E-Classic Update

antos_ketcham Posted By antos_ketcham, Oct 18, 2008 at 11:41 AM

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  1. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    Now that it has turned colder here in VT I thought I would post a quick update and see how other E-Classic owners are doing.

    The amount of visible smoke has nearly vanished with the colder weather and the increased heat load. I am now adding a few chunks of wood every other day rather than only twice a week.

    I still have my paper clip in for air when the solenoid is closed, but I suspect I can remove this anytime now that the unit is firing frequently.

    I learned from Warm in VT that his dealer recommended not loading the firebox higher than the firebrick. I have tried this and it does seem to improve the cleanliness of the burn.

    My main observation as far as smoke is concerned is that the drier the wood - the better this unit works. That is not really a revelation as this is true with all wood burning, but with this next gen. OWB it seems to be crucial to it performing as advertised.

    So that said, next summer I will build a woodshed over and around the boiler so I can keep my wood drier - if anyone has good photos of such an arrangement, I'd like to see them.

    If anyone has any questions - feel free to email.

    Pete
     
  2. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic
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    That's good to know... So the primary firebox on those has firebrick in it too?
     
  3. logjammed

    logjammed
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    Jul 24, 2008
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    So far in my little experience with the e-classic my burn procedures are starting the fire with very little pallet wood ,establishing a coal base , then loading with approx. 1/2 wheel barrow of small splits of maple,getting the unit up to temp 180f, then loading some larger splits of pine ,rounds and chunk. this procedure virtually elimanates the possibility of nuisance smoke. watching this unit under full burn with no smoke is pretty cool,but keeping that coal base seems critical. at times due to the size and possible re-loading times i have lost the coal base and it would smoke some ( not excessive ) , just shaking up the pile would clean stack up almost immediatly. I have been performing this procedure daily for hot water (60 gallon superstore )and maintaining water in existing boiler for its transfer. oil burner has not come on in two weeks. heats been on three night so far , wife says its too hot , kids too . I can't win 3 girls in the house. i am very happy so far the only problem i have come across was the temp. sensor readings would randomly fluctuate and i am monitering that.
     
  4. jd6030

    jd6030
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    May 21, 2008
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    Got my E classic fired yesterday and very impressed with operation of it. Used dual fuel for first fire and that is worth the extra money to get a nice hot fire and start of a good coal bed it took 3 hours to get it to temparature. Now using wood mode only after first warm up and has been working good. Can't tell when it running or idleing during day and some smoke at night but vanishes 30 feet away from stack. It seems to smoke the most after loading with wood for around 10 mins then it starts to go away but this is with wood that isn't fully seasoned but definately dry enough to burn. The classic stove would be jeaulous.
     
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow
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    Just bumping this because I got a neighbor that is about ready to install his. I'll print this off and give to him. Any more thoughts?.............
     
  6. ecrane99

    ecrane99
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    May 14, 2008
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    E-Classic notes from Ed in CT:

    I have the wood only unit

    1) had the problem of fire going out. Put a paper clip on the primary air disc and now the fire stays lit.
    unit blows air until watertemp reaches 185, then shuts down. Blower turns on at 180. this process continues.
    If the water temp falls to 175, the primary and secondary blowers turn on. With the paperclip, my fire never drops below 179 and burns nice now.

    2) Noticed alot of black gooey creosote buildup on the firebox walls and ceiling.

    3) Bypass door sticks . probably due to creosote.

    4) found it important to use smaller logs and splits as they seem to keep the ash bed.
    Ash bed is important on this furnace. Without a good ashbed, the unit will smoke.


    5) I'm still getting the hang of it and I think when the temps cool down, the unit will perform better and maybe less creosote.

    6) I'm using 3 sections of chiminey. Draft is good.

    7) I have the furnace on heavy duty patio type blocks. I was worried about the wieght but they held up well without any cracking.

    8) The lights on the furnace are only good for the surounding area. Inpecting or loading wood requires a flashlight if the system is in idle mode as the is no flam in the firebox. I try to do my loading before sunset.

    9) I'm building a shed / lean to next to the furnace. It will keep me dry when loading and provide a place to hang my shovel, gloves etc.

    10) Overall I am happy with it so far.
     
