Feedback on Attack gasification boilers

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
Hi! LOVE Hearth.com. Have been following it for a few years now- through my wood pellet boiler, my wood boiler and now- while researching gasification boilers.
The Froling and Wood Gun have features that I like...but unfortunately, not prices I like!
I have seen some reasonably priced gasification boilers on ebay and was wondering what people thought of the Attack boilers. I know that BoilerMan and WaesNotSock have DP45's, so I hope to hear from them and anyone else that has experience with one.

The models on ebay are the DP5000 and the DPX6000 (which I assume is the newer model).
I know they are UL certified, but I haven't confirmed yet if they are CSA approved- I hope so!
They come with 3 different control options: Standard, Profi, and Lambda.
I don't know what the price difference is, or what the different features are of each controller, but from reading I've done on here, it seems that the preferred choice is "Lambda."
Can someone explain why this would be better than the Profi?

My boiler is inside my shop, with 110' feet of pex tubing to the house. There is an air handler in the basement, and I have an indirect DHW tank ready to be installed. I have a 600 gallon stainless steel insulated, non-pressurized water storage tank (that isn't really being used right now because all of the heat comes to the house). The tank can't be pressurized, so I need to know if non-pressurized will work, or if it is even necessary to have the extra storage.
I have a Benjamin right now, but it really isn't designed to be used as a primary heat source- it is recommended as a secondary source, but I knew it was going to be temporary.

Just FYI...the house is an 1857 log cabin- 2500 sq ft.in midwestern Ontario (in the snowbelt). Well insulated, but needing new windows. I keep the heat at 67- 68 degrees most of the time, 69 if its really cold. I am going to be heating the hot tub (inside) with it, and I have in-floor heating in the stone floor in the kitchen.

Some of the things I am looking for:
1) LITTLE TO NO SMOKE- both inside when I am reloading or outside from the stack. (I've read everyone's feedback on positive & negative pressure....seems to be 50/50 opinions that depend solely on what brand of boiler you have.) If gasifiers truly reduce the outdoor smoke then I may not install the condensing propane boiler I have been considering. I am in a valley, and all the smoke just drops down and sits when the boiler is idling- especially in the spring and fall- and all the smoke from my neighbour's OWB drifts down here and sits on my property as well. I have problems with my lungs, and my horses have to breath this all the time, which makes me crazy, so that is one of the main reasons for moving to the gasifier!
2) EASY TO CLEAN/MAINTAIN (I had the tubes with turbulators in them on my pellet boiler and I HATED cleaning them!!)
3) LONGEST BURN TIMES POSSIBLE BETWEEN RELOADING (the fewer times I have to reload it the better! Right now, I have to stoke the Benjamin every 3 hours- not so nice when it is -30C at night lately.)
4) BEING ABLE TO BURN WHOLE LOGS OR LARGE SPLITS would be preferred to small splits like a Froling requires.
5) PRICE!!!

So....any feedback, including problems that anyone has had with Attack boilers, would be very welcome.
I need something reliable that I am not going to have to worry about breaking down or repairing all the time (like the Woodpecker Pellet boiler that I wasted thousands of dollars on....). I appreciate your time!
Thanks. Patti
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,707
Nova Scotia
All gasifiers need seasoned wood, which will require splitting.

You do need to get rid of that Benjamin. Likely the least efficient indoor boiler you could find.

Don't forget to factor in currency conversions, freight, duty & customs if shopping on EBay.

Hopefully you'll get some Attack feedback- good luck!
 

JohnDolz

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2015
543
Burlington, CT
No idea on the Attack but i can tell you that Tarm USA is carrying another boiler line (Effecta) which I believe has a lower price point than the Froling. If you have been following here for a few years I am sure that you have a good sense of the total project cost> At the end of the day skimping on a boiler will not result in such a great % reduction in project cost. Regarding easy to clean, each of us defines easy differently. Smoke, only speaking for the Effecta is has a feature that sucks the smoke in so that little to no smoke escapes from the firebox should I open the door (I would think most top quality boilers have something similar). As for outside smoke, a non-issue if you have storage and the boiler never idles.Reloading, in the coldest of cold days I light 2 fires a day, other times I can get away with 1 fire every 3 days (and everything in between). Splitting, Maple1 is correct - wet wood is not fun. I split small, medium and large -each fire has a mix. Price, best I can say is I keep my house at 72 F 24x7 and don't pay for wood:).
 

warno

Minister of Fire
Jan 3, 2015
1,237
illinois
Don't be stingy! Going cheap in the beginning is never cheap in the long run.

