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Above Expectations!!!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Robby, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Robby

    Robby Member

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    Loc:
    Priddis, AB, Canada
    Purchased a gasser this spring. Upon arrival inspection it became apparent it was crude (real crude), very poor welding and just crappy workmanship. Talked to dealer, he agreed to take back, and he asked if I would consider Vigas. He had never sold one, just starting in them but thought the workmanship was pretty good. Long story short I talked to Mark at AHONA, read everything I could, called him again etc.

    Bought a Vigas 60 with Lambda, draft inducer and chimney temp probe. Been in operation now for 3 weeks. (once every day or two to heat 1200 gal. storage). Took a few days to understand the computer controls and what they were doing, but after that just light wait 15 min. load up with amount of wood needed and leave. I have burnt Pine splits 24" long and 8%, cut up pallets, some Cottonwood, Aspen (dry) then some Poplar and Aspen a bit wetter (around 20% or a bit more) a whole bunch of dimension lumber and some old logs laying in the grass. Burned the whole works clean.

    Rarely do I buy anything and have it perform above expectations or as advertised. As you may guess I am happy. Anything at all to complain about, well maybe. The manual is so - so. Translated and not quite enough info. The inducer fan works great for lighting fire and helps smoke control, but it does smoke if door opened wide. I can see a hood in my future.

    Thats my two bits worth.:)

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  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    The manual is goofy.

    I'm a hands on, professional button pusher. I would really like to know the temps that each event happen.. and the window that it tries to keep the burn in... but that's just my OCD kicking in.

    Completely happy with mine as well. I love cleaning up my woods and getting the heat from it to boot!

    JP
  3. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Glad to hear your that happy with your Vigas. I haven't read about a unhappy customer yet. Hoping to have mine up and running by next weekend....
  4. Your dealer can't tell you that?
  5. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    They seem to know some of them.. some I've seen myself.

    Like I said.. I'm a button pusher. I'd like to know what it's trying for, when it's maxed out, etc.

    It's a byproduct of my training I guess. I'm a profession gauge watcher and button pusher. I am getting used to the idea of loading, pushing a button... and leaving it the hell alone for 3 hours before peeking. I usually will take a look at stack temps to make sure all is well after 15 mins or so.

    I guess all I really need to do is load at 140 bottom temp. and DONT load if it's 180. I should just be happy with anywhere above 180, and not worry about hitting 195. Batch burns are mighty efficient.

    JP
  6. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    You've got to be nearly done. What's left? A few small fires to start. I've been very pleasantly surprised with how clean the tubes are when I've gone to clean it. The cleaning tool seems kind of cruel, and is made for if it's REAL bad. I took a (I think it's 1.5 inch) long handled boiler brush and cut off the handle. I mount it in a cordless drill. Makes quick work of it. I set up a shop vac with a filter bag in it.. keeps the fly ash down. I bet it doesn't take 15 minutes to clean the whole boiler. Upper chamber, tubes, then lower. I had to take one row of firebick out after a couple months. I got a bit of ash between the bricks and the clean out tool was catching on the bricks when cleaning.

    The only issue I'm having is an intermittent tank sensor. It WAS displaying high.. off by 20 degrees. Now it's on the money.. but is intermittently throwing an error and not displaying temp at all. I can't blame AHONA. Mark gave me a new sensor. I've just been too lazy to put it in.
  7. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on the VIGAS Robby. Sounds like a nice boiler! That 1200 gallons of storage has to be really nice as well. Enjoy!
  8. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Pressure tested it last night and lost a couple of pounds of pressure. Think I might have found the leak...... So I just pumped it back up. I made the connection to the chimney this morning with the draft inducer. So if it holds the pressure then all I will have left is the electrical and to fill it up with water. It has taken me a lot longer than I had anticipated! I've been working on it nights after my job and my wife is pregnant with our first child so she has been keeping me busy with her own list of things she needs me to take care of for her.
  9. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Electrical isn't bad. I can't remember the catch.. but Mark included a close up pic of the board to show you what not to mess up.

    I think my biggest head scratcher was THINKING I had to connect my storage in to the board. You don't.. the small remote wire is already run. You connect the storage probe at the small box near the smoke pipe. You open that little box and you'll see where the exhaust temp probe is already wired up in there.

