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Outdoor wood boiler newbie

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by robins44, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Yep, thats right. Where's the barrel stove when we need it? Randy

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  2. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    lol, i am not in any way a realty expert. But i can tell you when i drive down my road, everyone has a owb or woodstove. Used stoves are generally hard to come by in my area, because everyone wants them. Also i will probably end up taking the stove with me to my next residence when i decide to move. All these are is big maybes, im not saying i will move for sure, i like where im at and i love my property and house, i just dont care for the 40 min one way commute.



    Cody
  3. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Then buy somrthing you'll be glad to take with you.

    Many many places here in Upstate NY have OWB's also. Do they have any contributory value? :lol:

    Want some anecdotal evidence? Peruse your RE listings. See any that advertise outdoor boilers? Now try searching for 'Viessmann', 'Buderus', or similarly branded fossil fuel boilers. Notice the difference?
  4. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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  5. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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  6. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    LOL, Randy's just passionate about burning wood as clean and efficiently as possible.

    Me, I'm passioante about

    [​IMG]

    OH! and passionate about not wasting money! And if you put your choices to a spreadsheet, you'll see that the smoke dragon is the most costly option you have.
  7. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    It's a bit shocking to me that so many people this year are looking at wood heat as a short term investment.

    Aside from the fact that you really just want to start heating with wood (which I can completely understand) do you think you will save at LEAST $1,700 per year after you install this thing (assuming three years)? If not, why even consider it? I can absolutely appreciate taking something on as a hobby but you'd be better off as stated above with a $1,000 stove if you just want to break into wood heat. Purchasing an OWB for a 3 year use case will never make fiscal sense (if you care about money).

    I'll leave the "value add" topic for others to debate. I can tell you that my gasser system barely got honorable mention on an appraisal I received this year. It added pricesely $0.00 to the value of my home. I'd guess that any other brand, make, model will have roughly the same effect.

    Good luck with your choice. It sounds like you've already made up your mind. So put everyone on this thread out of their misery and just buy that sucker already. Just know that it's probably not a wise investment, nor is it a stellar performer. But it's likely no worse a decision than a guy driving a full size truck as a commuter, wearing a $1,000 watch or perhaps even drinking a $10 six pack of microbrew. It is what it is....
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    [Multiple] $1,000's watch and still uses phone to tell time!
    [​IMG]
  9. fahmahbob

    fahmahbob Member

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    Hey, I resemble that remark. I don't drink a LOT of it, but I like my beer to have taste...

    To the OP - it does sound like your mind is made up, and you should certainly do what you think is best. You're young, you've got time to learn. My advice would be a wood stove since you plan on staying such a short time. But when you find your dream home, and you want to burn wood, I think you should give a gasser serious consideration.
  10. pulse

    pulse Member

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    Just a thought, but in 5 years I will be suprised if you can install a standard owb. It would suck if you bought it and could not move it to a new location if that is what you wanted to do. Figure a three year roi if you have all your own wood. Don't count on a used no name owb to be worth much in 5 years. If you plan on staying put and enjoy cutting wood go for it!
  11. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    Good points!
  12. varna

    varna Member

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    LOL..I think of someone that drinks the "cheaper beers" the same as the person who burns "wet" wood......it works but it's not nearly as good :)
  13. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    I agree with ya,varna. My wife and I traveled to Europe about 8 years ago and had the opportunity to drink many different kinds of beer that actually tasted good. Very few American beers can come close to comparing with what we consumed over there, especially our "light beers". I can't stand the taste of Bush light anymore.
  14. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    I bought a gasser and installed it myself. End product at $6500 in'06. Annual fuel oil estimates were $3200 to $4000 plus $1000 for propane for dhw (minus $4 per month to cook with). My first three years for wood was aronud $800-$1000 total and around $500 for the fourth year. I used my gasser in the summer to generate my DHW. Fossil fuels estimate for four years was approximately $18400. My actual gasser install and cost of wood usage for the same period of time was $8000. I had no storage but if I had put storage in I think I would still have broke even long before the the four years was up. Property value would easily have been kept up at a higher value even in these more difficult times IF I could have found a buyer who appreciated the system and savings and if I were trying to sell. There are a lot of dice that roll to equate the green we see on both sides of the fence and your choice is your choice and not mine but if all you can find is high dollar gassers I hope you can look a little further. My gasser was and is an EKO40 and I have not regretted the purchase. I have cut wood since 1977 and still like the work. But after a gasser I regret the consumption of an OWB. Sometimes a fellow likes to think he is getting ahead. There is a lot of epa swirl today and some places are not allowed to install OWB's anymore. The stove you buy today may not even be allowed to operate in 2-3 years just like in other places in these here United States but I hope that is not true. Another side of the coin is this year I have spent close to $300 for purchased wood and $200 in gas to haul free wood and most of that might be burned this season.
  15. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The various posts in this thread are interesting in part because they demonstrate the distinction between knowledge and culture, as well as the power of local culture to trump knowledge, and also the power of rationalization to justify a choice. A local area of a culture of OWB's is really powerful to cause others to buy an OWB to show that the buyer is "like" the buyer's neighbors. People want to fit in, even if knowledge and education argue strongly for a different choice.

