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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by snowleopard, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    <snip>

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  2. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Jun 23, 2008
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    Mid Atlantic
    Now don't get snippy with us! :lol:
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Jul 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Oh, I had that surgery done too . . . don't worry eventually the swelling will come down. ;)
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Schenectady, NY
    :lol: interesting take for the wood shed.


    Matt
  5. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    €> pffffft <€
  6. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Dec 16, 2010
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    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    Just keep icepacks handy,if the GF/wife says yes,as painful as it may be,you say "Not now I have a headache..."
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    boiler fried yesterday. Up until three or so cleaning the glycol off of everyrthing in the garage. Posted here, but it was too sniviliingly-whiny-baby even for me to take, so I snipped.

    I mean, it was bad.

    It closed, "Off to leave sticky green footprints in the sands of time, knowing you've got my back."

    I had to clean that one up . . .


    Update: yesterday the insurance adjustor told me that they wouldn't be covering this; today, after talking to the repair guy, that decision was reversed. Greatly relieved.
  8. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NE Virginia
    While we're very sorry about your disaster (but pleased by the ultimate resolution), we hope you have some solace in the inadvertent humor you have brought us.
  9. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    863
    Loc:
    Mid Atlantic
    Wow- sorry about your disaster. Good news that the insurance company is going to do the right thing, however.
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
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    1,494
    Trust me, that brought a smile to my face in a dark time. Good to know that you guys will have my back if I ever decide to have the big V.

    I am probably speaking a little prematurely here about the insurance being a sure thing until the check's cleared the bank, but after my initial too-bad-so-sad conversation, I asked the ins lady if she would speak to my boiler repair guy. She agreed, and he called me the next day (after I'd spent the night theraputically de-greening the garage) and said he felt pretty confident that this would be covered. It helped that he'd had a score of boilers fail due to electronics getting fried in the brownouts from the three-day ice storm. (Note: save yourselves some grief, if you have boilers w/electronic controls, and plug them into battery back-up systems--Boiler Guy says he buys them out when Sam's gets a shipment.) Appraiser came yesterday and, since he's an independent contractor, can't speak for them, but came as close as he could to assuring me that it was pretty open-and-shut.

    Opened the man door on garage Thursday AM to find an interesting combination of thick, acrid, stinky black smoke (shoulder-height and up) and gray ugly steam-fog below that. Had to shut door, think this through, realize that it wasn't an explosive-gas situation, so it was safe to turn on the light, but it could be a temperature-differential explosive situation, so opening the garage door could get pretty lively, and waiting and calling the fire department wasn't a great idea, because someone had to walk in there and unplug the stove. Process of elimination narrowed it down to me, so I opened the big garage door, let the air clear a bit (no boom), took a deep breath, and went in there and unplugged the stove, backed the car out of the garage, shut the door, and burst into tears. Took my son to school (late) in a vile-ly stinky car, and felt really blue. Called insurance later and felt worse. Came home, made dinner and etc., and was almost off to bed when I posted here, then went out and pushed up my sleeves. I posted in wood because it takes awhile for the newbies to wander over to the wood forum, and I figured I needed a pep talk from folks who knew how to lace up their boots and get through whatever you have to get through.

    Turned out that the controls had failed (both sets of them) and the boiler just got hotter and hotter, lit some paperwork off that had been on top of it--fortunately, I had clearance around the boiler, although I have been getting over-confident about it lately, or I would have probably lost the garage), and the pressure relief valve blew. So did the outlet tube, so instead of it all going into the bucket I had under the tube outlet, it blew off and the path in front of it was painted green (kinda almost wish I could have seen this--I bet it was amazing--in a disasterous sort of way). Both vehicles (including the one with the hood opened wide like the mouth of a baby bird), the floor, the garage door, tools, shelves, yadda, were all spray-painted with green molassas.

    Anyway, here's all the good stuff (and it's big):
    boiler was in garage, not house;
    got my woodstove in operation in September, which means I've had a few months under my belt to get to know how to operate it with a modicum of efficiency;
    have some firewood, enough to get me through maybe a month;
    my house is very well insulated;
    insurance will (hopefully) cover most of the cost of replacement;
    I had a damper installed in my pipe (just above the stove) when they put it in for me.
    Stove Guy has been doing this for thirty-plus years, family operation, feel very comfortable with them handling this. He drained down my system, blew out the lines in the floor, set up electric heaters throughout my house, and started a fire in my woodstove for me while I was at work, and when I asked him what I owed him, assured me he could work with me if the insurance company didn't come through.

    Here's the challenges:
    it's supposed to be hitting -30F by Tuesday;
    I have aspen and cottonwood on hand, seasoned, but some of it kind of punky and damp-ish (reference that three-day ice-storm);
    need to find some truly seasoned birch that I can buy (birch is the best we can do around here--Interior AK) to get through the next couple of weeks;
    I have to work, and won't be here to tend the stove. Not a problem unless the bottom really drops out (but this is the time of the year when it does that if it's going to do it).