    Go slow. No sense screwing it up now.
  10. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! It would have taken me awhile to figure that one out.
  11. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    What was kind of boiler was the one you sent back to the dealer?
  12. Robby

    Robby Member

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    I debated about that. Dealer treated me good, never said the first one wouldn,t work fine. Just rough. I think it best if I keep that to myself.

    Robby
  13. So your going to make us speculate? For the good of the forums knowledge we need to know. ;)

    You don't want to name the brand so its probably popular here...
    Your dealer sells two brands...
    one of which is vigas...
    Questionable welds and workmanship...
    sold in Canada...


    I'm going to guess Orlan paxo.
  14. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Your deductions are simmilar to mine Mike. It is true, it's not knocking the dealer at all, actually speaking well of them! It's one of the reasons this forum exists, to help other like minded people make the right decision based on their needs. For what it's worth, this forum has helped me get my gasser off the ground, and if it wern't for this forum I'd still be burning wood in a water-jacketed air-tight box....AKA smoke dragon.

    TS
  15. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    Mark, At Ahona has not sold paxo as a stock boiler for three years .He is testing an other brand that will be on the market soon.
  16. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    And just playing detective...

    He did not say that Mark sold him the first one. I inferred from the way he said that his dealer was new to vigas.. and he called Mark, the importer to get the skinny. Not that it matters to me which boiler it was. But unfortunately.. too many people come here looking for answers AFTER they have bought something that most would have warned them off.

    JP
  17. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Maybe a eko...

    Hope it's not a biomass, mikefrommaine's head would explode
  18. I'm not worried, he won't be outing the biomass. Mine has first class welds and workmanship.

    Maybe it was the Econoburn he rejected?
  19. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    You guys wouldn't be trying to narrow things down would you? :confused:
  20. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    You are kidding right?

    gg
    fahmahbob likes this.
  21. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Come on Robby!!!! Let us in on the brand....
  22. Here is an old post from Robby that gives us a few hints.

    About ready to pull the plug.

    In it he speaks highly of the garn, Econoburn and portage & main...
    And he seems to prefer an American or Canadian made boiler...

    So I would eliminate the euro made boilers from contention.

    Though he did end up with a boiler from oversees...

    I've seen Econoburns and they seem well made. Maybe he sent back a new greenwood or an empyre?
  23. Robby

    Robby Member

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    Ok, I see your points, but it serve's no one to knock anothers choice or product. Many on here appear to be happy with the same product I was not. Maybe I got a Friday one, whatever.

    I only posted because rarely am I satisfied with products. How many of you think your auto exceeds advertising claims, your washer, your "whatever". The cost of my heating system was expensive,somewhere around $25,000.00. Hopefully, by picking top quality goods and attention to instalation it will last a very,very long time. Most products now have a very short lifespan and high price.

    Now, one of the problems with Vigas is it must never be without power (or have pressurized water available) because of heat over run. Power must be "pure sine wave". I have 2800 watt automatic backup inverter now,(runs all heating including solar) but it is modified sine wave. Does anyone out there have knowledge about Xantrex Prosine 2.0 vs Tripp Lite APS2012SW. Both are 2000 watt, inverter/charger, pure sine wave, both owned by Schneider Electric, but the Tripp Lite is $500.00 less.
  24. I didn't know the vigas required a back up power system. Is it just to prevent overheating during an outage?

    If so can you just use an overhead loop of finned copper with a normally open zone valve like Tarm and others recommend?

    Most people here don't use the pressurized cold water cool down loop. I believe it's not allowed by code here, could be different for you and the vigas.
  25. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Robby. As far as most products that I buy, I am usually pretty happy with them. The reliability is there if you do the research on whatever product you are buying. Well, usually. ;lol We use the hell out of our washer and dryer. The heating element just went in the dryer and it is about 4 1/2 years old. But, it has dried a sh!tload of clothes in those 4 1/2 years.

    I have thought about this very, very, long time issue as well with my boiler. Being close to $14000 with my system I am hoping it will last me 25-30 years. One "issue" I thought about is I could be dead tomorrow or 3 years from now. You never know what is going to happen. It would still be nice for my wife to get my our ;em money out of it for her and my kids benefit. All that money saved from heating with wood and the work that goes into it will hopefully be used to help them to go to college or start a small business, or whatever they decide to do. So I am slowly showing the wife how to run the boiler. She can always buy wood that is cut/split/delivered and keep heating with wood. The kids are already helping us move and stack it. Just doing my usual unnecessary worrying and thought I would share. That's all.

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