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)

To Garn or Not to Garn

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by stihlgoin, Mar 13, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    I spoke with Gary today and he mentioned that the phone has been ringing off the hook since this thread has developed.
    His wife is worried she will be seeing him less because of the increased business. Lets hope he earns enough $$ from the
    increased sales to take her on a nice long cruise. She also asked that I not post the video on youtube for the same reason.
    I can relate being self employed and too busy myself without any advertising so I will respect her wishes. If anyone here
    is serious about his boiler Gary will mail you a copy of his video.

    Garnification,
    Gary's plan is to build my boiler as a three pass. 9"x 5' single tube with ceramic liner off fire box to 9/2"x8' tubes back to front, then 9/2" tubes out the rear to flue pipe and two speed draft inducer bolted to existing masonry chimney. I might test the unit with and without firebrick in the firebox after burning a few months as is but who knows maybe its not needed.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Candor, NY
    Maybe we could have the thread removed by a moderator for Gary's sake (and his wife's). As the thread author, I don't mind a bit since I'm leaning toward having him make my boiler. I don't want him too busy......:) We can resume discussions under a thread nam that doesn't overtly use the Switzer name or something....
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,732
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I'm not sure what you're asking, but you can easily change the name of the thread yourself with the EDIT function on the first post.

    If Gary (or his wife) are bothered by the increased workload and interest in their product, I'm sure they will let us know directly. I'll be happy to remove his phone number (or you can) from any post if he asks me to.
  4. Sting

    Sting Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    I had a short chat with Gary earlier this week - He expressed that he hoped his video wouldn't be posted, he said his phone call volume had increased since this thread began, but he is also quite a willing to explain and share more than I asked.
  5. smangold

    smangold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    Northeast CT hills
    I don't think he has a computer at all.Seems amazing, but some people can still survive without the monthly inter-net bill.
  6. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Candor, NY
    -Didn't think about a title change. -I don't start threads on the guitar board I subscribe to. -Thanks for the help.

    I'd just hate to have Gary so overwhelmed that he couldn't take care of his local farmers/Mennonites, and hopefully, myself in the future. :)
  7. loggie

    loggie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    neast
    I see the thread has been renamed,don't get the guy too busy or he wont have time to build my boiler!Gasifierwannabe will your boiler be his first with the single secondary burn chamber,funny I talked to him about that very thing the other night asking if the secondary 9 tubes all have secondary combustion when up to temp and he said yes.Will the third pass in yours be too much and lower the flue temp to the condensate point,I don't think I want to be the test mule.If it ain't broke don't fix it.But on the other hand a single secondary refractory lined with the double 9 tube passes on the way out should make a very efficient boiler with the best features of both brands if it works.I would think that with the 9 tube design would take a little longer to start gasifing when cold because of the additional area in contact with the water but as long as the burn is happening in all 9 tubes it would transfer the heat quickly,maybe that explains the extra measures to get air in on the brand 's' on the startup.Gasifierwannabe has he tested your request before?.We need to get Tcaldwell to get both styles side by side and wire them both with temp probes and see what works better,what do you guys think of all this.I gotta go make the call to get on the build list before the guy gets too busy.
  8. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Candor, NY
    It's time for me to call some of the local references he gave, and see one of these. -Then, get on the list. To be honest, I had seen his ad in a magazine and figured with Garn having a local dealer now(Mansfield, PA), that this poor guy "S" would get run out of the boiler business. -Go figure! I'm also looking into an Isokern Chimney or similar with a brick ledge for this project. (class up the shed a bit) I'll run it by Gary when he's done returning calls.... I wasn't planning on a chimney (Garn), so just another detail to work out. -What's this about refractory now? I'd be very glad to be a test mule for that as well, given I'm only a short drive away.

    Chris
  9. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    Gary has a farmer down the street from him with the boiler I'm purchasing.
    We will not be the test mules. Gary has been building boilers for many years and has tweaked his scaled model many times.
    He loves to talk about his product in great detail and how an inch here and tweak there can really change the performance.
    That secondary chamber is almost the same as a Garn except with the garn that chamber reduces before taking its first turn.
    Gary's boilers do not make the turn inside the tank. He adds a box outside of the tank to make the turn to the next pass.
    These boxes can be opened for simplified tube cleaning once or twice a year.
    He assures me that flue temps tend to run slightly higher with the three pass refractory unit.

