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Greenfire tear down and rebuild

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by sparke, Jan 11, 2008.

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  1. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I assume you meant the customer service at Green FIRE was good, not GreenWood . . . since their's sucks. Anyway . . . so yours is a closed system?? Now I am jealos, as the GW is an open system. Which was why I was looking at Tarm and a few others. I know the 20plate HX works, but I'd still rather heat my oil boiler directly.

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  2. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    My bad - Greenfire!! 207-834-5582
  3. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    3 Hours into burn cycle. Boiler full of 3 month old 12" diameter Red Oak.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  4. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    wow looks good. I'm very impressed with this boiler the simplicity and how well it works. could you send some pics of the back of the boiler i would like to see how you plumb this type of boiler.
    does it come with expansion tank and aqua-stats or did you have to buy all the parts to install? hope you continue posting about how it operates.
  5. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    why you burning green wood?
  6. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Because I can!!!! Seriously, Greenfire company says it performs really well with 3-6 month old un-split hard wood. That is one reason I went with this boiler as opposed to other gasifiers that require dry wood. I just so happen to be sitting on 16 cord of 3 month old oak and I was running out of dry wood. This years cold snap really put a dent in the pile. As you can see from the pics of the firebox and chimney, the boiler is burning very clean.

    Here ya go Rsnider: It came with Sealant, 30#pop off, 210* bypass valve, temp/pressure gauge, Samson draft controler ( I think it is different brand but same design).
    The aquastats and other parts came off my old boiler or were purchased.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That picture does not do justice to the amount of heat in that firebox when you open the door!!
  7. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    we need better pics. so if green wood works then my green wood should be able to burn like yours as they are simular design.
  8. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    what is that little chain for on the back?
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Pretty impressive looking clean burn, sparke. Henfruit--that chain opens and closes the natural draft door. It's activated by a bimetal draft control mechanism which you can see in one of the pics from the front. It's the silver thing with the black knob on the top. It gradually opens and closes the draft door (with no power) as the boiler heats and cools.
  10. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Hen, Yes yours should be able to burn green wood efficiently also. Greenwood, Greenfire, Black Bear, Adobe are all based on the original Seton design. However, the Greenfire has some modifications that I believe help it burn better. Seton and most others have 2 draft positions. Open or shut. I like the Samson control. I suspect the idle time is lessened. The fire is allowed to burn - albeit at a much slower rate as opposed to choked off causing possible creosote(just my opinion). Fred Seton is opposed to Samson control or at least he was when I asked him about it... Also I think there is an extra draft tube that enters the fire box separate from the ones in the back. I suspects this helps achieve a higher combustion rate. With said differences I bet you can still burn fairly green wood.
  11. wsurfer49

    wsurfer49 Member

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    I am sold. YOU have done a bang up job of selling me and 99 percent of that is being a satisfied customer. Please keep me posted on any problems or concerns that you might have. I am trying to educate myself and any input from an experienced installer will be helpful. I like the looks of the unit and the price is incomparabel and it does not appear that there is much if any sacrifice in quality.

    Congratulaions on that warm house. I can really relate to that, 50 degrees in the morning if I didn't load the stove at 10 or 11pm. I have been gone now for 3 days and it will be around 40 tomorrow when I get home. BRRRRR!!!!

    I can just imagine how nice it will be with a furnace and maybe 1000 or 15000 gallons of storage. The house will be a very different animal then.

    Rob
  12. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    thanks for the pics. so the green fire has a separate air intake than just the ones on the back? does same damper control this air coming in? at what part of the fire box does it enter? it would be nice if it would enter a bit higher toward the top of fire box to burn off more gases. thanks again for your replies.sorry i like to ask allot of questions but i like to get all the real world answers i can from someone using a boiler. ryan
  13. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    No worries on the questions. I learn alot from this forum. It is nice to give back. Anyway, the extra tube feeds the fire from underneath. It originates in the same draft chamber as the rest of the tubes. I agree in theory that it would possibly burn more gases if located higher. But, I think there is PLENTY of heat in the box to burn everything just the way it is...
  14. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    is this tube in the ash pan area coming up into the fire? you said earlier that it does have a ash pan how does the ash go into it, is there slots int he bottom of the refractory or is the opening for the ash removal level with the refractory just an opening into the chamber? ryan
  15. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    The tube starts in the same place as the other 4 draft tubes (in back under draft door).
    It simply dumps into a bottom chamber at the back of the unit. This is the same chamber the ashpan is in. The air then follows the ash pan up into the grates at the bottom of the firebox. I will tell Mark from Greenfire about this blog. Maybe he will chime in...
  16. magnumhntr

    magnumhntr New Member

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    Just curious as to the other important specifics..... like....

    Warranty
    Durability
    What the company sized this unit to be able to heat

    anything else we might be interested in.

    Reason being I am seriously in the market for a wood boiler of some sorts. I was sold on Central Boiler OWB, but since finding this forum, and leaning more towards the gasifiers. Problem is, I want something that will keep up with my heat demands, yet not need to be tended more than once every 10 hours at least. I don't see the point in having one if it can't keep going while I'm at work. I see there are some OWB type gasifiers out there, and more coming. So that might be my answer. That being said I think if I had to choose right now, it'd be a Tarm or a EKO for nothing other than the fact everyone that I read about having one has nothing but praise for them.

