fact is the paint should be cured slowly. Avoid hot fires
during the curing process.
The best way to achieve the first burn is with kindling fires.
Prolong the fires as needed by adding more kindling.
During the curing process the paint may be gummy. Once
cured the paint will remain hard. It is normal to see flat
spots on painted surfaces of the stove. The flat spots on
the paint surface indicate the hotter surfaces of the stove,
and is caused by the heat radiating through the paint. It is
also expected that shiny spots caused by friction from
the packaging materials, will disappear during the curing
of the stove.
So . . .
1. Remember to ventilate well.
2. Allow the stove to cure before burning for long periods
at high temperatures.
3. Flat spots on the painted surfaces are normal.
4. Shiny spots on the paint surface before burning is
normal.
5. Call your dealer if you have any questions.
11
VSW20 Wood Stove
OPERATION & maintenance
BUILDING A FIRE
1. Open inlet air control fully.
2. Place a small amount of crumpled paper in the
stove.
3. Cover the paper with a generous amount of kindling
wood in a teepee fashion and a few small pieces of
wood.
4. Ignite the paper and close door. If fire dies down
substantially, open door slightly.
5. Add larger pieces of wood as the fire progresses being
careful not to overload. Do not fill firebox beyond
firebrick area. An ideal coal bed of 1" (25 mm) to 2"
(51 mm) should be established to achieve optimum
performance.
6. This unit is designed to function most effectively when
air is allowed to circulate to all areas of the firebox. An
ideal means of achieving this is to rake a slight (1" to
2" wide) trough in the center of the coal bed from front
to back prior to loading the fuel.
7. Once fuel has been loaded, close door and open air
inlet control fully until fire is well established (approx.
10 minutes) being careful not to over fire.
8. Re-adjust air inlet control to desired burn rate. If
excessive smoke fills firebox, open air inlet control
slightly until flames resume and wood is sufficiently
ignited. A basic rule of thumb is “closed – low,” "1/2
way-medium,” and “fully open – high.”
9. When refueling, adjust air control to the fully open
position. When fire brightens, slowly and carefully
open the door. This procedure will prevent gases from
igniting causing smoke and flame spillage.
10. Add fuel being careful not to overload.
11. Close doors.
MAINTENANCE
Removing firebrick
To remove firebrick, lift up from bottom and rotate outward.
Figure 7
GLASS CARE
Figure 7 Removing Firebrick
Firebrick
ST1088
REPLACE GLASS ONLY WITH HIGH TEMPERATURE
CERAMIC AVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCAL Vermont
ST1088
Castings DEALER
remove
firebrick
The following use and safety tips
should be
observed:
1. Inspect the glass regularly for cracks and breaks. If you
detect a crack or break, extinguish the fire immediately,
and contact your dealer for replacement.
2. Do not slam door or otherwise impact the glass. When
closing doors, make sure that logs or other objects do
not protrude to impact the glass.
3. Do not clean the glass with materials which may scratch
(or otherwise damage) the glass. Scratches on the
glass can develop into cracks or breaks.
4. Never attempt to clean the glass while unit is hot. Light
deposits are normal. Heavier deposits may be removed
with the use of a readily available oven cleaner.
5. Never put substances which can ignite explosively in
the unit since even small explosions in confined areas
can blow out the glass.
6. This unit has an air wash system designed to reduce
deposits on glass.
A
Low Burn
High Burn
ST1060
Figure 6 Air Control Layout
12
ST1060
SSW20 air control
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
MAINTENANCE
GASKET REPLACEMENT
removing the baffle
After extensive use, the sealing material which provides
glass and door seal may need to be replaced if it fails
to sustain its resilience. Inspect glass and door seal
periodically to ensure proper seal: if gaskets become
frayed or worn, replace immediately. Contact your Vermont
Castings dealer for approved replacement parts. Refer to
replacement parts list in this manual.
To r e m o v e t h e
Secondary Air
b a f f l e y o u w i l l Tubes
have to remove
the secondary air
tubes and the Ccast baffle plates.
Figure 8
The following steps should be followed for glass gasket
replacement:
1. Use a Philips
head screw driver or your fingers
to remove the
drywall screws
ST1014
Figure 8
that are hanging
down next to the
ST1014
secondary air tubes. These screws
were
shipping
secondary
air for
tubes
purposes only and can be discarded.
2. To remove the tubes, start by removing the cotter pin
on the left end of each tube, then slide the tube to the
right until the tube can be pulled down and left, and
removed from the stove. The four (4) lower tubes are
the same.
