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Tarm operation questions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Reggie Dunlap, Dec 15, 2007.

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  1. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    I just fired my Solo 40 yesterday for the first time, and again today. I'm getting smoke out of the heat exchanger cover every time I close the bypass damper. Just little wisps and it stops after 2-3 minutes. The four thumbscrews are very tight. There is also smoke out of the loading door and definite backpressure when I open it. Are these signs of inadequate draft? This is all with the fan on.

    I'm also seeing stack temps of around 450-550 from the Condor probe thermometer installed through the flue flange behind the boiler. This is when the boiler is in gasification. I talked to tarm today and ordered turbilators they said this would lower stack temps.

    I'm not sure my metalbestos pipe is tall enough and I'm wondering if that's causing all these issues. It's not quite 2 feet above anything within 10 feet, but I can easily add another 48" length of pipe.

    Thanks for any input,

    Reggie

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  2. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    i went out and looked at a tarm the other day it had some of the same things? at what temp are you engaging the bypasses? and the second thig is that i found the smoke leaking from the exhuast cove as well it cloud be a draft issue but the cove may also be twisted.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    How tall is the total chimney, and are there any bends in it?

    Aren't you supposed to turn the fan off before opening the loading door? That is a "positive pressure" firebox.

    With those stack temps, you can be assured that gasification is in full swing. The turbulators should lower it a bit. Do you use (or do they suggest) a barometric draft regulator on the pipe? There is also an adjustment on the incoming air, although I never remember changing it from the factory setting.

    In general, my understanding with a storage boiler of your type is that you want to load it up, and then not touch it until the wood has all burned down pretty far - to the coal stage and beyond. This would make for less smoke. I also remember, in this orderL

    1. Turning the fan off
    2. Opening the bypass
    3. Slightly cracking the feed door open and waiting a few seconds
    4. Then opening door
    5. Loading and close door
    6. Turn fan or - or else first put in bypass and then turn fan on....

    Does that sound right?
  4. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    i would agree on the operation path my question is more in regards to the smoking if you put it into bypass to quick it cloud in theroy cause the smoking issue?
  5. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    The Tarm manual says two different things. At one point it says leave the fan on when opening the door, then it says turn it off before opening so I'm not sure which is right. The one time I turned it off before opening I had a little backblast when I opened the door. Not wanting to burn the house down I decided to leave it on after that.

    My chimney is approx. 20 feet tall with a small 4 foot section at 45 degrees. The top of the metalbestos is below the peak, but I could easily raise it 3 or 4 feet.

    I think the smoke from the exhaust cover may be caused by the way that they welded it together. There seems to be a sixteenth of an inch difference in height and that would leave a tiny gap when the cover was tightened down. I may attach a strip of stove gasket and see if that works.

    I'm engaging the bypass at pretty high temps only to feed more wood. 170 boiler temp and 450-550 stack temp.

    Reggie
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The gasket may help, but that cover was not designed for positive pressure - the other boiler models (55, etc) had a gasket there, but not the solos. Still, it can't hurt.

    I think loading is with the fan off. Like maybe open the bypass, (fan on), wait a few seconds (fan off), crack door (this part avoids flashback)...and, again, if you time the boiler right - which you will do once you get along with it, there will not be very much smoke being produced at the point in the fire where you load it. So I think your exact timing might be the biggest variable here.

    The chimney sounds pretty good....although a taller one is easy to cut down (with a barometric), so you could make it higher if you like - but it sounds ok.
  7. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    they blast as you said is caused from a gas build up and then adding air to it. make sure you crack the door and stand to the side when you open it. yoy may want to try sealing your inside pipe joints before you add any height to the chimney that may solve the smoking problem as well.
  8. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    I always make sure the draft fan is on for at least a couple minutes before I open the bypass damper. This ensures that any built up wood gas can vent to the chimney before you open the loading door. Page 41 of the tarm manual discusses this issue. You should shut the fan off just before opening the loading door. Don't open the loading door quickly as that can "pull" some smoke out...as soon as you open the loading door, with the bypass damper open and the draft fan off there should be good air flow into the firebox, through the bypass damper and up the chimney.

