Newbie question on Outdoor boiler: Central Boiler E2400 vs. Portage & Main Optimizer250

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New Member
Sep 24, 2014
Hey folks, I'm new to the Forum so bear with me! I'm pretty excited about starting down the path of burning wood to hear my home in central Maryland. I have 3 old school fireplaces and my wife and three kids love using them but I know much of my heat goes right up the stack. Now that I'm looking at wood burning boilers, I'm at a crossroad. I know I need an EPA Phase 2 approved boiler but I can't decide between the two boilers listed above. Because I am a hyper researcher, I've read positive and 'not so' reviews on the boilers. Feedback that I saw when I googled 'Central Boiler problems' was: The spray foam insulation on the E2400 creates such a good seal that owners indicate there is a tendency to retain condensation that harbors corrosion. There are some pretty sobering horror stories about relatively new Central Boilers that corrode catastrophically and the owners are very frustrated because Central alleges that they burned un-seasoned wood or garbage. On the other hand, the Portage & Main units are different but require a bimonthly cleaning of the heat exchange tubes, something that would be nice to not have to do. Also, there are efficiencies on the EPA website that put the CB unit ahead of the P&M unit in terms of heat output. My goal is here in Maryland, where it rarely gets below 15 degrees at night, to heat my 3000 sf home with ONE load of wood per day. To you folks out there who have more experience than I, is that realistic in my temperature zone? Also, if I burned 1100 gallons of fuel oil last year, am I looking at 6, 8, 10, or 12 cords for this year? Sorry for the amateur questions but I'd love to have feedback on the boiler issue as well as consumption question. Thanks!


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Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2012
Give portage and main a call. the optimizer 250 is being changed to a sectional boiler. availability of the previous model they could advise you.
slimjim is your NE Rep he contributes often on that site. He has the new optimizer now not sure if he has run it yet.

try a craigslist search for owb. you will see many CB 2300 and 2400 for sale used. my understanding is that the 1450 is the work horse in their line.

once you decide on your boiler add up the numbers and post the cost. on this site you will get an education on the use of an indoor wood boiler and storage configuration that may fit your 1 load a day convenience.

Welcome to the Hearth!
If you have dry wood you should be ready for this year!


Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2008
northern-half of maine
When I was looking at boilers years ago, the e-classic salesman told me to figure for every 100 gals of oil, 1 cord of seasoned wood should replace that. Don't have any experience with P and M.

My gasser replaced 150/175 gals of oil with a cord of well seasoned wood.


Jul 22, 2014
don't know what stove u should go with ...but my last house was 3000 sq feet (768ft of that a garage) and heating of water HOT / all u wanted...... and the home to 68.5deg and the attached garage to 62deg, came to 1451 gallons a year ....cold to 30 below and no direct sunshine... Period ....from turkey day till 20something February each year..
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