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Thinking of Buying a used Black Bear, comments please.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by mech644, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. mech644

    mech644 New Member

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    We have a 1200 sq' house, just moved in this past July. There is a new Trane oil boiler for heat and dhw; it works fine but I'd rather pump the #2 out into the car then use it for heat.
    I'm leaning towards an indoor gasser wood boiler to install next to the Trane. I have plenty of space for storage; even have a concrete boiler room in the basement, could easily get 1000gl by insulating against the conc, building one wall and a lid to complete the tank.

    I've seen a Black Bear in the local classifieds for sale. (Yes, I know they are no longer in business)
    In practice did the BB's turn out to be above average boilers in terms of performance?
    Overall quality of the units? Are there parts/pieces that are now unobtanium due to the company being defunct? What kind of control system did they use, off the shelf stuff one can get from McMaster, etc, or proprietary design?
    I have pretty good mechanical skills and work with guys who can machine and weld up most anything.

    In our last house I piped up a Viesmann gas boiler, primary/secondary with low loss header, indirect dhw tank, and two zones of radiant; I'm pretty sure I can handle a wood gasser install.
    I'd buy a new Froling If I could, but we still have the old house and a mortgage on this new place so its the low budget route for me.
    Appreciate comments and constructive thoughts.
    Thanks,

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  3. mech644

    mech644 New Member

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    "project boat"
    That's funny, I actually work in a boatyard. I've seen more then one mans dreams rendered to bits by an excavator and hauled away to the landfill.

    I have no illusion that the BB is without fault, company folded after all. But as I said, a new Eko, Biomass, Froling (my car cost less), Viadrus is more then I can afford in cash. What I have to is my time and access to skilled fabricators and company accounts to source material at cost.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  5. mech644

    mech644 New Member

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    Not a chance. If I'm going to wrestle a pile of steel and refractory into the basement it is going to be a gassifying unit.
    I've spent a fair amount of my life dealing with fire wood and am committed to minimizing the amount of wood lug compared to the heat it puts in the house.
    I've seen lots of the old Tarms and Memco's for sale for cheap, tempting but not for me.
    BoilerMan likes this.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Why would one want a boiler in this situation? A decent EPA wood stove would use a heckuva lot less fuel, cost way less, and would be much simpler to maintain. 1200 sq ft should not be hard to heat.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, it looks like the Boat Project may be for you!

    Some people like that stuff.

    BTW, a Tarm MB 30 is a downdraft boiler and run hard into storage, like that guy in the thread is doing, is quite efficient. No, not up to an EKO or modern Tarm, but probably better than the Seton designs (isn't the bear one of those)....unless fully maximized.
  8. mech644

    mech644 New Member

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    Because I had infloor radiant in the last house and would like it in this one when I start remodeling it.
    Because I have 2 daughters and a wife who consume a staggering amount of hot water.
    Because I own a 70 acre woodlot.
    Because I don't want to lug wood by the armload anymore. I fell trees, buck them down, split in the woods, then have the girls load the trailer and run the tractor into the shed and stack it, from there I will wheelbarrow it into the boiler room.
    I have two EPA stoves stored in my shop at the old house, an encore and an Intrepid. Distributing the heat in this new (new to us) would be challenging; existing baseboard system works well, just not into buying the oil. I burn #2 in my car for a 52mpg return; the mpg on this house sucks.
  9. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you have a TDI or even an old VW IDI ::-)

    It's quite out of my normal doing, but have you checked out an Attack DPX wood boiler? I have one, and it works well, downdraft gasser and all.
    Not sure where you came up with this :rolleyes: I've got a nice EPA stove and a gasser, and this is not true for me at all. Gasser burns less wood and keeps the house warm longer (due to storage).

    TS
  10. mech644

    mech644 New Member

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    Loc:
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    '00 Golf TDI, bigger turbo, pipes, nozzles, fuel map = 20% increase in mileage and its got tons of power. Had an idi back in the day, car was sloooow.

    An Attack would be fine; trying to find a used one though so Biomass, Eko, Attack, Viadrus, etc, all would do what I'm trying to achieve.

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