If you're looking for long burn times look into heating storage tanks with a gasifier. But then again a gasifier will require splitting to dry the wood.

I hate to tell you but you will not get a long burn time on whole logs or unsplit rounds without a huge amount of smoke from idling. If you want long periods between loads and no smoke you have to heat storage with a boiler that can gasify.

So either you will have to split and dry your wood for a gasser or you will be smoky Joe with idling.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,707
Nova Scotia
Long burn times is not a good thing with a boiler, it's the wrong way to think. Long burn times = smoldering and the ucck that comes with it.

I have short burn times. The past few days has only been 4 hours or so a day. But that means 20 hours of no fire at all or any fire related things or thoughts or concerns.
 
  • Like
Reactions: warno

S.Whiplash

Member
Oct 28, 2012
100
I don't know who is selling these units on E-Bay but I would be leery whether the CSA sticker (if it even has one) is legitimate, not naming names but some very popular brand boilers owned by many members of this site have boilers with fake CSA/UL stickers. How to check? If the sticker does not have the serial number of the boiler printed on it, it is not legitimate.
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
Wow. Your burn is only 4 hours, and with 660 gallons of pressurized storage, that provides you with enough heat for 20 hours?T That is definitely what I want!!
I don't think I was clear about 'burn times'...what I meant was the time between loading it, not the actual time the wood is burning. I want it to do what yours does Maple1!! If I only had to deal with it once every 24 hours I would be THRILLED!

Regarding the exchange rate, duties etc,....yah....I know...they are killer, but there doesn't seem to be many options available up here- (or at least not ones that are discussed at any length in these forums). There is one Froling dealer a few hours away from me, but no Wood Gun, or Attack. I know everyone says not to go 'cheap', but I simply can't afford $12,000 U.S. for a boiler, plus shipping, exchange, duties etc. If I can find something for $4000 U.S. that does what I want, I have to go for that.
I mean... I'd like to drive a Porsche as well, but the Ford is going to have to do because that's not going to happen!! lol

I have looked at Tarms, and Garns as well, but again, these prices make me shudder.
John- are you referring to the "Lambda Effecta"? I recall reading about that one recently and it did pique my interest. I will re-vist it. I think it was about $8000 U.S. though, so that is still a little high when you factor in exchange etc. 2 fires a day for a 3300sq ft house is pretty good though. Mixed split sizes and rounds are what I do in my Benjamin right now too. It is good dry wood, but I am going to invest in a moisture meter if anyone can recommend a good one.

Do all gasifiers run better/more efficiently with pressurized storage, or is non-pressurized just as good? Or, does it depend on the specific make of the boiler? Thanks for your feedback everyone!
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
I don't know who is selling these units on E-Bay but I would be leery whether the CSA sticker (if it even has one) is legitimate, not naming names but some very popular brand boilers owned by many members of this site have boilers with fake CSA/UL stickers. How to check? If the sticker does not have the serial number of the boiler printed on it, it is not legitimate.
Whoa! THAT is good to know!! Thank you for that heads-up! I had no idea.
 

JohnDolz

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2015
543
Burlington, CT
Wow. Your burn is only 4 hours, and with 660 gallons of pressurized storage, that provides you with enough heat for 20 hours?T That is definitely what I want!!
I don't think I was clear about 'burn times'...what I meant was the time between loading it, not the actual time the wood is burning. I want it to do what yours does Maple1!! If I only had to deal with it once every 24 hours I would be THRILLED!

Regarding the exchange rate, duties etc,....yah....I know...they are killer, but there doesn't seem to be many options available up here- (or at least not ones that are discussed at any length in these forums). There is one Froling dealer a few hours away from me, but no Wood Gun, or Attack. I know everyone says not to go 'cheap', but I simply can't afford $12,000 U.S. for a boiler, plus shipping, exchange, duties etc. If I can find something for $4000 U.S. that does what I want, I have to go for that.
I mean... I'd like to drive a Porsche as well, but the Ford is going to have to do because that's not going to happen!! lol

I have looked at Tarms, and Garns as well, but again, these prices make me shudder.
John- are you referring to the "Lambda Effecta"? I recall reading about that one recently and it did pique my interest. I will re-vist it. I think it was about $8000 U.S. though, so that is still a little high when you factor in exchange etc. 2 fires a day for a 3300sq ft house is pretty good though. Mixed split sizes and rounds are what I do in my Benjamin right now too. It is good dry wood, but I am going to invest in a moisture meter if anyone can recommend a good one.

