1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Oohhhhhhh Crap! Well, at least I know my oil back-up is working!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Gasifier, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I have seen my boiler go out when it was 180 degrees with the tank at the same temperature. And it did not run for over 2-1/2 hours. Then turned on and burned the wood in the chamber. I am not making this stuff up guys. Ask some of the other Wood Gun owners on here. I think you will see that they have had this happen as well. Maybe even longer times between firing. I guess the conditions just have to be right. Right wood, right position of wood. I don't know.

    Here is what I did notice. I had discussed the temperature difference for when the circulation pump between the storage tank and the boiler should turn off with someone else on another thread. They suggested a 15 or 20°F temperature difference. I had set it to circulate until the temperature got down to 155 degrees. The operating limit was at 190, I believe. (This limit usually results in the Wood Gun turning off around 180-182.) I don't know if something is a little off or not with that.?

    So I had changed that temperature setting on the Aquastat that runs the circulation pump to turn it off at 175 degrees. To try that. I thought that maybe the tank would stay warmer longer with the Wood Gun off and not taking the water out of the tank. That was before I had this night with the fire going out and staying out. Probably bridging, which is operator error. Now what I am thinking is that what may also be happening with the circulation pump set to turn off at this temperature is that the storage tank is kind of working against the Wood Gun being able to re-start, re-ignite, whatever, the coals because it results in the Wood Gun not firing for a longer period of time. Because the circulation pump between boiler and tank is not running for a longer period of time, all the heat demand from water heater or house zones is being met by the tank. With little heat demand this time of year that tank can meet that demand for 3-6 hours depending on outside temperatures, hot water being run for one reason or another, etc.

    So the boiler goes for a longer period of time without firing if demand is being pulled from just the tank. If the circulation pump is running for a longer period of time, two things happen. First, the cooler water from the bottom of the tank is returning to the boiler, which results in cooling the boiler faster. Then boiler needs to fire more often. Second, when heat is called for any reason, that demand is met by water coming out of boiler and perhaps some water coming out of the top of the tank. So again, cooler water returning to the boiler, and it has to fire more frequently and has an easier time "re-igniting" the fire.

    Does that make sense to you guys? I changed the temperature on the circulation pump back down to 160 and will see how that works. Plus I will use smaller splits, like several have suggested. ;-) I had some big uns, or all-nighters in there that night. Hoping they would burn all night. In this situation, there were there all-night, that is for sure. :lol:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,715
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Now that you've calmed down I want to tell you what I was going to say in regards to the above statement:
    A fart is gas and prunes make sh!t and until you can differentiate between the two, life will be messy for you. I'm not that intelligent but in my 70 years I have been exposed to several head scratching situations being that I have been a tinkerer all my life. Hopefully by the time you reach my age, you will have figured out the difference between fart and sh!t long ago.

    Seriously though; I don't think you understand what's going on. I get the feeling you have not burned much wood in the past or you are young enough so you didn't burn wood in the seives they used to call stoves. If you lined up the cracks just right, you could look right through them. Back then we "banked" the fire, meaning we burried the coals to keep a small amount of heat flowing into the room and it kept oxygen from burning up the coals. We could then stir them up and add more fuel for our next fire.

    The Wood Gun completely shuts off the combustion air, whereas the eko and similar machines only have a lightweight flapper that is counter balanced to drop over the air inlet. that chamber supplies the primary and secondary air which is regulated by gates. They leak air. In fact I don't think I even need the cycle timer to keep it ignited. I would be very nervous about long idling times with these units if I didn't have overheat protection. However, what counteracts the equation is the fact that the Wood Gun blows a hurricane of air compared to the European boilers and only needs a spark smaller than a match head embedded in a piece of charcoal to ignite. When the fire in my Gun went out and there was a small amount of charcoal left, I just tightly wadded up a piece of newspaper, lit it, threw it in, closed the door and walked away. In ten minutes or less she was ready for fuel. I think they need all that airflow because they lack secondary air input and the increased flow compensates for it. (only my opinion)

    Getting back to re-igniting. The refractory would need to be red hot to ignite the wood. There are people here on this forum that can probably tell you what the temperature needs to be and I'm sure your refractory will never be that hot. If your combustion fan activates and your fire comes back to life it means there was a small bit of glowing charcoal in there somewhere.

