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Wife said I can buy a boiler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by IowaBrian, Dec 19, 2007.

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  1. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    NE Iowa
    Hello from the Ice Land of NE Iowa

    New to the board but I think I learned more in the short time I have been reading here then I have learned in the prior couple years going form site to site to site on the web.

    I was given the OK from the wife that I can get a boiler system that will go into the garage with a storage tank. Now the good news is that I was given the OK the bad is she thinks it doesn’t cost much :bug: but she doesn’t care as long as she gets to shop for something she wants. (I have to trade in her car and my truck and get a new SUV since with 2 kids it is harder to travel) This will give me the ammo to buy a new trailer to haul stuff with and I will be happy since I am about tired of lifting stuff into the bed of the truck.

    Now for what I want to do with the heating:

    The system will be for a 2500 ft2 2 story house and will also be taken to the next house that we will build in about 4 years. So everything has to be able to be removed without causing the destruction of the house. I am basing the system size on the current house since the new house will have a ton more insulation and should be minimum 20% more efficient maybe a lot more.

    Boiler and the tank will be in the garage and the tank will be a homemade giant insulated aquarium. The run from the garage to the basement will be short I have a attached garage and I can drill right into the floor joist (ceiling in the basement) area in the basement and I am in the mechanical room which is very big as mech rooms go in a house. The ceiling in the basement is unfinished so I can have runs to the main level with no problem. There is a heat run that goes from mech room to the upstairs straight shot to a large cold air return in the hall next to a wall so that run will be easy for my one baseboard heater on that level.

    I will have a couple baseboard heaters in the basement to keep the chill down in the man cave, one large baseboard in the hall of the upstairs to get it warmed up since that is a very cold part of the house right now and I will only be able to get one run to that level without a large construction project. It runs about 8 degrees colder then the main level which is ok for sleeping but the wife does complain when it dips below 60 and she is worried that the baby is going to freeze. The main level will have radiant floor in the living room, kitchen, dining room and bathroom or I will just put a baseboard in rooms and call it good since they are a lot easier to remove (and install) and more cost effective then leaving all of my plastic tacked to the bottom of the floor. Holly crap I forgot the heat for the garage have to have a heat in the garage, between the tank and the garage they will be the emergency dump in case the system wants to go nuclear. At the new house I will have driveway and walkway heat to melt off the snow and ice, and I think I will run that on a manual switch.(guessing I will make a nice skating rink when I turn the switch off, but what the heck)

    As for hot water I will try a sidearm on my unit or just find an indirect water heater or both :)

    I am going to start putting together my parts list so I can get a lot of the small stuff out of the way this winter(I know that you never get it all and I expect to spend a ton on all the things that I forgot to get but will have to have to get the system running).
    ******************************************************************
    The boiler will be a wood gasification unit looking for a summer deal since I am sure now isn’t the time to ask for any special pricing.

    The tank will be homemade rectangle with a pond liner and insulated.

    Now for small stuff: pumps, distribution blocks, valves, vents, pipe, T’s, temp gauges, stats, master control unit, baseboards, wire, Hx ………………………………….. beer, beer……..

    Right now I am in wood mode since the ice storm has given me plenty of large limbs that are now on ground level and many don’t have a way to get rid of them it is easy picking I can take the large stuff and the city will take the small stuff (it is a win win for everyone). If a person wanted to fill wood sheds they wouldn’t have to leave my neighborhood.

    Now I have a question for the pros: since I have an attached two stall garage if I place the boiler in the far corner from the house how tall does the stack have to be? Do I have to clear the roof of the house (or any structure close to the garage like the neighbors small house) or if I get it up 6 to 10 feet will that pass standard codes since it will be 15 feet or more from the house(mine and the neighbors)? I will post a picture this weekend since I am not home when it is light out to take a picture.

    Thanks to everyone

    Brian

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  2. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    306
    Loc:
    Adirondack Mountains
    Not to discourage you but for something you will heat with for three years (new house in four years, won't be working for this winter) this will be quite an undertaking labor and especially money wise. If you take the baseboards with you you'll have missing trim and holes in the floor, Garages aren't supposed to have wood boilers in them. Wouldn't you rather install a brand new system in your new house that is designed to meet all your needs there? would a nice woodstove in your existing house help you make it through till the new house is built and that can be left with the old house as a selling point? I love my boiler and encourage you to put one in your new house for sure. Maybe some members will disagree with me, but your looking at quite a project for the time you have remaining where you are and then to move it all. Again, I don't mean to rain on your parade but I would carefully weigh all the aspects of what you are looking to do.
  3. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    NE Iowa
    Not raining on anything here I don't mind the work and moving in 4 years might be a wishful thinking depending on the housing market, so the way I look at it what the heck it is time to jump in. I would love to have it inside but the wife said no(reason for no stove in the house right now) so I will just frame in a boiler room in the garage, that should help keep the city and the insurance company off my back, just need to make sure I have enough combustion air for it to operate. I haven't read anything on not putting them in a garage or shop, will I run into performance issues or is it more of not having a constant environment.
    The baseboards are no problem been around construction whole life and as much as I hate to do trim work I can make quick work of it with all the tools I own.