Do all gasifiers run better/more efficiently with pressurized storage, or is non-pressurized just as good? Or, does it depend on the specific make of the boiler? Thanks for your feedback everyone!
The gasifier does not care what kind of storage you have, just as long as you have is so the boiler can fun 100% for the entire burn. I can't speak for the price on the Effecta but I am pretty sure that the pricing is lower today than it had been in the past so it depends on when you got the quote. 2 fires a day is worst case and that includes countless showers, dishwasher, laundry, etc (I would say 95% of my DHW need is met by storage). I would not think of this so much as Porsche vs. Ford, I think folks are telling to you make sure you do not start your cross country journey in a low end used car pulling an expensive RV. It will cost you a lot more in the log run to fix that car along the way:). Good luck
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,707
Nova Scotia
Wow. Your burn is only 4 hours, and with 660 gallons of pressurized storage, that provides you with enough heat for 20 hours?T That is definitely what I want!!
I don't think I was clear about 'burn times'...what I meant was the time between loading it, not the actual time the wood is burning. I want it to do what yours does Maple1!! If I only had to deal with it once every 24 hours I would be THRILLED!

Regarding the exchange rate, duties etc,....yah....I know...they are killer, but there doesn't seem to be many options available up here- (or at least not ones that are discussed at any length in these forums). There is one Froling dealer a few hours away from me, but no Wood Gun, or Attack. I know everyone says not to go 'cheap', but I simply can't afford $12,000 U.S. for a boiler, plus shipping, exchange, duties etc. If I can find something for $4000 U.S. that does what I want, I have to go for that.
I mean... I'd like to drive a Porsche as well, but the Ford is going to have to do because that's not going to happen!! lol

I have looked at Tarms, and Garns as well, but again, these prices make me shudder.
John- are you referring to the "Lambda Effecta"? I recall reading about that one recently and it did pique my interest. I will re-vist it. I think it was about $8000 U.S. though, so that is still a little high when you factor in exchange etc. 2 fires a day for a 3300sq ft house is pretty good though. Mixed split sizes and rounds are what I do in my Benjamin right now too. It is good dry wood, but I am going to invest in a moisture meter if anyone can recommend a good one.

Do all gasifiers run better/more efficiently with pressurized storage, or is non-pressurized just as good? Or, does it depend on the specific make of the boiler? Thanks for your feedback everyone!
It averages around 6 hours/day during the winter. Extreme coldest vortex days maybe 9. Or had the past 5 years. I think that will be lower this winter for a couple reasons - I am getting to the point where my wood has an extra year of drying (almost getting to the 3 year seasoned point), and the kids are all away at school now for 90% of the time. So one of my upstairs zones is turned down 3-4c from where it used to be. Also hoping that all might get me to 5 cord or less. I also just the last week added more turbulator, still playing with that. Last few days have been easier heating. Some snow cover around the foundation, no wind, and sun. The usual routine in a typical 6 hour burn day is build & light the fire with a small load just before supper time. Reload full after a half hour (by then a coal bed is happening). Then reload again maybe 2.5-3 hours after that. That reload is usually not a full load, a half load usually does it. But either way, full or half, when I am going to bed the fire is pretty well all burned out, the house is all up to temp, and storage is full of heat. There are also a couple of tricks I do to making it from say 10pm to 4pm the next day without a fire with the storage I have. My zones (I have 4) set back a couple degrees when I am going to bed. I am usually here by myself during the day. So in the morning, the main zone where my office is sets back up a couple degrees. The kitchen zone also sets up a couple degrees but only for a couple hours to get us up & going. Then usually about the time I am loading that first full load in the boiler after the lighting a half hour before, all my zones go up, some to a couple degrees higher than usual. That way my biggest load is getting put on the boiler at the same time it is getting max output (which I think also helps overall boiler efficiency). So the house itself acts as storage too, sort of. The caution there, is that setting back & recovering comfortably, requires generous heat distribution capacity. Or else recovery from setback will be too slow. I have realized that when my system was designed when the house was built, the radiation (I just have ordinary Slant Fin baseboard) was oversized for the heat load at least based on a rather hot typical oil fired design supply temp. Which I am now very thankful for. I can usually let my storage go down to 130 or so supply, if I want, before my house starts losing too much heat & I have to re-fire. Having said all that - I would really love to have more storage, at least 1000 total. I would be able to skip more burning days in Spring & Fall. But not going to happen with the space I have. And I am doing 'OK with what I have.

