My First Winter With a New Vedolux 350

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HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
45
WA
I decided to pull the trigger January 2019 and install a Vedolux 350. I live in Washington state and the state's Department of Ecology has very strict standards for wood burning hydronic appliances. The Vedolux 350 and 450 were the only products approved for indoor use and also require a closed heating system (the water in the boiler is not open to the atmosphere like outdoor wood boilers, none of which are approved for installation in WA). This means I can connect it directly to my existing hot water radiant system and put the propane boiler in standby when using the 350.

The 350's heating capacity with a 500 gallon storage tank is a good match for my home. I contacted my local propane company to see if they had any decommissioned tanks I could use for a storage tank. They had one 500 gallon tank they would sell for $200. I then had them add 3 additional ports for pipe connections where I needed them.

I had the 350 delivered to the propane company since they had the ability to unload the 1,400 pound pallet from the freight truck and load it into my trailer. Then came the process of getting it off the trailer into the garage. With the neighbor's help it slid off the trailer and into the desired location at the back of the garage.

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After seeing the tank I would use for storage I realized two things. I would need to be able to move the 1,000 pound tank around the garage during construction. I also needed to permanently elevate the tank so I could easily access the pipe connections on the bottom. So, I built two large dollies with casters rated for the weight of the tank when full of water, 5,200 pounds. The casters also have retractable feet I can drop down for permanent placement in the final location.

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Another consideration arises when installing wood burning appliances. National fire codes prohibit installation in garages. My project had to included erecting a fire-rated wall to create a mechanical room separated from the garage space. My oversized garage had exactly the right amount of space for this.

In addition, my home owners insurance company was very reluctant to continue insuring with any wood burning appliances in the home. I then had to take time to go insurance shopping. It didn’t take long to find an alternative who had no problem with wood stoves/furnaces/boilers. The only stipulation was is couldn’t be the primary heat source.

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I was reminded again why I don’t to drywall for a living.

The makeup air vent is installed.

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The storage tank is placed in it’s final location and connected to the 350, expansion tanks, and the circulating pumps. Now awaiting the arrival of tank insulation.

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There are two circulating pumps. One is a variable-speed pump (right) to move hot water to the radiant heating system. The other single-speed pump moves hot water through a brazed plate heat exchanger to preheat cold water entering the water heater for the domestic hot water, faucets and showers.

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Brazed plate heat exchanger for domestic hot water preheat.

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I needed an automated way to put the propane boiler for the radiant system into standby if the water temperature in the storage tank was sufficient to fulfill the radiant heating requirement. And then switch back to the propane boiler when the hot water is depleted. In the end I decided to use two Heat Timer modulating controllers.

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The right-hand control uses an outdoor sensor to determine the required radiant water temperature based on the outside temperature. A second sensor in the storage tank is used to decide if the water temperature is sufficiently hot. If yes, then the propane boiler is put into standby and the left-hand controller is enabled allowing it to activate the variable-speed pump and mix hot water from the storage tank with the radiant system water. A temperature sensor in the radiant system is used to vary the pump speed so that the desired target water temperature for heating is maintained.

First full load test. The Vdolux 350 works flawlessly and is easy to light. I’m burning a mix of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir with a moisture content of 8 to 14 percent. The next several weeks were spent looking for and fixing plumbing leaks.

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Tank insulation finally arrives.

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My winter wood supply. In my area there’s and infinite supply of wood available from the neighboring property owners who are happy to have me come in and thin and clean up dead/dying trees and keep the wood. Before this project I used to have to sell 10 cords of wood per year to pay for my propane. Now I can heat with the Vedolux 350 for a year with 4 cords and sell the other 6 and pocket the cash.

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,406
Northern NH
One very impressive installation. When the opportunity arises " do it one and do it right" is the way to go. Neater than some of the commercial jobs I see. Really nice work on the propane tank insulation, cutting the heads is an art .
 
