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A Guy Who Obviously Believed the Hype

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Eric Johnson, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    To wit:

    "You can burn green wood in these things."

    and,

    "This is the top of the line unit and very efficient, so it burns less wood than the competition."

    This guy has a beautiful new setup and a very nice looking installation. It's the perfect application for a big OWB--He doesn't have any neighbors, the prevailing winds blow away from his house and he's surrounded by potential fuel.

    Unfortunately, it's the middle of October and he's got what looks to me like about 5 cords of (unprocessed) green firewood, when that Central Boiler is going to need around 15 cords of dry wood to get him through the season. If I was in the firewood business, I'd be setting 10 to 15 cords aside to sell to this guy (at a premium) around the middle of December.

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  2. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    And he drives a Mercedes. kaching kaching
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    OK, 20 cords of wood for the Merc.
  4. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    There is a tree right next to the boiler just screaming "burn me." He is probably waiting for the leaves to fall off before cutting it down and shoving it into the boiler. The only dry wood I see is the high line pole.
  5. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    That could be an older Mercedes.

    I know a guy that has a beautiful Mercedes diesel. It had a blowed up engine and he got it for a song, fixed the engine ( he is a diesel mech. by trade) and is going on about 6 years with it.

    I am sooooooo glad I didnt make the plunge for an OWB, they are the Hummer of wood burning devices.
  6. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    "“You can burn green wood in these things.”

    and,

    “This is the top of the line unit and very efficient, so it burns less wood than the competition.” "

    Well, they do "burn" green wood but it depends on what the definition of efficiency is..is...

    I know two people that have them and seem to like them. They like the fact that the mess is kept outside and you don't have to worry about a chimney fire. I agree with them on that...but they seem to burn 2.5 times as much wood as I do (and I burn a lot) and they both seem to have a lot of mechanical issues like leaks in the boiler and they are dead in the water if/when the power goes out.

    I'll stick with my free standing wood stove.
  7. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Yes, but to run an OWB you need big wood, while operating a (non-military) Hummer would seem to indicate ... small wood. :coolgrin:
  8. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    Assuming he is in New York he is on barrowed time with that thing at least if Elliot Spitzer has his way.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Are you speaking in general terms, clarkharms, or is there some specific proposal coming out of the governor's office to ban OWBs in NYS? In any event, I suspect existing installations would be exempt.

    This guy really has a beautiful house, garage and spread. I've been admiring the boiler installation all summer long. It would make a good promotional photograph for Central Boiler. But I'm a little shocked at the state of his wood supply. Obviously, he's been given some bad information. Either that, or he's engaging in some wishful thinking.
  10. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    I read an article in the NY times about how Elliot Spitzer is leading studies and trying to push legislation to ban OWB. Here is a link to that article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/o...Topics/People/S/Spitzer, Eliot L.&oref=slogin

    Even if grand fathered I wonder about personal litigation someone could bring onto their neighbor. I know of one case that is pending in Mass where one neighbor is suing his neighbor over quality of life issues brought on by an OWB.

    I just think on top of being inefficient pigs OWB have many logistical problems associated with them.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's not exactly an unbiased opinion, but he makes some valid points.

    I think Eliot's got his hands full in his war with Joe Bruno, so this may be on the back burner, so to speak. And, like all NYC politicians, there's a disconnect between his point of view and that of most of his upstate constituents. Banning OWBs in Westchester and Nausau Counties might be a popular move, but depriving the good people of Lewis County of their primary source of heat (for which they paid dearly) is going to look like the downstate haves beating up on the upstate have-nots. And that's not a good position for any politician to be in.

    If you banned the installation of all OWBs in NYS today and left everyone who owns one alone, they'd all be scrap in 10 years anyway. That would be the smartest political approach, IMO.

    That's not to say that municipalities and local governments shouldn't be allowed to enact restrictions that make sense on a local level. To me that's a more practical approach.
  12. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    I would also have a problem with big government getting involved as I don't think they would be able to differentiate between a clean burning boiler and a "smoke dragon". For instance all wood boilers are now banned in Suffolk county NY. Why when a tarm or similiar gasification boiler is proven to burn cleaner than many wood stoves. If I installed one in my house and my neighbor saw smoke from it he could report me and I would have to get rid of it plus pay a fine. My biggest problem is with the manufacturers of these owb units who are pushy with making a sale and not really informing consumers about the possible problems they may face once installed. Also their claims about efficiency are totally unfounded.
    As far as your neighbors wood supply, check out this device advertised on e-bay. This is what people with OWB are loading into their fire boxes.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Outdoor-Wood-Fu...ryZ41987QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
  13. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    A 20 year old Mercedes.

