Garn Location

Retired

Member
May 13, 2014
18
Northern Maine
HI Team Hearth. I could use a little assistance on whether a garn will work in my location. I learned a lot from this site when I purchased a gasser for my last house but sold the house before the install was complete. I just purchased a home in Northern Maine that has a basement with 92 inches of head room and a garage door on one end giving me the ability to bring in whatever unit I think that I might like.

The basement gradually works into the hillside and at the right rear there is about 5-6 feet of soil on the outside of the basement wall. There is a small window just before the back wall that could be used for intake and maybe exhaust flue. On the back wall about 4 feet from the right corner is a double flue masonry chimney, 6 & 8 inch. Currently there is a Weiler Gold 100 in the 8 inch flue.

I thought that I had a slam dunk with using the 6 inch flue for the exhaust and the window to bring in the intake air, but on another thread it looked like the exhaust flue can only have one 90 degree bend. I'm not sure how I would just have one 90 unless I punched a new hole in the flue at the exact height of the exhaust from the garn.

Am I over thinking this requirement? I like the idea of the garn as I really like the simplicity of just one unit and no storage to install. Any idea who the rep is for garn in the Northeast? Thanks in Advance.
 

mike van

Feeling the Heat
Apr 24, 2013
359
Kent Ct
Hey retired - Chris Holley was [is] the new england rep for Garn, he is up in Maine his website http://www.fhsco.com/ This is my 4th winter on a Garn 1000 I bought through him, no complaints, been a good move so far. At first I had some misgivings about losing the heat [loss] that used to be in the basement with the Harman it replaced, but now i'm happy it's in an addition on the garage. All the mess, all the smell, etc is out of the house. They do burn really clean as batch burners, but theres still smell at times. Bugs in the wood, the never ending dust, it's all out of the house now. I was you, i'd really consider a small addition on the basement, put it in there. I use a half cord every two weeks, [full cords we're talking here] I move it all on pallets and set each one in the room with my loader. 3 ft form the Garn. It is a big $$$$$$$ investment, ask all the questions you can.
 

Retired

Member
May 13, 2014
18
Northern Maine
Hi Mike

Thanks for the reply. I visited his site (thanks for the link), and sent him some questions. I am really serious about putting in something this summer. Did you install the unit yourself? I'm in Winterville. It lives up to its name :) Do they have a unit or two in operation in New Harbor? Thanks again.
Brian
 

eauzonedan

Member
Jan 21, 2011
87
Bayfield Co. Wi
Just wrapping up year 3 on my 1500 and still love it. Pretty idiot proof way to heat. One fire a day down to about zero and only takes about 10 minutes to load and go. I was planning to install in a former walk out garage/shop area of the house and had a lengthy conversation with Martin Lunde the Garn guru. He talked out of the in-house approach even though if doing it - the Garn is about as safe and clean as you can get. Went with a stand alone building with about 5 cord of inside heated wood storage. Granted not as slick of loading in my bunny slippers but a fifty foot sprint in a tee shirt to a 70 degree space still is do-able. Looking back I still think it was the right way to go. Consider air quality, mess, bugs, safety etc and also think where you want to be 10 years from now. This will stir the pot and the Chevy vs Ford style war is about to commence. Good Luck. There is no wrong answer here. Dan
 

Retired

Member
May 13, 2014
18
Northern Maine
Just wrapping up year 3 on my 1500 and still love it. Pretty idiot proof way to heat. One fire a day down to about zero and only takes about 10 minutes to load and go. I was planning to install in a former walk out garage/shop area of the house and had a lengthy conversation with Martin Lunde the Garn guru. He talked out of the in-house approach even though if doing it - the Garn is about as safe and clean as you can get. Went with a stand alone building with about 5 cord of inside heated wood storage. Granted not as slick of loading in my bunny slippers but a fifty foot sprint in a tee shirt to a 70 degree space still is do-able. Looking back I still think it was the right way to go. Consider air quality, mess, bugs, safety etc and also think where you want to be 10 years from now. This will stir the pot and the Chevy vs Ford style war is about to commence. Good Luck. There is no wrong answer here. Dan
 

Retired

Member
May 13, 2014
18
Northern Maine
This is why everyone loves the hearth forums. Even if you don't ever post on a single thread, you can see that there are many helpful and knowledgeable people here. Thanks Dan for the thought of inside vs outside, and thanks Mike for sharing the thread on your install.

I had a wood stove in the basement of my last house before I decided to add a gasser. Yes the wood dirtied (is that a word) the floor. And, yes I did have the odds weird flying boring beetle. But I had a great time restacking the wood and cleaning the floor. It gave me something to do while the wood was cooking. At my new place there is a lake, so ice fishing might be more entertaining, we will have to see.

The basement is huge. There is already a boiler there. I was looking at an outside boiler, but thought that I would have to keep a path open during the drifting snow season from Dec to April. That is why I liked the idea of using the garn in the basement. I could go with a regular gasser, but then I have all the storage to plumb. It sounds from the other threads that most people that have a gasser in there basement would have used a garn but they couldnt get one in there. My wife wants to be able to feed it and does not want to have to shovel the path.

