New to boilers... Questions about getting into it

jorswift Posted By jorswift, Jun 21, 2018 at 9:51 AM

  1. jorswift

    jorswift
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    Jan 25, 2016
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    Hell all,
    I have been looking at ways to subsidize my electric heating. I live in a woods and have an endless supply. I have a factory built fireplace which is a POS. My wife is against a woodstove, so I am looking at a outside wood boiler system.

    I found a semi-local guy who has a Heatmor used for sale. It has a small pin sized hole at the top of the firebox. Is this something a skilled stainless welder can fix? Is there anything else to looks for? I am trying to purchase on a budget and do most install myself with help of others who have a boiler. Thanks.
     
  2. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Personally I wouldn't buy it nor would I get into an outdoor boiler but that's just me. There is a huge market for them. What is your plan for distribution of the heat in the house if you are running electric (baseboard I assume) now?

    Why is she against a wood stove or a fireplace insert?
     
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  3. jorswift

    jorswift
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    We have a heat pump currently. When temps get below 15-10* it is hard to keep a constant heat in the house, not to mention the electric meter flying off the handle. I fi go with the boiler, I will run it to my furnace blower and distribute throughout the entire house and also my garage, as it is heated with an electric heater as well.

    It is hard to find a insert for the factory built fireplace. The way our home is laid out with the fireplace in the corner, I will lose about 18-20" of living space in my corner which equals quite a bit with the 7' long wall being pushed in. She likes the looks and aesthetics of the fireplace and mantle. Wants to keep it I guess.
     
  4. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    The Heatmor is a 409 tank. Not difficult to weld. But with one pinhole it may have electrolysis issues going on with more ready to come through. My experience is if it has brown sludge in the bottom don't touch it. It's hard to say though what is going on in it.
    I install quite a few outdoor furnaces to heat pumps. It can double or triple the btu output. Air temps can usually be boosted to over 120F. Night and day difference.
     
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  5. jorswift

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    Here are 2 pics the seller sent of the firebox.
     

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  6. E Yoder

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    Looks very clean. Has it been burned much? What year model?
     
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  7. jorswift

    jorswift
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    Heatmor 200css
    Built in 2005
     
  8. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    It'd be interesting to see more pictures. Records of water treatment tests would be great if they have them.
    I think you'll love the heat, whatever furnace you get. I hear it quite often from folks who went from "heating" with a heat pump to burning wood. They finally get warm. And lots of hot water.
     
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  9. jorswift

    jorswift
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    Not sure about water tests. This person "just" moved into the house and is using a wood stove. Thus why he is selling it. States it hasn't been used for a few seasons.
     
  10. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    Hmm, maybe that's why it looks lightly used.
    It's like buying a used car. You look it over real close and take a chance.
     
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  11. jorswift

    jorswift
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    Went ant looked at the boiler. Looked clean other than a boil over. It came with pump, blower, t-stat, and some other things. I ended up getting pretty cheap, $300. so worth the gamble to me, and I hate gambling! I will have to take a closer look at the pump to see what size it is, but I am looking to install about 100' or so away from the house, maybe closer. Going to put a water to air exchanger in furnace. Also, going to run 2 extra lines for garage hook-up as we have a $$$$ electric heater in there too.

    But I will have to hook up a hose to it and see if it leaks first.
     
  12. E Yoder

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    Wow, that's a smidge over scrap price. Can't go wrong with that.
    Depending on the size of the house we often pull the garage (if it's attached) heat off after the house heat. Using one main loop coming in to catch a flat plate for domestic hot water, then a secondary loop pulling off the main going through the house heating coil, then the garage.
    It all depends on how it's laid out.
     
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  13. jorswift

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    I may need to see your loop setup. Again, this is all new to me. If I do 2 loops it is going to be 400' of pex! We don't keep the garage too warm, but my wife does work out of it. So we keep it a constant temp.
     
  14. E Yoder

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    Obviously you'll need to be able to run piping between the heat pump air handler and the garage for the primary-secondary thing to work.
    I'll be glad to pm you a drawing whenever you are at that point.
    A heat pump is a high air volume/ low air temp system which means you can run with lower flow rates on the wood furnace lines and still get by. It'll just have lower return water temps.
    Model # on the heat pump would help with sizing, and square footage of the garage.
    But- I'm ahead of things, the first step is checking/ fixing the leak in the wood boiler.
     
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  15. jorswift

    jorswift
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    Thanks that is good to know. I was planning on get a second unit to hang in the garage to replace the small electric heater in there. I believe it cannot be very efficient!
     
  16. E Yoder

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    Yeah, there's no reason to let the meter spin more than it has to.
    If you get the wattage or amp rating off the electric heater you can be sure to size the fan/coil large enough. Some hanging type fan/coils are kind of noisy, a squirrel cage blower is quieter.
    My favorite is a cast iron radiator.
     
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  17. maple1

    maple1
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    Have you priced out your underground piping yet?

    Doing that should get you to examining your layout to minimize the piping needed. Doing it with the right stuff will be $10+ per foot. And you need to do it with the right stuff. Sized right.
     
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  18. Marshy

    Marshy
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    $16/ft for 1.25" thermopex last I looked. Less for 1".
     
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