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E classic 1450 or PM Optimizer 250

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jon 2701, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I have been on this forum before and was referred to the PM OPT 250. I did a little more sizing research and think that the OPT 250 would be too large. My house is 1900 sg ft ranch with radiant and I will be installing two 50k btu modine heaters. One for the garage and one for the basement. The house is new const with great insulation. Garage is attached with great insulation. Basement is the same. I also heat an indirect 50 gal water heater. Both Modine heaters will be piped into the oil boiler and a plate exchanger used for transfer.. I really like the PM but they do not make a smaller unit. The PM has no dealer in NH where as CB is 20 miles away. Let me also add. Please do not refer me to an indoor unit with storage as I do not want it with %110 certainty. No wood indoors Period!. It seems that the dealer says 1" thermopex is adequate with a 50 plate exchanger. If my boiler was running full output it seems undersized. I did a little searching here on the 1450 and did not find much info. How about real world heating capacity of the unit? I will be burning all hardwood. Any input would be great. Thanks.
    I know there is a big debate on pipe, but no one ever mentioned this brand. I know it is a closed cell foam product..

    http://www.badgerinsulatedpipe.com/Insulated-Underground-Tubing_c19.htm
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

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  2. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

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    Hello Jon,

    What is the design heat load of everything you want to heat? How much oil are you burning through a year?
    A thorough heat load calculation is a must for making proper heating system decisions. To me it is really important to crunch all these numbers before spending 8-10k on an OWB. Personally I would build a small insulated building for an indoor unit before going with the outdoor variety but that's me. My setup is in the space I am wanting to heat so all standby losses are providing some benefit.

    No offense meant here but a house with great insulation should not require a heating system like you are looking at. IMO a 1900 sq ft house with great insulation in NH would not really need more 30 to 40 million btus/winter to be comfortable. That would be 250 to 350 gallons of oil, depending on eff.% or about 2 cords of wood whereas any outdoor wood boiler is likely to have a minimum of 1 cord worth of standby heat loss per winter, probably more.

    I think with some solid heat load numbers the smart folks here can give you some opinions worth considering on the best way to spend your money.

    Good luck,

    Noah
  3. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I did a heat loss calc worksheet and it worked up to 39k btu per hour. This does not include the heated attached garage that I will heat with a 50k btu heater nor the basement with a 50 k btu heater and the indirect hot water. Both the basement and garage are well insulated and will be kept at 55 degrees. Oil burned per winter is unknown since the house was vacant and there is no record.
  4. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    You do not need to count the indirect in the calculation, unless you have 4+ teenage girls taking back to back 1/2hour showers...... With a heating load of 39K/hour you'll end up with any wood boiler indoor or out, idling the majority of the time and will consume much more wood and creosote up, gasser or not. If you have that kind of heating load and want to burn wood in a boiler, storage somewhere (garage, basement) is a must IMHO.

    You are 110% against having wood in the house, so have in the garage (boiler and storage) instead. You will not find much love on here for OWB

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/best-owb-video-i-have-ever-seen.113364/

    TS
    flyingcow likes this.
  5. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Not wanting wood in the house is no reason to rule out an indoor boiler & storage. You can put it (boiler) in its own space (shed, partioned off garage space..), and put the storage either with it or in the basement (I'd put in basment). After living in both worlds, I would never again have a wood boiler of any kind without storage inside my house.
    woodsmaster and BoilerMan like this.
  6. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    How much would is wasted idling ? A previous post said one cord. If so that is nothing. I have 200 acres of hardwood available. The OWB is a much simpler less complicated install taking up a lot less space not involving a whole other bldg. I truly appreciate the idea of the indoor boiler and think it is a better idea. I would like to keep this as simple and compact as possible. My only concern is what kind of longevity can I expect from the OWB? I am super meticulous when it comes to maintenance. I do not miss a thing. I understand fully the indoor unit is pressurized which gives it the longevity. If I can an OWB to last 25 years I would be very happy. The CB e1400 is only 9k. Probably less than an indoor unit with storage. Real world longevity is my only concern.
  7. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    jon 2701:
    There is a dealer for PM in NH he is outside of Concord. PM web site to get his contact.

