Is there a Cheaper more basic boiler?

Nickkendall

New Member
Mar 7, 2021
19
North dakota
I have radiant heat in my house and garage. We are using a electric boiler currently. I am was planning on adding a new wood stove in the garage to help as garage is connected and fairly large Then I came accoss the idea of an indoor wood boiler. But there don’t seem to be very many options and what I do find is extremely expensive. Is there any more basic affordable options or do I just need to stick with a wood stove? I would love to find a good used one but in North Dakota there is nothing to pick from
Thanks
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
384
Hicksville, Ohio
Indoor boiler systems with storage are not cheap. There are some lesser known brands that are not EPA certified that can be bought for half price or less. That's a pretty controversial subject around here though. The storage aspect will still usually run a couple grand as well. A regular wood stove supplemented with a propane or NG boiler would definitely be a good economical option.
 
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monteville

New Member
Nov 23, 2019
67
Dallas
Indoor boiler systems with storage are not cheap. There are some lesser known brands that are not EPA certified that can be bought for half price or less. That's a pretty controversial subject around here though. The storage aspect will still usually run a couple grand as well. A regular wood stove supplemented with a propane or NG boiler would definitely be a good economical option.
with storage of what? firewood? chips ? pellets?
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
384
Hicksville, Ohio
with storage of what? firewood? chips ? pellets?
Thermal storage. Most indoor boilers are connected to large insulated water tanks. The boiler heats the tank, the water from the tank heats your house. Others (who actually own boilers) will be along soon to explain more in detail.
I too looked into boilers a year ago, but decided against it also because of the $$ involved. I was not set up with radiant heating however. Had that been the case I may have bit the bullet and went that route.
 

monteville

New Member
Nov 23, 2019
67
Dallas
Thermal storage. Most indoor boilers are connected to large insulated water tanks. The boiler heats the tank, the water from the tank heats your house. Others (who actually own boilers) will be along soon to explain more in detail.
I too looked into boilers a year ago, but decided against it also because of the $$ involved. I was not set up with radiant heating however. Had that been the case I may have bit the bullet and went that route.
Sound like a water heater tank. I have the idea of replacing the gas burner of a water heater tank with a wood burner.
 

Nickkendall

New Member
Mar 7, 2021
19
North dakota
Indoor boiler systems with storage are not cheap. There are some lesser known brands that are not EPA certified that can be bought for half price or less. That's a pretty controversial subject around here though. The storage aspect will still usually run a couple grand as well. A regular wood stove supplemented with a propane or NG boiler would definitely be a good economical option.
I have no problem with a non certified boiler I’m not going to be using it all the time just occasionally when it’s really cold
what are some options?
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,510
Northern Maine
Describe affordable in your own terms.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,138
Northern NH
Indoor wood boilers are complex systems that need to be customized for the house. Anyone buying a house with a system can have a tough time learning the system in enough detail to successfully run it. New owners also tend to have not learned the lesson on seasoned wood and try to burn green wood and have potential creosote issues. Finally some systems had compromises in their components particularly hot water storage tanks that can lead to stopping the use of a system. Many storage tanks were moved into place with no provisions for removal, if the tank fails the system is not easily repairable. Some folks eventually just decide that the hassle involved with burning wood is not worth it and just stop using them. Therefore good wood boilers pop up on occasion for sale used for cheap where the current owner wants them gone. If you have the rigging skills and the installation skills you end up with a quality unit for low cost and then can spend some of the savings on upgrading the poor quality components.
 

Nickkendall

New Member
Mar 7, 2021
19
North dakota
Indoor wood boilers are complex systems that need to be customized for the house. Anyone buying a house with a system can have a tough time learning the system in enough detail to successfully run it. New owners also tend to have not learned the lesson on seasoned wood and try to burn green wood and have potential creosote issues. Finally some systems had compromises in their components particularly hot water storage tanks that can lead to stopping the use of a system. Many storage tanks were moved into place with no provisions for removal, if the tank fails the system is not easily repairable. Some folks eventually just decide that the hassle involved with burning wood is not worth it and just stop using them. Therefore good wood boilers pop up on occasion for sale used for cheap where the current owner wants them gone. If you have the rigging skills and the installation skills you end up with a quality unit for low cost and then can spend some of the savings on upgrading the poor quality components.
Great I am seeing that a wood boiler cost way more then a propane or electic I love to do stuff myself and would like to find a good used one Only thing is I don’t see any used indoor boilers for sale lots of outdoors
Does a boiler have to have a storage tank of could it be just tied into existing system and it’s only heats the fluid as it passes though. And when it’s not being run the electric would do the work
Thanks
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,138
Northern NH
Do not waste your time on an indoor wood boiler system without proper thermal storage. 500 to 1000 gallons minimum. It effectively acquires the bad attributes of an outdoor boiler (lots more wood consumption and lots more creosote). Storage means the indoor boiler is run at its most efficient operating point for several hours and then shut down so it never idles.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,510
Northern Maine
Indoor boilers become available but having the local enough is an issue. Mine was used that came from Eastern NY, parked it in MA for a couple of weeks and then I transported it to Northern Maine. 13 or so hours total time of travel.
The seller was found here on Hearth and his addition forced the sale (or at least that was the story) I was not interested in an open system so I did not buy his AST tank, coil or his power loss over heat protection.
That left me with buying new ASME rated tanks and building the protection on my joists near the boiler as well as an insulated room housing the tanks.
The boiler was relativity a newer model for about 50% off retail. It was borderline on sizing so I burn a little more than estimated so I end up having multiple hot reloads when it's really cold.

