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older hs tarm oil burner question

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by mtaccone, Jan 18, 2008.

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  1. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    My parents have a 1978 hs tarm mbsolo. They used it 1 year had a chimney fire and never used again. At any rate I was looking through the book on it and I recall a optional swing out oil burner door to go in place of the wood door so that you could burn oil or switch back to wood.. Has anyone ever heard of this or can anyone verify this? I am going to put a wood hot air furnace in my home and have gas heat now :( I was thinking of oil/wood combo or add on and wondering if it would be possible to rig up an oil burner in the wood furnace door. My reason for this is that I found 500 gals of good oil buried in my yard in a tank and every once in a while I get a deal where I can have oil if I want to pump it out of someones tank that is leaking or converting to gas.... Any ideas?

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  2. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    Anyone? Am I just crazy? help me out
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sorry I completely missed seeing your post the other day. A belated welcome to the Boiler Room.

    I've seen old Tarms with the swing-out oil gun, and I owned a Marathon boiler once that had a wood gun poking into the firebox. There are other Tarm combo models still available.

    As to retrofitting your boiler, I'm sure our webmaster, Craig Issod can answer your question better than I can. As the former U.S. importer for Tarm, I'm sure he's intimately familiar with that model.
  4. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    Thanks finally, I thought I was nuts... I have forced air at my house and want to fit this up into a furnace setup.. My parents have long since disconnected the Tarm and it sit there in new condition as it has for 30 years.. My dad was always afraid to burn anything instead letting it smoke then creosote then chimney fire.. Good thing grandpa taught me how to burn.. So How did it work in your boiler? good bad? issues?
  5. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    Craig where are you?
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    There was such a thing - but it was not sold when I owned the company nor after....in fact, not many were sold at all....
    As you may know, the door and door frames bolt on - the oil burner plate (used in the excel, 500 and OT) also fits on the same studs. So it would be relatively easy to convert an MB to a decent oil burner. Of course, the burner and control should be installed by someone who knows what they are doing.

    My suggestion is to use it for wood - or, if needed, convert it to oil full time. But the flexible lines, controls and all the other stuff needed would make it a hassle to switch back and forth.
  7. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    I have a early 80's tarm. It has the oil burner at one end and wood at the other. One this is for sure, the oil side is not very efficient. They were built to burn wood primarily and used the oil as a backup. I have been using my oil burner for 1 hour each day in the morn and have done quite of bit of research on oil burner and how they work. The tarm does not have the proper chamber to burn the oil efficiently. The oil atomization process is very sensitive to the size and shape of the combustion chamber. By simply putting a burner in the wood end of the boiler would not be too efficient. But< if you are only using it as a backup source and get the oil for free, it's not such a bad idea. Just be carefull of carbon monoxide. Some of these boilers have air inlets in places you wouldn't notice and could leak CO into the building. I know this because mine is in the detached garage and sometimes vents through the damper or secondary air intake. The oil and wood chambers are not sufficiently sealed from each other.

    Mike
  8. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    I want to install this system as you have, detached from my house..
  9. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    Thats the best way to do it. I use wood most of the time. I have a timer on the aquastat so it comes on at 6 am for exactly 1 hour. That brings the boiler back up to temp because the fire is out by then. The house warms up nicely and then I build my fire for the day. By using it for 1 hour I burn only 1 gal a day and it makes a big difference in the comfort in the house in the morn. I use salvaged fuel from where ever I can get it. IF you can make a good door setup to go onto the boiler for the burner that would be great, but, naturally not real efficient. I think I would set it up and use it to supplement the current heating system and maybe cut your fuel bill in half. That would be a considerable savings especially since there would be very little effort involved once it is up and running.
    Mike
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    mta, his boiler has two separate combustion chambers, and can burn either or both with automatic changeover. So it is vastly different than the swing door setup.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    In my experience, the only way to run one of those same-firebox combi boilers is to either run wood or oil, and remove the oil gun and plug up the opening when you're burning wood. Those guns and nozzles were quite simply never designed to operate in a wood-fueled firebox. You can get away with it if you quit burning the wood (like when you go on vacation in the winter), but it's not a practical backup solution, and probably not safe, either, considering that they share a chimney.
  12. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    Not to complicate your way of thinking but, if you were creative enough and had the time you could probably fabricate a swing door with an added plate larger that the opening and swing it out 180 degrees and then swing closed another door hinged from the other side. Just a wild thought. (imagination could go wild sometimes).
    I definitely agree making modifications to some of these set ups could be dangerous unless you implement as many safety features as you can and be redundant. Life could be at stake.
  13. mtaccone

    mtaccone New Member

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    Well my reasoning for doing this is that I have alot of free oil at this time once its gone then its gone and would go to wood. I have gas forced air in my house now so thats the future backup.. Also I figure if I put this outside the house c0 wont be a concern and worse case with wood if something happened like a chimney fire all I would loose is a shed. LOL Wanna prevent these of course. I just want to add the burner I have to a door so that I can use up this oil say like oct. nov. then revert back to wood at least til the next Oct. Nov. I agree switching doors on and off is not practical and would prolly ruin something in time and if i had to pay $3.50 a gallon for oil it would be a waste.
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