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Aqua-Therm Unsheltered Wood Boilers

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by PerryCountyPA, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. PerryCountyPA

    PerryCountyPA New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    Due to the configuration of our house and lot, we have very limited access to our back yard. There's about 3 feet between our garage and a small stream on the one side, and at most, 4 feet between the house and a significant drop off on the other side. I'm pretty sure we can't get an OWB into the back yard. However, I came across the Aqua-Therm Unsheltered Wood Boilers. It looks to me like it's basically the guts of an OWB, but you can install it in an existing building (wood shed, detached garage, etc).
    First, I'm curious to get any and all opinions on the Aqua-Therm line of products.
    Second, does this sound safe to all of you? The last thing I want is to burn down my garage in the name of saving money on heat. How hot do these things get and how much in the way of sparks come shooting out when you open the door to refuel? Just the idea of a fire burning in the garage (even though it is contained inside the unit) while the gas for the lawn mowers, weed wackers, chain saw, etc is in there makes me a little nervous. Justified?

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  2. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
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    Loc:
    Dansville NY
    Hi Perrycounty I live in New York and have a friend I see now and then that runs an unsheltered aquatherm in his garage and he loves it. He uses a piece of heavy 1/8" steel 8" round piping and does not worry about chimney fires. It smokes like a banshee, most when loading and soon after. He operated this unit for several years with no problems. EXCEPT the township he lives it is trying to get rid of all OWB's so check all local building codes and red tape with your insurance company. So even though it is indoors and contained it is being considered an OWB. ASK QUESTIONS A LOT OF THEM! Hope this helps
    DAVE
  3. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Sep 24, 2007
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    Loc:
    Hesperia, Michigan
    That is a good way to burn your house down. It is against the codes and your insurance woun't cover if you have it in you garage just because of the gas and explosion danger. You must have a boiler room enclosed with fire proof drywall with no assess to the garage part to be up to code. That goes for all wood burning units.
    leaddog
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Loc:
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    I thought those regs were only for attached garages.
  5. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,473
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    We have had an Aquathern dealer here for about 10 years. I get to see alot of OWBs being a firewood jockey and in the last 20 years I have only seen 1. It's actually a friend of mine and he's not happy with it. The dealer has replaced the entire unit once but I don't remember the reason why. Sounds like good customer service . I personally wouldn't go with Aquatherm just because I haven't seen more than 1 in operation.The only OWB that I have not heard 1 single complaint about from my wood customers is Central Boiler. My dad bought one last fall and loves it.
  6. PerryCountyPA

    PerryCountyPA New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    Thanks for the input folks. It's very much like what I'm hearing with the people I talk to - mixed. Some say 'No freakin way!', while others are saying 'Not a problem'. I'm just not real comfortable with the idea, but then again, an indoor boiler isn't all that much different - it's just going to be down in the basement instead of in the garage. And I guess if I was going to burn one of them down, I'd prefer it to be the garage - even though I LOVE my truck - don't tell my wife ;-) Anyway, I'll ask the dealer to give me a few references and see what they have to say, maybe see if I can stop by to see their setup, etc. I'll also see what other options are available as far as indoor boilers.
    Thanks again - love the forum and all the information!
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