Question Re: Maintaining Heat

MandoLinda Posted By MandoLinda, Dec 13, 2017 at 7:15 PM

  1. MandoLinda

    MandoLinda
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 8, 2017
    6
    0
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Howdy, I am a new member and this is my first post. I purchased a home with a Tarm MK II Solo Plus wood boiler with 690 gallons of thermal storage. In late fall/early winter I started the boiler to heat the house but let the fire burn out before going to bed. I try not to let my thermal storage get above 170 degrees. With the boiler not burning overnight, the water is still circulating but the temperature in my tank drops at least 10 degrees. It is cold in the house in the morning and the fire out by this time.

    My question is this: Now that it's really getting cold outside, how do I maintain my air temperature all night? Do I load the boiler with wood and turn down the draft fan so the fire burns (or smolders) all night? I thought that's what caused creosote. Should I strive to keep my boiler burning all the time or should I cycle it like I have been doing? Any advice would be appreciate.
     
  2. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 18, 2012
    401
    59
    Loc:
    Canterbury NH
    I’m a little confused.... it kind of sounds like you arent sure how batch burning works with storage. The purpose of the storage is to charge it with the btus produced by the boiler. That means starting a fire and running the tarm until it expels the load of wood. I don’t batch burn with storage so others who do can chime in here but I’m confused as to why you are only putting in enough wood to bring it to 170? That’s like only charging your car battery to 75% and then wondering why the car won’t start on the cold morning.
     
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,712
    944
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Best idea is give the folks at Tarm USA a call. http://www.woodboilers.com/. Since the prior poster is in Canterbury and I am up north in Gorham maybe a house call is in order?

    It does sound odd how you are operating it or how its installed. There is no standard configuration and every installer may install the boiler differently so the first thing to do is figure out how your is plumbed and controlled. The biggest question is if the storage tank is pressurized or non pressurized but there are many others that someone will need to know to help you.

    I have a much older design wood boiler with 500 gallons of un-pressurized storage and can typically run 24 hours between burns in winter. Mine uses my oil boiler thermostats and circulators to move heat around. Mine is set up so that the oil boiler sits in the background and automatically turns on if there is heating demand and the storage temperature is below 140 degrees. How I operate it is in the evening I run the wood boiler with the damper wide open to charge the storage. This can take a couple of hours, during this time my heating zones still work, they just are getting the somewhat cooler water after it has gone through the coil in the storage tank. When the storage tank gets over 185 degrees a temperature sensor shuts down flow to the storage tank and routes it back to the boiler which causes the wood boiler to heat up to 190 where the air damper closes. I usually adjust my loads so the tank get close to 185 and then I manually switch off the flow to the coil. If I timed it right I have run out of wood and I shut down the wood boiler air damper but leave the boiler circulator pump on until the wood boiler drops below 140 deg F. Once the wood boiler is shut off whenever a thermostat calls for heat, the circulators run and route the boiler through the same coil in the tank. The water in the tank is hotter than the water in the radiator loop so water to the radiators is heated up and then circulated to the radiators until the thermostat in the room shuts off.

    Some of the older installations kept the wood boiler circulator running 24/7 and used the wood boiler to keep the oil boiler warm and then used the oil boiler thermostats and circulators to distribute heat. That was a simple hookup but what it also did was send a lot of heat up the oil boiler stack. I am guessing that this maybe where your heat is going but that is just a guess.
     
  4. JohnDolz

    JohnDolz
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 29, 2015
    424
    67
    Loc:
    Burlington, CT
    Just curious what type of heat emitters you have? I have baseboard hotwater and sometimes I fall asleep without starting a fire and my tank drops to 110 or so in the morning but my house is still at 67 or 68 degrees. Wondering why you would have a cold house if your tank is still at 160 (you mention getting it to 170 and dropping 10 degrees over night). I agree with the advice others provided, the folks at arm will be a huge help and and I would definitely get my tanks to a higher temp (I have a pressurized system and target 185 - 195 for top tank temp).
     
  5. ihookem

    ihookem
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 25, 2009
    671
    43
    Loc:
    Allenton, Wisconsin
    It seems like you are not running your boiler hard enough or long enough. If your water is only 170 * max , you need to ad more wood before bed time. This will get the temp up and the boiler should still be a lot hotter than the way you are doing it. If you put too much wood in it will sit on idle till the water cools a bit. So what , you will burn a bit more wood. You may see some creosote. So what , I have a gasidier and most woulds be appalled . My creosote drips off the top of my wood stove cause my house is so efficient it idles most of the time and I dont have storage. I honestly am fine without storage. I believe my EKO 25 will last longer if I fire it up Dec. 1 and keep it hot till the end of March. The steel does not shrink and expand nearly as much. Just a theory.
     
