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Outdoor wood boiler newbie

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

  1. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
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    3,090
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    Falmouth, Michigan
    Aside from all that.......

    You mentioned in one of your posts that you don't plan on being in that house very long. If that's the case (4-6 years) you won't realize a return on your investment. You'd be far better off taking that $6,000+ and investing in insulation for the house.

    If you are determined to install a wood burner you would be far better served by putting a nice stove in the house than an outdoor burner, even if you have to put up a chimney. You'll go through 1/4 of the wood.

    If you still decide to pull the trigger on a hydronic unit, send me a PM if you get up near Cadillac. I can show you some different kinds of HWH's (hydronic wood heaters) in operation and you can see for yourself what you are getting into.

    You took a great first step by asking questions here.

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  2. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    And on another note.......For all of the folks that have Gasification OWB's.......hang on to your hats when you see the revised efficiency ratings for them.

    I really do feel sorry for those folks who bought an EPA Phase 1 or 2 OWB based on the efficiency rating published by the manufacturer. New and more accurate testing is proving to be substantially less than advertised numbers.
  3. coolidge

    coolidge Member

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    Maine
    Heaterman, When do you suppose those numbers will be published? I have the optimizer 250 althought it does a good job i do believe it could be better, maybe with an indoor gasser?
  4. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Chances are you will burn a lot less wood if you clean your boiler often. That Scotch boiler design has a lot of tubes & exchange area. If it gets coated though its all almost for nothing. That sure looks like a nice OWB, Randy
  5. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I would hope within a year or sooner but the way the wheels of government turn......who knows?

    I have seen preliminary tests that reflect conditions more similar to real world use (cordwood) and they are substantially different than the 80, 90 and even 100% numbers that are/were being quoted by some manufacturers and also listed on the EPA website. The P&M gasser was not listed on the document I saw.
  6. skfire

    skfire Feeling the Heat

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    NEPA
    +1 Jim.

    I find the following in line with your thesis regarding cultural behavior:

    "We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly."
    Aristotle


    Scott
  7. coolidge

    coolidge Member

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    Maine
    It does a very good job and half the wood of my old tarm mb 55. Cleaning is dedicated to Saturday morning no matter what.
  8. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    Wow this thread turned into something else lol
  9. tawilson1152

    tawilson1152 New Member

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    Theresa, NY
    I think that's the third "wow" I've seen. Gotta be a record for one thread. :)
  10. varna

    varna Member

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    SNJ
    LOL....told you in post #2 how much they like OWB's here....
  11. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    Central Mi
    Like is not necessarily the word I'd use. I seem to have gotten a fairly good butt chewin'. Good thing my Creator has blessed me with an abundant supply where butts are concerned :cheese:
    In due time they will come to understand that we are all in the same boat ;-)
  12. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    michigan
    Lol, ya not to freindly lol




    Thanks marty and varna
  13. varna

    varna Member

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    Your quite welcome. Did you check out the link I gave Ya? I "think" marty is over there as well.
  14. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    Yup sure did sir, and marty found me
  15. robins44

    robins44 New Member

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    michigan
    Yup sure did sir, and marty found me over there.
  16. Mauler

    Mauler Member

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    Southern New York
    was the outdoor econoburn on that document? I'm still waiting to see if NYDEC will revise their list, I'm planing on an OWB and I really want that one. Dale at econoburn spells out a lot of politics involved, and says he can't sell the outdoor econoburn in NY, but I really want one (if it is truly better then the others?). Otherwise, based on what I've read here, of the ones listed by NYDEC I'd only consider the outdoor profab or the P & M optimizer.

    http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/73694.html
  17. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Not sure what the site OWNER thinks, but I think OWB people are welcome here. I'd bet Craig agrees with me, on that point.

    If you give the guys here a chance, you will find out that some of them used an OWB before they went with their current 'secondary cumbustion' units.

    But there is a difference between a member who had an OWB B4 he got here and wants to use his unit as efficiently as possible, and a member who is contemplating a purchase and reduces his decision to purchase price and loads per day.

    The last guy needs way more education than the first guy. Some of us just ain't great in the education skills department ;-)
  18. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Sep 24, 2007
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    912
    Loc:
    Hesperia, Michigan
    I have to agreeon going to a gaser over an OWB but.............. I had two OWB's plus a HASSA before going to my EKO and when I had them I loved them for all the reasons others have. I really didn't realize just how bad they were. I loved not having to split any wood and if I needed more just go out and cut it. I know lots of people making them and buying used ones but buying a new one I feel it would be better to buy a gaser. That said be sure and do this..........
    DON"T buy the pre insulated pipe. Go to the sticky here at the top and read about insulated lines. FOAM is the why to go. WE"VE had a very mild winter this year but heating the groundwon't help when we do get some snow and you have that bare strip where your lines run. Trust me you will be putting alot of wood in anyboiler to melt snow if you don't install your lines right. I know I've redone mine three times.
    Also there was some VERY good advise above on how to run an OWB. Small loads of DRY wood and feed them more often. Trust me you can fill them up to the top and get the same heat as if you only fill them small a couple times a day. They will burn what you put in them. My neighbor learned that last spring. He ran out of wood and started to burn green oak. He told me that he burnt about three times the amount that he was burning before. Even at $100 a cord he used more in that last 6wks than he had used all winter. Remember, wet wood is full of water and you have to boil all the water out before you get any btu's. Some where on here a guy took a oak block and weighed it when it was green, dryed it and put it back on the scales and put a jar with it and added water to bring the wt. back to the original. The block was 7inx7inx11in. It took almost a quart of water to bring it up to wt. Now take a quart of water and put it on your stove and boil it untill gone. That is how much heat you wasted with wet wood.
    DRY WOOD and VERY WELL INSULATED LINES. Those are the two most important things for any boiler period.
    Leaddog
  19. otisbacon

    otisbacon New Member

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    Loc:
    Michigan's U.P.
    I'm in my 3rd season with a Central Boiler unit in da U.P.. Even though I cut and haul 10 full cords a year, I'm still not working as hard as I did when I was bucking stuff up to 16", splitting the trunk rounds, and chucking it into the basement 1 face cord at a time. I built a 10 cord wood bin adjacent to the unit, bring it from the woods in 4-5' lengths, (unless they're trunk rounds), put it in the shed, and the next move is to the unit. I cut my number of handlings in half. The rounds I don't have to split, but just cut to a length I can handle.

    I had a hot water baseboard system in the house, so a 90 plate exchanger has done the job nicely and we enjoy even heat throughout the house. I agree with some of the others on the crosslines. Use a thermopex. Put it down 18-24", deeper if you drive over it, and it doesn't hurt to put insulation board on top it before backfilling. Consider placement of the unit on the leeside of your home with consideration to neighbors too when it comes to the smoke. When they're burning hard they really put out the smoke.

    Enjoy.

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