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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    One thing I really don't understand is why my boiler came with a standard three-prong plug for its main electrical hookup. You've got a fairly substantial machine weighing about a ton that's going to be thoroughly plumbed into place and attached to a chimney, and you ship it with a standard wall plug?

    I thought maybe this was strictly a European thing (or perhaps more specifically, a Polish thing), but then I think Joe Brown mentioned that Greenwoods come the same way. I believe they're made in Canada.

    How about the BioMax, Rob?

    Needless to say, I wired everything up with BX and steel conduit, but I'm wondering if anyone knows what's up with the plug.

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  2. rreihart

    rreihart New Member

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    Same plug. I think this makes it more portable.


    Just kidding.
  3. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    I believe the notion is that by being a "portable" appliance, it doesn't need to go through some of the safety testing. Also, it makes it easy to shut down for the summer, if someone wants to do that.

    But yeah, I rip that off and install it with MC.

    Joe
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Could that be of use during a power outage? Just unplug from the wall and plug into a generator?
  5. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    The rest of the system (pumps, valves, thermostats) wouldn't work without power, and generators tend not to be for indoor use...

    Joe
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think Joe's right about it being more a case of exploiting a regulatory loophole. True, you could unplug the boiler in the summer, but it should be on a dedicated circuit anyway, in which case you just trip the breaker.

    Maybe having a plug for that circuit makes sense. You could run an extension cord to a generator located outside and power the whole works. But I've never used a portable generator, so I really don't know.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Funny, when I use my generator, I bring it right into the house. :blank: Obviously one would use an extension cord to maintain proper distance from a homestead or critters.

    I didn't take into consideration the other controls (pump, valves, etc.) Do they typically have external power sources (i.e. plug in somewhere other than the boiler)? I don't know squat about boiler controls, but am trying to learn.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You thinking about getting a boiler, Jags?

    I have everything on one circuit. On pump is connected to the boiler's controller, but everything else is wired up separately. But at least on mine, you have the option of running a room stat and possibly even an outdoor stat as well through the controller.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Eric - before I got my Quad IR I was really looking into OWB, but didn't like what I saw. So, in a manor of speaking, I have been looking and listening just to see how things are shaping up. I had never even heard about gasifier boilers at that time. I am one of those guys that just are not happy unless I am learning something, and basically anything that burns wood for energy is of some interest to me.

    So to answer your question "am I gonna buy a boiler", probably not at this time. Hopefully in about 10 years I will custom build my retirement house, and at that time it will be of heavy consideration. When I was young, I grew up around steam engines and knew our little towns (old time) blacksmith well. I think that installed a little old bug in my brain that draws me to this type of thing and wanting to know more.

    And sometimes, a person that don't know squat about a subject can bring a child like simplification to a question that makes sense. Sometimes. Thats me :cheese:
  10. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Everything else is typically hardwired. So if you need to install a transfer switch for those, might as well just hook the boiler on, too.

    Joe
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Joe (or Eric or anyone), are the controls typically wired to a single circuit? In other words, do you have one breaker that kills the whole system? Or for controls, is this not a big deal? Is there ever a time that you would need (or want) to kill the entire system? I'm thinking things like system maint. or maybe an emergency.

    How far away from the actual boiler are most of these controls located? I understand that the thermostat will be a distance, but for pumps and valves and stuff, are they located all over the house?

    (Sorry folks, I didn't mean to hijack this thread.)
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Oh, I think we've worked the plug question to death, Jags.

    I'm not much of an electrician, so somebody like Joe will be able to give you a more professional description. Mine is all on one 15-amp breaker with a line running from the panel out 100 feet or so to the boiler. Along the way, it connects to a couple of pumps, three-way zone valve, etc. When I hit the breaker, everything on the wood side is shut off. I also have individual manual switches for each component. Like with piping, it's nice to be able to isolate them without shutting down the rest of the system. I also have a master switch at the boiler, which overrides the controller.

    My zone pumps for the house are on the the gas boiler circuit. Again, I can isolate the gas boiler from the rest of the system. I shut if off completely when the wood side is running, which is to say all winter long except when we're out of town.
  13. BrownianHeatingTech

    BrownianHeatingTech Minister of Fire

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    Typically, they are all located near the boiler. The thermostats, if powered by something other than batteries, are powered through the wiring. Electric valves may be near the boiler, or remote, but are usually powered from the controls, if the installer has any sense - everything should be on a few switches, near each other. If you dig up the thread I have which shows pictures on an install, there are two switches on the wall next to the gas boiler. One is for the gas boiler and all controls; the other is for the wood boiler. Not shown is the switch on the air handler (needs its own switch, since it is 220V and the boilers are 110V) - the A/C condenser is switched separately, outside the house, and has its own breaker. Total of three circuits and four switches to control all systems.

    On the other hand, I've seen some folks install the oil boiler and wood boiler on opposite sides of the house.

    The wood boiler and backup boiler are often on separate circuits. Typically, the control systems are wired to the backup boiler, since it will always be on, whereas the wood boiler may be shut down for the summer. It will depend on your situation.

    Of course, if you are going to use a generator, you should have a transfer panel anyway, because you'll want to power a few more circuits than just that (refrigerator, water pump, etc.). So, the typical point to hook up is the circuit panel, with the transfer panel right next to it.

    Joe
  14. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

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    my Tarm had a cord but no plug on it. There is a switch on the front to shut everything off. Maybe the plug (and my switch) has to do with making sure there are means of disconnect for electrical code requirements or some sort of UL listing.
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