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Empyre Elite boiler corrosion

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by logger6644, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Fi-Q, unfamiliar with what a sticky is, let me know. Do you have and Empyre Elite 100 and if so, what when did you purchase it? I believe the electrical backup they offer is only for freeze protection. It will not heat your house.

    The Electric is for heating your home in the event you don't put wood in your boiler. It is a a primary heat source for those that don't want a fossil fuel heating source. The Electric package qualifies for Mortgage and insurance requirements.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    What is the output rating of this electric system? What are the amp and voltage requirements for the hookup?
  3. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Burning Hunk

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    Yup, that s approx what I figured out, and that is a 50 000 btus steady, 24/7 if needed. And for under a 1000$ i think it s a dair deal for a back up. As long as someone have the electrical power tu run it.
  4. Fi-Q

    Fi-Q Burning Hunk

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    A sticky is an important thread that moderator can decide to put on the top of the dirst page of a forum IE: for the boiler room: Fine tuning a eko..... Underground line, not a place to skimp.... Ect..... This need to be done by a forum moderator, but i don t know who it is for the boiler room.

    I don t have any wood boiler yet, still building the house ( long term project) as of now I have a wood stove and some electrical base board for back up.

    Here , electricity is pretry cheap, 0.07$/kwh , so it will be my back up when I ll go boiler route.
  5. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    I know about building your own home. I'm up to ten years and counting.Started with a log shell made by KEA log homes outside of Perth to my design. Sweet, but quite an adventure. My heat started with a leaky outdoor boiler I got for free. I welded up a doghouse tank and stuck it inside the original firebox. Not efficient but worked for years. Finally go for the big bucks for a new boiler and now I hit another bump in the road. This to shall pass.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    There were a couple of Varm 'built in' electric heat options I could have gone with for my boiler for backup - either a boiler with elements in it, or a storage tank with elements in it.

    I went with a separate 18kw electric boiler that I found on Kijiji for $400 that was 2 years old & came with a circulator. They pop up on there semi-regularly, seems there was always someone converting from an electric boiler to a heat pump. Not quite as 'clean' an install as something built in to a boiler, but I like modularity in my system and the ability to isolate & just replace one thing should it go bad.

    It will only be rarely used (just one day so far) - anything much more than that & I likely would have put something oil back in for backup. Electricity is hardly cheap here - around 0.16/kwh after the BS tax & tax 'rebate' circus.
  7. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    Just curious? What size breaker do you need for that boiler?
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Ah yes, the breaker (& circuit) fiasco.

    Based on the boiler specs, I needed a 100amp breaker (& the wiring for it) - but just by an amp or two. Forget now, but I think it specd 82 amps. My electrician was shaking his head the whole way through that - it was what he had to go by, or else he'd be in trouble if inspection revealed he put a breaker in that was under the boiler spec. He knew that practically, an 80 would be fine, but his hands were tied. Which I completely understood. He was also sure that despite what the specs said, it wouldn't draw 80 amps. And he was right. Once we had it wired up & he measured the load with all the elements burning, it was drawing something like 74 amps (I think). The boiler is pretty close to the panel - maybe it would have been more if it was further away? Anyway, 100 amp breakers & the wire to run to the boiler are pretty pricey. Not quite what I paid for the boiler, but it was getting up there.
  9. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    I'm not 100% certain but I think Central Boiler had a similar issue on their E-Classic when it first came out and there were also posts on this forum about it. Seems to me like it was an issue of creosote getting behind the fire brick also.

    Can anyone help out here?

    Brian
  10. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I think Central boilers issues were beyond creosoted getting behind the firebrick.

    1. The years of marketing systems that can burn green wood.

    2. Very large fire boxes that encourage overloading and excessive idling.

    3. Lack of understanding of return water protection.

    I am sure others could add to the list but the three above combined with the mindset of "I want to burn green wood and load the thing full so I only mess with it once a day" just spells disaster for a wood boiler.

    gg
    heaterman and logger6644 like this.
  11. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    This is the cleaning instructions I got from Ben at Pro-Fab but it does not address or mention the lower passage you show in the pictures. Is there an updated one you are aware of? My problem stemmed from not being aware of this duct or the need to clean it.
  12. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    Just a quick postscript to my thread. I prevailed with Pro-Fab and they honored the warranty based on them making design changes that impact performance without informing previous owners. I now have the warranty unit up and running and have added someof my improvements to better seal the upper chamber from leaking creosote behind the firebricks. Pro-Fab recommended and I installed an ESBE valve loop to temper incoming water. However, to this date Pro-Fab has not changed their policy for informing customers or for that fact dealers of changes to design or procedures. I am still lobbying them to change this policy as I know I am not the only customer adversely affected by this shortsighted policy. If anyone else has had problems with the performance and maintenance of their boilers I would be glad to share whatever knowledge I have gained.