3. After all four tubes
have been removed
you can remove the
two piece C-cast baffle. Be very careful
not to damage the
baffle. Carefully lift
up on the rear piece
and move it as far
ST1015
Figure 9
back as possible letting it sit on top of the ST1015
baffle
steel non-removable
baffle. Next, lift up on
the front piece and
move it to the left and
allow the right side to
angle down into the
firebox until it can be
ST1016
removed through the
Figure 10
door opening. You can
ST1016
now remove the rear
remove baffle
piece the same way. Figures 9 and 10
6. Replace the C-cast baffle and tubes. After the tubes are
in place check to see that the c-cast baffle is slid back
against the steel non- removable baffle. Replace the
rear bricks.
1. Ensure appliance is not in operation and is thoroughly
cooled
2. Remove door and place on a protected flat surface.
3. Remove screws and glass clips.
4. Lift glass out.
5. Remove old gasket and clean glass.
6. Sand gasket groove and wipe clean (rubbing alcohol
works well).
7. Put a thin film of gasket cement on the door.
8. Replace new gasket starting at the top center of the
door.
9. Trim to length and butt ends together. Remove all
excess cement.
10. Replace glass in door, being sure not to over-tighten
screws and clips.
The following steps should be followed for door gasket and
ash pan door gasket replacement:
1. Ensure appliance is not in operation and is thoroughly
cooled.
2. Remove door and place on a protected flat surface.
3. Remove old door gasket and clean channel.
4. Sand gasket groove and wipe clean (rubbing alcohol
works well).
5. Using an approved high temperature gasket cement,
apply a thin coat in bottom of channel.
6. Starting at top center of door, work into channel around
door unit, trim to length and butt ends.
7. Close door and allow three to four hours for cement to
set before restarting appliance.
20300059
C-Cast Baffle
13
VSW20 Wood Stove
maintenance
Cleaning your chimney
The Challenger VSW20 stove has a removable baffle which
allows the chimney to be cleaned without removing the
connector from the stove.
Make sure the
stove is cool before
proceeding
To remove the rear of the
baffle, reach in through
the door and lift up on
the rear half of the baffle
and, very carefully with
your fingers, walk the
rear half of the baffle up
and onto the front half
of the baffle. Make sure
you slide it far enough Figure 11 a & b forward so the chimney Remove Baffle
brush will not damage it
when cleaning. Figure
11a. There is no need to remove the secondary air tubes
for cleaning.
After the chimney has been cleaned clean out the firebox
and carefully replace the rear half of the baffle. Check to
see that both pieces of the baffle are down on the steel
baffle and pushed all the way to the rear of the firebox.
Figure 11b
CREOSOTE
When wood is burned slowly, it produces tar and other
organic vapors. These combine with moisture to form
creosote. Creosote vapors condense in the relatively cool
chimney flue of a slow burning fire. As a result, creosote
residue accumulates on the flue lining. When ignited,
this creosote makes an extremely hot fire. The chimney
should be inspected regularly during the heating season to
determine if a creosote build-up has accumulated. If this
is the case, the creosote should be removed to reduce the
risk of chimney fire.
Warning:
ST1062
2. Burn stove with draft control wide open for several
ST1062
minutes every time you apply fresh wood. This allows
SSW20
woodremove
to achievebaffle
the charcoal stage faster and burns
wood vapors which might otherwise be deposited within
the systems.
3. BURN ONLY SEASONED WOOD. Avoid burning wet
or green wood. Seasoned wood has been dried for at
least one year.
4. A small hot fire is preferable to a large smoldering one
that can deposit creosote within the system.
5. Establish a routine for the fuel, wood burner and firing
technique. Check daily for creosote build-up until
experience shows how often you need to clean to be
safe. Be aware that the hotter the fire, the less creosote
is deposited and weekly cleaning may be necessary
in mild weather even though monthly cleaning may
be enough in the coldest months. Contact your local
municipal authority for information on how to handle a
chimney fire. Have a clearly understood plan to handle
a chimney fire.
Things to remember in case of chimney fire:
ASH DISPOSAL
1. CLOSE DRAFT CONTROL
Ashes should be placed in a metal container with a tightfitting lid. The closed container of ashes should be placed
on a non-combustible floor or on the ground, well away
from all combustible materials, pending final disposal. If
the ashes are disposed of by burial in soil or otherwise
locally dispersed, they should be retained in the closed
container until all cinders have thoroughly cooled. Other
waste should not be placed in the ash container.
2. CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
KEEP UNIT FREE OF CREOSOTE
1. Burn with air control open for several minutes at
numerous intervals throughout the day during the
heating season, being careful not to over-fire unit. This
removes the slight film of creosote accumulated during
low burn periods.
14
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
REPLACEMENT PARTS
11
10
12
9
8
7
6
13
19
3
14
2
5
4
20
15
21
18
17
16
1
Ref. DescriptionQty.