    Chris
  17. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Warranty - 20 Years (pro rated)

    Durability - Hard to say since I have only had a week. However, I have been rolling in 12" unsplit- green red oak with no problems.

    Size - 90K I thought about going bigger as I have a 2000-2400 sq'ft not well insulated house with 20 year old Anderson windows. Greenfire advised againts it. They were right. I started off loading the boiler full (which lasted 10 hours w/coals on a 15-20* days with wind). I have found half loads last almost as long. I am still playing with draft control for optimum wood consumption - heat.
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Chris - we've exchanged some comments and you may have seen some other comments from me. Your knowledge has been very helpful.

    I have a Tarm Solo Plus 40 (140,000 btu) with 800 gallons storage, self-installed and put in operation in Sept 07. My satisfaction is well over 90% and still climbing as my experience teaches me the best way to operate the boiler in my circumstances. Have seen many other positive comments on the Eco, but no experience. Tarm in Lyme NH is very helpful, and my dealer was very helpful. Tarm makes larger and smaller units.

    The only "negatives" I have, and these could also be positives, is the 20" firebox (19" actually is a better working length because my chainsaw cutting sometimes gets the pieces a little long) and single load burn time 3-5 hours on pine. The shorter length makes the splits very easy to handle and load. Good for the *AF if important. Steel firebox with refractory bottom, so need to be a little careful on first pieces in, but after that little danger of damaging refractory. I don't have oak and therefore have no experience with burn times for oak. It should be longer and therefore produce more heat.

    With adequate storage your 10 hour time frame should be no issue. SW MI is more mild than N MN, where I live, so your heat requirement likely is less per sq ft. Say you fire in the morning before taking off for the day, takes about 5-10 minutes, and then fire in the evening when you return. Boiler will burn full bore dumping heat as needed for space heating or to storage. With N MN extreme temps, two firings of pine per day is maximum for me, and so far this heating season, one firing is far more common, and some days I can skip completely.

    My "ideal" is to move to 1200 gallons or more of storage, as the boiler clearly has capacity to heat more, and larger storage just provides more flexibility. Would not surprise me that if your bring storage up to 160 or more over the weekend, you may be able to go for several days with no firing at all, depending on weather and your heat requirements.

    I would strongly suggest sizing the hx (maybe oversize some) and storage to take the full boiler output to get a continuous burn to the end. Idle time is wasteful. Except as my storage rises above about 130, my full boiler output goes to storage. As storage temp rises, amount of heat the hx can strip off the boiler output reduces, and I do get some idle time at the high end.

    P.S. -- it's more than fun to see roaring yellow to blue flame out of the nozzle and then wonder, what happened to all that ash I used to get?
  19. MikeF

    MikeF New Member

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    Hello everyone! I've been lurking here for awhile now, actually since my "homemade" OWB sprung another leak. It's sort of fixed now but I have vowed that it would be my last winter with it. (It's about "100" years old...time for all poorly made boilers to be put to rest.) In all fairness Bertha has been pretty good to me. She eats too much and smokes like a chimney but we've spent a lot of quality time together.

    Anyway...for my first post I thought I'd let you all know that Greenfire's new website is now up. Greenfire

    I talked with Mark Babin today at Greenfire and he was very helpful and down to earth. I live in Western New Brunswick so I think I'll take a drive up there to look at one first hand.

    From what I've read here thus far and what I see on the website, I like their boiler. Right now I'm leaning that way. Mark says I shouldn't need storage but also says that I ought to have a heat dump of some sort. Wouldn't storage be the best of both worlds?
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Hi Mike. Welcome to the Boiler Room.

    Heat storage and a heat dump are not necessarily the same thing. If you need to dump heat and your storage tank is fully charged up, then you're not going to dump any heat into it. Better is a bypass arrangement that allows you to pump hot water from the boiler directly into your biggest heating zone in the event that the boiler gets too hot, say, over 200 degrees. That way you overheat your house to protect your boiler. The storage tank will do the same thing, but only it it's depleted. So it's not as reliable.

    Another form of heat dump is a gravity heat dump that is designed to dissipate heat from your boiler in the event of a power outage. Or, you can use a generator or a battery backup of some sort. It's a good idea to be able to dump heat from your boiler if the power goes out when it's been firing hard. You should really have both, IMO.
  21. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    sparke how has the smoke been when you are loading the greenfire?
  22. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Smoke can be an issue if you open door at the beginning of burn cycle. After reading thru Greenwood Threads before I got his boiler I knew what to expect. I open the door up when temp goes below 160* (no smoke problems at this point). Reload, shut door and forget it until next reload. That being said, I also have a draft issue. The company suggests the boiler needs .06-.07 draft for proper efficiency. I have .03 to .04. I am still working on getting the proper draft. Its looking like I may need to buy a draft inducer... I am going out of town for a while. Will update later...
  23. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    i put in draft inducer. i only use it when i load it. but istill get some smoke. i built a hood over the door area with a exhaust fan to help remove the smoke. it woks ok. i really think this boilers still need to be out side in seperate building?
  24. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    Sparke could you post the plumbing diagram or instructions that greenfire sent with your boiler? i would like to see how they suggest to plumb up the system. thanks ryan
  25. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    There are about 20 different diagrams. With Hx without Hx, with radiant w/out, etc...etc...

    Tell me which scheme you are interested in and I will be happy to post it...
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