  6. dogwood

    dogwood
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 22, 2009
    801
    39
    Loc:
    Western VA
    Mandolinda. The idea with storage is to heat it up to180 degrees or slightly more with your boiler running full out, and using up every bit of the wood you loaded into the firebox to get the storage tank to 180 . (Some members here can get their storage up as high as 190 degrees by hard to understand, possibly arcane methods). Then you heat your home with the heat you now have in storage, until your storage temp drops down to the lowest level useful to your emitters. In my case that is a temperature of 140 degrees. Then you reload your boiler as before, and start the process all over again. Your boiler should not be burning except for a smaller portion of the day, and usually only when it is approaching depletion.

    You definitely do not want to use your boiler as you would a wood stove and be burning small amounts all day. To avoid nasty creosote buildup you always want your boiler running full out when burning, and then running out of wood just as your storage tank tops out at its highest possible temperature. You definitely do not want to raise your storage to only a meager 170 degrees, Using my above example, instead of having stored away 40 degrees of usable heat at 180 degrees, you've only stored away 30 degrees of usable heat at 170 degrees. No wonder your storage has run out of heat while you were sleeping. You only have it heated to 75% capacity.

    Last night was the coldest night we've had here this year, down into the teens. My 1000 gallons of storage was depleted (down to 140 degrees) about midnight. So before I went to bed I reloaded the boiler with about 80 lbs of wood and let it burn full out for about three hours it normally takes per load, while I slept. I didn't have to reload and burn again until about 10:00 or 11:00 this morning. I have a Tarm Solo Innova, probably fairly similar to your Solo Plus. Read your manual (or get one online or from Tarm Biomass in New Hampshire) and it will explain the process similarly. If you want to learn how to estimate how much wood to put in your boiler each time, search this site for some of Jebatty's old posts on wood weighing.

    It's about 11:15 pm now. I'm going to go check my storage tank temperature and probably find out its almost depleted, and needing to be recharged, since it's been very cold today. So I'll probably be loading the boiler in short order to burn while I sleep. That's how you do it. It's easy once you get used to it. I've got a little cheat sheet chart hanging next to my storage tank thermometer that tells me exactly how many pounds of 20% or less moisture content wood to burn to get that tank back up to 180 degrees from whatever temperature its currently at,

    Mike
     
  7. MandoLinda

    MandoLinda
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 8, 2017
    6
    0
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for all the advice. I have baseboard hot water heat. My storage tank is 690 gallons non-pressurized with a rubberized (EPDM) liner. The folks at Tarm advised not to go any hotter than 170 degrees because it would not be good for the liner in the tank. My wood boiler circulator kicks on at 170 degrees and stays on 24/7 with hot water running through the oil boiler. I didn't realize I could ramp up the temperature in my storage tank. I will give that a try. Also, it seems that it is fairly routine to have water in the storage tank fluctuate in temperature throughout the day/night and that I shouldn't have to keep my boiler running 24/7.

    Part of the reason my house is cold is that I have a living room with a large cathedral ceiling with front glass windows. The back rooms with lower ceilings heat fine. Thanks for all of the advice, it is very helpful.
     
  8. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    8,331
    1,545
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    The Tarm guys may be right about the EPDM so I would be cautious about trying to run it up too much past 170. Especially if it has a few years on it.

    That means you have two things that may need (likely should have) attention in the future. One is your liner situation. You may want to investigate getting the tank re-lined with a non-EPDM product so you can run higher temps. American Solartechnics would be the place to ask about that - owner is a member on here, Tom In Maine. I would contact him about that. If you have room, you may want to consider adding more storage while you are at it - I would also do that.

    Second, as already mentioned, is that it seems like you don't have the emitter power that you need for the heat loss your house has. If things were better matched there, your house should stay comfortable down to storage temps of 140 or so. So you should also consider & investigate adding more baseboard. Or panel rads or cast iron rads or some other type of emitter - although just adding more baseboard might be easiest.

    I have ordinary Slant Fin baseboard and I usually don't have to burn again until I get below 140. I think I was lucky there as I think it was oversized when the house was built. But I also could add more quite easily, and I have in a couple of spots, since when they installed it they ran the housing the full length of the wall in most cases but didn't put fins the whole length. So I could just cut in more fin tube if needed. Your situation may be different of course.

