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  1. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    Good morning everyone!

    As a newbie here, this site has been a great place to find information - wealth of knowledge - So thank you everyone thus far.

    I moved into my home in Maine in Feb. 2010 - having spent $10,000/year in heating oil I knew I needed something else, or at least supplemental to the Buderus G215 boiler. After a few seasons of cutting/splitting/stacking/hauling/burning wood from my property, my wife and I realized (now that we have a little one we welcomed to the world this past year...) we needed to take the next step and implement a third heating source (oil/wood/now pellet) into the home and something she feels comfortable with - hauling in wood or starting fires in the fireplace hasnt been her favorite tasks, although she helped split and stack.

    Here are some pictures - Our current 6 zone Buderus boiler, some of the wood under the back deck, and the first part of installing the PF100. I've only gotten to the wiring and venting - I had a local duct work/sheet metal place custom fab most of the fittings and helped me to the extreme of converting my home to forced air. Its a large home - So I got the upgraded Dayton blower 1500cfm. Picked up the furnace from a great place in Sanford, Maine. A lot of thanks to them for a great price and providing me with all the info and help I needed.Fortunately I was able to get the PF100 out of the bed of my Avalanche and loaded into my garage on a furniture roller the same time I removed my hot tub from my second story deck - I rented a 35' extension tele-handler - 2 birds with one stone.

    You can see I was able to haul a ton of pellets in the Avalanche. Didn't ride too bad, Only went about 3 miles with it loaded. Check out the springs, ouch. I purchased a two tons thus far....1 from Paris Farmers union for $215, and another ton at Tractor supply for $215

    I'll post more pics and the final install later this week as I get it completed.

    Your comments and suggestions are wanted! Thanks.

    Attached Files:

    smoke show likes this.

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  2. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    A few more pics of the duct work. Ended up using mostly 26 and 28 gauge, some 30 gauge such as the floor boots. Today I just cut through all the wood and tile floors in the house (and 2 toe-space/kick-space) areas for the floor registers.

    Attached Files:

    bill3rail and smoke show like this.
  3. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Awesome! You got yourself a major project there. Looking good, keep the pics coming.
  4. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    458
    Loc:
    vermont
    I'm curious to know why you are installing another all new heating system when you already have a hot water 6 zone system installed that a PB-105 pellet boiler would have connected to quite nicely, plus the fact that you could get the needed DHW from the pellet boiler.
  5. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    574
    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    You want to make sure you seal the mating surface between the base of the exhaust nipple and the furnace enclosure with high temp silicon before putting on your stove pipe adapter and sealing that. Where the furnace enclosure goes around the bottom of the exhaust nipple, you'll see it falls short of touching the nipple around the whole diameter and not necessarily by the same amount around the diameter. Seal it, let it set and then put your stove pipe adapter on and seal the bottom of that to the bottom of the nipple with high temp silicon as well. The surface between the furnace enclosure and the exhaust nipple is notorious for leaking smoke into the area where the hot air exits and it will blow out the heat vents in your house and smell like smoke. Mine did it and a lot of others have as well. Why Harman doesn't seal that...I'll never know.

    The other area to watch for smoke leakage in the vent system is the wripples in 45 degree and 90 degree connectors if you're using any. I had a 45 that was leaking in the wrippled seams so I sealed them with high temp silicone. I sealed all the pipe joints with metal tape. You want to seal the end of the clean out T with metal tape as well.

    You probably didn't get the PB model because you wanted to keep the forced hot water heating system original with an oil burner. At least now you can take the PF100 with you if you ever sell your house.
  6. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,439
    Loc:
    Winthrop, Maine

    !!! 10K a year???? !!!
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,580
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Very nice!