Have you actually priced Frolings from the Canadian dealer? Very curious what you find - if I was doing over, I would likely have checked that, but at the time could find no Canadian dealers for anything. Except Empyre - very glad I didn't go there. I forgot about the CSA aspect brought up - that is very important. The one & only thing my insurance guy told be before I made changes was as long as it has a CSA sticker you are good to go. I kind of doubt the Attack has that- but admit I am not 100% certain. But it is something you really should have.

I bought my boiler sight unseen from across a border & 20-something hours away. That was a pretty nerve wracking experience - but absolutely no regrets. How much of this can you confidently DIY? Aside from the boiler itself, the next biggest things are cost of storage, and likely install costs if you need to get it done. I found a mountain of used LP tanks at a big scrap yard here. I got lucky there. And I did it all myself. Which has risks if things don't get designed right or overlooked and things don't work right. I think I got lucky there too also, quite sure. I learned a lot from this place before I started, but some things I did were still kind of guess work & seat of the pants. (But I did know how to solder copper). All in, including boiler, costs to get it here (currency exchange really hurts), storage, all plumbing parts, electric boiler for backup, electric water heater for DHW, etc. - and tax - I was right around the $15k mark. Certainly not cheap. My really rough ballpark cost estimator, after having gone through it, and doing all yourself, is take the boiler price in USD, and double it to get all done CAN$ cost. And consider that to be a conservative 'at least' number.

There are pros & cons to pressurized vs. non. I think overall, pressurized can lead to maybe a bit more efficiency, and may be able to supply hotter temps if that is important. But it also needs big expansion tanks which is more $$. Some of these decisions will come down to what you can do yourself, and what you have available or can source locally, economically.

You have my sympathies with your Benjamin - that's what I used to have before this one. I was a slave to it for 17 years, it was seriously messing up my well being. They're made 20 minutes away from me - so another lesson is 'buy local' isn't always the best idea.
 
  • Like
Reactions: surefire

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,444
Southeastern Vt.
Just wanted to put things into perspective. You mentioned "rounds" in your discussion of wood above. Most gasifier jockys here learned the meaning of DRY wood the hard way. An un-split piece with the bark intact takes years (meaning wood pile years) sorta like dog years, to reduce the moisture content to acceptable levels for gasifying. It's best to split at least once or make a cut through the bark along the length of the piece that allows moisture to escape. Over the years I've observed boiling water on the end grain of un-split rounds after they had heated up in the firebox.

When I first joined this forum back in 2008 the word was "split your wood down to playing card size for gasifiers". Duuhh.did we know that it dried faster that way? We did but many didn't associate it with the improved performance. Over the following years after we decided that burning sticks sucks and the fact that now there's nothing we don't know :cool:, wood splits have increased in size and wood piles sit for another two or three years before being tapped.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brenndatomu

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
The gasifier does not care what kind of storage you have, just as long as you have is so the boiler can fun 100% for the entire burn. I can't speak for the price on the Effecta but I am pretty sure that the pricing is lower today than it had been in the past so it depends on when you got the quote. 2 fires a day is worst case and that includes countless showers, dishwasher, laundry, etc (I would say 95% of my DHW need is met by storage). I would not think of this so much as Porsche vs. Ford, I think folks are telling to you make sure you do not start your cross country journey in a low end used car pulling an expensive RV. It will cost you a lot more in the log run to fix that car along the way:). Good luck
I'm definitely going to check this one out again. I live alone, so my DHW requirements are minimal. Two fires a day would be okay. The 600 gal insulated stainless steel tank I have now is already plumbed to my current boiler, and it has an expansion tank on top of it, so it sounds like I will be able to use that. Just curious- do you put two temperature probes in it- one at the top and one at the bottom? I think I am reluctant to use this storage tank simply because I had SO many problems when I was trying to hook it up to my Woodpecker pellet boiler.
And since the company went under, getting any kind of technical support was almost impossible. We were never able to get the storage tank working in tandem with the boiler, so the pellet boiler ran all the time- costing me a LOT of money in pellets, and totally defeating the purpose of the whole system. Maybe it will work this time!
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
Just wanted to put things into perspective. You mentioned "rounds" in your discussion of wood above. Most gasifier jockys here learned the meaning of DRY wood the hard way. An un-split piece with the bark intact takes years (meaning wood pile years) sorta like dog years, to reduce the moisture content to acceptable levels for gasifying. It's best to split at least once or make a cut through the bark along the length of the piece that allows moisture to escape. Over the years I've observed boiling water on the end grain of un-split rounds after they had heated up in the firebox.

