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What happened to all the Seton type boiler owners

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by roaring fire, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. roaring fire

    roaring fire New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    newfoundland
    :bug: I have operated a seton clone since 2007 & this forum has been a wealth of info over the years.
    This year it seems the boiler room could be renamed the eko/garn room.
    It would be great to hear from some of the old players in my arena ie. iseedeadbtus, pat53, mole,
    snowman & others that have done rebuilds on those units.
    I have a couple of burning issues, excuse the pun, I would like to throw out to the gang
    1) I just finished removing the side panel & cleaning the arse of the water vessel.
    2 hrs later I fire up again but this has got to be the dirtiest job I have encountered.
    It is the only interaction with the boiler I don,t enjoy.
    So the question: Has any user through your r&d been able to have a break through in this area?

    2)I have 2 propane storage tanks in my basement since last fall & I would really like to get
    up & running this spring.
    My current situation
    a) wood boiler in remote shop
    b) back up electric boiler in basement for emergencies ie. for simplicity not interested
    in mating or having electric kick in automatically
    c) Radiant heat in house controlled by zone valves & circulators
    d) The nofossil setup is not working for me. There is no local expertise in my neck of the woods
    I really need to talk to someone who has been down the road & can apply their knowledge to my
    specific situation

    thanks
    Dan

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  2. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Still here bro...LOL My Seton 130 is working great. Since I did the HX modification on my unit, I have definitely noticed that the HX is staying much cleaner than years past. I think the reason why is that it is more directly in the flame path now and gets hotter than before and that helps keep the creosote burned up. I took the back panel off and checked it in late January and it had very little build-up at all. Took me about 30 minutes to clean it up. The horizontal tubes above the firebox are almost spotless right now. Be advised tho that I do have 500 gallons of storage and do 3-4 hour burns at 400-450F stack temps on average.

    By all means get those storage tanks into use, you won't regret it. I plan on burning wood this year until May at least, depending on the weather. In years past I would quit about the end of March because of too much idling and creosote build-up.

    Pat
  3. roaring fire

    roaring fire New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    newfoundland
    Thanks Pat great to learn your boiler is working so well.
    What mod did you make to the vessel or can you refer me to a previous post on that topic?
    I know the storage is going to improve things , especially with the coming of spring.
    How are the skins holding up on your unit?
    I noticedThe galvanized skins on my unit starting to break down last fall so I stripped
    it out & installed 32 gauge stainless .I feel a lot safer operating the bioler this winter.
    I am going on vacation this week will be back around end of March. I would really
    like your guidance on the storage set up when I get back, any imput would be greatly appreciated.
    Dan
    bound for Cuba!
  4. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Hi Dan, here is a link to the HX mod I did on mine...

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/70507/P0/

    As far as the skins go, mine look great. I'm on my 3rd season and they show no sign of rusting or corrosion. I get a little dripping from them the first time I fire it up for the season and then nothing after that at all.

    Lots of info here about storage. I'm sure many will chime in and get you pointed in the right direction. Enjoy your vacation..
    Pat
  5. snowman49820

    snowman49820 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    Still here. Just been super busy lately. Hopefully this summer and fall I'll have more time. I'd like to make some changes and maybe build a new boiler shed.
  6. mole

    mole Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Messages:
    159
    Loc:
    Western NY
    Hi Dan, No breakthroughs to report. The only minor victory is that I can take the back off, dust off the ash, and reassemble in under an hour now. It's still a sucky job, but the tubes can be dusted clean with a bottle brush once you get your storage in. Then you can throw out your improvised scraper tool collection! Other than that, boiler is working OK, skins are fine. I think Fred used a better grade of stainless than the clones.

    Good luck!

    JR
  7. roaring fire

    roaring fire New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    newfoundland
    Great to hear from you snowman. I got a lot of respect for guys like you that built your boiler from the ground up.
    The seton style boiler gets a lot of hard knocks on this forum & I think it is important for users of this unit to speak up.
    As a very astute friend of mine once said " if you going to buy a car, talk to the man who drives one , not to the man who sells one"
    I am on my 5th winter with my unit & it has paid for itself twice over. More importantly we are comfortably warm in our 4000 sq ft house
    & the bonus is radiant heat from the boiler in my 1200 s ft shop. I own a landscaping business & having the boiler in the shop
    has made working there very comfortable. Some of the changes I have made to my unit that enhanced efficiency.
    1) Similar to Pat53 I discovered the smoke path behind the refactory to narrow,restricting flow & creating cresote.
    I removed the refactory & shortened the fire chamber by 4 inches, this gave me extra room in the secondary chamber.
    This mod really improved efficiency
    2) I installed a clock timer that I reset each time I reload. The single big advantage I always have hot coals in the fire chamber
    haven't had to strike a match since october.
    3) This fall I noticed a small amount of corrosion on the galvanized skins, so I bit the bullet & installed 32 g stainless
    really happpy I made this decision.
    Overall I like the Seton design, i like that I don't have to split wood. If it will fit through the 13 by 18 in door it will burn
    Most of all I like the simplicity
    Now if I could only get my storage hooked up
    Happy burning Snowman!
    Dan the man from Newfoundland
  8. roaring fire

    roaring fire New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    newfoundland
    Hi Mole
    Delighted to learn you are still refining your Seton!
    Anxious to hear how you clean the unit so fast!
    I have a 12" side panel which I remove.
    Do you have a time gasket or do you apply the super red each time
    you open it up. I spend a lot of time cleaning the old material&
    applying new high heat sealer each time.
    The insulation also takes a beating & most times is replaced after each cleaning.
    Thanks
    Dan
  9. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Yikes, having to change out the insulation after each cleaning would be expensive. Why do you have to change the insulation? Is it damaged when you take the panels off?

    Pat
  10. SteveJ

    SteveJ Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Loc:
    CO 9000ft
    Pat,

    Thanks for the link on moving the hx forward and down.

    Did you re-skin afterwards? The hole on the tom moved forward - correct?

    Do you have any pictures of the new hx position in relation to the firebox?

    Thanks,
    Steve
  11. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    568
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Hi Steve, sorry no pics of the HX. Even if I did, it would be hard to tell it was moved. What I did was to move the HX DOWN and FORWARD 1.5 inches both ways. I cut off the nipple on the HX inlet and welded on a new one that angles up and then bent horizontal to match up with the hole in the back panel again. The top nipple I didn't do anything with because it was long enough before. I just cut another hole in the top skin to match up with the nipple and plugged the old one with kaowool. So no, I did not have to re-skin afterwards. By moving the HX it makes it much easier to clean the horizontal tubes and the vertical tubes are not stuck up against the kaowool anymore. That makes it easier to clean and gets better heat transfer. I believe I'm getting better heat transfer all around now that the HX is more directly in the flame/exhaust path.

    Pat
  12. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

  13. Jesse-M

    Jesse-M Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    191
    Loc:
    Columbia City, IN
    Still here.....
  14. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    565
    Loc:
    Maine
    Ditto still here. I did not get to my secondary burn project last summer, however I did install rugged new skins with a side that comes off in less then a minute. Also, the insulation is encapsulated inside the panel so no messing around with that. Even with the nice fix, cleaning Hex is still a dirty nasty job...
  15. JMann

    JMann Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    Southern PA
    I'm here too - just REALLY busy with all things summer: Yard, garden, wood, stove cleaning, kids running around, job.......

    Thinking of replacing my current 30 plate HX to a 50-75 plate. Anyone with a closed system got any advice on this - is it worth the investment?

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