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Do they make a left handed smoke bender? seriously I could use help

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by infinitymike, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    It's a Windhager that was set up in their training lab in Seekirchen Austria. I have a hunch we'll be seeing them here within a year.

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  2. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    No Mike, you screw that thing directly to his head!
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  3. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Or shove it some where else<>
  4. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Ok so I don't want to make this another heated "WoodGun doesn't idle, yes it does" thread, but what exactly does it mean when you say you have been running an idling boiler for 4 years.

    How does the biomass work. For example the water temp is at it's set point limit. The house calls for heat, the water temp in the boiler begins to drop, when the water temp hits the differential setting on the aqua stat, the unit turns on? meaning the fan starts pulling/pushing air and the embers which were sitting in the firebox smoldering begin to come to life and the fire becomes fully involved? Heating the water until it reaches its setpoint again where it will then shut off the fan and the fire will just smolder in the firebox? All along, whether the fan is on or off there is some sort of smoke or smell coming out of the stack?

    Just asking to become more educated on the way other units operate.
  5. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    I assume what you described is pretty much how the the WG operates. My old boiler idled about the same but the fan would kick on periodically to keep the coals hot so it could restart when there was a call for heat again.

    From what I understand the difference is that the WG does not run the fan unless there is a call for heat. The WG relies on the large refractory to maintain enough heat to relight while in idle mode.

    FYI Websters dictionary definition of idle - not turned to normal or appropriate use. (So if it is not making heat it is idling)
  6. __dan

    __dan Feeling the Heat

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    Mike, I would suggest two more things.

    Contact the Woodgun factory, lay out the problem to them, and ask if there are any mitigating measures they can suggest. Or if there are any accessories that have been tested or are being tested to accommodate this situation. Do this in email and keep the written trail because in the future you may want to show you have been diligent about pursuing remedies and not ignoring, neglecting, the problem (even if there is no fix, play the game).

    Second is get the wood boiler added in writing to your insurance policy. Your insurer will tell you what you need to do to comply. Do not mention the cranky neighbor, just the appliance. That way in the future if it gets litigated, your rights will be secure and your homeowners should take and defend your side. With no insurer, your could still prevail, but be crushed by the lawyer fees.

    By convention, homes have been heated with wood burning since colonial times. Your heat is likely also a basic civil right you cannot be deprived of without recourse (US federal code 18-240's civil rights laws). You should be able to be secure in your rights even if it smokes, but you will have to comply with the conventions and codes as they are now.
  7. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    EXACTLY :)

  8. I'm really trying hard here.::P
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  9. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Mmmm sounds like your a lawyer of some sort. Thanks.
    I will contact AHS and see if there is any thing that can be done.

    As far as the insurance goes, My carrier fully knows about the unit. They have pictures of the installation process and the entire set up as well as invoices from the licensed contractors that did all the work, which includes my license for some of the carpentry work.

    The only thing I regret is not getting something in writing from the town when they said I don't need a permit. :(
    I'm sure they will have selective memory if it comes down to that.
  10. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thanks
  11. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Try really hard to find a real solution to making wood not smell when it burns.:p
  12. If a tree burns when no one is awake to smell it does it make a smell?

    Get some storage and burn at night.
  13. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thats funny.
  14. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Is the pool in the picture yours or the nieghbor's?
    Is the fence line the boundary of your property?
  15. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    So is storage an option in your situation?

    It keeps getting suggested but you didn't say (I don't think) your thoughts on it re. your situation/layout. If you've ruled it out, maybe you could post that (maybe along with why), and then it won't keep being suggested.

    It does keep being suggested though as it is a possible real solution to your problem - and would have side benefits for you aside from just appeasing your neighbours.
  16. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    http://www.outdoorfurnacefacts.com/wood-corn-heating-best-practices/best-burn-practices/index.html

    I think the suggestions here for the chimney hieghts are interesting. I think that if we where all building new homes we would design accordingly. But retrofits to existing homes are really tough. They all require case specific considerations.
    What I also found interesting is that all the EPA white tag OWB where approved as batch loads.
    Which leans toward additional storage and batch burning in my mind.
  17. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

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    I think I see where you are going here...
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'll throw in another thought on your chimney.

    From what I've read, the Wood Gun pumps a lot of air throught itself so I'm assuming there's a bit of force behind what's coming out the top of your chimney. A cap would serve to deflect that force out sideways as soon as it hit the top of your chimney. If there was no cap there, all the force out the top would keep going up into the air with no restriction, aside from wind currents or whatever slowing effect the cooling outside air would have on it when it got out into the open.