When I first joined this forum back in 2008 the word was "split your wood down to playing card size for gasifiers". Duuhh.did we know that it dried faster that way? We did but many didn't associate it with the improved performance. Over the following years after we decided that burning sticks sucks and the fact that now there's nothing we don't know :cool:, wood splits have increased in size and wood piles sit for another two or three years before being tapped.
Ahhhh...okay....I didn't realize that even small ones had to be split, That's okay- more work- but I won't be going through 14 or 15 cords like I am now!! I have been looking at some REALLY good-priced pneumatic splitters online on Alibaba. They are only about $350 U.S. I can't vouch for the quality or anything, but I am going to look into it further. I will post the link on here shortly.
Another question about the wood: Do you only burn hardwood or do you mix in softwoods? Pellets moved from hard or soft to a mixture because they found the softwood burned hotter and the hardwood burned longer, so combining the two seemed to work well. I start my fires in the Benjamin with all soft wood (I was able to get ALL of the wood from a barn- including the beams), with all the dampers open and it gets roaring hot fast. Then I keep throwing smaller hard wood and more softwood in until the the temperature goes up significantly. When it is approaching 170 I throw all hardwood in, let it get a good start, then damper down.
I was surprised to read in someone's post that it took 6 hours for their water temperature to get up to 180*. It depends on the temperature outside, but on really, really cold days (-30*C/-22*F) it only takes me about 2 and a half hours to get the temperature from 70* to 180*. The other night it only took me 45 minutes... but the problem is that even when it is dampered down as low as I can go, the wood will be reduced to glowing coal within about 4 hours max. The house will stay 'warm' for awhile (in floor heating helps with that) but my vents will be blowing cool air within 5 hours on moderate temperature days (-5*C/-23*F). So, yup, the inefficient Benjamin has GOT to go before next winter!
 

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,444
Southeastern Vt.
I'm spoiled here in New England where we have the largest deciduous forests in the world. I use mixed hardwood splits with the occasional softwood weed tree gets thrown into the stack. Many members here burn soft wood but it requires a bit more maintenance on the part of the operator due to frequent loading. Soft woods also do not coal up as well as hard which is a requirement to maintaining gasification. Softwood burners may chime in here.
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
It averages around 6 hours/day during the winter. Extreme coldest vortex days maybe 9. Or had the past 5 years. I think that will be lower this winter for a couple reasons - I am getting to the point where my wood has an extra year of drying (almost getting to the 3 year seasoned point), and the kids are all away at school now for 90% of the time. So one of my upstairs zones is turned down 3-4c from where it used to be. Also hoping that all might get me to 5 cord or less. I also just the last week added more turbulator, still playing with that. Last few days have been easier heating. Some snow cover around the foundation, no wind, and sun. The usual routine in a typical 6 hour burn day is build & light the fire with a small load just before supper time. Reload full after a half hour (by then a coal bed is happening). Then reload again maybe 2.5-3 hours after that. That reload is usually not a full load, a half load usually does it. But either way, full or half, when I am going to bed the fire is pretty well all burned out, the house is all up to temp, and storage is full of heat. There are also a couple of tricks I do to making it from say 10pm to 4pm the next day without a fire with the storage I have. My zones (I have 4) set back a couple degrees when I am going to bed. I am usually here by myself during the day. So in the morning, the main zone where my office is sets back up a couple degrees. The kitchen zone also sets up a couple degrees but only for a couple hours to get us up & going. Then usually about the time I am loading that first full load in the boiler after the lighting a half hour before, all my zones go up, some to a couple degrees higher than usual. That way my biggest load is getting put on the boiler at the same time it is getting max output (which I think also helps overall boiler efficiency). So the house itself acts as storage too, sort of. The caution there, is that setting back & recovering comfortably, requires generous heat distribution capacity. Or else recovery from setback will be too slow. I have realized that when my system was designed when the house was built, the radiation (I just have ordinary Slant Fin baseboard) was oversized for the heat load at least based on a rather hot typical oil fired design supply temp. Which I am now very thankful for. I can usually let my storage go down to 130 or so supply, if I want, before my house starts losing too much heat & I have to re-fire. Having said all that - I would really love to have more storage, at least 1000 total. I would be able to skip more burning days in Spring & Fall. But not going to happen with the space I have. And I am doing 'OK with what I have.

