1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Seton w 130 problems

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by maddscot, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    This is my 3rd year with the seton 130. I gotta say, Im not very happy with it. It replaced a small hot air wood furnace that I bought for $1200 new. I used to burn abot 6 to 7 cords of wood (my only heat source) a year. The seton cost approx $8k and now Im burning 14 to 16 cords a year. It is constantly over heating, dumping water all over. I have to let it go out about every 10 days to clean out the ashes as they are above the inlet holes. The fire never goes out like it is supposed to. While I am very discouraged with this I am open to help to fix my problems if anyone else has had these issues. It just seems that I spent a lot of money for a poorly built boiler.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Ian

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,420
    Loc:
    Midwest
    There are a bunch of owners here that have actual experience. What jumps out at me is that you apparently are trying to keep this going nonstop by idling it? Have you looked into storage for this boiler? The others can help better. Good luck, Randy
  3. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Welcome aboard Ian! Sorry to hear of your troubles.

    You are going to get many questions on the way to a better burn for you. Thanks for your patience :)

    Where is the Seton?

    How does the hot water heat the residence? (W2A HX in existing plenum, etc)

    How much pressure in the system and what temp is aquastat set at?

    How much over aquastat setting does water temp go?

    While we're at it, lets talk cordage. What are you burning and how much? Please indicate whether it's full cord or face cord.

    Again, welcome. What made ya wait three years to get this figgered' out? :smirk:
  4. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    If the fire never goes out, then you definitely have a problem with air getting in the unit after the damper closes. You need to check the seal on the damper and the loading door, chances are one, or both, are not sealing tight enough to snuff out the fire. I have a Seton 130 that I built myself (with the help of a great welder ) and it is very tight. Another guy from Alaska just recently had a problem with a new Seton similar to yours and the gasket on the damper was messed up and he had to replace it. It could be other problems, but if the fire won't stop burning, I would check the damper first to make sure it is sealing tight when it closes. Chances are that is what your problem is.

    good luck, Pat
  5. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    Wow. Thanks for all the quick responses. And bear with me here. Im not real good with computers. I wont say how long it took me to figure out how to reply to this post...

    First to Randy. I only have a 40 gallon old hot water heater for storage per Fred Seton. A big reason I picked seton over a Tarm. Fred was and still is very adament that it was designed and works best "without storage". Fred designed my radaint heat system so he knew what I had and needed to heat my house.

    Now to Pyro Extraordinaire, Sorry , not sure what W2A HX in existing plenum are. I have radient floor heat. It is I believe a closed loop??? Water comes from boiler to 40 gallon (just for storage) old hot water heater. From there I have a circulator pushing it to my manifold and loops. The water pressure is around 25 lbs. The aquastat is set to come on at 160 and goes off at 180. My second aquastat (dump zone) is set at 200.

    Whats the difference between full chord and face chord? I buy 2 log loads a year approx 8 to 10 chord per load. Its all hard wood and at min of being cut and sitting for 6 months, but more likley 8 to 12 months.

    Now Pat. Im going to guess that you are right about it not being air tight. How do you check that? This is what kills me. I am far from a rich man and this was a hugh and painful expense for me to do this. For that kind of money and the fact that being air tight is vital, it seems this is all pretty basic and should have been done and checked at the manufacture level. These should never have been shipped unless it was preforming the way its supposed to. If I bought it at walmart or the likes for a low cost, then it would be expected.

    To answer why it took 3 years, last night was just the straw that broke my back. Over heated for probally the 5th or 6th time this fall, water everywhere and then have to go threw and bled lines again. Ashes probally 8 inches deep since last tuesday when this happened last.

    Thanks again
    Ian
  6. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Ian, what I did to seal my draft door was to place a nice bead of high temp caulk around the edge where the draft door closes. make sure the metal is nice and clean before you put the bead down. Then put a piece of wax paper over the caulking bead and gently close the draft door and apply some light pressure to squish out any small openings in the caulk. Then leave the draft door closed and let it dry. If its warm, it should only take a day or so to dry. Open the draft door, remove the wax paper and you should have a good seal. I checked mine by putting a big lamp in the fire chamber down by the draft tubes and then seeing if I could see any light around the door when it was closed. Obviuosly you have to do this when its dark and after the stove has cooled, but if you have to re-do the caulking you would have to shut down anyway.

    If the fire won't go out, it is definitely getting air somewhere, and the draft door would be my first place to check. My loading door seals nice and flush, but you should check that too.
    I'm betting that the draft door is your problem, and once fixed your overheat problem will go away.

