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Looking for wood/gas (propane) combo boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by gimmegas, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Fred, I think I have had them, but I can't remember when. From what I recall, they were small, bite sizeish pieces of meat (purportedly chicken, but who really knows for sure) that are deep fried in hydrogenated oil w/ a battered crust. They are designed to cater to the individual who is too lazy to cook for themselves and who does not mind dying from a long slow process called atherosclerosis (clogged, hardened arteries) which is generally a painless process but with a painful terminal end. They probably would be better in the boiler than in you but would be costly to heat your home w/.

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  2. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I'll just add to my last comments, that those comments were on considerations when I made my decision.

    After a couple of months of operation, I have a bit more appreciation for what lambda controls could add to operational efficiencies. For example, there are times when cold starting mine that I need to play with things until the thing gets up to speed. That depends on the wood I've got in it, how long its been since the last burn, the weather outside, etc.. I have found that sometimes, it takes quite a while for it to spool up - getting the coal bed established, the refractory & chimney up to temp, and a good draft going. Sometimes, the whole fire will almost go out when I close the fire door & the bypass. If that's going on, I crack the fire door just a hair to let more air into the fire box (primary chamber) until the secondary chamber & refractory gets up to temps & everything gets humping along like it should be. I also usually leave the ash door open a bit until I get up to speed. Mine is a very simple unit, with next to no air adjustments on it - it burns very well once it gets itself going, and it's sort of locked into tune for that. Getting up to speed, it could use some on-the-fly tuning adjustments.
  3. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Revision, eh. OK. I'll be in the Brewer neighborhood (relatively) so I will check them out. Thanks for the info. - Gimme
  4. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Alright. I'll consider that, but I'm just a little concerned about what might go wrong (it might be remote that it would) if something wears out, breaks or whatever in the concrete. I like to be able to get at whatever needs to be repaired. Ever hear of any horror stories like that? I'm not going to be heating nearly that space so I'm thinking the cords will be less, but then again I won't be burning oil, but maybe supplemental propane as needed in the living room/loft area. Grease? Really??? Do you own a McDonalds? - Gimme
  5. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    I've not heard of that unit before, Maple. Do you have baseboard? 'No fans' means you're not pushing air??
  6. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Kinda hard for plastic pipe to wear out with no movement. There are manifolds, so you could shut off one loop if something happened. You pump the lines full of high pressure air.. and then keep an eye on that air pressure when the concrete is going in and being finished. If they popped it.. it would blow bubbles in the wet concrete.

    No McDonalds.. but a neighbor owns a burger place. He's meticulous about changing oil every 4 days. I get almost 900gal a year from him. I convert it to biodiesel at about 1.25 a gallon cost all in. I've got an old mercedes that runs great on it about 8 months of the year.

    JP
  7. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    JP, do you know anyone that has bored holes in the ground for heat (geotherm)? Just a thought. Cost effective? Maybe not in the short term and in 30 years I'll be dead, so...
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, I have baseboard, and no, I have no fans. Pushing or sucking. My chimney is my fan.
  9. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    I don't. I think it's good for those in between'er states where they don't need a lot of heat, or a lot of cooling. They use a fair amount of electricity pumping the water in and out of the wells. They also use electric heat to "top up" the temps when they need it.

    It hasn't caught on around here in Maine yet. Not saying you CAN'T do it.. but I think it's like solar... REALLY long payback.. you gotta want it.

    Me... I like to save money, and be independent. IF it is green too... great.

    JP
  10. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    Not JP but Maine's not as ideal as some of our more southern states. It also is a HUGE investment...

    K
  11. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    As to the pex in concrete concern, I was there too, until I did some research. PEX, (Cross linked Ploy Ethelene), was developed in the early 60s in europe for this exact purpose, radiant slabs, it was soon used for other heating purposes overseas as well. There are installations that have been in operation since that time without problems. We (americans) did radiant with soft copper during the construction boom after WWII, in Levittown and there was massive failure of the copper in the 70s. Copper is eaten by the basic concrete in the presence of water (moisture). Same reason that having that 3/8" oil line burried in the basement slab is a bad idea, think about it...... they did it all the time a few decades ago.

    After reading about the pex story and wet radiant technology (pex in concrete is referred to as a "wet" system) I did it in my house, I have 62 cubic yards of heated concrete in my slab. Low temp heating is the way to go, no matter the heat source, oil, condensing gas, wood with storage, even geo. All have HUGE efficiency gains from useing low temp water heat emitters.

    TS
  12. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, JP. I will cross that off my must have list as well. I would like to do it b/c I believe in trying but, like you, I like to save cash where I can.
  13. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    K, thanks. As I told JP, I might do it if I was wealthy, but based on what you guys are saying I should start playing the lottery if I want geo.
  14. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    OK, TS. Now I at least know the terminology. Pex-crosslinked polyethylene..cool. I knew about radiant in subfloor, but it sounds like you and JP are sold on heating the concrete. Sounds like an efficient way to go, but since I will still have to do the subfloors, I just would hope that the heat in the basement would relate to reduced heat on the main and in the loft. I'm guessing it would be the same principle as geothermal as the baseline temps in the basement will help out whatever is above it. The warmer the floor underneath, the easier it is to heat above?? JP was saying it's a great way to use storage as well. Do you have a tank for storage?
  15. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    OK, Maple. I will keep the baseboard idea in the possible category.
  16. gimmegas

    gimmegas New Member

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    Maple, so you're saying before I cross it off my must have list, I should perhaps consider it? It can be an add-on, right? Thanks- Gimme
  17. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Yes.. I still have tanks of water for storage. BUT.. the radiant in the concrete uses 105 to 110 degree water. Thus you can "use" your tanks from 195 degrees ALL the way down to that 105 temp.

    Were I building new.. I might do a sidearm or more like a coil in the tank to pre heat the dhw. Then.. run it thru an on demand tankless. Then.. you could not burn wood in the summer if you didn't want.. and would use not much energy for DHW only.

    In my setup.. I can use my storage from 195 to 135. I have my DHW tank set to 132 degrees. If I didn't have that indirect tank.. the method I said above MIGHT make me run the storage tanks lower.

    BUT.. my upstairs radiant runs at 140 degrees... never tried to run it on 110 degree water. It would let me stretch the burns out even further though.

    Just more things to ponder and plan.

    JP
  18. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    My sotrage is my thick concrete slab. 8" thick, with a super insulated house on it. I build one fire a day if the temps are above zero, just like someone with a water tank for storage.

    Part of my house is one story, and part is two story, all on heated slab. The second story is above heated area, but still needs some type of heat emitters, I used some old cast iron radiators as they too, if sized correctly, are low temp heat emitters. You can get HO baseboard, panel radiators, or pex with aluminum plates in the floor, walls, or ceiling. Just keep it all low temp, no high temp baseboard, or you'll be stuck with a high temp heat source.

    TS

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