    10K's worth of oil is still gonna be a heck of a lot of pellets! How many tons do you think it will take to get thru the winter?
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  8. AndrewChurchill

    AndrewChurchill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    613
    Loc:
    Vermont
  9. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    I decided to go PF100 instead of the PB105 because I wanted to circulate the air around the house - There are a lot of vaulted ceilings/spaces, add value to the home (pellet and current buderus boiler are wired into my Gentran/Auto switch for my home's back up generator), and to get the option next summer to install an A/C coil. I currently have large permanent/ built in AC units through the wall - The pellet furnace blower in manual mode (and heating off) will be able to circulate the AC air throughout the home more efficiently but mostly effectively. Or it could even move the radiant heat from my fireplace throughout the home as well. The PB105 would have been a whole lot easier thats for sure..
    I got a fair price on the PF100 - It was 5300 out the door. Paid cash, $100 Harman coupon, Upgraded blower 1450cfm, complete vent kit thimble and all, and the filter box.
    I'm not completely done with the duct work....but this far its at $1600 for some heavy duty and a lot of stuff. Should be about $2200 in the end.

    EJECTR - Thanks for the tips on sealing the vent - I picked up some high temp silicone, and will be sure to lay a bead on all the gaskets on the exhaust. I ended up getting a stove adapter as well. Do you have pics of your install you can email me or send a PM link? Thanks, much appreciated!

    We blew through almost 4,000gallons of oil the first year - the picture below is our indoor pool on the property here in Maine. It is high efficiency insulated, special ceiling tiles, new roof, glazed glass, etc... off the Buderus boiler I have it going to two 250k BTU cross flow heat exchangers (obviously through a shutoff/flow switch as well on the pool water side), and we heated the pool to a comfy 80 from spring to fall. its a 40'x20'x10' pool. The heat exchanger setup is horrible to heat up the volume of water initially, once the mass volume is at temp, the boiler zone never turned on except once a day for 30 minutes usually.We leave the cover on as well when not in use.
    We then decided it was a bad idea to continue to heat the pool via oil. The previous owner had solar tube panels and a gas heater. Oil isnt the best way to heat the pool, so now I am thinking to get an outdoor wood boiler....where the PB105 idea comes into play. It wouldnt be a PB105...but some outdoor gasification unit to hook up to the current Buderus system along with the hot water tank with a mixing valve, etc. Then I would be able to take advantage of the tax incentive and write off due to a domestic water install. Last year we went through 2800gallons without heating the pool. This year so far its been 2000gallons - This is due to using the heck out of the fireplace!
    Next project will be to do a fireplace pellet insert in the 48". I believe it is the Accentra I looked at...very nicceee!!

    I calculated about 7-8 tons of pellets. to offset the oil used for the heating zones on the home. I did not account for oil used on the water heater or pool house. As I said, I have two tons so far...lot more to pick up!!!! The ash pan size is incredible on the pf100! I picked up some welders gloves and a steel trashcan with a lid to make it a bit easy to empty before I dump the ashes in the back field.I'd rather pay 8*$200 than 2500gallons*$3.55 for oil this winter!!!!!!!!
    Check out the pics of the pool house and the heat exchanger setup. Any suggestions? Keep it inexpensive!!! Thanks guys for the input.

    Attached Files:

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  10. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    I only saw that Pellergy provided a new head for the Buderus from Heutz oil , quite expensive...
    Im really glad you are having luck with it and enjoy it!!! Should have looked more into it......Looks great...good install!
  11. AndrewChurchill

    AndrewChurchill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    613
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I paid less for the Buderus setup than you're spending on the Harman setup. Nothing wrong with the Harman. I have a PB105 that's been heating my other house for the past 4 years. Once I got it dialed in it's worked very well.

    I just sold that house and next year when we build our new house I'm putting another Pellergy unit in it instead of the Harman.
  12. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine

    Hows the maintenance on the flue? quite often? Sounds like you have your plan dialed in by itself and ready to go! No geothermal ??!!!? Tons of tax incentives with that. Then have a gas backup for colder winter nights.
  13. AndrewChurchill

    AndrewChurchill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    613
    Loc:
    Vermont
    In the summer when I'm heating just DHW I clean it about every 6 weeks. I'm figuring during the heating season I'll have to do it about every 3 weeks. It takes about 10 - 15 minutes to clean it out and so far no ash has made it to the flue.

