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Topics - bjp

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Central Boiler / Air channels - creosote covered acorn nut
« on: December 18, 2023, 11:06:17 AM »
I know this place is dead right now, but why not ask. I've been having poor performance with my Classic Edge 750. Lots of difficulty getting reaction chamber temps above 600F or so, occasional runs up to 1000F but none of the 1500-1700F temps I have seen in the past. Pretty sure my air channels are caked up with creosote.

I have the left air channel fully removed (a bit of creosote, not too bad). For the right air channel, I have one of the two acorn nuts removed, the second one is covered with creosote, enough that I can't get a wrench around it to even start it turning. Any tips on getting this cleaned up enough to get it removed? I've been hacking at it with the scraper tool, with a flathead screwdriver, with anything I can think of. The only other idea I have is to take my propane flame weeder and blast it with heat for a while, hoping that will burn off, or at least soften, the creosote enough that I can get it removed.  Anyone have any other good ideas? Maybe a dremel and a sanding or cutting wheel?

The front air channel is also pretty tough to remove, even after pulling the acorn nuts. Been working on prying it out with a screwdriver and hammer claw, it should eventually make it off.

I already have replacement channel hardware so it should be easy once I just get this stuck part off.

General Outdoor Furnace Discussion / My burned down Sequoyah Paradise
« on: February 11, 2021, 02:49:27 PM »
Just popped in to this forum instead of only reading the CB forum and noticed a few others shared stories and photos of their burned-out boilers, and wanted to share mine.

Back in 2019, president's day weekend, my Sequoyah Paradise E3400 caught on fire. I happened to wake up a few minutes after midnight and noticed an unusual red/orange flickering reflection in the window, turned around to look where it was coming from and saw flames shooting out the back out of the boiler, where the framing has (had) some vent slats. I went after it with a fire extinguisher, which was a complete failure. I dragged a hose out of the basement to hook up to a bib outside to try to spray it down, but my water softener was regenerating at the time so I had about 10psi of water pressure which made the 75' hose useless.  Needless to say we called out the volunteer fire department, based 1/4 mile away, and they put it down with foam and water and hacked the thing halfway down with axes.

This was already at the house when I bought the place, and the prior owner did not take very good care of it. They are (were, as they are now out of business) designed with fatal flaws in that there is no ability to get to the heat exchangers to clean and only a very minimal ash cleanout at the bottom. Not to mention the 10 or so (each!) Love Controllers and draft fans I went through in trying and failing to use the thing over 4 years before it burned down. If any of you have one of these, or know someone who does, please have it replaced.  Oh and if you buy a place where the idiot who installed it decided to use drain tile instead of thermopex, you're going to have to deal with that sooner or later and it will not be fun when you're wicking ground water draining through your basement walls to 5 gallon buckets you have to empty every 20 minutes 24/7.... and it's even worse after the FD dumps a few thousand gallons on top.

As far as what happened, I think there was either a short at the draft fan, or so much creosote simply built up in the insulation (just fiberglass stuffing wrapping the entire firebox) that it managed to get hot enough and catch fire. The good news was no damage other than the boiler itself, and homeowners insurance eventually did take care of me, after a long time spent trying to get them to do so. The FD did not have any good explanation and could not determine a cause.

Central Boiler / How much water needed to send in a water sample?
« on: January 16, 2021, 11:29:21 AM »
Do any of you know offhand how many mL/oz of water CB needs sent to them for the yearly water sample? I've used up the sample bottles that came with my boiler, and I haven't been able to find anything on the support site describing just how much is needed.  I'm looking to order a batch of sample bottles online and not sure if 100mL will do or if I need to go for 250mL or even more.  All I have handy are 1L bottles that I know are too large and will cost more to ship than I'd like to pay.

Central Boiler / Getting ready for second burn season
« on: November 19, 2020, 02:25:36 PM »
I haven't fired up the Classic Edge 750 HD yet, heating oil is just ridiculously cheap up here right now (still under $2/gal), but unlike last year I was able to secure enough seasoned wood, along with what I had left last year, that I should have a much better burn season without the need to mix in so much green.

About a month before the end of heating last year I started to get some smoke leaking out of the door, the big rectangular door gasket had started to go. Wow is that thing a beast to replace. Pry it out with a scraper, but so much sticks from the sealant they used at the factory it was about 3 hours just to scrape as much out of it out as I could to get the best possible seal on the replacement gasket.  Installing the new one took a whole 10 minutes or so once the channel was cleared.

I'll probably do a first burn in a couple weeks just to test out the gasket repair to see if I'll need to adjust the door, so that I'm not doing that for the first time in subzero temps when I switch over from the heating oil.

14 cords stacked up, seasoned, and ready to burn, as soon as I pull the trigger.  I also stocked up on spare circulators because I noticed some impeller noise when I turned the main circ on to avoid overnight freezing.  Here's to a good season for us all!

