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Why is everyone down on non gassers?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by chadley, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    inguy,
    If you are going to buy an OWB, you really ought to buy a gasser from one of the more reputable manufacturers. If a dealer told you that there isn't much difference in efficiency between a conventional OWB and a gasifying OWB he is telling you a bold faced lie. In most cases you will go through half the wood with a gasser. There isn't any extra work in wood preparation, as if you want a conventional OWB to function properly wood needs to be split and especially seasoned properly. There is a little extra maintenance involved, but from my experience operating two different OWB gassers, that maintenance only takes about 10-15 minutes/week.

    I'll wager that the biggest reason the dealers are trying to push a conventional OWB on you is because they have too many in stock and the new EPA regulations for your state will be out soon, so they want to move their inventory.

    A gasifying OWB is the only way to go if want to keep the mess, smoke and fire hazard outside. A Garn or Wood Gun would be your best choice for a gasifying IWB.

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  2. Rory

    Rory Member

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    I don't understand the point about maintenance. Other than cleaning out the ashes (I do for every burn), there is very little maintenance. Brush the tubes out a few times a year, maybe clean the pipe once a year, and never, ever clean the chimney. I can't imagine an OWB having less maintenance.
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    So my question is: Whats the big deal on other sites with the like for non gassers?
  4. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    didn't read the entire thread but, i have been burnin an old non-gasser 502 tarm, good wood, no, and i mean NO smoke throughout the burn. Boiler is undersized so it burns flat out for about 3 hrs, no storage, but big house. load it once in the morn, 1 and a half at nite. Clean burn, good heat,but, efficient?? I really dont know, never checked it. I do like the gassers, but i could never justify ( afford) one. I would rather spend my extra money on insulation, and air sealling. a more efficient house use's much less fuel no matter what you heat with.
  5. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    Rory,
    I would expect time spent on maintenance on an OWB gasser would be similar to what you do. Cleaning transfer tubes regularly yields the best efficiencies.
    maple1,
    People who own conventional OWB's do not like to be forced to do anything they don't want to do. They are no different than you and I. They like the routine they have, as well as the lack of utility bills. They also like the extra set of variables they have associated with their OWB's- in that their units are more forgiving on the quality and quantity of fuel they can consume. I was on board that ship only three years ago. I have since jumped that ship, but I've not forgotten the experience. So many current gasser owners, both indoor and outdoor, HAVE forgotten that ride. That is offensive to the conventional OWB owner.
  6. chadley

    chadley New Member

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    as for the companies I listed not selling gassers, you are mistaken. Look them up. For example, hawken as the GX 10 gasser. From what I've read, they (gassers) are relatively new in the OWB market with all the new EPA regs.

    As for what people are so high on the conventional OWB's- As mentioned by a previous post-wood consumption is big. They will burn anything. They will burn large rounds that don't have to be split unlike the gassers. The prep time people mention on here in relation to the amount of wood burned in a non gasser is equalized with the amount of prep time it takes to cut/split wood small enough to fit in gassers. (this is their opinion-I'm just trying to answer your question). Another pro (in their opinion) is maintenance. They swear up and down there is more maintenance to gassers. there are more "gadgets" and things to go wrong on gassers. They think that gassers are more particular on what size, type, dryness of wood they will burn (which adds prep time). They like the simplicity of the conventional OWB's. the price is another issue. They don't see the cost/benefit relationship in buying a gasser. They don't think its worth the money and it is hard to make their money back. Smoke-another issue. As long as you burn dry wood, they don't see much more smoke than in gassers. These are just a few of the things other sites are so high on with conventional OWB's
  7. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    Too bad everybody that can't afford a shiny new (real) gassification boiler system doesn't feel this way.

    Minimizing heat losses from the building is far more important than what type of equipment you heat with.
  8. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Are the other sites populated with as many ex-OWB, now gasser owners as here at Hearth? I've not returned to other sites on this topic after finding Hearth Boiler Room and being where you are now 4 years ago. The guys that hang out here are (from my limited experience with other sites) the most experienced (many going back 30+ years) and technically knowledgeable (quite a few professional installers). I was going to buy a Hardy for all the reasons you sited and the fact there are so many of them in our area. Found this site and so glad I did. Frankly I'm surprised at how few of the ex-OWB guys are replying to your post here. Usually this topic brings them out of the woodworks. Do some key word searches here. Your question has been discussed so often could be the guys are bored answering. I bought a BioMass gasser based on the experience here and I KNOW I made the right choice. Just keep reading and compare the depth of experience to the other boiler sites you've been to. Let us know your impressions.
  9. chadley

    chadley New Member

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    :) Don't you hate when a new guy comes on and brings up a topic that has already been beaten to death in the previous months/years. I know what you mean after being members on other forums for a while. Sorry.
  10. pwschiller

    pwschiller Member

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    I just went to the Hawken website and found no mention of the GX10 being a gassifier. In fact, under the "How it Works" tab it has the following description:
    If the GX10 does have a secondary chamber, it certainly couldn't gassify for very long after coming out of smolder mode, since it only has a 107 gallon water capacity.

