Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

brenndatomu Posted By brenndatomu, Feb 8, 2015 at 9:42 PM

  1. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Aug 21, 2013
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    Well there seems to be a ton of these things out on the market now (and building) and since they are marketed to DIYers I think it would be a good idea to try to consolidate questions, solutions, pictures and general helpful and/or interesting bits of info regarding the Tundra / HeatMax that the members here have, into one ongoing thread.
    Lets try to keep this more or less on topic and pizzin contest/product bashing free so as to keep this thread open, helpful, and ongoing for everybody.
    Like I said, pics are good, install details...especially on chimney and duct work, operational tips and whatever else that may apply here. Seasoned owners, newbies, and prospective buyers all welcome.
    There is no affiliation with Drolet/SBI here, merely trying to promote DIYer helping DIYer.
    Oh, and I don't actually own one, just facilitating some peoples interest in doing a thread like this...can I get some help here? Thanks!
    And awaaay we go!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Tip # 1. These thing don't like one year seasoned wood generally.
    Two years works much better, sometimes three depending on wood species and storage conditions
    Tip #2. If you are stuck with marginal wood, something that can help you get by temporarily is to supplement your firewood load with a little kiln dried wood such as framing cut offs (2x4s and such) or cut up an old pallet (what did you do with the one the furnace came on?) also adding a Eco brick (compressed sawdust brick) or two to the load works too.
    If you have really wet wood then that just won't work...
     
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  3. Wisneaky

    Wisneaky
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    Feb 8, 2015
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    So my house total is about 1100 sq ft. and my basement is about 800 sq ft. I have my tundra piped into my lp furnace plenum. I have a 19' chimney with a 6" duravent duraliner installed. I don't have any heat ducts in my basement, but my basement stays about 70-80 degrees. I have my Tundra hooked up to a thermostat and I keep it at 70 degrees. I had a my own issues with the tundra when I first got it. First the rod that controls the front damper was installed wrong so it didn't open. The damper door is a little bent and sometimes sticks, but I bent it back as close as I could get it. My furnace was one of the first couple hundred so the ash pan didn't have the fix in it. The vermiculite baffle up on top has cracked in half twice on me now, both times SBI replaced it, but when it is broke the thing doesn't heat worth a damn. I ordered the cold air return kit because the firebox wasn't getting hot enough, the cold air kit comes with a new thermodisc that is relocated on the top of the unit. I have back draft dampers installed in my two 8" rounds, but I have tried it both ways and found that the heat coming out of the vents is much higher when installed. I have tried every setting possible with the blower speed and my house heats the best when it is on the lowest setting and this also produces the least amount of coals. I have tried without a baro, with a baro, and with a manual damper and the best was has been the manual damper and this is the way I have it installed now. I get between 8-12 hours of heat with the way it is set up now. I learned really quick that the flue must be cleaned almost monthly. I went for almost 3 months my first time until I found out the tee was almost all the way blocked. I get about 4 cups of creosote out of it each month, but it is dry and flaky and not sticky. When I had the baro installed I did have sticky creosote in the baro. I use a moisture meter because this thing is really picky and needs dry wood. I also have a digital monometer to test flue drafts and I try to keep the draft around -.05 My themometer on the front of my furnace is usually 325-400 degrees. Vent temp in rooms is usually 125 degrees. I have checked outside pipe temp at about 300 and inside 650ish. Here are some pictures of my setup. WP_20140223_003.jpg WP_20140223_006.jpg WP_20140308_001.jpg WP_20140225_002.jpg
    Tips:
    #1 Dry wood. Buy a moisture meter
    #2 The right draft. Buy a manometer
    #3 Good thermostat. Recommend Honeywell focus pro 5000
    #4 Two thermometers. One for the front of the furnace and a probe one for the pipe.
    #5 Don't mess with it. Get a hot burning fire, I get my front thermometer up to 325 degrees, shut the damper and don't mess with it or put wood on it until atleast 8 hours later. If you put more wood on top it messes with the secondary burn and creates coals.
     
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  4. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Perfect first contribution, exactly what I had in mind to start things off, thanks W!
     
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  5. DoubleB

    DoubleB
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    A couple random thoughts...

    1. If I'm concerned that my wood might be on the moist side, I have a spare shiny piece of ductwork that I prop in front of (but not against) the glass door. I don't know how effective, but I tell myself that it reflects heat back in and helps ensure the secondaries stay going. Otherwise my concrete floor gets warm from the heat radiation, so it must do some good, hasn't failed yet. I only do that once the damper is closed, for fear of things getting too hot while the damper is open.

    2. I continue to be impressed that, once the damper shuts and secondaries are humming, I can put my hand on the black pipe outlet on the rear of the stove. I feel quite satisfied knowing that so many BTUs are staying in my house and not up the chimney.

