Choosing a reliable indoor epa certified wood boiler- HELP!

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Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
365
Manitoba
How long has the G3 model been out. How reliable is it? what is the company support like or do they dump your over to the local place where you purchased the unit?

Portage & Main has been around for many years about ~40 off the top of my head, they own Polar Furnace. The G-class series has been sold since 2011.

The g3 and g2plus owners I spoke to were very happy and didn't have any complaints and are impressed with the efficiency and ease of use. One boiler is 6 year old and the other is 4 years old with no wear points that stuck out.

After looking at one in person I knew they are built like a tank and meant to last. The firebox being 304SS also sold me. No worries about corrosion failure.

Like a previous member stated they are based off a Froling design which is also another proven reliable boiler.

If your installing one indoors you will want a boiler with good smoke extraction. Nothing worse than stinking up a garage with smoke. That I don't have a problem with anymore after I upgraded to a Polar.
 

E Yoder

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2017
578
Floyd, VA
I didn't realize Polar was using stainless now. That's interesting, there's not much mild steel used in fireboxes anymore on the outdoor style boilers.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,394
NE Ohio
304SS also sold me. No worries about corrosion failure.
No corrosion maybe...but 304 can be somewhat prone to cracking when used inside the firebox...doesn't like heat cycles real well.
409 would be much better...
 
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Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
365
Manitoba
No corrosion maybe...but 304 can be somewhat prone to cracking when used inside the firebox...doesn't like heat cycles real well.
409 would be much better...

That was my question aswell but they are using 3/16 thick 304SS that hasn't been an issue or else you would hear more about it. Especially since 304SS is commonly used in vehical exhaust which reach very hot temperatures and cooling changes.

And 409SS is prone to weld zone corrosion and is a harder metal to weld.

Also remember Downdraft gassers don't get hot inside the firebox (Only smoke and creosote). The heat happens inside the refactory Vortex chamber.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,476
Northern Canada
Here is a snippet from the manual
The boiler Heat Exchanger must be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year. This consists of cleaning the Heat Exchanger tubes of accumulated soot and ash with a wire brush (Figs. 13 & 14) TO CLEAN THE HEAT EXCHANGER FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE:
1. REMOVE BACK AND TOP PANEL OF THE BOILER.
2. CUT INSULATION TO EXPOSE TOP CLEAN OUT.
3. REMOVE 1/4” STEEL TOP COVER PLATE.AND REAR FLUE PLATE.
4. DISCONNECT THE TURBULATOR ROD BY REMOVING THE NUT AND BOLT WHICH AFFIXES IT TO THE TURBULATOR SHAFT.
5. REMOVE THE TURBULATOR ARMS BY GRASPING THE TURBULATOR CONNECTING ROD AND LIFTING THEM OUT OF THE HEAT EXCHANGER.
6. USING A STEEL BRUSH, REMOVE ANY SOOT AND ASH BUILDUP FROM THE TURBULATOR ARMS AND BRUSH OUT ANY SOOT & ASH FROM THE HEAT EXCHANGER SHAFTS.
7. BRUSH OUT THE SOOT AND ASH FROM THE ASH CHAMBER.
8. REPLACE 1/4” STEEL TOP COVER PLATE AND REAR FLUE PLATE MAKING SURE ALL CONNECTIONS ARE TIGHT, SEALED WITH A HIGH TEMPERATURE SILICONE.
Again...
I have been using my boiler for 11 years
It takes about 2 hours to clean it
All i have to remove is one plate with 2 nuts and the the turbulators come out
about 15 miniutes per flue and i put the turbulators back in.
There is no silicon on the plate from the factory.
If you don't believe the real world users,then you shouldn't waste your time reading on Hearth.
Just go buy whatever and learn the hard way.
Nobody ever tells you what is actually the truth.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,394
NE Ohio
Especially since 304SS is commonly used in vehical exhaust
Nope, 409.
304 is out there, but 409 much more common...I used to work at a mill that makes it...keeping the 409 rolling out the door made me a bunch of money! They made other grades too, but 409 was a big one.
 
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Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
365
Manitoba
Nope, 409.
304 is out there, but 409 much more common...I used to work at a mill that makes it...keeping the 409 rolling out the door made me a bunch of money! They made other grades too, but 409 was a big one.