    As for why people are down on OWBs, this is from my neighbor's OWB in action:

    Attached Files:

  11. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    Don't be sorry as any question is good. All of us here started this way. I so glad I found this site 3 or 4 years ago as there just wasn't much info else where. I had desided on getting a gasser before I found the site and had done a lot of research and had come to the conclusion that storage was needed but most of the dealers were down playing the need for it because it added to the cost so it discuraged people from buying. It's very hard to change peoples thinking and to get them to spend money when all those people out there with OWB are telling them different. But from my experience and from the great knowledge here I'm really glad I went the way I did.
    So any questions you have ask away. The pro's are great to help and us do-it-ourselves that have made lots of mistakes are very will to share how we would do things different. Just remember, You will hear DRY WOOD alot here as that is the most common mistake made. That goes for all wood burning even in an OWB.
    leaddog
  12. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    No not really inguy..... unless after 20-30 ex-OWB guys give their testimonies and the newbie still says.... "yeah but...". Those of us that hang out here just because we love the whole process have seen lots of instances of newbies standing on the cliff wanting to jump. We say... don't do it... it'll hurt... they still wanna jump.... we say it'll really hurt... they say... but?? we say... well have at then. Free will is just a wonderful, dangerous thing. But no, you're just one of the MANY newbies that come thru here all the time, just like we all were once wanting the best advice. Whether you take it or not is your business. But no... don't hate it.
  13. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Pete, that pic is priceless in this discussion. You know what they say as far as the value of a picture. Great shut up juice.
  14. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    One thought I always have when surfing forums (and it seems entirely applicable to this thread) is that almost EVERYONE on the internet is an expert, with few exceptions.

    The OWB user sees absolutely no need for all the fancy controls on a gasser. "Waste of time and money, I can't possibly split my rounds down to kindling, it would take me thirty three years to get my payback on a gasser".

    The gasser users is disgusted to drive by a house bathed in a fresh plume of smoke from the OWB in the backyard. "Idiot wood burners, bad for all of us, the EPA will get them and their deer carcas burning brother".

    The outdorr gasser user is absolutely dumbfounded that anyone would ever consider putting a boiler indoors. "I would be swimming in wood dust and dirt if I had to haul all that wood into my basement every day. Not a chance, they have no business being inside".

    The indoor gasser user refuses to load wood in anything other than boxers and a t-shirt. "I don't care if I smoke my wife out again this weekend, these slippers are so cozy and I don't want my coffee to get cold".

    The list goes on and on. Real world advice from real people should always be sought. Forums are useful but misinformation abounds. And another important factor is your local dealer support. If you have to drive 1,000 miles to get to the nearest gasser dealer but the nearest OWB dealer is 2 miles away, whatcha gonna do?
  15. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I recently worked for a guy that had an owb. every day when I left to go home my van stunk like creosote. Every time
    the boiler came out of idle his neighbors house got smoked out. I Know if I was his neighbor I wouldn't be very happy. You could just see the heat dumping out the chimney and it looked like if you put your hand above the stack it would burn you in an instant.
  16. Hydronics

    Hydronics Feeling the Heat

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    I have to agree, some people just get something in their head and like to pontificate based on opinion. At the end of the day if your setup works for you and you're not negatively affecting anyone else, who's to argue...
  17. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    I just have to comment on the large round bit. From what I've seen a lot of guys that have these things do very little to prep their wood before burning and are sort of proud about this fact. In their defense I remember going to the fair and the guys selling these things drove that point home that you didn't even need to season your wood, just cut into manageable chunks and you are good to go.

    Here's the thing, you can get wet wood to burn BUT you waste so much of the woods energy evaporating the water out before it will burn properly. The wood wants to dry one way or another, one way (split, stack, season) you let it do it on it's own, the other (cut and chuck) you pay for by having to burn more of it in order to get the same amount of heat.