    Storage really only made my wood burning more convenient and a little more efficient. It didn't have anything to do with re-ignition or corrosion. Other that that it is a non issue. Now that my boiler is shut down overnight and the majority of the following day, I don't have to calculate hoe much fuel to put in.

    Your definition of "ignite reminds me of something that has been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember.
    IGNITE = To subject to fire or intense heat, to render luminous by heat.
    COMBUSTION = A rapid chemical combination of a substance with oxygen producing heat and light.

    Yet everybody, professionals, firemen, you name it calls it spontaneous combustion except one little physics professor I had back in the early sixties. He called it spontaneous ignition.
  3. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    :lol: That was good Fred. Very inlightening! :lol:

    Here is the entire statement. Again! It wasn’t me. I was farting up a storm earlier! And I won’t mention about anything after that timeframe.

    The sh!t was what I meant when I said "And I won't mention anything after that timeframe." I guess that part got by you Fred. (That must be your 70 years of experience showing through!) That was me trying to be a little bit tactful and not mention it! :lol: But you read it and didn't even think about it. Because you just wanted to get back to what you wanted to say! Listen Fred. I was taught to respect my elders. And I do. But if someone doesn't show me a little respect, how much should I show back?! It goes both ways my friend. You assumed I know nothing, and you know all about what is going to happen with my system. My system is slightly different than you were running in 1984. Storage, different seals on doors, different fan, etc.

    I have burned wood in a forced air wood furnace when I was young living in my parents house. We also had an old fireplace. I have burned wood in wood stoves as well. Recently, the last 6 years in my current home. Now I am burning in my wood boiler. I am not a total newbie to wood burning. I am 43 years old Fred. Give me a little credit. At least a little!

    I'll tell you what. I will just leave it at that.

    Have a good one sir. A good heating season to you.
  4. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,715
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Well you were getting that credit from me until you demonstrated by your questions and assumptions that you don't have the slightest idea what's going on in these units.
  5. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    You are right. :red: You do know exactly what is going on in these units.

    However, what counteracts the equation is the fact that the Wood Gun blows a hurricane of air compared to the European boilers and only needs a spark smaller than a match head embedded in a piece of charcoal to ignite.

    Ignite? Hey, wait a minute. You said........ Oh, that's right. That is coaling. Coaling, coaling, coaling. Damn. I have know idea what is going on in these units. Niether do any of those guys over at AHS. Re-ignite. Ohhhh brother. What a crock of sh!t! Oh, or just splitting hairs over a term? Nope, just me not knowing sh!t again.

    :lol: You have yourself a good evening Fred.

    I remember a comedian once said. "Calm down, have some dip." :lol:
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,420
    Loc:
    Midwest
    Our boilers are quite different. I need to burn splits & rounds about as big as I can get in the door once it's up to temp. I listen to Froling people talk about banking the coals to the front so you can light the next day & just shake my head as my boiler couldn't go 2 hours. I think your relights are, as Fred says, because of coals not hot ceramic. Not taking anything away from the WG, Gasifier, except some marketing hype. I bought my Atmos because I couldn't afford the WG, it was my first choice, Randy
  7. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    402
    Loc:
    Western ME
    Looks like day 2, still no prunes!
  8. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,715
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Testosterone overload!
  9. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    402
    Loc:
    Western ME
    I hear ya brother! :lol:
  10. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yet everybody, professionals, firemen, you name it calls it spontaneous combustion except one little physics professor I had back in the early sixties. He called it spontaneous ignition.

    So did you agree with your professor or not? :lol:
  11. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,984
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    I will also agree with you on the 90% efficiency statement...the WG and many other wood boilers are very efficient but few are truly 90%+ efficient.
    However, I am confident in saying that if I have a 2" bed of hot coals my boiler will fire again well after an hour of no burn has lapsed. I've never timed them so not sure how long it can go but I've gone down to the basement on several occasions just to be sure there is a fire going because I forgot to turn on the cycle timer and been happy to see flames in the box.
  12. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Seems pointless to me to tell someone that just spent a good chunk of change that they wasted their money. I know its an oft-overused cliche, but if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

    I can not offer you specific WG advice, Though it was on my short list, I ended up going a different direction.

    But I am trying to figure out . . . when you say the WG didn't re-ignite . . .

    Was it attempting to? (damper open/fan on)

    Was there still solid fuel in the CC?

