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psg caddy wood furnace problem

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by velma, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. velma

    velma New Member

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    I can't get much heat from this unit. My old furnace had no problem heating the house but we are constantly feeding this guy. It burns clean but I don't know where the heat is going. I've been doing some research and noticed on a diagram that the small square holes on both sides of the ash box are air inlet holes. There is always a soft flow of air coming out of mine. I assume it should be sucking air in. Anybody know if this is normal?

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  2. Tinder

    Tinder Member

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    What is the basis for saying that it "burns clean"? If there are flames from the secondary air inlets I have a hard time believing you're experiencing flow of air outwards from the inlet.

    Have you measured the draft in the flu while the furnace is going full blast? If it's too high you'll get poor heat transfer. The manual has guidelines for what a proper draft should be. If the draft is too high or too low you'll need to correct that to get optimum efficiency.

    What is the moisture content of your wood?
  3. velma

    velma New Member

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    The reason I say "it burns clean" is that the glass is always clean and the pipes and chimney don't have soot buildup over the heating season. No flames come out the holes but if I put a piece of paper in front of the holes it blows the paper away. If I put my hand over the other one at the same time, it will suck the paper toward it. The only damper I can find is on the actual brick chimney next to the stovepipe entry. It is closed with some sort of weight. Our firewood is well seasoned. Thanks
  4. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Your probably feeling the air coming out from around the front of the unit when the blower is running. That's places like around the heat exchanger access, feed door, secondary air ports, etc. Those places are not sealed, so a little air will come from around them. As far as heat output, it's not going to produce an extreme heat like an old woodfurnace. A softer heat over a longer period. If your running a draft too high, it will push more heat up the flue. Do you have a thermometer on the flue? How tall is your chimney and do you have a barometric damper? Also how large is your home and how is it insulated? How long has your wood been split and drying? Sorry for the questions, but it will give me a better idea on what's going on.
  5. Tinder

    Tinder Member

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    I mistyped and meant "outlet" as opposed to "inlet', as in the secondaries are burning well.

    I suspect either your draft is high (and if that's an existing barometric damper you alluded to it needs adjusting) or as laynes69 suggested, the style of heat output is simply different from what you were used to. To accurately measure the draft you'll need a manometer if you don't already have one. If you search the forum you'll find the Dwyer brand is often recommended.
  6. velma

    velma New Member

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    I appreciate your help. Thanks. I do not have a thermometer on the flue. I have a two story older home which could use more insulation. The chimney is about 20 feet give or take. There is a damper that is located on the brick chimney just inches above the stove pipe entry. I have never paid any attention to it. It flaps around on its own but it is weighted down so that it stays closed. Have no idea what it's for. This is an old house so over the years there have been different heating systems so I assumed the flap was for something else. The wood is seasoned. We have woodlots and firewood is cut and dried well in advance. We used an airtight stove in the basement for a while when we doing renovations and it heated the house better than this unit. Mine is the wood/electric model with the variable speed fan. I have it set on medium speed. Thanks again for your assistance.
  7. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    I am in Central Ohio and heat approximately 2200 sq ft of house easily with possibly the same furnace that you have. Even with temps not reaching much above 10F this week we have not had any issues keeping the house at 70. I have my fan set on the medium / low and it moves more than enough air.

    The damper that you are talking about that flaps around is a barometric damper. It will open and close depending on the wind outside and how much of a fire you have in the firebox. You need a manometer to correctly set it. I have mine set so that it normally is closed and is barely open when the fire is going with the damper open on the furnace. If you get a good gust of wind it will open all of the way.

    Do you have a gas, LP, or electric furnace ? If so, is the wood burning furnace hooked in parallel to it ? And does the non wood furnace keep your house warm ?

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Do you care to take a couple and post them ?