Have you actually priced Frolings from the Canadian dealer? Very curious what you find - if I was doing over, I would likely have checked that, but at the time could find no Canadian dealers for anything. Except Empyre - very glad I didn't go there. I forgot about the CSA aspect brought up - that is very important. The one & only thing my insurance guy told be before I made changes was as long as it has a CSA sticker you are good to go. I kind of doubt the Attack has that- but admit I am not 100% certain. But it is something you really should have.

I bought my boiler sight unseen from across a border & 20-something hours away. That was a pretty nerve wracking experience - but absolutely no regrets. How much of this can you confidently DIY? Aside from the boiler itself, the next biggest things are cost of storage, and likely install costs if you need to get it done. I found a mountain of used LP tanks at a big scrap yard here. I got lucky there. And I did it all myself. Which has risks if things don't get designed right or overlooked and things don't work right. I think I got lucky there too also, quite sure. I learned a lot from this place before I started, but some things I did were still kind of guess work & seat of the pants. (But I did know how to solder copper). All in, including boiler, costs to get it here (currency exchange really hurts), storage, all plumbing parts, electric boiler for backup, electric water heater for DHW, etc. - and tax - I was right around the $15k mark. Certainly not cheap. My really rough ballpark cost estimator, after having gone through it, and doing all yourself, is take the boiler price in USD, and double it to get all done CAN$ cost. And consider that to be a conservative 'at least' number.

There are pros & cons to pressurized vs. non. I think overall, pressurized can lead to maybe a bit more efficiency, and may be able to supply hotter temps if that is important. But it also needs big expansion tanks which is more $$. Some of these decisions will come down to what you can do yourself, and what you have available or can source locally, economically.

You have my sympathies with your Benjamin - that's what I used to have before this one. I was a slave to it for 17 years, it was seriously messing up my well being. They're made 20 minutes away from me - so another lesson is 'buy local' isn't always the best idea.
Thank you for providing me with that detailed description of what a day looks like. That is really helpful!
I think I can use the storage tank I have- it's not pressurized, but it has a Troll expansion tank on it and it is all plumbed up and ready, so I might as well try it. That will cut down on some cost. The other thing is that my friend has his own Plumbing business and he also has his hvac papers, so he works on this for me for next to nothing. He does a lot of plumbing on wood boilers in this area, so I think he has a pretty good grasp of things.
The only thing I worry about is the sizing- which is maybe something I don't have to be overly concerned with. I have been so focused on size because I have been looking at condensing propane boilers as well and apparently, most homes have CPB that are way over-sized- causing them to run inefficiently and deteriorate faster. All advice says, "Don't let someone selling you a CPB just 'guess' at the size you need. But... what people are charging to do a heat load calculation is an awful lot (about $1000), and I would much rather spend that on the boiler! I have described my house to a number of people who offer these services, and they have all said the same thing....it's too hard to get an accurate heat-load calculation on an 1857 log house- and no one wants to do it. So...there are a couple available online, (GreenBuilder.com) and I thought I would try to do it myself. Yikes. It was complicated- but I couldn't even get past the first part because 'log' wasn't an option that was offered, and I had no idea how the other building materials compared to it for R values and everything else, so I gave up. I guess with gasification boilers it is a little easier to choose size because even if the system is a little bit big, the heat will be stored, right?
I know that my 25kW pellet boiler was too small, so I am going to base the size on that, plus past furnaces I have had, and then go a little higher. That is the other thing with buying boilers from the States...you don't have the luxury of someone from the company coming and suggesting what you need, or if changes should be made in the plumbing etc. I will contact the Froling sales rep here, but I seem to recall that they were going for about $12,000 U.S. as well. Is there a way to contact BoilerMan? He has a Attack DP45, and I would like to hear what he has to say about it- what the pros and cons are.
Any feedback about the Standard, versus Profi, versus Lambda controls? What makes the Lambda more desirable- and is it worth spending a lot of money to upgrade to that? Thanks guys! This is really helping me a lot!
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
I'm spoiled here in New England where we have the largest deciduous forests in the world. I use mixed hardwood splits with the occasional softwood weed tree gets thrown into the stack. Many members here burn soft wood but it requires a bit more maintenance on the part of the operator due to frequent loading. Soft woods also do not coal up as well as hard which is a requirement to maintaining gasification. Softwood burners may chime in here.
I have access to all kinds of softwood on my property, but not a lot of hardwood, so I buy that (or cut up the beams from the barn...and they burn for hours!) I only try to cut ones that are starting to decay or have powder post beetle though, because owing a 160 year old log house....I cannot bear to cut these beautiful hand-hewn beams into firewood. Hopefully I will be able to sell some of them!
 

