Fahrenheit F50 installation has begun

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Feeling the Heat
Nov 23, 2005
West Michigan
Warning: This first entry is going to be kinda long.

I managed to get some stuff done on the installation of the Fahrenheit furnace I picked up off Craigslist last week. I spent a bit of time cleaning it up while it was still in the garage, mostly vaccuming fines out of the hopper and removing various pieces and parts so I could get it down my basement stairs. The extended hopper had to come off, as did the door, cold air return, intake tube and firebox door handle. The less damage I'd do to the walls going down the basement stairs, the happier the wife would be.

I hit it with the air compressor and blew the dust bunnies out of the heat exchanger tubes, blowers, you name it. Good thing there was a stiff south wind yesterday. The dust cloud blew right out of the garage. After that, it was off to the local hardware store to rent an appliance dolly. Best $15 I spent yesterday. Made a phone call to a buddy of mine, and we were ready to go.

To say its difficult getting large items in and out of my basement is an understatement. I had to remove the door that comes in from the garage to the top of the stairs and remove the handrail going down the steps. I measured a few different times and thought I'd have enough room. I was short by an inch as I hadn't factored in the size of the wheels on the appliance dolly. Getting it down the stairs was easy, until we got to the bottom. Once we got to the bottom of the steps, the furnace was up against the wall and the wheels of the dolly were still on the steps, rolled about a third of the way down the last step and it wasn't going forward or backwards. 350 pounds or so was hanging in the air about 4 inches off the landing at the bottom. A few minutes of thinking and head scratching and we came up with a solution that included wood scraps, landscape pavers and a floor jack. We jacked the unit up, slid some pavers under it to give it something to rest on at the front side, then jacked it up some more. My buddy got the dolly out and the unit was perched on the floor jack and board, with the landscape pavers holding the front side. We let the floor jack down, pushed forward on the furnace, removed the jack, strapped it to the dolly and moved it to the other side of the basement, which was uneventful.

After returning the appliance dolly, I pulled off the exhaust housing and combustion blower. It was a bit plugged up in there. The vanes on the combusion blower blades were caked with about 1/8" of soot. I'm guessing it had been a while since it was cleaned. The original owner gave me the extra new gaskets he had, so I buttoned it all back up after things were cleaned. That was enough for one day. Miller time had come.

This morning I made a trip to Menards, the first of two for the day. Today was the last day of their 20% off bag sale, so I crammed in all the little pieces I needed for electrical and what not. I ran the electric to the wall behind where the unit will sit and measured a few more times before marking the hole where the vent pipe is going to go. I borrowed a big Hilti hammer drilll from work and went to town. Didn't take too long to get through both sides and see daylight, along with a cold blast of air. A bit of finesse with a hammer and chisel and I had a round hole the pipe fit through with a bit of rise to it was well. I plugged the hole with insulation and moved to the next task - the hole for the OAK.

I must admit that I am a sinner and do not have an OAK on my pellet insert. It wouldn't be hard (a 12 foot run straight up the chimney). I just never did it. The manual for the Fahrenheit says that outside air is mandatory, and I figure there is no time like the present to "do it once and do it right". I marked the hole for the OAK, drilled, got another view of daylight and a blast of cold air, spent some more time with the hammer and chisel, hit my left hand with the hammer a couple times, then packed the OAK hole with insulation too. I was told by my wife that under no circumstances will she assist with the removal of any animals that get into our basement by way of those holes.

What I haven't mentioned as of yet is the the top of my foundation wall sits about 2 inches above grade. The exterior of the house is brick which sits right on top of the foundation blocks. I didn't want to have to put a hole in the brick, plus it would be a PITA to get a thimble between the sill plate and the subfloor, not to mention I'm paranoid enough that I don't want my vent pipe being very close to wood if it doesn't have to be. I dug down a couple feet and installed a steel window well. Digging is easy in January when only the top three or four inches of ground is frozen. You can see in the pic that the top of the vent pipes and OAK will be a couple inches below grade. I'm going to pick up a bag of gravel and put it in the bottom of that window well just for the heck of it. I'll have to remember to clean the leaves out of that in the fall, but I do that with the other basement window wells already.

