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Two weeks left :0 vigas or varmebaronen

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Splitmonster, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    Ive been searching and reading and going crazy trying to make a decision on a new indoor gasser. Im very happy with the simplicity of the vigas 40 but also like the design that varmebaronen makes.

    I currently have one 500 gallon propane tank in the basement ready to be hooked up for storage and am looking for a second. My house is about 3,200 sq feet with big open ceilings and forced hot air. I currently have a budarus wood hog in my garage hooked to the furnace with a heat exchanger, and a second zone for the garage witch has a heater hanging from the ceiling.

    Im down to the last minute and need to pull the trigger on a boiler. Please help

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  2. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    Don't think u could go wrong with either unit.... That being said, I know u can't go wrong if u are getting ur Vigas from AHONA, especially if you are performing the install urself. Class act over there.
  3. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Both great boilers, both great dealers. I've seen both but have run neither, but have to give an edge to the Vedolux design. But be aware that by the book the Vedolux needs more expansion volume. Relax, you can't go wrong.
  4. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    I dont have time to visit my boiler more than twice a day. Do you think the 40 is up to the task with my setup?
  5. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    The low pressure doesnt bother me. I will add plenty of explanation tanks. The only thing that i didnt like was the disclaimer about oak as thats all i have, or at least 90 %. Im sure that the vigas could be affected the same way but now its in my head. I like the simple cleaning of the varm, and the lack of wires, but also am drawn to the lambda controls of the vigas
  6. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I have never operated either boiler but have looked extensively at the design of each one. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. I think that your requirement that you will only be able to visit the boiler twice a day a makes me want to recommend the varm only because I am assuming the burn would be less prone to bridging as opposed to a downdraft. This is all an assumption on my part!
  7. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    How tall is your chimeny? :)
  8. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    Both great choices. I would be inclined to go with whichever dealer is closer. Varm is downdraft and i seldom get bridging unless i forcfully cram splits in which i do t do anymore. I do wish the firebox was a little bigger for my 1000 gallon storage. Lambda gets you little bit more efficiency but complicates the controls of the boiler. More to go wrong and harder to diagnose and fix. I was told the disclaimer about oak is there because most people dont realize it takes longer to season than any other wood. My vedolux does not like wood above 25%. It will handle 20-25 but i feel that i have to feed it more to get the same charge into the tank as compared to wood <20%. This is similar with most if not all gassers.
  9. nrcrash

    nrcrash Member

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    I visit my boiler twice a day in jan and have 3500 sqft of house but i do have 1000 gallons of storage. Is ur wood dry? That's the key that will set u free
  10. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    Ive had the wood un split in 4foot lengths for a year then i split it in april and put it in my wood shed. Plus ive split all the wood i need for next year already and covered it. In the spring i will move it to the wood shed to further dry. Im trying to get three years ahead but thats not an easy task when you need about ten cords per year. My chimney is an 8" double wall ss about 22' tall plus the five feet of horizontal-ish pipe inside.
  11. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    love my lambda boiler. controls eek out the best from the wood without me tinkering. Don't know the other guys.. but can't say enough good things about Mark at AHONA. You won't find anyone talking bad on here about him. That should tell you a lot.

    JP
    flyingcow and charly like this.
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Depending on the type of wood & how much air goes thru your wood shed, that wood might not be quite dry enough for this winter. But it might be OK too.

    I asked about your chimney because if you had one tall enough, I would recommend considering a Varm natural draft unit. Being able to gassify nicely with no draft fans was a fair advantage to me - and it is a very understated feature.

    But I don't think your 22' is quite tall enough. Mine is 30' of 7" and works well, I didn't bother sealing my flue pipe and maintain 0.1" of draft quite easily - they require 0.08". I have no experience with either a Varm fan model or a Vigas so can't really speak to one better than the other, the Vigas looks nice too - but Varms in general I think are the easiest to maintain/clean on the market.
    Coal Reaper likes this.
  13. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    Coal reaper if you have not run a Vigas how would you know it is harder to diagnose and fix? I visit mine twice a day in the dead of the winter. Bridging can happen with any boiler. The vigas is simple to clean remove back clean out plate, brush the tubes and put back together ready to burn.
  14. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    I meant electrically. The little computer, control board, display screen. These are on all the lambda boilers. The non-lambda varms are just a timer and flu temp switch for the fan and thermal overheat to turn fan off.
  15. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    I'd gladly replace parts if I had to. I've built PCs.. putting together a boiler board would be nothing.

