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Connecting to previous OWB system

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by BillsWS, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    I am just starting to investigate the idea of adding a gassifier to my home. Due to a run-in with a woosy neighbor and the city's willingness to "side" with him I removed my Central Boiler OWB a few years ago. I installed a BK Princess in the basement (see avatar) last year (love it) that of course won't heat the whole house or the hot water. I heat three floors (in floor heat), the attached garage and the bonus room over the garage. Extremely well insulated with Icynene, excellent windows, 10 years old. When I removed the OWB I left everything intact. Water to water exchanger, insulated pipe going outside, etc... I am thinking it would be "fairly easy" to add a gassifier in the garage and either run new pipes to the gas boiler (already in the garage) or possibly tie into the plastic pipes we have in place from the OWB. I would like to keep it so that the gas boiler comes on automatically when the wood goes out. Would I need to use a gassifier that is "open" or would it be difficult to convert to a pressurized system? Are there advantaes of one over the other? From what I am reading on here having water storage makes sense so unless room restraints determine otherwise, I like the idea of having the buffer of storage (whew, long post). I am sure as I keep reading here some of these questions will be answered but I wanted to introduce myself and start some dialogue. Hi, I'm Bill :p

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  2. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    http://www.portageandmainboilers.com/gasification.html

    If you have everything still in place and don't mind loading the boiler outside, you could install a gasification boiler where your OWB was. The only difference is gasification boilers need DRY wood, whether installed inside or outside, no green stuff.

    A friend of mine switched from convential OWB, to Gasification OWB because HE could not put up with the smoke anymore.
    He loves it, very little smoke on startup from idle, then no smoke whatsoever.

    Check out link above on well made boiler. Good luck!
  3. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks BoilerBob. I really didn't have a smoke issue but a neighbor issue. I had dry wood so not much of a smoke problem. I called the city to find out if I could put the BK inside the house last year and was told I could put a wood appliance in the house or garage. I said "what if the neighbor complains?" He said "the neighbor complains all the time. He calls us often because he can smell smoke from other neighbors who have in house wood burners and we tell him there is nothing we can do, there is no ordance against wood appliances in the house or garage." After I hung up the phone I thought, then how did you know it was my smoke he was smelling a few years ago when they forced me to take out the OWB? So, the issue is the ordance saying no OWB, nothing about inside. I can add a room to the end or back of the garage making it part of my house and legally install the gassifier. I might be able to add a detached garage and go that route. I will call the city today and ask about a detached garage. I will read your link when I get home from work tonight. Thanks, Bill.
  4. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    LOL! Yeah sounds quite silly. So if you had built a "garage" around your OWB, it would pass code!!!
  5. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    As far as the fire inspector is concerned, if I have an additional detached garage with a boiler in it and I can prove it is an inside boiler, I am ok. They turned down a request from the local ski hill (less than a mile from me) to build a shack around an OWB. I have not talked with the zoning folks yet, waiting for a call back from them. Are any of the gassifiers non pressurized? Is my thinking right that if I use the underground plastic pipes I had in with the Central Boiler OWB, I would need an open system?
  6. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    Yes there are gassers that are open, altought you don't have to put a open boiler. You can install a pressurized boiler system with the existing pipes. We are only talking "15 to 25" psi.
  7. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

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    Southwestern VA
    Bill,

    Are your existing underground lines oxygen barrier pipe? What size pipe? And are they foil/bubble wrapped inside of drain tile or better quality? It would be nice to lose the HX and extra pump(by going closed,pressurized) but not the thing to do with non barrier pipe. And if its poorly insulated underground pipe, I would do my best to avoid using it-period.



    Noah
  8. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    I bought the lines from the Central Boiler supplier. Both lines encased in a black plastic and filled with foam insulation. Install was originally 7(?) years ago so I am not sure if therer was an oxygen barrier or not. I could probably find out. I think the lines are 3/4 ID. Good questions I will need answers to.
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think I'd go any smaller than 1-1/4" for moving heat from a boiler. Certainly no smaller than 1", but you'd likely then need more pumping capacity than you otherwise would (and more electricity).

    Is that closed cell foam?

    Not saying this is some of it, but there have been some really crappy inground piping products sold & installed. Anything that will let moisture in is bad - that's a straight shot for the heat to get taken out. Pictures might help.
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    We just did what you are thinking about for a guy that had a CB sitting out on a pad. He built a little 8'x8' shed and put a new pellet boiler in it. Worked out really well for him.
  11. BillsWS

    BillsWS Feeling the Heat

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    Maple, here is the stuff from my install, the 1" green http://www.thermopex.com/ I think the inside diameter was 3/4" (I measured a fitting tonight, not the tubing). I didn't keep track of wood usage but I heated my house and DHW and it was maybe 5 - 7 cords for the year. My underground run was maybe 50 ft.

    Heaterman, sounds great. What size were the underground lines? My CB didn't have any big monster pump on it, and the whole thing seemed to work fine for us.
  12. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    The underground lines were standard 1" Wirsbo/Uponor pex. We installed a Wilo S21 circ on it and only have to run it on speed 2 to carry the heat required. This is due to 2 factors.
    Undergound tubing is under 100' round trip and the temp drop generated by the radiant slab it's connected to is around 40*. We just don't need much more than 4-5GPM to carry max boiler output of 88,000btu.

    The pump aquastat built into the pellet boiler provides water temp protection and kicks off the circ at about 120*. For a wood fired boiler you would want the boiler protection at about 140+.

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