    But the first thing I would do on the emitting side is to make sure your controls are set right to let water keep circulating through your rads when temps get below 160 - when you wake up in the morning and the house is cool, is your circulator still circulating water through them? You didn't say what else you had for heat source, and I would assume there is a backup heat source. But it sounds like it isn't cutting in. Or else your house wouldn't cool off. If the controls aren't playing nice together or adjusted right, they could be stopping circulation when temp gets down to a certain point - at which point the backup should cut in & take over but sounds like it isn't? All depending on your overall system configuration.

    EDIT: I missed your last words about oil boiler. Sounds like something isn't quite set right or the oil would cut in & your house would be warm. Or you just have it switched off? Also, if the wood circ cuts in at 170, there must be a lower temp when it cuts out also?
     
  9. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,712
    944
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Hard to diagnose from a distance but it sounds like an odd set up. My guess is that the wood boiler and storage is just piped in a big loop to keep the oil boiler warm and then the oil boiler controls take care of the heat.

    It does sound like there could be an issue with the type and amount of radiators in the living room. Glass windows really suck a lot of heat out of the room and a cathedral ceiling also introduces issues as the heat ends up near the ceiling and not the floor. Ceiling fans can help a bit bit they also can be regarded as drafty. I have seen more than a few heating applications where the heating contractor skimped on the length and type of radiators in a room, frequently its a layout issue where there just is not enough room for enough radiators. The short term fix is to set the oil boiler to run very hot water temperatures out to the radiators as the amount of heat produced increases the hotter the water supplied. Ideally standard fin tube radiators that most houses have start to really lose capacity around 140 F. With an oil boiler there also is a potential issue with corrosion if it is operated below 140 F so most radiators are sized to put out enough heat with 140 degree water. There are also some "boneheaded" installation where the heating contractor puts in too much radiator for the amount of heat available, this means by the time the water has run through all the baseboards it is too cold to heat. Depending on the number of heating zones in the house this can be issue especially if they send the hottest water to the area that doesnt need it. For an example my parents had similar older home with similar living room. It had one zone for the first floor. The heating contractor routed the hottest water to the living room and then went through the bedrooms and utility room before it went back to the boiler. Had they reversed the flow we would have had to crank up the water temperature so that there was enough heat by the time it got to the living room.

    The condition where the boiler is running hotter water than typical is sometimes referred to as short cycling. It means the oil boiler is running frequently to maintain the abnormally high heating water circulation. In this case the wood boiler and its storage slows down this cycling when its loaded with wood but once the storage temp drops below 170 it now becomes a liability as the oil boiler is going to have to heat the house along with the wood boiler and the storage to maintain 170 degrees. Not a great idea.

    There is definitely is some speculation in my guess but ideally the oil boiler aquastat should be checked to see that the low setpoint is set at 140 F. In this situation you now have 690 gallons of water that is heated up by the wood boiler to 170 degrees, the oil boiler will not kick on until it drops down to 140. If your living room is too cold at 140 degrees I would suggest chasing the root cause which is not enough heat for the heating demand in the room, you choice is putting in more radiation that is capable of putting out heat at lower temperatures or ideally reducing the heat load in the room by adding insulation to the windows. Unfortunately the old heating approach of putting baseboards on the outside walls just below windows makes it tough as the heat runs right up the cold windows. My parents put in a deflector on the top of the baseboard to push the heat out away from the wall and then put in floor length drapes that sat tight up against the window frames. The bottom of the drapes were tucked in behind the top edge of the deflector so the heat ran up the drapes instead of the windows. The really slick way to do this is buy cellular blinds with side tracks and mount them inside the window frames. I have bought mine from this company in VT https://cellularwindowshades.com/contact-us. One caveat is the side tracks add some resistance to opening and closing so get the continuous loop type cords. These effectively doubles the R value of the windows but hey are not cheap.

    I skipped putting in lower temperature radiators, the folks in many European countries have far stricter energy codes that require heating with far lower temperature water. Therefore they have designed and sell "radiators" called radiant emiiters that can run at far lower supply temperatures in some cases 90 F. The alternative is embedded radiant heating but it can be real difficult to retrofit in an existing house. Radiant emitters will take up more wall space and they tend to be designed for contemporary homes so may not look great in a victorian. The neat trick is if you can run the storage down to 90 degrees using radiant emitters and put in some extra controls on the boiler your 690 gallons of storage acts like its 2 1/2 times bigger so it can store a lot more heat due to the temperature difference. The trade off is that it will take a longer time to heat back up to 170 degrees with the wood boiler. If someone was designing from scratch the sweet spot is probably design for enough storage that wood boiler only needs to run every 24 hours in the coldest weather and that it would take 4 hours to do it which lines up with the evening hours.
     