    Jimbo
  13. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    You are correct. It is pointless.

    There was still fuel(wood) in the CC. The Wood Gun can get the fire going again after a time of up to several hours depending on how hot the chamber has stayed. In other words, if it was able to keep the wood that was once burning hot enough. When it fires up again it opens it's air "door" or flap and the induction fan blows a lot of air in and "re-ignites" the fire. Basically gets the embers, like in any fire, going again by blowing on them with a lot of forced air. This time the fire had been out for a long time do to low heat demand so it had cooled down to much. Then when the demand came with all the morning showers the oil back up fired up to warm things up a bit.

    This was the first time it had happened to me. So I was looking for a little advice to prevent it from happening again. "Better get use to it." is not in my vocabulary or my approach to doing things. I will try different things suggested by others and experiment on my own and I will prevent it from happening the vast majority of the time. I have made some adjustments already. 1. Using smaller splits. 2. Having my circulation pump run longer until it reaches a lower temperature which will cause the Wood Gun to fire a little more regular to keep itself hot. Plus, when the temperatures gets colder it will fire much more often on it's own. So it won't even be an issue then.

    And I know I did not waste my money. This baby has been burning beautifully since October first, heating house, garage, and hot water. All to temperatures set by thermostats. A very nice improvement in comfort compared to the wood stove I had been burning in the basement. And I use no oil now. That is the goal. I liked that as well though. I had another night last night, like many before, where I slept the whole night and came down to a bed of hot coals in the morning. A beautiful thing. The Wood Gun had cycled on and off, during low heat demand, and kept the house, storage tank, and hot water tank nice and warm.

    Have a good one Jimbo.
  14. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    My experience with my GW (similar in that refractory is supposed to cause reignition) and no storage tells me that I need to match the wood load to the anticipated demand. More of an art than a science. But I would thing storage would be laod er up, let her rip, let it go out. But sounds like you are attempting to burn 24/7 with storage? Look I'm no expert,, especially on storage but that sounds - as someone else pointed out already - like a buffer tank. Not saying that is good or bad, just different.
  15. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Loc:
    WI
    I originally thought I would run my Econoburn 200 the same way with my 1000 gallons of storage. I don't think it will work the way I thought it might.

    Originally I thought I could extend my time on days that I will be gone by having the tank at desired temp and then allowing the Boiler to idle on and off. In a sense storing Btu's in the tank and unburned wood. Not an Ideal situation but it would only occur about 8 days a month and only during the very coldest weather.


    In reality 1000 gallons of storage can absorb a lot of Btu's. I think it is going to be difficult estimate how the boiler will cycle on and off as storage temps drop. In all likelihood it will consume all remaining wood as soon as Temp drops below set point.

    The other issue is controlling the fan off with a idling boiler/ storage. There are many ways with high burn until wood is gone, like timer and stack probe but it gets a little muddy as I think about idling and keeping the fan off after wood is consumed. The last thing I want is to be pounding air into the boiler if the thing is out of wood or it failed to heat up after a long down time.

    gg
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    You are correct. Matching the wood load does help. I am still learning. We are also sort of between shoulder season and almost winter. We have had quite a few nights where it went down to between 22-32 degrees. Then some when it never went below 35-40. Kind of tuff to get it just right. With the Wood Gun I can leave wood in it and leave it on as long as there is a demand which will cause it to fire a few times during the night. Wood Gun and tank works well. You are also correct in that storage would be load er up, let her rip, let it go out. You are also correct with this. It has been pointed out to me here and in post before I even put the system in that it is more of a buffer tank. But 400 gallons is a pretty decent size buffer. I just have to get more experience with the whole system. And like I said, with a little more heat demand, I won't have the problem. Just had this one time when I left it running with wood in it, heat demand was low, tank provided enough heat to match demand which caused Gun to not fire for a longer period. Then when it did need to fire the wood, and whole caboose, had cooled to much. Then it could not refire. It was trying to. Door open and fan running. No biggy. I will figure it out, and it will finally get colder, then heat demand will be up. That Wood Gun and buffer tank work great though. For the entire fall shoulder season and then again in the spring, I charge it with the right amount of wood, bring them both up to temp, shut the boiler right off and let it bring me hot showers and provide for heat (low demand) without using oil. It's a nice set-up. Very glad I added that buffer tank! Have a good one DeadBTUs.
  17. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,303
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    This may be way off topic but keeping a boiler "at idle" with ample amounts of storage really defeats one of the primary purposes of thermal storage.