    But honestly... to be afraid of electronics, and to shun their advances is a bit behind the times IMHO.

    I love my new kubota tractor.. a simple circuit board that controls the throttle is a great advancement for hydrostatic tractors. There's tons of PC boards now in most every piece of equipment. Love how the electronics have improved many simple devices.

    JP
    henfruit likes this.
  16. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    I agree that my wood may not be perfect this year but i dont have much choice. Thats why im trying to get a head with my splitting now. Next year should be better and the following even better.
  17. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    Im not saying that theres not a percentage of boiler operators that couldnt diagnose and replace or rebuild boards. Myself i used to build boards for commercial fire alarm and evacuation systems, up to 1005 components i will never forget. But i know that i wouldnt want to be busy digging for parts to build or repair a board while my house is going cold when i could just replace or bypass some contacts temporarily. Yes electronics certainly have their place and yes there are btter ways of doing things because of electronics. But we are talking about burning wood here. Fire has been around a lot longer than PCBs! If you want that extra 3-5% or whatever if efficiency than go for it. Works out to be less than 1/4 cord difference for most homes.
    711mhw and ewdudley like this.
  18. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    To each their own. I would wait a few days for parts. At close to 10 cord a year.. I'll take that 5%. You can't beat a system that's constantly monitoring and making small corrections. Just like the autopilot at work. It's damn good at the monotonous jobs. It keeps making small changes to make sure that everything is running right.
    flyingcow likes this.
  19. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    yeha man. thats why one boiler doesnt dominate the whole market, different strokes for different folks. to take it a step further, there are crazy cats like maple who dont even want a fan on thier boiler!
    working out some numbers lets put a dollar ammount to your cord of wood, say $300. and lets assume that the price difference between lamba and non is $3k for the sake of numbers. it would take 20 years to make up even a 5% difference at 10 cords per year. that might be worth it but still your results may vary depending on what your wood is worth and actualy price difference. for my area the numbers are $200 if i bought, $4k difference for varms i was looking at, and 5-6cord/year. ill split a few extra rounds...
  20. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    For me it's more about the ease of use. I can tell my wife to push button, load, push button. Getting her to "adjust" anything wasn't going to happen. I do sometimes run softwood. For me it was more about ease of use, and knowing it will kill itself if too hot, or too cold, and monitor it all in between.

    JP
    nrcrash likes this.
  21. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Where are you located? Getting a chance to meet a dealer/see a unit in person might help you make up your mind one way or another.

    Varm makes a lambda model as well, so you can go that route if you want to keep their design as well as advanced controls.

    As was already said here, you really cant go wrong with either unit.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    My boiler doesn't even have buttons to push.

    She finds enough buttons to push elsewhere anyway.

    Ooopsie... ;em
    Coal Reaper likes this.
  23. charly

    charly Guest

    I will add that having dealt with Mark from AHONA in the past was a pleasure! Marks a guy who thinks outside the book.. He even designed his own boiler controller to let one go outside the limited boiler settings on some stock control boards.. So I would feel very comfortable with Mark.. He will never leave you stuck with any issues... Mark has even traveled hours to help customers who needed his help.. Just my 2 cents about Mark.. Great guy!
  24. charly

    charly Guest

    Boiler set up I bought from Mark from AHONA which went with my other house that we sold to buy our farm.. Again Mark was 100% to deal with.. He's there big time AFTER the sale...
    100_5213.jpg 100_4648.jpg 100_5042.jpg
  25. Splitmonster

    Splitmonster New Member

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    Im in tolland ct. I think im leaning towards the vigas. I feel that a draft fan could only help if the wood is slightly above ideal MC.

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