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Central Boiler vs Greenwood/Seton

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Brent, Jul 22, 2008.

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  1. Brent

    Brent New Member

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    I'm trying to decide, this week, between an E Classic from Central Boiler or some sort of Greenwood/Seton product.

    My head is spinning from research, and I maybe overthinking the whole thing, but it does seem like a clearly different set of choices.

    I have an unused building 100 feet from my 3400 square foot house that is heated with a propane fired boiler, with radiators on the main floor and radiant heat in the cement floored basement.

    Thanks for any input.

    Brent

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  2. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    i dont think anyones run the e classic long enough to compare. like through the winter. i
  3. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    No way in the world would I buy an E Classic at this point. It's a totally unproven product. You, and others who buy them, will basically be doing the field testing from what I have been able to ascertain. Virtually no information is available on field performance of them.

    Keep on looking.

    Is there storage in your future plans?
  4. Brent

    Brent New Member

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    There is storage in my future plans, just not in the near future. One of the options Greenwood is offering is a battery backup, I suppose to keep boil overs at a minimum, although they don't really say why.
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    IMHO, a dump zone or other load that will automatically (gravity) circulate and shed heat during a power or circulator failure should be installed in your piping system. Battery backup only solves the overheat problem during a power outage, There are a lot of other scenarios that can lead to an over heat situation that are best addressed by some intelligent design in your piping layout. I wouldn't put too much faith in the battery backup as it only solves one problem and about the time you need it the battery itself may be toast.
  6. Brent

    Brent New Member

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    The tentative plan (until I decide for sure what to buy) includes a greenhouse directly adjecent to the boiler, with, for lack of a better word, a heat sink of gravel.
  7. ecrane99

    ecrane99 New Member

    Joined:
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    CT
    The most popular outdoor gasifier and or EPA approved units are:

    Greenwood Aspen
    Central Boiler E-2300
    Sequoyah Gasification E3400

    They cost about 10k and none have been in use very long so there is not much feedback.

    Below has been my experience with the companies:

    Greenwood has bad customer support and question if they will continue to be in business in 5 years from now.
    altough the Aspen 175 seems to be a very repectable unit, GW actually didn't design it. They bought it from a company called empyre.
    If you don't care about customer support and warranty claims, this is the company for you.
    The VP of the company appears to have his hand in other ventures. Also, he won't respond to any of my emails.
    It is very common that you have to leave a message when you call any of their published numbers. Then they will decide if and when to call you back.


    Central Boiler has the E-2300. It is bigger than the Aspen 175 and holds much more water, so it may be overkill for some. It only ships in one color (crap brown). They plan to introduce a smaller unit nest year.
    CB have aggressive sale campaign along and may be a bit misleading in some of their claims. The good thing about CB is that they sell tons of boilers and have lots of customers. This means they acually have local dealers that will be there if you need them for parts and support.

    Sequoyah has the 3300 and 3400. The 3400 is the larger unit that has the EPA tag on it. The 3400 is smaller but has not tag due to the $60,000 application fee required for the EPA process. I assume they may have the 3300 approved next year. In any case both furnaces use the same gasification technology which give the customer the option to corectley size the unit to house. Barret industries sells the units and basically shippes the to your house where you will need to figure out how to pick it off the truck. This company does not have a good network of local dealers. I was put in touch with a dealer and found out he is a farmer, that sells a 2 or 3 furnaces a year as a side business. On the flip side, Sequoyah website as a video tour of the furnace which I thought was pretty informative. Also they are happy to answer questions and are frendly when you call.

