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Seton W100 Boiler coal/ash and burn time issues

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by byrddogwi, Feb 26, 2008.

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  1. Kemer

    Kemer Member

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    Thanks for the info Anthony.After careful consideration I pretty sure We are going with a EKO 60.My next dession is if we should get a 40 or 60.I'm only heating 2600 Sqft now But If I heatrd everthing (garage,basement,bonus room) it would go to 5200sqft.I do plan on using storage soon.So the big question is will I be oversized If my daughter leaves and my wife and I deside to close the house off and go back to 2600 sqft.

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  2. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    A EKO sounds like a great decision if you are good at fire wood stock pile management , you need to be two three years ahead of your actual immediate needs , a well built and ventilated wood shed is the way to go . Maybe if you start a new topic some of the EKO owners could help with your decision . Anthony
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You won't be oversized if you have adequate hot water storage (1,000 gallons or more), since that will allow you to fire the boiler at full capacity, just less frequently (or for a shorter duration) than if you had the 40. That's the theory, anyway. Look at storage as a battery: You run the charger (regardless of size) for as long as necessary to charge the battery, then unplug it and wait for the battery to run down before plugging it back in.
  4. byrddogwi

    byrddogwi New Member

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    I broke down and removed the left side panel to clean out the tubes. There was a lot of stuff in the bottom (probably about 3-4 inches) and between the tubes, see images, so I shop vacumed it out and then tried to remove junk from the pipes. Then I vacumed it out again and put a strip of 600 degree caulk around the edge of the panel and screwed it back in. Of course a bunch of screws twisted off so replaced them. There are sure hard to drill out. I also removed the burned out draft blower.

    I have only had it going since late yesterday but it already seemed easier to get a fire going then before. I did notice that there was some ash this morning but maybe it will not pile up like before. Thanks for the all of the suggestions.

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  5. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Hi Doug Thanks for posting a follow up & with pics . Were you able to get a brush in-between vertical tubes ? Was it dry lose soot or baked on creosote ? Your a brave man venturing into a Seton. Hope the cleaning brings back lost efficiency . Anthony
  6. byrddogwi

    byrddogwi New Member

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    I could not find a brush like you had Anthony D, but I did use a 3/4" brush made for cleaning copper tubes. What worked Ok for me is I had a 3' length of 3/8" all thread rod with two nuts with a fender washer in between them at one end. I used the other end to work between the sets of tubes and used the thread to kind of scrape off the creasote and stuff. Then I worked the washer end in to get in between the rows.

    I ended up with about 3-4 inches of junk at the bottom of the stove that I vacumed out. I could not get all of the stuff off of the tubes but I got a lot. The rest I would almost need a hammer and chisel to remove the hard crusted on stuff. After that I put 600 degree high temp silicone under the side panel and sealed up the back panel around the edges. I have not done the rest yet, but will do them shortyly.

    One thing I noticed was that there was no insulation on the bottom half of the back panel, maybe there is not supposed to be any there? The one problem I had was my stove had sat for a year before I could install it and some mice had decided to use some of the insulation. I don't know where they got it from but I thought that was some of the cause of my boiler problems. It seems the junk I cleaned out was probably a lot of the problem.