  7. jklingel

    jklingel
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    Oct 23, 2007
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    Dang! I sort of scratched the eClassic off my list, as I figured they would not burn as advertised. Good to hear they seem to be doing well. Pls keep us posted on the creosote, etc. Thanks. j
     
  8. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    Good Report ecrane.

    I would echo all of your observations. I think what is interesting is that despite the gooey creosote that can form in the firebox, the secondary chamber, the heat exchanger tubes, and the chimney are all clean.

    I pulled the turbulators from the Hx tubes expecting to find creosote and they were clean with the exception of the top 1/5th that had a dry fly ash on it.

    Pete


     
  9. jklingel

    jklingel
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    Oct 23, 2007
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    Pete: How many winters/cords have you run this? (I don't know when these came on the market. Last yr?) I'd sure like to know if the creo problem magnifies/spreads over time. Sounds like a good machine, though. Thnx. j
     
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
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    I think all downdraft gasifiers, (as opposed to the Seton/Greenwood design) get creosote formation in the primary combustion chamber. I know my EKO does. As Pete says, as long as it stays there, no problem.
     
  11. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    I just got it this summer. Haven't burned a cord yet. The creosote is worst after refueling and during the first day of burning. As the wood burns down in the firebox the creosote goes from gooey to dry and flaky and can be more easily scraped off. I had a Greenwood before this unit and the creosote was forming in a place I couldn't get at it or clean it. Here at least I can see what I am dealing with and manage it.

    Pete

     
  12. husker

    husker
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    Oct 18, 2008
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    How much do these units go for? I was thinking they quite pricey when they came out, similar to a Garn?
     
  13. henfruit

    henfruit
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    pete, what did you do with your greenwood?
     
  14. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    It is for sale.

     
  15. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    I locked in this spring at 8500.

    Prices have gone up.

     
  16. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    I would add here that I think this issue of creosote in the Greenwood would go away if I had adequate storage. I didn't have room for storage in my basement and I was under orders to not construct any more outbuildings - so I went with the E-Classic as it has storage built in and is weatherproof.

    Pete


     
  17. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic
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    Man alive, I didn't know the E-Classic was so expensive.......... I was beginning to think that there was no hope for me bringing my stove to market if it works out due to the strict competition that's developing...... 8500 is WAYYY too hi for a non-pressurized setup like that..
     
  18. logjammed

    logjammed
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    Jul 24, 2008
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    did the 30 day run-in cleaning today clean entire firebox, inspect under firebrick where removable (some glued together with creosote),cleaned reaction chamber,turbulaters,stack,rechecked ph and nitrile levels. I did find one fairly significant problem, the bolts for the damper flap and cam lever above turbulaters were loose not a big deal at this point but would have been if i did not catch it. I don't know if the stickiness caused them to loosen, but you guys might want to check yours at the next service.
     
  19. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA
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    Matt - the E-classic is a bargain compared to the GARN. The GARN 1500 is over $12k, and the 2000 is over $15k. Heck, a Mahoning 500 smoke dragon is about that same as an E-classic price-wise.

    I'll be into my GARN for close to $20k when I am all done, but that is for a multi-building piping scheme and some outbuilding construction costs.
     
  20. deerefanatic

    deerefanatic
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    True, that is true..... And, after hearing on another thread what it cost the mfgr to get these stoves certified, I can see why they cost so much.
     
  21. warm in VT

    warm in VT
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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Pete and I have had the same results so far. i have found the same issues with mine as has been reported here. I have burned about a half cord of wood and all is working beautifully. My only concern at this point is the creosote build up. It does not seem to be getting worse as it will flake and burn off once it gets to a cretian point. I am concerned about any problems this will cause though in deteriorating the furnace quicker. There is no way that goo is going to be scraped off. Very sticky and nasty! I have been using the Ashtrol as they recommend and hope that will help. The factory advises once it gets "cold" the creosote issue will go away. I dont believe that as it is cold here and it is firing and burning plenty hot but the firebox will never come up to temp to burn off that creosote because all the burning is going on in the reaction chamber. I am very happy with its performance so far, little to no smoke except on start up which I have only had to light the one time!
     