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
I have access to all kinds of softwood on my property, but not a lot of hardwood, so I buy that (or cut up the beams from the barn...and they burn for hours!) I only try to cut ones that are starting to decay or have powder post beetle though, because owing a 160 year old log house....I cannot bear to cut these beautiful hand-hewn beams into firewood. Hopefully I will be able to sell some of them!
You really like your EKO Fred? I liked the Wood Guns- a lot. They said you don't have to use splits in it?!? But I assume that it would be better if you did anyways. I wasn't expecting them to be up there with the Froling price though...about $12,000 U.S. I 'think' I can get EKO here, not sure. What do you like/dislike about yours? Do you know much about more recent models?
 

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,444
Southeastern Vt.
Heating my storage is a moving target for me. Boiler is shut down each evening so I start one new fire every day with a cold boiler at around 4 PM. No two fires catch and go equally so about after lighting I check the fire, shake it if it's bridging and fill the firebox. Time to get water to desired temperature varies for several reasons. Temperature of water at start up, fire quality, and the most noticeable is zone circulation. On those days where the outside temp. hovers around zero all day the temp of the tank is lower but the 4 PM start time is about the time that the residual heat has left the living space and all the zones are running. Heat is leaving the tank as fast as it's being put in. Takes some time and fuel to catch up.
 

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,444
Southeastern Vt.
I had terrible luck with my Wood Gun and can't recommend it. It's all documented here on this forum.

Love my EKO. In the 10 years of ownership I have needed to do far less maintenance than I had expected.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,317
Northern Canada
I have an Econoburn with storage.Well built boiler with awesome factory support and customer satisfaction.
Up here in the cold on a average -20C day we start our boiler at 5PM when we get home and it runs till around 11PM.
Repete the next day.I have only Spruce and what everyone around here calls Popular,Aspen.I started with smaller splits,but now don't split as small.
Cleaning is a job i do twice a year,half way through the heating season and before the heating season.I have a few tricks that make the job easier than it used to be.
I live in the bush 160KMs away from any kind of HVAC support,i built my system myself with the help of the HVAC guy that i got the boiler from.He told my wife that i built a $50,000.00 system,she was happy that i did it myself.Mind you that is Yukon prices.But the boiler is well built and simple so if there is a problem i can still run it for my needs without a controller,which i had to do one year for about 2 weeks till my replacement parts showed up and i could get an electrician to do the wiring.
If i had to do it again the only thing i would do is look a little harder at a Garn.There are boilers out there with better/complicated controllers.But they are not for me,i dislike computer controlled stuff because i am not computer literate.Dinosaur is how i am referred to.
Thomas
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,317
Northern Canada
One quick question...
You mention 110' ft run of underground pex.Is this pex that is installed already?And if it is could you describe it for everyone? The underground lines are a very crucial part of the system,and will determine if you have a healthy boiler system or one that you will be working twice as hard to get heat to your house.
Windows... we have Quad pane windows up here.At -40C/F we have absolutely no frost on them and you can stand next to them without getting cold.In the summer you can leave a chocolate bar on the dark stone windowsills and it will not melt in direct sunlight all day.
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Some of the things I am looking for:
1) LITTLE TO NO SMOKE- both inside when I am reloading or outside from the stack. (I've read everyone's feedback on positive & negative pressure....seems to be 50/50 opinions that depend solely on what brand of boiler you have.) If gasifiers truly reduce the outdoor smoke then I may not install the condensing propane boiler I have been considering. I am in a valley, and all the smoke just drops down and sits when the boiler is idling- especially in the spring and fall- and all the smoke from my neighbour's OWB drifts down here and sits on my property as well. I have problems with my lungs, and my horses have to breath this all the time, which makes me crazy, so that is one of the main reasons for moving to the gasifier!
2) EASY TO CLEAN/MAINTAIN (I had the tubes with turbulators in them on my pellet boiler and I HATED cleaning them!!)
3) LONGEST BURN TIMES POSSIBLE BETWEEN RELOADING (the fewer times I have to reload it the better! Right now, I have to stoke the Benjamin every 3 hours- not so nice when it is -30C at night lately.)
4) BEING ABLE TO BURN WHOLE LOGS OR LARGE SPLITS would be preferred to small splits like a Froling requires.
5) PRICE!!!
  1. I have been using the Eko 25 for my needs and it has worked well in my situation. However, this is not smoke free in the boiler room. It takes much experience over a good period of time to be able to open the firebox door without smoke. I still fail quite often. By poor design, the top of the firebox door opening is a bit higher than the flue bypass of the firebox. The smoke is probably a relative thing, some can accept some while others none.
  2. The Eko is acceptably easy to me but it is a chore. The exchange tubes need a bit of modification before the first burn too.
  3. The times between firing will depend on your heating demands and thermal storage capacity.
  4. Iffy at best with most gasification boilers.
  5. Initial cost will be a trade off, as most things are. Maybe you can start a plan now for two years down the road. This will allow time to save towards the purchase costs and to get your wood prepared.