    The ash pretty much stays in the main combustion area and a very little bit has made it to the upper baffles.

    As for geothermal, it doesn't make much sense up here in Vermont with the cost of electricity and the high upfront cost. I received a $1000 rebate from Efficiency Vermont for the Pellergy unit. I ended up paying about $6000 for the complete install.
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,580
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Well we know why it costs so much to heat! ;) Very nice place you have.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Holy Chit! Nice set-up... Nice, well, Everything ;)

    Welcome to the Forums and keep the pics coming.

    BTW- Are you an HVAC guy? Thats a serious job. I want to make a separate duct system for my Pellet Furnace, but dont know if I possess the skill needed. Also hardware stores around here dont have very large ducting. Need to find a good supplier.
  16. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    all good advice on the pipe- here is better advice- use ICC pipe.
    vinny11950 likes this.
  17. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    574
    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    "EJECTR - Thanks for the tips on sealing the vent - I picked up some high temp silicone, and will be sure to lay a bead on all the gaskets on the exhaust."

    You're welcome. I wouldn't silicone seal all the gaskets on the exhaust venting. Use metal tape around the joints where the ends come together. That way if you ever need to get them apart, you will be able to. Just use silicone on the outside of the rolled over areas of the 45 and 90 degree connections if you see smoke coming out of them. Best seen by shining a bright light across the connectors with the rest of the room dark when you start the furnace and it is throwing smoke when the pellets start to heat before ignition.

    You DO want to seal that exhaust nipple around the top of the furnace enclosure for sure with silicone.

    Also make sure to shine a light on the combustion blower to make sure that seal is tight. That is a metal to metal seal. As a matter of fact...pull that blower out of its hole and make sure the set screw that holds the outside motor cooling fan on the motor's shaft is tight. Mine came loose and was hitting the cage.
  18. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    Thanks for the silicone/vent tips ...
    How often do you/I check out the combustion blower? As per manual or have you needed more inspections and cleanings???

    I'm not an HVAC guy, certified for refrigeration thats all - class of 09 from Maine Maritime Academy, just picked up some install tips here and there on the ships....I know the theory and can do the calculations of cfm/losses etc...Fortunately I have an understanding wife that knows the benefits of this huge install task. Thanks for the thumbs up on the house...its a lot of work an maintenance. Inch by inch it's getting to how we want it. perfect house for us in the meantime.

    I started the return ductwork today...20x20 transition to 24x8...Put mastic on the joints, letting that dry overnight.
    I also put together the main trunk and added mastic to that as well. Taping everything up when I get a chance. I love the 3M brand of foil tape.

    I ran into an issue with my return from the 1st floor to the main line as you see in the pictures located in the basement. I am cutting in a section under my stairs to second floor (empty space) and cutting the subfloor between the joist.....most likely needing to do panning for appx 24" until I can attach to the 24x8 main return trunk in the basement. I would rather not use panning for those two feet...but I plan to seal everything up best I can between joists and sheet metal. Any suggestions? No pics of the area yet, I'll get some up.
    For now, here's my progress today. MESSY BASEMENT!!
    Side note...check out my dads restored 1976 Moto Guzzi and all original 1968 Cadillac Sedan Deville

    Attached Files:

    bill3rail and smoke show like this.
  19. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    574
    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    "How often do you check out the combustion blower? As per manual or have you needed more inspections and cleanings???"
    I clean it when I clean the furnace after I burn a ton of pellets.
  20. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    So today we had two hours (my wife and I) free from our 4 month old...we were able to toss up some of the main trunks.
    I figured out that you are supposed to toss up one piece at a time and connect them...Trying to hoist/hold up the whole trunk into position wasn't a good idea. have to re-mastic all joints. Then tape.

