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EKO 60 Online & Full of Problems

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by HeatFarmer, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Good News! EKO 60 is online & functioning. It's below freezing outside & I've been fighting leaks all day BEFORE heating things up. Got them all knocked down, and so far I only have a few minor issues.
    My circ pumps are moving water, but things aren't heating up much.
    Two of my alphas are telling me they aren't moving any water. I've bleed as much air out as possible.

    The Controller is a mystery.... I know...I've got to read the fine tuning thread. Right now it's reading 199r. The boiler was firing fine up till then. As my system gets heating up, it's still not pulling hot water through and after some leaks I know I have to add some more make-up water....perhaps after I fix some leaks.

    My storage is at 44F. I'm hoping to see some rise in the tank temp soon....at least to give me some confidence that the system is working......


    any advice is MORE than welcome.

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  2. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    I have an eko 25. Have had weird problems with boiler water 199r, 194r, even blew a code. It was air in the system. I never thought of letting out the air after 2 whole seasons. I was mad as heck. The pump was running. The water in the house was 60* As I let air out every few minutes I could hear water moving through the pipes. It's air, or the pump is not pumping, or you have a water leak in the under ground pipes if you have any. All but sure it is air since it was started up today. The same happened to me when I first started mine too. Only other thing you have a valve stuck or forgot to open one.
    '
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    If you had that many places that water was getting out of, I'd suspect you may have a few that air could get into.

    Keep persistent with the bleeding. Do you have lots of places for air to get out at high spots?

    What's your pressure at?

    You might need to hook up a hose with higher pressure to the system to force the air from where it's trapped. It can be a real PITA sometimes.
  4. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Do you have some pics. and a piping schematic you could post.

    At 199 r is your boiler idling.
  5. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    If it says 199 r then you boiler is up to temp but storage is still cold. Where is your ball valve set at above your danfoss? If it is all the way open then your boiler is just circulating water around its self and making your boiler idle.

    Rob
  6. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Have been bleeding air like mad.... Yes there are leaks, so air is getting in. Pressure in system is sitting around 22lbs.

    I am going to choke off the hot side of the danfoss. Boiler is still idling. Primary/secondary piping is warmish.....

    I do have 2 air bleeders....one air scoop...and another taco 4900. They seem to be working. I cranked my taco circ pump up in speed which seem to help move hot water more, but I'm not sure it is helping the situation.
  7. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Here's the schematic. Photos to follow.....

    Attached Files:

  8. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    1100 gal will take a while to heat up. But I bet when you start to close the ball valve and get the boiler off idle you will start heating up that storage. I did same thing when i started mine the fires time. It was cooking along and next it went into idle. I thought WOW!!!! that boiler really puts out some BTU I charged 1000 gal in a hour. LOL then I looked at the tank temps and they were less than 80 deg. I called sleddog and he had to talk me off the cliff!!! LOL I closed the ball valve down and BAM off idle.


    Rob
  9. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    I also leave the air scoop bleed valve open all the time so if it does have any air it can self bleed.


    Rob
  10. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Okay... things are starting to happen...... I've hooked the system up to the house pressure and boosted the heck out of it....blew the relief valve a few times, but I got water circ-ing to the primary loop. Been bleeding air...but have run into another problem.

    Along the way I swapped Alpha heads & bodies...don't ask why. Neither of those 2 pumps are pumping. They spin, but GPM sea 0. Do you 'all thing that the swap might have done it? I can swap back, but it will be a mess.
  11. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Maybe you need to flip the impeller over inside the pumps.
  12. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    I tore both pumps apart....changed positions, swapped them....nothing seemed to work.........at first. They finally kicked in after I pushed fresh water into the system while blowing air out via every union I could find.
  13. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    SO...it's almost 1AM and things are finally starting to thrum along........
    I played around with the pumps to no good effect.
    I learned that Rifeng manifold instructions are beyond Useless and backwards. I followed their "clockwise/counter-clockwise" turning for setting the flow rate & had actually shut the manifold down. Once I went the opposite way, water started to flow, the GPM shot up and 1 of the alpha pumps was working. I also purged both radiant lines as I refilled....I figured things were warming up, so the ice all over the boiler room floor shouldn't be there too long......:)
    I also bled the HX coil. I thought I had gotten it, but I really had to loosen the unions and let it rip. I almost couldn't get it back together under pressure. That seemed to help. I heard several burps and bangs in the system, the air vent hissed a bit and the GPM on the other weird alpha shot up & down.

    I've had 2 overheats--E 2 code--tonight as I tried to figure this all out. Probably because the radiant loops weren't drawing off, nor was the storage. I just came up from the cellar and the radiator loop is down in temp, but the Storage Alpha is humming along & the temp is starting to climb.

    I've decided to call it quits for tonight. The slab manifold is reading over 40º and circulating. I just loaded the EKO on a nice bed of coals, and despite less than ideal wood I am getting some gasification. I looks like I forgot to check the bottom chamber and the bricks had shifted while moving it. I'll have to re-align them in the AM when it's cooled down and I'm fixing leaks. I think I'll risk getting some sleep before I have to get up to milk the cows......
  14. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

    Joined:
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    144
    Loc:
    Montville, Maine
    SO...it's almost 1AM and things are finally starting to thrum along........
    I played around with the pumps to no good effect.
    I learned that Rifeng manifold instructions are beyond Useless and backwards. I followed their "clockwise/counter-clockwise" turning for setting the flow rate & had actually shut the manifold down. Once I went the opposite way, water started to flow, the GPM shot up and 1 of the alpha pumps was working. I also purged both radiant lines as I refilled....I figured things were warming up, so the ice all over the boiler room floor shouldn't be there too long......:)
    I also bled the HX coil. I thought I had gotten it, but I really had to loosen the unions and let it rip. I almost couldn't get it back together under pressure. That seemed to help. I heard several burps and bangs in the system, the air vent hissed a bit and the GPM on the other weird alpha shot up & down.

