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 on: January 19, 2022, 09:09:56 AM 
Started by shepherd boy - Last post by BoilerHouse
I have the cheap 3 wrap pipes, and burn about 7 cords annually and I figure I am losing between 1 1/2 to 2 cords to the ground, but that is with 250 ft total underground distance.  So this compares with Logstar's numbers.  But the biggest difference is the outer layer - Logstar has a tough thick skin and I have the flimsy corrugate.   Mine will develop a leak some day, the underground heat loss and wood consumption will skyrocket, and then it will be time to dig it up and do it again.  So better to buy once and cry once.

If your wood is basically free, the labor to feed the stove is not great, and it gets the job done by heating your house, then that is the best system to own. 

 on: January 19, 2022, 03:43:03 AM 
Started by shepherd boy - Last post by shepherd boy
I don't have a good number on my heat loss. Just trying to get a
some thought on economics trying to get the ultimate efficiency from an outdoor furnace. When is there more spent than is feasible to get a reasonable return. Like I have heard a number of people say they use half the wood with a gasification unit but spend just as long preparing wood and then need to store and dry it. Like I don't have a wood shed and anything goes in the 24" door doesn't get split. too much free scrap wood laying around.  Same with underground lines, worth spending a lot on underground piping if there's not enough return.

 on: January 18, 2022, 07:25:01 PM 
Started by shepherd boy - Last post by BoilerHouse
A member once did a calculation using Logstar's heat loss figures and assuming a 100 ft run from boiler to house.  If I remember, Logstar had a published heat loss of one degree per hundred feet. He figured that this theoretical system would lose one cord of wood to the ground.    So, it is a big source of heat loss at the best of times. 
In your case, when I do the calc's, I am getting 3 cords heat loss and that is assuming a boiler that is 100% efficient.  Factor in boiler efficiency of 50%, and the heat loss in firewood is scary.
Assuming 1 btu/lb/F
Then 10 gal/min x 8.33 lb/gal x 1Btu/lb/F x 6F x 60min/hr x 24hr/day x 150 day/heating season= A really big number!!

So either all the snow has melted over your lines and the grass is green OR your temp difference is less than you think.  I have used those infrared thermometers and they can be notoriously inaccurate.  I have Ashcroft industrial thermometers on my system, and even they have an accuracy of plus or minus 3% so a difference of several degrees can be attributed to incorrect measuring devices.
Are you suspecting an issue with your lines?

 on: January 17, 2022, 11:32:08 AM 
Started by shepherd boy - Last post by shepherd boy
Could someone verify my calculation; If I'm pumping 10 gpm and have 6 degree heat loss in no load round trip, 150 heating days per year.  38,000,000 btu loss or about 1.5 cords wood. Anywhere close?

 on: December 29, 2021, 07:18:02 PM 
Started by MD20/20 - Last post by juddspaintballs
Maybe by the time your OWB is finished, global warming will have caught up and we won't need a OWB for heat anymore. 

 on: December 27, 2021, 03:02:33 PM 
Started by MD20/20 - Last post by MD20/20
It's been about 12 years since I bought my Nature's Comfort 325 G...its been a solid investment. I easily saved $50,000 in oil bills. Sure, I've spent tons of hours handling wood, worked my equipment hard and had to fix some stuff I broke. It really has provided some savings, but more importantly, it has allowed me to keep the house as warm as we like while getting rid of dead and invasive trees.
I've experimented with all sorts of wood species and sizes, but for the first time in 12 years, I have not split a single piece of wood...every piece is bucked to a size an old man can pick up. It's been a mild winter, but I'm happy with the reults so far.  I'm so glad I don't have a gasser...it would never have burned 3/4 of the crappy wood I typically use. Once this OWB is finished, I'll be sad.

 on: December 17, 2021, 12:32:34 PM 
Started by MarkP - Last post by RSI
If you can't feel a difference between the supply and return pipes with the blower running then it is an exchanger issue. Did you confirm that the water inlet is on the side of the heat exchanger that the our blows out of? (flow opposite directions)
If so then I would guess either it is partially air locked, you don't have enough air flow or it is just too small.

 on: December 17, 2021, 09:15:18 AM 
Started by MarkP - Last post by MarkP
I've used several of the infrared thermometers, and while working as a diesel mechanic, the Snap On was the best I've used for detecting a weak cylinder on a truck engine.  It seemed to be pretty accurate.  I have no doubt that mine is a piece of crap.  As for holding my hand on the heat exchanger lines... I can't keep it there for more than a bump.  The pex doesn't seem to hold the heat like the copper does, but  that's understandable.  I can't feel a difference from supply to return, even on the pex line.  I use some dial type temperature gauges on a "craft" that I make here in WV, and I may add a "T" to the line, and screw one of those in.  With the 110 degree air temperature coming from the registers, even with the fan still set to low speed, I'm pretty satisfied that I have a high temperature at the exchanger, but I want to make sure that I don't have an excessive temperature drop.  Our temperature is to drop this weekend, so that will be a good test.  In the meantime, I'll try to get an accurate temperature reading from the exchanger.  I'm trying to knock out all the variables one at a time. 

Thanks again, and I'll keep you posted!!

 on: December 16, 2021, 10:24:40 PM 
Started by MarkP - Last post by RSI
Those infrared thermometers never seem to work on pipes.
Can you hold your hand on the line at the heat exchanger? If you can keep your hand on it at all you probably are not near 180. Can you feel a big temperature difference between supply and return pipes?

 on: December 16, 2021, 07:37:36 AM 
Started by MarkP - Last post by MarkP
I stopped at Harbor Freight Tools yesterday and bought a infrared thermometer.  I'm not sure how accurate they are, but they claim to be */- 1 degree.  I went under the house and reversed the lines on the heat exchanger.  Heat goes in the top, and out the bottom now, but that made it going in the port closest to the furnace fan.  I let it circulate about 5 minutes, and checked temperatures.  I have the boiler set on 180 degrees now, but using the infrared thermometer, the hottest part of the back of the boiler, pump, lines, etc, was 155 degrees.  I have an Emerson digital aquastat on the boiler, and I expected it to be fairly accurate.  Could it be 25 degrees less than water temperature, being exposed to outside air?  When I went under the house to check the temperate at the heat exchanger, it shows 98 degrees on any copper surface, and the pex tubing was indicating 130 degrees.  Maybe getting a reflection from the copper causing it to read wrong??  I'm more confused now than ever.  I'll try it again tonight with a Snap On thermometer.  The air temperature coming out of the registers in the house was 110 degrees, measured with a regular thermometer that uses a liquid inside a tube.  I'm not sure if they still use mercury or not, but anyways....  Assuming that the thermometer is "somewhat accurate", that is a huge drop from the boiler to the HE.  What can cause such a drop?  I have 6" -12" of fiberglass insulation around the boiler, so I'm sure it's getting little to no heat loss there.  We had a snow last week, and it didn't melt the snow off the top of the boiler.

When I ran the lines, I used coils of pex, and used foam sleeves on each, and all joints are taped.  Probably not the best way to insulate, but that's what I went with.  I already had a 6 inch pipe underground, as I had used this in the past with a different boiler.  I was able to slide the new pex inside the 6" pipe.  After I sold my last boiler, I kept the open ends of the 6" pipes covered.  If rain water had gotten inside the pipe underground, could this cause a large drop in temperature.  No evidence that it has water in it, but I'm grasping at straws now.   We are having above normal temperatures now, so it's not a good test of heating the home now, but it is to drop this weekend.

I've never had any issues with the last couple boilers I've had, and this one is testing me.   And people ask me why I drink....... :bash:

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