    Pat
  7. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    how much chimney do you have? for starters id lower the the draft door aquastat to 175* with a 10* differential and set your dump aquastat at 190. then plumb your t/p and pressure valves outside to stop the water blowing inside. then ( im no plumber ) id lower the system pressure to 15 psi when the boiler is running at 160*. then go after the air leaks depending on what you have for chimney height/draft.
  8. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    Pat.
    Did you put the caulk on the door itself or on the boiler? Reason I ask is I have very little room back their being close to chimney and that frame that comes off of the boiler just above the draft door. Which would be better/easier, red caulk silicone or those rope gaskets?

    2.beans I have approx 30 feet of 8 inch metal insert in my brick chimney. I have no idea what my draft is. I was thinking of a draft inducer since it smokes so badly when I open the door but Fred said it wasnt needed. To be clear, set the aquastat to close draft door at 175 degrees. Meaning it would open at 155? What do you mean by 10 degree differential?

    Again, I want to thank you guys for the quick responses and the help. I really appreciate it

    Cheers
    Ian
  9. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    draft door shut at 175* and open back up at 165*. once you get a handle on the boiler you can adjust it up. im think that you have too much draft with 30 feet of chimney. smoke out the door is normal, get used to it. do you have anyway to check draft or exhaust temp? im guessing that your going to have to put in an adjustable damper in the exhaust pipe. there less than 10 bucks at a hardware store.
  10. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    Never thought about having to much draft. I see how to lower the temp on the aquastat but not sure how to change the differential. I dont have any way to check draft but I think my neighbor has one of those magnet thermastat that I could go borrow. I could get that after dinner and get back to you about the temps. What and where can I get something to check the draft?
  11. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Ian, I put the red silicon caulk on the boiler, not the door. Not sure if it would make any difference, thats where they reccomended it tho. I wouldn't use the rope stuff, i've seen it stick and pull off on doors before.

    yeah, 30 feet of draft is WAY too much. You only 16-18 feet, 20 feet max. Do you know what your stack temps are when burning?
    Now, if you do have a poor seal on your draft door, and you have 30 feet of chimney, the boiler is sucking in air faster than with a shorter chimney which of course means a hotter fire, when you want the fire to die down, which is likely why you're overheating. With 30 feet of chimney it may not take much of a leak to suck a lot of air thru some small openings and keep that fire burning. You may even be able to hear the air being sucked in when your trying to idle. If you can't lower the chimney to reduce the draft, you should be able to adjust the draft door to open less when firing to keep from pulling too much air. But first you need to find out where the air is coming from when the draft door is closed.

    Pat
  12. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    191
    Loc:
    Columbia City, IN
    This would be my advise as well. Right now with the temp outside being 40+ day and 30 at night, I have mine set to close at 160* and open at 150*, the dump is set at 185*, As the outside temps get lower, I bump those up. The Setons temp blow off is 210*, if your aquastat is set at 200 this doesn't give enough time to dump the heat...

    If you don't have a drain to plumb the blow offs to, at least get them to a 5 gal bucket or something similar.

    I've never heard of the small storage setup on a closed system like this so I can't comment much on that....What it boils down to is these units are very simple and you found the right place for help. Get these bugs worked out and you'll be happy with your purchase.
  13. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    i wouldnt use the draft door to adjust draft you need to adjust draft on the exhaust side. the draft door should be open straight up. you can have a 100' of chimney and still have your draft set correct with a damper. its easy to do. there is no doubt you have air leaks with your boiler. ive sealed mine up by adding gaskets to the draft door and feed door and sealing around all the panels. but even with an air tight boiler with too much draft you wont get the efficiency.
  14. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    What did you use to seal up draft door and door and seal the panels with?
  15. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    191
    Loc:
    Columbia City, IN
    I used silicone on the draft door around the nipples and panels and flat style rope held in place with silicone on the load door, works well.

    Have you ever taken this thing apart and cleaned the pressure vessel?

    I know they don't advise it but I keep my fill valve on all the time just in case this happens.
  16. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    i used a high temp automotive flat gasket on the draft door, high temp automotive sealant on the panels, and i cut hinges off the boiler and added some round stock and flat rope style gasket on the front door. ill post some pictures tomorrow. if i can find the part number for the gasket material ill post that as well. do you have anyway to measure draft or exhaust temps?
  17. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    heres some pictures. the number for the gasket that i used on the draft door is 85066 i believe its a FELPRO gasket. it comes in a sheet and you cut it to fit. it cost around 20 dollars.