    Gasifier is admittidly running a buffer type system whereby his 400 gallons of storage is really meant to make up for those times when perhaps his boiler cannot meet overall demand or if the boiler fire goes out for a few hours at a time (I suspect more the later).

    Unless your demand is HUGE (50-80k btu/hr average or more?) maintaining a fire 24/7 with 1,000 gallons of storage is going to generate significant decreases in effciencies, excess wood consumption and a maintenance dillema caused by constant smoldering fires...
  18. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yes. I agree. 1000 gallons of storage is a different situation all together than the 400 gallons I have. GG, I hear ya with your situation too. Each and every system is unique. From what I have seen so far with mine, I am really psyched. I think it is going to work great for my situation. A big help in the shoulder seasons, and also a help when it is really cold. I can be sure that before I go to bed and to work I have the boiler and the tank up to 185 °F. If the boiler runs out of wood after 6 hours, the tank, hopefully, will give me a few more hours of heat until I can get home and bring it back up to temp. I did do the calculations at one time, and think this will work well. I have said this before, the Wood Gun is rated by the company at 100,000, but I think it puts out more than that. Just like the guys at the company told me. And just like Jim has found out with the larger one he has had some fun experimenting with.

    On another note, it is suppose to be high 60s on Wed. :coolsmile:
  19. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Loc:
    WI

    Post is getting a little side tracked here but as I said it would be maybe 8 days a month in the coldest months, When I would be gone for 24 hours. The intent was so My wife wouldn't have to mess with it. She handled it fine last year with no storage, I was just hoping to give her one less thing to do when I am gone.

    gg
  20. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Post is getting a little side tracked here but as I said it would be maybe 8 days a month in the coldest months, When I would be gone for 24 hours. The intent was so My wife wouldn’t have to mess with it. She handled it fine last year with no storage, I was just hoping to give her one less thing to do when I am gone.

    gg


    So you do not think your 1000 gallons of storage would be able to get you through 24 hours? How many btus would you be going through on those coldest days of the season in that 24 hour period? I am trying to imagine something else you could do on those days to help out your system so that the Mrs. would not have to load the boiler. You say your boiler and tank are in an outside building. What type of house? How many floors? Just out of curiosity?
  21. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Loc:
    WI
    I have a 14 year old 1600 square ft ranch with an exposed basement that has 1200 sq ft finished. I have forced air heat and my heat loss is about 45,000 btus at 15 below zero.

    The forced air heat is the main problem for extending storage but I can get heat down to about 130 but 140 is better for a low point.

    As I finish my insulation on the storage I will get a better idea of how long I can go, that and cold weather is right around the corner here.

    The only real options are to add more storage, put in some radiators or have my wife fire when needed. At this point she will be building fires and is fine with that.

    I have considered adding some radiators but unless I put em throughout the entire house I am not sure how I would keep the areas without them from getting cold. I think any too close to thermostats would keep forced air from coming on leaving remote rooms cold.

    More storage is a option, I could put in a couple 250 gallon tanks in my basement to act as a buffer. I could exchange water with the big tank as the smaller in house ones cool, not sure how efficient that would be.

    As much money as I have spent in the last year we will be starting fires. I can tell already that the convienience of storage will be very nice compared to last year even if we have to start those extra fires.

    gg
  22. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I wonder if, in the future, a few loops of radiant (under the floor) placed in the right rooms of the house and up in between your floor joist would get you that extra time you were looking for. Because it uses lower temperature water, maybe it could make your storage last that much longer. The only experience I have with radiant is in my concrete garage floor. And I love that. But have only seen it done under the floors in between the joist in other peoples homes.
  23. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,249
    Loc:
    WI
    Problem is I have drywalled ceiling in lower level plus floors are oak hardwood and carpet. Tile in bathrooms but that wouldn't help much.

    gg
  24. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Hey GG. I'll bet your wife would love some new flooring somewhere in the first floor of the house! :lol: You can put the new radiant in this stuff they put right under a new floor! :cheese: Or maybe you could do some of those new radiator type thingy ma bobbers that use low temperature water. Isn't that funny. I can't remember the names of them. Information overload again.
  25. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    620
    Loc:
    Sabattus Maine
    JAGA from the radiator factory

Share This Page