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New to the scene- need help setting up a Seton 130!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Akgasser, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    alaska
    Here's the situation, hopefully the combined genius of this forum can help me get this system setup the way it needs to be. We built a new house with full unfinished basement and 3 car garage. Total Heated sf is about 6200. I initially contacted Fred Seton and emailed him my house plans. He recommended the 130 with a 50 gal Bock as a backup. The plumber Hooked everything up as instructed but when we wam up the stove and get a good fire going, the pressure relief valve blows and dumps a few gallons of nasty water in my garage. I'm being told I need to install a T behind the manifold with a RIB (relay in a box) to turn on a Taco pump which will in turn circulate the water through a ceiling mounted unit heater with a blower fan to bring the water temp down and lower the pressure when it gets too high.

    Does this sound right? What do I need to do to utilize the seton year round for my domestic hot water and heat? Winter temps here hover around -20/+15 and summers usually 40-65. I have an 80gal boilermate and 50 gal Bock, do I need more hot water storage than that?

    Thanks in advance for the help !

    Attached Files:

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  2. Steaming Pile

    Steaming Pile New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern PA
    Your water needs to be circulating all the time. Some sort of overheat loop is also a must. Mine dumps into my first floor loop in an overheat situation. Not sure if this helps but there are other people on here that are better at this stuff than I am.
  3. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    alaska
    Thanks for the input. My buddy suggested maybe installing a third aquastat on the left side of the manifold and setting it around 60deg or so to kick on the pump whenever there is any fire in the wood boiler. Do u guys just wire the pump to run 24-7?

    Would a big garage unit heater work as a heat dump or wouldnit be better to circulate it through the basement loop and keep that hot?
  4. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Welcome to the Forum!

    I am not one of the genius' here.

    And there a few things we'll need to clarify b4 I can say much . . .

    1)The water is constantly circulating through the boiler, yes?

    2)Where is the water from the boiler going? W2W HX? W2A HX? Directly into your tubes/radiators?

    3)At what temp is your damper opening? At what temp closing?

    You should rarely be overheating/hitting a dump zone. Do not accept that as normal. But be prepared for a rough learning curve on these units.

    Jimbo
  5. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    alaska
    I believe the water from the boiler only circulates when the temp reaches the setting on the aquastat. The aquastat on the right is set to kick the circ. pump on at 100 degrees.

    The aquastat on the left side is set at 180 degrees, so I guess the damper opens when the temp drops below that.

    The water from the boiler dumps into the 50 gal Bock, which then dumps into the 80 gal Amtrol Boilermate and circulates through the 5 zones in the house.

    My plumber is coming by tomorrow to TEE off the back of the manifold and hook up a heat exchanger with blower fan in the garage.

    Hopefully the Learning Curve on this thing will be figured out before the snow flies!

    Attached Files:

  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    When does the damper close? If it closes when the circulating water temp hits 190, you should not get much of a temp spike. Unless the water is not circulating, or you have air coming into the fire somewhere.

    This seems basic, but . . .

    Watch the beast. Note what the water temp is when the damper opens.

    Note what the water temp is when it closes.

    Note how much further the temp increases after the damper closes.

    Report back to us.

    And two general points.
    The learning curve will be no where near complete when the snow melts in spring, and
    This time of year, you will probably find that you need small fires.

    And another question . . . what kind of wood (size, species, relative moisture) are you using?


    Jimbo
  7. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    alaska
    I'll fire it up in a bit and take some notes. I'm using a mixture of white birch and spruce and occasionally poplar and cottonwood. I'm burning drier stuff first from deadfall trees and others that were down all summer. I do need to address a few air leaks I found around the front door, skins and damper door. The gaskets this seton came with are total garbage.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    When you say you'll fire it up . . . does that mean you are starting fires and letting it go out? Unless you have storage, you will probably find that you want to start one fire a year, usually end of October or beginning of November.

    More questions . . .
    What size lines coming out of the Seton?

    What size circulator pump?

    Jimbo
  9. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
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    Loc:
    alaska
    I've started a few fires and let them go out because the overpressure valves kept dumping water in my garage. I should
    have the unit heater installed tomorrow so hopefully that helps
    alleviate the problem.
  10. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I prolly shouldn't say this, but . . . since Jan 2007 I have only overheated when the electricity went out.

    I need to understand better how/where your Seton is exchanging its heat.

    And this talk of air leaks . . . yer gonna need to address that if you want to not overheat.

    Oh and, um . . . b4 the plumber gets there, move that unit outside into detached space. :-/
  11. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

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    Looks like pipe size is 1.5" out the back, and a pic of the taco pump the Seton came with

    Attached Files:

  12. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    alaska

    Are you saying the boiler should be housed in a separate building and not in a garage bay? I thought it was designed to go inside with 12" clearance.

    Attached Files:

  13. Deere10

    Deere10 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Upstate N.Y
    Ya a huge learning curve. The whole first year n then some. All I can say is that my circ pumps run 24/7. I fired mine up last sun. So far more impressed than I was all last season.However this one I dont seem to figure out yet and may not ever. Tues nite at 9PM I put three small to med rounds in,had a good frost at 6 when i woke up went out to check everything still had 2 rounds there. Last nite at 9PM i put 2 rounds in temps in the upper 30 to low 40s I went out at 7AM to check it temp at 140 and down to a small bed of coals. Go figure on that one.All seasoned Cherry both times,no difference in DHW. O well,just throwin that out there. But good luck w the issues.
  14. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    As long as you never open the load door, you'll do fine with the boiler in finished space.