    Attached Files:

  18. bigburner

    bigburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    438
    I don't own one of these, but it looks to me that the 40 gal tank is being used as a buffer tank, because of the small amount of water in the system. If the buffer tank was increased to something in the range of 200 gals or more. that the unit would be able to coast longer and the off cycle time with some air leaks might be an advantage. kind of a low fire setting. I do use an updraft design and I don't ever shut the air off completely. I never have to relight a fire. and the storage buffers the heavy burn times. I use about .05 draft when things are working correctly, my chimney is short but oversize in diameter, this is more of a problem then a tall chimney because it's a lot easier to control excessive draft, then not enough draft. I would add more storage!!!
  19. Jroz

    Jroz New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Hello and welcome..

    About cleaning out the ashes,I am never letting mine go out just let it burn down to coals. For the most part i wear a carhart and a pair of leather glove to protect from heat and a standard flat shovel to remove ash while still hot. I would guess every 10 days im getting a metal 5 gallon bucket of ash.
    Blowing out the intake holes is easy with a bit of compressed air or a leaf blower from the back of the stove. use caution with this there may be a hot coal coming back if your forcing to much air in.

    Another thing you should look into is return temp. If your return water temp is to low your sheet meta lskin will be damaged very fast.

    I beleive when we get these monsters runnning properly they are incredible. how ever there is a huge learning curve with them and all seton/greenwood/greenfire owners will hate there $%#^&$@ stove several times in the first year.

    Josh
  20. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    191
    Loc:
    Columbia City, IN
    Jroz... whats your theory here?
  21. Jroz

    Jroz New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Michigan
    first off I need to mension im no pro..
    That said from what I am learing return water temp below 140* will create corrosive condensation. I burned quarter size holes in my skins in 5 months, as far as I can tell it was from the return temp being to low.

    Josh
  22. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    return temp to skin failure?
  23. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    [quote author="Jroz" date="1290368421"]first off I need to mension im no pro..
    That said from what I am learing return water temp below 140* will create corrosive condensation. I burned quarter size holes in my skins in 5 months, as far as I can tell it was from the return temp being to low.

    Josh[/quote

    Hmm, never heard of that before. I know some people with these units are having problems with the galvanized skins rusting thru, but I believe most of the problem is from the moisture getting behind the insulation. That moisture is being released from the wood during the combustion process I would think?

    Pat
  24. maddscot

    maddscot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Chester Vermont
    Sorry guys. Hockey season has started and with 3 boys, all on different teams, Weekends are busy with at least 6 games a weekend.

    Josh, I have no idea what my return water temp is. But my skins look as good as they did new. However. I let the fire go out today to try some things. I empted out the ashes, just over 2 five gallon pails in 10 days. This is during the fall when the days are still in the forties and Im only filling with wood once a day. This is just a HUGE inconvience.

    I can see that I have screwed myself already by taking the advice of a wood stove guy and not listening to you guys......... I used rope gasket to seal the front door and the draft door. The smallest I could find was 5/16 and now I can hardly close front door and the draft door wont close at the top because the rope is to thick on the bottom. So with a fire going and burning the chit out of myself, I cut off the rope gasket on the botton of draft door. Now it seals great along the top but has a big gap on the bottom. So my house is currently 46* so I had to let fire burn and maybe let it go out tomorrow. God this is such a pain in the ass. I still dont think after spending $8k I should have to be dealing with all this crap. Anyhow I will buy some red silicone and use that later.

    How do I measure my draft? My chimney temp taken approx 12 inches back from the boiler are good but are misleading I think since with my air leaks the fire is alwways burning.
  25. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Well at least now you know why you were overheating. What kind of gasket was on the draft door originally?

    When you re-do the draft door, put on a good 1/2" of red silicone about 1/2" wide also. Disconnect the draft door from the motor and close it manually to flatten out the caulk a bit. make sure to use the wax paper in between. You should get a good tight seal afterwards.

    Your absolutely right, there is no way you should have to be dealing with a boiler that leaks air like a sieve right from the factory. I built mine from the Seton plans and it is sealed up tight as a drum. I'm not sure what to recommend for the loading door. My door closes flush without any gasket material at all. If we could do it, they should be able to do it even better.

    10 gallons of ash in 10 days is definitely a lot of ash. I average about 4 gallons every 10 days in the heart of winter.

    For now, I wouldn't worry about the draft, just get your doors to seal up good and see how the system works, but with 30 feet of chimney you might need to restrict the flow a bit.

    good luck and hang in there, once you gets those air leaks sealed it will make a big difference.

    Pat

Share This Page