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Insight video report concerning OWBs.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by tronsliver, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    From the start and of as of yet you have not stated your personal interest in this debate !
    Would you possibly represent a Fossil Fuel lobby that wants the total market share of home heating fuels ?

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  2. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    Hello Allen,

    As I stated in an earlier post, I do not represent any special interest nor am I obligated to any specific wood burning manufacturer, although I am partial to thermal storage OWBs and believe based on current technology it is the cleanest way to burn in a hydronic heater. I also feel that wood is a great alternative fuel if the technology realistically allows for a clean burn. In fact, I am currently looking at supplementing my geothermal unit with a clean burning indoor wood burner for emergencies. Any suggestions?
  3. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Glad to here this !
    The clean burn ability of our 30 year old Jetstream with storage , I beleive still exceeds that of many units now on the market today. Four years ago we got new neighbor , and over that period he had seen us putting wood into the woodshed . He had to come and ask what did we do with the wood , did we sell wood ? I said NO , but we heated our home and domestic hot water year round with wood . Again he was surprised as he had never seen smoke coming out of the chimney! As a wood burner that is the ultimate compliment .

    The Garn Junior in the pdf below , I believe represents the best option of clean burning wood technology in the market today. Clean burning , with integral unpressurized storage , simple to operate , and product support with parts still available for its earliest models.

    Attached Files:

  4. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    I agree, the general impression most people will have from this report is that all wood burning is polluting. This report was much more thorough than most "news" stories, but, still, it would have been helpful if they had pointed out the better options that are out there. For example, they could have explored why indoor boilers are not regulated by DEC.
    Fred61 likes this.
  5. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    hobbyheater likes this.
  6. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    you say that like it's a bad thing......
    heaterman likes this.
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I would say you'd be better off with an IWB....
    Chris Hoskin likes this.
  8. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    If you have been selling Tarm for 30+ years then we have had a few chats ==con the Phone in the past and recently . I The stopped phoning both times I found the Jetstream!;lol
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Unless I missed something in the video one of the owners had replaced their OWB with an indoor unit. It would have been valuable to learn exactly what was going on with that thing based on the amount of smoke coming out of it in one of the scenes.
    It looked fully as bad as the OWB it replaced. Probably a non-gasser with no storage, which is in effect about the same as an OWB.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  10. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    If you have contact information for the parties involved would you share it here?
  11. Chris Hoskin

    Chris Hoskin TarmSalesGuy

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    I think the neighbor identified the indoor unit as a Harmann. I don't remember which model, but a non-gassifier, almost certainly without storage and very likely over-sized. Tronsilver and Heaterman, would your expectation be that this type of boiler will go away with the new EPA regs?
  12. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    pig2.jpg

    This boiler, when the draft would open after a period of idling, would smoke just as bad as the new indoor boiler in the video!
    My daughters who were about 5 and 7 years of age called this unit "THE PIG"! ;sick
  13. JrCRXHF

    JrCRXHF Burning Hunk

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    I think they said he put in a harmon SF-160 which is close to the same boiler i have. My boiler does not really smoke much after start up because i turn off the heat in my house during the day and burn it hard all night to get the house heated back up. I also burn seasoned wood. I wish i could add a gasifier and storage but the money and room for storage is not there right now so i do the best i can with the tools i have. But by looking at how these people are burning wood i think this is also a big problem. Putting in 14" green logs is not helping with the BTU's and also not helping his smoke issue.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  14. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    Hi Chris,

    Yes, traditional OWBs not meeting Phase II standards would not be allowed to be sold after the regs are established. However, those already sold would most probably be grandfathered.
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    There is no way a non-gasser will meet the specs I read. There is probably no way a gasser without storage will meet the specs either. It will likely take a very good gasser WITH storage to be able to meet the criteria.
    But hey......that's the way they have been doing it in Europe for years. The example is right out in front of us.

    The issue is pretty simple. Every on/off cycle increases emissions and reduces efficiency. Less on/off cycles (with storage) = cleaner and more efficient. Those facts cannot be disputed regardless of what some manufacturers claim about their unit running without storage. Martin Lunde has had this concept down pat for over 30 years with the Garn. It's just taking the rest of the industry a while to get up to that level of performance.