    3. Again, since the exhaust is not scalding, it lets me stick my fingers in through my barometric damper to absorb any smells of the exhaust and let my nose be a combustion analyzer. Sounds silly, but I do it because the furnace lets me, and it helps trick myself into thinking I know what I'm doing...
     
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  6. NateJD

    NateJD
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    Feb 5, 2014
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    image2 (2).jpg View attachment 153091 I've been shopping and deciding for a year now. Ordered last week and picked up on Friday! Not installing until this summer. Need to line the chimney, tuck point the exterior, and pour a new cap. Over the past year I have read everything, including every page of the a-site discussion. I am happy to see they fixed the ash drawer problem and moved the snap disks. Very pleased with the quality of the unit. No stripped screws or broken baffles like I had read. Still trying to get 3 more guys to get it in my basement. Oh, and I have been cutting whatever I find for the last year and have about 5 cords css of oak, maple, cherry, locust, and some pine. Anyways, where and how do you folks attach your manometer? Specifically what kind of fittings do you use? Also interested in your ductwork and the whole static pressure thing. I will be building a completely separate system from the propane forced air system since it is made of duct board and flex lines. Looking forward to seeing everyone's installs.
     
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  7. trx250r87

    trx250r87
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    Nov 30, 2012
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    Located in Northeast Wisconsin I have a newer 1700+ sq' ranch w/13' open concept cathedral ceilings in main area, plus full unfinished basement. I personally installed 21' of Supervent 6" stainless double wall pipe and @6' double wall black pipe w/90*, straight up through inside of house and unheated attic, then penetrates roof near the peak. I previously had a Vogelzang Norseman 2500 installed in basement but hated it after owning it about a year. I found the Drolet Tundra on Craigslist last winter. It was only a couple months old and looked like new (and I saved $750).

    I sold the Vogelzang for close to what I paid for it and installed the Tundra. When it came to hooking up the Tundra, it was pretty much an exact swap. I did add a manual damper on my double wall black pipe because I felt my draft was too strong (later confirmed after purchasing Dwyer Mark II manometer). I ended up setting my fan speed to the highest setting and replacing the rear fan control snap disc with an adjustable White-Rodgers 3F05-3 set at 110* on/90* off.

    So far I installed the factory ash drawer update and had the damper motor fail. Both items replaced at no cost to me with parts sent by SBI (parent company of Drolet). I don't even bother with the ash drawer anyway.

    My only complaints are that the plenum leaks air all over, screws seem to get loose or strip out, and the fan blower vibrates a little. I think the fan is mounted to the airfilter box and not directly to the furnace.


    Eric
     
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  8. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    I'm sure it is helping to reflect some of the radiant heat. When questioned why they didn't offer a glass door for their Vaporfire furnaces, Kuuma said it would affect the insulated firebox temps too much, and ultimately their ultra high efficiency.
     
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  9. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    You can test draft any where between the furnace and any dampers in the pipe (manual or baro) Preferably not too close to any elbows, middle of a straight run is good.
    As far as connecting, there are many ways to do it, but one of the simplest methods is to get a piece of metal tubing 1' or 2' long that the rubber tubing that comes with the manometer will fit into or over. Drill a hole in the side of the stove pipe that the metal tubing will fit into snugly (but not too tight) and after bending the tubing into an S shape, it will just hang on the stove pipe. Pull it out occasionally to make sure it hasn't creosoted over on the end, that has cause me some "what the?!" moments in the past. The tubing is long enough to keep the rubber tubing from melting.
     
  10. DoubleB

    DoubleB
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    I was able to reach in through the removed outlet covers and wiggle some aluminum tape on the inside of the plenum to cover the backside of the lasercut "DROLET" emblem. That's where I was losing a lot of air. For those that haven't installed yet and are interested, it might be easier to do while all four outlets are unobstructed, instead of once two outlets are used.

    I also used aluminum tape to seal the transition between the blower and the plenum, as a guy had suggested on ASite.

    But yes, there are still other locations with air leaks.
     
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  11. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    I noticed in the manual it says " The furnace air jacket is not totally air tight. It is normal to detect some air leaks at the jackets joints" I'm sure it doesn't hurt to try to seal 'er up a bit though. For me I don't worry about duct leaks because it is still going into heated/cooled space.
     
  12. Wisneaky

    Wisneaky
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    I actually want it to heat my basement since I don't have any heat ducts down there.
     
  13. DoubleB

    DoubleB
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    Good point. For my installation, I don't have any basement heat registers either, my basement is leaky stone, 1/3 above grade, of course uninsulated, and the furnace still keeps the basement only 5 degrees cooler than the upstairs. Of course, the basement isn't living space, but plenty comfortable when I'm working down there, and I'm trying to get as much heat upstairs as I can. But it certainly makes sense in other cases to want some warm air in the basement.
     
  14. Wisneaky

    Wisneaky
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    I just want to keep my water pipes from freezing.
     
