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Empyre Elite 100 Pounding out the heat

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by willyswagon, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    It is nice to see some cold weather to watch the boiler do it's thing.
    I've been sitting on the end of my seat since I put this thing in this fall.
    The cold weather showed up just before New Years.

    The first real test was New Years Eve.
    Filled the boiler at 5pm as we left for the night.Outdoor temps were -12* C (10*F),winds were NNW at 40KPH( 25 MPH).
    I returned New Years Day at 8 am to find the house still at 20*C (70*F) with a nice pile of coals left in the fire box.
    I was impressed with that, 15 hrs of heat and didn't burn out==c

    I 3/4 filled it last night, at about 6pm. There was no wind so I didn't bother to top it up when I went to bed.

    I stayed in bed a little longer than planned this am.
    Went to the garage at 720am to find the boiler down to 156*Fo_O, opened the door to find the load had bridged. There were a nice bit of coals, so I stirred them around and threw in about half a load of splits.
    I just looked out and it has come from 156* to 173* in exactly 1 hr.

    So far I'd have to say I'm happy with the cold weather performance.

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  2. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    Glad you are getting that kind of burn times, because I sure am not getting anything more than seven hours out of mine. So far my Elite seems to take a lot of wood. Last weekend when it was below zero I thought maybe I should put a cot by it so I could keep it full.
  3. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Wow that's quite a difference. There is a big difference in the temps if you are using *F.
    You would have been a full 10* colder than here.
    It was -5*C (24*F) here last night with about 10-15 mph winds. I filled the fire box to about half. Just went out at 815, 2 pcs of wood left. I threw in 6 or 7 splits, that should get me through the day unless we do alot of laundry.

    How big is your house? I've been burning since mid Oct and have gone through just under 2 cords(no oil).
    I was talking to a buddy of mine thursday night and he has gone through just over 2 cords with his Wood Gun.
  4. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    My house is about 3000 feet but I only heat the basement and first floor. I go through about one of my wood pallets a week. They are 6x4 feet stacked at least 4 foot high. Seems to be pretty hungry. The house is well insulated. Just the joys pf cutting wood.
  5. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Wow that does seem high.
    I used a little less than 1/2 a cord from when I put it in (early Oct) until Nov 20th
    .75 cord rack Nov 20th - Dec 17th
    I will finish off the second .75 cord rack in the next day or two,so the 17th of Dec - Jan 8 th.
    I'll then take advantage of the warm temperatures forecast for Tuesday to put in another 1.5 cord.
    That on top of the 2 1/4 that I have left in the garage should be more than enough for this winter.
  6. Burning Alaska

    Burning Alaska New Member

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    Juneau, Alaska
    willyswagon, have you continued to be pleased with the performance of your elite 100 through the rest of the winter? How many cords did you end up going through? What is the typical size of the wood you’re loading? Does your unit stay pretty clean? How often do you have to clean out the tubes?

    Thanks!
  7. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I'm going to be into it for 4.25 cords by the end of the month. I'm thinking less than 5 cords if the weather stays like this until the end of April. It is right around the freezing mark for daytime highs, slightly under for the lows. We are presently surrounded by ice so it takes a while for things to warm up in the spring.

    So far I'm happy with the way the unit is operating. I clean the tubes every week since it only takes about 5 min to do it. There are a couple of maintaince updates that have come out on the units since they have first been produced. Once again nothing major. You'll find a couple of other threads on here which highlight that.

    As far as load sizes go, I load for the projected temps. Last night ( 10 pm) I threw in 6 splits(4 - 6" dia), when I went out at 630 there were two left that were char coalized but un burnt, I rolled them over the nozzles, and let them burn down until about 10 am. I threw in three more splits to get me through till after dinner(5 pm).
  8. mkhopper

    mkhopper Member

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    Pictures?
  9. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    I sure am glad that you like yours bcause I am certainly disappointed with mine. Unless its above freezing mine is most always out of wood unless you can feed it every 4 hours. You are right they are easy to clean, if they aren't plugged with charcoal. The mod on the air gate helped but I have a lot of ash. I think I burn at least a half cord a week. At this time I would not give it a good recomendation
  10. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    What wood are you burning? I wouldn't have had 15 gal of ash since I started in Oct. In fact a couple of my buddys drop in each time I empty it because they can't believe how little ash there is.

