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Shutting Down for the Summer Months

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by BoilerMan, May 19, 2012.

  1. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Well it seems that we are finally out of the heating season here in Maine...... What do you guys do for summer "preservation" to your boilers/heating systems?

    In this order:
    1. Brush entire flue
    2. vacuum out loose ash & soot from boiler
    3. scrape down as much fire side steel as possible to remove all ash & soot
    4. Vacuum again
    5. Spray all fireside steel with WD40...... Like a whole 14.4oz. can
    6. Close everything up tight

    Are there any drawbacks or things I should do differently? Or not do at all? Comments and criticisim welcome.

    Taylor

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  2. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Funny you posted this, as I was just about to ask the same question.

    I dont know about the WD40, since I dont know how much it will help you out with anything, and it might make for a heckuva burn off when you light it back up again in the fall.

    My thoughts were to scrape all the ash and loose creosote from the firebox, shop vac everything I could, and then that was it. I cant close my boiler down tight, so thats not an option for me. I thought about getting one of those damp-rid buckets and putting that in there to help with the moisture from a basement that is more damp than ideal, but I dont know if it makes sense or not.

    I just pulled my flue pipe apart a few hours ago so I can switch the direction. I had the crimps facing my fan, and it was blowing fly ash everywhere. I also pulled about three gallons worth of fly ash out of the cleanout in my chimney....Hmmmm.
  3. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    Well like you dudes in Maine I do the same. I shut it down, clean it out and wait a month. Then fire it back up for winter. Well almost. Last year it was shut down from June 9th till early Sept.
  4. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    Heck I am in maine and still running my boiler and plan on doing so all summer. It not bad only run it every 3-4 days and used about 1/2 cord wood compare to 70 - 110 gal oil for summer at $4 gal.
    I only have 330 storage but it still last while,temp get tp 200-210*. It in basement where cool anyways so running it dont bother much when hot out. I took flue pipe off look at it hect was still pretty clean,I know tubes could use cleaning will do in sept. Am I only one to run all summer?
  5. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    In lieu of the WD40 treatment I've been putting two cans of desiccant in my boiler, one in the upper chamber and one in the lower. And I think this year might be the year for my full flue cleaning. To-date I've only cleaned to first 6' or so and have found very little of anything...
  6. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Don't feel like the lone ranger! I'm planning the same thing. Oil boiler was using 1 gal a day or better to do DHW. I'll gladly use a few sticks of wood instead. I'm insulating more and more of my exposed copper in the utility room. I'd much rather run the infloor next winter than let that copper heat the room as it was even before the wood boiler install. I've got my tanks foamed. Should be even better once I box em in and blow in the fiberglass around them.
  7. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    No, you're not. We live on Northern Vancouver Island and the ocean temperature here doesn't get that warm. We have 10 - 15 nights in the year where the temperature doesn't drop below 40 - 45 degrees. In the past 72 hours, our heat use has been drawing around 8,000 BTUs per hour. From the end of March to the beginning of November, this would be our typical heat use. In the days before heat storage and gasification, these low levels of heat use would be a challenging time even with a small boiler. But with heat storage and gasification, this is a dream come true. This is picture of the weather outside right now. It is about 48 deg.

    Attached Files:

  8. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    I will be lighting up all summer . Right now I am still heating DHW and house demands . But wood consumption has gone way down About a load every three days.
    Huff
  9. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    100_6617.JPG I'm still burning for dhw. If the boiler was in the house I would't be burning anymore. Been burning some punky white oak about 7% moisture and getting rid of my shorts and ugly piecies. The oak puts out a lot of heat for being punky, I was pleasently suprised.
  10. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