1. Door, Cast Iron
1
2. Glass
1
3. Glass Clip
4634001
4. Fettle, Cast Iron
1SSW20 parts
5. Andiron
2
6. Shroud, Left
1
7. Secondary Air Tube, Front
1
8. Secondary Air Tube, Middle
1
9. Secondary Air Tube, Back
1
10. C-Cast Combo, VSW20
1
11. C-Cast top, VSW20
1
12. Shield, Rear Adjustable Air
1
13. Shield, Rear Outside
1
14. Firebrick
14
15. Shroud, Right
1
16. Air Actuator Assy.
1
17. Fettle, Air Reservoir
1
18. Gasket, Air Cover
1
19. Airwash, Cast Iron
1
20. Glass Door Handle Assy.
1
21. Glass Door Fall Away Handle Assy.
1
20300059
VSW20
63D1004
63D1010
63D0174
63D1002
63D1003
63D1042
63D1013
63D1012
63D1011
63D1007
63D1009
63D1039
63D1040
63D0162
63D1043
63D1045
63D1021
63D1057
63D1001
63D2084
63D2085
15
VSW20 Wood Stove
FAQs
frequently asked questions
1. What is the correct way to start a fire?
a) You will need small pieces of dry wood (kindling) and paper. Use only newspaper or paper that has not
been coated or had unknown materials glued or applied to it. Never use coated (typically advertising
flyers) or colored paper.
b) Open the door of the wood stove.
c) Crumple several pieces of paper and place them in the center of the firebox and directly on to the
firebricks of the wood stove. Never use a grate to elevate the fire.
d) Place small pieces of dry wood (kindling) over the paper in a “Teepee” manner. This allows for good
air circulation, which is critical for good combustion.
e) Light the crumpled paper in 2 or 3 locations. Note: It is important to heat the air in the stovepipe for
draft to start.
f) Fully open the air control of the wood stove (refer to Page 12) and close the door until it is slightly
open, allowing for much needed air to be introduced into the firebox. Never leave the door fully open
as sparks from the kindling may occur causing injury. As the fire begins to burn the kindling, some
additional kindling may be needed to sustain the fire. DO NOT add more paper after the fire has
started.
g) Once the kindling has started to burn, start by adding some of your smaller pieces of seasoned (dry)
firewood. Note: Adding large pieces at the early stages will only serve to smother the fire. Continue
adding small pieces of seasoned (dry) firewood, keeping the door slightly open until each piece starts
to ignite. Remember to always open the door slowly between placing wood into the fire.
h) Once the wood has started to ignite and the smoke has reduced, close the wood stove door fully. The
reduction of smoke, is a good indication that the draft in the chimney has started and good combustion
is now possible. Larger pieces of seasoned (dry) firewood can now be added when there is sufficient
space in the firebox. Adjust the air control setting to desired setting (Page 12)
i) Note: The lower the air control setting the longer the burn time of your firewood.
2. What type of wood is best to use as firewood?
Dry seasoned hardwood should be used. Avoid green unseasoned wood. Green wood, besides burning
at only 60 percent of the fuel value of dry seasoned wood, will deposit creosote on the inside of your
stove and along the inside of your chimney.
3. What does dry seasoned wood mean, and what is considered hardwood?
Wood that has been dried for a period of one year in a well-ventilated and sheltered area would be
considered dry seasoned wood. Hardwoods are generally from slow growth trees (Example: Oak and
Fir). Softwoods are generally from fast growth trees (Example: Pine and Spruce).
4. Will following the above listed steps for starting a fire result in perfect results all the time?
The quick answer is most of the time. There are many variables that may affect your success rate when
starting a fire. Most of those variables and how to deal with them will be learned through experience.
Your ability to start a good fire will significantly increase with time and patience. Some of the reasons for
poor stove performance will be covered in the next section of these instructions
5. Why can’t I get the fire lit?
Damp or wet wood and poor draft are the main reasons for poor results in starting a fire. Always use
dry seasoned wood for your fire. Even wood dried for two years will be difficult to ignite if it has become
wet.
6. Why is there always a large quantity of thick black smoke present in the firebox?
A large quantity of thick black smoke in the firebox is a good indication that the draft is poor.
7. Is it normal for soot to cover the glass at the beginning of a fire?
16
Your stove has been built with an air wash system that will help keep the glass clear when the firebox
has reached a good operating temperature, and has a good draft. Cold firebox temperature and poor
draft cause sooting of the glass. Once the firebox temperature and the draft increases, the soot will burn
off.
20300059
FAQs
VSW20 Wood Stove
8. What is draft?
Draft is the ability of the chimney to exhaust by-products produced during the normal combustion
process.