The "window well" where the vent and OAK come out starts about 12 inches to the left of a window well for the room where the furnace will live (when standing inside the basement). The install docs mention that the vent has to be 4' from a window opening. There are two bedroom windows to the right and left of where the vent will be and both are more than 4' away. The basement windows are glass block, so I assume that the 4' part isn't all that important as that isn't an operational window. The vent is about 38" to the left of that window. It was the best that I could do with what I have to work with.

My vent pipe specifies 1" clearance to combustibles, and I'll have right around 2.5" between the top of the pipe and the sill plate as it exits the house.

The second trip to Menards was to get some duct work so I can extend my cold air return line a few feet. I got what I needed but ran out of energy. Time to sit back and relax for a bit.

I'm waiting for Santa Claus (AKA the UPS guy) to bring me a few more pieces and parts. If all goes according to plan, I should have everything I need by the end of the week. The goal is to have it ready to go next weekend. Problem is, its supposed to be nearly 50 degrees next weekend. This reminds me of the year when I bought a new snowmobile. After I got it home it warmed up and rained for 3 weeks.

I'll post more as I continue to make progress.



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Reactions: smoke show
That looks awesome..

Hope the clean up job helps it breathe better... It had been awhile since the PO cleaned it.

What is "Santa" bringing you??

Congrats again, man.. You stole that thing!! :)
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Thanks Dex. Santa is bringing a backdraft damper and some 10 inch duct start collars. Nothing fancy but it was easier to order that online than to hunt around town for it, especially with the way my work weeks have been lately.
Did you talk with them about the Sail Switch?

Thats a cheap part, that will help tremendously. The manifold is costs more, but the sail helped more in my opinion.

The factory one only opens 50% when running, which is already like having the damper 50% closed. The new one swings open 100%.

Anyways. Congrats bro. Your gonna love it. I love mine. Love it :)

Nothing like Even Heat in every room.

I talked with Mark on Friday. My furnace is the manual ignition model and has a different burn pot than the auto ignition models. Mark mentioned that mine should be OK as is. I didn't even know there was a manual and automatic ignition model but he knew exactly what it was when I gave him the serial number.
There have been several different renditions. The last one (one after mine) completely re-did the exhaust path and heat exchange system.

I have never ran mine in Fuel-Mizer (On/Off) I always run in Manual now (sometimes T-stat or known as high/low) . So I really don't need the auto light. Its convenient to push a button, but a 1/4 of Super Cedar (Best Firestarter ever) and hitting the On button would work to.

Its a furnace. So I want it to run.. My Quad gets used in the shoulders. When its Cold (Now) the Furnace takes the Cake :)

Looking forward to install pics. Some of your install pics look just like mine ;)
Not a whole lot of movement lately. I have all the ductwork now. However, Selkirk 4 inch elbows are apparently made of unobtanium. None available locally, on backorder everywhere I checked. If all goes well I might have the last piece I need Monday. I can get the OAK connected, but I can't do a whole lot more until the last 90 comes.
They were on back order there as well.

I ordered all my venting from Northline Express, but the last few pieces were on back order. I got an email from them a bit ago and it looks like I'll have everything tomorrow. The parts are on a Fed Ex truck somewhere between Cadillac and wherever the next stop is.

I can't say enough good about Northline's customer service. They were great about digging up the parts last minute and getting them shipped today.
Have always been a fan of NLExpress. I have spent quite a few dollars on that site/store.

Looking forward to your throughts. :)
FYI I do have some parts for these units such as hopper extension, circulation defuser, cold air box, and a part or two laying around. Email me.

