1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Thermo-Control anyone?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Jdaino1, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    Still shopping around looking for a good reasonably priced heat source!
    I have been looking at the Thermo-Control TC-2555 OWB. It seems like everyone on here has experience with TCs IWBs but I dont see much about the outdoors. All the feedback about the indoors is good. Does anyone run one of their outdoor models??? please help!!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    Oh and I'm also considering the Central Boiler E-Classic 1400 or 1450. Anyone have much experience with them? They are about 3k more than the thermo-control. And yes I know that the Thermo-Control is technically a traditional boiler and the E-Classics are gassification.
  3. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    530
    Loc:
    Nebraska
    I think I would pour a 10x20 slab for a Garn Jr. and build a little wood shed over the top before I would spend 10 grand on an E-classic. You could probably do a indoor gasser with 1000gal in the same shed for a little less but it would not be as simple as the Garn.
  4. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    By the time I build a decent "non eyesore" shed and insulate it, it won't be cheaper. I'm gonna put in an outdoor boiler with a leanto for wood. The tc2555 can be had between 6500 and 7200 and as far as I've read are pretty efficient for a traditional boiler. I've got a lot of wood as I live on a 300+ acre farm so that's no prob. I've got 12 cord split and stacked so far
  5. tmudd

    tmudd Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Central Missouri Ranch
    Jdaino,
    Welcome to the site. No disrespect but the operative word in your last post was how much extra wood you have to burn on 300 hundred acres. . Most of the well seasoned boiler guru's on this site end becoming masters of efficiency. When I first started burning wood, 40 years ago, I looked at it as a renewable almost endless resource( I too have a generous woodlot) Time and effort to gather firewood( I still love the work, it ties you to the appreciation of the resource) have led me to increase efficiency and spend time on many other pursuits that I also deem important. From the experience I have gleaned off of this wonderful site nothing short of gassifiers with storage will do for me. I did the indoor gasifier and storage in an outdoor shed with wood storage and I thought it was the end all at wood burning. Three years later I wish I would have incorporated the boiler and storage into the house and taken advantage of the efficiency that the appliance heat would provide in the house. Now the latest trend looks to be pellet boilers. It is amazing how fast the technology is going forward. Not to bash any one boiler, but central boiler would be be way down on the list of all the best units you could put in today. I too initially went with a name brand outside boiler(aquatherm Omega) only to yank it out two years later for a frohling 50. with home made storage(1000 gallon propane tank ). Best move I ever made.
    Alll the best on any way that you go,
    TBoy ( Frohling Man )
    BoilerMan and arngnick like this.
  6. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    I appreciate the input! An indoor boiler in my basement would be nice but I have limited indoor storage for firewood. Of course efficiency Is important to me but I also need to keep within my budget. I'm trying to stay within 10k + or - a little. I have the ability and equipment to pour a slab and bury the pipes myself along with the rest of the install. (Indoor plumbing, heat exchanger, and wiring) I've been doing the research and it seems to be that the thermo-control outdoor unit may be the best bang for my buck. I hear of lots of happy customers with their stoves and IWBs but can't get any feedback for their outdoor units!!
  7. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,772
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    I have an indoor boiler and don't store one stick of firewood in the basement. Wood comes in on a cart once per day and is parked next to the boiler. By taking advantage of the boiler heat loss and near boiler plumbing I burn a very small amount of wood. If I had space for wood storage in the basement I still wouldn't put any wood in it.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I am really suspect of the efficiency claims of the Thermo-control.

    The units look similar to what they built in the late 1970's and early 1980's, which were extremely inefficient.

    They make a claim that the Canadian government tested their units to 76% total efficiency. Can you find a link to that test on the Canadian Government site.

    Based on what I see, an overall system efficiency of 30% would seem more likely.

    This downdraft unit looks better when it comes to the interior :
    http://www.nationalstoveworks.com/howthe600works.html

    Please look carefully at the exact interior layout and combustion system of any boiler you consider..
  9. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    I guess I should also mention I need something that can be loaded up enough to burn 10-12 hours at a time as I work 24 hour shifts and my wife can be gone 10-12.......... I'm not totally against the indoor idea. If I did I'd want a gasser that could take at least a 23" log and could burn that long. Are there decent indoor gassers in the 6-8k range? And def not greenwoods
  10. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    Oh and thanks for the patience with the newb!!! Like I said before I'm new to this......burned stoves my whole life
  11. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    That Attack can hold 28" wood. My splitter will only go 25" so all mine wood is 24" =/-

    I do not like to promote what I have over any other brand, but I'm just saying it will take long wood which is a big plus for me as well. That said, my Attack would be horrible if I did not have storage.

    TS
  12. arngnick

    arngnick Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    245
    Loc:
    Mansfield, PA
    I went through the same thing last year...thought I knew what I wanted and what was best...Swore I would never batch burn because it just sounded stupid. Well I will tell you I was the stupid one. In my opinion the only way to burn wood is by batch burning and storage. I would recommend the Varmebarronen products from smokelessheat.com they have great customer service and great products. The boiler I have was about $6,800.

    My wife and I also work 10-12 hours and I have a 45min ride on both ends of that so I found it was very difficult to find a boiler that would burn for that length of time and consistently be able to be relit. My wife hated our first stove and our second which was supposed to be a great gasser. My wife was dead against any wood burning until we really took a moment to look at batch burning. I found it hard to believe how easy a load of wood could be started. As for my system it is so easy 5-10 mins of loading and lighting then forget it. It works great in the shoulder season because you only burn what you need not what you have to keep the fire from going out.
    I know it is a hard to justify all the cost typically associated with gassers and storage but it is well worth it! It is always cheaper to do it right the first time...I learned the hard way.