9. What can cause a poor draft?
The most common factors for poor draft are:
a. Atmospheric pressure and air supply
b. Environmental condition
c. Cold chimney temperature
d. Poor chimney installation and maintenance
a) Atmospheric Pressure and Air Supply
Atmospheric pressure affecting the draft from a chimney can be either outside the home, inside
the home or both. Outside the home, a high-pressure day (clear and cool) generally creates a
better draft in the chimney than a low-pressure day (overcast and damp). Inside the home normal
household appliances, such as clothes dryers and forced air furnaces compete for air, resulting in
inadequate amounts of air available to fuel a fire and create a condition known as negative pressure.
Under extreme conditions of negative pressure the combustion by-products can be drawn from
the chimney into the house. This condition is commonly referred to as down drafting.
There are several factors that impact the amount of air available in the home. Increased amounts
of insulation, vinyl windows, extra caulking in various places and door seals can all keep heat in
but may also make a home too airtight. If you are in doubt about whether or not there is sufficient
air in your home for your stove, curtail from using those appliances known to consume the air
where possible, or open a window or door to allow air to enter the home.
b) Environmental Conditions
High trees, low lying house location such as in a valley, tall buildings or structures surrounding
your house and windy conditions can cause poor draft or down drafting.
c) Cold Chimney Temperature
Avoid cold chimney temperatures by burning a hot fire for the first fifteen to forty minutes, being
careful not to over fire. If any part of the chimney or parts of the stove start to glow, you are over
firing the stove. Where possible, install a temperature gauge on the chimney so temperature
drops can be seen.
d) Chimney Installation and Maintenance
Avoid using too many elbows or long horizontal runs. If in doubt, contact a chimney expert and/or
chimney manufacturer for help. Clean chimney, rain caps and especially spark arrester regularly,
to prevent creosote build-up, which will significantly reduce chimney draw and possibly a chimney
fire.
11. Should I close or open the air control fully when shutting down the stove?
Just before shutting down the stove, run on high for a few minutes. This allows the chimney
temperatures to remain as high as possible for as long as possible. Cold chimney temperatures
create creosote.
Note: This sheet is intended as an aid and does not supersede any local, provincial or state
requirements. Check with officials or authorities having jurisdiction in your area.
20300059
17
VSW20 Wood Stove
18
20300059
VSW20 Wood Stove
Vermont Castings WOOD STOVE
LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY POLICY
LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
The following components are warranted for life to the original owner, subject of proof of purchase:
Firebox weldment and baffle supports.
FIVE YEAR WARRANTY
The following components are warranted against deterioration not resulting from physical or handling
damage for 5 years to the original owner, subject to proof of purchase: Stainless steel secondary air
tubes and secondary ceramic baffle material.
ONE YEAR WARRANTY
Vermont Castings warrants the components and materials in your wood stove to be free from manufacturing and material defects for a period of one year from date of purchase. After installation, if any of the
components manufactured by Vermont Castings in the appliance are found to be defective in materials
or workmanship, Vermont Castings will, at its option, replace or repair the defective components at no
charge to the original owner. Vermont Castings will also pay for reasonable labor costs incurred in replacing or repairing such components for a period of one year from the date of installation. Any products
presented for warranty repair must be accompanied by a dated proof of purchase.
This Limited Lifetime Warranty will be void if the appliance is not installed by a qualified installer in accordance with the installation instructions. The Limited Lifetime Warranty will also be void if the appliance is
not operated and maintained according to the operating instructions supplied with the appliance, and does
not extend to (1) firebox/burner assembly damage by over-firing, over-loading, accident, neglect, misuse,
abuse, alteration, negligence of others, including the installation thereof by unqualified installers, (2) the
costs of removal, reinstallation or transportation of defective parts on the appliance, or (3) incidental or
consequential damage. All service work must be performed by an authorized service representative.
This warranty is expressly in lieu of other warranties, express or implied, including the warranty of
merchantability of fitness for purpose and of all other obligations or liabilities. Vermont Castings does
not assume for it any other obligations or liability in connection with the sale or use of the appliance.
In states that do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, or do not allow exclusion
of indirect damage, those limitations of exclusions may not apply to you. You may also have additional
rights not covered in this Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Vermont Castings reserves the right to investigate any and all claims against the Limited Lifetime Warranty and decide upon method of settlement.
IF WARRANTY SERVICE IS NEEDED...
1. Contact your supplier. Make sure you have your warranty, your sales receipt and the model/serial
number of your MHSC product.
2. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO ANY SERVICE WORK YOURSELF.
20300059
19
VSW20 Wood Stove
MHSC
149 Cleveland Drive • Paris, Kentucky 40361
www.mhsc.com
20
20300059
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