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What to buy for a used wood fired boiler? New Yorker wf100 or Powrmatic mw100?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by ladyfire, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. ladyfire

    ladyfire New Member

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    Hey...this seems to be a great place to get some advice as to what I should do pertaining to purchasing a new wood fired indoor boiler furnace (add on to an oil hot water boiler furnace)! I am currently going through oil like crazy (have a high efficiency Newmac oil furnace system with cast iron radiators) but we have a 2 1/2 storey 100 year old Victorian home. We are only heating the first 2 levels with oil hot water heat and the square footage is approximately 2200. We have 11 cast iron rads (the number of them seem to heat our home rather well...26 degrees upstairs and 20 degrees downstairs-we have only one zone, hence the major diff in temp between the 2 levels). We want to purchase an indoor wood boiler furnace because it is currently costing us $700.00/month to heat our home with oil. We cannot afford a brand new one so we have been looking for used ones for sale. We have come across 2 wood boilers. (1) Powrmatic of Canada MW100; airtight, wet; 25 years old but not used the past 10 years (stored in dry basement as a back-up for current wood boiler in case it went..wood boiler is still going and they are selling their home so they are getting rid of the Powrmatic (this is how it is spelled). The price is $800.00 delivered to our home. (2) New Yorker MF100; 18-20 years old; totallly cleaned up; all controls; 100, 000BTUs (not sure of the BTUs on the Powrmatic, as there is no real info that I can find on the net about this particular model, but it should be said that this Powrmatic is in excellent condition for it's age...you can tell they are telling the truth by saying that it has not been used the past 10 years). The price for the New Yorker is also $800.00 delivered to our home.

    Will either of these furnaces be sufficient to properly heat my home (considering the sq footage)? I like my house really warm...I would love it to be around 23 degrees Celcius. Any information, opinions, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the Boiler Room, ladyfire.

    Just to be clear, you're talking about hot water boilers, not furnaces.

    I have about 15 cast iron radiators heating my house, and you're right--give them enough hot water and they do a great job. Nothing better, in my opinion, though I hear that infloor radiant is really the way to go.

    We have at least one New Yorker owner on this board, so I'll wait for him to jump in. I'm not familiar with either of those boilers, but the price/condition sounds right. If they're sized correctly they should do the job.

    But before you go too much further, what's your firewood supply? And, what do you have for a spare chimney or flue? You'll need a Class A chimney or liner to put a wood-fired appliance in your basement.
  3. ladyfire

    ladyfire New Member

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    Thanks so much for your help! We have a large brick flue that would easily accomodate another SS insert for a wood boiler...we have dry, seasoned hardwood available to us so that is what we will be using. The problem is, I don't know if either will heat the sq footage home that I have or not...there seems to be little regarding that on the internet. I know we must also consider our adding at least one other zone in our home too...it's scorching hot upstairs!!

    I too, have heard about the radiant in-floor heating...it's supposed to be fantastic, but the intial cost is phenomenal when you are putting it in as a reno, rather than in a new home. We got a quote for $3800.00 just to do our kitchen! That is just one room! It isn't plausible for us to do the rest of the house anyway, even if we did have the budget because we have original hardwood floors everywhere and we would have to tear them all up and replace them. The enormous inital cost would be too great to justify, so that is why we are wanting an indoor wood boiler. Efficient, cost-effective; modest initial investment...warm heat!!! Thanks again! :)
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    100,000 btus sounds around right for the house you're describing. I heated about 1,800 square feet of poorly insulated old house in upstate NY with a boiler rated for 70,000 btus. Kept it nice and warm, too.
  5. ladyfire

    ladyfire New Member

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    Keeping the BTUs in mind, I am veering more toward the New Yorker...at least I know what it's rated and that it is sufficient for my home; it's just that the Powrmatic is in such incredible condition for its age...
  6. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

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    Feel free to correct me but both are a "100" boiler mw or wf, if chimney is the same on both and pipe connections are the same size it's a pretty safe bet they're comparable units. Are the units approx. the same size firebox? A 2.5 story victorian in Nova Scotia, I'm getting cold just thinking about that.
  7. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    I have MEMCO MW 100 boiler thats about 25 years old. I would geuss that it might be the same model just a different name on the tag. It is a good depenable boiler. I have to add wood about every 4 hours to keep the water up to temp and I go through about 8 cords of wood a year. But I do not run my oil boiler at all, if you were to run it in combination with your oil boiler you probably would not have to fill it as often. If you can post a pic I could tell if its the same model
  8. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    OH Yeah !! I think the $800.00 price is a little high. I see them for sale in the $400 to $500 price all the time in Maine.
  9. ladyfire

    ladyfire New Member

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    I can get my hands on a New Yorker 200 hot water wood boiler that is only 9 years old for $1150.00 firm...they are $3800.00 new in Nova Scotia...anyone have any info on this type/name of boiler? It's in really great shape...the guy was asking $1400.00.