    Here are our 2 hours worth of work. Any suggestions?

    Attached Files:

  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yeah, here is a suggestion. You can come help with mine ;)

    Looks like a Professional is in there. Very fine work. You should be proud.
    smoke show and Eatonpcat like this.
  22. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Maine
    A few questions...

    1. The fan control switch - I installed it on the plenum today, along with adding my starting collars on the plenum....The settings for the fan control switch in the manual says to put both tabs together and line them up under the second '0' in 100. I understand this...However, is this typical for all homes regardless of size and CFM moving throughout the home? Let me know what your fan control switch numbers are set at!! Thanks

    2. Adjusting the draft, It comes preset from the factory after testing to a somewhat desired setting - I don't have access to a manometer to check the WC. How much/major does the draft setting influence the pf100 to the exact measurement? Im sure I could get my oil guy to check it when he services my Buderus boiler....Any helpful suggestions are encouraged.

    3. My overhead clearances are sufficient above the furnace....I mounted a carbon and smoke alarm above/near the furnace...and a fire extinguisher...but should I also mount a fire block board or cement board 4'x4' or something directly above the furnace to hinder a direct radiant heat to the room directly above (kitchen)?

    4. Fireblock ... should it be used at all around the wall thimble??

    5. Best way to finish around the duct work going overhead from drywalled basement ceiling through first floor? Its ugly with just a hole and a gap between metal and dry wall..

    Tomorrow my plan is to mount and wire the wall thermostat...What an ugly piece that thing is....and I'll be double checking my vent exhaust and double check my pipes as Ejectr stated, thanks for your help.

    Here's the work accomplished today...
    I had a lot of cuts and bending I had to do myself for the drive cleats and entire pieces, the duct shop was closed this weekend.

    Ugly wall thimble, I know.

    Attached Files:

    bill3rail and smoke show like this.
  23. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    574
    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    1. That fan control setting in the book made my circulating fan stay on all the time. I talked to Harman about it and they gave me a setting that basically has it cycling on a few minutes and then off a few minutes. I think the low setting is 125 and the high is 160. I'd have to look to make sure. You can start out with their recommended, but one size doesn't fit all and you can try different settings to see what works for your house. The fan control is usually mounted on the face of the duct that is on the same side as the ash clean out door. Yours looks like it's on the side where the exhaust pipe is. It's OK but not as easy to get to to mess with the settings.

    2. There is a special meter that is used to set the draft of the PF100 according to the voltage it sees at the ESP sensor in the exhaust. It's not just an inches of mercury setting. People who service Harman's should have them. I'd hire Scott Williamson that's on line here and have him come up from MA to do the first fire and set it up right for you.

    3. I don't have any sheet rock over the top of my PF100. Just craft faced insulation that is between the floor joists. If it heats the floor above it....heat is heat. let it do so.

    4. That thimble looks like it's going through concrete. If that's the case, I wouldn't worry about fire block there. Mine goes out the sill of the house between two floor joists and all there is is proper air spacing from the pipe.

    5. Make a flange/moulding out of the same material as the duct to put around the duct going through the dry wall like a moulding to cover the gap..Something that will stay in the gap with just the tension between the moulding and the dry wall or secure it to the dry wall with dry wall screws.
  24. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Loc:
    NW Washington State
    On mine the gap between the pointers is over the first zero of the fan/hi-limit switch dial. I have the standard distribution fan which puts out less CFM than yours. I have seen posts from PF100 owners with the larger distribution fan that have mentioned sometimes they feel cool air out of their duct registers when that fan is running. My guess is with the higher CFM fan you may want to bump up the fan control pointers a bit if that happens. My install manual says the fan control pointers can be adjusted if desired.

    My PF100 puts out a very consistant and warmer forced air than my oil burner.
  25. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    I have never used my PF100 high CFM fan on the "high" setting. Low or medium and medium most of the time.
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