    I am thinking of this as a primer an expensive primer for bigger projects to come.

    Thanks
    Brian
  4. Tarmsolo60

    Tarmsolo60 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    306
    Loc:
    Adirondack Mountains
    I think it's more of a code issue. Performance should be fine as long as you make provisions for fresh air and freeze protection when not in use. Good luck with your project, Oh yeah and welcome to the forum!
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    5,840
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I had fun thinking about my installation and planning it, so I can appreciate your enthusiasm. And like you, I've found that sometimes longterm plans don't pan out, so that delaying something as potentially important as a wood boiler is something you might regret if the situation changes. Given the cost of fossil fuels, I'd say the sooner you can distance yourself from that, the better.

    And I know from my own DIY experience that you always wind up with the project you did--and the one you wish you'd done. So doing it once in your current house should give you a really good idea of what you want/need in your "dream" house. And I always really enjoyed shopping for components, even though I hate shopping in general--and had fun doing a lot of it on Ebay. So I like that part of your plan, too.

    Setting aside the garage issue for now--that's really a separate issue--let's dig into it.

    I'm not at all clear on what you are using for heat now. I got confused in your description between your plans for your existing house and the new one. So if you could tell us what you've got in the way of heat and hot water at the moment, we can start make suggestions.

    The code on chimneys is pretty clear. I think it has to be 3 feet above the roof and 2 feet above any thing within a 10-foot radius of the top of the chimney. Or something close to that.

    I've never been clear on the Code for woodburners in garages. As I understand it, a "garage" is a place where a car could theoretically be parked. If you frame in the garage doors on a garage and put siding over the framing, then it's not a garage anymore. If you're like many people and your garage is just a place to store junk, then maybe that's not a bad idea. And you can store a winter's worth of firewood in a typical garage and still have plenty of room for storage and workshop space. Imagine having a heated wood storage area outside your house. And if you put a small addition on an attached garage that's vented from the outside, then I'm not sure if that is OK or not. Those are things to consider.
  6. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    NE Iowa
    Thanks everyone

    I was thinking of framing in a boiler room that doesn't open to the house or garage, would require another door to the outside(would be door 3 not including the overhead). I know I read that somewhere that it was ok to do it that way but knowing my luck it is a no go for my area. That is why I came here to learn as much as I can and to help those that were like me and like to read and not post.

    What does the national code say for my idea, I know I read it somewhere.

    Found where I read it "Wood Boiler News" Fall 2007 Looks like it was in Maine that the wood police allow this.

    Thanks
    Brian
  7. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,247
    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Codes:

    For the chimney the basic code is as Eric said, minimum 3' above the point where it penetrates the roof and 2' above anything within 10' horizontally. For solid fuel fired appliances, I like to see a minimum of -.05" water column draft in order to keep the smoke in the firebox where it belongs. A good tall chimney of correct diameter will provide this. Think about a minimum of 12' of straight flue above the point where the breeching pipe enters the actual chimney.

    If you enclose the boiler in a small room make sure to provide a combustion air opening. The MINIMUM code requirement is 1 square inch per 1000btu input so for example if you have a wood boiler that's rated at 100,000 btu's, you need a 100 sq in opening. Again, this is the minimum and you never want the room to go into a negative pressure situation.

    AFA being in a room which is in the garage you are correct in thinking about locating the entrance to said room in a way that will not "communicate" with the garage itself. Lot's of code issues with open fire in a location where vehicles of any type are stored not to mention all the other chemicals typically found in a garage.

    It would be prudent to check with your insurance carrier to find out their "input", your local building code department will also have lot's of do's and don'ts. Expect a requirement of double 5/8" drywall in order to provide a two hour fire barrier.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    My 'boiler room' is a shed, detached by about 75' from the residence. But I used 1/2" Hardi (Durarock) on the inside walls of my shed. Not sure what fire code says about that, but I am sure the paper on sheetrock would flame before the fiberglass mesh in the Hardi.
  9. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NE Iowa
    I think you can just use fire rock since that is what you have to use between the garage and the house. I have seen new construction rooms that have blazed and as long as the fire doesn't have a way to chase up to another level modern building codes seem to contain most fires to the room. I am using a beedroom as example If you torch a big living room you are going to have more problems. It does amaze me how hot a small room fire can get and how objects like a chair can be burned to a cinder on top and the bottom 2 feet look fine.
    If I have a small room with fire rock and it catches on fire it should just be a big smoke bomb since the only fuel would be boiler now if it gets into the rafters I will need a new roof after that the FD should be there since the 2 stations are 1/2 mile away.