  22. Johnbull

    Johnbull
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    May 30, 2008
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    E-Classic Update

    Have been burning my new E Classic for 1 month and have the following to report: I am very pleased with the furnace and the overall performance- wood usage is modest and not overly demanding. There are two issues that I would like to mention; the first is that the bypass mechanism did stick and due to my efforts of trying to move the handle I bent the metal bracket which holds the rod which connects to the bypass door. I shut the unit down and the local dealer promptly came and we bent the bracket back to a position where it did not bind the connecting rod.

    I read an e-mail from CB which stated they are aware of this problem and have changed their manufacturing process to address the problem. Further, there is a repair kit in the works which is being sent (at least in my situation) to my distributor for a retro-fit to prevent the rod from slipping out of the bracket.

    The second issue concerns the reasote build-up. There does appear to be more accumulation than I was expecting although that may change with colder temps outside. I am burning only seasoned wood. I thought that the bypass door sticking was a creasote issue but I'm not so sure now that is the case.

    Plenty of hot water and minimal/acceptable levels of smoke- no complaints from my wife or children- or me for that matter.

    Craig Ormsby
    Martinsburg PA
     
  23. jebatty

    jebatty
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    Musing on the creosote issue: The high water volume of the jacket surrounding the firebox, especially when cold, may be the cause, as it may take a long time for the firebox surfaces to get up to heat. During this heatup process, creosote likely is condensing on the inside of the firebox. If this is true, then creosote formation should decrease when boiler is up to temp and maintained at operating temp.

    Burning only very well seasoned wood will reduce creosote, and at least on startup, burning smaller splits to have a very intense fire, and rapid heatup, may also help.

    Does the E-Classic have a Termovar-type valve to maintain boiler water temp? If not, and from time to time you are drawing down boiler temp much below 160, then I think you need a valve to protect the boiler from cold water return.

    Other gasifier boilers also have some creosote formation in the firebox, but most of these heat only a small quantity of water around the firebox, the water heats up quickly, and minimal creosote formation or accumulation. For example, on my Tarm, only 54 gallons of water in the boiler, and the Termovar insures rapid water heating and maintance of operating temp water in the boiler, even if the system is cold. I'm in my second season of operation, and only a light creosote scale has formed in the firebox.
     
  24. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham
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    Where does a termovar get installed in the system? At the boiler? In the basement?

    Thanks.

    Pete


     
  25. jebatty

    jebatty
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    The Termovar is a mechanical thermostatic mixing valve installed on the boiler supply line with a connection to system supply and a connection directly to boiler return. There are other similar mixing valve setups. On startup with a cold boiler, all hot water output from the boiler is returned directly to the boiler to allow rapid heating of the boiler supply water. As boiler supply water comes up to the thermostatic setting of the Termovar (available at different settings), the valve opens and allows hot water to enter the system supply. The design intent is to mix boiler output with return water such that return water to the boiler is not less than the setting on the valve, and if it is, then boiler output water is diverted directly to boiler return and not supplied to the system.

    With a large water jacket around the boiler (the water storage system), I doubt you can achieve maximum benefit from such a valve, although it will provide some level of protection on startup and on refiring. In effect you have to reheat your entire storage up to boiler operating temp each time you fire the boiler. This is not an issue if the boiler is fired all the time, as storage should always be up to temp. But if storage temp is allowed to drop below operating temp, such as during mild periods, then this is an issue.

    With my Tarm, as mentioned, the boiler only has to heat and maintain 54 gallons of water. I have a separate 1000 gal of hot water storage. So as soon as the 54 gallons is heated, the Termovar sends excess hot water to storage, and mixes return water with boiler output to maintain the 54 gallons at operating temp.

    During mild periods, I let the Tarm burnout, and I supply heat from the 1000 gal of storage. Storage may drop to 110 or even 100. On refiring, the Tarm comes up to 160 temp in about 20 minutes, allowing minimal creosote formation, and then cycles between about 180-190 while in full burn, with all excess hot water diverted to reheat the 1000 gal of storage up to whatever temp I desire, depending on my heat needs. So far this year, with outdoor temps now in the lo-20's at night and mid-30's daytime, I have been heating storage only up to about 140 and letting it cool down to 100 before firing the boiler, which I have to do about every 2nd to 3rd day for about an 8 hour burn.
     
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