Can't get a hot fire

Beegee0131 Posted By Beegee0131, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:04 PM

  1. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    NE ohio
    I have a 120,000 btu hardy wood boiler...I bought it used and am not understanding why it only ever seems to have a small fire and not an inferno... it has a sealed blower that feeds thru the ash tray which seems to blow great. I can feel tons of air flow out the chimney when blowing w no fire in the box..I'm using seasoned split wood..have a clean ash tray.. but it only seems to make a fire that you would want to roast marshmallows on. What am I doing wrong?
     
  2. Sodbuster

    Sodbuster
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    Sep 22, 2012
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    Starving for air, poor draft, wood not as seasoned as you thought. Is this an outside boiler? Leaning toward wood.
     
  3. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
    339
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    Hmm. Very strange. I used to own one. It is about as simple as a mechanical pencil. The blower is commanded on by the aquastat which turns on the fan and opens the damper. Air blows through the tube to the location under the grate. It fans the fire and then makes its way out of the top and out of the flue. Can you lost a video?
     
  4. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
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    I agree with sod buster. Please describe your wood size, hardwood or softwood, rounds or splits. How’s your coal bed?
     
  5. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    I'll make a video tonight.. I keep my wood in a lean too that's enclosed on three sides and most of my wood has been in there since last season... I just feel as I'm the only one who has to split
    There wood into pencil thick wood, keep it under roof and kiln dry it before I put it in the wood burner.. this is my fourth season and it's been a struggle
     
  6. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
    339
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    You have been burning like this for 4 years? Possibly a very weak fan. Like I said I had an h4 and I had flue temps probably north of 1000 degrees. Very inefficient but the fire would burn like crazy. I burned green rounds to slow down the fire. It smoked like crazy because of the high moisture and lower firebox temps.
     
  7. salecker

    salecker
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    Aug 22, 2010
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    How are your boiler tubes? Have they been cleaned?
    On my Ecocnoburn there is a bypass you open when loading.Does yours have a bypass?
     
  8. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
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    This is a conventional owb not a owb gasser. It just is a firebox surrounded by water. No tubes.
     
  9. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    Correct this is an outdoor unit..I believe the majority of the wood I have is split cherry w other hard woods mixed in..the fan seems to blow great out of the chimney... and my coal bed forms underneath the log grate..it just has a hard time flaming up...I feel like I have what I need to make a great fire but for some reason it's small... idk of the chimney height made a difference .. it's 3' with a cap..I'll post pics and a vid when I get a chance..
     
  10. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    Tossing a 4 ft on there wouldn't hurt, you can get a piece of the cheap single wall stuff just for the try out. 1 year usually is not sufficient to dry fuel out even splits small. Particularly if it tightly stacked in your shed- needs air flow through the stack to carry away the humidity.
     
  11. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    NE ohio
    It seems everyone I know that burns... burn without splitting or just stack it at the wood boiler letting it get wet and snow covered..or even burn green.... if I open their OWB door, flames jump out and they have an incinerator inside.
    Is this not typical? Every one on here let's their wood season for several years? Keeps it dry?
     
  12. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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  13. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    WE are well aware of the poor practices exhibited by many owb burners, i guess they enjoy having creosote running down the pipes and burning or trying burn twice as much wood as needed.
    q#1 don't know
    Q2 yes
    Q3 yes
    Properly season and dry wood will give twice if not more heat per cubic ft than green wet wood simply because you are not wasting 2/3 of the energy per log drying out the rest in the fire chamber. You are allready at a disadvantage having the firebox wrapped in a wet blanket sucking the heat out of the fire. It's not that I am against owb's just the poor practices of some which spoils it for the rest of us, like me- my town has a ban on OWB's which would have been perfect to heat my new to me home out in the sticks. Just payed to fill the 500 gallon propane tank $492 for a little less than 300 gallons. $1.69/gal + charges. Not Thrilled- as that is more than I spent on NG over the last 3 years. It is what is, but it is going to change, stoves will be installed asap, A pair of NC-30's are a ballooning image in my mind. Although my wallet is not going to like the effect. And that standing pilot light AO Smith ( 75 gal) water heater is going south as well. A 50 is big enough for me and perhaps a point of use unit for the kitchen sink
     
  14. Fred61

    Fred61
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    Nov 26, 2008
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    In order for wood to burn efficiently it should be burning in it's own coal bed. You mentioned that the coal bed is forming under the grates. If it's set up to burn wood there shouldn't be any grates.