    Just started to get acquainted w/use of upper damper with this stove, attempted to work it smart in absence of any guidelines from manufacturer, and it really seems to be doing a great job holding in the heat, slowing down the quicker burns I get without it, and helping to even out the heat throughout the house.

    Irony: my husband, from whom I have been separated for the last three years, is over here pretty regularly to see kids, offer destructive criticism, etc., and has frequently, loudly, and emphatically told me what a foolish decision it was to put a woodstove in. Yesterday, he said, "You were lucky."

    When I first put this in, it was with the idea of "supplemental heat, emergency backup", but I've been pretty much 24-7ing it since Sept. Good thing, too, because if I hadn't of done that, I don't know that I would know the stove-house-wood system well enough to feel as confident as I do--which is kinda-sorta-pretty-much confident. But if y'all want to wish me luck, feel free. It's a little different knowing that it's all on the stove, even though it *was* all on the stove--but I had that got-my-back knowledge that the oil could kick on if needed. Oh, crap! Just realized I'd better check my oil supply and see how much I have left! That boiler could have gone through a chunk of my reserve. Darn it.

    Also, if the insurance company gives a prompt go-ahead, I could probably get Stove Guy to throw a log on the fire once in awhile while I'm at work.

    Just step-sliding it through this a day at a time, challenge at a time.
  11. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    Snow, if it makes you feel better, my furnace doesn't work, either, but I don't live in Alaska, although it's been feeling that way this past month and a half, here :)


    It can be done, there are quite a few people here with no other heat source, welcome to the ranks ;-)
  12. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, Eileen. I've done it before, but never with a plumbed house and a mortgage. Feeling a little strained because of that. Will be combing the forums looking for wisdom in getting through this.

    When did your furnace go down, and do you have a bank with a vested interest in the situation? If so, do they know/care? Are you planning a fix, or continuing to go w/wood exclusively indefinately? AK is cold, yes, but from what I'm seeing here on the forums, a well-insulated house is a great equalizer. Glad I don't have a pellet stove--if the power went down I'd be hurting.
  13. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    I've gone almost a year with out the oil burner. It started acting up last March. We limped along until June, when I added an electric hot water heater so we'd have steady hot water (cost, installed about $350). Seems I need a new tank, and lines rerun, to the tune of about $2500 for one outside, less for one put in the basement, but it would be smaller, like a 225 gallon instead of the 550 gallon I have now. Talk about ouch !! And no, GMAC does not care, nor does the insurance company.

    So, I got the happy idea about another wood stove to heat the other end of the house, and with a lot of enabling from here (BB sealed the deal on that one :coolsmirk: ), here we are with 2 stoves and no oil bill. With oil at $3 + per gallon, and using 200 gallons a month (average) from November thru April (oil cost $3600, roughly) adding another stove for under $1000 + the tax credit, was a no brainer. I'm using more wood than I planned, but we'll get by this year, and be really ready for next year. The early bird syndrome, if you will :)

    Hay, you gotta prove that destructive criticism wrong some how, ya know? ;-)
  14. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    So that's interesting. I talked it over with Boiler Guy, who heated w/wood for 20 years, and the appraiser who came out, who has a Bodarius (sp?) gassifier, and ran the idea past them of my going over to a wood-fired boiler. Both advised sticking with an oil-fired boiler, even as my backup system, which gives me the freedom to not be here tending the fire at all times, and helps with the value of the house should I ever decide to sell. BG is also going to plumb this one so that if at a later date I want to add a gassifier as an option (or when fuel oil prices itself out of my reach), I can go that route with the boiler he's installing.

    Went out and measured my wood piles, and I have about 2 cords of seasoned poplar (aspen/cottonwood). If I can get a cord of seasoned birch somewhere, I can get through the winter, I believe. I measured my oil tank, have about 100 gallons useable (will ask the insurance company about reimbursing the fuel burned in the boiler run-up) and all of that together should do me.

    Plan for this spring is to get a logging-truck load of birch in, and start working it up asap. The seller says (and word on the street confirms) that it's a healthy 10-11 cords for $1700. If I mix that with the aspen I have standing dead here, that's three solid years of heat. I figure if I do that again the following year so that it can season, I am in a state of readiness for what dreams may come. I could top off my fuel tanks and have a nice balance for heating this place--instead of that being a year's worth of heat, that would probably last me three.

    Went out and pulled a few loads of wood up the hill tonight. The first evening I did that, about a month ago, it seemed like a very daunting task. The path is packed now, and the moonlight on the snow made it a fun little outing, just a few minutes work.

    Thanks, Eileen--helps to know that other people are figuring this out and getting through it as well.

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