    I'm glad the moderator has put this post in stealth mode, I've been feeling a little guilty for posting his info after he told about his wife :sick:
  10. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    Ed, i am finding that in the garn and probabaly most other high temp " clean burning" boilers produce a very fine fly ash that appears to be almost non existent , however even after 2 weeks the insulating factor of this ash is noticeable in the differential temps between thermocouples. What i am suggesting is to leave plenty of access room to make frequent cleanings easy. I take a round wire wheel to steel extensions on the end of a drill every 2 weeks, takes about 20 minutes but what a difference, espicially when the exhaust gas gets closer to condensing. When is your boiler scheduled for delivery.
  11. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    This has been some good reading. I remembered before I undertook my boiler project, I did some experimenting with some plastic. I basically built the primary chamber, secondary chamber and the first tube pass and installed a vacuum blower at the end of the firetube. All in all it was about 15' long. I placed a rag soaked in diesel fuel on a piece of channel iron and lit it. The hottest part was the 4" pvc pipe that started 6' from the burning rag and was a total of 10'. Maybe the gases are speeding up and getting compressed causing friction on the smaller pipe???? Or maybe I breathed to much diesel smoke!

    One problem I have seen with my boiler is the multi pipe last pass. I'm exiting right off the back of my boiler @240*. It will condensate smoke almost the entire burn. It dissipates quickly but looks bad. Looks like a commercial dryer running! Also, I have cleaned some fine ash out a a couple of tubes on the last pass. Nothing in the 4" pipes, only in the 9, 2" dia. I am burning green wood too which is causing some of these problems.
  12. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    Tom,
    My boiler delivery is pending on Gary's schedule. I get goose bumps when I think of rolling it into its final resting place.
    (Gary bolts on casters for delivery)
    I have more than enough space for regular cleanings. I must admit that I'm as anal as yourself and will most likely tend
    to my boiler in an obsessive way. When "the ultimate heating system" arrives I will post all my experience on a daily basis.
    Although I haven't the technical back-round of some of the guys here, I do enjoy keeping tabs on data and numbers.
    Thanks for the tip on the fly ash. My boiler will probably be more efficient with frequent cleanings.
    I recently shared my boiler plans with a client of mine and the first question they asked was who was going to service my system....
    I always assumed a bio/wood system is serviced by the end user....... anyone here have a service man????
    I will start a thread on this subject.
  13. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,732
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    You're looking at the service man.

    I saw the Garn on display at the NYS Farm Show and it's an impressive piece of equipment. Thinking about getting something along those lines basically custom made is quite an appealing prospect. I talked to Gary about 15 years ago when I was thinking about getting chip-burning boiler, and somebody gave me his name. Really interesting guy to talk to.

    So please keep us up to date, guys, especially with some pics.
  14. chrisfallis

    chrisfallis Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    94
    Loc:
    Central Colorado
    How easy is it to "roto-rooter" the Garn tubes? Are there access holes in the front by the firebox and fan? How about the rear end of the boiler where the heat exchanger tubes turn? I would expect a draft velocity drop and subsequent ash drop at each 180 degree bend. How does access to the heat exchangers affect the installation of your boiler? I would want to install a Garn in my garage with the butt end and chimney up against the garage wall. No room back there to swing a cat, never mind swing a wire bush on the end of a long cleaning rod.

