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Problem with Seton boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by wouldchuckwood, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    I installed a Seton W-100 boiler last year, and absolutely loved the way it functioned. However, as I have discovered, the draft control was not sealing off completely, and the fire never shut down completely.

    When running it early this season, it was off more than it was on, and was going over 48 hours on a load. Consequently, all that smoldering built up creosote in the fiberglass insulation, and ignited – melting the galvanized skin!

    Has anyone had any experience with this? Are there any Seton owners out there that have had their boiler running for more than year?
    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

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  2. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Check out some custom gasket work on my Seton . The gaskets if done properly it will make your boiler behave like a fossil fuel boiler . There are some posts under Greenwood problems , may help you. Also sounds like you are due for some serious heat storage tanks , so you run at full power an burn the fuel completely once or twice a day an no smolder fires in-between. Anthony

    Attached Files:

  3. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    Thanks. I'll give that a try after (if) I replace the insulation and galvanized skin sheets.

    I ended up casting a refractory brick to cover the ash opening in the firebox, because the ashpan warped and pulled away from the boiler bottom - another major design flaw. Did you have trouble with that?

    I have this set up in my basement, so I'm a little leary of this happening again. Luckily, I was around when it touched off. Otherwise, it would have eliminated the need to heat house.
  4. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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  5. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    Curious. What did Fred Seton say about this? I am considering one of his boilers, too. Too, did you build it, or did "he/they"?
  6. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    I haven't heard back from Fred yet. My boiler was built by Seton.
  7. SteveJ

    SteveJ Member

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    I talked with Fred today - he has not mentioned anything about meltdown.

    Let me know if you have trouble getting ahold of him - I will relay your incident if you would like.

    I definitely would like to know what he says or does about your situation.

    Steve
  8. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    I spoke with Fred this afternoon. He is going to get back to me on the replacement parts.

    I mentioned the leaking draft door, and he suggested a "grey high-temp gasket material" that comes in sheets from NAPA. Basically, cut a piece the same dimensions of the door, and bolt it to the door itself using large washers. Seems like a simple enough thing to do. So simple, in fact, that I can't believe they don't install these gaskets at the factory - given how crucial air control is.
  9. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    very cool , sounds easy enough . If you want to perfect your boiler you will need to check out the entire outer skin , loading door, damper and ash compartment under negative draft conditions using a inline draft inducer mounted on your chimney pipe .Tonight I will send some pictures of procedure.
  10. SteveJ

    SteveJ Member

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    Anthony,

    Will you post the pictures in this thread for testing?

    Thanks,
    Steve
  11. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Yes Steve
  12. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    I have to replace all the outer skin panels and insulation, so I will be sure to use that high-temp silicon sealant under each panel. I don't have a draft inducer installed, so I'll have to come up with a different way of checking for leaks.
  13. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    With negative pressure in your boiler , damper closed and something to generate a small steady stream of smoke carefully observe the smoke . If it gets sucked in and disappears , you found a leak . My boiler came with the draft inducer in the pic , Great to have for tests and cleaning ash . really cuts down on dust in boiler room . Good luck with your boiler . Anthony

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  14. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    just wanted to know if everthing worked out with the replacement parts for the seton? is the boiler up and running again and did fred send you the parts or have someone else make them for you?
  15. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    still wondering if the seton is back in action?
  16. homebase

    homebase New Member

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    Anyone here know of anyone that purchased and built a Seton from the Build your own kit he sells?
  17. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    Fred sent the parts - the entire outer skin, I believe. With the holidays, and a bad case of the flu, I haven't had the time to put it all back together yet. Hopefully, I can tackle it this weekend.

    All I know is that I've spent more on oil in the past three weeks (keeping the thermostat at 63) than I've spent on wood for the entire year! Between the Seaton, and our wood-fired kitchen cook-stove, I heated this drafty old farmhouse on a single tri-axle load of wood last year - keeping the thermostat at 68.

    You'll all hear a loud "WhhHoo" when I fire that puppy up again!
  18. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    sounds like fred seton took care of the problem for you. hope everything works out. let us know when its up and running again.
  19. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    Seton Boiler is back in action! I finally got it finished up this past Sunday afternoon - just in time for some really cold weather (for around here anyway). I did not install a draft regulator this time, so it is probably running a little hotter than it needs to. I don't mind a little lost efficiency for a cleaner (and safer) burn.

    It will raise the water temp from 170 to 190 in about 90 seconds while 3 zones (about 1600 sq ft) are running. My oil burner won't do that.

    I used the high-temp sealant around all the panels, and made a gasket for the draft door. I still have to make one for the feed door, but it is running much better than before as it is.

    When it is running full-tilt, especially when freshly stoked, it will make a "chug-chug" sound like a steam-engine. It would do this before too, but the draft regulator would minimize the effect. Now, the sides of the boiler actually pulsate. Is this due to too much draft, not enough air, or from the "gasification" process? The draft door is set to open just past vertical - about 80 degrees from the closed position.

    My thanks to everyone for their input and assistance. It sure is nice to be warm again.
  20. SteveJ

    SteveJ Member

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    I talked to Fred about the same issue with the puffing.

    He told me that the puffing is a result of not enough air for the recently added fuel.

    What I do is crack the feed door open until the pulsing stops until the air intake closes for the first cycle. Usually, I can fully close the door in a couple of minutes and the pulsing stops.

    I have only seen my Seton pulse just after stoking with fresh fuel.

    I suggest you talk to Fred to confirm.

    I think that Anthony turns on his draft inducer for a couple of minutes to eliminate the puffing - Anthony?

    Hope this helps and great to hear you are up and running!!
    Steve
  21. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Congratulation's on your boiler restoration !!! I have the pulsating / puffing problem when I start from scratch . I use some cardboard to help start the fire , my latest way to keep it under control is the same as Steve. I wait by by the load door and watch for top skin of the boiler to start flexing , then I crack open the door just enough to stop the pulsing . The only time I use the draft inducer is when cleaning ash . Wondering what type of draft regulator you had with your original setup ?? Do you have any pics of your boiler without the outer skins ?? You will not believe how much better the Seton boiler operates when air leaks are a thing of the past .. Anthony
  22. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Welcome back to our world, where The [fossill] Man is constantly being beaten down, and we'll keep doin' it till we beat him into submission!!

    My experience with the GreenWood is about the same . . . on cold starts (generally spring and fall) the GW will puff which is a rich fuel/air mix. Cracking the feed door takes care of that. . .not sure how I'd like that if the GW was in the residence though.
    Supposed to be single digits tonight though, so try to avoid the cold starts ;-)

    Burn on
  23. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    I took some pictures with one of the side panels off, but that's it. Far from a photo-documentary. For the draft regulator, I just had the basic 8" weighted flapper. You could adjust the weight between 4 and 8 IWC.

    I'll try cracking the door next time, and see what that does. There's plenty of draft while it's chugging - no back-puffing, so I'm guessing it's just a little starved for air. It only does it when it's hot and freshly stoked. I'll run it past Fred, and see what he has to say. If it's not hurting anything, it doesn't bother me a bit.

    Thanks again.
  24. rsnider

    rsnider New Member

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    whats the draft regulator? are you talking about the intake air or the exhaust air?
  25. wouldchuckwood

    wouldchuckwood New Member

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    Draft regulator for the exhaust. It's basically just a weighted (adjustable) flap on the end of a T in the stove-pipe. If the chimney draft exceeds the regulator setting, the flap is drawn up, and air is let in thorough the T rather than trying to draw it through the boiler.
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