    Scott
  8. velma

    velma New Member

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    My Caddy is a wood/electric but I didn't get the electric unit for it. It is a self-contained unit with a built in fan, not hooked to anything else. It's -39C with the windchill tonight. It is not cozy in here right now. The mice are packing their bags and giving me dirty looks. If this cold temp keeps up we'll have to clear-cut a couple of hundred acres to take us through the next couple of weeks:confused:
  9. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    According to our thermometer, last night we had 2*F for a high and 1*F for a low, wind chills around -10*. Our home is almost too much for our Caddy 2400 sqft, but we kept at 72*F over the night. Our home is well insulated, but drafty. The Caddy is different from our other furnace, where it actually regulates the homes temperature. So the higher the heating demand, the lower the burns. Over the last couple nights, we went about 6.5 hours between loads so about 10pm to 4:30am. Are you loading full loads?
    TreeCo likes this.
  10. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    What is your static pressure in your plenum? If you dont know then you might have a problem...

    If you have no static pressure the air flows too fast past the heat exchanger. If you have too much then the air has a hard time to move past the exchanger. Either is not a good thing. The manual puts a lot of emphasis on having the right static pressure.

    You may want to call in an HVAC guy in to measure the static pressure with a Magnahelic. Show him the manual and he'll make recommendation on to rectify your duct work if that is the problem.

    Also as Laynes mentioned dont be shy about loading that sucker up!

    Also pictures...
  11. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    -37C, now that is cold. I thought 5F was cold. I honestly don't think my Caddy would be able to keep my house @ 60 if it was that cold out. My house is less than 10 years old so it is insulated pretty tight.
  12. velma

    velma New Member

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    I'm in northern New Brunswick, Canada. It's supposed to be cold like this for a couple more days. I load as much wood as will fit. I have good dry wood so that's not the issue. Someone had weighted the chimney damper down so it was always closed tight. I that add-on weight off a half an hour ago to see if it makes any difference. It flipped wide open. The flap is a horizontal. What's that mean? My house is very old and sits on the very top of a hill on the Appalachian chain. The view is absolutely beautiful but when the wind blows... well it never really doesn't blow here. Nice when it's hot and sunny. The fact that we own 300+ acres of woodland makes heating a little easier to deal with. I can actually hear the wind in whistling in the stove. Maybe isn't big enough for this leaky house. I'm going to be looking into insulating a bit more. Very difficult to decide how to do it. The house has nice cedar shingles that are in excellent condition. The house is framed with rough-cut lumber, a lot of shims and variable spacing. Can't just pick one width of batts and like a lot of older homes there have been additions so that makes for a bunch of nooks and crannies. But when you chisel the icicles off you eyelashes the view of the mountains is stunning==c
  13. velma

    velma New Member

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    OK, I just fed the furnace. The damper on the chimney is still wide open. When I put the wood in it send smoke out the door. That doesn't usually happen. The fire started up just fine but it looks a bit different. There's a softer bluish sort of meandering flame above the wood. When the damper is open like that I can see right into by brick chimney. Is that safe?
  14. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Have you seen my post on your static pressure??? You may not need a bigger furnace, just setting it up properly...

    I work for PSG, If you were to call our tech support it's one of the first thing we would ask you.
  15. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    The sounds like a nice place where you live. Have you thought about using foam to seal things up better ? I foamed my walls in my house when we put our addition on and that was probably the smartest money I have ever spent.

    I get that meandering flame above the wood when my furnace is burning sometimes. You generally see that when the secondary combustion is working as it should. You should not have any type of manual damper between the furnace and chimney. You also should see very little, or sometimes no smoke coming out of the chimney after the fire has been burning awhile. You will also see flames coming out of the tubes inside the firebox when secondaries are burning.