    And no, that is not an advertisement for Garn. It's just the way wood burning works.
    Frozen Canuck and hobbyheater like this.
  16. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    You're still talking all OWBs, while others here are also talking indoor units. You seem to be skirting or ignoring indoor units at times - your response quoted above was with respect to an indoor Harmon, not an OWB.
  17. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I think we need to get off the IWB vs OWB thing. A conventional IWB operated poorly is basically the same thing as an OWB accept it's pressureized and has a smaller firebox.

    Just for the sake of argument, lets say the "bad neighbor" has replaced his OWB with a Garn, or Tarm for that matter. Still burned green wood in it, and figured out a way to shut the air way down "to get it to burn for more than three dang hours". Either of those great boilers would smoke up a storm as well. We can regulate all we want and even force everyone to be like Europe, but we still can't fix stupid!

    When I had my old NY wood/coal boiler I burned actual seasoned wood and had the same storage I have now. It was quite clean, there was smoke coming out of the chimney during half of the burn............not the most efficient, but certainly nothing a neighbor 600' away was ever going to complain about and have a legitimate case against. As in the video.

    I'm not saying we need to leave things the way they are, but there is simply no way to regulate wood to be consumed cleanly............even with the best boilers out there. There is just too much variable in moisture content.

    Would you advocate we have trolls going around and checking particulate emission of our chimneys boilers? Checking the MC of your wood pile? I know there are times when there is quite a bit of smoke coming from my chimney during a cold start, or some bridging for example. Nothing like the video but still.......

    Also the guy compairing wood stoves to boilers, this guy needs to do some research!
    TS
  18. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    I believe OMB will post the results of the groups involved on their website within a week or so.
  19. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    It's my understanding that WHH includes indoor boilers as well.
  20. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    No we can't fix stupid but we can educate to reduce it & tax the crap out of it when it still persists. I consider speeding fines to be a tax on the stupid. Cali has emission laws for auto's so why not?

    Education again. AFA regulation well that's easy heck Germany has emission regs for fossil burners that they enforce. Not servicing your heating equipment & causing it to burn dirty there can be very costly indeed. Simple flue gas analysis lets the inspector know if the unit is burning too dirty.

    I guess my bottom line is yes we can do it all much cleaner. My belief is that we are too lazy & greedy to do so. Way too much me, me, me over here.

    Far too easy to say let the other guy look after his own clean air.
  21. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    nail on the head.jpg there is simply no way to regulate wood to be consumed cleanly............even with the best boilers out there. There is just too much variable in moisture content.

    This is absolutely correct. The best equipment even with storage can be rendered useless. My "favorite farmer" proved this with his Garns. You can't do much better than a Garn but the guys on his farm managed to make that pair of 2000's look like they had a coal fired steam engine running back there.

    This is why I have a hunch that unless we (the industry) get behind a useful standard and really bang the drum on best practices, we may be looking at a situation where the only equipment we can buy in 10 years will be pellet fired.
    It's pretty logical really if you process and think through the problem from a regulatory agency point of view. Emissions can be drastically reduced if you control the fuel as well as the combustion process.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
    BoilerMan and hobbyheater like this.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    ...and operating procedures.
  23. tronsliver

    tronsliver New Member

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    I agree especially if climate control begins to take hold and soot falls in the crosshairs. As I read the horror stories on the web about people being smoked out of their homes I can't help to fault local government for not fixing these problems as they surface.
  24. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I could not agree more Jim. There is nearly complete ignorance of the process involved in burning clean on the part of our rule making bodies that it is scary.
    Then throw in all the "smoke and mirrors" that some of the heavy hitters in the industry are throwing around and our legislators don't have a clue. This is a recipe for disaster.
    hobbyheater likes this.
  25. Den69RS96

    Den69RS96 Member

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    Even if the EPA sets more realistic standards for OWB etc, the problem will still exist. As pointed out, new standards will not solve the problem if people don't make it an effort to burn clean. And this applies to all wood burning applicances. I'm surprised the govt hasn't already put meters on the end of all all wood burning smoke stacks and monitor the emissions. Since they can not regulate the wood, this seems to be where they are headed. Maybe all those bad neighbors will clean up there act if they get significant fines.

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