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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. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    S/W MI
    fishman,
    By experience I have found wood that has been cut for two years does not mean it is dry. Gasifiers really shine with dry wood. Another thing I have found is ash build up around the nozzle will cause a lot of bridging. The ash build up is usually accelerated by above moisture wood. It still burns but adds char and ash around the nozzle and prevents good burning and seldom gets good and hot until it gets dry enough. If it starts bridging before you get it dry enough you will have a hard time getting good heat. My EKO40 is in an unheated outbuilding and I don't have storage and my very old home is heated via an air heat exchanger in an old oil furnace. I get 8-12 hour burns but I went through some stuff to get there but in essence I use my EKO like it is an OWB. Just for heat purposes, and if you could, I would bypass the storage and see if the boiler will heat your home.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Central NYS
    I second the idea of bypassing the storage. It's just an added complexity that gets in the way of troubleshooting the basic system.
  3. Tree farmer

    Tree farmer New Member

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    May 23, 2008
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    Central NH
    hold on fishman, once you figure out the issue you will be happy. I will say I have had condensation as well and it is a combo of wet wood and low burn temps and outside chimney. you should not get bridging even with higher mc wood, what are your split sizes? Too big of splits right on the bottom I found makes for bridging but rarely have the issue. Listen to the well seasoned above they will get you through it.
  4. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    Northeast,Ohio
    i have bypassed the storage i gave up on that in november the bioler heated the house fine until a very cold spell in january thats when the bridging started i reduced the fan speed to 60 percent and closed the primaries to 12mm worked better now its doing worse bridging every hour it is gasifing but have a hard time getting up to temp i only cut standing dead from 100+ acres i know my wood is dry Jim cant find anyone (heating pro) that will work on these biolers the install is fine except piping needs to be larger diameter to storage because the flow has to be cut way back just to maintain flow from boiler
  5. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    my flame is mostly orange i have been burning for 40 minutes just to try and heat my supply line to the house i have circ in house off and have to repeat this process many times aday when i turn circ in house on the boiler loses 40-50 degrees turn circ off and repeat process ready to throw the whole thing away
  6. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    and will not catch up even if i burn allday
  7. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    tree farmer i split my wood into toothpicks so at least i save on that expense
  8. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    boiler run for 14 hours and never got temp up to 170 and gassed the whole time except for some bridging
  9. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern, Vermont
    You may need more secondary air. The flame should not be just yellowish orange. It should be slightly bluish, but not too long. Sounds like your circ may also be moving too much water to the house. Also, your danfoss should keep the return water above the 140-160* range which it doesn't sound like it is happening. That way the boiler should remain above the danfoss setting so long as there is still fuel to burn. In cold weather you will see the exhaust from the boiler, but it will be mostly white like steam. If it is dark gray, then full gasification isn't happening and you need to adjust the air.
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    fishman,
    I have known frustration with my EKO40 as well. Have you cleaned inside of the primary (loading) chamber around the nozzle? We were at 0 this morning and I wasn't happy with my boiler output but I also had a deep compacted ash build up around the nozzle and the over all temp had been turned down. I have the older controller and it doesn't allow you to set it as high as the newer controller will go. That was a dum-me on my part as well as the congested build up around the nozzle. I cleaned the nozzle area and got about a bucket of char and ash and the boiler is once again gassin' and up to temp. I burn more wood when it is not dry than when it is dry. When you say your boiler gets up to temp what temp do you have?
  11. sandman59

    sandman59 Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
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    Loc:
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    This is my first year burning my 40 and can testify about the dry wood making a big difference. I had only enough dry wood to last until the middle of January. I then had to burn oak that was cut and split late last summer. I had to make adjustments - start splitting the oak to smaller splits and had to open up the primary and secondary air setting. I mix the oak with some dry slab wood but the majority is the oak. I get lots of heat, but my burn time is reduced and my ash content is increased. I also have to watch how I stack in the wood since it bridges more easily. Another adjustment I recently made was to give the boiler more time to get up to temperature before shutting down on the "Fuel" setting. I am so looking forward to burning all next season with dry wood. I have a lot of maple already cut and will add some cherry this weekend.
  12. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    290
    Loc:
    Saranac, NY
    I don't think anyone here is getting paid for anything. I certainly am not and I love my boiler. I have a Tarm but basically the same technology as yours and I love it. I start it when I get home from work (15 minutes tops) then 2 more time before bed (less than 5 minutes including walking to the room where it is).