    Also, we all tend to rationalize a choice, which to me means simply trying to state reasons to justify an otherwise unacceptable action. We don't like to admit to our mistakes or actions taken due to lack of or refusal to accept knowledge.

    A good friend of mine built a very nice, large log home in a very rural area near where I live. The culture here is OWB. In fact, I may have the only residential gasser in the area. I had an OWB but replaced it with the gasser for all the obvious reasons. I told my friend of the benefits of the gasser, invited the friend to come and see how the gasser looked and performed, and talked about the economics of the gasser. All were ignored, and a shiny, new OWB now sits on the friends lawn, not far from the house, and gently wafts its enormous smoke output towards the house when the wind blows that direction, which it often does. Local culture trumped knowledge (or the willingness to learn) and the friend now rationalizes his choice by talking about his long burn periods of (green) wood.
  16. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    jebatty,
    I agree with you pertaining to the interesting posts raising the distinction between knowledge and culture....to a measured extent. Your mass storage indoor gasifier system works for you. You obviously did a fair amount of research before starting your install. It is apparent that the European method of extracting and storing gasified heat is very important to you and others. No one can take that knowledge away from you folks. It is part of who you are now. It's your perception of how your local culture ought to be, and because of the knowledge you've acquired, you are able to justify your rationalizations.
    Before I installed a gasification OWB, I also did a lot of research pertaining to unique features of both systems. I took in that knowledge, allowed my brain to digest all the information, and came to the conclusion that my system is best for me. It is by far the wisest choice for myself and many, many others. I chose not to give up the shooting range(air rifles and pistols) that I set up many years ago for my daughter(she's 30 now) in my basement. My ten year old son would have serious issues with that. No one in my household cares for the smoke,insects, or mess associated with an indoor boiler. We are not willing to give up the extra storage and recreation space to a mass storage system.
    You will never get be able to adequately illustrate the validity of your statements that you post about your particular heating system by demeaning others. By assuming that your way is the only right way, you've inadvertently exposed yourself to the accusations that you've set forth pertaining to all others who may not agree with you-namely by implying that anyone who doesn't adhere to your way of reasoning is either "uneducated" or lacks "knowledge". Your "rationalizations", therefore, imply to others that you may not have the wisdom necessary to accurately convey the knowledge you've acquired.
    Having knowledge is a great thing. Possessing God given wisdom is much, much better.

    Marty
  17. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Jim's way is the only way if you care about clean air. I'm quite sure he did not lump gasification OWB's with the smoke dragons, Randy
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Marty, I don't think we disagree at all on the value of knowledge and the impact of culture.
    I wish in fact I had done the research before I bought the Tarm. My knowledge was buying a farm with an OWB installed in 1997 and operating it through the winter of 2005-2006; seeing a Tarm at a forestry meeting in March 2006; aware of how much wood I was burning and the effort it took to cut split and stack 1-2 years supply of wood for the OWB; aware of the amount of smoke that blew all over the place, especially towards the house, and the smell and health impact of that; having a neighbor stop by once thinking the place was on fire by the amount of smoke; and enough research to indicate that the Tarm would likely burn 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of wood and be largely smoke free. That was the extent of my knowledge before I bought.

    Then, with no experience at all, I undertook the install myself, following one of the plumbing concept drawings in the Tarm manual. I started with open storage using 3 old fuel tanks in series; many plumbing mistakes which led to considerable extra cost; and wondering what I got myself into. The I found Hearth.com in January 2008 and was "saved" by the advice, expertise, patience, and ultimately much education on my part well beyond what the forum provided. That's where I am now, and enjoying the 3rd re-do of my system, now performing to meet or exceed all reasonable expectations I have. Lots of money, lots of time, lots of mistakes, lots of learning -- and making the benefits, I hope, of all that available to others.

    You have a gasification OWB, my comment was related to the traditional OWB, and I think you understood my comment in that light. You likely became far more educated than I did, since I barely had none, before becoming the owner of your system. Things have come a long way since 2007. They have a long way to go.

