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Advice on Gasser or Combo

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Pologuy9906, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    Hi all,

    Im looking for a unit to replace my old boiler. I have about 27-2800 sqft to heat. I have baseboard. My basement is currently unfinished and I would love to heat it as well. Its roughly 1200 sqft. I have well water too.

    boiler1.jpg boiler2.jpg

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  2. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    Welcome to the forums. You will get lots of varying opinions. I have a Woodgun. They are manufactured in PA. I have baseboards and went with a model that has an automatic oil back up. What part of CT?
  3. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
  4. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    Do you like the performance of the unit so far? I liked the Vedolux and the Effecta. The price on these units are killers. I guess the alternative of $3000+ a season on oil isnt an option either. I have 6 cords of dried oak, maple and some unknown seasoned for about 1.5years. Hopefully I could narrow down my choices and go from there. I like the garn junior. Its too big to fit into my basement.
  5. Do you have another flue available?

    If so many have found it cheaper and easier to leave the existing oil boiler as back up to a gasser.
  6. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    Well you need to start with access to wood. Do you have a supply c/s/s yet? What's your time frame? I have 3000 sf and I used the domestic coil for hot water. This was my first year, so I very green. I haven't hooked my oil back up yet, but I know some guys keep the oil furance they have as a back up. Other guys on the site use different gassers and need storage(1000 threads debating this topic). I suggest you go through all the old threads and pick up as much knowledge as possible. The site is tremendously helpful on trouble shooting, answering questions, etc. Asking for an opinion on what you should do is difficult to answer. I am in Trumbull. PM me and you can check mine out once you get closer to figuring out what you want.
  7. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    I forgot the chimney issue. Is your's rated for all fuel? do you have a liner? Are you going to install yourself? Access to the basement? Do you research with town hall. You may have to educate the building inspector. Some get gassification mixed up with outdoor wood boilers. Mine was almost 1800lbs. Needed a excavator to lower into the blico door.
  8. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    I do have access to green wood for free. How many cords did you burn? I want to get this done before the season starts. I hear design is more important than anything else. Not many gassers around the Ct area. Hard to find a good design person.
  9. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    Mike I took a picture of the unit. I have two cleanouts but dont know if its 2 seperate flues. How do I check?
  10. Two clean outs means you should have two flues. But I don't see another thimble in the pics. Do you have a woodstove hookup on the main floor?
  11. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    the second picture has the two black boxes which are the cleanouts. I have a fireplace on the first floor.
  12. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    I know of a few gassers in CT, but most guys are do it yourselfers. I didn't keep track of how many cords I burned last year. I plan to this year. I have 16 c/s/s. Not sure but your timeline might be tight on burning this year
  13. That does limit your options a little. You could have the oil burner put on a direct vent, install a class a chimney. Or like you said look for a combo unit.

    Possibly you could have a mason brick up the fire place and set up the second flue to be used in the basement. Depending how the chimney was made it might not be an expensive project.
  14. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    I ran into the same problem with my installation. I had to vent my oil boiler with a direct vent and then tied the wood boiler into the existing flue. I know the direct vent is not ideal but honestly it only runs when I turn it on periodically.

    I like keeping my oil boiler in place for resale value as well as true backup if something went wrong withy wood boiler. If you are going to install the unit yourself, I cannot stress how important it is to purchase your boiler from a good dealer. During my install my dealer was answering his phone on a Sunday night to go over the electrical schematics. There is know way that's install would have come out 1/2 as good if I did not have them to assist with my install.
  15. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    who did you use and what do yo have? How many cords are you burning a year? Whats the size of the home you are heating? I know I spoke with Bryan about the Effecta and he was saying I would possibly burn 5-6 cords with the 900-1000 gallons of water storage. I dont want to do the propane tanks. I want the simple boxes that look like the units themselves. I know vedolux and effecta have them. Im not sure of any others. Do any of you find it dangerous or smoky not having the fans that suck the smoke out when you open the door?
  16. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    I have a Vigas 40 purchased from AHONA with 1000 gallons of storage with a propane tank i rigged up myself. I would have liked to have used the " simple boxes" but I was over budget as it was. You should be able to get them from most dealers, not just vedolux or effecta (although they might have color coordinated ones that look sharp). I have 3500+ sq/ft and probably used about 7 cord last year. Kinda hard for me to guess since most of what I burned was scrap 2x stock from homes I was building.