304ss and 409ss are both common and it all comes down to price. 304 is 3x the cost but still very popular due to aesthetic, corrosion resistance and ease of welding...

409 is 90% Iron and needs annealing... It is also ferromagnetic.
While 304 is non-ferromagnetic a magnet won't stick to it.

409 is the resonator while 304 is the pipe.
Screenshot_20210326-113622_Gallery.jpg
 
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3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
1,004
South Central Minnesota
Nope, 409.
304 is out there, but 409 much more common...I used to work at a mill that makes it...keeping the 409 rolling out the door made me a bunch of money! They made other grades too, but 409 was a big one.

The aftermarket exhaust folks like 304 because they can polish it and make it pretty. 409 is common with OEM exhaust for better corrosion protection vs mild steel and I'm guessing it's cheaper than 304. IMHO.
 

Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
365
Manitoba
The aftermarket exhaust folks like 304 because they can polish it and make it pretty. 409 is common with OEM exhaust for better corrosion protection vs mild steel and I'm guessing it's cheaper than 304. IMHO.

Also I guess here in Cunnuck ville 304 is common because our roads are salted very heavily.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,394
NE Ohio

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
851
Central Ohio
Nope, 409.
304 is out there, but 409 much more common...I used to work at a mill that makes it...keeping the 409 rolling out the door made me a bunch of money! They made other grades too, but 409 was a big one.
Interesting article, I didn't realize SS "rusted".
 
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Joncombat

Member
Dec 28, 2018
34
Danbury ct
Again...
I have been using my boiler for 11 years
It takes about 2 hours to clean it
All i have to remove is one plate with 2 nuts and the the turbulators come out
about 15 miniutes per flue and i put the turbulators back in.
There is no silicon on the plate from the factory.
If you don't believe the real world users,then you shouldn't waste your time reading on Hearth.
Just go buy whatever and learn the hard way.
Nobody ever tells you what is actually the truth.
My main issue with econoburn is they are not listed on the EPA website. I will not be able to legally install it in my town.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,394
NE Ohio
Interesting article, I didn't realize SS "rusted".
Certain grades can...or any of it will if iron gets on it...like cutting carbon steel next to SS using an abrasive wheel, those sparks that land on the SS if left there will rust post haste...and then it just spreads! Still won't rust as bad as plain steel though.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,476
Northern Canada
My main issue with econoburn is they are not listed on the EPA website. I will not be able to legally install it in my town.
Yes their testing was messed up by covid.
Testing facility in Canada...
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
I was looking at the S3 Turbo 50 (BTU's are on the low side for my needs), Econoburn (yearly maintenance requires you to cut through insulation, scrape caulking to clean heat exchanger). Looking into the Polar G3 and vedolux lambda 650.
Storage tanks are expensive. Any recommendations on manufacturers/models. I have seen many low cost propane tank conversions.

That heat load estimate sounds pretty high to me. Maybe you should run a heat loss calc on your own and see what you get? My 2700 sqft 2 story is in the 30'skbtu/hr area. Is the garage you want to heat the same garage the boiler will be in? Standby loss should help there.

You might be up against it a bit wanting to use hot air heat, with storage. That usually requires much hotter supply temps. So your storage wont be fully utilized. But dont know your total system design. That alone might make something like a Polar or Heatmaster the way to go. I would have no qualms trying to heat that much area with the S3, but it would need tied to lots of storage and use mostly lower temp radiation.

Batch burning to storage also requires making a new fire every day. Maybe 2 on cold days. Not a concern to me after seeing the efficiency gains, but could be to some.
 
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TCaldwell

Minister of Fire
If your looking for the tax credit, I’d suspect your pulling permits for the install, not sure if modified propane tanks will be ok with the bldg inspector.? They are the lowest cost alternative to a certified tank and can be bought with your modifications (pressure tested) but not certified from a outfit in Pa.
Since your emitters are at opposite ends of temp requirements, have your hvac guy research a low water fan coil for your forced air, this will determine the viability of storage.
Honesty I wouldn’t rule out a garn just because you need a access port, they are retesting shortly, the cost is no different from a downdrafter with external storage in the end and a lot less complex.
 
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