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)

Ordered an EKO

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Tony H, Nov 22, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois
    Well after much thought I placed an order for an EKO 40 ! The parts should be arriving a couple of days and I have lots of work to do since I want to get it running ASAP so I can have heat without paying massive gas bills.

    I am doing a "basic" system with DHW and an heat exchanger in the gas forced air furnace but no hot water storage (for now).
    The EKO will be installed in a metal shed about 64' feet from the house and 115' from the furnace I am using Logstor insulated pipe outside and pex-al pipe inside that I also plan to insulate as the basement is not heated at this time.
    I will be doing some of the work myself along with help from friends and family ... my pal next door will use his skid steer to move and position the boiler in the shed, a couple of nephews will build the shed and another will be doing the plumbing / furnace work.
    I am doing the trenching this weekend!

    Any suggestions on how to set things up and pitfalls to avoid would be welcome.

    Thanks

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Sounds like you've got competent help. I did mine myself, so that wasn't the case.

    Once you get it piped, wired and connected to a chimney, you ought to be in business. No additional assembly required. Most people have to monkey around with the air controls at first. Unfortunately, the manual doesn't cover that. Start a thread when you've got it going and I'm sure one of us will be able to guide you through the air control adjstment process.

    That's a great boiler, IMO. Congratulations; I bet you'll be happy with it.
  3. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    306
    Loc:
    Ontario
    I am new to this forum. Like you, I have been putting a lot of thought on which boiler to buy. I have considered Tarm, Greenwood and others, but just this morning my wife and I have finally decided to place an order for an EKO 40. Our requirements are very similar to yours. We have just built a 9' X 12' boiler building about 50' from the house and 30' from our workshop. The 2600 sq. ft.house has an forced air oil furnace and the 800 sq.ft.shop has 3 - 250' loop of pex pipe in the insulated concrete floor. We will look into hot water storage later. We have a 1000 gallon concrete cistern that we are considering using for the heat storage. I am really interested to see how Eric makes out with the heat exchanger he is building.
    (good luck!)

    I have much to learn about this, as this is pretty much all new to me. Please continue to post as you progress. I am interested in your setup.

    Don
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Welcome to Hearth.com and the Boiler Room, Don. Sounds like you've got a good plan. I'm optimistic about the hx. I ordered the rest of the fittings I'll need, and I plan to get the rest of the thing built over the next couple of days. Should have the tank going by Dec. 1.
  5. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    Couple more EKO owners - we'll need our own room pretty soon. Welcome to the club - I'm on my third season with the EKO 25. Mine is in my basement, so I don't have any of the plumbing issues. Expect to spend a little time figuring out the startup process. Once they're going, they seem to work great. They do like drier wood, so plan on cutting at least a year ahead and keeping your wood covered. It will work better and you'll burn less wood. I've run mine on a wide range of woods from maple to locust to red cedar to white pine. It does fine with all of them.

    Good luck and enjoy your new acquisition!
  6. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois
    Not sure the general contractor (me) is competent at all as my shed boys just told me today they are not sure when they can do the work because one is being tasked to work alot of extra hours thru the holidays , so we shall see. Looks like i might need to make a new plan if I want to stay on schedule.
    Sure looks like you know what your doing based upon the pictures of your work , any chance you will be passing thru IL in thr next few weeks? How about Nofossil ? Those are some mighty interesting data measurements you have made.

    Here's a question for you guys have you taken out permits with the local building departments when doing the boiler installation ?
    I am undecided. I did talk to the HVAC inspector and he said " outside boilers are fine no special rules just make sure you have the install instructions so we can look at them and make sure you followed the MFG directions" Hello does that seem normal ?
  7. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    Not going to be in IL anytime soon - sorry. Here in Vermont, permits aren't required for much of anything at the residential level. I did my own excavation, built my own house, did my own electrical, did my own plumbing only a building permit, and no inspections.

    I think most areas don't require as much paperwork for outdoor installations. Even if done really badly, there's little risk to the house itself. Take it as a blessing and move forward.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Well, I don't know the EKO, but I also have forgot what the oil burner sounds like. Unfortunatly, it went from 60's yesterday here in NY to the teens tonight, So if you're trenching by hand, I'd suggest you get it done immediatly.

    From the sounds of your operation, the most serious mistake you could have is running out of pizza and/or beer for the workers. :lol:

    I know my first half-year with my wood fired hydronic was a frustrated learning experiance, so I recommend that you keep some close contact to people with experiance with YOUR unit (unfortunatly, every brand has it's own nuances and idiosyncracies, so what works for me may not work for you).

