Replace Seton 130 - best option

SteveJ Posted By SteveJ, Jan 4, 2019 at 2:28 AM

  1. SteveJ

    SteveJ
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    What is the recommended true wood gassifier for an off-grid 2700sq ft house?

    My Seton 130 has worked okay for 10 years but the heat exchanger developed pin sized leak in one tube.

    If I replace, I would like a true gassifier with very low power requirements and ideally handle rounds.

    What are your expert recommendations?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
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  2. maple1

    maple1
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    True gasifiers & rounds usually don't jive with each other.
     
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  3. SteveJ

    SteveJ
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    Thanks for the reply... Gassifier and no smoke is the preference. The Seton was great for rounds and even green wood but developed pinhole leaks in one of the heat exchanges tubes and the ash and smoke are too much.
     
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  4. maple1

    maple1
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    All gasifiers will burn clean with proper fuel & procedures.

    Do you have storage? Can you add it?

    You mentioned low power requirements. Can't get lower than what I have. All others use draft inducers or forced draft fans. But it requires storage. And a fairly tall good chimney.

    All kinds of good choices out there, you'd have to sort out your priorities & situational preferences. They all work much better with storage - some can 'get by' without it. You Seton likely would have lived longer & would have worked better with it, along with dry wood.
     
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  5. SteveJ

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    I have 230 gallons of pressurized storage and was considering and eko 40 for 3000 sq ft radiant floor and superstor hot water tank.
    What is the general consensus with the eko? Thanks!
     
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  6. Hydronics

    Hydronics
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    There are many satisfied EKO owners here. They're not the Cadillac but they get the job done at a reasonable investment. They obviously work best with storage (you'd want to at least double your volume). With some planned loading and switching to fossil boiler above 50* they can work well without storage.
    Good luck
     
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  7. SteveJ

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    Thanks for the information... Maybe the Effecta Smart40 would be a cleaner alternative. Anybody have experience with the Effecta and the Eko?
     
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  8. maple1

    maple1
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    My boiler is on clearout sale right now on the Smokeless site. Or it was last time I looked. Natural draft = very low power requirements. Since you said off grid. But you'd need a bit more storage, dry wood, and a good tall chimney.
     
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  9. TCaldwell

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    John Dolz is a Effecta owner
     
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  10. SteveJ

    SteveJ
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    Thanks!

    Any Econoburn owners? Happy with installation and service? I was told the Eko is not EPA certified and that Effecta is not that good (by an Econoburn person). The Econoburn 150 uses 150W for the blower and Eko uses 50W. This is a HUGE deal for me as I am off-grid and heating in the winter is done when I have the least solar power and the shortest days. So, continuous power use is of a premium. All my circulators are variable speed GrundFos Alphas.
     
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  11. maple1

    maple1
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    So I guess you have ruled the Varm 40 or 50 out? Just wondering why - low power consumption seems important to you (well, HUGE as you put it), and they don't have any fans. Is storage, or not being able to have more, the limitation?
     
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  12. TCaldwell

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    I don’t have a Econoburn or Effecta, I suspect both good boilers if installed properly. Keep in mind they are different in their control approach. It really boils down to what you are comfortable with, I’d be very skeptical of the opinions offered without fact to back it up!
     
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  13. maple1

    maple1
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    Also, don't think we know if this is in the house or not. Assuming it is, I likely wouldn't get a forced draft unit - too much smoke spillage potential. I think especially so with the Econoburn from what I've read. Induced draft would be much better if it is in the house. Which Effecta is. But I think they require decent sized storage also.
     
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  14. 3fordasho

    3fordasho
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    First negative comment I've heard about Effecta. I figure if Tarm Biomass carries them they are pretty much top of the line.
    If you need EPA certified you really limit your choices. Others are available but fall under "commercial use" They would include EKO, Biomass, Attack, the VARM natural draft units, probably more. It doesn't mean they aren't good boilers and don't burn clean, it just means they don't see enough sales in the US to justify the certification process. I personally am looking at several "commercial use" units because they are less expensive. If I have to spend 10-12K on just the boiler to get EPA certified, I might as well just buy propane.
     
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  15. SteveJ

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    I just spoke with dean at smokeless about a ub 40. Seems pretty good except I have not heard back about the warranty and the EPA and CSA certifications.

    How does 660 gallons of storage work with your ub 40? How many cords do you go through a year? Where is your ub 40 located? Did you have any trouble insuring?

    Does the UB 40 and all the Varms require 230V for the electronics? My inverters only provide 120V to the house...

    Thanks!
     
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  16. SteveJ

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    I hear you about the EPA certification... The least expensive "clean"? ones I have found are the MBTEK line with questionable support. 10 year warranty and "natural" down draft with reasonable storage prices but the support and spare parts and quality seem very much in question...
     
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  17. maple1

    maple1
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    The only thing electrical on the boiler is the loading unit circulator (boiler circulator). And it isn't even actually on the boiler, it is on the near-boiler piping. That is a Grundfos 15-58 3 speed, 120 volts. It only runs when the boiler is burning, which for me is something like 6 hours per day averaged for the winter, and for me speed 1 is enough. It is controlled by a flue gas stat - a thermostatic switch you run the circulator power through that has a temp probe surface mounted to the connector pipe outlet, turns circ on when hot & off when cool.

    Has CSA sticker, but they did not go for EPA certification. That doesn't mean it's not a clean burner - I have not touched my chimney since the summer of 2012 when I installed it.

    660 works well, but I would like to have more. It is all in my basement, only thing my insurance guy said was make sure whatever you get has a CSA sticker.
     
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  18. salecker

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    I would buy an Econoburn again.But i am on grid.But i am in the middle of nowhere so dependability is important.So is customer service,which Econoburn gets a high score on.Anytime i need a part or info they get on it right away.9th year heating on mine now.And i don't see any reason that the boiler will not out live the warranty.
     
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