    At the beginning of the oil crises a local plumber installed a boatload of Newmac wood furnaces in this area and several were experiencing what you describe. They only had coal grates. I took care of the problem for two friends that had them by laying a 1/4 inch steel plate over the grates. On the first one I drilled several 3/8 in. holes in it and on the second one I made it about 3 inches shorter than the firebox to allow the air through.
     
  15. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
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    Don’t worry about the flue pipe, it’s forced draft so it won’t make a difference. Sounds like your grates are letting all the coals fall through the grate. What do you have for grates? The oem ones are cast iron with 1 inch gaps. Have they been replaced?
     
  16. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
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    Apr 14, 2013
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    As blades said #1 don't know, #2 yes and #3 yes. Read this very informative article concerning firewood moisture content. http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-and-moisture/
     
  17. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    Had a hot blast furnace with big grate slots- never had a problem getting a hot fire- most of time sweating it out that the automatic damper would jam wide open and cause over fire- which seemed to be its preferred position. fact is i sealed that damper off and just used the spin damper on the ash door. Major improvement to my sanity at the time.
     
  18. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    Sorry tried posting a video of my fire.. didn't work... I did get that pic of my wood to post yesterday... I'm just going w I have junk wood and need to do way more to my logs to get my OWB to heat my house as good as my oil furnace..as much time as I have in firewood currently I'd be better off getting a second job and paying for oil.
     
  19. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
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    Are you a quitter? It is easy to be discouraged and give up trying. Unfortunately there is no satisfaction in that direction.

    Stick it out and get the win. Is it possible there is a pinhole leak in the firebox/waterjacket that is wetting your fire? This may not be evident at cooled temps. Did you restrict the grate?

    Are you expecting too much? Does it heat your home? If you are beyond your abilities, hire a professional.
     
  20. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    pin hole when warmed up - now there is a sneaky one-a fine mist from something like that sure would give you fits. Are you losing water ? if you have a gauge to tell or a dip stick . With a good light and a cool firebox might be able to pick up on a weep mark . random thoughts
     
  21. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    NE ohio
    No I work dark to dark.. this weekend will be my time to restrict the grate. I don't think there is a pin hole being that it holds water for long periods of time with no problem. Idk if I'm asking for too much... right now it's just a smoldering fire.. does it get to temp.. yes eventually...but my furnace blower has been blowing all day and my house temp will not move past 70 when it's set to 72.... would my oill furnace have a problem reaching temp.. no... I have had 3 diff OWB guys come out.. one said my heat exchanger was my prob.. being it's rated 140k btu and boiler at 120k btu..others said that was a croc... second said my water pump shouldn't run all the time it should only send water to the house when the house was calling for heat... which it always is, so I don't see how that matters...third said my fire wasn't getting hot enough and blamed my blower... new blower and I made sure the air passage was completely sealed...all I want is it to heat a 1600sqft house..my oilfurnace can do it no prob but this thing will not. If a fire goes out in the middle of the night and I am able to get the boiler back to temp but the house has fallen into the low 60s.. no way in heck will the OWB get the house backup to temp in less than 24 hours.
     
  22. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    NE ohio
    Sorry... to clarify the pin hole... I fill this thing manually w a hose or 5 gallon buckets... when it's not in use it holds water no problem w me not needing to add any water..would it only leak when I had a fire?
     
  23. pernox

    pernox
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    Oct 10, 2015
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    First year here all I had was wet wood - cut on Sunday, burn for the week, repeat. Starting a fire was hard, but the boiler (Woodmaster 4400) would do her thing once the fire started rolling, and never had trouble keeping the house - about 1700' - warm. Since then I've busted hump to get ahead and life is easier.

    While it remains a bad idea, the boiler should be more than capable of running on wet wood. First thing I'd do is ditch the grate, next would be to make sure your fan is performing well, even if it's new. Not sure exactly how you'd measure that, but that's what I'd look at.
     
  24. Beegee0131

    Beegee0131
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    Dec 6, 2017
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    Loc:
    NE ohio
    Before I started a fire.. I had great air pressure coming outta the stack with the fan blowing... def gonna try removing the grating tomorrow... and if I have to kill the fire to do so I'll check the air flow again
     
  25. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Aug 21, 2013
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    Does the wood burn up into a fine ash readily? If you often have a bunch of black unburnt chunks I'd say the wood is wet...but what you posted the pic of does look to be well seasoned...
    What happens you have the door open for a while...does the fire flare up? How about if you throw in some kiln dried lumber scraps? Those should burn like wild fire!
     

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