oil hydro-air

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Suit

Member
Oct 26, 2014
9
CT
I'm looking at buying a house with oil boiler, hydro-air and several air handlers, and with BoilerMate indirect-fired water heater, as well as a swimming pool with attached hot tub. Is it possible to get and setup an outdoor wood boiler that can heat the system but keep the regular oil-fired boiler ready to go when the OWB was going to be left off? For example, if I was going to be traveling, or sick, or injured and unable to load the OWB, or just ran out of wood, whatever, would like to heave peace of mind to know that the system would switch back to oil. Also wondering if I can set up OWB in that or another scenario to also heat a swimming pool and attached hot tub instead of using an old broken pool heat pump. IF so, how do central OWBs do with pools compared to heat pump or propane pool heater? Thanks!
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,480
Northern NH
Before you spend a lot of time on a OWB, can you even install one? A search for CT regulations I found this

In specifying these requirements, the law distinguishes between two groups of OWFs (CT name for OWB)based on when they were built. Those that were built, modified, or in use on or after July 8, 2005 must: 1. be sited at least 200 feet from the nearest neighboring residence; 2. have a chimney shorter than 55 feet tall, but higher than the roof peaks of neighboring residenes within 500 feet of the OWF; and 3. be installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s written instructions, provided the instructions comply with the law. Those that were built, modified, or in use before July 8, 2005 do not have to comply with the above requirements.
 

E Yoder

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2017
579
Floyd, VA
To begin with, if your oil boiler heated all the heating loads already, then all you need to do is heat up the oil boiler with the outdoor boiler. I'd use a flat plate heat exchanger and a temp controller to decide to switch between oil and OWB depending on OWB water temperature.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,478
Northern Canada
Design your system with storage and you will be a lot happier
Wood consumption will drop
plus the demand for your time to make sure you are there to stoke the fire is reduced.You can fire at your connivance as apposed to the BTU load at the time.
 

Suit

Member
Oct 26, 2014
9
CT
Before you spend a lot of time on a OWB, can you even install one? A search for CT regulations I found this

In specifying these requirements, the law distinguishes between two groups of OWFs (CT name for OWB)based on when they were built. Those that were built, modified, or in use on or after July 8, 2005 must: 1. be sited at least 200 feet from the nearest neighboring residence; 2. have a chimney shorter than 55 feet tall, but higher than the roof peaks of neighboring residenes within 500 feet of the OWF; and 3. be installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s written instructions, provided the instructions comply with the law. Those that were built, modified, or in use before July 8, 2005 do not have to comply with the above requirements.
I believe I have a site that matches all of those requirements-- big lots on top of a hill.
 
Last edited:

Suit

Member
Oct 26, 2014
9
CT
To begin with, if your oil boiler heated all the heating loads already, then all you need to do is heat up the oil boiler with the outdoor boiler. I'd use a flat plate heat exchanger and a temp controller to decide to switch between oil and OWB depending on OWB water temperature.
This sounds perfect. Is there any guides or writeups to get started with this? Would the OWB heat exchanger just go in the line returning cold water to the oil boiler?
 

E Yoder

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2017
579
Floyd, VA
What I have done on most oil or gas boilers is tee the supply and return piping. Then pump the cooler return water through flat plate (which has the owb water circulating through the other side continuously) then back into the top of the boiler.
The temp controller reads the incoming temp of the OWB water and redirects the power to the oil gun to the pump circulating to the flat plate. You could do the same thing with a 3 way light switch, but then it's a manual changeover.
I don't have any drawings or guide, it's just what I've made work. Realistically we're so busy I won't get a drawing made any time soon. :)