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planning a boiler purchase

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by EForest, Dec 12, 2007.

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  1. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    Hi All,
    First time posting for me. Wish I found this place three years ago. You guys are the guru's of wood gasification.
    Been cruising these threads for the past few weeks to the point where my wife thought it was some sort of online afair (I'm starting to agree).
    I live in a 3,600 sq ft cape in north central CT with a heated 2 car garage (hydronic unit heater) and a soon to be finished 1500 sq ft basement (partial walkout). We're in the midst of building a two floor barn over a 36 x 50 slab of radiant heated concrete 6" thick. the second floor will most likely be heated with two unit heaters. also in the mix is my 500 gal hot tub (heavily insulated). The house and the barn are designed with 2x6 (R19) walls and blown in cellulose (R30+) ceilings. My thoughts are leaning toward simplicity. I've seen a GW in action and was very impressed with it's simplicity. Then I read of all the GW problems here. The Tarm my neighbor owns seemed very impressive until I realized my wife and kids would be very confused and would probably screw it up (no offense to my family but they leave all the technical stuff to me). Then I visited Tom Caldwell and his very well designed system run off a Garn 1900 (Thanks for letting Rich and I ruin your sunday). I love the Garn and told my wife all about the simplicty of it. The only draw back to the Garn is the SIZE of it. Does any one here have any thoughts or experience on the Seton Boiler with storage.
    I'm leaning toward the purchase of a Seton 130 model placed in a small addition off my garage (or possibly the barn if its finished before next fall) with insulated pipes running to the barn (140'), the out door hot tub (80'), a home built indoor 1000 gal storage tank (80'), and my existing boiler (80'). I've also plan to move the hot tub off the patio to a new concrete slab with radiant heat capability. Probably wouldn't waste the btu's on the outdoor slab except to impress friends during cold weather parties. The final heat demand will be a @ 4' x 40' sidewalk and pavered steps with additional 4' x 10' sidewalk at top. Sure would love some radiant ice melt under those areas because of the NW exposure.
    I'm not sold on any boiler or design yet so i welcome any and all advice.
    thanks again TCaldwell for all your wisdom and the tour of your system. I hope you don't mind future calls or e-mails for advice.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Central NYS
    Welcome to the Boiler Room, gasifierwanabee. Tom's been a great resource for us on questions regarding the Garn, and I'm glad you were able to see his setup. It sounds really interesting. A friend of mine in Wisconsin has a couple of Garns heating his sawmill and a couple of houses and outbuildings.

    We have at least one Seton owner here, as well as one guy with a Black Bear, which I believe is similar, and some Greenwood users as well. I'm sure they'll tell you what they know, and maybe then some.

    Good to have you aboard.
  3. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    thanks for the welcome Eric.
    Ive also considered the eko/econ.
    would you do it again if you were staring over?
  4. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Well that sure is alot of stuff to heat and alot of buried pipe. I would think it would be a good idea to get some design help from an experienced heating system engineer to address all your needs. Sounds like a very interesting project keep us updated on the progress
  5. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    only the lines to barn and hot tub will be underground.
    everything else in indoors.
    i've emailed Fred Seton about piping the system.
    he's offered to design everything including radiant layout for $400
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    I've been very happy with the EKO. The only thing I would do differently would be to research my tank options and construction techniques a little better. The tank/hx project was the first thing I did on this whole project, and it's still not done, mainly because I made some assumptions that turned out not to be true.

    But from my point of view, learning and changing plans midstream is part of the challenge/fun of big DIY projects.
  7. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    That make sense ...... must have had buried pipe on the brain and when you said insulated I thought buried.
    Good to hear you have an experienced heating guy involved that along with all the info here should help you get a nice setup for your system.
  8. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    gasifierwanabee
    Sounds like you will have some very impressive heat loads !! From my limited experience this year with the Seton w-130 boiler and three 120 gallon stainless storage tanks is you will like the massive size of the fire box and ease of loading the boiler for long runs. My Seton works best with a full load of wood and heavy heat load , it burns so clean that when you open the feed door after it's out the refractory is white and heat exchanger tubes on top olny have gray dust on them . The boiler I purchase was badly abused by the previous owner , but the refractory sections have not cracked . I personally like the completely noise free operation of the entire system . There is a tremendous time savings since the boiler works best with unsplit wood up too 16'' diameter and 28'' long , my log splitter is almost retired and my lower back may never be the same . Let us know your decision. Anthony
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