I personally would not own an outdoor unit but that's me.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
327
Colorado
This might be stupid but it worth asking for me..I have copper piping in my basement area and those pipes extends up into my house along the side of the walls would this be considered hot water heater or do I have a boiler somewhere down there heating my house like would it be a boiler or a furnace or hot water heat what do I call it..What in the world is Boiler wood heat like your mentioning and why the big fuss about it .. Would not it be hot water heat or something like I have??? clancey
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,510
Northern Maine
This might be stupid but it worth asking for me..I have copper piping in my basement area and those pipes extends up into my house along the side of the walls would this be considered hot water heater or do I have a boiler somewhere down there heating my house like would it be a boiler or a furnace or hot water heat what do I call it..What in the world is Boiler wood heat like your mentioning and why the big fuss about it .. Would not it be hot water heat or something like I have??? clancey
You have something making hot water that feeds the piping hot water that is keeping you warm.
Best to Google Tarm Biomass to see how a wood boiler works. Pictures are worth a million words sometimes. There are other websites as well like Smokeless Heat. Smokeless was very helpful and made it to my very short list of companies. In fact the list was reduced to 2 companies and saving a fist full of money was in my favor and that don't happen very often.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,154
NE Ohio
Mine was used that came from Eastern NY, parked it in MA for a couple of weeks and then I transported it to Northern Maine. 13 or so hours total time of travel.
I made a 16 hour round trip to Wisconsin for my Kuuma furnace (that was just travel time...made a weekend out of it actually)
 
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cumminstinkerer

Burning Hunk
Feb 2, 2016
162
central iowa
I made a ten hour trip to SE Wisconsin for my used Econoburn, another member had it and offered it to me at a great price, I also made a weekend out of it since I have family 40 minutes from the other member.
 

Nickkendall

New Member
Mar 7, 2021
19
North dakota
So if I had a wood boiler to be efficient I would need also storage tanks? Who has made there own setup of tubing something that heats water close by a wood stove just using that in addition to regular boiler? When the wood stove is burning it is adding some heat to the floor system when it’s not the floor is heated with its electric boiler?
 

Nickkendall

New Member
Mar 7, 2021
19
North dakota
After watching the old tarm video makes. E want one of them But I guessing there are few and far between? And I still should have storage Can storage tanks be added on a closed loop glycol filled system?
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
995
South Central Minnesota
I have no problem with a non certified boiler I’m not going to be using it all the time just occasionally when it’s really cold
what are some options?
I'd look at an Attack, Biomass or EKO from newhorizonstore.com if they are still available. All downdraft european gassers so they are efficient and clean burning but will not have US EPA certification. I am happy with my Attack 45K with the lamba option but it cost me about $6K for just the boiler. I have $400 into my two scrap 500gallon propane tanks for heat storage but lots of time to clean them out and drill and weld on the proper fittings.
Probably another $3k in pumps, fittings, expansion, copper tubing, heat emitters, spray in trench underground lines etc, etc. You'll save a bit if everything is in the same building. (no underground lines). You won't find any of these boilers used in North Dakota, maybe if you were out east. I'm in MN and the only thing that comes up used is the occasional conventional indoor boiler (old) and they're not worth it IMHO due to in-efficiency and the amount of reloading they will require.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,138
Northern NH
After watching the old tarm video makes. E want one of them But I guessing there are few and far between? And I still should have storage Can storage tanks be added on a closed loop glycol filled system?
My neighbor is the poster child for not using storage with Tarm indoor wood boiler. He had too many chimney fire to count and then melted a stainless steel liner.

I have friend that has heated his house for 25 years using coil on wood stove. He has several safety systems to make sure he does not boil the coil or run it dry. He also has dump zone to dump excess heat. It can be done but requires some knowledge of controls and systems sop that its fool resistant. he has an oil boiler but only one flue os he has baseboards

A closed loop gycol system is best tied to unpressurized hot water storage tank. American Solar Technics, owned by Hearth.com member (Tom in Maine) is the maunfacturer. The tank would be filled with water and would be heated by a coil filled with glycol instead of water. Things would get far trickier with pressurized tank unless you want to buy 500 gallons of glycol
 

monteville

New Member
Nov 23, 2019
67
Dallas
Wood is not like natural gas that can be easily turned on and off, when you turn down a wood fire, it will smolder and generate creosote.
Storage don't solve the root cause.
I believe the ultimate solution is a wood burner that can efficiently output any power between 0 and MAX BTU.