    So far it seems better but I only have a couple of days usage. I will let you know how it works over the next week or two. Thanks again
  7. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    NEW TO THIS FORUM. SETON 100, 1ST SEASON. WORKING WELL, HOWEVER, BURNING A LOT OF WOOD, NOT GETTING THE 10+ HOURS I WAS HOPING FOR ON COLD DAYS AND NIGHTS. NO STORAGE! HARD WOOD ONLY MOSTLY SEASONED. BURNED SOME HARDWOOD STRAIGHT OFF THE STUMP AND HAD NO PROBLEMS. NO CREOSOTE IN STACK. BURNS CLEAN, EXCEPT WHEN FRESHLY FILLED, OF COURSE. I DON'T HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH COAL BUILD-UP, BUT I DO HAVE TO CLEAN 4 GALLONS OF ASH OUT WEEKLY. WISH IT HAD AN ASH DUMP!
    I'M HEATING 2700 SF, HOUSE AND GARAGE. BOILER IS OUT IN THE GARAGE. I WILL HAVE BURNED ABOUT 10 CORD PLUS BY THE TIME MID APRIL COMES.
    I'VE FINALLY BEEN MONITORING THE DRAFT AND STACK TEMP WITH A HIGH TECH MANOMETER THAT WAS LOANED TO ME.
    IT WILL DRAW .06 TO .08 WHEN THE DAMPER IS CLOSED AND TEMP WILL BE ABOUT 250-325.
    IT DRAWS .11 TO .14 OR MORE WHEN THE DAMPER IS OPEN AND TEMP WILL BE 400-500+. FILLED IT WITH DRY MAPLE ONCE AND HAD STACK TEMPS AS HIGH AS 666 DEG. AND .18 DRAFT. YIKES. SHE WAS RIPPIN'.
    DOES IT HAVE TOO MUCH DRAFT? FRED SUGGESTS 06-07 BUT IS THAT OPEN OR CLOSED?
    SHOULD I INSTALL A DAMPER? THE STRANGE THING IS I HAVE A 6" STAINLESS INSULATED 24 FOOT STACK WITH A REDUCER, 2 ELBOWS AND A TEE. MUCH LIKE FRED SHOWS IN HIS MANUAL;'HOW NOT TO'. NO DRAFT INDUCER.
    I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO TALK TO FRED, SO CAN ANYONE HELP ME TO FIGURE THE PROPER DRAFT WHEN OPEN AND WHEN CLOSED.
    WHEN IT'S COLD THE DAMPER WILL NOT SPEND MUCH TIME CLOSED AT ALL. HOW MUCH WOULD WATER STORAGE HELP THAT?
    LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING A PANEL OFF TO CLEAN HER.
  8. DKerley

    DKerley New Member

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    Hello Trailhound,

    I found your post interesting as I have had some of the very same issues with a Greenwood i.e. high draft numbers, high flue temps and high wood consumption. The problem that I had with mine was partially attributed to an air leak at the air intake damper seal. This allowed the fire to continue burning when the air intake damper was closed. The draft for the Greenwood is supposed to be between -.05 and -.07 when the damper is open. My flue gas temps are on the high side due to excessive build-up on the heat transfer tubes but should be around 350 to 400 when mid cycle during the burn. The temps are initially higher during the first stage of the burn as the pitch + bark flash (I burn spruce and pine). The flue gas temperatures that I see when the damper is closed are usually between 100 - 150. I still have some draft indicating on the nanometer when the damper is closed but I don't think it is from any more leaks in the GW, but leaks in the chimney pipe as mine is not sealed and does have a draft inducer in-line which has an opening in it. I have looked in at the fire when the damper has been closed for some time, to see how well the fire has been shut-down. Mine usually is a very light grey with no visible signs of smoke, flame or glow from the charcoal. I was told to be extremely careful when opening the door with the damper closed as the rapid injection of air could send an explosive flame out the door. So far no singed (sp) hair.
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Because I am about to get my ass chewed out tonight by a bunch of pizzed of peeps, I am pulling no punches on my comments here, while I can ;-)

    You people that are removing gallons of ash weekly . . .

    You are either
    1)not letting live coals complete the burning process,or
    2) you are burning punky, wet wood.

    With the warmer temps outside, I have been putting one layer of semi-seasoned red oak down, then criss-crossing WET oak/maple/aspen and a little pine. I can fog about 5 acres for two hours after closing the load door, but it heats fine and still goes 8 hours. And most importantly, the ash build up is minimal. PETA hasn't showed up yet to complain about the air quality for the bears, coyotes and rattlesnakes. I'd just tell them how the air is dry during winter, so I am just running an humidifier for the furry beasts.

    I would estimate that anything more than a gallon of clumped ash in a two-week period is a problem.