    I'm burning Maple and some birch, the odd piece of beech.
  11. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    Loc:
    SW Nova
    WOW,
    half a cord of hardwood per week is around 15,000,000btu at 75% eff.
    Good thing you don't burn oil, you would need approx. 150 gallons a week at 75% eff

    You must have a BIG house or your btu's are disappearing somewhere.
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    +1 - something sounds off somewhere in the setup.

    Have you checked your flue draft? That's very large wood consumption - unless you are heating very large spaces.
  13. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Indiana
    Muleman51 did you ever check what your serial # on your elite 100 is?

    Erin
  14. chewy

    chewy Member

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    logger6644
    New Member
    Start a Conversation
    joined: Jan 30, 2013
    46 posts
    Upstate New York
    muleman51 said: ↑
    I've had my elite 100 since last March. I ran tried to run it with storage last year to no success. It just couldn't get ahead. I was told by the dealer and factory rep to disconect the storage and heat exchangerand run it as a open system. If the temp is in th 20s it keeps up pretty good. This week sucks by the time I get back from work its cold and takes until 10pm to catch up. It's only up to 165* right now been burning strong since 630, itwas down to 1468 when I got home. The boiler was up to 180* and refilled at 9am this morning. Not real happy with the burn times. I am burning 3 year old oak. Don't get much help from my dealer or factory. Jim
    Hi Muleman51, I bought my first elite 100 in December 2010, but did not install or run it until September 2011. Last three digits of my serial number was 223. I to had trouble from the start. In fact it failed this January due to creosote corrosion. See Empyre Elite Boiler Corrosion thread on this web site. The Elite has gone through several design changes since it's early days and the company has not been open about these changes.To a large degree your success or lack of it may be related to what version you have. What is your serial number? In March of 2011 they changed a part called an air gate which regulates the split of air between the upper and lower chamber. Since mine was built before this, I was running with an improper mix which started my problems. These ducts also require cleaning to maintain performance. I did get procedure from the factory for the upper one when I continued to have problems, but was not even aware of the location of the lower duct until creosote and air at this duct location caused a leak. The wall had corroded from .130 inches to .020 inches in this location. I just received a replacement boiler from the factory on three days ago. They honored the warranty because they had not told me of the changes or the cleaning procedures in a timely manner. My replacement boiler has serial number 629. The replacement is not the latest version however, the latest one has the door modification willyswagon mentioned as well as clean outs for the lower duct. They have advised him to add clean outs and sent him a cleaning procedure. I strongly advise you to check under the side bricks near the front hinge side and check the condition of the duct and the adjacent wall. Also check with the factory and see if your boiler has air gate drawing number 817405 or the old version 815812. Your boiler was not operating properly and I believe may have a serious problem! I do not believe storage is a problem but that is topic for further discussion after you get past this first concern. I fear you are on the same path I took.
    logger6644, Feb 19, 2013 ReportBookmark#44LikeReply

    Muleman51 did you read this post?
  15. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Bump
  16. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    The wood I burn is everything I can find, oak, elm, maple, pine, boxelder, black walnut, ash,. The house isn't that big under 3000ft. I do have a low serial number and I have modified the airgate. I have had conversations with several people on this and lots of ideas but not a lot of results. Only thing I haven't done is check the lower air passages but air is coming out of them. My wood pallets are 6x4x3 and I go through one of those a week and they are piled higher than the 3ft. All I do is cut wood on weekends, its dry wood, not wet. I certainly would like to get to the bottom of the problem. What really stinks is without my storage I have no cushion. Jim
  17. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Muleman51, sorry to here that. I know where you are coming from. I burn about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cord a week. I don't heat my shop at night just when I'm in there. Last fall I gutted the exterior of my house and had 2" closed cell foam sprayed and sheeted and wrapped, new vinyl siding, all new windows. It has helped a lot,but I think I still shouldn't be burning this much wood. I cut standing dead and fallen dead mostly, but I'm sure it's not fully dry so that's part of the problem. By the time the winter is over I'm spent trying to keep up with it. I see all these guys who burn 5 cords a year and I'm jealous. I'm dragging my feet on getting my gasser bc i don't want to make a 10k plus bad investment. It would be nice to pin point my situation before I upgrade to try and avoid future problems.

