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Thinking Wood Gun...any advice or experience?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by avc8130, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Good luck and don't get discouraged. It took me a couple weeks to find and seal every little seep hole in my smoke pipe. Got pretty frustrated with it and the basement still smells a bit from time to time. The smoke that comes out of these isn't like smoke from a woodstove. Its nasty stuff.

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  2. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Trust me, I wish I could/would have cheaped out. Although, I know in the long run I'll get this sorted and be on my way and then have less to worry about.

    Yeah, I was stoked to fire her up and bring the boiler up to temp. Really I rushed the process and am paying for it now with frustration. I'm going to take my time now over the course of the weekend and get it sealed up really nicely.

    ac

  3. Shield the joists with sheetmetal/1" spacers and use single wall.
  4. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Too late now.

    I just got done with a sealing session.

    I got some 1/2" rope gasket and put it in the pipe that goes to the cyclone. Then I put a HUGE amount of silicone in there. Placed it over the cyclone. I think it worked nicely. It brought the pipe up ~1/2" from the cyclone and gave me a nice spot to put silicone around on the outside.

    I re-did the rest of the joints with more silicone.

    I'm going to let this cure over night and start a fire tomorrow evening.

    ac
  5. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Still battling. Wifey went to check the sealing job and reported about 50% leakage. Gooped on more silicone.

    Ac
  6. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Still battling. Found out the cleanout Tee is leaky around its factory joints.

    More silicone! Fun, fun, fun.

    ac
  7. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    The wife reports that she can't feel any air escaping from the flue pipe. I think I'll start a fire this afternoon.

    *fingers crossed*

    ac
  8. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I put the match (torch) to her again.

    Initially it smoke leaked for a bit, even came out around my cleanout door BELOW the thimble. This all cleared up once the chimney had a natural draft established within ~30 seconds.

    Temperature started rising...but so did pressure! My system had 20psi cold. I don't know why, but that is how the previous oil burner was set. Sure enough, that went 30+ and we were testing out the pressure relief valve around 160F water temp. I opened the boiler drain and bled down some pressure. I reset the water feed to have 12psi cold. This "fixed" the problem for now. I got to the 180F operating limit right as the gauge hit 30psi. I need more expansion tank.

    When I shut down due to over pressure the first time, some liquid dripped out from below the draft fan. It must be excess moisture from the refractory and condensation from the firebox trying to warm the water from 50F.

    The unit is "operating" right now. We have achieved gassification!

    ac
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Awesome - you're on your way. Not done by any means, as I've found out with mine (I was soldering again not two hours ago) - but things will fall into place. Or get pushed there eventually. ;)
  10. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah. Tomorrow I'm going to swing by the plumbing supply and swap out my Extrol #30 for a #90. That should take care of my expansion troubles.

    Now to figure out how to feed this baby efficiently.

    ac
  11. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    avc, as you've read in my smoke pipe post, mine only leaks for around a minute until there is enough heat to establish a natural draft as well. Glad to hear you achieved gassification! In a couple of months you'll be loving the heat/wood consumed! I know I am.

    TS
  12. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    So realistically, just how much wood should I be putting in this thing? Similar amount daily to what I put in the wood stove? I'm just looking for a baseline to get started. I put in about a "stove's load" to start.

    ac
  13. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    I can heat my house (3,200 square foot ranch) with my Quadrafire wood stove, which is very efficient epa clean burning, with around twice the wood that I'd burn in my boiler heating the slab. This is a different situation than your wood gun, I would assume that you'd fill the firebox and let gun put it out and the "little elves" re-light the fire when needed until the fuel is all consumed.

    TS
  14. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I've been debating that. AHS says not to put more wood in than will be consumed in 12 hours. Apparently the wood will dry out as it awaits re-ignition and that could lead to puffing upon re-ignition.

    ac
  15. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Interesting they say "the wood will dry out" I thought we wanted dry wood. I'll have to let the actual WG owners comment.

    TS
  16. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I fill mine about 3/4 full on a cold night. That easily takes me from say 7:00pm to 6:00am. I load it about 1/2 full at 6:00 and that easily gets me through the day.

    I have had a couple "puff backs", I'd guess you'd call them, though if I was home when they happened, I didn't know it. The only way you'll know it happens is the damper on the intake pipe will slam shut. And speaking of that damper, anyone know why its there? I'm thinking of taking mine out.
  17. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    That's your air adjustment.
  18. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    You have a 100? AHS claims that is 6 cu ft firebox capacity. My math shows that you should go through a cord of wood in ~17 days. Is that the case?

    My 180 is claimed 14 cu ft. I put probably 1/4-1/3 firebox worth of wood in last night ~8pm. This morning at 6am, I found just a bit of coals along both sides of the nozzles. It was plenty to rake over the nozzles and have instant gassification again, but the boiler was below low limit. I put wood in ~1/3-1/2 for the day load. That should be plenty since it will be warmer and my house will solar warm. I am burning 100% elm right now.

    I took my first shower heated by wood. This was the first morning I didn't take my shower in a cold bathroom. I could get used to this.

    ac
  19. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    I burned about 1/2 cord in the last two weeks. Loaded another 1/2 cord in the basement yesterday so we'll see how that lasts. Its been pretty cold here over-night lately but still pretty warm during the day. I can see my wood use increasing by 50% when we really get into winter but I doubt it will double. Time will tell.
  20. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Am I supposed to be adjusting this? I know it sounds like a stupid question but I know three other people that have these boilers and nobody knows what we're supposed to be doing with this damper.
  21. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I dug through the manual. The only spot I found anything about the damper is if there is puffing, closing the damper might help reduce it.

    My wife just noted there is more smoke from this than the wood stove. She described it as "gray". I assume steam?

    ac
  22. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    I have noticed a distinct smell in the basement. I think it smells like curing concrete. Is this the refractory moisture letting off?

    ac
  23. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    Likely the smell is the initial burn off and should go away soon. AHS originally told me to run with the damper wide open but I did get huffing in an all out burn. My sweet spot is to run at about 3/4+ closed. You'll find your spot soon.

    On start up you will see some smoke out the chimney but it will soon all but disappear and if you see anything it will likely be steam vapor.

    When we had the smoke shield we could only load up to about 1/2 full, now that it's off we can load as much as we want. I am finding that just over half full gives us all the heat and hot water hat we need right now but perhaps that will change when it gets colder. Actually right now I can turn off the boiler at bed time and the house is only cool(64 or so) at 6am and I can have steaming hot water inside of 10 mintues after starting her up again. Last year we only used just about 4 cords, previous year was about 4.75 heating 2200 sq ft
  24. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    What basis did you use for adjusting your damper?

    I had gasification when I closed the boiler door. I assume she was seeing steam.

    The smoke shield came out this morning. I'll deal with the tiny bit of smoke until I get my hood setup for now. The stupid clips AHS provided didn't work well and the shield half fell into the fire this morning when I was holding it out of the way to get wood in.

    ac
  25. Woodsrover

    Woodsrover Member

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    Yes, ditch the smoke shield, install the hood.

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