Chris has replied and has told me that I will need to line my flues with SS, which I need to consider. Not sure what that will cost. If I ran the exhaust out the wall, do I need to provide a stack, or can I just exhaust it like having a power vent on an oil Boiler? It really comes down to if the garn will physically work in the location I have selected. It is nice that Maine has an incentive to buy one this year.

Once again, thanks for all the input.
 

mike van

Feeling the Heat
Apr 24, 2013
359
Kent Ct
They can vent straight out the back, no draft needed. Provided theres never anything flammable right in the exit area.
 

eauzonedan

Member
Jan 21, 2011
87
Bayfield Co. Wi
Just in case you didn't find them..... full manuals including install instructions are available on Garn's web site. Also leave 3 to 4 feet in rear- just to make it easy to access mechanicals. You will thank yourself down the road. Dan
 

Retired

Member
May 13, 2014
18
Northern Maine
Thanks again. Somehow I had overlooked the straight out exhaust. Now I just have to see if I can use it. Talked with Chris again today. He prefers the chimney with a liner. He has sent some pictures that should help with my concerns over the chimney use. I wish I had the perfect questions to ask to help with my decision, but what I need to do is devour the technical stuff on the various garn sites to ensure I am making a sound decision. Right now it looks like the junior. Chris is running the heat load numbers. I just need to ensure the rest of the required install is within my budget. Just as a side, Chris talked about running the entire system unpressurized. How he explained it, it sounded plausible. Does anyone have baseboard that are installed above the garn (like two floors above) and the system is unpressurized?
Thanks again.
 

TCaldwell

Minister of Fire
You won't find a better hydronic designer than Chris, espically when it comes to integrating wood and fossil fuel. The fact that he sells garn and is close by is bonus for you.
 

Hydronics

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2008
380
Northern CT
In my opinion the Garn is a great design in many ways. I strongly considered one when I installed my EKO 8 yrs ago. I wanted to buy a Garn but personally I couldn't justify the cost and space requirement. If I was installing indoors, I would go with a negative draft like a Garn for smoke prevention.
I think it's great you're committed to wood burning, I would recommend looking carefully at your return on investment though. If that's not a big concern for you and you just want to do it regardless, go for it. Just something to consider.
 

leon

Minister of Fire
Thanks again. Somehow I had overlooked the straight out exhaust. Now I just have to see if I can use it. Talked with Chris again today. He prefers the chimney with a liner. He has sent some pictures that should help with my concerns over the chimney use. I wish I had the perfect questions to ask to help with my decision, but what I need to do is devour the technical stuff on the various garn sites to ensure I am making a sound decision. Right now it looks like the junior. Chris is running the heat load numbers. I just need to ensure the rest of the required install is within my budget. Just as a side, Chris talked about running the entire system unpressurized. How he explained it, it sounded plausible. Does anyone have baseboard that are installed above the garn (like two floors above) and the system is unpressurized?
Thanks again.
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It is easy to do as long as you have the correctly sized circulator with an internal check valve.
Most forest eaters are unpressurised open to air systems like the Garn units.
The issue is proper design of the heating system. You can use a single circulator and zone valves with no issues for your heating system as long as you have flooded suction for the circulator and two isolation valves to shut the flow off to change the circulator if needed.

In my coal stoker system I have a pressure and temperature gauge on the outlet side and a vacuum gauge on the suction side that will tell me my circulator is going bad long before the impeller starts churning and making air bubbles.

If you can find them locally isolation valves with drain ports are worth the time and money so you just turn the circulator off shut the isolation ball valves off, drain the water in the circulator impeller case, unbolt the circulator and and then install the new circulator with new gaskets and after the bolts are tightened open the valves to make sure its not leaking and then turn the power back on.
 

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
294
Floyd, VA
Thanks again. Somehow I had overlooked the straight out exhaust. Now I just have to see if I can use it. Talked with Chris again today. He prefers the chimney with a liner. He has sent some pictures that should help with my concerns over the chimney use. I wish I had the perfect questions to ask to help with my decision, but what I need to do is devour the technical stuff on the various garn sites to ensure I am making a sound decision. Right now it looks like the junior. Chris is running the heat load numbers. I just need to ensure the rest of the required install is within my budget. Just as a side, Chris talked about running the entire system unpressurized. How he explained it, it sounded plausible. Does anyone have baseboard that are installed above the garn (like two floors above) and the system is unpressurized?
Thanks again.
I haven't done a lot of baseboard up high on an open system but we do quite a few coils in heat pumps in attics. You can pump surprisingly high with no issues if:

You keep water temps below 180℉-ish.

Keep the circulator low pushing away from the point of no pressure change (the vent on an open furnace).

No air vents- auto or manual. Anything higher than the vent on the furnace is in a vacuum. And remember any leak at a solder joint or thread will suck air in.

Place a hose fitting or tee into domestic water on the supply piping to use house pressure to blow out the air the first time.

Use a circ with a bit higher head rating than on a pressurized system. 15-58 Grundfos, B&G NRF-22, etc are better than a Taco 007 in pushing air down to the furnace to vent out.

Watch your pipe sizing on the return line down from the upstairs and try to keep the velocity up enough to entrain air bubbles.

Once it's bled out it should run for years with no issues.

I wouldn't be afraid of pumping to a second story baseboard loop, it's easier to get air out than a coil.
 
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