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Pellet Burner Conversion

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by blackslax, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    I will be installing one of these Ulma burners very soon, at this time I have a Black Bear gasifier with a 750 gal tank, and a Burnham 3 section oil boiler that has not run for 4 years. My job at this time makes it sometimes difficult to keep the Black Bear running and the tank up to temp, so at times I have had to burn a little oil which burns my butt.
    I have decided that I would rather spend the money on one of these burners, then spend it on oil, and I will still save money over the long haul. I am delighted to hear only good things about Tim and Pellet-Pro, and my experience so for with Tim supports everything I have heard on this forum, he has answered all my questions by e-mail for the last couple of months, and sounds very knowledgeable on this subject.

    Steve

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  2. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

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    Would like to hear how it works for ya. Looking into it for myself and father-in-law
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Can these pellet conversions use a direct vent flue - rather than a chimney the oil boiler would ordinarily have been piped to?
  4. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    I am not sure but I will find out by the middle of next week, I do believe you can direct vent them, so long as you have the proper draft.
  5. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

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    That's a great question. My biasi oil burner has a direct vent.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    If so, that opens up a lot of possibilities for those who might want to get off or not get into fossil fuels or electricity but don't have a typical chimney available. In my case, I got rid of my oil/wood combo boiler and the new wood boiler is using the flue hole it was. I put in an electric boiler for backup. There are a ton of used oil boilers around - if you could get one, stick a pellet head in it, and direct vent it, that would make a decent backup boiler with way less operational costs than oil or electric. Or it even could be used as primary heat if that's what you wanted.
  7. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    Yes as a matter of fact I have been looking for used boilers here in Maine, and you won't believe how many are available cheap. A lot of people are switching out to gas, and are getting rid of their oil boilers and tanks at decent prices, particularly in the southern part of the state. One other thing about the burner you can change it out in a matter of minutes so I understand, and switch back to oil if need be, so you are not locked into a huge device to have to haul out of your basement if you decide to do something different.

    Steve
  8. lucamajuke

    lucamajuke New Member

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    I'm looking at installing an Ulma in a Buderus 115/5. I hope to post pix when I get it up and running...Thanks for all of the posts, reading here has convinced me that this is the way to go.
  9. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Aside from the issue of a given pellet burner head being of good quality or not, the larger issue is the boiler that is being converted.
    I would say that many oil and gas boilers would not be suitable for a conversion head because of the design of the boiler itself.
    For example, if I owned a pin type boiler like a Weil- McClain, Slant Fin or Burnham I would probably not consider using pellets in it.

    The problem would be cleaning and ash removal in the upper heat exchanger area. The passageways are very narrow and given that pellets produce some ash, the pin area of the heat exchanger would be about 100% sure to be a very regular source of extra work.

    If I had a typical three pass design with wider flue passages and a hinged, swing out burner door I would consider that to be a better candidate for burning "solid fuel". Cleaning would not be as difficult and probably not needed as frequently.

    That being said, any boiler that was designed for liquid or gaseous fuel is going to present a big jump in maintenance when switched over to pellets simply due to the difference in the combustion by-products of the fuels. The pellet burner might be a "drop in" replacement but the real issue is the boiler itself.
    PassionForFire&Water likes this.

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