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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. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    I have had conversations with ProFab, have had some help, no real long term solutions. the boiler burned a full load last night and it was 38* this morning, at least there were enough coals so I only needed kindling and a little torch to get thing rolling. I have not purchased the flue active tool as I feel they should supply it with the boiler as it seems that the build up problem is their problem( my problem) and they don't care. I understand that tools wear out and I need to pay for replacements but they should supply the first ones with the boiler. The charcoal issue has pretty much gone away from plugging the tubes after i changed the airgate but now I get alot more ash under the nozzels, I actually cleaned the center out on Wed this week also as it had almost filled the center same as this morning. I miss my old Aqua therm it burned alot of wood but it was pretty much maintanence free and would hold a fire for 18 hours or longer if you filled it. It's raining today so no wood cutting today I guess I'm going to have to buy a load of wood this week to get by.That stinks when you have woodd of your own. I wish all of us user were not so far apart so we could get together. Have a Happy Easter, Jim

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  2. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Jim, I would buy the tool in case by some miracle it will work. If it doesn't work you could still use it to clean it in the future. Is this tool for the flu pipes or to scrape around the nozzles? I wouldn't let pro fabs lack of customer service discourage you from trying to figure out how to burn effiecently.

    Erin
  3. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    I just got in the door after being away all day. There were just enough coals to relight the kindling I threw on top.
    So the three splits that were there at 8 am lasted till 1040pm before burning out. The house is at 69*F the boiler was down to 150*F. 15 min later the boiler is back to 164*F. The first of the nights showers is about to begin.
    If you are not using the Flue active tool your tubes are not clean, and you are not getting the proper heat transfer.
    Mine was running along good before using the flue active tool, now it runs Great!

    Update It is now 1110,15 min shower complete. boiler running at 175*F and climbing.
  4. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    SE Minnesota
    Today I got home at 5;30 pm left at 5;45am, as usual boiler was out (154*) filled and relit an hour later it still had not shut off or gotten to temp. I'll refill it now and hope it makes morning. Still burning over a wheelbarrow load a day. Does anyone have pictures of the flue active tool. Jim
    Does anybody know what happened to the spell check that used to be on here.
  5. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Hey Jim there is a pic I posted in another thread( 2nd posting down). It is worth it's weight in Gold!
    I found it works best when I operate the drill in reverse.
    It must be your tubes, I'm going through 6 - 10 splits a day. It is about 30*F with Westerly winds at 30mph today.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/keep-it-clean.105710/#post-1375435
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm at the same climate - this evening I burned about a load & a half, or maybe 5 cu.ft.. We had some load draw today so my storage was down to 120 at top, it's back at 175 now & not burned out yet. That'll do me until same time tomorrow.

    You're losing heat somewhere, plain & simple. Putting that much wood through it, it is either going up the stack to the outdoors, being lost to getting the moisture out of wood that is too wet, or getting distributed somewhere via your system or large piping heat losses. Too bad everyone is so far apart - this place is lots of help, but sometimes there is no substitute for being there. I am sure some on here could nail the problem down if they were at your site to have a look at things in operation.
    pelletdude likes this.
  7. Dino57

    Dino57 Member

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    I have using the Elite 100 for three years now. I have found the best way to track the performance is to watch your stack temperature. If it goes above 300 -350 f then your tubes need cleaning. If it drops below 300 you are not burning hot enough. either wet wood,size or the air vents need cleaning.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Good point.

    There are two pieces of information or data that might help, that I don't think I've read yet.

    Your actual stack temperatures (internal with a probe thermometer), and your draft - measured while in full burn close to the unit.

    Those are fundamental measures in helping to assess boiler performance.

    MM readings of a freshly split piece of your fuel could be added to those also.
  9. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    I'll take stack temps. Today was one of those days. ait was 28* this morning the boiler was up to temp. I filled it at 5 and 6:30 when I went to work got up into the mid 40s this afternoon, came home expecting a good set of coals, but instead it was cold no coals and down to 146*. It took over an hour to get the boiler back to temp.Had a conversation with my dealer and he was of verylittle help, he will come look at it for a fee since he didn't install it and feels he has no obligation to do anything about the poor performance. I wouldn't recommend him to my worst enemy. He told me they had done the mod on the airgate again today, which I know he did not because I did it. This is just frustrating. I ordered new brushes to try and clean it better.
  10. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Muleman, do you have install pics? It might help the higher ups here diagnose a possible problem. Did you do the install?

    Erin
  11. willyswagon

    willyswagon Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    PEI, Canada

    Brushes will not get the tubes clean. I was doing mine every week, and thought I was doing great work.
    When I used the Flue Active tool and saw what is being left behind I don't even bother with the brushes anymore.
  12. WV Mountaineer

    WV Mountaineer New Member

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    West Virginia
    I registered just so I could comment on this. If you are cutting wood on the weekend and burning it through the week, you will be burning green wood and the majority of your heat will be used to simply dry the wood.

