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$16,943.00 later and I still have the oil guy coming tomorrow!!!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by infinitymike, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    :ahhh: Yeah thats right $16,943.00 later and I am buying 100 gallons of oil at $3.54 a gallon.
    I had a half a tank in september when the WG showed up. I use oil to heat the DHW plus we had a few days where I needed the heat on and the WG wasn't ready. I guess we have to take hot showers. :)

    But this sucks, the WG is online for a week, but only for heat and there has been no demand since Saturday. Yesterday was 68* :coolsmile: I have a tankless coil in the OB and one in the WG.
    I should never have paid the $300 for the DHW coil in the WG because I decided to go with an indirect and have either the OB or WG supply it like another zone off the primary loop. I think that is probably better (and hopefully more efficient) then trying to figure out how to have 2 units with coils supply the house with DHW.

    And it really doesn't matter now anyway. I put a bid in on Ebay for a Weil Mclain Gold Plus tank in tank indirect unit and won the bid for only $177.50. The unit is 4 years old, never installed still in box and brand new they sell around $900-$1000.

    So unless someone tells me how to have both the OB and WG with coils supply my DHW I am going to hook up the indirect unit.
    Anybody wanna buy a never used, brand new DHW coil for a Wood Gun? %-P

    Or if someone does tell me how and it sounds better I'll be selling a brand new , never install Weil Mclain indirect. ;-P

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  2. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    Hi Mike: I use an indirect plumbed off my primary as a secondary loop....and it is fine. So your new approach will work great, doesn't matter where the heat comes from in the primary loop.... Great price for an indirect...how many gallons?

    How did things go with talking to your installer about the air scrubbers and such? I know I have over $20K in my system...you'd think it'd do more than just keep us warm, eh?
  3. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Its a 40 gallon and its first hour rating is 260 gallons at 115* way more then I think I'll need.

    My installer said "sure we can put one in but lets wait and see if the air settles out over time"

    Tonight was the first time since Saturday I lit a fire. I probably could have gone another night but I was itching to play. I will let the house get to about 72* and shut her down. Still really ridiculously warm here. So I can't get a real good feel for the thing. But I feel like I am not getting the heat from the baseboard they way I used to. He was over today to get a final payment for the work he has done so far and said "it takes a real long time for a primary/secondary to get heated up to be able to supply the zones properly"
    I don't know but that sounds like a lousy answer. He followed up with "lets wait until we get some cold weather to see how she does"
    My thinking is if it can't deliver heat well when its warm out, hows it gonna do when it's cold out?

    I must say however, that as much as this forum is very useful, it can be a little overwhelming at times because there can be a lot of different experiences and opinions that may or may not apply to each set up and scenario.

    I am at a point where I don't know who or what to believe and or do any more. Part of me wants to completely and blindly follow my installers knowledge while another part of me wants to rip the whole system out and start again.

    Instead of "desperate in Seattle" I feel like "lost on Long Island" :blank:
  4. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    LOL....Well, here's how I see it Mike. You paid to have the install done, and becuase of that, it was done BEFORE the heating season and not 3/4 of the way through! :) Procrastination has its rewards! LMAO Who could resist the temptation to fire and play, and yet it is so warm out it is killing the boilers funtime! I guess that is a great problem to have....unless you want to ski...at least for a while anyways.

    Here's my experience. I have my Garn plumbed as a secondary loop bringing heat into the primary. The primary loop goes outside underground, so it is about 80' long or something like that. The Garn secondary loop is about 80' long as well. So, when I have a call for heat, the primary pump turns on and starts moving the water around the primary loop, and the secondary pump turned on at the same time and starts moving water through the garn hx and into the primary loop. When it turns on, in about 25-30 seconds or so I see the water coming from the Garn HX really start to warm up the loop. Typically within 90-120 seconds the primary is at the max temp it is going to reach. And my oil boiler is plumbed in my primary loop, so that thermal mass has to be heated. Something like that. So it heats up pretty fast.

    I know when I first flooded my Garn secondary, I could hear a little air in it...and it did work its way out....but I have that scrubber too. Time will tell....but don't settle for something you aren't happy with. When I had the oil boiler put in, I hired a guy to do that, and he swore to me that I wouldn't see any draft flows from my indirect. Well, after a few weeks it was very clear I had to heat hot water every 4 hours, even when none was pulled, from my Megator, and the coil lines were clearly warm. They were getting flow, cooling off the DHW tank! He had put 1' drops in the lines and said no way warm water would go down that 1' to cause a flow...and I had asked for one way valve things to prevent this. Well, he came back and was surprised to see it, but put them in. So usually the installers are willing to work with you....especially when they care about their work.

