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Outdoor wood boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jon 2701, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I am moving to New Hampshire and will be in the market for an outdoor wood boiler. Central boiler looks interesting but man they are expensive. It needs to be epa phase 2 certif. What about Wood Doctor? So much conflicting info on the web. Thanks

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Any newer and highly efficient boilers is going to be expensive - same goes with a proper outdoor installation and all the stuff required to efficiently transfer the heat back into your house.

    Is there any reason you cannot use an indoor boiler or install one in an outbuilding or new/existing attaches or detached shed? NH is a cold and windy place...I can't expect it would be pleasant to brave the elements feeding the thing outdoors.
  3. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    Maybe I would be better off getting something like an Econoburn indoor unit and sticking it in a pole barn I am thinking about building.
  4. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Welcome aboard! you are in the right spot.

    I was in the same mind set not too long ago. After reading here I have decided to go with an indoor gasser with storage in an out building. Now im on the hunt for water storage on the cheap. From what I read here (correct me if wrong) I have not heard of an indoor model that has been rendered inoperable. So brand I dont think is a concern just depends on features and such you desire.
    I am in NH and have both Central boiler and Portage and Main within 45mins of me. I have no experiance with P&M but many CB in the area both eclassic and classic models. Classics are proven E-classics early ones had trouble Looked at E-1450 in operation and seems to work well. All the outdoor models I have seen in operation have been burning Green wood. They burn more wood then they need to.
    I followed the boards advice and put up 16 cords of wood for next year as new boilers need dry wood. I am in no particular hurry to buy as I have indoor wood stoves any how. I was just looking to keep mess outside and prolong my need for relining my chimneys.

    With whatever system you go with I would recomend sizing the boiler adequately for storage and house needs. And then shop for the boiler as the smaller boilers are cheaper than the higher output boilers. Economics of this purchase depends on your wood source and your initial purchase price of system.
    E-classic for me had a pay back time of 5 years and I am not confident I can get more than Ten years out of the boiler with out major repairs to the boiler.

    So welcome again and enjoy the conversations to follow!
  5. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Upstate, NY
    Ever think about a pellet boiler? Clean burning, cheap to run, direct vent(no chimney)...I was...WAS a wood burner and will never go back...No Hyjack intended
  6. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I have an unlimited supply of firewood so the wood is free except for the work.
  7. An indoor boiler in a shed is very popular here. I have mine in the basement but can see the desire to have it out of the house. Storage is another expense but something most everyone is happy with. Total budget vs an owb is probably pretty close. But you'll burn a lot less wood.
  8. charly

    charly Guest

    Been there did that,,, OWB, gasification boiler with thermal storage and now back to a wood stove in the house... Just remember the work you do handling wood for one year would get you three years in regular wood stove.. Get use to saying I have to get back home to load my wood boiler,,, no going away in the winter or you have to drain the system, then your looking at major rust... power goes out, hope the generator stays running because if you have a circulator outside on your boiler inside the cabinet that's a breeze point. If your not feeling good,, guess what, you still have to load the boiler....come home late at night from work, nasty blowing out, you still have to load the boiler.. Your going to basically become a slave to the boiler... you'll look and see that you don;t have the wood on hand that you needed... then you realize the stove is not heating up because the great big load you put in is too wet, your tired want to go to bed but realize by the morning you'll have no heat... you will see for yourself... Like I say do what you want but I had 7 years under my belt dealing with an OWB... I moved and could have bought another boiler, knowing just what I would want,,,, no thanks, now I have no water , circulators, controllers, or water treatment chemicals to deal with,, Just a wood stove and wood... Hey and I get to watch my work burning in front of me and get that pleasant warm heat from my wood stove...Plus I can cook on mine as well...Good luck....People who have OWB will tell you their the best because they stuck with it...My neighbor had a Wood Doctor ,, ate wood big time,,, he never thought so or would admit it until half way through the winter he was sweating bullets because he was almost out of wood... I burned 10-12 cords he must have burned 14-16 , he even had two big roll off dumpsters of locust delivered and they were gone after 3 months...Even though your wood is free, be ready to handle a lot of wood...Good luck in what ever you decide!
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg New Member

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    Northern Wisconsin
    I am on the fence as well about OWB compared to indoor woodstove, I currently have indoor and need to rebuild the chimney it is cracked beyond decent repair. I know people on both ends of the OWB spectrum, those who burn a relatively small amount of wood comparable to what I burn indoors and those who go through obnoxious amounts of wood. I believe a stove like the Central Classic is pretty efficient for an OWB if you burn good dry wood, I have 2 friends with them who are very happy with the amount of wood burnt, I also know people with various other models who go through a lot of wood, and I was there to see the installation of one such OWB, the lines were burried in 4" solid drain tile and wrapped in foil bubble wrap, poor installation = massive amounts of wood burnt in my opinion. I as still leaning toward staying with indoor due to cost and reliability issues with OWB.
  10. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    There are pros and cons to every type of equiptment/appliance, if there were no pros, then there would be no choice right? Personally, and this is strictly personally, I like to keep it all inside, wood supply, boiler, piping etc. All heatloss is "lost" to the building I'm actually heating, and it dries my wood adding moisture to the house in the desert like arid air of wintertime. No line losses and trenches, no threat of freezing or antifreeze and a HX and second pump. I'm on a slab so there is no basement stairs/throwing wood through the cellar window involved, been there done that. This is just my opinion, as has been said on Hearth many a time, different strokes for different folks.

