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Eko owners; save some wood!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by barnartist, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Thought this deserved a new thread. If you have an Eko, they come without any underbelly insulation. Insulate it! Turns out the underneath of the boiler has a thin water jacket and is not all refactory concrete. I recently added a piece of 2" blue foam insulation, as well as a thin layer of fiberglass sandwiched in the middle for an air seal. As of today I have been through 6 loads of wood similar results: about 2-3 hour longer burn.
    Now, if your Eko is in your home, you may like the benefit of the heat radiated from it without insulation. But if your outdoors at all, go get a sheet of foam and try it out. I will be adding more insulation to the other sides tomorrow and will later report the effects.
    Also, if you are heating large amounts of storage, im not sure what the results would be. Im going to guess a few more degrees per load, or an earlier idle time. I currently have an insufficient amount of storage as I think alot of us have, but its stretched out my burn from 8-9 hours to 10-11 hours, and still have nice coalbed for next load.

    I'd like to hear if any of you try this and your results. I only wish I had done this at the beginning of the burning season!

    I hope this is a worthy contribution to the forum instead of receiving info for a change.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'll sure give it a try and let you know how it works, Scott. Thanks for the tip.
  3. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    This idea works very well for hot water heaters as well. A hot water heater on a cold floor can loses a very large amount of heat. Simply raise the hot water heater on a 2x4 or 2x6 frame, insulate inside he frame, add a plastic vapor barrier, top and bottom, and watch your energy cost go down. If you have an electric hot water heater, also wrap with 6" fiberglass sides and top, install heat traps on the hot and cold lines, put foam insulation on all hot water lines as far as you can go, and you could save 50% or so on electric use. We achieved a 50% reduction through doing this, cost less than $50, payback 6-9 months. If you have a gas hot water heater, be very careful not to restrict venting or cause fire hazard.
  4. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    Could you explain what a heat trap is and how it is constructed.

    thanks
  5. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    barnartist - great idea ! The one thing I wonder about is how hot does the bottom of the EKO get and is there any risk of fire to the insulation ?
    jebatty - thanks for pointing out another way to help keep the cost of heating water down.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    A heat trap is simply a sidewise "S" piping installed on both the hot and cold lines. Hot water rises, so from each of hot and cold connections on hot water heater: pipe straight up, pipe with 2 - 90's and go straight down at least 12", then pipe with 2 -90's and go straight up to connect to hot and cold water lines. The hot water is "trapped" at the top of the rise, cannot descend, so no hot water siphoning in the hot and cold lines.

    Also available are float or check valve type heat traps; newer hot water heaters already have these installed, but I have still noticed significant hot water leakage with these, so installing the "S" trap can make a big difference.

    You can easily check to see if these would be useful by not using any hot or cold water for a period of time, then feel hot and cold pipes from water heater a couple of feet from the hot water heater. If either is hot or warm, hot water is siphoning into the water lines, being radiated by the piping, and you are losing hot water heat into the surroundings.
  7. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Je very clever

    Just tried it. The pipes are about 70 degrees in a 50 degree garage.
  8. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    The heat trap arrangement should help lower my water temps....with my sidearm heat exchanger my hot water heater gets plenty hot....I noticed the cold water inlet pipe gets plenty hot too. If the cold water inlet pipe is hot the mixing valve becomes ineffective which causes very hot water to come out of the tap until enough cold water is used to begin properly mixing the temp back down to 120. Thanks for mentioning the heat trap. I believe some re-piping around my water heater is in order.
  9. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    How far up to you go? Minimal distance? Is the whole S built as compact as can be, or spread out a bit? Good idea. j
  10. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    From what I have read and experience, the highest level of performance and efficiency is reached if the heat trap has a rise and drop of at least 12" and is located as close to the inlet and outlet as possible. Keep in mind the principle of operation. The longer the piping before the heat trap, the more heat is lost through thermal siphoning between the source and trap. If the rise and drop is too short, the thermal siphoning may bridge the trap and continue into the piping. The purpose of the drop is to allow the heat to dissipate sufficiently to break the thermal siphoning. I think you probably can go less than 12", try lesser distances and measure how well they work.

    Also, if you insulate your lines, you can insulate the rise but I do not insulate the drop portion, and certainly insulate after the drop. By not insulating the drop, you maximize heat dissipation to enhance the thermal break.

    The top S horizontal section may be spread out, but again, keep the principle in mind. The longer this portion, the more thermal siphoning will occur between the source and the drop. The bottom S horizontal portion also may be spread out.

    The heat trap may be installed anywhere in the system and you may have more than one, depending on your design. Wherever it is installed, it will operate to break thermal siphoning in the system.

    In some designs, you may not want a heat trap, as in a gravity fed loop for heating and maybe even for DHW with a gravity loop. Constant on water flow or "quick on" hot water may be your goal. But the result will be heat loss through the system.

    Best of success to everyone who tries this -- it really works.
  11. trehugr

    trehugr New Member

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    Pictures paint a thousand words...even a drawing helps
  12. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

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    Wondering if anyone tried this insulation on the Eko yet. Like to hear some results if so.
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