    Don't get discouraged, everything will be working....it is a learning experience!
  5. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I don't think I'm discouraged only confused. It's like when I go to a car show, theres always someone with a cooler car, a shinier paint job or a bigger and better motor.Or when I go to a trade show and theres 10 new fangaled gadgets do do what I was doin for years with... or, You know what I mean? Theres ten ways to skin a cat. And hopefully my cat is one in ten :cheese:

    So any way even though its still 59*, rainy and windy outside and 68* inside I lit a small fire. I kept goin to check on it and add a little more wood. The house is now up to 74*. Way to warm for me but with the predicted temps for the next few days I may not have to burn again until Thursday or Friday :coolsmile:
  6. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Not really sure what he meant with that answer. What was your boiler supply (output) temp at that time? Most BB is designed for water temp around 180*+, so if your boiler was sending around 170, that would explain why you were noticing less. Not saying you can't heat with BB water under 180 - I do it all the time in the shoulder season. It's just that the emitters aren't producing as they were designed to. But, if your boiler was sending 180+, and your BB isn't giving off enough heat, then something must be eating the BTUs - underground line problems, air in the lines etc. One other (less likely) possibility is the the fins are packed with hair from pets. Don't pull all your hair out just yet - you have a good boiler, and it will do A-ok ;-)
  7. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Yeah I don't know what he meant either. At the boiler the gauge reads 190* and sometimes almost 200* but as zones are calling it can drop to 160-170 and then start rising up. One night I did a test where I had both zones calling for almost 3 hours straight. I was working in the garage on a fireplace mantle and was able to monitor it closely. It would burn for 7 minutes and reach high temp of 190* then shut down and take 20 minutes to reach low temp of 165* and then start up and 7 minutes later shut down. It did this for almost 3 hours and raised the house temp about 4 degrees. I have 70' of lines but they are completely exposed as they run across the ceiling of the basement. Fins are relatively clean. There still might be some air, considering I have been online for less then 2 weeks with only a few fires. What I am afraid of is the fact that I ran 1" pex for my supply and return from the Wood Gun to the primary loop. When I let you guys know about this a few weeks ago I caused a bit of a ruckus in here. Not to many people (except my installer) believe I can get the btu's to the primary loop.
    I have a 00r three speed. I will have to monitor it on each speed for a while to see if that changes anything. Tweek,tweek tweek and if that doesnt work rip it all out and start over!! :sick: Just kiddin' or maybe not!
  8. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Definitely sounds like something needs to be changed or fixed. It would help you a lot to know temps at various points in your system, in order to determine where a heat loss might be taking place. One inexpensive, low tech way is "frothing" thermometers (or anything similar). They are probably still around $4 on Ebay. You could also use one-wire sensors for a high tech approach, or even an IR gun can help out. If you use the frothing therms, sync them up in ice or boiling water, and be careful not to twist them after the sync. Tape them onto the pipe with high-temp duct or ASJ tape, and then partially cover the stem with pipe insulation and more tape. You can place a few at key points in your system, and then, probably with a helper, find out how the heat is moving through the pipes.
  9. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    Mike, you need to know what the temp is at different points, like the last poster said. The boiler is getting hot, but what is the temp in the primary loop? What is the temp on the line going to the zones? If I recall, there was some concern that the piping from the WG into the primary loop was "backwards", i.e. the hot line was "after" the cooler line, seen from the direction around the loop. If this is the case, here's a possibility. When you pump water into the primary loop, say 10 gpm goes into the primary loop from the WG secondary loop. This means that 10 gpm has to go back to the WG, since there will be no vacuum in your pipes. 10 gpm out of the loop REQUIRES 10 gpm back into the secondary. So if the hot water from the WG is going into the primary "behind" the cool return to the secondary, you could be pumpoing all your hot water only into the primary loop for a short few inches, between the tees, and then it heads back to the primary. Some of it will stay in the primary, but not all 10gpm, in fact likely not most, if the tees are reveresed.

    So if you watch the temp at various points, output of the boiler, in the primary loop, and on the feeds to the baseboards, you can make sure that the hot water is going where it should go.

    Another thing that I think happens....when you pump from the secondary loop into the primary, you aren't going to replace ALL the water in the primary with the hot water from the WG. Say you only put in 80%. SO if the water from the WG is 190, and water in the primary is 100, then you will only get 80% of the difference, or .8*90=72 degrees, so the primary will rise up to 172 only. I'm not sure how you can overcome this, unless you had a perfectly balanced flow between the primary and the secondary loop.

    Others please yell out if I'm wrong on this....

    What will happen as you heat up the primary water of course is the 80% still occurs, but the primary water will increase...say to 150 after a 20 degree drop in your baseboard. So now 80% at 190 and 20% at 150 gives you 182. But of course the 190 will also drop.... So as time goes on, you should see the temp in the primary loop increase (as it replaces the cooler water already there), and then rise up a bit (as the primary loop rises), but then it may drop as the boiler output temp drops below the 190. And then the boiler will kick in and bring it back up...