    I guess what that's trying to say is, try it with no cap for a while. Most of what's coming out the chimney might then get far enough up in the air to miss your neighbour. I'm not sure that would be a permanent solution though as personally I like having a cap on there to keep rain water out - but maybe there are caps available that aren't as restrictive to upward flow but would still keep most of the water out? Some of the ones that move around with the wind might help with that.
  19. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Mike, I really have no interest in engaging in the Gun discussion. But my experience with the BioMass has proven some solid fuel burning fundamentals to me. My first BioMass season we'll pretend didn't happen. The second, I was so excited because I thot I had found the secret to long burns, turn the fan waaay down (50-60% fan setting) to keep a smoldering, low energetic fire. I bragged extensively of how I had discovered the secret formula to extend loading to... maybe 6-8 hours. Not sure I mentioned back then how either my wife or I needed to go out and stir the coals and baby sit the boiler several times an hour due to bridging or blow holes (evidenced by wisps of smoke/smell). Started season 3 with the same approach but better seasoned wood. Mid-season discovered 80% fan kept the whole boiler/combustion area and coals hotter which required far less tending, but consequently more idling, but far less baby sitting. Season 4, 80% all season, the best seasoned wood so far, better coal bed maintenance, far less incidences of smoke/smell, and the far less baby sitting (not opening the upper door mid-burn). Finally for extended periods on cold days, read that minimal idling, I saw my gasification boiler operating when it was the happiest, least instance of hints of smoke, fewest instances of needing to open the upper door mid-burn, and longest periods of time observing just a shimmering wave of heat out the flue with a wisp of steam. Up until this year, I hated the thot of starting fires multiple times a day so didn't think storage was for me, but now I see the benefits of burning as hard and hot as possible, put the excess energy somewhere, and not think your can successfully throttle energy output of wood logs. I would bet that your idling time is similar to mine. I have a very inefficient large home in a more temperate climate. I'm certain your new construction is far more efficient in a far colder climate. On those very cold days when my boiler hardly idled, all I see is that shimmering out the stack and no scent. We are in the middle of a large tract of land so we are the only scent producer. I wish I had looked before I started this post. At this moment Nofossil has posted burn and storage plots of his system on another thread. After I post this reply I'll try to find it. You'll see from his plots, I'm working from memory, his burns each day are about 12 or less hours. This thread has many storage operators that can chime in how long their burns are. Probably more or less based on storage capacity, etc. Point is, your system like mine at the moment needs to keep some low level fire going all day long to respond to demand, no matter how infrequent, which will get far worse as shoulder season approaches. I've seen first hand how a hot, energetic coal bed minimizes basically pollution out the stack. I've read here that there are European countries or cities that operating a solid fuel boiler without storage is illegal. I see that as less of an efficiency issue and more of minimizing pollution in a densely populated area. I know if I was in a neighborhood the way my boiler has been operated over the last 4 years, I'd have lots of pissed off neighbors and I couldn't blame them. My bet is that on your very cold days, when your Gun is continuously pumping out the btus and staying hot, your neighbor probably doesn't know you have a boiler. It's on those days when it's more temperate and he's outside more, that all your neighbors know you burn wood. It's just me, but I'd go poll your other neighbors and I'll bet they've noticed the scent, it's just that they're more tolerant or less sensitive or they have less time on their hands. Sorry so long, but if the Gun blows products of combustion thru a coal bed, then you and I have very much in common regardless of all the humma humma Gun refractory, re-light blah blah that I care nothing about. Now I gotta go make money.
  20. dogwood

    dogwood Minister of Fire

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    Mike, if Fred is still too busy to take care of this business for you, I'll be visiting family in Huntington this summer and since you're both a "homey" and a fellow Hearth member .............................. No need to put in storage or a new chimney cap.:cool:
    Tennman likes this.
  21. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    I believe it is illegal to even idle a wood boiler in Sweden. That's likely why my boiler cannot idle.

    I burn about 8-10hrs a day with my storage. I remember saying I never on the storage topic but now I think its the only way to burn wood.

    So is storage a possibility for you?
  22. dogwood

    dogwood Minister of Fire

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    Maybe these Swedes need to be taken care of too.
  23. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I think the one thing that has slipped from the minds of all the helpful people is that the Wood Gun puts out this odor at full burn. I think Mike agrees that idle or exiting idle is not the problem and if it were, the odor emmitted is more tolerable than the acrid sulpher smell that I assume the neighbor is complaining about. That is why I made the suggestion back in post #3 (I think) to remove the cap and add a length of pipe.

    The one problem with removing the cap is that the smoke pipe location appears to to have lots of obstructions around it that would cause natural air currents to rise up over them and flow downward into the stack. Caps are installed for a couple reasons and one is to prevent downdrafts from the reason I just stated. A stack that is high enough will allow the exhaust to rise better and faster without a cap which would be a plus given the low stack temperatures.

    At times when I'm out driving I notice people's chimneys and I can tell who has the hottest stack by the upward flow of the smoke before it dissapates. If removing the cap would solve the problem, I wouldn't worry about the rain. Tackle that challenge later.
  24. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

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    Good point, Fred. Honestly this odor issue puzzles me as it is not something I have experienced. Like I said earlier, the only smell I get at full burn is a faint toasted wood smell. No sulfur/acrid smell ever.

    All this points right back to incomplete combustion and storage is not going to solve things if that is the case. Tough situation until this aspect is solved, IMO.

    Noah
  25. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

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    Whoa Mike!!!!

    Don't forget about Garn, they are pretty against idling as well.;)

    Noah

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