    I would take a hard look @ the new Garn jr. if you are looking for simplicity. others will jump in soon.
    heaterman likes this.
  8. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    perhaps 1 cord idling (likely more), but many more cords due to less efficiency. this was recently posted in another thread. a gasser would have burned up all this wood gas and sent the heat to your water.


    dont forget the cost and complexity of heat exchanger when weighing options. and idk any OWB to last 25 years, what i hear is more like 10yrs...
    nrcrash likes this.
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    A friend of mine had to replace his Wood Doctor after 4 years - it turned itself into an Extra-Large lawn sprinkler.

    There are guys around that have had OWBs for longer than that though - but I will need to plead ignorance on them.
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    How much wood wasted in idling? I have measured the standby loss alone on 2 different units under actual filed conditions, one with foam insulation one with fiberglass. Both of them were loosing over 5,000btu per hour just from the jacket. Add losses from the underground line and out the stack and you are usually looking at 7,000 conservatively. That's 168,000btu per day or the equivalent of at least one full cord of wood about every three months figuring 20,000,000 btu per cord.
    That figure does not reflect the actual combustion efficiency of the unit, just the jacket losses. Regardless of losses from idling, that alone should give an intelligent person cause to stop and consider what he is getting into when placing a piece of heating equipment out in the yard.

    Longevity? I have dealt with a couple insurance companies on several failure claims for OWB's. (Did you know that some home owners policies will cover heating equipment?)
    The representatives from both companies told me that their statistics show the average life of an OWB, regardless of brand, is between 7-9 years. Some less, some more if given extreme maintenance. You will not get 25 years from any OWB.
    I would absolutely not anticipate or plan on more than 10 years of life. Two of my brothers have OWB's that are 9 and 11 years old respectively. Both have had numerous repairs, including welding up holes in the firebox and outside water jacket and they maintain the water chemistry religiously. They are both going to try to get one more winter out of them to use up the wood they have cut and then switch to a pellet boiler.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
    Vizsla likes this.
  11. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    Let me get this straight. If I burn Sept 1 to May1 (32 weeks) . I will waste 32 cords of wood in standby. Then whatever I use for heat. That sounds impossible. I know two people personally that burn the CB classic 6048 form sept to may and heat 2500 sg ft with hot water and burn 9 cords per year. Not even close to your estimation. Unless I am missing what you are telling me.
  12. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Jon

    Let me clarify that for you a little if I can.
    Assume an OWB holding 150 gallons of water. The heat lost out of that 150 gallons by dropping the temp only 1 degree equals 1,249 btu's. That's a fact of physics. If you drop it 5* that comes out to 6,245btu's.
    Those numbers are set in stone and do not vary.:cool:

    The two major variables that my example does not take into consideration are the outside temperature and the actual water temperature. Both of which influence the actual "standby" heat lost from the boiler to a very large degree. (Heat loss is never a constant)

    Dropping the water temperature in the boiler from 180* to 150* reduces the heat lost just as working with an outside temp of 60* in September vs -15* in January or February will do also. The greater the ::DTT, the greater the heat lost to the wide open spaces.
    The numbers I measured were taken on a below 0 day (colder than a well diggers butt as we say around here) and the boiler water temp setpoint was 175 with a 5* differential. They are accurate and if those conditions held true for an entire week you would indeed see that kind of wood consumption with those particular boilers._g

    Bottom line is that standby heat loss on an OWB is significant and should be factored into your equation of how much wood you will go through. Exactly how much encompasses more variables than I would care to calculate without getting paid for my time. ;)
  13. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Think there's a bit of muddle up with your figures two posts up.

    20,000,000 btu/cord at 168,000 btu/day would equal 1 cord in 119 days, not one week.
  14. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    No, bottom line is your math is off by a factor of 17 and you can't be bothered to read you own post and get the arithmetic straight.
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Good grief! I just went back and read through my first post.:eek:
    Apologies offered for the math.:(
    I should know better than to attempt writing a parts order while doodling on Hearth....Maybe better go back and double check that too before I wind up with 600 pumps or something like that......