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    Thats what I've been doing too, cleaning up and burning any and all junk/scrap wood/ends etc.. But I may have burned my last fire yesterday for the season. haven't had any heat demand since and its looking pretty nice for the next 10 days at least.
  11. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Well, I have a pretty efficient oil setup for DHW in the summer, and that it the only time it is used (see sig). Last time I filled the tank was in June of 2010 @ 2.80gal for K-1 :rolleyes: and it's still 2/3 full, I figure about 40-50 gal per summer. My whole setup is inside and I'm not too keen on having any extra heat in the house when it's in the 70s-80s out so fires are out. Our house stays cool all summer due in part to a huge thick slab of concrete. I generally burn the punky stuff and shorts in the fall, or in campfires through the summer :cool:
  12. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Did you get the" new boiler" up and running before the summer shut down?
  13. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    No.......... By the time I got everything moved around we are out of the heating season, I have a Quadrafire wood stove in the living room which heats the whole house if I keep it going, otherwise it's just for "feel". Money and time are not luxuries I have right now. So it will be up and running this fall. It's in place and the copper is run, but thats it for now.
    Taylor
  14. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I don't know what the best thing is to do for the summer with your boiler Taylor. I was wondering that myself. I took a few weeks off from burning because I had a lot of outside work to do and I did not want to burn during that time. I have to say it was nice to have a break from it for a little while. I am back to burning for domestic hot water now though. One short fire in the morning and one short fire in the evening. Usually try to start burning before the showers are taken. I have a 400 gallon buffer tank that is covered in spray foam insulation. My boiler and tank are in the basement. With the temps being this warm I leave the smoke hood fan on and that helps to send a good part of the heat from the boiler outside.

    When are you planning on adding that solar? Do you know what it would cost for a unit big enough to heat DHW for a family of six through the 5 months or so? May through September. Just curious. I am thinking of that in the future as well. It will be several more years off for me. I have to get my detached garage sided and the soffit and facia done before next winter. I just priced that out and am going to need about $1500 in material. Then I will install it myself.
  15. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    You still need two fires a day just for DHW, even with 400 gallons of storage? I was hoping to be able to go a few days between firings with 660 gallons.
  16. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    1,000 gallons off well insulated storage and no draw for heat = 10 to 14 days for domestic supply. 660 gallons should serve you well!!!
  17. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I have 1000 gal storage and can go 3 days with a large demand before charging. somtimes I can go 4 days but recovery time really slowes for me when storage drops below 150. Somtimes I run it down to 130 but thats a pretty slow recovery rate and won't keep up If there's much demand the way my system is. I don't have a circulator on the domestic side of the sidearm. If I did I think I could go an extra day.
  18. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    To get back on track I've heard of people burning a candle in their wood stove once in a while in the summer to dry any moisture out.
  19. AroostookDave

    AroostookDave Member

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    I put my system in last fall with a big part of the plan to burn wood all year long. We are in a warm spell now and I have gone 4 days without fire, plenty of DHW usage, maybe will need to start the Tarm up tomorrow. The storage water is still in the lower 140s. Heat storage is really working for us. The boiler is attached to the house, in the woodshed. If you have insulated pipes and heat storage, and a well insulated boiler there is not too much heat.
  20. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    You still need two fires a day just for DHW, even with 400 gallons of storage? I was hoping to be able to go a few days between firings with 660 gallons.

    Yup. I have a high demand for hot water two times a day. Evening showers and dishwasher, and morning showers. I am still in the learning curve on the DHW thing. This is my first spring shoulder season with the boiler. In the fall I had a little heat demand as well. My high end temp of the storage is usually about 175 when I shut it down. I think I need to heat it up to 185 or 190.? The low end is at 150 when the aquastat on the side of the tank tells the oil boiler to turn on. Maybe I should move that down to 140. ? Still learning. Sorry about getting off topic there Taylor.
  21. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    Just a thought. If the water from storage can circulate by gravity back to either boiler when they are not firing, this could represent significant heat loss up the stack!
  22. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    True Allan. The circulation pump has an IFC built in so I think that will help. We shall see. I did adjust the circulation pump, between the wood boiler and tank, to turn on at a higher temperature. This, I am hoping, will cause it to turn off at the same temp and reduce the amount of loss I have in heat radiating out of the boiler as well.
  23. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    There has to be (in my mind anyway for what that is worth) some big heat losses from your tank, boilers or piping, or somewhere, in order for 400 gallons of 170 degree water to not last more than a half day just for DHW, even with morning & evening showers & washing and all that. That is a lot of hot water.

    Or maybe you have more than one wife & 16 teenagers? :eek:
  24. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I am getting a longer time out of the storage with a few adjustments made so far. Higher on temp for circ. pump. Higher temp on boiler. We will see. I might, might be able to handle 16 teenagers. I could never handle more than one wife.;)
  25. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Yes Wives are very hard on a mans sanity, especially if they drink your beer!:eek:.

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