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EPA wood furnace - Caddy

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Beno, Sep 23, 2007.

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  1. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    I will install the Caddy on slab on grade, there will be no basement/crawl space. With correct design I hope the Caddy will do the job for an ICF passive solar house of 3600 sq.ft., with good insulation and windows. Instead of oil backup and/or additional oil furnace I prefer to go with the electric backup. I guess this is a safer approach for the Caddy, there will be one flue for the wood only. This will also save the space and the potential problems related to burning oil.
    If there will be not enogh heat I prefer to add a wood stove (I am serious about heating with wood :)).
    Now, I undertsand that the key of success in using a wood furnace (or a furnace in general) is a good ductwork design. I'll have to learn this area also.
    Many thanks!

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    One of our former members, Elkimmeg, has made several posts in different areas of the board where he talks about ductwork and how it should be designed and built. I would say that his posts on the subject are well worth reading, and I highly reccomend them as a starting point.

    Gooserider
  3. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    I am very sorry to hear that Elk is a former member of this forum. He gave lots of great advice.
  4. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    hi beno,

    You have 3000 sq ft so I think you should be buying the caddy model psg 4000
    in hot air wood/oil. You will find that electric will be equal to or greater in cost than oil.

    Another reason to go with oil is that you can run both your duct blower motor and your oil burner
    frpm a 4000 or 5ooo watt 5 or 6 hp generator which usually costs around $500.oo

    I bought one for myself back in 2000, never had to use it,but if i ever loose power, I will still have heat & a refrigerator & tv.

    With the electric heater coil, loose power,, and well, your not going to run that off any generator with a engine smaller that 150 hp & 25,000 watt generator costing thousands of dollars.

    The model 4000 is designed to heat 4000 sq ft ,so you will have 400 sq ft extra capacity
    to see you through the coldest nights.

    The becket oil burner is rated 84 % efficient and located beneth the wood furnace
    ash box so that you dont have to worry about the wood fire damaging the oil burner.

    By the way, that becket oil burner is the same one i installed myself(DIY) in my hot water furnace back in 1985. 22 years later & it is still running like the day it was new.
    It is one honney of a oil burner & very easy to service, as oil burners go.

    Also, you can buy the caddy 4000 wood / oil hot air furnace with the acceptance hole for the becket oil burner without buying the becket oil burner & add the oil burner on at any time later.

    In a power outage, you run the oil burner or wood blower off the gasoline generator.
    You can not cook on the hot air furnace ,it is not a wood cooking stove & I would not run the wood furnace during a power outage without hooking up the duct blower to the generator.

    If all you are going to run is just the duck bkower & not the oil burner,you can get away with using the 1000 watt or 500 wt 1 hp 2 cycle chineese two cycle (mix oil in gasoline)generator that you see selling for $100.oo to $200.oo at www.harborfrieght.com, but this is a baby generator and can only power one thing at a time.

    The duck work clearances are 6 inch for the first 6 ft and 2 inch thereafter.
    29 inch clearances are needed around the furnace to leave room for the service man to crawl in and service stuff.

    All this info(except about the generators) is on the link you provided.
    I guess you were so excited that you just forgot to read it there.

    Please do download the owners manuel and read it.It is there on that bottom link in your first post of this thread.

    The duct fan can be wired either with a relay or with a 2 way hall way switch so that in one position the fan gets household power & in the other position,it is disconnected from household power and is fed from the generator feed wires.


    I would not worry about the two chimney thing because they don't want two seperate heating appliances sharing the same chimney AT THE SAME TIME BECAUSE IT DIVIDES THE DRAFT
    IN TWO AND EACH UNIT ONLY GETS HALF THE DRAFT IT NEEDS.

    THAT IS NOT THE CASE HERE. You either fire the wood side or the oil side but never both sides at once, so you never have two heating appliances sharing the same draft at the same time and cutting the draft in half.

    The unit is designed to opperate from one chimney, either designed into a common firebox or with a cut out plate/baffle, that cuts off the firebox not in use from the draft, in the case of two fireboxes.

    It is sure one sweet setup & if it were me, I wouldn't hesitate for one second in buying one.
  5. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback and explanations about the dual wood/oil. Very usefull.
    Do you know if I can use the same oil tank for both oil furnace and an oil water boiler for DHW?
    Would you recommend upgrading from Becket to a Riello burner?
    Would you recommend using an oil water boiler with direct vent, like Kerr Comet? (To save the money for the flue/chimney).
    Sorry for so many questions but it's a complex problem with multiple solutions.

