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gassifers are too much work

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by fishman, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    I have a EKO 40 1000 pressurized tank (can,t get temp above 120 maybe piping to small) but that is just the start of all the problems with these things. wood must be small in diameter and 20 inches long (more handling) and it will still bridge and shut down boiler.causing the need to open the door and stir the wood while letting out huge amounts of smoke.They call these indoor units thank God i didn't listen to my guys and put this thing in my basement i would not be able to use it.I put on garage constantly open doors to let smoke out and flue pipe drips water.People that sell this junk say no smoke when gassifing mine smokes all the time, i adjusted air inlet , fan speed everything you can do still smokes. I bought this thing thinking i wont use as much wood compared to a OWB wrong again and i own 100 + acres of Ohio hardwood stupid move should have bought OWB chuck wood in an forget about this thing is a full time job to keep running right. anyone interested in buying this thing i will sell every piece part pumps piping tanks and what ever else i can find assosiated with this thing for $6K over 11k invested call me 330-583-3604 got go stir the wood

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    How long have you been using the boiler, fishman?

    Sounds to me like your wood is not dry.

    Have you tried turning dry wood (like old pallet wood or something that you know is very dry)? It makes a big difference.

    Do you get gasification in the lower chamber?
  3. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    first year and my wood is dry and ihave burned pallet wood still smokes
  4. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    it does gasify but wood always bridges
  5. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    I have $500.00 dollars worth of class a flue i will throw in
  6. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    It sounds to me like you also may not have enough stove pipe for draft if you are getting a lot of smoke when you open the door. It sounds like your setup needs some troubleshooting and perhaps you need drier wood. Is this a new install? If your storage is starting out really cold, it takes many fires over several days before the system gets up to temp. Add to that the heat load required when it is cold for the house and that would be a frustrating situation. We have troubleshooted a lot of systems here in the boiler room, but will need lots of info on your install to do it. Sounds like you are most of the way to a good system, just need to work out the bugs a little. Tell us about your house, heat delivery, and piping arrangements and give us a chance to help you out. I have a Tarm and love it. I burn only wood year round and have overcome a lot of hurdles to get my system running correctly over the last few years.
  7. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    I'll echo all the posts above and add that your actually really close to having it work. Give the folks here a chance and they should get you up and running. Winter is almost over and if you still want to sell it, you should have no problem in the fall for the same amount of money or more depending on the economy.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I don't think we've ever "lost" anyone. People have had similar problems in the past, and I think we've eventually got them sorted out.

    Bridging can be minimized by changing your fuel loading procedure and the way you stack your wood in the firebox. Water coming out of the exhaust pipe can only mean one thing: wet wood.
  9. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    thanks for your reply but from what i se only a hand full of guys have success with these and even they have to admit these boilers require constant attention
    i would like to hear non bais opinions from people like me (not gettin paid)
  10. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    I'd start with not getting it above 120. These like to run above 160 to really get going well. How's it plumbed so we can figure out why its not burning hot.

    **edit**-I'm not getting paid - I went from a Central Boiler to EKO and had my share of problems but they are workable and when its fix - you'll be truly amazed.
  11. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    I have over twenty feet of flue and it is above my roof line i heated the storage for weeks house has baseboard and is about 2300 sQ ft well insulated
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Nobody getting paid here, that I'm aware of. And I think there are more than a handful of satisfied gasifier users, including all the major brands.
  13. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    I have no connection with the heating industry at all! I have a nearly uninsulated 1800 sq ft. house in northern VT and a Tarm 30 100k btu boiler. I start a fire in the morning before work. Go to work all day. Come home and light another fire at around 6pm. Then I refill at 10pm before bed. I have 1000 gallon unpressurized storage. With this procedure my household is never cold, I have enough DHW, even with my wife and three children home all day and the thermostats around 68*. I burn about 10 cords a year and do not burn any oil at all. This includes year round DHW. My usage will drop significantly when I blow insulation in the walls. There was lambs wool on tar paper that resembled fiberglass batting put in the walls in the late 40s when the house was built that has fallen to about knee level. As you can imagine my house has a lot of heat loss.