    Durarock on walls those are some heavy walls!!!!!!!!! Bet that was fun to put up. Guess it can double as a storm shelter.
  10. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Loc:
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    5/8" sheetrock is firecode in most areas, my boileroom is in my basement below my daughter's bedroom. A self closing class A fire rated door is usually required also. 5/8" drywall is heavier than Durarock because it's larger 4x8 at least, where Durarock is only 32-36x60", I'd rather use Durarock but I don't know if it's fire rated. As far as chimneys go, correct me if I'm wrong, but when I built my house the code was if the chimney was within 10' of the peak it had to be 3' above, if it was more than 10' away, it had to be 2' above the roof at the chimney's location.
  11. EForest

    EForest Member

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    Loc:
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    ACCORDING to MA State Building Code ch.3610.2.5 : Chimneys shall extend at least two feet higher than any portion of the building within ten feet, but shall not be less than three feet above the point where the chimney passes through the roof. There's another thirteen pages of code on chimneys for the great state of MA but I won't bore you with all that. I would guess that most states follow the same BOCA National Building Code but every state has there own tweeks. I would follow Heatermans advice and call your local building dept.
  12. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I also have seen some communities have there own regulations on fire doors, walls venting, and chimneys above and beyond the BOCA codes and some like mine have ......
    I called the HVAC dept and the head guy said and I quote " there are no specific rules on wood heating systems or boilers just make sure you have the MFG instructions when we come out to do the inspection and we will check to see it is installed according to the directions." ....... huh I guess the only important part is making sure the check clears.

    Sounds like a great idea to install , learn and then install even better the next time. Have Fun !
  13. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern Vermont
    I just installed a Tarm boiler in my 30x28 garage which is heated, insulated, and attached to the house with bedrooms above. I'm not sure of any code issues since there is no code enforcement in the state of Vermont that I'm aware of. I installed 5/8 inch sheetrock on all shared walls and the ceiling. I also installed a sprinkler above the boiler that will activate at 200 degrees, but I have no illusions that it will help if the boiler blows up.

    I put it in the garage because I wanted to be able to drive my firewood right to the boiler. There's no sense in handling wood more than necessary. It's stored in my barn and a pickup load every couple of weeks should be enough.

    If you are committed to heating with a wood boiler I suggest you install one in your current home, even if you move in a few years. One reason is that the cost of these boilers is going to continue to increase, they will never be cheaper than they are now. You will also learn what works and what dosn't work, and you'll be able to finetune the installation in your new house.

    Reggie
  14. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Loc:
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    Reggie, the statement you make about the boiler cost is certainly true, no item or product that helps keep costs down ever goes down in price. Since fuel is up, firewood costs here in LI, NY have gone through the roof to a point that would makeone say "what's the point?". Just my 2 cents.
  15. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

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    I wish I had it right now today it was cold and windy and spending all morning out with the snow blower was real fun :)
  16. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I hear you, wish mine was installed and firing right now. I can just see the little wheels of doom spinning as my gas furnace runs to keep the house warm.
  17. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Loc:
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    I hear you guys are really getting hammered out there with snow, how are the temps? Lately I haven't been able to run my boiler because it hasn't been cold enough. The weather here has been crazy, we go from around freezing, get rain/sleet, then gets colder and everything turns to ice, then warmer, it's nuts. This week it's supposed to be in the 40's, some leaves are still on the damn trees, the place is a mess.
  18. IowaBrian

    IowaBrian New Member

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    It was about 5 with 20 to 40 mph winds during the storm, went to the in laws yesterday and drifts were higher then the truck, today was 35 and sun.
    We have bad 2 big ice storms also I am about sick of removing the 2 to 4 inches of ice from the driveway so the snow was a lot better plus I got to run the snowblower. I have used over 200 pounds of salt so far this year, and I am about out. Next house WILL have driveway heater!!!!!!!!
  19. Grover59

    Grover59 Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    This year I spent $140.00 a cord all split and bocked at 16", I will heat the house and hot water most all year long with wood, there is no way I could do it as cheap with fuel oil. I almost went with a pellet stove and I really like them, however I knew that the price per ton of that stuff was going to go up and I also had to depend on someone else to make and ship the pellets to me. I have a lot in the next town that has enough wood on it to last me a few years if I so choose to cut it, and I don't have to rely on anyone but myself to get it. Where my house is right now if worse came to worse I could go cut up some blow downs on the small lot that would keep us warm for awhile. Yes wood is somewhat a pain in the butt to handle and burn but I can stay warm where others may not in certain circumstances.

    Steve
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