    Option1: oil water boiler and wood/oil Caddy furnace
    Option2: solar/electric (DHW) and wood/electric (Caddy).

    These are my 2 main options I need to choose from, for heating and DHW.

    Thanks again,
    Beno
  6. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Yes. In fact, you would not want two tanks, as the oil in the "furnace only" tank would sit unused for long periods, developing sludge.

    Riello is the best oil burner available in the US, right now. Some folks complain about the repair parts being more expensive, but there's a very good reason for that - suppliers and service companies have to invest in those parts, which sit on shelves for long periods, rather than being used and bringing in profit.

    Do yourself a favor, and make sure that the oil burner has an outside air intake (eg, Riello BF-series), so you aren't burning indoor air that you paid to heat, and creating draft problems by sucking air out of the room.

    Also, make sure that the oil tank has a spin-on filter, rather than the "felt" cartridge filter that some installers still use. The felt filters can actually release fine fibers which will damage the oil pump (particularly the oil valve).

    A second flue would be preferred, as natural-draft appliances are more reliable. However, a proper sidewall-venting boiler would certainly save money. Just be aware that not all sidewall venting systems are created equal. I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of Kerr, personally, but that's in-part because no one around here really keeps parts in stock for them, so when something does break it's not a quick fix.

    If you are going to have an oil boiler (ie, not a water heater), it probably makes the most sense to skip having a second oil burner in the furnace, and use a water/air heat exchanger on top of the furnace. It works essentially the same as an automotive radiator - the oil boiler circulates hot water through the finned pipes, and the furnace fan blows the air over it.

    If you don't have a need for an oil boiler, because you will be using the oil burner option in a wood/oil furnace, then you may want to look into a tankless (on-demand) water heater. There are a lot of gas ones, and some oil ones as well.

    Joe Brown
    Brownian Heating Technology
    www.brownianheating.com
  7. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Joe, I noticed on your web site that you supply/install also solar systems for DHW.
    What do you recommend?
    Option1: oil water boiler and wood/oil Caddy furnace
    Option2: solar/electric (DHW) and wood/electric (Caddy).

    Thanks!
  8. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't use either of those options, honestly. A boiler just for hot water is excessive. And I don't install electric water heaters - the operation cost is just way too high.

    I would suggest a wood/oil furnace, and a solar storage tank that is used to pre-heat water which supplies a tankless water heater.

    Joe
  9. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Are also the electric tankless water heater expensive to operate? (We will have only oil and electricity in the new location)
    It seems that most tankless water heater are either electric or gas. I managed to find this one, oil fired:
    Toyotomi OM-180 Oil-Fired Tankless Water Heater
    Doesn't come cheap, the price is about the same as a tankless oil boiler.
  10. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    They are not my preference, but they are certainly less expensive than keeping a tank hot with electricity.

    A tankless oil boiler works by keeping the boiler hot all year long. So, that's ~500 pounds of cast iron and water that you need to heat, even during the summer. The efficiency of doing that is very low.

    Joe
  11. Stove Geek

    Stove Geek Member

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    Just to bring some light into this:

    SBI is the maker of the Caddy EPA CERTIFIED furnace. The first in the world. It is not Exempt. It is a non-catalytic firebox. It can be used with the combination with Oil or Electricity. It can also be used as an Add-on to oil, LP and GAS.
    US Stove does not stock this furnace. They had one made under private label in 2005 but they have discontinued it.
    The Caddy is not the regular wood furnace. It is a High-Efficiency appliance that needs t be installed by a professional. The Dusctwork needs to be pressurized properly and the venting needs to be regulated.
    The Caddy has been on the market in Canada since 2002. It is now the best-selling combination furnace in Canada. Great product! Heavy built, all pannels are zinc-coated...there's nothing like it!
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Thanks for the clarification, Stove Geek. I like the idea of a clean-burning furnace (don't know why more aren't) and especially the glass door.
  13. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Usstove does produce furnaces just like these. I have seen them personally and they are well built units. We have a local place that I can drive to and buy the Usstove 1950 model. Either way they seem like they would produce alot of clean heat for larger homes.
  14. Stove Geek

