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  1. dakotarnk

    dakotarnk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    I am considering buying an aqua therm 140 unsheltered, does anyone have experience with these, Are they good or bad, I will only have 300 invested and it looks like it is in good shape, no leaks and has all the needed accesories.

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  2. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    You've post here a bit apparently, so I assume you currently burn wood??

    I think your goal should be something more efficient than the AT. But if you have the lines in place already and you can get the AT up and running within the next week, it could be a way to save some fossil bucks this winter. With the savings and some time spent on research, you could purchase a much more efficient unit next year.

    But if it takes you most of the current heating season to get the AT up and running, then my advice would be don't do it.
  3. dakotarnk

    dakotarnk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Thanks for the info, I have about 2000 sq ft to heat I currently heat with an RSF fireplace, I have not filled my propane tank for 5 years. I will have to install all my lines but that is not an issue in frost for me, I have plenty of big equipment to dig. My thought is if it does not work out I can always hook up another more efficient unit next year when I have more time to shop and research. If I understand the AT correctly it always ciculates water, the only thing that is regulated is the fire. I was hoping that it would burn at least 10 hours on a load of dried elm wood. I have spoke with another person that owns one and he really likes it, He did say he thought it should burn a little less wood. Bottom line is nothing I do to get this running will be wasted, I will need it all for another boiler.
  4. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    Bruno MN
    Aqua therm boilers can burn alot of wood. I also know of 1 that has had a problem with leaks in the firebox. It was an older one. The friend that has it borrowed my torch to repair it last spring. He had a hard time getting it to seal back up.
    Doug
  5. Vinced

    Vinced Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    central WI
    I have a model 145 unsheltered in a 8ftx12ft shed. I'm heating a 1200sf 5 years old house and a insulated 1200sf post frame building. It does quite well when I keep the inside temps set at a steady temp, but if I turn up the heat in the shop it take awhile to get it up to temp but still does the job. I burn about 5-6 full cords a year. All in all for being a so called "inefficent" OWB, I pleased with it. It smokes less then most Central boilers in my area and is a very simple unit to operate. Don't skimp on your underground piping and make sure where ever you install the AT you insulate it good. Also do a little research on primary/secondary boiler plumbing and plumb your system that way. I had mine plumbed the way the manufacturer recommended in the manual and my system didn't work very well. I met a cousin of a guy I work with that designs boiler heating systems and he draw me up a primary/secondary system and I plumbed it this way and it worked much better. I had to buy an additional pump, but now my system works alot better. This will be a good learning curve boiler for you and then in the future when and if it dies you can upgrade. I bought mine 4 years ago used and I plan on upgrading when it dies, if it dies.
  6. dakotarnk

    dakotarnk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
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    5-6 cords sounds very effiecient, I think you could spend 10,000 on a system and burn more wood then that. I have spoke with a couple of owners that have owned other boilers before the Aqua Therm and both have said they will never use anything but the aqua therm.
  7. dakotarnk

    dakotarnk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    I have the Aqua therm up and running, Wow this thing works great, I load it twice a day with elm wood and it keeps the house very warm. It has been very cold here about -15 at night and it does great. I am so glad that i didnt spend the 6,000 to 9,000 on
    the big boilers that I had gotten estimates on that the experts told me I needed to heat my house. My theory on water storage and capacity has changed since I have used the aqua therm, I dont want to store hot water because no matter how well you insulate you do loose some heat, It is best to have a boiler make it as needed. I think having large capacity water is just a way to compansate for poor setup or performance. I have several boilers in my area that are much bigger and man do they go through the wood, I think the aqua therm is going to be much more efficient then those big ones.
  8. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    571
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    I had one for 7 years and it worked fine, but like most "smoke dragons", they use a lot of wood.
  9. in hot water

    in hot water New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    895
    Loc:
    SW Missouri
    The nice thing about AT is it is a pressurized vessel. This eliminates the HX or open system chemical issues. Make sure you have both the 30 lb pressure relief and the 212F 125 lb relief valve. Check their function at the start of every heating season and replace if they stick or drip. Pressure relief valves are a critical component on a large capacity pressurized tank like that. I like to install them with a low water cutoff should either relief pop, the blower shuts off. This offers a bit of piece of mind, and cheap insurance.

    I'd rate them a few notches above the run of the mill OWF, not quite as efficient as a gasification unit. For the money you did very well. I sold AT for a few years before I got hooked on gasification. Several of my friends and neighbors have 5 years or more on their ATs and are very happy.

    Primary secondary is how I piped the ones I installed, it helped keep the boiler return temperature up and mixed the entire boiler well to eliminate hot spots.

    Stick with dried wood don't fall for that green/ wet wood marketing spiel.

    hr
  10. Vinced

    Vinced Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    central WI
    Glad to hear you have it up and running and are happy with it. They do seem to require a learning curve on how much wood to feed it. On mine, no matter what the outside temp is it seems to burn up how ever much wood I put into it. It works the best when temps are below 20 degrees or so. I gage how much wood I put in it by the temp outside.
  11. dakotarnk

    dakotarnk New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    How do you pipe it primary secondary?
  12. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    733
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    One the first page of the forum when you enter the boiler room, there are "sticky"ies at the top. One of them is a four page post on Primary/Secondary piping. Allot of good info to start with.
  13. rombi

    rombi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Green Bay Wi
    I like my Aquatherm and it works good for our house with a HX in the forced air but in the dog kennel with radiant I think I need to get somebody to put in primary/secondary for that to keep my returns a little hotter than what they are at the moment. Any experts here live near Green Bay Wi?
  14. rombi

    rombi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Green Bay Wi
    How much heat do you "loose" with a primary/secondary setup for infloor heat where it is around 115 going in the floor?
  15. in hot water

    in hot water New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    895
    Loc:
    SW Missouri
    Here is a simple P/S drawing when you are not concerned with return temperature protection. Although you could put a temperature control on that boiler/ primary pump to turn it off until the boiler temperature rises, just like the EKO control.

    Webstone has a great new valve for P/S piping. All the functions in one component.

    hr

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