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  1. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    As this winter drags on, I think about golf in California , where my buddies are. I was thinking about a propane boiler for backup just to keep the place from freezing for a couple weeks. Anyone have a recommendation?

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  2. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    663
    I thought the garn had an electric coil in it to keep the water from freezing for back up?
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,981
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Do you have anything at all there now? What other fuels (besides wood) do you have there now?

    I went with an electric boiler since we're around all winter - except for maybe a couple of days here & there. It was an easy install, took next to no room, and was farily cheap (Kijiji find). But if I would be using it for something like a couple of weeks, I would have considered something else & evaluated cost/btu - and might have ended up with an oil boiler instead.

    Does the Garn have an electric element option as mentioned above? That sounds like the cheapest & easiest way to go up front & the electric use costs might not tip the scales against it.
  4. BoilerBob

    BoilerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    SW Nova
    Whats was that ;hm , Golf in California:cool: .... who cares if the electric bill is up next month!!!
  5. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    The garn has ports for nine 3500 watt elements,I don't have enough power in the boiler building to run one 3500 watt nevermind 31,500 watts. Our electricity rate is fairly low , I still think this would cost about $75.00 a day to run plus the cost of installing a 100amp service in the garn barn. I found a slightly used Burnham series 2 lp boiler on CL for $750 .IF I add this to the system and set the thermostat to about 60 I think it would cost less than the $75 to run,
  6. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    663
    I was looking at the Garn pac on youtube. I thought it was cool. but yes it has a seperate service not sure of amps. I thought it would be ideal for a automatic propane generator for power outages.
    Have you been satisfied with your Garn?
  7. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,415
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    My backup of choice is a propane (we don't have natural gas) on-demand tankless water heater. The one I have can be set for 180 degree output. My plan is to plumb it in parallel with all the other heat sources. Because of the tiny passages in its internal HX, it needs a beefier circulator to move enough water, and I'm adding a filter to keep crud out of it.
  8. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    I am mildly satisfied with the garn ,lots of wood , when they say one fire a day it might last for 6hrs on a cold day.
  9. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Ward, I have propane boiler back-up in the house and in the shop. The one in the shop is a wall mounted that I was given by a friend years ago. The one in the house will keep my lines from freezing as I have a timer that runs the pumps in the Garn boiler room intermittently to circulate through the HX.

    I am firing twice a day with the temps hovering presently at -7F. You can only get so many BTU out of a pound of wood and unfortunately my house and shop use more BTUs when it gets colder. I also am not letting the boiler go down to 110*F.

    Keep warm.....think about golf.;)
  10. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    3,981
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    You mean you have to burn every 6 hours?

    Or one fire lasts 6 hours before it burns out but you only have to burn once a day? (or something like that).
  11. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    Reload the fire every 2hrs or 3times.
  12. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    Don't get me wrong on the Garn , my electric bill has gone from $900 to $150a month this winter.Next year I will have more wood and better insulation, can only get better.
  13. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    Hi george, how much propane would you use just to prevent freezing? I only have an 80gal tank that I use for the kitchen range and outdoor bbq. I'm sure the propane co would lease me a larger one if needed.
  14. Sawyer

    Sawyer Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    599
    Loc:
    Northern WI
    Ward, I only had to run mine once to prevent freezing and at the time i was also running the house at 55*. I would have no way of telling how much fuel was used to just heat the water to the Garn when the pumps were circulating.

    If my goal was to keep the Garn and the supply/return lines from freezing I think I would try a small electric heater placed inside the woodbox of the Garn. I would close off the air supply and the exhaust. I cannot see anything freezing with the pumps circulating intermittently as well as I have insulated the Garn and the underground lines. Even a small electric heater should do the job. Of course this strategy is for freeze protection only.

    What do you think?
  15. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    I think that would work, or you could put one element into the port. I need something to prevent the house from freezing as well as the Garn.

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