    I've had 2 overheats--E 2 code--tonight as I tried to figure this all out. Probably because the radiant loops weren't drawing off, nor was the storage. I just came up from the cellar and the radiator loop is down in temp, but the Storage Alpha is humming along & the temp is starting to climb.

    I've decided to call it quits for tonight. The slab manifold is reading over 40º and circulating. I just loaded the EKO on a nice bed of coals, and despite less than ideal wood I am getting some gasification. I looks like I forgot to check the bottom chamber and the bricks had shifted while moving it. I'll have to re-align them in the AM when it's cooled down and I'm fixing leaks. I think I'll risk getting some sleep before I have to get up to milk the cows......
  15. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Well maybe with some luck your system will be nice and warm in the morning. Do your circ pumps have hose bibs on both sides . it does make it easier to bleed air out and prime your pumps . :)
  16. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    ...duh....wish I'd thought of that!!! My system is short on purge points. I may have to fix that when it's warmer......
  17. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Well, no luck here.....storage got up another 8º to 68 from 42º and then it seems the EKO shut down & read Fuel this AM. there was still plenty of wood & coals. Made it easy to get roaring now......
    Off 2 milk the cows....late
  18. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    did you check to see if your danfoss thermostat is in the right way? alot of them were shipped with the thermostat installed backwards. If that is not open you will not get any return water from storage.


    Rob
  19. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I would say that your experience does not sound all that unusual. Any brand new system is going to take a few days to bleed air, find right pressure, etc. And 1100 gallons of 44 degree water is a huge load. Bringing that load up 140 degrees should take your boiler 12 hours +/- at peak output, no bypass. So considering the boiler is currently spending a lot of time keeping itself warm I'd say 20 hours of burning full tilt +/- would not be unreasonable to get your storage up. Throw in your airlock problems and certainly this is not a one weekend ordeal.

    For what it's worth it took me a full two days of burning my EKO 40 to get my 1,000 gallons up to usable temps with zero air problems. Half of my first day of burning was figuring out that the bypass ball valve BARELY needs to be opened to flow.

    Hang in there...you'll get there. Keep chucking wood in and get that air out.
  20. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    I checked & re-checked & checked again!! I knew it had to be right be cause I was getting circulation. It wasn't until about 12:30AM that I got desperate and cracked open a bunch of unions and let water flow everywhere that I finally got enough air out of the system--must have been trapped up high in the overhead runs--that things really started working right. I also had to close down the danfoss bypass loop....that really helped!
  21. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I've seen a 20º rise per hour so far this AM....enough to finally allow the radiator loop to start giving heat off---it is second in line after the storage loop. It doesn't help that it is below 0º out in the boiler room right now and there is ice all over the floor and the in-floor slab heat out there is barely keeping above freezing..... Leave it to me to choose the coldest days of the winter to launch my virgin system. Luckily you guys have my back! Things are starting to look up.
  22. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear its finally coming along for you HeatFarmer!

    I feel your pain on trying to get a new system up and running. Mine hasnt been quite as ornery as yours sounds like, but I had a reversed diverting valve, some air pockets, and Im still trying to figure out how to run the thing. It lights and burns easy enough, but its making use of that heat thats eluding me right now.

    For when its warmer, look into a purge valve. Its a ball valve with a hose bib on it. You close the ball valve, open the purge side, and the system pressure pushes your whole loop free of water and air. You need to have a hose running in on the other side of it, but you can purge a lot of air quickly that way.
  23. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    Boy it sounds like air to me.

    In my system I put in three manual bleed points, one above the oil boiler, one above the wood boiler and one above my coil. What I found was the one above the coil worked really well for getting the extra air out. I took a 5 gallon bucket with a few inches of water in it and a short length of hose and left the valve just cracked a hair, then got the water moving. With the water in the bucket you could see the system burp and by keeping the hose under water I hoped it would keep air from getting sucked back in. After a while it was just tiny bubbles and then nothing. I let the bleeder on my scoop take over once I got to that point.

    Not sure if this is the "correct" way to do it but it worked for me. I had to fight being air bound once when I drained my oil boiler to put in the Tees to plumb up the wood boiler. It was a pain, had to manually bleed it a few times.

    The auto bleeders on the scoop aren't always perfect either. Mine like to stick.

    BTW, I'm in Liberty and I'm using one of Tom's 820 gallon tanks. With no load (ie a warm house, something that's been pretty common this winter) one firebox load on my Tarm Innova 30 will put about 40 deg. in the tank. I really like this setup. The only issue I've had is sealing the top of the tank. Tom's been giving me ideas and I've pulled the top and resealed everything once. I'm hopping I got it this time...

    K
  24. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Cant you heat your slab up before your storage ?
  25. HeatFarmer

    HeatFarmer Member

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    I turns out I have 2 purge valves!! Installed them on the expansion tanks...... I finally discovered their ultimate use after midnight this AM!!

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