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  1. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    It didn't get as low last night (+8) as that couple of days back a bit (-5) but it was certainly more windy last night. Anyway, I'm still not sure what happened. . .

    While it was still kinda' warm, I let the coals burn down quite low. Too low, apparently, considering momentum. So over night Sat the house cooled down a bit, and the GW didn't want to make 180. So before I went away Sunday morning, I placed the best large round red oak I could find on the fire and left. About 4 hours later I was thinking to myself as I drove up my road, "Hmm, some wisps coming from the chimney, she must have caught up and the dampers closed. Well . . . the house was now 63 and I was pissed. I plugged the oil burner in and let it finish off 4 of 6 zones and take the DHW to the max. While it was running I inspected my so called fire. It looked like every piece of oak that I had put in was glowing, but none of them seemed to have burned up much. I went around to the back of the GW and poked a piece of copper pipe down each one of the inlet tubes to try to make sure we were getting air. I can't really see them very well without burning my neck on the stove pipe, so I just went by feel. Anyway, I went back in the house and unplugged the burner. A little while later, I bumped the aquastat up to 190 . . . and the GW has been stellar since the whole episode.

    What bugs the crap outa me is I don't know if the air intakes were actually blocked, or this other theory of mine that the box was down so far say 145, that with the heat load on it, it couldn't catch up since it was burning inefficiently (note wispy smoke with damper open). Once the oil gave it a break, the GW could get hot, started burning efficiently, and then with the higher aquastat setting, it has just been humpin' away since. And now it seems that it cleans up within 1/2 hour of a new load, which is faster than it ever did before.

    Don't know what happened, but I like it. I hope no one else is having trouble during this little cold snap!

    Jimbo

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  2. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    Lafayette IN -BoilerMakerCountry
    Sorry about your trouble Jim.

    63 is getting too cold
    I refuse to believe that it is the boiler design. I really thought Jim you would have one of the best desiged stoves on this board.
    I hope your covered from here on. I mean its the reason you bought a wood fired boiler
  3. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    yes i should clean out my air intakes also. i have noticed that with it this cold 0 to 10 above i need to reload every 5 hours or so. we keep the house at 68 but we face due north and the wind has been howling quite a bit from that way.
  4. barnartist

    barnartist Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    574
    Loc:
    Jerusalem, Ohio;
    I know Ive had more trouble restarting also during this cold. Even with good coal bed, If I get behind its hard to get back. Im about 6-7 hours on a load.
  5. sparky1961

    sparky1961 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    maine
    Air intake holes are very important that they are hot clog with ashes . The boiler will have a had time coming up to temp. It was -34 below zero here in northern maine 1/21/08 . I can get a 10 hour burn when i fill it with 10 to 12 inch wood my greenfire loves that size wood. Works very well!!!
  6. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    just like us they need the air to breath. where are you in maine? must be up by fort kent or houlton . it was on the news this am they were the cold spot today.
  7. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    Lafayette IN -BoilerMakerCountry
    Even slow/crappy fire starts are better than 2k heating bills, so I guess you endure.
  8. sparky1961

    sparky1961 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Loc:
    maine
    I live in fort kent it was another cold morning - 8 below thur is goning to be one of the coldest so far -27 below . my greenfire boiler work great don't have to use any oil!!!!
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Yeah, I didn't/don't think the problem was a design one. I just want to know WHAT the OE is. After that whole insident, the house and the GW had done STELAR!! I bumped up the slope on the Viessmann one point. I also swithched the heating circuit that didn't seem to go through the mixing station (it doesn't give a supply temp when you go through the display) over to DHW only. Ever since those changes and the aquastat reset to 190, every zone has been at stat setting. Until this morning . . .

    For whatever reason (shrinking wood pile one possibility) I decided to put some pine and a bit of somewhat punky white birch on the fire at 5AM. When I got back from walking the dog aroun 7:30, I knew we were headed for trouble again. This time I didn't wait, but plugged the oil in for one cycle. Though the air tubes were fully clear, the fire was less than ideal. So I says to myself,"What is different now that he past couple of days when things were going beautifully?"

    1)I got cheap with my fuel
    2)I also tried getting some of the chacoal at the front of the box pushed to the back to burn up, and
    3)I had to PackMySuitcase last night

    Assuming the PMS has nothing to do with this situation, and assuming I go back to selecting the oak,maple, cherry mix, what about the coal bed?

    One of the reasons I think I have been pushing to much wood through the GW is the huge charcoal bed. I haven't had the GW down to where I could see the bottom of the box in months, but it doesn't seem to me that I should have a charcoal bed that is higher than the air inlet tubes, not even close. While raking around this morning, I have found whole lengths of rounds buried down in the charcoal bed. Seems to me that I have too much ash mixed in from over fueling which is causing the coals at the front of the box to extinguish. I want to let it burn down, rake and charcoal and live coals to the back, clean out the ash, then spread the live coals back out. Seems to me though that every time I remove stuff, it takes like a day and a half to get back, and since it is supposed to be cold tonight and single digits tomorrow, today might not be the best time to pull this experiment. Specially considering the Suitcase . . .
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Oooooh. Packed the suitcase, huh? Sorry to hear that, bro. Happens to the best of us, usually out of the blue. That explains the 5:00 a.m. business.

    Hey, check out my thread "Old School Metal Chimneys" in the Hearth Room, Jimbo. Tell me if you recognize them.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/14308/
  11. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    ya i have the same problem . huge bed of coals ash ect. i thik iwill shovel out as much as i can to just leave a good coal bed.i dot know why it wont burn down to ash.
  12. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Actually, I am developing a theory . . . I think the ash is actually a substantial part of the mass which holds the heat. Generally you will notice that the ash glows when raked. Anything red (unless its blood) should be left in the box. I try to remove the ash 'bricks' that seem to form underneath the air intakes.

    My evolving idea for an improvement . . .

    What if there was a cast iron grate that sat directly on the bottom of the firebox. If it pivoted at the corner where the bottom and the back of the box meet, you could raise the back of the grate up above the bottom of the feed door. This would allow you to pull the ash to the back of the box for removal. Obviously you'd have to let the fuel burn down to do this as the procedure would actually lift the whole fire up. It would also have the effect of moving the remaining coals to the front of the box, which is where they need to be.
  13. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    710
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    i use a square edge shovel to move the them around and to remove them. and that is what i have to do today, after i feed the barn critters and clean the barn. you know manuare happens!
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