The Fahrenheit is up and running. The last pieces of vent pipe I needed arrived yesterday (thanks to the good folks at Northline Express). Last night I assembled the exhaust vent and got the joints sealed with high temp RTV and screwed together so it would be cured and ready for the test burn today.

I got an early start this morning and assembled the outside pieces. That didn't take too long to get done, nor did assembling the OAK pieces. I don't know how to count very well, so it was back to the hardware store for another 3" elbow for the OAK. I couldn't ask for a better January day (partly sunny and 54 degrees) to be outside getting that done. I figured it would be 15 degrees and windy.

Afterwards it was on to the ductwork. Anyone who is a sheetmetal worker or HVAC ductwork specialist has my utmost respect. Getting things lined up and assembled was a bit of a challenge. Johnson and Johnson made a few bucks today off me. I used more than a few band aids. I put a smoke detector in the furnace room (wireless Kidde unit tied to the other three in the house, when one goes they all go, sounds like someone hit the jackpot at the casino).

I loaded up a couple bags of Pro Pellets (still room for at least 2, maybe 3 more bags with that extended hopper). My first attempt at lighting it was a failure. I didn't put enough pellets in the burn pot when I lit it so I got the "number 2" error (no proof of fire). The second attempt was a success. I couldn't figure out why the blower was running but no air was coming out the ducts. Didn't take long to figure out that when I screwed the hot air duct to the backdraft damper that two of the screws were keeping the damper flaps closed. Took those screws out and all was well. I moved them so they don't interfere with the flaps. No smoke smell in the basement while it was running, which I was happy about.

First impressions: It's quiet. The Fahrenheit running on high is no louder than my 6041 running on low. I'd left the heat off in the house today and it was 64 when I lit it off. It didn't take too long to jump to 66, and the best part about that is that it was 65-66 in the whole upstairs, not just the living room where the 6041 lives. I had to adjust some dampers in the ducts as the bedrooms were getting too much warm air. That will be a work in progress over the next few days.

Tomorrow I need to put the backdraft damper in the oil furnace plenum. I have the cold air return blocked off on the oil furnace so I'm not looping the hot air through the furnace. I didn't feel like tackling that tonight. I also plan on hooking it up to the thermostat tomorrow. I think the 6041 is going to go back to "no thermostat" mode, Gotta figure out where I put the jumper when I hooked the stat up to that.

After 3 hours of running I shut it down for the night and made a fire in the wood eater. I want to get the backdraft damper in the main furnace plenum, and I want to get a few more hours run time on it before I let it run overnight. It's got to earn my trust, which I'm sure it will. :)


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LOL.... "Did I do something wrong"!! Ha..

'Yep, I am jealous. What a beautiful install. You did well.In the install and cost ($1,000 for a Fahrenheit?!?!!).

Good job, you should be proud.
Thanks Dex. There are a few things I'd have like to do differently but I didn't have a whole lot of options. I'd have liked it to be more centrally located in the house, but that wasn't possible with venting requirements, vent clearance requirements around windows and an indoor oil tank.

I'd have liked to have it closer to the rear wall to have a shorter horizontal run, but I wanted to easily get to all sides of it for service.

And lastly, I wish the hot air duct could take a different path. I bashed my head on it at least 5 times today. It doesn't help that I'm 6'4". I hit my head on lots of things, so I'm kinda used to it. I'm sure I'll do it again as I have to duck under it to get to the control panel.
Mine comes out a lot Lower than yours.

I have wanted to re-do mine. But it works and works well.... So I leave it alone

Here is a pic to compare my Sub par install (cold air return is not hooked up because of Wood eater) to your Professional looking install.

How many Lbs does the hopper extension add to the hoppers full load? Eric has one and I may consider if it adds another couple bags.

Leaving this weekend, and i love to have the Wife "Set" where she doesnt need to do anything for 3-4 days.
Not sure how many extra pounds it holds. It measures 14x16x20. Maybe 2 bags or so? I'd have to do the math to figure that out.
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