    I look forward to the next advance in knowledge and culture regarding use of biomass (or other energy source) for space heating and DHW. I may be an early adopter. I embrace change. I enjoy the present and look forward to a more healthy and positive future for all of creation. I let the past go, remembering the good times and enough of my mistakes to, hopefully, not repeat them again. But I think it would be a mistake to label me fixed in a culture, or clinging to a culture once new knowledge becomes available. And that was a point I wanted to make.
  19. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    Jim,
    I'm not trying to argue about whether gasification is a good thing or not. All reasonable persons should be able to see it's positive environmental impacts, as well as the benefits of reduced consumption. And how can we put a price on happy neighbors? The point I am trying to illustrate is that if we want others to even consider a more environmentally friendly approach to home heating, we have to talk to them, not about them. We need to enthusiastically teach on a level field, as opposed to dictating downward. How many times have we all witnessed rebellion because of horrible communication. People will refuse to learn if they are made to feel inferior.
    It's understood what you and I would like others to understand. The teaching process is where we disagree. Sometimes we may have to reluctantly embrace someone's antique technologies a bit to aid in the introduction and implementation of ours. Re-read your post and you'll see what I'm saying.

    Randy,
    Jim's way is not the only way-but that's an entirely different thread.
  20. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Wow....just wow.

    If anyone had any doubts that you were in love with your OWB & would tolerate no opinions to the contrary no matter how well educated/informed/experienced they may be you sure cleared that up.

    Ignored all the relevant facts in anyone arriving at a decision that any OWB is not the best way to go in the process as well.

    "Think", why do no western EU nations allow OWB's to be sold, hooked up or operated?

    After all they have been using gassers far longer than us, if OWB's were truly a better way one would "think" that they would be all over them right?

    Reminds me of that T-shirt....you think education is expensive....try ignorance.

    BTW if you have not guessed it yet most of us consider the "been there done that members" like Jim & so many others who regularly contribute so much to the knowledge base in this boiler room, to be totally of limits AFA anything resembling a flame.

    I am totally OK with you coming after me for instance. However if/when you do, please bring the laws of physics & thermodynamics with you. Those laws agree with Jim's point of view if you will & disagree with yours, so I will at some time be asking you to explain how those laws do not apply to you or your OWB, or any OWB for that matter.
  21. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    canuck,
    Wow...just wow.... hits the nail on the head!
    Please take the time to re-read my above posts. We are on the same side, right? We need more people on board with us where burning smoke is concerned. That is my goal, whether it be a efficient mass storage system or an efficient OWB gasser. Do you really think you are persuading anyone to jump on the gasification bandwagon by attempting to change the focal point of this discussion? The simple point I am trying to illustrate is that there is sometimes more than one way to achieve an end result.
    I refuse to bring up any witty t-shirt sayings that may apply to this situation. I would, however, ask you to keep in mind all individuals who may be reading this thread. I'm sure one of the main purposes of this site in particular would be to help educate people about the many efficient ways that are available to heat their homes without fossil fuel dependency.

    Marty
  22. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    You might have misunderstood. Gasification is the only way to burn wood really clean & thats what I meant by Jim's way. In any event you are a reasonable person & I don't think I can come up with too much to argue about, Randy
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    My post on culture really had more to do with how people act and think and the power of culture to affect that. It wasn't judging users of OWBs as good or bad, nor users of gasification boilers as good or bad. Culture affects so many other things we do, like what kind of car or truck we buy, what size of house we have, whether we go to see and hear opera or grunge bands, what we wear, what sports we watch or play, how many children we have, etc.

    Culture also impacts whether or not individuals look to knowledge and science for information to guide their decisions, or whether they look to profit or loss as the guide, or whether they look to a particular religious view as the guide, etc.

    Culture preserves, expresses and reinforces uniform values in an ascribing population. And I think it is important to discover the values underlying a culture or behavior, to test those value against a variety of things that people say are important to them, to determine whether or not what a person says are his/her value are in fact demonstrated in the person's behavior.

    And in the end I think that behavior creates the values needed to sustain that behavior, not that values cause a certain behavior.

    I guess my post had more to do with thoughtful discussion of the reasons for behaviors in the wood burning boiler arena than anything else.

    Let's move on to answer questions such as "how hot does wood get when it burns?"
  24. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Every situation is somewhat different. As a GENERAL RULE, OWB's are going to be on the low end of the overall-efficiency stats. At the same time, long burn times appeal to many people, an that is targeted by the OWB sellers.

    People with knowledge know ways around the burn time issue.

    Maybe my viewpoint is somewhat affectedby the fact that I use a Refractory Mass Natural Draft hydronic. I consider it somewhere between an OWB and a Euro-style down-draft. I'm not in the business of recommending any one brand or even any one style.

    But I'm a fan of making these decisions based on numbers. And if the OP runs the numbers, I think he'll see that the OWB is more expensive over the holding period.

    And if the OP thinks that the OWB will contribute more to the market value of his property than it will cost, well . . . I'll simply recommend that he talk with some pros in his area to get the facts on that whole issue.

    I have more friends with OWB's than ones with 'gassers'. Itwas a choicethatworked for them at the time. Some at least would go a different route today.

    Just one guys opinion ... OWB-users are welcome here. I bet we can ALL learn something here.

    Rock On!
  25. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    Most would say wood boilers add ZERO value to your home.

    gg

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