    To the guy who mentioned that the others are both 100s, you are most likely correct...they are prob both 100, 000BTU. Thanks for the info...much appreciated! I'm going to post this new furnace possibilty in a new thread to see what opinions/facts ppl can give me...this forum is great!
  10. cguida

    cguida New Member

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    Hello Machinistbtb,

    I thought I was the only Memco MW100 user left in the world. Nice to see that I am not alone.

    Is there a trick to getting a 4 hour burn with this boiler? Best I have been able to do is 2-3 hours. We have a 3 story chimney that draws like crazy, and no amount of flue-damper and air intake throttling seems to slow it down very much. In addition, most of my wood is split on the fine side.

    I hope soon to build a water tank, and just let the boiler go full blast on junk wood. That should simplify things.

    Having this boiler in series with our oilburner has saved us a bundle on heating oil. And when our attention wonders, the sound of the oil burner coming on calls us back to the wood boiler. If the Nova Scotia person has wood and didn't mind baby-sitting the boiler, she could save a bundle.

    Do you know anything about the history and fate of the company in Jay that made these boilers?
  11. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    Smee,

    I think there are still quite a few MW100 sitting in Maine basements, but I don't think many people use them.

    I understand your problem with the high draft I have a simular set-up. The fact that the smoke pipe is located directly at the top of the boiler doesn't help etheir. At times I will have roaring flames that get pulled right into the smoke pipe.

    As for the 4 hour burn time, what I usally try to do is time my fire so that I will have a good hot bed of coals going in the evening and then I fill the stove with big round unsplit hardwood. I completly close the threaded draft knob on the door and have and the damper by the ash tray set to close at 190 degrees. Also I make sure that my gaskets on my fill door and damper door are in good shape. I have tried filling the boiler with super dry, split hardwood and the fire got so hot so fast that I had to throw sand on the fire to put it out. I think the ideal way to run these boiler is in combination with an oil boiler like you said, but I am a cheapo so I turned the power off on my oil burner which means I wake up at about 2:00 a.m. everynight and fill it, and I come home in the afternoon to a house that is about 60 degrees.

    I am pretty sure MEMCO as like many other types of manufacturing industries in Maine is long gone.
  12. spason

    spason New Member

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    Is there any chance either of you have the manual for your MW100? There is one in my basement that I would really like to hook back up to the system, ideally without hiring someone to do it.

    Thanks,
    j
  13. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    Yes, I do have the manual
  14. cguida

    cguida New Member

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    Maybe if you can send me the manual or xerox of same, I could scan and pdf it, so we could all have a copy.

    I don't have a manual either.

    Regards,
    Chris
  15. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    I will try to work on getting a copy made. Then I could mail the copy. It will probably be next week before I get a chance to do it
  16. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    My first wood boiler was a Memco. The company is still in business in Jay Maine. They don't make wood boilers anymore but they are still in business. I think the name changed too. Check plumbing supplies in yellow pages for Jay, Maine. It might be called Melvin Manufacturing, maybe that was the original name, I digress...

    Machbob, I live in Winslow. If you ever want to check out my new boiler give me a shout. It sure is nice to throw 2 big rounds in it at 9 P.M. and wake up to 74* house with coals to restart. Not trying to rub it in or anything :)
  17. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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  18. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    Sparke, I might just take you up on that offer. I live in Sabattus, but I am always traveling throughout the state for work. After reading your post about your Greenfire boiler I am seriously considering ethier building or buying one myself. I would love to see one in action.
  19. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    Send me an email when you want to come up and I will give you directions...
  20. Mainewood

    Mainewood Member

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    Machinisbcb, I am running a Benjamin DO-180. 150,000btu add on wood boiler in my basement. I fill the the firebox with dry hardwood at 9pm and return at 5:30 am to find hot coals and a water temp of 150.
  21. machinistbcb

    machinistbcb New Member

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    Mainewood thats great. I assume your boiler is not 25 years old. Also I have another problem, I live in a 200 year old 2800 square foot brick house with little to no insulation. I plan on working on the insulation problem this summer and hopfully updating the boiler as well. Like I said, really the only good thing I can say about my memco is it is 25 years old and still working fine.
  22. Mainewood

    Mainewood Member

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    machinistbcb, You definitely have a different heating challenge. My boiler is about 3yrs old and I have a 3200sf. colonial that was built 15 yrs ago.
  23. Mainewood

    Mainewood Member

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    Sparke, nobody likes a party crasher, but I sure would like to see your greenfire in operation. Maybe you can convert me to the gasification side.


    thanks, mainewood
  24. sparke

    sparke Minister of Fire

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    This type of gasser is not as neat to watch as the ones with the lower chamber. But you are welcome to come check it out...
  25. Mainewood

    Mainewood Member

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    sparke, what type of chimney are you using and how is the draft? How about a dump zone & and power outage?

    thanks.

    P. S. I would like to see your set-up when ever it is convenient for you.
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