    Pretty much just because it will work doesn't mean it's working as well as it should.

    I looked at OWBs, in the end I went with a Tarm Solo Innova. I'm in my first year and still getting the kinks worked out but I like the fact that I get more out of a cord of wood with this setup then I ever would with a conventional boiler, in doors or out. For what it's worth I don't think the Tarm is all the complicated. It's a simple design, no really "magic" going on.

    K
  18. martyinmi

    martyinmi Member

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    Why would you type something so darn stupid? Lots of really great advice on this topic, some not so great, and then you type before YOU THINK! Who could blame someone if they went out and bought the most inefficient unit out there just to spite you and the very few other narrow minded individuals like yourself? We are in this together,can't you see that? If all OWB's are banned, you can bet all wood fueled home heating appliances will be too. OWB owners, both conventional and gassers, have to have indoor mass storage owners outnumbered by at least 100-1, if not numerically much higher, and their(our) lobbying power is much greater than yours. Are you seeing where I am going with this? We can't educate by attempting to make someone feel inferior or unintelligent. It obviously backfires sometimes :roll:

    stee6043-
    Excellent post! And good choice of beer too.
  19. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    I think if you read my previous posts in this thread and others going back quite a few years I think you'll find I treat people respectfully here. My mistake was to use a phrase common to us southern boys that basically means that says it all. So to Inguy I apologize if it was taken disrespectfully. there are many terms we use in Tenn or Ala jokingly which I'm Sure are foreign to someone in Mich. but the point is well taken and it is not of my history here to insult anyone. In the future I'll be more careful with our colloquialisms.
  20. huffdawg

    huffdawg Minister of Fire

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    Yes thats true Tennman , it funny how sometimes when you write something on a forum it can be construed by others in many different ways. Especially when other members can't see facial expressions or mannurisms. Damn no spell check on fast reply!..

    Where can I buy shut up juice, I think my wife needs a drink. :lol:


    Huff
  21. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    Hello, I have owened both and would NOT have anything but a Gasser. Thats it in a nut shell. Do your looking around you will see.
  22. hoogie

    hoogie Member

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    to indiana guy, i'm in north part of indiana...To my belief indiana companys cannot sell reg. owbs anymore the only thing they can do is sell what is already on there lot from inventory before IDEM passed the laws. Thats a good reason to push you towards a nongasser...as for me in my previous post i have pics of my gasser runnin beside my neighbors reg. owb and both are the same brand mind you and you can see the difference in the smoke output. And for being picky...mines not i have an empyer pro200 there is only one moving part on that forced air gasser. you clean out the tubes every 2 weeks which takes 10mins and remove the ash from the secondary burn chamber thats it...and mines a outside unit...fill it forget it..till the next fill....As for wood consumption...lol like i said my neighbor burns as much wood as i do and his house is 900sq. compared to my 2000sq house. As for wood size mine takes that same length 24-25" as reg. owbs. But to each there own I did alot of resurch and i went with a simply gasser with no moving parts and tubes that were easy to clean...unlike someothers on here lol where ya need to use a paper clip????check out empyer...i noticed that one wasnt on your list....just a happy owner of one...Hoogie
  23. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Huff, Next time we fire up Bertha I'll send you some fine Tennessee sipping shut up juice.Our holler was famously known as haunted...... to keep folks away from the still back in the day. Sure hope revenuers don't visit Hearth. Ah shoot... I probably just pissed off a revenuer now....
  24. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    If I could figure out how to get a picture off my cell phone I would surely post it up on this thread. It was a clear morning a few weeks ago and I snapped a picture of a CB 7260 that is on a farm about 2 miles away as the crow flies. The picture quality is cell phonish but you can clearly see that the smoke nearly obliterates a quarter section of land downwind. Brings new meaning to the word breathtaking........ ;)
  25. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    This statement is true. Once dealer stock of non EPA units is gone, no more can be sold or brought into the state. This should be a huge factor in anyone's decision making process. The dealers are going to have to push whatever their chosen brand is selling which complies and the customers are going to have to hope it works. A prudent person would go with something that has a long and proven track record rather than volunteering to be the guinea pig for the factory.

    I will however say once more that the EPA PhaseII testing is basically now acknowledged to be a farce at best and fraud and the worst. Buyer beware when purchasing one of these units.
    Go with something US made like Econoburn if you want a traditional style gasifier or Garn, the grand daddy of them all if you want storage with no muss, no fuss installation. Buy your boiler once, install it right and be done with it for 20+ years.

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