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HS TARM SOLO PLUS 20 yrs old

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Blofeld69, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Hello

    I'm in Europe and I have a chance to get a 20 yr old HS-LOHBERGER TARM SOLO PLUS for 1100 usd

    If anyone is familiar with this wood boiler do you think its worth 1100 usd considering the age, and what should I check when I buy it as I am a total noob when it comes to boilers. Cant find the exact model on the web...obviously discontinued before it was bought by american company

    Many thanks for the opportunity to ask.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    This is what we called the Tarm 2000 series and is very similar to the model being built today...

    http://www.woodboilers.com/products/woodboilers/hs-tarm-solo-plus.html

    The problem with an older one is that, if used or stored incorrectly, the firebox could develop holes! This happens from the outside in usually, because of acids and condensation associated with wood burning. On the other hand, if cold water was left in it for long periods of time, that could hurt the boiler also.

    Good price, but a throw of the dice in some ways. However, there is more chance in Europe of it having been installed and used correctly.
    Blofeld69 likes this.
  3. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Many thanks for your rapid response and advice. I will roll the dice and take my chances. I notice that the model being sold today can be used without thermal storage tank system. Would you know if this applies to this unit?

    Regards.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, I would guess that neither really should be used without some storage. The idea is to keep the water in the boiler hot as well as not let it idle a lot of the time.

    You may be able to accomplish some of that by using a mixing valve (continuous circulation) and other means. Another hint would be to use it in only the coldest weather.

    Also, if you think the seller is an honest broker, ask them if they have done any repair welds. If the answer is yes, run....
  5. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Can I remove that blue case and inspect it for any repair welds? comes with a 3 month "guarantee" that maybe I could even enforce :)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you can - but the one's I would worry about are in the inside of the firebox. Worse yet, they could be hidden by the bricks!

    Sorry!
  7. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Thanks for your help.

    Would you know what kw this boiler is by looking at it? Its either a 30 or 40 kw but not sure as the metal plate is damaged. I am wondering what is the best size hot water storage tank to go with this.

    Thanks again!
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  9. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Thanks for all your help so far. So I took the plunge and bought it. Took a "heating expert" with me who had a look over it and said "nice condenser burner", which I thought was a different technology so alarm bells rang but I didnt listen. Got it home and only then noticed this....

    Would this qualify as a repair job? I guess I rolled the dice and crapped out :)

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  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    If that is a welded plate, then it certainly does! Tarm does not use little plates like that.
  11. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    So I guess this unit wont last...what a bummer. What happens when holes develop in those walls anyway?
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    My assumption is that when some holes develop, others may be ready to. The boiler leaks...or springs a leak later.

    Even very thin steel will still hold pressure, so some areas of that steel could be ready to leak.....anytime!
  13. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    I think I'm about to blow let alone the boiler....is there a way to test it before I install it, can I fill it up with cold water and see if theres a leak? or it needs to be under pressure?
  14. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    You should be able to pressure test with air just like any hydronics or plumbing system.

    Install valves & a pressure gauge, fill with air, monitor gauge for pressure drop indicating a leak.

    Any system that will hold air, will hold water (molecule size) how long is the question you can't answer unless you have access to a system for determining how thick the walls of the boiler are. We use a variety of methods in the oil patch to help us determine when pipe will wear out. Sorry for the good & bad news.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The factory probably tests them to 60PSI or higher, but you should test to 30 or so. That's when a PR will blow.

    We have never experienced a big leak all of a sudden. The few we ran into were tiny.
  16. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Use an air compressor and fill it up to round 50psi (not sure what that is in bar). As long as its comfortably over the relief valve blowoff pressure. If you're ambitious you can go over it with some soapy water. Bubbles = leaks. If you're not as ambitious you can just let it sit and make sure the pressure doesn't drop (significantly).
  17. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Thank you for your help so far. I am now on the electrics as it seems someone has removed the cable to power this thing. Its a mess, with the cable going to what looks like some kind of heat sensor has melted the insulation from a lot of those wires. I will replace the broken cable.

    Please see photos attached, there is a label on the fan that says its 230v which is the same as the mains here so I presume no transformer is required and I can connect a mains cable direct to the head unit board (picture attached). There is a bank of connections lablled 1 thru 16. I presume I connect the live to position F1, earth to 2, Neutral to N3

    And what does that sensor control? The temperature gauge?

    Sorry for the noob questions

    Many thanks
    Regards

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    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  18. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Ufta. That's in pretty rough shape. Maybe you should ask the seller why the wiring got burnt up. Heaven forbid it happens again.
    As far as the electrical goes, i wouldn't presume much. There has to be schematics for that particular boiler floating around the interwebs somewhere.
    Again, though, I'd be concerned with why the electrical is in the shape its in.
  19. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    Yes it certainly is. Reminds me of what my father always said, you pay sh*t you get sh*t. From what I can see it was the bypass door sticking open, I have adjusted it and now it closes properly. Anyway, I wired it up and the fan works.
  20. Blofeld69

    Blofeld69 New Member

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    What I don't understand is why its only the wires going to that sensor that have either melted or broken up over time, all other cables to the fan and controls etc are not melted. The insulation was dirty but not burnt, there was a thick layer of dust over everything but maybe thats soot because of the bypass door staying ajar. Do I have to replace this sensor copper cable? I don't think this boiler has been running properly for a long time because of the bypass door staying ajar, there seems to be excess creosote in the back of the machine that I thought this technology would have burnt up
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

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