    You have also commented on the amount of ash you are getting. This also points to wet wood as the temperature is not getting hot enough to burn off most of the ash.

    Are you seeing the gasification when you open the bottom door? It would be great if you could open that door and video it for us.

    A few things to check as mentioned by others here as well.

    1) Measure your stack temps during a full burn and post them.
    2) Get a wood moisture content meter and test your wood and post the results.
    3) Video the bottom chamber during a full burn and link the video on this thread.

    My dad loves to burn wet wood because it last longer and he thinks he will use less wood overall. Sadly his mind is made up by years of experience with less efficient stove designs he has used and there simply isn't anyone alive that can change his mind. With the Empyre Elite that simply isn't the case as the wood has to burn more and longer to simply dry out the wood and you can't get the heat out of it to properly start gasification. By using dry wood, 15%, you are letting the wood focus on heating your water and then the fan will shut down once the water is hot and it won't burn much at all until you need to raise your boiler temp again.

    I would not be surprised if you get a ton of creosote out of your tubes as well. Just buy the flu active tool and save yourself the frustration and wood usage.

    Willyswagon, maybe you could video yours gasifying and link the video? It would give muleman51 something to compare it to if he lacks the ability to post his results. Videos can be found on youtube but I'm not going to link anything without knowing the forums policy on it.
    mikefrommaine likes this.
  13. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    [​IMG]
  14. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Muleman, just wondering how you are getting along? Did you get a chance to try the flue tool out? Got any pics of the setup or videos?

    Erin
  15. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Pelletdude, can you tell me your thoughts on the the elite 100? Does it smoke when the stove idle? How does it stop and start a fire?

    Erin
  16. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    When my 100 is burning it looks just like that picture. ( I haven't figured out posting pictures yet.) Cleaned it this morning about three gallons of ash for one week. My setup is nothing special just two lines hooked to the house like it has been for the last 20 years. And I am not giving them $80 bucks for a cleaning tool that they should supply to clean their boiler. Ithink that is pretty poor on ProFabs part to even suggest that you have to purchase it. If they gave me the first one and I used it up, certainly I should have to pay for a replacement. We are never going to be rid of winter here. still burning over a wheelbarrow load a day. Bought wood last week that has been cut and split for over two years. By the time I get time to get two years ahead on my wood. I'll be to old to cut it. Guess I'll be hoping for spring soon,but doesn't sound like this week yet. Jim
  17. muleman51

    muleman51 Member

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    Just bought the $8 version ( side cutter head for a roto rooter) of the tool at Menards today, in todays snow storm. Will mount it on a piece of hydraulic hse and have at the flues this week. Jim
  18. Just read through this thread. As others have said, it's the wood. If you are cutting on the weekend to keep the boiler fed there is no way the wood is dry enough. Unless the wood has been cut, split and stacked for a minimum of 9 months it has no business going into a gasser.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'll add that even if it's not the wood now, and maybe you're burning good wood & have been for a bit, if you did burn unseasoned or not-seasoned-enough wood in the past for a time you likely would have coated up your exchanger tubes then to the point they would need a really good cleaning. Burning dry wood will not remove existing prior buildup - except maybe some close to the point of hottest temps (close to secondary chamber).

    There has to be an answer for this - I haven't been keeping tally but I think so far the large majority of Elite owners we've heard from or about have been happy with their heat output.
  20. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    Erin,

    The fan comes on and ignites the fire in the primary chamber and then proceeds to send the flame into the secondary chamber to gassify. When the water temperature gets to the set point the fan shuts off and waits to cycle again. There is no smoke when the fan is not running. The Elite does not IDLE (smolder), the fire is snuffed out due to lack of air. This is the reason the boiler uses such a small amount of wood. Most customers of the Elite 100 burn between 4 and 5 cord per year. The Elite 200 between 5 and 8 cord.
  21. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    If you are burning over a wheelbarrow a day then the heat is either going to the ground or in the attic or out the window. If you need to produce 80,000 BTUs you need to burn 100 lbs of wood. Wood is on average 8000 btus per lb.- that is good wood between 14- 16% moisture. Everyone should purchase a moisture meter - relatively cheap at $25.00. As for the flue active tool, if you swab out the heat exchange tubes once a week from the first day you will not have a problem. This boiler needs to be cleaned just like a pellet stove once a week.
  22. chewy

    chewy Member

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    Do you have storage? what is your heat loss? what are your burn times?

    erin
  23. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Or up the chimney.
  24. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    It think I'd call that idling.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. ==c
    mikefrommaine likes this.
  25. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

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    Does anyone have the electric backup option with the Elite or have you seen one in operation?

    A local dealer has an Empyre Elite XT 100 display model at what appears to be a good price.

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