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Eko 60 burning problems

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Bowsin, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. Bowsin

    Bowsin New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    centrail Mi
    Hi all ,I'm in need of some help ,actully the guy that owns the Eko 60 is in need of help .
    I'm trying to help him but I've come to a wall .
    His Eko 60 will burn for ten minutes or so with good fire coming out of both lower nozzles then one of the two will go out and the other will stay going so so . To get it to burn good again I open the loading door push the wood around a bit get both nozzles covered and it will burn good for another 10 or 15 minutes . The wood he has is nice dry and split oak but its only 18 inches long which makes it hard to cover the nozzles good ,I cut some of them in half so the nozzles could be covered better and it worked so so . Can't seem to get it to run past 70 on the read out .I adjusted the primairy air from low to high and back to low also the secondary ,just can't get both nozzles to stay burning good .
    I have a Tarm 60 which only has one nozzle ,no issues like this at all ,load it forget it for 12 hours . I've run this for ten years now so I have a bit of experenance with gasification ,I also helped install five of the Eko 40s . We had some issues with them but only because they were trying to burn kiln dryed scrap wood .

    Thanks Mike Neeb

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Hi Mike. Welcome to the Boiler Room.

    With 18-inch wood, he could almost load it sideways for better coverage.

    The first thing I would try would be to back the secondary air adjusters out to about 6 full turns. I did that with my 60 and it pretty much solved all my problems. The factory setting is 3.5 full turns, but I found that mine needs more secondary air. Another thing that might have an impact is to fill the firebox up, so that the weight of the wood keeps the stuff on the bottom against the nozzles. Short wood might do exactly what you're describing.

    Getting back to the secondary air adjustment: You might want to take off the plate holding the blowers and make sure that the secondary air tubes remain tacked into place. My boiler and at least one other one I'm aware of had the weld break on one tube, allowing it to move forward into the air adjustment nozzle. Makes it hard to keep the air adjusted. The reason they're tacked instead of welded around apparently, is that if you ever had to replace the refractory, you could grind the tubes free and pull them out.

    Also, for what it's worth, I also found that my boiler worked better after a month of use. A lot of that probably has to do with operator experience, but I think at least some can be attributed to the various components breaking in and working better.

    We have a few Tarm users who hang around the Boiler Room, as well as some guys with EKOs, Setons, Garns, Greenwoods, Econoburns and probably a few other gasifiers that I'm forgetting. So I hope you come back and share some of your experience and expertise.
  3. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Messages:
    912
    Loc:
    Hesperia, Michigan
    I'm wondering what you mean by primary and secondary air adj. just so we are all on the same page. There is three air adj on the eko's. There is the primary air adj behind the fan cover. I have mine about 3/4 open. They are up at the top with sliding covers. The secondary adj are two screws with covers that should be adj out at least 3 to 4 turns and maybe more. Mine are about 6. The third is the fan adj. These are adj depending on outside temp, wood moisture and other variables of which I'm still learning. I run mine from 1/2 in to 1in (measured from outside of ark). I don't always have both nozzels fireing but I"m not to conserned if I'm not getting smoke. It seems that sometimes the path of least resistance is just thru one nozzel so most of the gas will go there.
    The other problem I see is that good gasification doen't happen untill you get up to 70c and if you aren't getting there your boiler is cooling off the fire so it don't get gasifing good. When you say you can't get it over 70c that can come from several reasons.
    You are drawing more heat than the boiler can produce.
    You are trying to heat up your storage from cold
    Your return water is to cold.

    If you isolate the boiler so you are just pumping the water thru you should be able to get it to 80c and see if that makes it gasify better, then figure out how to keep the temp up as you are useing the heat. You don't want your return water to be to cold or you will have problems.

    The other think that I have found with my eko80 is when I fill it up I have such a large capasity that it takes alot of heat out of the boiler to heat the fresh wood and untill I get that wood heated up it doesn't burn as good. It seems to pull the heat right out of the sides and if I am starting up on the low side ( like 140f ) It takes quite a while to get up there even if I'm just circulating thru the boiler. Once it is up to temp It will really put out the heat.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
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    Great post, leaddog.

    Here's the way I see it: The sliders on the blowers regulate the total air intake of the boiler. So let's call them the Main Air Intakes. The Primary Air Intakes provide combustion air to the firebox. They're the ones at the upper corners of the primary combustion chamber (firebox). The Secondary Air Intakes are the two screws below blowers. They regulate the amount of super heated air supplied through the tubes to the nozzles. Does that sound right?

    Like you, I have my Secondary Air Intakes at 6 turns. I tried 3.5, which is the factory setting, and I was getting some smoke. At your suggestion, I opened up the Primary Air Intakes a bit when I first got the boiler going, and it worked a lot better after that. I keep my Main Air Intakes open about an inch, but I really haven't noticed much difference at different settings. I generally tend to think that too much air is better than two little. Dave suggested starting at 1/4 inch and going out to 1-inch in cold weather, but I've had better luck with them open wider than that. It may have something to do with the amount of air available to the boiler--every setup is different.

    Per Dave's suggestion, I installed an aquastat on my return line to regulate my main system pumps. They don't run if the return water is below 160. This keeps the boiler in the optimum temp range for gasification. Bear in mind that I have a 007 pumping supply water into my return line most of the time to keep the return water temps up. This pumping strategy balances everything out for optimum burn temps, at least in theory. I'd say it works as advertised.

    And you're absolutely right about this boiler's power curve, if you will. It can take awhile to get up a head of steam but once it does, it can overwhelm you. More good reason for a tank, but it's also a "rhythm" that you can adjust your firing habits to.
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