    I added a 4 ft section to my original chimney during my first week of operation but it turns out that I was not getting the bypass damper completely closed and locked. This caused a lot of confusion on my part because it allowed a low grade fire to burn when the draft fan was off and I burned more wood than I expected. It takes quite a force to compress the spring on the bypass damper into the lock position. If your bypass damper is not locked tightly closed, you will see elevated stack temperatures and more smoke out the top of the chimney. So be sure it is locked tightly closed.
  9. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

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    I have the Black Bear boiler, it is somewhat the same and the problem you describe sounds familiar. I have found that you should never open the door if the fan is off for any length of time, smoke builds up and you will cause a backdraft for sure. I also avoid opening the loading door unless I know that the wood is gone and I have basically just coals left. I can even get away with out opening my bypass if there are just coals in the firebox. When I open my bypass with the blower going it will heat the flue very fast up to more then 600, even with just coals. The procedure I use now is I open the bypass, then shut down the blower, I don't waste much time and I open the loading door a crack, then all the way there is no time to let smoke build up, however when I do this there is just coals in the firebox. There is a leaner curver with this and I think you will find your way of doing it. I can say this I do feel better when the blower is running because I know that the smoke is most likely going out the chimney, it is when it is down that I believe you get the potenial for a backdraft.

    Steve
  10. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for all the feedback I'm going to run it again today.

    Reggie
  11. bbb123

    bbb123 New Member

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    Tarm didn't ship turbulators with it I thought they were standard? They lower stack temp in mine about 150 degrees. I've never even looked at the cleaning door while it was running since I installed it. I generally dont turn the fan off unless I've recently put wood in then I turn it off and crack door for a sec. otherwise it will smoke. The bypass door, I to was not closing all the way the first month I'm gona upload pictures cause I was positive I was doing it right. When it is shut the handle is like an inch from the door. Im not sure what order pictures will come up in.

    Attached Files:

  12. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    The turbilators were not included, I just ordered them at $180 for all eight of them. bbb123- were they included with your boiler? Are you saying that your heat exchanger cleaning door smokes, so you leave the fan off after reloading?


    I agree about the bypass door, it's easy to leave it open by accident.
  13. bbb123

    bbb123 New Member

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    The pictures came out backwards the first one is open, second is where I thought closed was, and 3rd is actually closed. It ttakes a month or 2 of running it to figure it out. One of my problems was I had an external chimney so it takes a while longer to get it warmed up. Since I put an addidion around it I think it runs much better.
  14. bbb123

    bbb123 New Member

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    Yes I think the turbulators were included with mine (3 years ago). My HX door does not leak that I'm aware of I've only fired boiler with outer (blue) cover off when I first got it. I leave the fan on 90% of the time when im loading it unless im "topping it off" and I know theres alot of fresh wood in there then I turn it off.
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I hope you got that new Tarm going this morning, Reggie. I don't know what the temps are up in the Kingdom, but TOW is at -4 last time I checked. +2 down here in the valley. First time I've really loaded mine to the gills and pushed 'er hard.
  16. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

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    Eric,
    The thermometer at my barn said 8 below about 2 hours ago. When I was living in Old Forge I saw 44 below, it was either 1995 or 96. It was hard to get motivated to install siding that day.

    bbb123-Evidently Tarm no longer includes turbulators?

    Reggie
  17. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    We had about two years in a row there where for the entire winter, if it wasn't below zero, it was snowing. Keeping my house warm when it was -40 was a fulltime job.
  18. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    I purchased mine july 2005 and turbulators were not included.
  19. bbb123

    bbb123 New Member

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    They may not have been included I got whatever Tarm told me I needed (turbulators, tank, mixing valves, etc.). They definiately help burn less wood.
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