    If ti is below 0 I might start a fire int he am but always.
  13. Huskurdu

    Huskurdu Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southwestern NY
    I have had some the same issues as you in the past. My EBW-150 was hardly keeping up with the house demand, let alone trying to heat the 500 gallon storage!. I went through 25 or so face cord this winter so far! Way more than I should have had to. I hope to cut that almost in half next year with a properly set up boiler and dry wood. Piker and Pyber helped me out with secondary air adjustment and I have installed a barometric damper. These two things have helped greatly, but the biggest thing I did was to find some dry wood. I know they're beating you up over it, but please buy a $30 moisture gauge and check that wood that you are burning. I have put in some dry elm and apple this weekend and it made a HUGE difference. Before that, my boiler would run all day and not get up to the 180 degree setting. The house would take all of the heat. I not only got the boiler up to temp (180 degrees), but I was actually able to store some of the heat. I've got a long way to go, but with they're help, I hope to heat my DHW well into the late spring/early summer.

    np
  14. Birdman

    Birdman New Member

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    Loc:
    NH
    I have to chime in. I have a Tarm 40. When I first started it up... I was scared. I had condensation in the flue pipe for the first week. It was constantly dripping moisture. For some reason... it stopped after that. All my wood was the same.. it was not extremely dry.. but it was not green either. Why this happened.. i don't know. There were other small issues that occured in the beginning.. but they all had anwers... and I am so pleased with my decision to buy the Tarm. I have it in my basement along with the remaining wood from the is year. I have used 5 cord so far. 64 to 70 in my house all year.... and have used tons of free hot water. SO glad i never bought that OWB. Well... on ht eother hand.. the new CB gasifier does look good... however... still happy with my choice.
  15. Northwoodsman

    Northwoodsman New Member

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    May 21, 2008
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    Loc:
    Northern MI
    Fishman,

    I sympathize with you on your hardship and just left you a voicemail.

    I am traveling to Pennsylvania in a few days to attend a funeral and would be more than happy to stop by on my way home, help you disassemble your EKO 40 system and take it off the hands.

    Please contact me thru my website at www.upnorthenergy.com

    NWM
  16. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    West Michigan
    Hey North, if you drive through Grand Rapids on your way home I'll buy the controllor and perhaps the refractories off you for spares! We can part this beast out.

    Fish, I hope you get your EKO running soon. I brought my EKO 40 with 1000 gallons online at the end of December this past year. My startup seemed to go much more smoothly than you're experiencing. My biggest challenge for the first week was getting my storage up to temp. Throttling down your bypass loop ball valve is absolutely critical to heat your storage for the first time. My ball valve stays about 85% closed at all times....
  17. sfriedri

    sfriedri New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    Ontario, Canada
    Fishman,

    I can see how you could get frustrated with the problems you are having.

    During the first month of using my EKO40 I was having severe bridging problems, and only by splitting my wood down to a very small diameter (<3") did the bridging go away. However, I also did one simple modification to my EKO that nearly eliminated the bridging problem with larger splits. Some of the older EKO's do not have this, but since your's is new it may have the same issue as my EKO. My EKO came with two metal protectors that are located along the side walls of the primary chamber above the top outside edge of the nozzle refractory. These metal pieces significantly narrow the passage for wood to drop into the nozzle area, and all my bridges were caused by hangups on these pieces. If you have these pieces you should try removing them and see if that helps your bridging problem.

    There is more info about this issue in this thread: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/28868/

    Good luck.
  18. TimCroft

    TimCroft Member

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    Loc:
    Hudson valley NY
    Hey Burning Chunks,
    Bridging was driving me nuts early on with my Tarm Excel. I was loading up the firebox way too big and too early in the burn. The coal bed was not deep enough to preheat the wood just above it and the embers depleted before before the next pieces were ready to burn in succession. I discovered that building the fire small and then adding layers of increasing larger pieces over fifteen or twenty minutes helped to let a good hot gas burn result from a deep bed of coals.ls than gravity pushes it downward

    My tarm is not as happy with a full firebox as it is with one two thirds full. the wood just tends to hang up when the weight of the wood above pushes the wood below as hard against the sides as it does downward.

    I don't make money burning wood or selling equiptment but I sure have saved a bunch!
  19. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Amen, Fossilfree. Another benefit to the small fire method you mentioned, at least for me, is less smoke. If I have the time to load three or four times in a night instead of just twice I get an easier start and a much quicker bed of coals. But if I have plans in the evening and I have to start my beast with a full firebox I typically toss in a firestarter (like you can buy at Menards) which helps insure I'll get gasification. It just takes longer - say 40-50 minutes before I hit 160 and the smoke stops. Compare this to 20 minutes or less with the smaller fires....
  20. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    hey fish where did ya go???? I know people that have tried to contact you by phone and no return calls. Is this still forsale????
  21. Northwoodsman

    Northwoodsman New Member

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    Fishman,

    I'm heading to PA tonight so please let me know when I can stop by to purchase your system. I have emailed you and left you several messages but have not heard back from you.

    Please contact me through my company website at www.upnorthenergy.com if your really/truley interested in selling you system.

    Thanks ,

    NWM
  22. fishman

    fishman New Member

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    i took my 44 mag and shot the thing full of holes
  23. WoodNotOil

    WoodNotOil Minister of Fire

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    Huh? Maybe anger management is in order???
  24. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    We don't see many trolls on this board, but I'm starting to think that fishman might be one.
  25. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Does seem like a dubious way to achieve a return on an investment of this magnitude, even for a customer who is unhappy with a product!
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