    Jimbo
  10. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    DKerley, Thanks for the reply. Just as I had suspected, I think I have too much draft, even on a 6" flue! My draft readings are never below .06 when it's closed! Can anyone else confirm this for me? Too bad the season is almost over (except in the Yukon I bet). Anyhow, I can simply install a damper in the single wall pipe behind the boiler, I'm thinking it will make a big difference.
    Here I thought it wouldn't draft enough on the 6". My exhaust piping is pretty tight, corrigated elbows, My thought is, like you said, that the boiler itself leaks and needs to be tightened up around all the seams. I have not yet cleaned my heat XC, but it does have grey ash built up on it where I can see. Probably black further towards the back. Any advice for accessing the heat XC?
    And by the way, if your not careful she will "BURP" at you without notice. A big beautiful blue flame will head your way if conditions are right. I have also seen the gasses catch and burp out the intake as well.
  11. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    i've read some of your posts. seems like most everyone is burning oak, i mix mine with dry dry pine for the shoter burn times. the seton boiler was designed to run on soft wood seeing how hardwood is scarce in montana.i get minimal ash/coal and avearage 10 hours on pine. my father in law runs on dry pine only and goes 12 hours between fillings [his house is smaller and he has cleaned his out once this year]. i added a barametric dampner to my boiler and his and now it rarley hits the dump zone and cut wood consumption down considerible. the water temp differential should be set at 10 degrees so that the boiler will run longer and gasify. also with a 6" chiminey you will get draft but you wont get the volume of air through the boiler. im on my second year with the seton boiler and have learned alot from fred and from trial and lots of error.
  12. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    2.beans, I think you've got it right. Even though I have the required draft reading, I don't have the volume of air that she requires. I got proof of this when I did install a damper in my 6" exhaust and throttled it down to 0.06 wc. She would not make enough temp to satisfy the demand and the intake damper would not close. So, does anyone know what the draft measurement should be, when open, with a 6" flue? The reason I have a 6" is because of a previous boiler that was in its place. I had long discussions w/ Fred before I bought my W-90. He assured me it would work considering the 24' of SS insulated stack I have. Even with the damper and a little restriction I still have stack temps to 500+. I'm not sure if thats because I'm taking the draft measurement between the exhaust outlet and the damper. Right now I'm reading 0.10 wc and 516 deg. OPEN. When closed I draw 0.06 w/ 200 deg stack temp.
  13. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    get your draft down to .04 to .05 when the boiler is running at its max. that should also lower your exhaust temps. i beleive you are measuring draft at the correct spot. what is your differential set at?
  14. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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  15. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    As I mentioned, if I damp it down to .04-.05 it will not create enough heat to get the water above 165 deg. Open the damper just a bit and it will reach top temp. My diff. is set at 15 deg. It cycles between 165 and 195 deg. I.E. 185 deg. setting with 15 diff. Should I lower my diff to 10deg?
  16. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    id set your diff at 10 and have the draft shut off at 180.whats your exhaust temp when your draft is at .04? how tall is your chiminey? do you have any more pipe?
  17. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Excess ash is a result of incomplete combustion plain and simple. If your boiler is in an 8x10 shed, the first thing I would suspect is a lack of combustion air. You need 1 square inch of opening for every 4000 BTU's of input. So if your boiler is rated at 100K Btu's you need a minimum free area of 25 sq inches. This is especially critical on a natural draft type unit. Your chimney can't draw from a room that's already in a negative pressure state. No draft=no air=no fire=no heat=creosote/ash

    The second thing that usually contributes to ash is green or unseasoned wood. It's a commonly perpetuated myth from the OWB salesmen that you can burn green wood. True you can burn it but why waste 1/2 the heat content of the fuel evaporating moisture from it?

    I'm betting that one or both of those factors will be your culprit.
  18. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    no doubt you need plenty of intake air, and green wood doesnt work as well but your exhaust temp is at 500 degrees. the exhaust should be closer to 350. do you run a heat exchanger?
  19. byrddogwi

    byrddogwi New Member

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    Heaterman,

    I have a 8'x10' shed that my w-100 sits in. If that is rated at 100K BTU I need a 25 sq in of air inlet. Should I just cut a 10"x3" hole in the wall and put some wire mesh (how much bigger does the hole need to be since the wire mesh would restrict some flow?) to keep rodents and bugs out? Is that what you did or do you have some other fresh air intake? Right now I have a 2" PVC pipe and a leaky shed. I have left the door of the building open and it does not seem to make much of a difference in how it burns.