    Stove Geek Member

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    US Stove had the Hot Blast 1950 built by SBI in 2005. They have since discontinued the unit. They may have some in stock still.
  15. derbygreg

    derbygreg New Member

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  16. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    There is also the mini Caddy, which is said to be also EPA, but In House Tested. I wonder how reliable is this EPA In House Tested and what does it mean? The mini Caddy is not on the EPA list as Caddy: Caddy (duct furnace) Noncatalytic 6.6 63 % 12000-52900 3/19/2008.
    For me, the Caddy would've been perfect with a coil for DHW, to heat water.
  17. Stove Geek

    Stove Geek Member

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    The Mini-Caddy is EPA approved by Warnock Hersey since the fall of 2006...
  18. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    What I wonder now is what will be a good system for DHW, aside by Caddy wood/oil?
    I like the Tarm - Excel2000, the wood boiler with oil backup that can supply hot water for both heating and DHW, including during the Summer. One of the major issues I have with the Tarm is that it requires a large water tank, for heat storage. My question is: how do you enter the huge tank in the house, through the door? Or is it assembled in the house?
  19. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    The tanks come unassembled, so they're relatively easy to ship and move into your house. My understanding is that they're pretty easy to set up. It's really just some sheets of aluminum, a rubber pond liner and some foam insulation.

    Heat storage is not required, but it is a nice feature. You can install the boiler and see how it works in your situation without storage, and then add the tank later.
  20. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Thanks Eric. If there is no tank, where does all the heat goes when is not needed? How much could the tank cost, and its size? Why did you go with EKO and not Tarm? How reliable are these systems?
    Ideally, when the heat is not needed the wood boiler will send the heat in the house instead of chimney.
  21. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I can't comment on the Tarm because I've never seen one operate. What the EKO does is go into "idle" mode, where the blower (or blowers) shuts off and gasification basically stops. The heat doesn't go up the chimney. You can get a little bit of smoke out of the chimney when this happens, but the boiler doesn't overheat. The EKO's controller starts up the blower every 10 minutes or so for a few seconds to keep the coals alive. When the call for heat gets the boiler temp back down below the setpoint, the blower comes back on and gasification resumes.

    You can get different size tanks. They're not cheap. Many people build their own. The heat exchangers, usually copper coils, are also very expensive with today's high copper prices.

    I went with the EKO mainly because it will take wood over 24 inches long, and all my wood is about that length. The Tarm 60, as I recall, takes a maximum length of 20 inches. I didn't want to spend my first winter cutting down my firewood, and my whole setup is pretty much geared to the 24-inch wood anyway. I've been running my boiler 24/7 for a couple of months and it's been very reliable so far. There aren't many moving parts, so that ain't that much that can go wrong. I believe the Tarm has a 20-year warranty. The EKO's is 5 years. Both look like they're going to be around for awhile.

    I'm talking here about gasification boilers. Tarm also sells some conventional wood boilers, and very little that I've said applies to them. Generally, however, a conventional wood boiler is easier to use than a gasifier, and hot water storage is even less of a priority. The trade-off is that they burn more wood and produce smoke. A properly-operating gasifier works with no visible smoke.
  22. Stove Geek

    Stove Geek Member

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    PSG is putting a new Extra Large Caddy on the market in 2009 and it will have the hot water coil option. That furnace will meet the canadian EPA standard, CSA B-415. It will not be a boiler, but it will heat up water for the hot water tank. That furnace will have the optional combinations to oil and electric and will be available as an add-on as well...should be on the market in the fall of 2008.
  23. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    That's great news! Was there any public announcement about this plan? How do you know about it? If I buy the Caddy today, will I be able to add the coil later?

    Eric, how much did you pay for the EKO and how much for the tank? I am concerned also with the complex plumbing that heating with water requires. Water is corrosive + sediments of minerals ...
  24. Stove Geek

    Stove Geek Member

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    I know, I work there....

    Today's Caddy cannot accept the water coil...it will be introduced after the Caddy XL is on the market. Sorry...
  25. Beno

    Beno New Member

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    Will the Caddy XL be EPA approved too? Will the Caddy XL be able to provide hot water also in the summer? Will this require a water tank for heat storage? How much hot water will this supply? Can we see a beta/draft specification of the Caddy XL spec?
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