    My thanks to this forum and to all you members out there for your help and suggestions. Burn it UP!!
  13. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    Great to hear that Pro Fab stood behind its products and made it right with you.
  14. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    Yes, they did come through at the end. Their first offer was to deny it was caused by a design problem, then they just wanted to pay for welding. I was not happy with that reply and ultimately they came around. I'm still involved with a discussion with them about their policy or more exactly their lack of a policy to inform their customers or their dealers of changes to design or procedures. So far no response on what their policy is so they are still suspect in my eyes.
    pelletdude likes this.
  15. jason buck

    jason buck New Member

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    Thanks for the good info, I am currently going through the warrenty replacement procedure on my elite 100. My dealer said to have a warranty on the new stove, I have to buy profabs heat load recirc valve pakage ( optimizer elite V2 ) for $550.00. I just want to install a ESSB bypass system look like it shows on page 12 of the manual. Did they approve your system? By the way, my loading door corroded through in less then two seasons. Thanks
  16. arbutus

    arbutus Burning Hunk

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    Jason, Did you have the stainless door that they now ship with?
  17. jason buck

    jason buck New Member

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    No, it was steel, They sent the stainless as the replacement.
  18. logger6644

    logger6644 New Member

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    Hi Jason,
    Congrats on prevailing with your warranty claim with Pro-Fab. I was never able to get them to acknowledge having any policy for informing customers of changes or procedure updates. It is a pretty sad commentary on their customer service policy. I have gotten no response from anyone in the company at any level regarding this issue. I think spreading the word and warning people of the issues with Pro-Fab through this forum is the best we can do for now.

    They had replaced my door once before my boiler failed, and the replacement boiler still had the old design door and did not have the update for the cleanout for the secondary air passage. I sealed up the hole below the brick with aluminum duct tape and will remove and check it all out prior to firing this fall.The new stainless steel door with the external latch is definitely better, wish they would have sent me that version.

    I did purchase the manifold from the local dealer for $350 that prevents water below 140 F from returning to the bolier. It has a thermostatic valve and a bypass loop that recirculates the water until temp is up. This does not include the cost of the pump that circulates the water in this loop. It also requires a second pump to circulate water to your storage or heating system. I pump from the bypass manifold through a plate heat exchanger to storage and back to the bypass manifold with this second pump. Seemed to work well for the short time I ran the new system. You could probably build your own manifold but the thermostatic valve is $100 to $150. If I had more time I probably would have. I would definitely put one in one way or the other.

    I've learned you have to be pretty independent and self-reliant to burn wood. It's not for the faint of heart, especially with these gasification boilers.
  19. mustash29

    mustash29 Feeling the Heat

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    I visited a dealer yesterday checking these boilers out and had a very nice chat with the New England distributor. I was quite pleased with the whole experience.

    It appears that they have re-designed the internals to eliminate this problem. The new version has a 304 stainless firebox, a new lip overlaps the top of the refractory to prevent the drips from getting behind the brick. The new style door latches are also more appealing as well as stainless doors.

    All in all a good looking boiler that has simplistic controls.
    pelletdude likes this.
  20. Deepwoodsman1972

    Deepwoodsman1972 New Member

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    Guys thanks for all the great info. I've had an elite 100 and I'm on my second year. My serial number is 453 so I'm hoping I have some of the updates.

    Here's my issues and I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this. It ran perfect year one. This year I couldn't get it up to temp and after multiple conversations with profab I finally got the "cleaning instructions" they never tell anyone about. I did the major cleaning and found the secondary duct was clogged with creosote and I cleaned both chambers out thoroughly. I drilled holes where indicated. Since then I've refired it twice. Both times it works for about 10 days then I start getting a lot of ash build up in the secondary chamber. Right away this tells me the gasification process isn't working right. Sure enough after lifting the bricks out the secondary duct work is full of goopy creosote again. The last two times I've had to get a torch to burn it out but I do get it clean after a few hours of work.

    Here what I do know:

    1. Burning a lot of oak. Tested moisture and its 3% at most.
    2. I am burning it hot, loading it 2-3 times a day
    3. When ducts are clean it'll go up to 180 no problem.
    4. Temps outside have been relatively cold where I live. Highs around 32F lows in the teens.

    How in the world do you get creosote from dripping into the lower ducts? It's driving me crazy.

    Thanks again for the help.
  21. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    3%? That has to be a typo? How long and under what conditions has the oak been cut split & stacked?

    How much time does it spend idling? Sounds like loading 2-3 times a day with highs around the melting point might lead to a lot of idling, and creosote production.

    I have no experince with the Empyre though, and we don't know anything about your heating load demand or heat loss - a bit more info might help, and hopefully other Empyre owners will be along.
  22. Deepwoodsman1972

    Deepwoodsman1972 New Member

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    We had a firewood moisture probe stuck into several pieces of wood. I cut and split two years before I need it and it's stacked in a wood shed out of the weather. We checked about 5 different pieces and all were between 3-5% moisture content.

    I don't feed it unless it's burned down to a bed of hot ashes of about 5" which is about every 8 hours.

    I know guys have had issues with the empyres as I've read on here. Just wondering if any have had issues with continuous creosote build up and how often they are cleaning it.
  23. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I think it is physically impossible for the wood to be 3% m/c. Not sure how you're getting those numbers, but something doesn't seem right. I don't burn oak, but from what I've learned from others, I wouldn't expect it to get down to 20% with two years of drying time. Did you measure on a fresh split surface? What does it read when you measure an exposed stud or joist surface in your house?

    Cue other Empyre guys...
  24. Deepwoodsman1972

    Deepwoodsman1972 New Member

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    I did not, just checked the edges but I can cut a piece in half and recheck. But most of this wood was dead standing oak when harvested. With being under a well ventilated roof outside for two full seasons I would surely think it would be dry enough to burn hot and limited creosote issues. I don't have any issues getting a fire going, etc.
  25. treefrog359

    treefrog359 New Member

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    hi I know your pain dealing with the ember build up in the lower chamber. I have a XT 200 #525. it is my second stove that I have had and this one is a bigger piece of junk then the first stove. Ben at pro fab has not impressed me at all! yes he has tried to help but not doing any good. Ben had no idea of all the changes that they made between the first and second generation stove. I would be just happy to get my money back and get a different stove.

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