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Garn Boiler Feedback Please

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by woodlady, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

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    ricks, the 8 month oak was stored for the last month in a heated bldg and i still would mix with dry stuff, yes when dry the oak burns very well, i almost always mix wood types and and mc values within reason. you could re split some of the oak to dry faster. you will want to stack the wood in the chamber tightly if it is dry, a little looser if a higher mc content. the garn is relatively forgiving however it will reach higher sustained temps less smoke/condensate with dry wood. I would say garnification might burn wood that is a little wet from time to time, i think he likes the smell!

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  2. terry

    terry New Member

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    Mar 31, 2008
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    Loc:
    jackson michigan
    hello woodlady, we to are interested in a garn or eko unit. We are trying to get prices and choose the best unit for our needs, we've called a garn dealer in Quincy Michigan. We've left messages but no return call as of yet. Were wanting to heat a large house, 5400 sq.ft. two story. walkout basement with easterly exposure. well insulated. large omount of Anderson windows and doorwalls, little R factor there. The house has two 90 efficiency furnaces, one on each end. Also a 32x48 two story polebarn. The barn has a 9x48 overhand for possible location of boiler and wood storage. No heating system in barn as of yet. no insulatin in barn. My wonderful wife of 17 years and I have built the house, were not affraid of the work of cutting trees or instulling a word burning system however we are in need of any information that would help us in picking the best one for our needs. Wood in plentiful. We love reading on the website, it's full of well needed information. It not for this website we would probably be the owners of a OWB. "THANKS"
  3. Rick Stanley

    Rick Stanley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
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    391
    Loc:
    Southern ME
    If you partitioned off and well insulated a corner of an unheated building, say maybe a 7 X 20 ft. room, and put a Garn in there,then insulated the boiler to the hilt like the manufacturer recommends..............................

    Would there be standby loss enough to keep pipes from freezing within the remainder of that 7X20 space?

    What safeguards are you guys building into your systems to prevent freeze-ups if you run out of wood or get abducted by aliens or something?
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Central NYS
    Lots of insulation on the pipes running through unheated space. The boiler itself will retain heat for a long time--days, I suspect--before you'd have to start worrying about the boiler itself freezing up, if it's in an insulated enclosure. My boiler room is made of cinderblock filled with vermiculite, insulated steel doors and about 24 inches of fiberglass bat insulation in the ceiling. It's in an unheated barn.

    My plan for the odd winter vacation is to run my gas boiler and circulate just enough water through the wood side, continuously, to keep everything at 50 or 60 degrees. I thought about running heat tape in with the pipe (pex), but decided it wasn't necessary.

    One nice feature would be a zone valve that would open up and drain the boiler when the temp got down to, say, 40. That would be pretty good alien insurance for the boiler itself.
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    We installed a Garn 1500 near St Johns and I'd bet that we could arrange for you to see it if you would like. The owner has a huge old house built in 1873. It has little in the way of insulation in it, just grass and straw between the layer of brick (3). I know he had problems with wet wood the first part of the winter because of a conversation we had when I called to check on him. I didn't hear back so I assume that he got some dry stuff to work with. I have no doubt that his house is a safe bet to burn up 10+ cords (pulpwood cords not rick cords) of wood in a season so his would be pretty much an acid test so to speak. PM me if you would like to make arrangements to do so. I want to get down there and do a check and service on it anyway late this month. (The first year check is a freebie)
  6. Audetat

    Audetat New Member

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    MidWest
    I have been designing hydronic systems for some time now and backup gas boilers for wood boilers.

    The Garn boiler is not pressurized, so the jacket width is irrelevant. Water quality is key to the tank life.

    As pointed out, the return water temperature is the key keeping the combustion clean and condensate free. Corrosion will occur on the combustion side of the tank if return water temperatures are below 130F° for any length of time. Automated mixing valve or pumps are safer than a simple bypass and may incorporate outdoor reset for better control, comfort and efficiency on the distribution side of the system.

    Heat load analysis is part of the package when done right.

    I foamed my house and will soon foam the shop.

    I am considering a GARN for my own shop and sub-system for the house. It is definitely a long term investment in comfort, efficiency and quality.

    I may even become a dealer but that's another story.
  7. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  8. Audetat

    Audetat New Member

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    Most indoor boilers are pressurized. Most outdoor boilers are not. This has to do with pushing water to multiple story building and heat transfer medium quality.

    The GARN is unique in that it is both a non-pressurized boiler and also rated for indoor use. Water or heat transfer medium is carefully monitored and controlled with factory chemistry.
  9. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    when water gets hot it expands & creates pressure. unless theres a vent to air its pressurized. air would rust the boiler so i dont think its unpressurized.
  10. Audetat

    Audetat New Member

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    Wood boiler manufacturers avoid expensive insurance and government/industry regulation by NOT creating a pressure vessel. No pressure vessel, no "H" stamp etc.

    There are a few pressurized solid fuel systems on the market such as Tarm or Buderus, but they have relatively small outputs and fire box. Some are more suited to burning coal than cord wood.

    Oxidation is influenced by several factors and water quality is the first. Open boiler are considered "safer" by the insurance industry and properly maintained will not "rust" on the water side of the boiler.

    Water does expand in volume when heated. Open boilers account for this expansion with added volume. Closed or pressurized systems have a compression or expansion tank to allow for the extra volume. They also sport a pressure relief valve that keeps them from blowing up.
  11. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    so it vents?
  12. Audetat

    Audetat New Member

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    It is technically open to the atmosphere as are most outdoor wood boilers in the US.

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