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What boiler to buy?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by verne, Nov 24, 2007.

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  1. verne

    verne Member

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    First of all I'd like to say hello to all. as you all know oil prices suck. I have a new aprox 2700 sq ' home with hot water baseboard oil fired boiler. I use oprox. 1000 gal.of fuel each year . The question isnt if I should get an owb its just what type .
    My uncle has had a central boiler for about 12 years and is very happy . I bet he burns 12 cord . so now I see all the gasification units and I'm not sure with return on investment and how long the units last which is the best choice. also considering the cost of install. Also I definitely whant the unit outside. Any imput would be greatly appreciated. I live in highland ny, if anyone knows local info that to would be great

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  2. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    verne,

    Check out wdheat.com. He has a new gasification outdoor wood boiler that he developed. It has passed the EPA outdoor emissions test and it is a true stand alone outdoor wood boiler.
  3. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Verne
    Econoburn, located just outside of Buffalo, will have an outdoor gasification unit available this summer from what I'm told. Their indoor model is the heaviest built unit that I'm aware of. I believe that Aquatherm also has one available soon. Both of these are sealed system units (true boilers) instead of the open type such as Central/Heatmor/Woodmaster and the like.

    Don't discount an indoor type entirely. I have many customers who went the outdoor route and now regret it. It gets to be a chore to wade out through the snow, uncover the wood pile or dig it out if not covered, deal with wheel barrows full of ashes..........etc. Many times all it takes is a small detached shed to house the boiler and the wood supply and you can have a nice dry enclosure to do you "woodwork" out of the weather. Lot's of people have asked me to re pipe and vent their outdoor unit after they move it into a garage or other out building. This of course is a code violation not only here in Michigan but everywhere else because a typical OWB is not rated for indoor installation. Needless to say, I can't help them but many have done it themselves or found someone who will "cheat". Then they proceed to blacken the inside of the building with smoke and in a couple instances, have burned their building down.

    The romantic notion of burning wood soon disappears when the reality of the chores involved sets in. Think it through and design your wood burning system so you can enjoy the work 5, 10 or even 20 years from now. I don't see any breakthroughs in energy supply happening within that time frame that will make it unnecessary to burn wood so plan and build for the long haul.
  4. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    I heard that Central Boiler has a gasification unit "E-classic" Supposedly it has passed the EPA test but has a sticker shock @ 20K. Has anybody else heard this?
  5. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure but thats crazy. I understand alot of people trying to save money and energy. Everyother house around here has OWB'S and piles and piles of wood they use up. I understand if you need to heat multiple buildings, 10 grand to 20 grand maybe a good investment. They are spending 8 to 10 grand on a OWB that heats between 1000 and 2000 square feet. I had alot of people tell me to go with an OWB, but I would double my wood consumption. Plus I dont have the 12 grand to put into a system. I will eventually take a stab at one of the new EPA indoor hot air furnaces, but I just cant see cutting a ton of wood, and spending that much money looking for a return. Most people around here will never see a return on what they spent. Crazy. Those gasification boilers I have been seeing are quite nice, but when I hear the price I damn near have a stroke.
  6. verne

    verne Member

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    Loc:
    highland ny
    thank you for the info. I'm not set on a true outdoor unit . Installing one in a barn with wood storage sounds better to me. what I'm trying to way out is the cost. It seems like the indoor /outdoor eko 40 ect. are better priced than say aSequoyah E3400. The 7" diam. log I don't like . I am also unclear of the install price . What is included and what isn't. I don't mean labor just hard parts.How about wood consumption? any educated guess ? My home is three yrs old not over insulated but built at or above NY res check.Trying to get enough info to make a good decision is all ready getting old.
  7. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    See the thread that is in this section titled "Outdoor, but only, outdoor boiler review compare brands of OWB’s, list particulars". I created it just for people like yourself. You are where I was three years ago and there was nothing to be found.