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  15. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Not an HVAC tech here, but I believe you can use your manometer. Here's a basic explanation I found online...

    "Static pressure is read with either a manometer or magnahelic gauge. These gauges read in "inches water column". Static pressure is the outward pressure on the duct. It's very similar to reading the pressure on a tire but in much lower pressures.

    The supply static is measured in the plenum. If this is a furnace with air conditioning, you should read the pressure before the coil. If there is no room, you can mesure it afterwords and deduct the pressure drop from the coil data sheet. The return is measured in the return duct before the OEM filter. If a aftermarket or special filter is used, you measure between the filter and the blower. The return static will be measured as a negative pressure.

    The system static, or external static ppressure is the difference between the return and supply static. So if you had say a -.25 return and a +.35 supply static, you would have a external static pressure of .60 inches water column. The external static is what the blower ratings use.

    The probe is simply inserted through a hole in the duct (make a hole and it is now called a test port)."

    Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/hvac/40l57-measure-static-pressure-ducts.html#ixzz3RIvHxlUP

    You can internet search measuring static pressure and there are plenty of vids on how to do it on youtube also.
    Oh, and I noticed in the manual that the .2 pressure recommendation is a minimum pressure
     
  16. The46Zone

    The46Zone
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    Does anyone know where i can purchase a backflow damper for my furnace, 20" x 20"? Can i special order one of these from yukon eagle site? Thanks any info would be appreciated as I start with my Tundra install.. thanks again

    Dave
     
  17. Wisneaky

    Wisneaky
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    I bought mine from Grainger. Check them out.
     
  18. roofyroo

    roofyroo
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    Is this still the case now you've been using this a while? Every month?
     
  19. laynes69

    laynes69
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    You shouldn't have to clean things monthly if operating correctly. I sweep mine once a month for my own piece of mind, but I only remove a couple cups worth of soot from our 32' chimney, compared to the 2.5 gallons I used to remove from the old furnace.
     
  20. Wisneaky

    Wisneaky
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    I get about 2-4 cups of soot a month. If I let that go for 3 months my tee would be plugged. So I do it monthly. Takes me 10 minutes to clean with my brush that I run up from the basement.
     
  21. JRHAWK9

    JRHAWK9
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    I got my Belimo powered one from Retrozone. They were awesome to deal with....
     
  22. DoubleB

    DoubleB
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    Here’s mine...

    Last fall I hired a contractor to install my Tundra as required by the insurance company. Contractor did nothing in the manner we agreed (configuration, clearance to combustibles, gravity flow, etc.). I have been operating the Tundra since November, but this past weekend I took all the ductwork out and started all over myself.

    I decided to keep the Tundra ductwork separate from the LP furnace ductwork so that I could achieve clearances to combustibles, avoid the a/c coil, avoid blower problems if both furnaces were on at the same time, etc. I had to make the Tundra plenum kind of funky angled to get it all to fit around the existing LP ductwork yet stay at least 6 feet high to avoid bonking my head. I’m fortunate that my old farmhouse has very generous headroom in the basement. I now have three 8” round ducts and one 6” round duct coming off the plenum, most of which are pretty short, so I seem to get lots of airflow on the factory setting (2nd speed).

    The contractors had originally used the front and back outlets. As you can see I now use the side by side outlets as recommended. I now know some reasons why: The front and back configuration had less air flow, was noisier air flow, and lopsided heat (front hot and back only warm).

    Chimney has stainless liner but not insulated, 37-feet tall. I have a barometric damper.

    I also have some moisture seep up under my basement floor in the exact spot I needed the furnace, so I put a sheet of plastic down, topped with cement board, to try to minimize risk of corrosion to the underside.

    I have some black soot going on the glass in the pictures. I'll ask about that in a different post.

    Tundra 3.png Tundra 4.jpg Tundra 5.jpg
     
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  23. The46Zone

    The46Zone
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    Dec 23, 2014
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    Hello all...

    As I begin with my Tundra install a couple of questions that I have (I definitely will have more!!!). I'm going to start with my chimney and going to drop a ss liner down it. My question is since my chimney is in the middle of my home and receives heat from the house except for maybe 12', should I insulate the liner or not. Chimney total length approximately 30'. thanks for your input

    Dave
     
  24. roofyroo

    roofyroo
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    Insulating the chimney liner is a yes if burning wood.

    I paid $950 for a 30ft liner and insulation (25ft and 5ft) from Supply House. I used the Z-flex kit. It was relatively easy to do seeing as I had no idea how to begin about 5 weeks ago. I taped my rope to the liner and had someone else help pull it down my chimney while I guided the top.

    Put your Tundra off the ground - breeze bricks (what the Brits call them - the grey things) you can get 4 for a $6.
     
  25. The46Zone

    The46Zone
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    B

    That looks amazing... Great job man, turned out awesome. Hopefully mine will look and operate like yours..
     

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