This link is to a video for Varmebaronen boiler. It was helpful to me when searching, especially showing what wet wood is about. I did not purchase their unit but truly have lusted at it.

Just so to reiterate, WELL SEASONED FIREWOOD.
 
Last edited:

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,444
Southeastern Vt.
Wonder what the difference is. I can open mine at full flame with no smoke. I leave the fan running and even with the bypass open it still gasses down through the nozzle.

Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk
 

BoiledOver

Minister of Fire
Apr 14, 2013
620
43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
Good for you @Fred61. Care to share how you accomplished the no smoke opening?
 
Last edited:

Patti

Member
Mar 4, 2013
57
I have an Econoburn with storage.Well built boiler with awesome factory support and customer satisfaction.
Up here in the cold on a average -20C day we start our boiler at 5PM when we get home and it runs till around 11PM.
Repete the next day.I have only Spruce and what everyone around here calls Popular,Aspen.I started with smaller splits,but now don't split as small.
Cleaning is a job i do twice a year,half way through the heating season and before the heating season.I have a few tricks that make the job easier than it used to be.
I live in the bush 160KMs away from any kind of HVAC support,i built my system myself with the help of the HVAC guy that i got the boiler from.He told my wife that i built a $50,000.00 system,she was happy that i did it myself.Mind you that is Yukon prices.But the boiler is well built and simple so if there is a problem i can still run it for my needs without a controller,which i had to do one year for about 2 weeks till my replacement parts showed up and i could get an electrician to do the wiring.
If i had to do it again the only thing i would do is look a little harder at a Garn.There are boilers out there with better/complicated controllers.But they are not for me,i dislike computer controlled stuff because i am not computer literate.Dinosaur is how i am referred to.
Thomas[/QUOTE
Hey Thomas! Kudos to you for doing the set-up yourself. These aren't the easiest things in the world- they all seem to have their own little idiosyncracies that have to be taken into consideration.It sound like you have exactly what you need, and I am kind of like you- I think all I want is a boiler that is well built, simple to use, and relatively easy to clean. The bells & whistles are nice- but they add a lost of cost. Maybe they do make the units run more efficiently, but sometimes I think the KISS rule is better (keep it simple, stupid!). I taught myself the entire computer system on the Woodpecker pellet boiler, and believe me- it wasn't easy. I've never seen so many things that had to be programmed, monitored and continually altered on a control panel. I would guess there was about 50-75 things. It was CRAZY. Even here in midwestern Ontario, finding tech support for computer controllers isn't as easy as you'd think, nor is the ability to find parts, so in that respect, maybe I should check out that Econoburn. I looked at the Garns too...wishful thinking. That's interesting about what kind of wood you burn. I guess if it's well-seasoned it will burn good and hot, but do you think you go through a lot more cords of that than you would of hardwood? And you only clean your unit twice a year huh? I'm not familiar with the unit offhand- does it have turbulators? Does softwood usually require more frequent cleaning of the unit? Your place sounds awesome. I'd love to see some pics! 160kms out in the middle of nowhere is exactly where I would like to be!