    I have no idea what I did there but it's fixed now.
    flyingcow likes this.
  16. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I definitely appreciate the benefits of more water storage. The extra two cords of wood I will waste with the CB E1450 is not a big concern of mine. Why is the longevity of the CB product shorter than the Garn junior being that they are both non pressure units? If so and why is that? Is it the steel quality or is it the design that will give the CB a shorter life? Thanks
  17. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Why waste the wood? If you have it cool, but still better to not burn it. you can put up extra wood and sell it dry and offset your heating costs. $250 - $330 a cord.
    Ok- CB and Garn are two different style units.
    my point is that with the EPA OWB you are approaching the cost of a much more efficient boiler. Take your total costs and divide by anticipated longevity the math is a big deciding factor.
    in ten years you burn 2 extra cords = 20 extra cords x $290(avg) = $ 5800 total waste
    The other Factor is the environmental impact and the laws written for them. I assume you are in NH so look at setback requirements. less wood = less smoke = less impact
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  18. leon

    leon Member

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    I have had the same indoor wood and coal boiler for 31 years now so that speaks to thier longevity.

    The other thing is that it is pressurised as well and filled half full of firebrick to increase the ability of the
    boiler to become a heat sink.

    The gentleman with the wood doctor video is hilarious and as I have said before if people filled
    these bloody things half full or more with full fire brick they would see their wood use drop way off once
    the heating season starts and the fireboxes will last so much longer as the firebrick comes between the fire and the boiler.

    If you do anything purchase a Harman SF360 and storage and put it in an insulated shed or an
    addition to your garage.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  19. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    Setback and wood consumption is not an issue. I have 200 acres. Smoke with the new CB gasifiers from what I have seen is non existent. My question is with the Garn Vs the CB. They are both non pressurized open systems. So how does the Garn get its longevity or is it equal?
  20. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Well- non existent would be tough with any unit.

    I would ask your CB dealer for a list of users in your area and you could visit and see the units in operation. I believe most of the NH state sheds are running E-classics you should get candid response from them.

    I do not know how old the oldest garn is or the life expectancy of their units. But I bet 20-30 years with proper treatment. others may have real info I am speculating on that.

    Resale value is most certainly higher on the Garn based on the asking prices I see here and Craigslist for Wood boilers. again I do not know actual sale prices of the sold units.

    I would give Garn a call and talk the rep in your area. I would also call a few of the other manufactures before ruling out an indoor gasser with storage. Lots of options for Storage and plumbing.

    IMHO- the difference in longevity is based on the design. Garn is a batch burn and the CB is not. therefore the CB will idle when not calling for heat. And this would apply to other brands as well that do not idle.

    If you are in NH you are welcome to PM me and I can give you contact info for CB, Garn, Froling, P&M,Vigas
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  21. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    E-classic's are not the same animal as a 6048. My neighbor has an E-Classic, i can see the smoke from 1000ft away. A good friend across town has a 6048, it rolls some serious smoke when it's cooking. If I had to choose between the two i would take the 6048. But i didn't, my 7$k indoor unit located next door in an unattached building, works very well for me. Wood is not in the house. i do have storage, but not all indoor gassers require it. IMO, storage helps with efficiency, but is more beneficial for convenience.

    Also, i just had these installed in my househttp://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/en/consumer/lifestyle-benefits/energy-efficient

    Works extremely well for heat or A/C.
  22. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    Ne wood , Dont forget the Vigas
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  23. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I spoke with PM and their unit is way too large. I spoke with Garn and it looks interesting but I would rather burn two extra cord of wood a year than have to build an entire structure around it. I already spoke to CB. Vigas and Frolling I have not spoke with. These two would also require another outdoor structure to utilize them. I am not willing to put anything inside my home . I heated with indoor wood for years and I despise the dirt and dust indoors.
  24. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Even if you had 1000 acres of firewood, burning less is better for the environment. I don't know how old you are nor how many years you plan on burning wood and up to what age. If you are on your own and in your mid seventies with compromised health without the help of family, processing a cord of wood is a major undertaking. I burn three cords of wood per season and that is about all I want to do. It takes me more than twice as long and a lot more perspiration to process and stack my wood than it did 20 years ago.

    I suggest you take some time to make your decision after listening to the experienced contributors here. You are not the first person to ask the opinions of the experts here after having made up your mind what you are going to install. Heck, some have already purchased their boiler before asking for opinions.
  25. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    I have had the opportunity to operate and observe the wood consumption of a pre gasification indoor wood boiler without and with storage . Without storage it would burn 16 cords per year :oops:and when 1,000 gallons of storage was added it burned 10 cords per year!!!, standby loss is huge.This boiler was not grossly over sized at 90,000 gross btu's per hour .
    The Jetstream with the same storage and load burns 4 1/2 cords per year !:)
    BoilerMan likes this.

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