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burn times on the logwood boiler (natural draft)

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jdurant, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. jdurant

    jdurant New Member

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    Hey Eric (grand master guru) what were your burn times when you were using the logwood (Yankee boiler)? also when your boiler came up to temp how close did your draft door come to closing. Should the draft door become tight? Also were your flames in the firebox large? or were they small to average? I am asking you this because it seems that I can chew through the wood. Sometimes it is eaiser to operate than others. I relly like this boiler I like the construction, the grates, the only thing is I think I may have a bad draft regulator control.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    With a nice tight house, I would think you'd get 8 hours or better in cold weather. Especially since you have the big one. There are a lot of variables, of course, including the kind of wood you burn.

    My draft door would close completely. It would just lie flat against the ash door when it was completely closed. If it doesn't close all the way, I'd think it would overheat.

    It's hard to comment on the flames. When I'd fill mine all the way up on a very cold night, it would get burning pretty good.

    Did you ever put a damper in your stovepipe? That should help a lot if you have strong draft. Also, make sure the stainless steel baffle that sits on top of the water tubes in the top of the firebox is installed and pushed all the way to the back. It forces the heat to dwell in the firebox before it goes up the chimney. If it's missing or pulled forward, a lot of your heat is going up the stack. Similar deal with the damper.

    Finally, I've found that for some reason, you go through a lot more wood when learning to operate any new boiler or furnace. At least I always have. After you learn how the thing works best, you can get by with less wood. I always hate to admit that to myself going in, because I think I should be smarter than the machine, I know deep down that's not the case.

    I found the Marathon manual to be relatively useful, as boiler manuals go. If you haven't read through it, I would. It will shorten the learning curve.
  3. jdurant

    jdurant New Member

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    so basically when the boiler gets up to temp the draft door will shut completely? Is the boiler suppose to coke the wood and temper on and off?? I am under the impression that there was to be a medium size fire that will burn continueoly for the duration of the fire!Did you have a lot of wood left in the firebox when the door shut? it seems to me that the boiler works to get up to temp for a while and then bam the boiler is up to temp and the draft door is closed. is this normal??? You said it right that there is a learning curve and boy is it taking a long time to learn. I did read the book and it is useful but marathon does not recommend pipe dampers in use when burning wood. They say it will cause the flue temp to cool down and form creasote in the pipe. I have 4 ton of coal to burn I am going to try it as well.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Yes, the draft door shuts completely when the boiler gets up to the setpoint. Then it basically goes into idle mode. If there's much heat demand from the house, it doesn't stay there for long.

    I got a lot of creosote at times, but I had really strong draft (40' interior, insulated ss chimney liner) and I didn't have the cojones to run it without a damper. When the boiler was cold and the house was calling for heat, that draft door is wide open and you can get a serious roaring fire going in there. Too much excitement for me.

    I burned about a ton of anthracite in mine and I was impressed, even though I had a wood-only model. A couple shovels of coal on top of a nice wood fire would really stretch things out.

    I don't know what your experience and expectations are, but I was very happy with mine.
  5. jdurant

    jdurant New Member

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    The house I live in, is old poorly insulated plank 2 story colonial house. My attic is not insulated (reinsulating this coming year). I am heating my basement area with radiators and convectors, and I have hot-water baseboard through out the rest of my house. I am remodeling as I go. This house was fitted with a tasso wood/coal boiler before. I just am getting use to this style of boiler. I have not perfected the art of maintaining temp and extending burn times. The tasso has the same concept except that it burned with an pretty good flame. I just do not want a bunch of creosote building up and causing problems. When the logwood gets up to temp it will cut out and eventually drop the boiler temp down to 170 then sloooowly creep back up. I am scared about the temp and creosote.
  6. jdurant

    jdurant New Member

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    hey eric which boiler did you like most your royall boiler or logwood boiler?
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Gee danzig, that's like asking me which of my ex wives I liked the best.

    (Just kidding--been married to the same beautiful woman for the past 27 years).

    But it's a tough question. They were in two different houses, and both fairly well suited to the task at hand. We had the Logwood in a place where the power went out all the time, so it was great to have that natural draft damper and gravity feed up into the house. But I really liked the blower on the Royall for a much quicker response. The Logwood (bought new) sprung a leak after 12 years (not to me, but to the guy I sold the house to--my boss, who had owned it for 3). When I bought the Royall 6150 on Ebay it was about 25 or 30 years old, so it was one tough SOB. And I sold it to a guy who will probably get another 25 years out of it.

    Depends on the application, I guess. The Royall is more of a "load it up and let the blower do the rest" kind of machine, while the Logwood takes some screwing around to get it where you want it. Some people like that. I know I did. Different strokes, and all that.

    You can't go wrong with either one, IMO, but to be honest, both are old technology. They is what they is, and there's nothing wrong with that.
  8. jdurant

    jdurant New Member

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    how full did you load your firebox did you load it to the top or just stack it 2 coarse high?
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Depending on the weather and my schedule, I'd do whatever seemed appropriate. Since all conventional boilers smoke, you're ahead to build a series of small, hot fires whenever possible. But I wouldn't hesitate to load her to the gills if nobody was going to be around to tend the fire, or on cold nights. It used to routinely get down to -30 or -40 in the Adirondacks, and stay there for a week or more. Believe, me, you load that sucker and fire it hard, then get up at 4:00 a.m. and load it again in your underwear when it's that cold. It's probably most efficient with a full firebox, but you pay the price in smoke, I think.
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