    I have been having problems with excessive ash buildup. I get around .05-.07" WC on the manometer with 21' of 8" insulated chimney. I have been using some dead american elm we have a lot of dying elms) and some green wood (black cherry, white oak, red oak, hickory, popple, and maple). I have been raking the coals and I usually empty a small scoop every day when I move the coals to the front. I then scoop out some ash (maybe a coffee can) and push the coals to the back and even them out. I stick the driest wood on the bottom and then put the next layer which is green on top of it. I guess I will know more next year when I have some drier wood. Right now I have to completely empty it out about once every 4 days. If I understand everyone my elm, and other wood, must be a lot wetter than I think. I don't have a moisture meter but I will be buying one this year.
  20. byrddogwi

    byrddogwi New Member

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    I was outside yesterday evening and it was windy (15-25 MPH winds) and I noticed the darft would go up to .12" WC from a low of around .05" WC with the draft open. Then the draft closed and I notice that I would still have .04" to .10" WC when the draft was closed. My gut says that it should drop down to almost nothing, maybe .01-.03" WC when the draft is closed. Is that correct? My manometer is connected to the exhaust pipe about 8-10 inches from where it connects in the stove. When I open the door and look in the wood is dark and not burning.

    Should I be seeing that high of draft when the draft is closed? If not I need to seal up the stove a lot better as Anthony explained. I did seal the back of the stove and the left panel that I took off but I did not seal the draft motor flap, the front door, the top or the right side. Could air leaks be related to the ash buildup or is that just the moisture of the wood?

    Thanks again for any answers. One day this boiler make work as good as they say it should. I thought it would come sealed up since it was brand new, maybe I just got one that was built on a Monday.
  21. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    Draft readings with the boiler shut down are very confusing , I am still trying to figure that one out . I will keep my eye on the readings tonight an keep you posted . Anthony
  22. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    i added a gasket to my draft door also, dont know if it helped. if you cut the draft down to much it will smoke out the door when a storm comes in. my draft will be between .04 .05 when the draft closes then seems to drop more when the chiminey cools down. i dont think the wind blowing is the actual draft through your stove just in the pipe. i asked fred what the draft should be be draft door shut he saidit really didnt matter. i did have a flap inside my exhaust pipe that ran off the draft door and when the door shut would give no draft at all, but on rainy days it would smoke real bad out of everywhere, so i went barameteric. that was freds advice even though he said in his manual not to use one. it does build creasote on the dampner once and a while not bad though. i you can try some real dry pine when your coals build up. that will knock them down. thats what i do when the build up.
  23. antknee2

    antknee2 New Member

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    [quote author="2.beans" date="1206502830"]i added a gasket to my draft door also, dont know if it helped. if you cut the draft down to much it will smoke out the door when a storm comes in. my draft will be between .04 .05



    The problem with adding a gasket to the draft door is it designer to close metal to metal , making a super sealing draft door is very tricky without checking your work. By using negative air smoke testes with the help of a in-line draft inducer is perfect , with load door closed and damper closed , anywhere the smoke gets sucked in or just disappears you have found a leak . Hope this helps look close at the pics you will see the top of the door has multi layers that do not go in-between they touch the top edge of the draft door , when closed . Every boiler will be different an some may not need any work . Anthony

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  24. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

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    i used a flat automotive exhaust gasket and glued it to the flap with high temp rtv then let the draft door shut and left it shut till dry. the whole 12x24 gasket sheet is like 18 dollars.
  25. trailhound68

    trailhound68 New Member

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    [quote author="heaterman" date="1206324097"]Excess ash is a result of incomplete combustion plain and simple. If your boiler is in an 8x10 shed, the first thing I would suspect is a lack of combustion air. You need 1 square inch of opening for every 4000 BTU's of input. So if your boiler is rated at 100K Btu's you need a minimum free area of 25 sq inches. This is especially critical on a natural draft type unit. Your chimney can't draw from a room that's already in a negative pressure state. No draft=no air=no fire=no heat=creosote/ash

    I've taken draft readings with the door closed, open a little and full open. I found no difference in draft reading at anytime.
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