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Black7

Member
Nov 30, 2008
5
U.P. of MI
Nice work. I put a Vedolux 55, and about 850 gallons of storage, this past Fall (2019). It's been nice, to say the least. Dean helped me out immeasurably. I'm sure he enjoys every day that doesn't have an email in his inbox, from me!;lol He has the patience of a Saint.
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
45
WA
Nice work. I put a Vedolux 55, and about 850 gallons of storage, this past Fall (2019). It's been nice, to say the least. Dean helped me out immeasurably. I'm sure he enjoys every day that doesn't have an email in his inbox, from me!;lol He has the patience of a Saint.
Likewise here. Dean was a great help during the design phase.
 
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CombatChris

Member
Mar 27, 2014
127
Central NC
Very VERY much considering a Vedolux 37 to replace an old Titan 101 from the 70's, I think. Currently I have no thermal storage and it can't keep a real fire burning for more than ~90 min or so. So every morning is a cold morning. Cool only if I've had the house as hot as I can get it all day and load it right before bed. Even then, it's just cool.

So here's my issue. My boiler is, and I would like to keep it this way, in the basement. I can fit a Vedolux 37 through the only available door but the weight of it is going to be fun. But storage is another issue. I think I'm going to have to roll my own with a bunch of ~60 gallon storage tanks. Anything bigger than that isn't going to fit. So I'm looking at plumbing 8 of them all together in a 4x2 config.

For your insurance company did they need to have a boiler which had an ASCE certification?
 

hobbyheater

Minister of Fire
Nov 14, 2011
1,190
Very VERY much considering a Vedolux 37 to replace an old Titan 101 from the 70's, I think. Currently I have no thermal storage and it can't keep a real fire burning for more than ~90 min or so. So every morning is a cold morning. Cool only if I've had the house as hot as I can get it all day and load it right before bed. Even then, it's just cool.

So here's my issue. My boiler is, and I would like to keep it this way, in the basement. I can fit a Vedolux 37 through the only available door but the weight of it is going to be fun. But storage is another issue. I think I'm going to have to roll my own with a bunch of ~60 gallon storage tanks. Anything bigger than that isn't going to fit. So I'm looking at plumbing 8 of them all together in a 4x2 config.

For your insurance company did they need to have a boiler which had an ASCE certification?
Have you considered this company for storage !
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,784
Nova Scotia
Very VERY much considering a Vedolux 37 to replace an old Titan 101 from the 70's, I think. Currently I have no thermal storage and it can't keep a real fire burning for more than ~90 min or so. So every morning is a cold morning. Cool only if I've had the house as hot as I can get it all day and load it right before bed. Even then, it's just cool.

So here's my issue. My boiler is, and I would like to keep it this way, in the basement. I can fit a Vedolux 37 through the only available door but the weight of it is going to be fun. But storage is another issue. I think I'm going to have to roll my own with a bunch of ~60 gallon storage tanks. Anything bigger than that isn't going to fit. So I'm looking at plumbing 8 of them all together in a 4x2 config.

For your insurance company did they need to have a boiler which had an ASCE certification?

It likely depends on jurisdictions and local insurance agent things, but the only thing my guy said was make sure the boiler had a CSA sticker.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,406
Northern NH
ASCE (America Society of Civil Engineers) or ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)?

Generally ASME is certifies pressure vessels and boiler. Every state has different requirements for boilers but the default is ASME rated. Some have exclusions for home heating units. European certifications rarely replace a ASME certification.
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
45
WA
For your insurance company did they need to have a boiler which had an ASCE certification?


The insurance company had no such requirements. The only stipulations were that the boiler could be the primary heat source and the installation comply with the county building permit and inspections. The county required that the installation comply with the residential plumbing and mechanical codes and with the manufacturer's installation instructions.
 

HardDrinkin'Lincoln

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
45
WA
The insurance company had no such requirements. The only stipulations were that the boiler could be the primary heat source and the installation comply with the county building permit and inspections. The county required that the installation comply with the residential plumbing and mechanical codes and with the manufacturer's installation instructions.
Oops. This should read "The only stipulations were that the boiler could NOT be the primary heat source ..."