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I decided to Sacrifice efficency during cold snap by idling.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by goosegunner, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    We have had a cold snap with temps in the -20's and high wind. WIth the high heat load I decided to try something a little different.

    Had the tank up to 183 top and 175 bottom. I dropped the boiler temp to 175 and loaded wood so boiler would cycle on and off.

    I have forced air with Heat exchanger so this method has kept the tank at a good temp for providing a nice warm supply temp. With winds we had last night my furnace ran quit a bit so it worked quite well.

    One more day and it will be warming back up here, then it will be back to normal.

    With that said, if I had my cast iron radiators installed would not have felt the need to do that. I just need to convince the wife that it is a good idea and will work better for her.

    gg
    hobbyheater likes this.

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  2. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I basically did the same thing the last week or so. I had a good idea of what would hit the tank temp at about 175/180 and threw in another 1/2 a fire box fill of wood. But because of my avg insulation, I knew my house would loose heat quickly. Set the T-stat at 66 at night. Forgive me Hearth.com...for I have sinned.:) I idled my boiler.........

    We had that same cold snap GG. Step out to go to work just before daylight and it would be -18 with a 15mph wind. Nutsy weather. The wind would drop then the temp would drop. Found a few spots down to -36. Today???48f. Plus an inch and half of rain. Gonna be 7f at daylight. Wild temp swings. getting a yearning for Aruba in Feb. :cool:
  3. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I to have sinned...but on a much lager scale. I started a 24 hour shift this morning so I loaded 75lbs of wood before going to work and set the timer for 7 hours. I did it to carry the house during the day so my wife would not have to play catch up with the boiler tonight.

    gg
    flyingcow likes this.
  4. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    I do it once in a while by adding too much wood for the amount of heat I can put into storage. I don't think there will be too much problem with creosote if you burn wide open more then idling .I don't seem to anyways. Also I can get the storage temps up 6 or 7 degree's hotter

    Huff
  5. timberr

    timberr Member

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    I am guilty also, it is far easier to maintain storage when it is in the negative temps with wind then to catch up. I usually add 1/4 - 1/3 loads at a time to maintain tank temps around 180. Looks like another cold snap starting tonight. But then we are back in the upper 30's next weekend.

    Funny weather.
  6. phantomblack

    phantomblack New Member

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    You guys are funny. I look outside and see the OWB idling and I think " well it's up to temp, that's a good thing". Along with that it's a comfy 74 in my house and it's -18 outside. Do what it takes gentleman, remember a happy wife is a happy life.

    Keep warm. I think you can sacrifice a split a day to idle and have some available heat on call when you need it.
  7. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    It didn't get as cold here, only -8. But since it seemed that there was always at least one zone calling for heat I kept the fire box so full that I did idle some of the time. I couldn't see any advantage to letting the fire burn out and running off of stored heat like I usually do. This way I was heating with 185 degree water most of the time rather than 170 down to 150. I figure that only about 10-20% of the time was it actually charging the tank, which eventually got up to 185!
    I finally let the fire burn out Sat morning as the temps started to climb back into the teens.
    flyingcow likes this.
  8. MarkW

    MarkW Member

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    With some temporary inefficiencies/cobbled together system, I've got to do the same when it gets this cold. I can't get much heat from the exchangers below 130 and current storage won't carry me through overnight.
    flyingcow likes this.
  9. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    Have you guys turned your fan speeds down to slow your boiler output and idle less? With these super cold temps and winds I'm not idling much with no storage. EKO 40 fan at 50% and my forced air fan on the low speed is able to keep the main floor at 69, basement at 65, and the shed around 60.
  10. timberr

    timberr Member

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    I run may fan at 50% about 90% of the time, the remaining time I run @ 60% sometime when I am starting a burn and I notice a some "sizzling" going on with the wood.
  11. MarkW

    MarkW Member

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    I do adjust my fan speeds to minimize idling. I didn't last night because I was trying to overcome other mysterious issues so I didn't want to introduce anything different into the equation until I had those issues solved. My losses are such that my boiler wasn't idling a great deal in the -11 temps last night.
  12. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Econoburn does not have adjustable fan control, I wish it did. It also does not shut off fan with falling flue or boiler temp. Simple controls with definite room for improvement.

    gg
  13. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Me too! Have a nice lazy blue/red flame, no smoke although anyone seeing it for the first time would call it anything but lazy as it is still pretty intense.
    I would do the same thing as Goose if I was unsure my storage would make it to the next visit to the boiler. Who wouldn't??
    The plus side of this cold weather is that it is giving me good data on the limits of my storage and the capabilities of my heat distribution. I'm pleased :):) with the results. Couldn't be happier!
  14. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

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    Every time I have a fire actually. Sometimes up and down during the same burn! :)
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  15. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I had one night where I pushed my tank up to 185(top) 180(mid) and high 170's(btm). Never done that before. Usually might push top to 180. But thats not very often. My stack temp is still just 500. So I should be all set for these next few days. I never had to burn around the clock, but instead of two loads of wood which is anywhere from 7 to 8 hours, I probably burned 11 to 12?

    I would see where the variable speed fan would be a nice thing. Maybe if I could get Chris Hoskin's to sell me a Froling' at cost, i might have it.:cool:
  16. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    Hiker, Your fan must modulate on exhaust gas temp and water temp of the boiler.
  17. hiker88

    hiker88 Burning Hunk

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    Yea; I couldn't resist.
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  18. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    I just tried adding a few logs. Tank is at 175. Set my fan speed to -3 which maxs out at 53 %. So I hope when it gets burning it will modulate down lower to just maintain my tank temp?
  19. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    Wife has been home from school so i could not turn down the heat when i left for work. She forgets to load the boiler most of the time anyway so i have been burning gas during the day and wood at night. I am not going to want to see the gas bill for this month
  20. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    They never forget when its payday though()
    flyingcow likes this.
  21. phantomblack

    phantomblack New Member

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    With my OWB I visit it twice a day in this weather. Once around 5:00 a.m and the next around 8:00 p.m. Its a pretty low maintenance setup. And I never burn any propane, and my tank temp never falls below 170.

    My wife has been able to work from home durning the last two days, she goes and checks on it at noon, but has not needed any additional fuel. Ive been suprised the last few days with the amount of wood ive used, far less than I have been expecting even giving that yesterday it did not get above -14F.
  22. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    My wife is chief boilerman when I'm gone to work for 2 weeks . the funny thing is , on average she burns about 25% less wood then I do.. She never seems to push storage much over 175 . I always like trying to get the highest temps I can.. I don't let her know that though,it might go to her head! lol.
  23. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Every boiler set up should work well. Yours does....even though you're one of those OWB evil dooers!!:) End of the day we hope we're happy with what we have.
  24. MarkW

    MarkW Member

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    Isn't that the truth! Fortunately, my GF is just as cheap as I and hates to see the propane kick on. Maybe moreso than I.
  25. phantomblack

    phantomblack New Member

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    Agreed, all of us play this game because we enjoy being out in nature, and enjoy processing firewood. We also enjoy the independence that it provides us (not having to pay the oil man, or to depend upon others for something as natural as heat). All of us need to stick together, even though some of us are from the dark side::-).
    flyingcow likes this.

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