    My brother in law has an OWB...it works well but it definitely uses alot of wodd. He said he burns about a cord a wwek in the winter. He had his oil boiler removed.
  14. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    OWB - I have been coming across this abbreviation on this forum with increasing regularity. I am not exactly sure what it means but I will take a stab at it.

    OWB = other world business
    OWB = outdoor window box
    OWB = our winking brother
    OWB = outside with bath (I sense I'm getting close)
    OWB = outside water boiler - That's it isn't it?


    I even tried the search thingy up there. Sorry, I have a cold and my brain ain't working so good. Am I right?

    George
  15. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    oUTDOOR WOOD BURNER
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Oh, What Balls!
    Obstinate White Boy
    Ornery Wood Burner
  17. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    OLD WIFE BEATER
  18. GeeWizMan

    GeeWizMan Member

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    Thank you gentlemen. :)

    George
  19. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Obviously Worth Banning

    (not that I necessarily agree)
  20. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Oh Where the Bleep is all that smoke coming from...
  21. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe he is just an environmentalist like Al Gore and burns cooking oil in the mercedes. It would be wonderful to live near that guy with the owb and car together you would have a lovely smokey french fry aroma!
  22. Shak

    Shak New Member

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    I hope he's only planning on burning wood in that thing. I was talking to a guy here in Maine about his OWB. He loved it . Only used five or six cord of wood per year. To supliment his wood supply he would soak bales of mulch hay and let them freeze. When he got a good hot wood fire going he would toss in one of the hay-cicles and PRESTO! The thig would burn for days. I'm surprised his neighbors havn't stuffed him into the boiler. The smell and the smoke must be awful. OWB owners can be their own worst enemies.
  23. JRHill

    JRHill New Member

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    Folks, I'm a newbie here and the picture of the Central Boiler brings back good memories.

    This is my first season away from it. Heated the house (3500 sq ft), shop (1200 sq ft) and two greenhouses
    with it in north central Nebraska. For 6 years, the only hiccup was a $5 damper solenoid and one pump
    cartridge (out of 5). Yeah, it used a lot of wood but it put out a lot of heat - Safely. The only way to duplicate
    the work it did was with 4 separate wood burners. And with kids (and their mother) operating wood burners
    when I was working away from the house we had near disaster several times in pre boiler days.

    What really matters is finding the best solution for the situation. I had excellent results with the boiler. I
    never mentioned 7 kids and the perpetual hot water...

    JR
  24. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Hey JR. Welcome to Hearth.com and especially our new Boiler Room.

    I work with loggers in New England and the Mid Atlantic and since most of them have access to free wood, they tend to have OWBs and like you, think they're great. If you live out in the country and have lots of free or cheap wood and want a lot of heat, why not? I was talking to a logger in Minnesota and he said, "You know those people who say it's a bad idea to have a heated garage? You know why they say that? 'Cause they ain't got one!"

    My folks in Wisconsin have a Heatmor and it works like a charm. It smokes, but no worse than the woodstoves we had when I was growing up. It dissipates before it leaves the yard, and it leaves nothing but unlimited hot water and a warm house behind.

    As I said, this guy has a nice boiler and a beautiful setup. But he's obviously hurting for fuel. And dry wood is always better than green, no matter what the salesman says.

    Me, I live in the village, surrounded by college professors and lawyers, so smoke and wood consumption is a consideration. I'm grateful there's a boiler to meet my needs.
  25. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    OK, folks. First post here, so somebody clue me in. I gather from the comments here that many of you do not love OWBs. Please elaborate. Are ALL OWBs for stink? Are the gasification boilers good, bad, or indifferent? I just saw my neighbor's 2 or 3 yr old AquaTherm (which he loves) and it was barely smoking. Dan says it never does smoke much, and he loads it once a day, except when very cold (it is not a gasifier, either). Shoot me the skinny on these boilers, as I am building a new house w/in the next few yrs and am eager to burn some wood.... somehow. Thanks. john
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