1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Benjamin CC500 Wood/oil Boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by misterpat, Nov 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. misterpat

    misterpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
    Hello all.

    I've been heating with wood heat for years in my current home with an Englander 24AC. Great stove. My girlfriend and I are in the process of buying a new house with hot water baseboard oil heat. I want to replace the boiler with the Benjamin CC500 boiler to help me keep my addiction to burn wood for heat going. Any one have any thoughts on these boilers?

    Here is the boiler.

    http://www.benjaminboiler.com/cc500_series.htm

    Since our new house has a masonry chimney with 2 flues, one for the oil burner now and one for a fireplace upstairs, I was thinking of venting the wood section of the boiler up the masonry chimney and venting the oil section out the foundation with there "Direct Vent" kit.

    Here is a link to that also.

    http://www.benjaminboiler.com/balanced-flue-series.htm

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Pat

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    It looks like a solid conventional boiler, but the website and the pdf leave out some critical information that I'd want to know more about. Looks like a complete setup with the control kit, but I bet that's not a cheap option. If you have separate vents for oil and wood, then by all means vent them up different chimneys. Your plan to use the through-the-wall kit for the oil sounds like a good one.

    Slowzuki (one of our members) probably knows more about the Maritime Canadian boiler industry, so maybe he has some perspective on the company and its products. Personally, I'm always a little leery when the first thing they tell you is how great their production line is. CAD-CAM is great to have, but having doesn't prove anything useful about how well you use it.

    Anyway, I see efficiency numbers for the oil guns, which is a no brainer, but no mention of OVERALL efficiency of the wood side. That's combustion efficiency combined with heat transfer efficiency. See if they'll tell you what that combined number is. No mention of efficiency of either kind on the wood boiler side. I don't see an output rating for that boiler, but since it uses a 1gpm gun in the oil burner side, I'm guessing somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 btu/hour. I don't know why it's not listed--whatever it is, it's a selling point.

    No mention of the gauge of the steel used in construction. You'd probably want at least 1/4-inch.

    What kind of grates does it have? You want to be sure it's something you can replace down the line. The simpler and more generic, the better.

    I can't tell from the picture, but it looks like a natural draft damper in the loading door. That's good if there's a power outage and you want to run the boiler, assuming you can gravity feed the water. With baseboards, probably not. A natural draft arrangement is nice for several reasons, including the ability to work in a power outage, but having used both that kind and a blower, I prefer the blower for performance.

    I'm also a little troubled by the apparent lack of a separate ash cleanout door. That would mean you would have let the fire go out almost completely to clean it out and probably remove the grates, if it has any, which thinking about it, it may not. No separate ash cleanout is inconvenient--almost woodstove-inconvenient.

    Finally, you want to set your chimney connection up so that you can clean the chimney from inside, if at all possible. These things can produce some serious creosote under certain conditions, and you need to be able to clean your chimney without too much trouble.

    If you get a chance, read some of the threads here on gasifiers. It's a different approach and more expensive, but more efficient and cleaner burning. It will give you a good basis for comparison.
  3. misterpat

    misterpat Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
    Eric, Thanks for the detailed response. I was looking into the tarm unit, but its a little big for the area have to place it. The Benjamin unit was the closest thing to the current boiler size. It doesn't have an ash door or grates. In the manual I downloaded from there site, it said to leave about 2 inches of ash or sand on the bottom of the firebox to aid in proper combustion.

    For the chimney, I would probably reline the existing flue with a stainless liner with a tee on the bottom.

    This is all still up in the air for now. I'm just trying to find a good unit that will fit in the area I have with the features the Benjamin unit has.

    I'm open to anyones suggestions as this project will probably not take place till next heating season.

    Thanks,

    Pat
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    The chimney reline is a good move. Most of us have been through that at one time or another, and it's no fun to have to shell out the extra cash when you're spending all that money on a boiler or stove, but that's the way it is. You'll be able to clean the setup you describe easily, and that's pretty important.

    If you get into the habit of hanging around here, you'll probably find out about a good range of different boilers available now, and I suspect even more in the near future. By next spring I bet you'll know exactly what you want.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page