    Your system can work and you are not being sweet talked on this forum by heating guys with a vested interest.
  14. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    piping from boiler to storage is from the famous cozy heat drawing 1.4 inch on boiler 1 inch pex to storage about 20 feetaway
  15. sdrobertson

    sdrobertson Minister of Fire

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    Are you using any cold water protection? What temp is the water going into the boiler? If the water coming out is only 120 then you somehow have to slow the water down as the boiler needs to stay warm as then you can turn down the air and then adjust the settings back to the recommended settings to start getting good gasification and prevent the bridging.
  16. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    the boiler gets hot but wont heat storage
  17. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    danfoss 3 way mixing value
  18. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    We need more details.

    Do you have a danfoss or termovar return protection?
    Please supply a link to the piping layout or a description of it.
    Can heat go directly to zones from the Eko or do they only come off of storage? Are you heating a fossil boiler in series? What is your backup heat source?
    Are your lines to storage insulated?
    What size pump to storage?
    What control for heating storage are you using?
  19. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    does allthe idling do to bridging cause condensation in flue
  20. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    forget storage i just want this thing to haet my house this year then i am going to throw it away if nobody want to buy it a buy OWB
  21. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    whats the fix for the bridging
  22. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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  23. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    all hardwoods 2 years no
  24. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I sympathize with the issues you are facing, but I can't agree with your assertion, and I would submit that the far majority of gasification boiler users are extremely satisfied. I have used an indoor wood stove in our house for 19 heating seasons, have used a traditional OWB for my shop for 9 years, and now have used the Tarm for two years for the shop. I just talked to my wife about doing a Tarm install for the house for a couple of very big reasons: it is easier, safer, and produces more heat while burning less wood than the other wood burners, and it normally requires not more than one fueling per day (two on very cold days, that is , below 0F), which is in far contrast to the fueling every couple of hours for the wood stove and at least two massive fuelings per day for the OWB to get 24/7 heat.

    My gut tells me that you likely have one or more fairly simple problems that a knowledgeable person could spot and provide advice to solve. My gut also tells me that, while pros can do improper installs or make mistakes also, a homeowner without experience doing an install is likely to commit a host of mistakes, adding up to $1000 and more to fix, and possibly resulting in the problems of a type you are experiencing. I made plenty of mistakes, some costly ones, but at least I did get heat right away, so I knew I was on the right track. I am still fixing mistakes. This is not the Tarm's fault but mine because I didn't know what I was doing. All fault lies with me.

    I suggest hiring a boiler pro, as except for the return water protection, chimney and draft, and primary and secondary air settings, a gasification install is materially identical to a natural gas or LP boiler install. At least determine that this is done correctly. Search out other hands on advice from other gasifier users in your area, and I bet you can solve your problems rather quickly and hopefully inexpensively.
  25. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Take a deep breath......

    There are many of us here who don't benefit financially from these things, myself included. They work really well - that's why we spend the time and effort to share what we've learned.

    There are at least a couple of things wrong. If you fix them, life will be MUCH better. I've never had a problem heating my house or my storage with my EKO 25, so I'm confident that you will get good results once your problems are figured out and solved.

    There are a few common problems. I don't know which if any apply in your case, but it's good to rule them out:

    1) Wood that's too wet. Oak needs 2 years of drying time after being cut and split. Most other woods require a full year. If you get dramatically better results with wood that's truly dry, then moisture is part of your problem. I recommend (as others mentioned above) burning a load of pallet 2x4 pieces.

    2) Badly wrong primary or secondary air flow. Some units ship from the factory with the wrong settings. There is a sticky at the top that has some good discussion.

    3) Running with the bypass damper open (or not tightly closed)

    4) Incorrectly functioning inlet protection, resulting in reduced flow

    5) Plumbing errors

    To start with, are you getting a clean blue flame with a subdued roar in the secondary chamber? If not, you're running a very expensive traditional boiler instead of a gasifier. In that case, we need to figure out why you're not getting secondary combustion.

    Is the boiler getting up to temp and idling while the storage stays cold? In that case, we need to look at the inlet protection, circulators, and plumbing layout. As long ast the storage is below 160 or so, the boiler should never idle.

    I suspect that there are one or two things which will make all the difference.

    By the way, I look at the small wood requirement this way: I use about 1/3 as much wood as an OWB to produce the same heat. If that means I have to split the wood to 1/3 the size, then I'm handling the same number of pieces. They're just lighter and don't take up as much space.
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