    SO if the amount of heat you dump through the baseboards into the house is less than what the boiler can introduce, the temp will rise....but you will never get all the way up to the 190 that the boiler output gives you, unless you are able to remove ALL the water in the primary loop with 190 water from the primary....

    Does that make sense?

    And then if your tees are "backwards", it may be you are only getting say 30% or 50% (who knows) into the primary loop....so then you won't get the higher temps in the primary, and not into your zones.

    If you see, for example, that the secondary loop into the primary (just before it enters the primary) is 190, but the return to the WG stays really warm, like 180 or whatever, then you know you aren't getting good "injection" of hot water into the primary loop from the secondary....a little bit, but not the full shot like you should.

    Maybe I'm all wet here, but I think that is how it would work if you aren't getting the full shot from the secondary into the primary....


    You can pickup a meter with a thermocouple, or maybe a couple of thermocouples, and place them on your piping in various points and measure the temps. I don't have good experience with the IR guns on copper...maybe if you put something black on the copper (like tape or something)....the emissivity of shiny copper is low...i.e. how much it wants to naturally radiate heat. A black thing radiates very well...a shiny thing does not. But the thermocouple, taped onto the pipe, will give you a good reading. Those sensors are also a nice thing to tape around everywhere and then you can monitor at 8, 16, or 32 points. I bought the stuff, but still on the to do list....sigh. About $100 or so....so not too bad.
  10. bpirger

    bpirger Minister of Fire

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    Just lost another post...argh!

    Since I first fired my Garn in 17NOV10, after my $20K investment, I haven't burned a drop of oil...so it is out there, and you will get there.

    Also, I think you made a good choice for baseboard. I don't believe the Garn would do well with baseboard, becuase I don't believe I'd get 12 hours with before the temp dropped down to 160 or so, and then baseboard heat would become ineffective. You need the ability to crank out the heat when necessary. I have radiant, so I can heat with 130 easy, and likely down to 110-120. Can't heat DHW fast at those low temps though.

    In another thread, someone posted that one could rent their strap on flow meter for a small fee. With this, and with knowing the temps, you know everything...where all the heat is going, and where it isn't. And you can readily figure out why then. It might be worth considering.

    But the key is knowing the temps in the right spots, becuase that will tell you where the hot water is flowing....and where it isn't!
  11. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    In your last set of photos it looked like the loop from the wood boiler was pulling from 2:30 and injecting at 3:30, and the primary loop was going counterclockwise. And your load loops were pulling from the top of the loop and returning to the bottom. Is this still the case?

    If I've got this right then suppose the following:

    Primary loop flows 14 gpm.

    Wood boiler loop flows 7 gpm.

    Each load loop flows 10 gpm.

    14 gpm primary flow meets WB 7 gpm at 3:30, mixes to become 21 gpm until combined flow gets to 2:30. 7 gpm of mixed flow returns to WB, 2.33 gpm of which just came from the WB and is now happy-turning, yielding net flow of 4.66 gpm from the WB.

    Meanwhile the pair of loads is injecting 20 gpm of return water at 6:30 and 5:30 together. All of the 5:30 flow and 4 gpm of the 6:30 flow go counterclockwise to make the 14 gpm of the primary loop pump. 6 gpm of the 6:30 flow goes clockwise, happy-turning right back to where it came from.

    Does this sound right? If so then your last teacup of air may be the least of your problems.
  12. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    If your wood is green the boiler will struggle to keep up with demand. I am not saying it is the problem but get some dry wood and try it again. See if the system will still pull the wood boiler down. That would be the first free thing that you could try.

    gg
  13. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    It would burn for 7 minutes and reach high temp of 190* then shut down and take 20 minutes to reach low temp of 165* and then start up and 7 minutes later shut down. It did this for almost 3 hours and raised the house temp about 4 degrees.

    I'm not sure, but that sounds like you don't have enough flow going to your loads? If it only takes 7 minutes to bounce back from 165 to 190, seems like the WG is burning decent, and 20 minutes to go down 25 degrees sounds longer than it should - although that depends on actual heat load & how much of a fire you had going on.
  14. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    +1 --- As I recall, you posted a photo of your wood in an earlier post. If that's the wood you are burning as opposed to a split, stacked and covered stash of wood that didn't make it into the picture, that could be part of the problem.
  15. Countryboy1966

    Countryboy1966 Member

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    is your loop insulated? 70’ of 1†line has 18.3sq-ft of surface area. Times that by two if the full loop is a total 140ft. Either way, that is a lot of surface area to have un-insulated on a loop-line imo. This is just more of an efficiency concern which is not your case.