    I only have had issues with smoke coming out of my unit while I was just beginning to use my unit and I was opening it during the burn when I should not have been or if my wood was to wet and I was getting bridging (both issues where my own fault and not the boilers). With the storage I can just load and go and not have to worry about reloading it and dealing with smoke issues.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  17. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    are the Vigas and Viadrus' price point the same as Vedolux at 11k or Effecta at 8k? Are they tanks? I want something built to last. I do like the idea of the cast iron on the Viadrus. Its tough making a selection.
  18. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    I dont care about the boxes looking nice i just don't have the room for the tanks. I will be building out the basement for my mother in law. So Im looking for a setup I can put side by side. Thanks so far for the info!!!!!!!!
  19. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    I am not familiar with the Viadrus boilers they are carrying. I am very happy with the build of my boiler. If your welcome to come take a look at it if your ever in southern ma. Would give me an good excuse to fire her up:)

    I would call mark at AHONA to inquire about the Viadrus. He is very helpful and does not pressure u into buying anything. I thought they where carrying that line for the non-gasification boiler as well as the pellet boilers, but I could be mistaken.
  20. __dan

    __dan Burning Hunk

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    You have a standard application and should have a standard solution.

    Don't quote me, but my understanding at this time from reading is, a cordwood gasser does not qualify as a primary central heat system, probably because of the manual fuel feeding. This means you would still need the oil burner in parallel, which adds a layer of cost and complexity to tie both boilers together and run in auto.

    This is where the pellet boiler is going to be a standard solution for your application. The pellet boiler can qualify as primary central heat, so a straight yank and toss of the oil boiler for a pellet boiler would be one way to go. You would also yank and toss the electric DHW for indirect boiler fired DWH. That electric DHW can be another ~ $60. monthly per person in electric.

    Making DHW in the summer, the auto run and efficiency of the pellet boiler will be a lot more. In the seasonal mild demand days, pellet boiler with modulating fire and outdoor reset wins again. In the winter with high demand, feeding the gasser with storage will do the job.

    I have not priced it both ways, but I'm thinking the installed cost for a gasser with storage and controls for OA reset, auto run operation, is going to be in the same range or more than the highest quality pellet boiler with OA reset, auto operation, indirect DHW, and no oil boiler.

    The tradeoff is how much you want the thing to run auto unattended or how much you want to make your own fires.
  21. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    The Vigas was less expensive than the effecta by quite a bit and still had the lambda controls. I am not sure of the exact price but I think it was $500-$1000 less
  22. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    my issue is paying for pellet vs free wood. Both options cheaper than oil. I believe pellets are 250 a pallet or so. Dont know how many pallets I would use. My family likes the house at 70-72 which i feel is extremely warm. 2 children and 2 adults. I do like the idea of pellets. Im trying to get away from paying for heat. All the options i seem to come up with are:
    1. Vedolux but expensive. Side by side storage
    2. Effecta - More reasonably priced and side by side storage
    3. Benjamin combo unit - 7k range
    4. Attack DP - dont see water storage side by side
    5. Biomass dual fuel oil/wood boiler
    6. Garn - My dream
    7. Vigas.

    As you can see i have a serious dilema:(
  23. Pologuy9906

    Pologuy9906 New Member

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    Great to hear. I will look at the build and quality of each. Thats my concern. I want something thats a tank. I need something easy to operate as well. It needs to be easy enough for a 14 year old to handle.

    Hopefully the Vigas is a better built unit!
  24. You can use any of the purpose built tanks with any of the boilers, color won't match but the water doesn't care.

    New horizons does or did have a 500 gallon insulated tank, pricey but plug and play.

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