    Anyway . . .

    Have you talked to Bethel Eng. about your setup and verified you have the correct size circulator pump?

    From what little I understand of your setup, my first action item would be to find/fix air leaks. I know a few of the guys with Setons here have done a lot of sealing. So far I've not had much trouble on that front with my GW.

    I know I'm repeating myself, but I'll continue till you convince me you've figured it out

    If the water is circulating and the damper is opening and closing at the correct water temps, you should not be overheating.

    Insane question for ya . . . after it overheats, are you letting it cool down completely (about 36-48 hours) then making sure you are full of water?

    BTW, can we safely assume this is a closed system?
  15. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

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    Loc:
    alaska
    Thanks for the responses, I'll try to provide useful information but must admit I'm learning as I go.

    This should be an open system, the water in the boiler runs right through the boilermate and into the floors and domestic hot water supply.

    It does get a little smoky when the load door is opened, hoping to fix that by installing a Draft Inducer in the stack.

    Air Leaks are going to be addressed, you can see in the pic that this should be the first order of business when these are pulled off the pallet

    Sounds like the TACO circ pump that came with the boiler should be running 24-7, and not hooked up to the aquastat which kicks it on at 100 degrees or whatever its set at

    Attached Files:

  16. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    UP Mich
    Seton used to come with 1 1/4" nipples in and out?
  17. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    My GW pump runs any time it's pluged in. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with an aquastat turning it on and off. If the water's not circulating, how's the hot water going to get to the stat to turn it on?

    And whats the deal with the silicone?? Is this unit brand new??
  18. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

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    Loc:
    Columbia City, IN
    Pump must run all the time and aquastat controls draft door....draft inducer will probably not be enough to keep you smoke free....most of us have some sort of exhaust hood to catch what comes out the door while loading. Good thing is you found the right place to get help.
  19. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

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    Loc:
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    We used silicone around the piece of pipe coming out the back and it looks like seton used silicone to
    make the gasket for the draft door.

    That pipe is 1.25" id, oops

    I'm going to wire the pump to continuously circulate
  20. Trzebs13

    Trzebs13 Member

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    Don't believe this for a minute! Glad to see you didn't put this in your house. That I would go with, but I have mine in my attached garage and would not have it any where else. I certainly don't want to be tromping out in the middle of winter to go fire up. And my wife just wouln't period. I got to believe in Alaska is a bit worse then here. LOL But any way's, as others have mentioned; that pump needs to be run 24/7 absolutely. I would get this fixed before you spend the $ on a nother thing. And in my opinion hitting the dump is not really the worst thing. Mine hits often. The extra heat goes into the basement floor where its going to be used anyways. And a few more cycles doesn't bother me.

    Oh and did I mention that my finished attached garage stays 60 deg with, lets see; no extra pumps, HX, piping, fan, etc.

    Attached Files:

  21. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    It's to each his/her own of course, which is worse . . . going outside 4 times a day to 'load the stove' or have black walls in your finished space.

    But hitting the dump zone regularly IS a problem. Why not figure out WHY and fix it. Lets say you've got an air leak -say a bad seal at the damper- and one day when yer not there it overheats fast enough that it introduces a steam lock so that your dump zone no longer disapates the heat. AND the air leak is still just sitting there . . . .

    I agree the first simple fix is hard wire the circulator. But then immediatly you need to figure out if your damper is closing at 190 °F . Assuming it is, you then need to observe if the temp continues creeping up after the damper closes.

    Jimbo
  22. Trzebs13

    Trzebs13 Member

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    I have now finished the boiler room, taped and painted. Have 1.5 heating seasons in there with it finished. As of yesterday NO black, on walls, ceiling, Hmmm no where. Im sure you must have had problems with your GW in a finished space and moved it, so you would know first hand.

    And as far as the dump zone question. Jimbo do you even have a dump zone hooked up? I could have sworn on aanother thread you said that you did not. And if I also remember you don't have any type of power failure zone as well.

    All switches, pumps, valves, piping, etc should be tested and ran once and awhile. I have no air leaks. I feel it is ok to have the boiler cycle every now and then in stead of just idling. It's all about what the aquastats are set at. I could adjust them but I choose not to.

    To each his own
  23. tigermaple

    tigermaple Member

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    I agree with Jimbo, If you can put it in a shed, barn or the like it would be better. If not a exhaust fan is a must. I know several people with seton types and everyone has this problem. Once you put in the 1st log when loading, she'll smoke, draft inducer or not. Also the circulator should run 24/7, no exceptions.
  24. Akgasser

    Akgasser Member

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    Loc:
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    Sealing up the stove today and tomorrow and plumber will be here sunday with the unit heaters. Going to keep an eye out for a big commercial range hood and fit it with the highest cf. Blower motor I can find.
  25. Trzebs13

    Trzebs13 Member

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    Central WI
    One suggestion I would make is make sure you get a good amount of air movement on your hood. I used the small blower from a hot water heater and ran 3" duct out side and it is almost useless. You need allot more suction than that. I should have known better.

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