    Prices of the furnace and install will vary slightly of course but to give you a rought idea:
    I have a Woodmaster 4400 made from mild steel it was $4500.00
    Since I have 2 furnaces (upstairs/downstairs) I had to have 2 exchangers around $300 for both
    I added a block exchanger to heat my domestic hot water around $200
    I also added two 4 foot baseboard heaters in a room that always stays a little cool around $90 for both
    And the PEX to hook it all up, about 30' from the house and then the connections inside the house - Price ?
    Labor to install - ?

    But the total for the turnkey was $8000.00

    The year before I put it in, I spent $2000.00 to heat so a 4 year payoff if all stayed the same....LP has gone up about $0.10/gallon since I installed mine.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    If you're referring to the 7-inch diameter limit mentioned in the EKO literature, ignore it. Those boilers will take (and appreciate) much bigger wood. Probably bigger than you can handle.

    There are way too many variables to come up with an installed price for any wood fired boiler. Either get somebody to quote one, or figure out how much you can do yourself and what it will cost. You have to calculate all the costs of materials and then add some padding for unforeseen problems and expenses. Do you need a chimney? Are you going to put in hot water storage? How far is the boiler going to be from your house? Farther means more pipe, fittings and a more expensive pump. Etc. These things can all dramatically affect the final cost. Also, bear in mind that if you do it yourself, you're going to be living with the project for the duration, which, if you're like me, is a long time.
  9. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I also took a look at the outdoor units and decided that indoor unit in a metal shed would be less expensive and perform the same function. I have a 10x12 shed with a block floor for around 450.00 in parts. This also provides some inside space for wood storage.
  10. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    There's someone else on the forum installing an EKO gasifier in an outbuilding. I would have done that myself, except for three things:

    1) I had already built the house with an extra flue and a boiler room in the basement
    2) I already had outdoor wood storage with a pass-through to the boiler room
    3) I like tending the fire in my PJs.

    Outdoor is good for safety and cleanliness (what I call the WAF - you'll have to search to find the definition ;-) )

    Gasification / secondary combustion is good for efficiency and air quality. Nothing wrong with the best of both worlds.
  11. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Who's to say I can't go out in my PJs to the shed ? I may even put a little beer fridge out there!
  12. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    The first two years we lived at our place, I went out to club/stone/shoot pillaging porcupines in my "PJs". I think at least one of the porkers died from fright at the sight, but hey, he just saved me a 12Ga shell :lol:
  13. verne

    verne Member

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    highland ny
    heres the deal . i would have to install a new flu in my house and I dont have room .If i have to enclose the boiler ,i might as well make the pole barn bigger so i can store my wood and fit the tractor plow etc. and as long as I take my kegorator out of our attached garage ,my wife might go for the bigger barn.
  14. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    Go for a Garn and be done with it. You will have enough hot water to heat you needs and scauld chickens for a side job!
  15. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I'll second the Garn! Just read through the posts on the "Greenwood boiler problem" thread. I had the pleasure of installing a Garn last week and it is truly a pleasure for the owner to open the door and get zero (0) smoke into the room. The draw through combustion design on the Garn is one of the most well thought out features on any wood burner on the market. Doesn't matter if you have coals or a good sized fire in progress as long as you have the combustion fan running.
  16. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    I ended up with the eko80 that I put in an out building that used to house my HASHA. I did alot of studying of all of them. They all have there good points. I would suggest that you look at what you plan to do with yours, where you plan to put it, how big you need, the size wood you plan to use, If you are useing storage and what type and whether you are going to do the work yourself. If you are having someone install it you might be better off buying a unit that is higher priced but includes every thing as that would be cheaper in the long run but if you are going to do the work yourself you can go with a unit that is lower in price but you have to add your own storage and hx and piping.
    leaddog
  17. brad068

    brad068 Feeling the Heat

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    I was looking at the greenwood/Seton boilers to build. I could not get over the refractory mass and small amount of water. I read that the refractory needs to be brought up slowly to cure it. I see some of you already have cracks in them. Also I was told that the Greenwood did not pass the EPA emissions test. And I wanted a boiler that I could use all year round. The Garn was my answer. Heaterman, TCaldwell, and myself are sure giving Garn some good advertisement!
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