    I don't own a wood furnace yet, but will probably end up with one of the above as there really isn't anything proven out there yet. I'm sure we will see this market explode over the next few years, but I don't have the time to wait. I have found folkes using each of the above units and have no reports of significant problems with any of them.
  8. Brent

    Brent New Member

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    It appears we've pretty much followed the same train of thought. I don't care about the color of the boiler, and I don't care so much about a couiple thousand dollars either way on price. I do care about clean burning, amount of wood used, and pain-in-the-neck factor. I ran a large farm with a lot of technology for many years, so I'm not scared of complicated equipment, just don't enjoy mucking about with trial and error getting something to work.
  9. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    The most popular outdoor gasifier and or EPA approved units are:

    Greenwood Aspen
    Central Boiler E-2300
    Sequoyah Gasification E3400

    ??????

    Is this based upon sales or some data? I was supprised to see Sequoyah in the top 3. All I read on this forum is the EKO's, Tarm's, GARN's, GW's and a few others that slip my mind.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think ecrane is just giving his personal experience and opinions from recent shopping....nothing more or less.
  11. ecrane99

    ecrane99 New Member

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    Keywords are outdoor and EPA approved. There are very few manufactures. I just listed the three companies that seemed to be selling the most of this type. Ekos, Tarms and Garns dont make EPA approved outdoor boilers just indoor units (or shed).
  12. jpowell1979

    jpowell1979 Member

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    I have had no problems with my Greenwood model 100. I would take the increased efficiency of the Greenwood over the Central boiler any day. With the current cost of heating oil I don't think that Greenwood will be going anywhere. Talking to the local dealer it sound like the lack of customer support is because they are so busy. It took Greenwood 2 days to call me back when I had a question, but when they did call me back they were very helpful and even followed a week later to make sure that everything worked OK.
  13. chase2378

    chase2378 New Member

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    NJ
    Hi folks, new guy here. I. like lots of folks are looking for a way to reduce my potential heating bill of $ 8,000 this year. I heard about the Greenwood Aspen Boilers and was wondering if anyone has any experience with this unit? The price I was quoted was $ 10K + installation. Are they efficient? What about smoke? And how much wood do I need to use it thru our NJ heating season? Do I have to split it or do these boilers take log rounds? What amount of water resevoir should I look to get? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!!
  14. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    It surprises me how many people that don't own a Greenwood make negative comments about the unit and customer support. I have absolutely no affiliation with the company (learned about their product on the internet) and have had a positive experience. Customer support has let me talk with various people within the company when I have had technical questions as well supplied to me small parts when required without delay. The only issue that I have had with my greenwood has ben a creosote build up on the heat transfer tubes as a result of cool water return but that was an installer issue not a product or customer service issue. In hindsight, Greenwood could have suggested that there units required boiler return protection but as i am finding out, it appears as if most qualified professional boiler installers already know this.
  15. ecrane99

    ecrane99 New Member

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    The reason I feel qualified to comment on the support is because I have dealt with them and their designated local dealers on an Aspen 175 I had on order.
    I don't see anything in this thread stating anything negative about Greenwood products. Maybe someone else is telling you negative things about greenwod(??)
  16. SE Iowa

    SE Iowa New Member

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    Chase 2378

    $8000 for heating oil? How large of a home are you heating? I didn't think NJ winters were that bad. I'd look into better insulation if it is an old house etc b/f I'd worry about heating with wood.
  17. WoodFarmer

    WoodFarmer New Member

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    Chase - I'm looking into these units in NJ also and would like to compare notes.
  18. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    MY GW100 will be operating two year come January. This summer we are running it a lot for DHW. Just my opinion, but GW's servce sucks. The unit itself seems fine, except that the refractory cracks - probably from thermal shock - too easily.

    Depending on whether I have to buy wood this year, my payback should be about April 2010. Would I buy another? Maybe. But not until I was positive that the Vitolig200 was unavailable.

    Jimbo
  19. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    I have a Seton 100 on line for one season. I have no refractory cracking issues. My unit, though, was not put together very well and leaks at a lot of the seams. I will need to seal it up somehow. But overall, I am impressed with unit. It has a lot of potential. The best feature is the whole logs that it burns. Not splitting and stacking means a lot less work.
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