    Scott
  16. velma

    velma New Member

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    Scott, what kind of foam. Did you do it yourself? I don't know what you mean by "manual damper". The only one I have is on the side of the chimney about a foot higher than the stovepipe going into it. When I leave it work by itself it just flies open all the way. There is an adjustment screw at the bottom for weight but since I have owned the house it's been completely closed with a heavy weight hanging on the adjustment screw.
  17. Tinder

    Tinder Member

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    What you have is a barometric damper to regulate the draft in the chimney. You can't set it properly without measuring the draft with a manometer, so the changes you keep making are just guess-work. It seems you're avoiding the suggestions on how to remedy the situation.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Barometric dampers seem to be a popular topic here lately.

    If it flipped right open & stays there, sounds like you have way too much draft - keeping it closed like it was will just suck heat right up your chimney. It needs to be adjusted so that your chimney maintains the draft that your furnace specs for, which should be done with a manometer. Did you leave it open for a while? Did it give more heat?
  19. velma

    velma New Member

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    Yes it's been open for a while today. I think it is actually working better. I just came in from feeding the birds and it is bitter cold and windy. I don't see much smoke coming out the chimney which is unusual. I'm not trying to avoid doing the pressure test. I will get it done. Just trying to stay warm today. It hasn't been this cold here for a long time. We've been spoiled by unusually warm winters. Payback time. Thanks again
  20. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

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    We used closed cell foam to seal up between the block and the band board / joists. We used open cell foam ( cheaper ) in between the stud cavities in the wall and underneath the soffit vents. I paid someone to spray it. The foam comes in drums as a liquid and they have machine that heats it and pressurizes it. More info: http://www.icynene.com/residential. It is about double the cost of batt insulation but it actually seals and insulates where batts just insulate.

    Closed Cell

    IMG00079-20111016-1752.jpg

    Open Cell ( sideways for some reason and I cannot fix it )

    IMG00072-20111016-1749.jpg

    It sounds like you have a barometric damper. The farther open the "flap" is the less it will draw heat out of the furnace. However, you need to have a happy medium between making creosote and drawing to much air out of the furnace.

    Scott
  21. velma

    velma New Member

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    Scott, I had the basement done around the floor plate same as your 1st picture. Never considered the inside walls but it might be the only reliable way. Way back in the 70s everyone was getting spray insulation but it contained formaldehyde so it was banned and houses with it could not be resold. You had to get guys in "spacesuits" take in out and have it brought to hazardous materials dumps. I did however keep the heat in. I guess that sort of scared people away from even the newer stuff. I'm going to look into it. My walls are studded with 4 inch studs, double boarded on the outside and covered with cedar shingles so I'd hate to damage them. It would make more sense to do what you did from the inside. Oh yes, the damper is opened wide. If I give it a poke it moves a little and goes right back to wide open. I think it actually is giving more heat. I will, however, get a pressure reading. This is what happens when a "friend" convinces you to let him install it. He said he put in a lot of furnaces. He probably did.... all in his own house because "they didn't work right". Oh well, live and learn. Thanks again
  22. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    We have ureaformaldyhyde foam in our walls, dad installed it for a living. When it wasn't mixed correctly or at the right temp it wouldn't cure correctly. Everything contains formaldehyde, I work with it everyday. Anyhow the Caddy isn't like a regular wood furnace. Draft should be set correctly, along with the proper blower speeds, static pressure, etc. Ductwork size and layout also affects the heating ability. If your ductwork is leaky, seal it and if it's not insulated then insulate. Our home is a mid 19th century Victorian, 10' ceilings and 42 windows, 2400 sqft. The furnace is very capable of producing alot of heat. Get things corrected on the furnace if needed and concentrate on improving the efficiency of the home and things will be much better. What's the square footage of the home, and when you say you can see brick in the chimney, is it lined?
  23. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Hi Velma, we'd love to help you. Please post pics of your furnace, ductwork and the chimney...

    That statement above raised a big flag! You should never see smoke coming from the chimney except of fire startup. This tells me there is something else at play. Please tell us you moisture level in your wood in %. Inexpensive wood moisture meters are available at Canadian Tire, Home Hardware etc...

    Do you have a 6" liner in your chimney? Was it professionally installed or did you do it yourself?

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