    Signed,
    Curious in Colorado Springs
  15. 10moreyears

    10moreyears New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    S. Cal. Mountains
    I would like to get an idea of how many kwh of electricity per month the draft inducer fan on the Garn WHS 1500 unit uses. I realize that this will vary depending on how many hours the unit is run, so some idea of burn rate or heating load would be helpful. Maybe the useful information is just how many watts the fan uses when it runs; does anybody have that information? For those on mains power, this may not seem like a big thing, but if you are off-grid, every kwh counts.
  16. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    There was an interesting article about Outdoor Boilers (including the Garn as an alternative) in the most recent issue of Northern Woodlands Magazine. I think what I came away from the article with about the Garn at least was that the shape and size can be a challenge and that it needed to fed frequently. I have no personal experience with a Garn. Here is the article in case you are interested -

    http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/clearing_the_air_outdoor_wood_boilers_face_regulation/

    This is a great magazine for those unfamiliar with it.

    Best.

    Pete
  17. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    Pete,
    You need to read that article again, that ONE Garn is heating 23 homes and needs to be fed 19 times a day!
    If it were one home the Garn could easily go 24++ hours between burns :smirk:
  18. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    10moreyears, im no electrician but i believe that the 3/4hp single phase motor that the garn uses for draft induction, if run for a total of 6 hrs/day at 18 cents per kilowat hr costs about 72 cents per day. oh, it runs at 5.5 amps., in conjunction a taco 14 circ costs 76 cents a day running continuously, it consumes 1.45 amps or 174 watts
  19. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    541
    Loc:
    860-868-9014 h 203 948 0864 c nw corner ct.
    chris, all the garn boiler hx tubes are accessed from the front, the whole proceedure of roto-rootering with a steel wire wheel with removal and reinstall of draft inducer takes 20 minutes on the long side, also when you are done just turn the blower on to exhaust the fratz !
  20. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    445
    Loc:
    Central Wisconsin
    Voltage x Amps= watts. Tom is that what you are paying right now per kilowatt? I'm paying $0.096/kWh. I have a electric boiler that the electric co-op sold me for cheap 7 years ago. It is on a duel fuel setup but that rate is0.055kWh. Doesn't take long to rack up a electric bill when the boiler ratings are 240v @94amps. I'm was glad to see the electric company come around and put in new digital meters cause I thought I was going to have to put a grease cup on my old mechanical meter when the boiler was running. When I purchased the electric boiler it was @0.03kWh which wasn't to bad but the shop was only kept at 55* and the electric bill averaged $170/mo. When I get my boiler in place and everything setup, I'm going to run the electric boiler for a few weeks in the dead of winter, maintaining the same temps as the wood boiler and just see what the cost is.
  21. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,108
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    One thing I haven't seen discussed or considered on this thread is the warranty period for the Garn vs. Switzer. I know what the Garn is but am not familiar at all with the other unit. Any knowledge?
  22. EForest

    EForest Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT.
    Gary has a 15 year warranty on his boilers per his ad.
    I will let you know what exactly is in the written warranty when I receive it.
  23. 10moreyears

    10moreyears New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    S. Cal. Mountains
    Thank you for the response. So about 120v X 5.5a = 660w X 6 hours/day (est.) X 30 days = 118kwh/month. That is definitely a major consideration for off-grid solar. Greenwood seems to be one of the few gasifiers without a required fan, but has its own set of issues. Orlan EKO looks relatively frugal at 35w. Good info on the circulation pump as well, I had underestimated the power required there. All interesting issues that will take some consideration... straight wood stove(s) and/or masonry (russian) fireplace looking more likely.
  24. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Candor, NY
    I'll be taking a trip to the "S" shop tomorrow, and will most likely get on the list if all looks good. According to Gary, it sounds like I'll be using a double-wall stainless chimney i/o Isokern due to condensation considerations.

    As far as off grid power is concerned, wouldn't an extra panel or two make up for any power consumed by fan(s) and pump(s)? Especially if you're in a sunnier location than the southern tier of NY? Wait. Every location is sunnier than here :)

    Chris
  25. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    Candor, NY
    I just read (browsed) that article. My wife and I used to live in Peru,NY about a decade ago. I remember choking on the air because it was so heavy with wood smoke in the winter. I'm pretty sure that it was before anybody in town was running an OWB, too! Ah, the memories.......-Actually, it's home of the best apples I've ever tasted. The guy who ran the gym I lifted at used to walk in and toss us Honey Crisp apples that were fresh from an orchard down the road.

    Chris
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page