    Do you have that cleaning tool for the flu pipes that was talked about? What did pro fab tell you to do? I had heard how great they were with customer service and how they have the best warranty in the business. Sounds like its all talk. I had my mind made up about the elite 200. I know my local Empyre dealer who I also buy my lumber from. He said they had problems early on with them but had fixed the problems. He is a good guy and wouldn't treat me wrong, but it sounds like the dealers are only privy to certain info from up top. My ramble is over, hope you get this figured out.

    Erin
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking that if you're cutting wood on weekends - you're burning wet wood? That would cost a lot of potential heat.
  19. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Mule man, how much oil were you burning before you switched to wood?
    That's the conversion I did when I was thinking of making the move. I figured my entire year of burning worked out to about 5.5 cords. I have 4.25 burnt since Oct. It is going to be pretty close to what I had estimated by the time I get back to Oct. I'll burn small batches from here till the first of May, then rely on the solar panels for both heat and DHW.
  20. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I missed this post at first, but I'm thinking Maple may have nailed it. I haven't cut anything for over a year now. I did take down a standing dead thinking that it would be ready to go. It was dead for two years now. When I split it I found the MM to be @ 26%. I threw it on the pile for a year of seasoning.

    I'm having a tough time thinking why the unit isn't working well for you as the 4 units that I know of up here are all doing the job for their owners.
  21. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

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    ????? I believe logger had to correct these issues to improve output.
  22. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Willyswagon, are the four units in your area basically setup like yours? Or is there major differences and they are still having good luck? I really wanted the 200 bc it just seemed easier to use and install and from my understanding it is similar to a (dare I say owb) In that it can idol with no inefficiency issues.

    I think it's ok for pro fab to jump in the gasser market and have design issues, but if they find something that isn't right with the design they should at least tell you what to do to fix it. And really this should be a warranty issue.

    Maple1 I agree that wet wood could be the issue but standing dead under 30% shouldn't cut the efficiency in half. Especially if he's not having a creosote problem. There is something else wrong here.

    Erin
  23. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    It doesn't matter if I'm burning my three year old oak orThe dead standing or year old dried. I do not have a creosote problem either. I have burnt wood for 39 years now so I have no idea how much propane it would to take to heat completely with gas at this point. This is my third boiler and it seems to going down hill from the first. I just wish the boiler would perform the way it was sold. Jim
  24. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Have you contacted pro fab?
  25. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I don't know what to tell you Jim. I'm burning wood that was cut last Jan, blocked in March, split in April. I have had some build up in the boiler tubes, but the flue active tool has rid me of that problem.

    I'm heating 2700 sq ft to 70* F, and a 660 sq ft garage to 65*F. All of my piping is insulated from the wood boiler into the oil boiler(52' run), then from there to the first rads in the loop. The walls are only 2x4 construction, attic is R52, 12 year old windows with Low E and Argon, foamed the ridge plate with 3" of spray foam.

    I just stirred up the coals left over from last night, put in two 6" spilts. I'll add one more split as we leave for the day at 8am. That will hold it over until we get back at 5pm, as it will be in the mid 30's F and sunny this afternoon.

    We are in a warmer zone than you for sure, but even when we had our coldest weather of the year, it was no problem to fill the boiler and get 10-12 hrs out of a load.
    pelletdude likes this.

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