    Jimbo
  9. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois
    I am using a walk behind trencher but still need to get it done before the ground freezes up. There are several folks here with EKO boilers that seem very knowledgeable on these systems and the dealer also appears to know the product well.
  10. Donl

    Donl Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    306
    Loc:
    Ontario
    Those of you who have EKO boilers, what method did you use to prevent cold water from recirculating back to the boiler during startup? Laddomat? Therovar? other? What Method did you use to prevent overheating during a power failure? To prevent overheating during a power failure I have been considering placing a 40 or 60 gallon water tank in the shed with the boiler connected to about a 100 foot loop of uninsulated pex buried in the trench between the boiler and the house. During a power failure an automag valve would open and the tank and loop would work on gravity to help keep the boiler from overheating. I don't know if this would provide adequate protection.

    I would have liked the boiler to be operational this winter but the weather has turned cold and I don't have the trench dug as yet. I am worried about installing the Insulated pex in the cold. Apparently the casing can crack or split quite easily in the cold when being handled. The stuffs expensive so I think I will wait until spring to do the trench. In the meantime I can get everything else connected.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I have a Taco 007 serving as a recirc pump. It's connected directly to the controller. My original understanding was that the controller would only run the pump when the return water temp went below 140, but I think mine runs all the time. Which is fine. The EKO doesn't have a return water temp probe that I'm aware of, so I'm not sure how that would work anyway. You could probably sink an aquastat right at the return if you didn't want the pump to run any time the boiler is powered up. Here's a pic of how mine is piped. I've got 1-inch and 3/4-inch lines because 1" isn't sufficient to move all the heat that a 60 can produce.

    For overheat protection, I have an aquastat on the supply line that activates the pump to my greenhouse when the boiler temp hits 200 degrees. Or at least it's supposed to. I've never had it get that hot. As for gravity-feed overheat protection, I would recommend an electric hot water heater directly above the boiler. It's got at least as much capacity as the boiler and it's got plenty of tappings to connect to, including the big ones for the two heating elements. I think if you replace the 50 or so gallons of hot water around the EKO with 50 gallons of room temp (or whatever) water, you'd be OK. Once the blowers shut off, the only concern you will have is the coals in the firebos. I have a couple of cast iron radiators hooked up to mine instead at the moment, but I have other uses for the rads and so I'll probably be getting hw heater if I can pick one up cheap. I have the automag valve like you mentioned. Perhaps a cheaper, and certainly easier alternative would be to get a marine battery and an inverter to run the pump on your biggest zone when the power goes out. I may do that, eventually. If I can get the hot water into my basement, it will convect into the radiators in the house.

    I don't know anything about burying pex, but I think the ground is still a ways from being set up.

    Attached Files:

  12. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3,398
    Loc:
    Addison County, Vermont
    I use a zone valve that's controlled based on inlet and outlet temperature. In the simplest case, you could use an aquastat or even a bimetallic temp-sensitive switch. Here's a link to a block diagram of my system and a description of my boiler management logic.

    I have a pair of deep-cycle marine batteries and an inverter so I can run the boiler and the circ pump.

    I've never played with it, but if you could pump some hot water into it, it should stay workable for a while.
  13. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,008
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Don L

    A couple suggestions for you;

    Taco makes a zone valve that is normally open, in other words it closes when power is applied to it. If you have a power failure the valve will open allowing hot water to gravity feed into your dump zone, whatever that may be. If you want to be doubly redundant, use a second, parallel circuit with a normally closed valve and power it up with an aquastat that will open the valve based on your selected temperature.

    We have taken a different "tack" to the underground pex issue. Instead of buying pre insulated pex, (too pricey for my Dutch blood) I use bare pex and contract with a local foam insulating company to come a spray it with urethane. We simply lay the tube in the trench and they come and spray about 4" of urethane base foam all around it. Works great, waterproof and we measure less than 1 degree of temp drop per 100' of trench. Call some local insulating contractors in your area and check it out. My guys charge around $7-8.00 a foot depending on the pex diameter and travel distance to the job site.

    AFA boiler protection is concerned, well thought out piping and circulator sizing will help a lot. Keep the flow in the primary (boiler) loop higher than the secondary (house or load) side. Using a Termovar or other thermostatic mixing valve is another way. My personal favorite is to use a variable speed injection mixing control that operates a circulator between the two loops. You can dial in what ever minimum temp you want for your boiler to keep it out of condensation range. That will give you the most sure fire protection for your boiler and also get the secondary loop up to temp as fast as possible.
  14. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois
    I am in Northern IL and trenching tomorrow I was out today locating my services to the garage and marking the path and the ground is not frozen yet. The last couple of days have been 30 degree highs but it will be mid December at least before the ground is too frozen. The idea of running hot water thru the pipe is a good one, the other thing I will do is put the pipe in my garage and run the heat to get it warmed up then run hot water thru it and put it in the trench.
    Heaterman that's a great idea to insulate the pipe too bad mine is shipped already would have saved a couple of dollars a foot.

    What is the wattage on the pump? Thinking of using an Tripplite or APC battery backup unit ? Since we live about 1/2 mile from the power dist plant our power hardly ever goes out maybe twice in the last 10 years.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page