    I’m a rookie when it comes to boilers and honestly a lot of the help being provided is over my head. Someday I hope to understand it and you guys sure are a wealth of knowledge.

    My simple suggestion to help pinpoint the problem is to buy and IR gun and take temperature reading throughout your system. Water samples are even better if possible. Map it and identify where your differences are and it may help isolate your problem.

    Not having the IR gun would have never helped me realize my temps and would have prolonged realizing I have the wrong size supply lines for a 350’ loop. Fast forward to today the loop is now 150’ and things now make sense and everything is working good for what I have. Granted other solutions would have worked, but moving my owb was the best move overall.

    I think you have two problems – one is you have something wrong in your system that’s causing the hot water from the boiler to not circulate into the rest of the system. The other is you need water storage if you are thinking of running DHW from a boiler that sounds like it will idle a lot in the shoulder season.

    If you have not ran a fire in a few days and your hotwater is calling for heat, there’s no choice in your system but to burn black gold. I’d rather piece together a storage solution than to pay for another gallon of oil.

    I hope I helped a little.
  16. Countryboy1966

    Countryboy1966 Member

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    Ok - more banter from the rookie.

    How is your DHW plumbed?

    Is the oil boiler and the WG on the same loop? Perhaps you are heating your HW with oil then sending it through an idle WG where it the colder tank water is drawing out the heat by some type of thermalsiphon?
  17. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'll toss in more on the DHW thing. Also wondering how it's plumbed - but I'd think about zoning in my new DWH tank to the WG right now, and running the domestic side in series, first thru the WG coil, then to the new indirect. Then make small fires if there's no other heat load. You should be able to avoid oil use all together with the WG & indirect tank even with no other heat load to keep the WG going all the time - between hot water in the wood gun after a fire, and what it's heated up in the indirect, that should last for a little while?
  18. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

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    +1 on the indirect off primary loop

    so far(2 months of shoulder season, with a few cold days in between), I fire the Froling with half box fires(around3.5 cubic ft, about 60lbs-70lbs wood, 2 hour burns about 40f(top) & 20f(bot) rise on tanks) and make DHW as needed(timing laundry and hour long kid baths) and store the rest for heat(adequate supply for radiant). If I do not time it, or am away..the LP-back up kicks on, not to my liking, but life is what happens as you plan for life.

    Stay the course Mike and add some storage, when you can.
    Did you try supplementing for dry wood with a few envi-blocks?May help in a pinch.
    Buddy of mine in LI gets them delivered to his house by the pallet and subs in when needed.

    Scott
  19. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Just to cheer you up a little. My brother-in-laws last fuel drop was 3.999 COD last week.
  20. bro-tek

    bro-tek Member

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    To cheere evrybody up, on this wood boiler forum, $4.50 gallon (taxe included)

    I'm glad I switch to wood, oil is only a backup now. You will enjoy your WG.
  21. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Mike,

    Don't forget this buddy. You are almost all the way there. When you add in a 500 gallon storage tank (go with a pressurized tank) and super insulate it, then get a little plumbing adjustment done, and add a little experience of burning that Wood Gun you will be f@$*ing golden man.

    Now with the amount of money you must of paid your installer, with almost $17 into it, once you figure out what the plumbing problem is I would want him to fix it at no additional cost. I got my Wood Gun and tank all in place myself, and then my installation cost me about $4000. Total system expenses right under $13,000 installed. Now my guys were charging $30/hr for there work. A good deal as far as I was concerned. I did not have the time or desire to do it. So there was a little over $900 in labor(of the $4000 to install), the rest was expensive copper pipe, copper fittings, pumps, etc. etc. We went the copper way to save on labor. The compression fittings were very fast. But you will get there my friend. And when you do, with that storage, oh man, you are going to love it.

    I would get together with EW or inhotwater or one of the other very knowledgeable guys on here and let them help you figure out what the problem is. It sounds like you have something wrong. Then you can tell your installer how you want it repiped. It should not take him to long to make some changes. Tell the wife you need a storage tank for Christmas!!!! Santa list? ;-) Take care Mike, it will all work out.
  22. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    So your'e the guy responsible for this warm weather! I want to thank you, as do my wood piles.
    Just like the guy that buys a snow plow and it doesn't snow, or the guy that buys a brand new shiney jet ski.......... in January!
    Cold will come buddy, just hang in there.
  23. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Don't feel bad i'm close to that mark doing everything my self and I havn't got one single btu out of it yet and I started 2 yrs. ago.

    Huff
  24. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Great Info guys. Sorry I haven't replied to anyone yet.
    But I have some time now.
    I don't know how to quote and reply to everyone in on shot, so I will do it individually.
  25. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thanks I will try out them out and let you guys know whats goin on.

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