  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,712
    944
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    Looks like Maple and I are on similar tracks :)

    I think the Toms liners are rated for 190 F.
     
  11. Fred61

    Fred61
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 26, 2008
    2,347
    457
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    I've not studied your set-up nor what the members suggested for changes but I did see where you said the part of the house with regular ceilings heated fine but the area with cathedral ceilings was unable to be heated.
    What's apparent to me is that you have a room that can only be heated when you throw everything you have at it. When water temperature gets to 160 there isn't enough heat to bring it up to comfort level. You aren't the only one with that design that has encountered that problem. A good percentage of homes north of the Mason Dixon line with that design are living with that problem.
    You would probably be comfortable if you could walk around on the ceiling.

    The best way to make that room comfortable is to install radiant in the floor. That should make the lower 7 feet of the room comfortable for human habitation and extend the useful temperatures in your storage.
     
  12. Bad LP

    Bad LP
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 28, 2014
    552
    160
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Is it possible that the installer is using the controls and settings on the oil boiler even when the wood boiler is in use? This might explain why the wood boiler pump continues to run and also running the wood boiler water thru the oil boiler. Not sure why someone would do that but stranger things have been done.

    We installed a zone valve on my LP boiler to prevent any possibilities of having wood boiler water enter the LP boiler. It powers closed when the wood boiler comes up to temperature and shuts off the LP boiler. When the wood boiler cools the reverse happens.

    To add to Fred61's post installing panel radiators might help but the esthetics might not work however refurbished cast iron radiators might look nice. RFH is the best answer but once in a while I can feel the cooler air running down my stairs and upper open area.
     
  13. JohnDolz

    JohnDolz
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 29, 2015
    424
    67
    Loc:
    Burlington, CT
    I recently installed 2 windows (panes of glass actually) in my family room - approx. 8'x6' which did cause the room to become a bit colder than it had been. With the help of a great Forum member some high efficiency baseboard, 18', was installed to replace the standard baseboard in that room and we are toasty again! The rest of my house is standard slant fin. I use an Outdoor Reset and regularly let my tank drop down to 115 +/- (my propane kicks in when storage drops to 105. You are right that a bigger fire box would be handy but I just head down a couple of hours after lighting a fire and toss a bit more wood in it. By leveraging the ODR and setting it so that my circulators basically run 24x7 (I run Alpha's at their lowest setting) my house always maintains a nice steady temperature (72) and as storage gets to those low temps my house will start to very slowly drift down in temp. I have the Controller set at 105 so that if I am not home the house gets a little chilly and reminds my wife to go start a fire:). I am talking to Effecta trying to convince them to add alerts when they build out a Web Interface. This way the system can automatically text my wife and tell her to put down her phone and go light a fire..............
     
  14. dogwood

    dogwood
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 22, 2009
    801
    39
    Loc:
    Western VA
    I agree with Peakbagger that Maple has given you some good advice above. I'm echoing some of his thoughts below.

    You definitely don't want to turn down the draft fan and let it smolder all night. What you said about causing creosote is exactly right.
    I agree with Maple's advice to you as well, and echo some of it below

    I'd be pretty perturbed if I had all that storage and the liner prevented me from using it past 170 degrees. Send Tom in Maine a PM or call him at (207) 548-1122 at Solartechnics and see what he thinks.

    I don't understand why that is set up that way either. I have one circulator (a fancy Termovar Loading Unit I got from Tarm) that automatically kicks on and sends hot water to storage when the boiler is burning. It shuts off when the boiler cools off. My second circulator is connected to the house thermostat and the heat emitters. It only kicks on when the house thermostat is calling for heat. The thermostat turns it off when the house warms to about 72 degrees during the day. I set the thermostat to 70 degrees during the day and to 65 degrees at night. Now, I don't have an oil burner, but instead a forced hot air furnace. I don't have a clue why anyone would want to run water through their boiler 24/7. Maybe your controls need to be rethought.

    That's exactly so and how it should be operating. Well, to be more exact temperatures should be slowly rising to the storage's maximun temp when you are burning. Then tank temperatures should slowly descend to 140 degrees after the burn is over, while you utilize the btu's of heat you just put into your storage to heat your home. There should be no burning going on until you start approaching the 140 degree threshold or after you hit 180 or so degrees, 170 degrees in your case, until you get that liner upgraded.