    Edit: My Varmebarronen boiler takes a 21" log
  13. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    Thanks for the input everyone. I guess I should mention, whatever I do needs to be tied into my forced air.
  14. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,242
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    This is pretty well a repeat of what arngnick said - but talking 'burn times' is truly old thinking when it comes to boilers. In order to get long burn times, the wood has to be forced to smolder - which is not a good thing. So manufacturers who talk up 'burn times' are kind of clued out about what's good & bad in wood burning - it comes at quite an expense. With a good gassifying boiler tied to storage, you can burn a full load of wood out in 4 hours or so, so it's a 4 hour burn time - but the heat that 4 hour burn puts into storage will keep you warm for longer than the 10-12 hour 'burn time' of that type of boiler. My usual schedule last winter was make a fire late afternoon, reload or partial reload in the evening, then not worry about it again until late afternoon next day. So between the last reload of the day & making a new fire the next, it was about 20 hours. That trumps 10-12 hour 'burn times' any day. In the very coldest days of the winter, I was re-lighting at noon & burning another load or so - in that case it was 16 hours between the last load, and the next re-light. And naturally, you also burn less wood and make less or no creosote. I haven't even looked up my chimney since I started mine last October. I'll do a sweep before I start up again this fall though.

    All that said, everyones situation is different. Good luck.
    BoilerMan and arngnick like this.
  15. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    530
    Loc:
    Nebraska
    I think most people say 130* is the minimum useful water temp for a W/A HX in your forced air furnace. I seem to do fine with temps down to 100* but we have a heat pump so we are used to the "lukewarm" air and longer blower run times. I actually think it's a better environment for breathing in the forced air world of heating. Even if you stick with 130* standard, 1000 gals of storage should net you about 400,000 btus [ie.(180-130)x1000x8] which should be enough for 8- 10 hrs on storage alone if you have the typical 40-50kbtu per hour demand. You should get roughly an extra 4 hrs of burn time if you load it up before you go to work. All rough estimates here of course and depends on your heat load calculation. Some of the guys here actually weigh their wood and can easily calculate the amount needed (based on the current temp storage and the outside forecast) to bring storage back to peak temp and maintain the heat load, all without the boiler ever having to idle. Oversizing the W/A HX will help make better use of the lower water temps much in the same way many here with hot water baseboard install extra baseboard to accomplish the same thing heating with gasser/storage.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    The long and short of it is that without storage a 12 hours burn will be dirty and possibly destructive to the water vessel (certain acids are formed). That's the nature of the beast.

    It's expensive to put in a full system but more expensive (in wood, time, energy and money) to do it wrong.
  17. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    739
    Loc:
    NJ
    heres my thoughts and pros/cons that i went through
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/vedolux-37-install.110669/
    it truly is quite easy to light these and actually enjoyable to load with only an armful or two of splits and know that the burn will pump almost half a million BTUs to my storage tanks that the house can then pull as it needs to until the system has to be recharged.
  18. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    As I am new to this I guess I don't fully understand the storage idea. The boiler heats up a pressurized storage while its burning and then when it goes out that storage water circulates to heat? How would it work with a heat exchanger in a forced air furnace?
  19. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    739
    Loc:
    NJ
    Use the search on here. Lots of good info in old threads. Read recently revived one called storage, particularly jebattys response on second page. Yu can certainly use heat exchanger with storage. Think of storage as a thermal battery where the house pulls btus as it needs to.
  20. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    589
    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    It works the same.
  21. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    After rectifying numerous failed attempts at running a wood boiler tied into a forced air system, I will say that you 100% need to include storage in your plan. No wood fired boiler can cycle up to full load as fast as the furnace fan/coil combination can remove heat from the system. Wood boilers cannot cycle on/off within 5 seconds like a gas or oil fired boiler can. From idle to full output takes at least 15-20 minutes and by that time your furnace fan is blowing cold air.
    Storage is the only way to make this work right.
    Coal Reaper likes this.
  22. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,032
    Loc:
    Fowlerville MI

    First welcome to the site ! Spend some time reading here, OWB are a thing of the past. Look into a gasifier or a garn. I own a EKO 60 with 1000 gal storage and I build a fire in the early am before I leave for my 24hr shift. My wife fills it one more time before she goes to work at 8 am. The fire burns out and my storage is charged. My DHW and forced air furnace draw off the storage as needed until I get home the next day.

    Think of the boiler as a battery charger and the storage as the batteries. The furnace and the DHW as the load..

    Rob
    Ann Arbor City,Michigan
    Local 693
  23. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    So after doing some more research I've decided I can't afford a legal owb in my state so I'm going to go back to my original plan of an iwb in a shed. I know that the thermo-control is not a gasser but I hear nothing but good things and its very reasonably priced. I think I will install it this year and next year do the storage.
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,100
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    J, if it's not a gasser or not their downdraft (new) model, it's likely your efficiency will be so low that the tradeoff (even with free wood) will be pretty bad. As a rough guess, you might get 25% total system efficiency compared to double that, which equals twice as much wood and probably 4X as much pollution....

    If you are going to go that route, you might be better off digging up an old downdraft HS Tarm MB55 and hooking to storage. The boiler will likely cost less than 2K, but you have to be able to pick it up, rig it, etc.....

    Something like this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/tarm-wood-boiler-/171096000924

    There are thousands of them in New England, PA and NY and one is very likely to show up on craigslist, ebay, etc.
  25. Jdaino1

    Jdaino1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Charlton, NY
    It would be brand new. From what I've read from others they aren't that inefficient. Obviously I would never believe the 73% or whatever it is that the company claims, but I would be happy as long as it isn't burning through 15-20 cord like the traditional owbs are known to do

Share This Page