Flue scraper for boiler tubes

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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,056
Sand Lake, NY
Binged it??

That is Green Renewables. They manufacture the bags of kiln dried firewood you see in Stewarts as well as mulch and wood chip products. They got a big grant from the state a couple of years ago to modernize their operations. Used to be Cowees (lumberyard). That is where I occasionally would buy kiln dried firewood. Used to be $240 a cord. This year when I called they wanted $385. I politely deferred. I mentioned this place in the Polar Vortex thread on the forum a while back.

Microsoft Bing, like Google Maps

Thanks for the info on Green.
 

KenLockett

Minister of Fire
Dec 27, 2011
580
Eastern Upstate NY
jim, the fiberglass rod extensions have a tendancy to shear off from the drill torque and speed, leaving you with a brush where the sun doesnt shine. You could force it through with another brush.

I use a 1/4" threaded steel rod you can get at any hardware store. No worry with torque shear then. I then took some heat shrink and ran it the length of the rod then heated. Makes a nice grabbable surface and makes it handy to hold. Jim, for the length of our tubes is about 30" (rod length) giving clearance for the wireless drill. Tighten the chuck. If it comes loose, you have to reach down grab rod. Can be hot and like playing the game 'Operation' as a kid. I epoxy'd the threaded coupling (rod to brush) to the circular brush I used before. Didn't have to worry about the brush coming off then. the scraping tool I use now is bolted to same thread rod (Front and back side of scraping tool with lock washers).
 
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KenLockett

Minister of Fire
Dec 27, 2011
580
Eastern Upstate NY

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,788
Northern MN
...the fiberglass rod extensions have a tendancy to shear off from the drill torque and speed
Just tested the 3-1/4" and exactly right. A steel rod may work. The brush of either side is easy enough to push through the tube, and the brush itself is about 4" long so it does make good contact with the tube. But like mentioned, I doubt it will serve as a scraper.
 

TCaldwell

Minister of Fire
ive used drill extension rods, basically a smooth 3/8 rod with square head for the drill end and a double setscrew female end for the brush, i think greenlee sells them at home depot or elec supply house, they come in different lengths, i use a 8ft one on the garn with a knotted wire wheel
 

BoilerMan

Minister of Fire
Apr 16, 2012
1,717
Northern Maine

mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
701
SE CT
Interesting home made scraper drill thing-a-ma-jig:

 
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Floydian

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2008
459
Southwestern VA
I can't imagine having to clean my tubes with a contraption like that. In fact I can't see ever needing to use a drill as the brush that came with my boiler does a fine job. 3-4 passes with the brush and I can see bare metal. I have never had any build in the tubes that I would call scale. Only fine ash that brushes right off. I have seen a little scale on the bends of the turbs but I don't worry about that and I have yet to clean the turbs after 7 or so cords-they just don't get much build up.

DSC01139.JPG DSC01138.JPG

I think there are a few factors here: The Varm is exceptionally easy to clean so I brush the tubes every 5 or 6 firings. I only batch burn to storage and my boiler has never idled as it simply cannot. It's all or nothing with the Varm thus storage is required with this boiler.

To me, the video above really demonstrates one benefit of storage-eliminating or minimizing idling, something any over sized wood boiler, gasser or not, is going to suffer from without adequate storage. And lets face it, any properly sized wood boiler is still going to be over sized 95% of the time.

Sorry, I did not intend to turn this into storage vs no storage thing, it just seems relevant to the ease of cleaning the tubes. Or maybe it has more to do with frequency of cleaning the tubes. Or that my boiler has only burned through 7+/- cords and I am still a relative newb.....:)

Noah
 
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mustash29

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2012
701
SE CT
Good question. That vid is not mine, it was just something I came across and posted here for others to see.
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,788
Northern MN
I did not intend to turn this into storage vs no storage thing, it just seems relevant to the ease of cleaning the tubes. Or maybe it has more to do with frequency of cleaning the tubes. Or that my boiler has only burned through 7+/- cords and I am still a relative newb....
I agree with you. Tube cleaning is little more than brushing off the fly ash that sticks to the tubes. My Tarm saw its first winter in 2007-08, and the tubes look little different now than they did when new -- no creosote. If creosote in the tubes, then wood supply is too wet, boiler is idling excessively (even worse to much worse if wood is wet), primary/secondary air settings are way off, insufficient draft, return water protection temperature is too low, operating boiler too short a time to allow boiler to come up and stay at operating temperature, other operator error, a combination of the above, or just maybe a boiler design issue.

And despite the "GARN, go big or go home!" line of thought, the G also requires periodic maintenance and parts replacement, at least with the WHS 3200, and that maintenance is not necessarily easy or quick. All boilers require a level of maintenance.
 
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