    If you have enough baseboard and your controls are set up correctly, you should easily be able to heat that room. As I sit here typing, I'm in a large room with a tall cathedral ceiling and seven windows. It's warm as could be, not withstanding that I got lucky, and had just enough heat left in storage to not have to burn last night. I have the house thermostat located in this room, which will kick on the second circulator and start the heat flowing, if the room ever gets below the thermostat setting.

    How many square feet of house are you heating? I wonder if you could simply throw a better liner over the EPDM one you now have, so you could put more heat into you storage. I'm sure Tom from Maine at American Solartechnics would know. Here are all his contact numbers off his website:
    By E-Mail: info@americansolartechnics.com By Phone: 1-888-866-8970 or 207-548-1122 By Mail American Solartechnics, LLC. P.O. Box 882 Searsport, ME 04974. Good luck.

    Mike
     
  15. Fred61

    Fred61
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 26, 2008
    2,347
    457
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Perhaps you could do some other things to make the room more comfortable. The baseboards work by convection which means that they draw air in the bottom and pump it out the top. Large windows are also convectors but they use the cold glass as fuel to accelerate the cold air downward. Place your hand on the windowsill and feel it blow. Wiping cold air off the glass faster than you can heat it.

    Even the thinest insulation over the windows will slow the flow as long as you seal either the top or bottom of the window insulation to stop the flow. Just like plugging the inlet of your baseboard.

    Sent from my SM-G900R4 using Tapatalk
     
  16. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,712
    944
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    What works really well to deal with big windows is sheets of iso board foam cut to fit the window openings and then covered with fabric to make it less ugly. Unfortunately most folks want to look out the windows during the day and putting the plugs in and out daily gets old for most folks. With my cellular blinds and short days of the year they stay closed until I see them lighten up from the sunlight and then I do a quick walk around the house and open them, then in late afternoon when the sun is setting I go back around and close them. There used to be window coverings called window quilts but realistically the cellular blinds seem to have taken over that market.
     
    uncndl1 likes this.
  17. MandoLinda

    MandoLinda
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 8, 2017
    6
    0
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Thank you for your responses! My homework is to research the manufacturer of the thermal storage tank to see what the maximum water temperature is, look into installing a higher-temperature lining, do some simple weatherization in the living room, and look into cellular blinds and more efficient radiators.

    I like the idea of a zone valve between my two boilers so the hot water heated by the oil burner doesn't pass through the wood boiler and vice versa. At times when I'm burning oil it seems like the boiler never shuts off.

    I'll report back with updates.
     
  18. dogwood

    dogwood
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 22, 2009
    801
    39
    Loc:
    Western VA
    Tarm Biomass used to have a whole book of different plumbing schematics online, one of which would surely meet your needs in plumbing a bypass. Try this link, http://www.halsteadplumbing.com/images/Tarm-Biomass/Solo-Plus-Plumbing-Schematic.pdf to find it. You might want to look at the stickies by Bob Rohr and Nofossil at the beginning of this, the Boiler Room, site to see how they might have plumbed a bypass into their respective plumbing diagrams.
     
  19. MandoLinda

    MandoLinda
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Dec 8, 2017
    6
    0
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    So one final comment - Last night I fired up the wood boiler when I got home from work at 5:30, got the house warm to 66 degrees, and when I went to bed, thermal storage was at 170 degrees so I stopped adding wood and I let the fire burn out. I left the thermostat at 65. This morning, the house was 62 degrees (the living room was 60) and the thermal storage was at 152. Heat was coming from the radiators but was obviously not keeping up. (It got cold last night, down to 8 degrees). I leave the oil burner off when I go to bed and fire it up in the morning because by this time the wood boiler has gone out. To me, the effort behind this whole wood boiler thing is not yielding a satisfying return. The only time I stay warm is when the wood boiler s burning. That's why I was wondering whether you were supposed to run wood 24/7 or cycle it on and off. I don't turn the oil boiler on immediately after I finish a burn because I thought the whole idea behind the thermal storage thing was to have some heat after a burn. But I have some things I can work on, so I am grateful for all of your advice.
     
  20. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 18, 2012
    401
    59
    Loc:
    Canterbury NH
    So that means you need to put more usable btus into the heating space. You can do that by either increasing your water temp of your storage so you can extract more btus from it or you can add more baseboard.
     