    TS
  11. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    my gasser is next door in my garage. thermal storage in the basement. before install, baout the same $$$'s as an E-classic. burns less wood than an OWB. Put my wood on pallets right off of the splitter. minimal handling. My neighbor and good friend has an E-classic. burns dry wood maintains it like he should. still smokes.

    Enjoy the site. Go split your wood. Put up at least 10 cord soon. No matter whether you buy a gasser or OWB, you need seasoned wood.
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Stay away from Wood Doctor. I know somebody with one that turned into a big watering can after about 4 years.
  13. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    Nebraska
    New house or existing house? If everything will be new, I think an ICF (super insulated) type home would be tough to beat in that climate requiring far less energy to heat and eliminate the need for an expensive heating solution. If existing home or using conventional construction the separate boiler room in a outbuilding is my choice over an OWB like others have mentioned. More insulation and burn dry wood are two key things that you will hear over and over and they are very true! Start your wood pile right away and stay 2 years ahead. Spending extra upfront on insulation and design will pay big dividends when energy costs skyrocket, health issues arise, family time, etc. come into play down the road. I ended up going stick built in 2008 (builder reasons) but have been satisfied with my R19 walls & R49 ceiling performance. Solar gain with the right orientation, windows, and blinds can make a big difference too. I've been amazed at how little heat is required on a cold but sunny winter day.
  14. That's been my experience as well. Didn't realize how much solar gain I was getting when I was burning oil. And my house was not built to take advantage of it. Just a happy coincidence that the road was running the right direction when the builder dug the foundation to line up with it.
  15. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    I definately like the idea of a boiler in an outbuilding. I have been heating a 3000sq ft house for 7 years with a wood stove and want to get the MESS out of the house. That is the main reason for this thread. The Econoburn unit looks nice. What others are of excellent quality like the Econoburn. I want to maximize my burn time so can I oversize the unit for the larger firebox or do you lose too much efficiency by doing so? In addition I can run antifreeze in the unit so not to worry in the winter. I realize that the efficiency is reduced with the antifreeze. Is thermal storage neccessary? Super insulated home.
  16. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Trying to maximize your burn times will lead to extended periods of idling - which is not a good thing. It's a catch-22. Thermal storage would fix that.
  17. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Flyingcow and I have a near identical setup. The way to go IMHO. No matter what way you go.. START CUTTING AND SPLITTING!!! Wood burns, water doesn't. It takes YEARS after being split to remove most all of the water from wood. Don't listen to people who don't know. It's SCIENCE man! Get a moisture meter and teach thyself!

    I'm of the opinion that INSIDE the heated space, be it a outbuilding you want some heat in, or inside the home is where you want to have your "losses" from your system.. not to the outside.

    BUT! you must think of dust, bugs and the like. A purpose built boiler room would have been ideal, but I didn't plan that when I built the home.

    JP
  18. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Oh did I get lucky too! I get great winter sun.. but... summer sun comes in both sides of the living room. BIG wall of windows on both sides. Central air going in this year. Methinks the sucker is gonna take some juice!

    I do like it when the living room hits 75 when the heat's set to 69.. still doesn't pay for all that stinking glass cost though.

    JP
  19. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    The house I am selling presently has 10 cords of seasoned wood that will be left behind:mad:.I understand fully about seasoned wood. That pile was going to be wood for the next two years.. A dusty dirty house is not going to happen this time around. That is why it is definately going outside.
  20. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    My 30x60x14 high Morton pole barn is well insulated with R19 in the walls and R38 in the ceiling. The EKO 40 can easily keep my home (4400 sq ft) at 70 and the shed that warm (if I want) in the coldest day in the winter. I wouldn't mess with anti-freeze. Insulate the boiler room and plan on storage to make your fire tending easy. I have only ran my boiler a handful of times in the past month (because I'm almost out of dry wood & storage not tied in) mostly when temps fell into the teens or less and my shed never drops below 45 degrees during the off times. I'm guessing my uninsulated slab must be pulling heat out of the ground. If your shed included a separate "boiler room" for an Econoburn, storage, and a cord of wood I think you would have an ideal situation. Having my boiler in the same open area as the rest of my shop I have to be careful about storing gasoline, diesel, and vehicles. I too wanted the mess outside the home and that has been a definite plus for us.
  21. jon 2701

    jon 2701 New Member

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    How do you like the Morton Bldg.? Any regrets with the brand? I will be looking for a company when I get to NH. Any other brands recommended?

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