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EPA Testing and Garn

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by kenny, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. kenny

    kenny Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    central Mn
    The folks at Garn have paid a price for taking a position to opt out of EPA testing and submit to ASTM testing instead. We have known all along that the EPA test was flawed and we felt that going along to get listed on the EPA website went against our sense of integrity. It has been a frustratingly long wait, but it appears that the truth is beginning to surface based on the following links to a couple of articles.

    . http://tinyurl.com/qhmvqzk

    http://tinyurl.com/kgnzene

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  2. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, the EPA has its collective heads up its arses if you ask me. EPA testing is cooked up in a way that no one actually uses their stoves and/or boilers. For whatever reason: lobby induced, industry driven, antiquated bureaucratic process, government stripped funding??? It defies logic, but it is what it is. As for removing BS efficiency OWB numbers, the same should be done on all wood burning appliances. For that matter, the EPA should also remove their own BS numbers for efficiency on wood stoves, because all cat stoves are not 72% and all non-cat stoves are not 63%. But that is what they list them as.

    Much of the war on OWBs has been a lobby effort and cooked up disinformation and junk science published by the likes of NY state and New England. Also while many fly-by-nite OWB companies out there have come and gone, Garn, Tarn, CB, etc. have been around and are working on cleaner burning technology with (or hindered by) the EPA. Garn has a good description of the issues of EPA testing and the problems of using crib wood here: http://garn.com/wp-content/themes/Chameleon/forms/GARN EPA 1 2 3.pdf

    However my problem with the above Garn white paper is that they go on to compare a Garn and trash talk an EPA approved CB boiler set up in Alaska. They show creosote buildup there. Creosote is going to form anywhere that you have smoke hitting super cold air, and they are comparing an indoor Garn vs. an outdoor CB. The creosote buildup is actually rather minimal, but LOOK! Sensational BS, set up in an unscientific limited and non typical environment. They do not say what wood is being burned, or how dry it is, or the compared temps, or anything else. It smacks of the old NY state posted anti-OWB photos of people burning tires. They start with a scientific testing comparison, and then drift into complete crap.

    In the end I do not see much truth surfacing anywhere. Its just being moved around.
    hobbyheater and martyinmi like this.
  3. MarkW

    MarkW Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    201
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Sadly, "science" these days seems dependent on the individual making claims, rather than proven results. Cooking the numbers to achieve ones hypothesis seems the norm.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  4. bioman

    bioman Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    242
    Garn is the best, End of conversation.. All you need to do is build one. Then you can test for yourself !
  5. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,006
    The EPA testing has reared its ugly head in our town. The town has brought in a by-law that all new wood burning instalations have to be EPA approved. I have a new never yet fired Jetstream that I would like to install, but can only use the new one for parts. It cannot be installed as a complete unit because it is not EPA compliant. Our insurance company would like us to install the new never used unit complete, as they are no longer comfortable with the original in use unit because it is over 30 years old.

    IMGP3752.JPG

    This is the loading and burn chamber on the Jetstream - about 4 hours into a burn cycle. After an average burn cycle that delivers on average 500,00 BTUs to storage, there is about 1 cup of fine pumice type ash in the bottom of the burn chamber.

    IMGP3756.JPG

    This is the only way that I can see if it is burning clean.

    About four years I got a new neighbour across the street. This spring I was putting wood into the woodshed and he asked me what I was doing with the wood - did I sell it? I told him that we heated our house 365 days a year with wood. He did not believe me because he never sees any smoke coming out of the chimney.

    IMGP3758.JPG

    The combustion exhaust is just hot enough to be uncomfortable to breathe. The air smells no different than the air that would come out of a hot air register !

    IMGP3768.JPG

    The outside air temperature was around minus 12 degrees Celsius when I did this unscientific test.
  6. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,289
    Loc:
    WI
    Send me that Jetstream and I will install it here.

    gg

  7. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Sherman, NY
    I would just say that is is time for a heat exchanger replacement, and a control upgrade, and some pumps, and the sheetmetal.....;)
  8. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Well I think we are all getting to or are over 30 years old here, time for a new insurance company if you ask me.

    This is the problem with Gov't dictated laws, the few of us who actually do things right are pumished because we don't have some tag or certification on us or our equiptment. This makes it not possible for us to run certain equiptment, or have the freedom to install it ourselves if we would like. Having the install inspected..........ok, I'm cool with that, but saying we need to get rid of something because it's not new, or has the newest certification (which was not even available when it was manufactured) is bologna IMHO.

    TS
    hobbyheater and mikefrommaine like this.
  9. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Wow, they have this EPA *stuff* up in BC now too? The CB OWB that I installed at my ex's can only be used as long as she owns the place. It has to be scrapped if/when she sells her place as it is not EPA approved. Actually all wood burning appliances have that requirement in Oregon now, so Garns are banned here. Her non-EPA CB burns clean, and far cleaner that the crappy posted CB photos that Garn has on their site.

    I suppose Obama may ban burning firewood outright in his global warming speech this week. Of course if wood is allowed to rot, it produces even more greenhouse gasses.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    RE; Garn banned in Oregon because it's not EPA tested/approved.....

    That's pretty ironic isn't it? One of the cleanest burning and most efficient wood fired heaters out there banned because it wasn't tested to a highly defective protocol. Makes me laugh at the sheer idiocy of the regulators at EPA and the dimwits making the local and state laws. They don't know what they don't know and because of that they just read the document showing the test and accept that as the final word without ever taking the time to understand what is going on.

    I wonder what is going to happen now given that EPA has tacitly admitted that their supposed test has yielded highly inaccurate and outright misleading results. Do you think that the jurisdictions that mandated EPA compliance will back up and try to do something right for a change?

    Don't even get me started about EPA Phase II.............
    bioman and hobbyheater like this.
  11. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Well, then what about EPA phase III? :p They are debating it now, but it will likely be the WA state standard, because the EPA will not actually get off its arse and do anything about anything, and just use someone else's handy standard, no matter how absurd or realistic. So no, I do not believe that the EPA will do anything other than glaze over their already poor requirements with another set of even more restrictive and baseless requirements. More government for the government and by the government. Its a cancer...

    I would like to see a standard based on a non-spaced stack of round or split logs, preferably Doug fir or white oak with a 20% moisture content, placed east-west like they are burned in 90% of stoves out there. OWBs/gassifier boiler tests would be similar, but using larger rounds stacked north- south. The air requirements for that type of burning are greatly reduced, and would result in cleaner burning stove designs with better heating efficiency. But I digress... you cannot fight the government cancer... er, I mean the EPA.
    hobbyheater likes this.

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