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Strongly thinking about buying a Wood Gun

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Scotts Bum Wine, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Gasifier and CTFIRE like this.

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  2. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Oh yea! ----- And I have no problem dealing with personal attacks.
  3. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    The wear components are what needs to be serviceable and replaceable, and not some propriatary stuff that you need to speak Polish to get.

    One can argue that any boiler can last almost a lifetime, other than fireside corrosion as Fred expierenced. If the boiler is cast iron or steel is in a truely closed system (oxygen barrior pex in not really a 'closed system' just a mostly closed system). There should be no water-side corrosion in a hydronic system with no leaks and minimal "opening of the system" for component replacement/service. Proper water testing/treatment is still important in a closed system.

    Fire side on the other hand, needs to be well kept and cleaned with the upmost care, this is always true, but especially important during the off season. Pretty much every part of wood burning produces corrosive by-products, ash, smoke, condensate, tar etc. Ash needs to be as close to 100% removed as possible, all surfaces should be scraped of loose creosote (upper chamber) refractory removed (if possible) scrape vacuum, scrape and vacuum some more, then spray everything with some type of oil, WD40 is my choice for summer formeldahyde. I try to make everything that is exposed to combustion all the way to the chimney cap as close to as-new condition as possible in the spring. This goes as far as climbing on the roof with the garden hose to rince off the cleaner I use to polish the SS chimney cap after brushing the flue. My wife thinks I'm crazy, and she may be right......... But I've always said that a true crazy person doesn't know they are crazy.

    TS
  4. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    Mr. Sutherland-

    Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it! Those sound like good maintenance tips for a lot of heating plants, not just wood boilers. For the summer, do you leave your system open so the air can freeluy flow through, or closed up so the bugs don't get in? I usually leave my heating appliances (wood, coal, and oil) open. I figure the circulating air would keep them free of condensed moisture. Of course, I could be wrong, as I frequently am. Just ask my bride. ;)
    I gotta say that I admire your attention to detail. I have to admit, as I get older, I am much the same way. I bet you have a neat and tidy workshop.
    I have never been accused of being crazy face-to-face, but the word "eccentric" is often heard (at work and at home) relative to yours truly. ;)

    Scott
  5. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Scott,

    Eccentric - deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways .

    (In other words, your "crazy" compared to all the "normal"people! ;lol But that's okay, a lot of us wood burners are! ;lol
  6. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    Gasifier-

    Perhaps this forum attracts the type of folks who are a tad off plumb, such as I. ;o) So far, I seem to fit in.

    Hey, as long as I have your ear (so to speak), have you (or any other readers) heard of someone completely ditching their oil-fired boiler and relying solely upon a Wood Gun with oil backup for their main heating plant? Does the oil burner throw enough BTU's to heat a home w/o using wood --- say when I am away?

    Also, I see that you have an 07 Tundra. How do you like that? Is that the newer body style? I have an 05 with 150,000 miles, and (to-date) all I have had to do to it is replace an O2 sensor for $80. I wish the Tundra came in a HD 3/4 ton, but I think the recession killed those plans for Toyota.

    Scott
  7. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    Avc
    avc did that exactly this fall. But he has yet to hook up the oil lines to it.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    People use combo oil/wood boilers as their sole heat source quite often.

    I did away with oil all together (an oil/wood combo boiler that the oil did backup heating duty on & heated DHW in the summer), and replaced with a standalone wood boiler (with storage), a used electric boiler for backup heat (will have been used for a total of one day this winter), and a new 80 gallon electric hot water heater for DHW (that will be heated by the wood boiler & storage maybe 80% of the time year round via sidearm heat exchanger).
  9. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Scott,

    You would have to consider your lifestyle before ditching all sources of fuel other than wood.
    If you go away for a few days in the middle of the winter you will need some sort of back up, electric, oil, gas, propane......or a friend to come and stoke the fire.
    But I'm sure you knew that, so I apologize if I offended you.
  10. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    Ahh, so it is doable. Thanks for the quick responses. A light went on in the dimly light rooms of my mind today --- wondering if I can forgo the expense of rebuilding the masonry chimney on my house, eliminating the oil boiler in the cellar, and heat the house with just a wood boiler w/ oil backup in the barn. This might simplify my life and eliminate some costs, making a wood boiler more affordable. Also thank you for letting me think-out-loud here.

    Scott
  11. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    I did - But haven't hooked up the oil yet
  12. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    Mike-

    You would have to work a lot harder to offend me! After all, I live near Buffalo! :O
    Gasifier likes this.
  13. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Well down here on the Island people get offended if you just say hello, so I'm always on the apologetic
  14. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    So it looks like you have narrowed down the options if you go wood/oil combo.
    Obviously, the wood gun and I think there are a couple others, but I don't remember the names.

    You know what I say, right?

    WOOD GUN, WOOD GUN, WOOD GUN, GOOOOO WOOD GUN!
  15. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    I'm sorry Mike, could you repeat that? wud goon? :D
  16. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Dats not a Lawng Gyland accent!
  17. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    No, Mister. Dat dare beez a WNY Buffalo accent, yah-hay!
  18. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    :)
  19. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Then it's official, you are crazy!
  20. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Scott,my boiler is wood/oil combo. Other than firing the oil once a month or so just to be sure it is working we only use it when we are out of town for a few days which normally is Christmas or New Years time. I would guess in the last 4 years we have burned maybe 20 gallons of oil. I'm sure the oil unit would heat the house adequately if I chose to do so. When returning home from a trip I barely have my coat off when I'm headed down to the basement to turn off that evil oil burner. It was an expensive option to the boiler at time of purchase but we were not in a position to add another chimney and since the boiler has an oil lock out feature it's a bit more safe than apparently previous models were.
  21. CTFIRE

    CTFIRE Member

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    How close to Hamburg? I have a lot of cousins there. Go every year.
  22. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    muncybob-

    Thanks for the information. That's just the sort of information I was seeking.

    Scott
  23. Scotts Bum Wine

    Scotts Bum Wine New Member

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    Jason-

    I am about an hour north of Buffalo, and slightly to the east --- right near Lake Ontario. So, not too close to Hamburg.

    Scott
  24. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Scott,

    If you truly plan to use the oil as a "backup" ONLY when you are on vacation I wouldn't worry that much. When you are on vacation, does the house need to be 70F? Probably not. Just about anything would probably be able to keep the house at 50F while you are away and then you can use wood to bring it back up to temp when you return.

    As Coal said, I have the oil backup on my WG...but I have yet to install the burner and run the lines.

    ac
  25. bigburner

    bigburner Feeling the Heat

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    Thirty more years my boiler will be 110 years old, I hope to still be loading then. It spent it's life burning coal and we have be burning wood in it five seasons and we run some pretty low return water temps. It's a wet back and has mud legs so I am thinking with the amount of HX surface area that corrosion hasn't been too prevalent. I run it dirty in the fire tubes on purpose so that if there are wetting times on a reload that the tubes don't see the moisture directly. Planning an inspection this summer. This is what came out of my head after reading this post- on topic/ off topic -- no sure. My skin is pretty thick. Crazy maybe - Ya

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