Central Boiler / Did your CB lose Firestar communication last night?
« on: January 31, 2020, 06:20:00 AM »
Just checking here to get an idea if it is my side, or theirs.  My boiler lost communication with Firestar around 6:15PM EST yesterday.  It briefly came back at 8:55PM, and has been down since then.  The website was also down on and off during the night, and I received some extra "your furnace has lost communication for an hour" alerts, but the website is back up now and my boiler still isn't reporting.

Anyone else?

EDIT: And it is back.  Offline from 11:42PM until 11:17AM.  Nevermind, I guess.

The Wall Of Shame / Stupid newbie tricks
« on: November 18, 2019, 11:46:02 AM »
I'd like to think I'm better at it now, on my first season with my second boiler, but we will see.  I did a ton of stupid stuff with the first boiler after moving into this house where it came with the property.

- Didn't attempt to fire it up the first winter until well after freezing weather.  So the boiler side pex lines were frozen.  The guy who sold the house just MAY have done this a few times as he advised running a small house from the boiler drain spigot and draining water out to thaw the lines.  It is better when it is just frozen in the pex and hasn't burst the copper yet, but it eventually does that too, several times.

- Didn't bother checking the hardware before firing it up the first time.  Had myself in a state the aquastat that cuts off the oil boiler was engaged, but the aquastat that enables the pump to move heat from the house side of the heat exchanger wasn't running, so I had hot water in the boiler, cold water in the DHW tank.

- Didn't have spares around for the Love Controls controller that went out on me. Again and again and again. I went through about 10 of them before replacing those "mounted on the boiler shell and gets caked with creosote in minutes" Love TS2 controllers with a Love TSW mounted on the fence a few feet away.

- Didn't have spare solenoids for the one that operated the damper when the draft inducer fan turns on.  I probably spent 75% of the time on this first boiler with the damper just locked open.

- Didn't properly maintain the opening from the firebox to the under-firebox gasser area.  Why am I burning so much wood but not getting heat?  Who knows, who cares, load some more in there. Four winters with the creosote-bomb boiler and it was usually down so often because of solenoids, fans, or controllers, that once those were working I didn't do any huge cleanouts so I had a few feet of caked ash inside the firebox.

- Didn't just stop and tear everything out immediately when the underground pipes started funneling water into my basement, and instead spent months wicking it into 5gal buckets and dumping them every 15-45min.  Drain tile.  The guy who put the thing in used drain tile.  Lasted him just long enough to sell the place.

- Oh and then there was the time when the inline oil boiler that serves as backup sprung a leak, and the way it is plumbed required me to continue running hot water through the oil boiler as I collected leaking water out of it to toss.  4 years here, two Weil-Mclain WGO boilers cracked.  Now running them on soft water.

Eventually as time passed... the shell around this old boiler started to melt away.  Then the boiler itself caught on fire - I assume from caked up creosote all the way through the batted insulation that surrounded the firebox.  Presidents Day weekend Monday, looked out at midnight, saw flames shooting out the top of it.  Emptied one fire extinguisher into it with no luck, called the local fire department, who hacked at it with axes and finally put it down.  Quite a fun thing watching a friend with a flatbed winching this burned out hulk into place to haul it away to scrap.  2 ton boiler so he got some decent cash out of it.

Now replaced with a clean new CB instead of a Sequoyah beast that was filthy already when I got it, thermopex instead of 5-wrap drain tile, and a slightly more competent operator.

Central Boiler / Interior door paint peeling when scraped with scraper tool
« on: November 11, 2019, 08:23:15 AM »
Just wanted to check in with others to see if this is something you have noticed too or not.  On my CB Classic Edge 750 HD, I've noticed that when I use the scraper tool on the interior of the door and the frame that the door sets into, some of the flat black paint has been peeling/scraping off along with burn residue.  Is this something I should be worried about?  I figure come summer I'll re-paint it with some high-temperature flat black to avoid corrosion, but since it started happening the first time I scraped the door I figure I should check in.  Is this what the rest of you have typically seen? 


Hi all, new poster here.

A week from today, I have a Central Boiler Classic Edge 750 Titanium HD arriving for install here in zone 4.  I'm looking for any tips from experienced owners here about things to watch out for or be aware of during install that may not be obvious.

I'm replacing a Sequoyah Paradise E3400 that met an untimely end, already hauled away.  The CB will be going on top of the slab the Sequoyah used and the cheap drain tile open-cell wrapped underground pex lines are coming out and getting replaced with thermopex.  The pex lines will come in to the existing plate heat exchanger, unless it looks clogged up, to transfer heat to the rest of the hydronics (oil boiler, under floor and in-slab radiant, baseboards, and indirect hot water).  Planning to fill it up with treatment immediately, then water, and fire it up and send in all water tests.

Any install-time gotchas out there?  For example, once I bought this house with the Sequoyah I read that it would have dumped far less creosote into the damper and draft inducer if it had been initially tilted up a couple inches on the rear side.

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