  21. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jul 11, 2008
    3,712
    944
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    It sure sounds like you bought someone elses problem. You shouldn't be having issues so early in the year.and it sounds like there are fundamental problems with the design of the heating system, your house construction. or a combination of the two. The solution is not to keep the wood boiler running 24/7 and burning up your wood supply, its figuring out why you need so much heat to begin with. I would suggest calling your electric utility ASAP and seeing if they offer energy audits. Eversource has or had a great program where you pay for the audit and then they pay for half the upgrades up to couple of thousand dollars. They rank the improvements and do the one with the bast payback. If you qualify there are various community assistance programs around the state that offer low cost weatherization.

    Getting control of your heat use is priority one. Last night was cold but nowhere near the coldest weather you are going to see this winter, if you have problems now you could be in serious trouble when it really gets cold in about a month or so.
     
    sloeffle likes this.
  22. maple1

    maple1
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Sep 15, 2011
    8,331
    1,545
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Maybe a ceiling fan might help move heat that is against the high ceiling down to floor level? Kind of a catch 22 with those - they can move heat down but also create air movement that can give a cool feeling when it hits the skin even if the air it's moving isn't so cool.

    BTW - where are you measuring your storage temp? 170 at top might also mean much cooler further down.
     
  23. Fred61

    Fred61
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 26, 2008
    2,347
    457
    Loc:
    Southeastern Vt.
    Not everyone is able to batch burn. Only those that have a home tight enough to be heated with 140 to180 degree water. Until you are able to improve the tightness of your home you may be one of those that needs to put up with 24/7 fires that muck up the boiler because of idling, Your storage will then be re-named Buffer tank.
     
  24. BoiledOver

    BoiledOver
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Apr 14, 2013
    556
    204
    Loc:
    43°58'55 N - 85°20' W
    I will introduce a first step to resolving your issue. Hire a professional to get a solid assessment. You may very well educate yourself and get to the bottom at some point, but still you will need to begin at the beginning. Do you know to determine your home's heat loss? It sounds like you have zones with differing values. How many zones in your system?

    There are very experienced members here and have introduced good advice. Unfortunately without being there and referring to a home heat loss calculation, it is more guess work than actual diagnosis, and resolution. Heating with hot water is one aspect, heating the water with wood another, heating the water with oil another, and combining the methods is a bit more complex.

    In the past, there were members here who are professional HVAC workers. They were open to give advice and have done so. Maybe in older threads you could find more information directly related to your home's need.

    Best of luck in tackling your issues.
     
  25. dogwood

    dogwood
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 22, 2009
    801
    39
    Loc:
    Western VA
    To help diagnose your issue, how many square feet of home are you heating? How old is your house? Is your home insulated. Is it a drafty? A well insulated, air tight house will retain its heat significantly better than, for example, a drafty old uninsulated farmhouse where your heat is leaking out to the great outdoors faster than you can produce it. To repeat Maple's question, where on your storage tank are you measuring its' temperature? Due to heat rising, the top of the tank is always warmer than the bottom. Right now the top of my storage is 15 degrees warmer than the bottom. That's where the cooled return water from the system should flow in too.

    You can call up Tarm Biomass and ask them who in you area could come out to your house and properly diagnose your issue on site. They're in New Hampshire like you, so might know some reputable professional in you area. For sure, don't get the guy who originally installed your system. You seem to have a good boiler and a decent amount of storage which is the major portion of the expense in setting up a wood based heating system. So don't get discouraged. Somebody can figure out if you need more baseboard, or your heat systems plumbing needs to be changed somehow, so your two boilers can work separately and sequentially, your controls squared away for the same purpose, or your home needs to be made more airtight and better insulated.

    If you still had heat in the storage tank this morning, maybe it is a simple as needing some more baseboard for the square footage of house to move that heat out of storage and into the living space. If you have any clean-outs in you heat system's plumbing, they need to be checked and cleaned so you're sure the hot water is actually getting to your baseboard at a reasonable flow rate. A dirty or gummed up clean-out can restrict your systems water flow, not to mention make your circulator pumps work harder.

    You can google or do a site search for pictures of wye traps or other types, and then see if you have any of them that might need cleaning. I doubt this would solve your problem in totality, but if there's not one major issue, it may be one of a number of minor issues that may cumulatively be making your system come up short, as well as part of normal yearly maintenance.

    Another question. When you say your boiler is running all the time, is it just the boilers circ pump running or is it burning fuel and heating the water too?

    Mike
     

Share This Page