Indoor boiler recommendation likely without storage

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Tsodak

New Member
Jan 7, 2022
1
South Dakota
Good Evening,

Long time lurker first time poster here. Guessing I will get roasted a few times but se le ve.

I have spent quite a bit of time over the last years reading here but have never created an account. I have a little bit of a unique situation that I would like some experienced opinions on.

Scenario…. I am the proverbial cheap bastard that has been heating the past ten years on my second aquatherm 140 uninsulated wood boiler that I house in an outbuilding. I have added building and heated space over the years to the point that this situation is literally maxed out. Live in South Dakota where we get to -30 regularly and I don’t have a tree within a half mile that helps protect me. When we go through a period like we have the past ten days I literally fill my boiler every two hours and then maybe get up once at night. Obviously when it is warmer it is way better but I am a little sick of it 😀.

The good news is that I heat with dimensional cutoff lumber and scraps from a nearby truss plant that I get for free. So I literally have not started my saw for five years. Shovel it in and let her burn. Heat hot water year round, and I love the recycling aspect of this, and it is a key part of my question going forward.

Just turned fifty and I am done walking to an outbuilding that often to fill the stove. I am going to add a stall to my garage (properly isolated and insurance compliant) so that I can move into the envelope. So here is the question. Looking for a boiler recommendation for burning dimensional lumber and sawdust scrap To heat approximately 5000 squared feet of modern construction with twelve hour fills. I am saying 125000 of btu is sufficient based on what I have gotten out of my aquatherm 140 running flat out but I realistically need to look deeper into that question. While no one wants to waste wood, honestly efficiency is less important than cost. Capacity is more Important that exhaust characteristics. My nearest neighbor is a half mile, and he burns wood too. So I thiink I stand a lot of the normal assumptions on their heads. So, looking for low cost, balanced with best efficiency and longevity obviously. Not as concerned about smoke or extreme efficiency. Scrap is all kiln dried so I think a gasification boiler is the obvious candidate like the Tarm or Eko, but considering a used wood masteror cenral OWB to just move inside.

any insights appreciated.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,221
NE Ohio
Consider a HeatMaster G4000...its an OWB, but approved for indoor use too...look 'em up, you'll be hard pressed to find someone that doesn't love their HeatMaster...my co-worker just bought a G4000 this year, and dad bought a G10000 this year too...they are both in love. Co-worker had never burnt wood, dad came from 20 years with an old Central Boiler...I know you said that efficiency and clean burn are not of utmost importance, but the G series is both anyways...you may need to tweak the air settings a bit running that KD lumber though...that uber dry stuff can overwhelm a gassifier.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,808
Northern Canada
58 here and am looking forward to the walk to the boiler for the next 25-35 years if i am lucky.
125ft one way.
Sleep very good at night knowing my home is safe from fire and carbon-monoxide
Pay zero insurance,the boiler in the boiler building with the back up heat is my insurance,main reason is i live in a small rural town.Insurance companies don't recognize volunteer fire departments and bend you over if you have a log house.
So check all your box's befor you move it,it could cost you more than putting on a coat to go stoke the fire.
Having storage i do the walk every two hours,or just work in my heated saw shop.
 
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Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
90
Kansas
That is one of the reasons I went with a Switzer. If it’s cold like it was this week (3* at night up to 15* in the day), I can burn in the morning before I go to work. That burn will be done before I leave, and the heat will last all day(because of the water storage). Then I do another burn in the evening, and it’s done before I go to sleep. I also sleep well at night, knowing their isn’t any active burning happening. If it’s warmer, I’ll do one burn every 24 hours. A full burn in my unit takes around 2 hours. It’s all automatic once it’s started, so I don’t have to be at home if it doesn’t work out. I don’t pay any extra insurance. I can walk to the boiler room and fire it in my skivvies, if I wish. :)
But they aren’t cheap, so ultimately you will have to decide what works for you, and what you are willing to give up or work with.
Some insurance companies go by the ISO rating for the fire department, at least here in the states. Even volunteer departments can lower their ISO rating, if they are willing to invest in the equipment/set up automatic mutual aid. You have to be able to flow a certain gpm within a certain time frame, among other things.
 

Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
383
Manitoba
I have owned a Heatmaster and now I own a Polar G2plus (both were installed indoors in an detached garage). They are Indoor/Outdoor approved.

Night and day difference between smoke extraction technology, which was one of a few reasons for the switch. Overall the Polar costs more but like anything you pay for quality.

Look up the Fröling s3 Indoor boiler and compare it to the Polar they are nearly identical except the Polar doesn't need a thermal storage tank. The Europeans are always ahead of the game and Polar incorporated key design features, why reinvent the wheel.
 
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Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
383
Manitoba
Here are a few pictures.

20211206_214648.jpg 20211218_194359.jpg 20210425_153215.jpg 20211208_105412.jpg
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
90
Kansas
Here’s a downside/upside? depending on your view, with your boiler room a covered/heated walk from your house. On the days my wife does laundry, there is a lot more in the room than this. I don’t mind. It’s better than running the clothes dryer.

56B9B640-5305-4601-8E32-7C6323FC2159.jpeg D4CF517C-4A1B-46DA-8D79-F3988B2C9187.jpeg
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,808
Northern Canada
Yea i don't use a dryer for cloths either
i do one fire a day,5PM to 11PM on a normal -20C day/night
the last few days at -45C ish means burning for 2 pm to 12 pm to bring storage up to Max.
Log houses are not insurance friendly here.My expencive heating system has paid for it's self already
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
90
Kansas
Yea i don't use a dryer for cloths either
i do one fire a day,5PM to 11PM on a normal -20C day/night
the last few days at -45C ish means burning for 2 pm to 12 pm to bring storage up to Max.
Log houses are not insurance friendly here.My expencive heating system has paid for it's self already

Okay, that makes sense. I thought you were doing the walk every two hours all day long, and that seemed like quite the commitment. 😂 But if it’s only during your burn times, that’s more feasible. Reading about everyone’s systems in here makes a person want to travel the country and check them all out.
 

Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
383
Manitoba
The heamaster you owned was which model/year. I would like a 2021 comparison :)

I ran a g7000 for a bit. I hated having to wait until the wood burnt down to coals to load it back up. The whole garage would turn into a smoker.

Not a bad boiler by any means. I just don't understand why they couldn't have developed a better smoke extraction system. I'd only recommend install outdoors.

Uploaded a quick video of how well my Polar G2plus smoke extraction works.


20210301_231154.jpg
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,808
Northern Canada
I get smoke rollout on my econoburn as well
i added a 2" smoke flap which helps a bit.
I am glad it's not in my basement,when i buiolt the boiler building i painted the inside bright white.
It is now light to dark grey inside and lots of fly ash as well.
 
That is one of the reasons I went with a Switzer. If it’s cold like it was this week (3* at night up to 15* in the day), I can burn in the morning before I go to work. That burn will be done before I leave, and the heat will last all day(because of the water storage). Then I do another burn in the evening, and it’s done before I go to sleep. I also sleep well at night, knowing their isn’t any active burning happening. If it’s warmer, I’ll do one burn every 24 hours. A full burn in my unit takes around 2 hours. It’s all automatic once it’s started, so I don’t have to be at home if it doesn’t work out. I don’t pay any extra insurance. I can walk to the boiler room and fire it in my skivvies, if I wish. :)
But they aren’t cheap, so ultimately you will have to decide what works for you, and what you are willing to give up or work with.
Some insurance companies go by the ISO rating for the fire department, at least here in the states. Even volunteer departments can lower their ISO rating, if they are willing to invest in the equipment/set up automatic mutual aid. You have to be able to flow a certain gpm within a certain time frame, among other things.
Hi Tonty,
What is an "ISO rating"
Nevr heard of this
 

Tonty

Member
Jul 24, 2017
90
Kansas
Hi Tonty,
What is an "ISO rating"
Nevr heard of this

It’s a rating that a fire department gets. It’s mostly based on how much water you can flow in a given amount of time, but you also need to have certain equipment (higher gpm pumps, more and bigger hose lays, etc)to meet the different ratings. I think they also look at your training schedule documentation, etc. The lower the rating, the lower the insurance premiums. Some insurance companies use it, and some don’t. The department is automatically classed at a high rating (class 9?) if they haven’t came out and reviewed the department.

