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Essex Thermodynamics are still around

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by luvmydamian, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. luvmydamian

    luvmydamian New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central MA
    I have been getting quotes to replace the big dual-fuel boiler that came with my house when I bought it. It's an Essex Thermodynamics and it was installed in 1981. It can't be efficient, right? We ran it on oil for the first two winters here because the wood side didn't seem to work. As I'm sure you all know, oil is rediculously expensive. We decided to get rid on it. Being a fairly new home owner faced with the huge cost to replace it, I decided to do a little research on Essex. I happened to come across the owner Manny Pacheco's number in an old post on Hearth.com. With nothing to lose I tried to call him. Manny answered the phone on my call and came over the very next day to look at her. Over the years the previous owners had stripped parts off of it, so it did need work to get the wood side going. But, for a very reasonable price Manny had my boiler up and running 100% wood which is going to save me thousands this winter. He took the time to explain how the gasification process works, something the others copied from Essex. I am so glad I didn't replace it. I'm actually looking forward to when it's cold enough to run full time (a first for me!). I highly recommend Essex for anyone in the market for a dual-fuel boiler. After you look at Tarm and Wood Gun, give Manny a call 978-870-6599. Tell him Damian sent you!

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,125
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I did not know Essex was still around. I know a guy who has one. Burns wood through it. Will not burn oil through it, even though he has the option. I will let him know about this. Thanks.
  3. luvmydamian

    luvmydamian New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central MA
    yes let them know also they should get an easy 85% on oil but get a riello burner and they will do even better
  4. lavs4x4

    lavs4x4 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    21
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Glad I'm not the only one running an essex still! Also glad Manny is still around selling parts for these units. I was just thinking about giving him a call and ordering up some new inserts, and refractory blocks. Overall, I have been very happy with the unit, heats my 4300 sqft farmhouse in central maine without any issues. Getting to know how the unit works, load timing, and regular cleaings will keep you warm and toasty with relatively low inconvience.
  5. BennoTron

    BennoTron New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    West Central Minnesota

    I don't suppose anyone has had any luck getting a hold of Manny? I've been trying since January and he doesn't answer e-mails or phone calls. I am in DIRE need of inserts, that ceramic fiber disc insulation from the door of the refractory, some gaskets, screw handles, etc. If I don't eventually hear back from him, I'm going to have to replace my Essex 1000 before next heating season.

    Please? :)

    Benno
  6. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,125
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I don't know anyone who has been getting ahold of this guy. But the guy I know who still heats with an Essex went through the process of making his own inserts. He bought a material that you mix yourself and made his own cast. Formed them, cured them and placed them in his boiler. He has had them in there for two seasons now I think. If you can not get ahold of Manny, you could look into fixing your Essex yourself. Especially now that you have some time before next heating season.
  7. BennoTron

    BennoTron New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    West Central Minnesota
    Strangely enough, after having no luck and calling and e-mailing for quite a while, I did get a hold of Manny this morning, calling at 8am central, 9am Manny-time. He still has the parts, and says that the fax machine is the way to submit an order as he's been having computer issues. I contacted him successfully at the cell phone number listed above by luvmydamian.

    Thanks,

    Benno
  8. BennoTron

    BennoTron New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    West Central Minnesota
    That's dedication! Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of casting experience, but I was able to reproduce much of the functionality of the inserts by creating similarly-sized openings by laying fire brick across the insert area, leaving gaps of an inch every few bricks, and that keeps me running for now, but the circular ceramic-fiber board insulation as well as the caulk that holds it to the refractory door has degraded severely enough that I'd be nervous burning wood in it. I've also had some minor creosote build-up in my chimney and firebox, which I am told means I need to replace every gasket and seal I can find to make the unit more air-tight, thereby increasing its efficiency and making it burn cleaner, so I'm trying to get rubber and rope gaskets, insulation, screw knobs, inserts, etc. I was extremely pleased to find Manny today.

    Thanks for the quick response,

    Benno
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,922
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    This thread is worthless without pictures.==c
    Don't recall ever seeing that brand in this neck of the woods but it sounds interesting.

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