 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,885
N.W. Ohio
Good Evening,

Long time lurker first time poster here. Guessing I will get roasted a few times but se le ve.

I have spent quite a bit of time over the last years reading here but have never created an account. I have a little bit of a unique situation that I would like some experienced opinions on.

Scenario…. I am the proverbial cheap bastard that has been heating the past ten years on my second aquatherm 140 uninsulated wood boiler that I house in an outbuilding. I have added building and heated space over the years to the point that this situation is literally maxed out. Live in South Dakota where we get to -30 regularly and I don’t have a tree within a half mile that helps protect me. When we go through a period like we have the past ten days I literally fill my boiler every two hours and then maybe get up once at night. Obviously when it is warmer it is way better but I am a little sick of it 😀.

The good news is that I heat with dimensional cutoff lumber and scraps from a nearby truss plant that I get for free. So I literally have not started my saw for five years. Shovel it in and let her burn. Heat hot water year round, and I love the recycling aspect of this, and it is a key part of my question going forward.

Just turned fifty and I am done walking to an outbuilding that often to fill the stove. I am going to add a stall to my garage (properly isolated and insurance compliant) so that I can move into the envelope. So here is the question. Looking for a boiler recommendation for burning dimensional lumber and sawdust scrap To heat approximately 5000 squared feet of modern construction with twelve hour fills. I am saying 125000 of btu is sufficient based on what I have gotten out of my aquatherm 140 running flat out but I realistically need to look deeper into that question. While no one wants to waste wood, honestly efficiency is less important than cost. Capacity is more Important that exhaust characteristics. My nearest neighbor is a half mile, and he burns wood too. So I thiink I stand a lot of the normal assumptions on their heads. So, looking for low cost, balanced with best efficiency and longevity obviously. Not as concerned about smoke or extreme efficiency. Scrap is all kiln dried so I think a gasification boiler is the obvious candidate like the Tarm or Eko, but considering a used wood masteror cenral OWB to just move inside.

any insights appreciated.
I would definitely install storage even if it’s only a few hundred gallons. It’s makes things so much easier. Don’t have to babysit the boiler as much. Hot full burn fires equals no creosote. Can leave home longer and still have a warm house without using backup heat.
 
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Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
383
Manitoba
I did a quick read over on your post and as much as the Aqutherms are inefficient... every 2 hours is a larger heat load than you think. Not sure if it's bad in ground pipe insulation or what the deal is, but you definitely don't want to be left unhappy with what you believe is an upgrade.

There is more information needed before even recommending a boiler/ sizing requirements for your needs.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,311
Northern NH
I ran my ancient Burham for 3 years without storage, It's was PITA and only ran it when it was quite cold out or when I cam home from a few days out on the road with the thermostat turned down. I put in 500 gallons of storage and really have not used oil since (been at least 7 years.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,933
Nova Scotia
I did a quick read over on your post and as much as the Aqutherms are inefficient... every 2 hours is a larger heat load than you think. Not sure if it's bad in ground pipe insulation or what the deal is, but you definitely don't want to be left unhappy with what you believe is an upgrade.

There is more information needed before even recommending a boiler/ sizing requirements for your needs.
OP hasn't been back since he started the thread. He wouldn't need to read past your posts and pics to get his answers. Between moving to a modern gasser and getting rid of his existing underground piping (and making sure if he put any new in, it was the proper good stuff), he would be miles ahead of where he is now.
 
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TheCastle

New Member
Jan 31, 2022
2
Wisconsin
from the sounds of your post a polar boiler would be a good fit. Keep your indoor smoke free and have enough storage to keep the burn times reasonably efficient.
 
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