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Author Topic: Incomplete burn  (Read 425 times)

MarkP

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Incomplete burn
« on: January 01, 2020, 09:54:51 AM »

Hey Guys..... This will be my first full winter with my 3rd. homebuilt boiler.... 180 gallons.  My wife lit it Oct. 22nd, so it's been burning for about 10 weeks.  I've used about a cord of wood in that time.  My wood is cut about 16-18 inches long, and not over 4-5 inches in diameter, and has been cut and split for about a year, and inside a shed on pallets, for 4 months.  I had to have it cut smaller, since I had back surgery Oct. 14th., and I still have a 10 pound weight limit.  It's using about 5 pieces of wood a day.. 6 at the most. 

Two issues I'm having is cresote, and an incomplete burn.  I have the temperature on 130 degrees with a 10 degree differential, which heats my 1000 sq. ft. garage very well (70 degrees).  Thinking that both may be cured with a higher temperature, and a longer differential???  Also.. thinking a better rake to bring the chunks to the top of the ashes may help.  I'm using a short tine cultivator at the moment.  Great for pulling wood forward, but not good for bringing the chunks to the top. Thinking more like a pitch fork with close tines may be best.  What's your thoughts?  Only issue with cresote is the flapper on the draft fan sticking at times.  Not a real big deal on either, but I know I can save a little wood if I get this fine tuned. I appreciate any input and opinions.   

Mark
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Homemade OWB  (Smokey)
Stihl 290, 2 Stihl 170s
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One good woman that can cut and split wood
Le Roy, WV

mlappin

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2020, 10:48:26 AM »

You need to raise your high set point so the return temp never drops below 140. For the most part 140 and below is considered to be the condensing point of water, higher temps will also help drive any free oxygen out of the water. I never ran any of my homemades less than 170, usually kept em at 180-185 for the hi set point with a 10 degree differential.
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Radio Tech1964

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2020, 06:45:16 PM »

I had the same problem at first and I had to raise my turn on temp to 150 and turn off at 185  The high limit is 195 on mine and normal use has never locked it out. An extended power when the genset was out of fuel did lock it out for the first time. I need to replace the door gasket and that probably wouldn't have happened. Weather has been so roller coaster here lately Ive been afraid to take it out of service long enough being the OWB is my only heat source. I could easily replace the terminal block on the electric furnace but the Rockefellers couldn't afford the electric bill it would make here!
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WoodMOJoe

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2020, 10:11:55 AM »

Hi Mark,

I also had an issue with creosote sticking my blower flapper shut and I cured it by putting a paper clip on the flapper door, pretty sure someone here on this forum told me about that trick. 

It does leave a very small air gap through the flapper when not blowing but that has never been an issue for my homebuilt.

And yes, you definitely need to raise your set points.  Mine is set at 183 to start the blower and 180 to shut it off.  It overruns to about 185 after the blower shuts off when it's relatively warm out (50 degrees or so).  I know that's a pretty tight temperature differential but I had issues with the fire going out on warmer days, no problems since I tightened the differential.

Here is a link to my build, nothing fancy but going on year 6 now, very happy I built it:

https://outdoorwoodfurnaceinfo.com/forum/index.php?topic=3693.0
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MarkP

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 03:33:38 AM »

Yep.. pretty much what I thought the problem was.  I usually start off at a low temp, and increase as the ambient temp goes down, but we really haven't had much cold weather yet, but it's coming.  I'll turn it up a bit today, and see how it goes.  My door is 2 layers of steel, and insulated in between, and I thought that might increase the cresote on the door/flapper too. I'll be bringing an airplane home in the next couple weeks to put in the shop and paint.  Just making sure I get all the bugs worked out now. 

I'm heating only my shop (32' X 32' X 10' ceilings) for now, but I'll be hooking the house back up for next year.  I'm still seeing too much of the propane guy....err.... uh lady.  She's cute, but not that cute!

I'll keep ya posted, and I'll post some pics soon.  THANKS!!

 
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duramax

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2020, 12:58:32 PM »

There is an interesting you tube that explains why  OWB should burn hot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_7BPKexaoI   not sure if this link will work, Me and technology agree to disagree.  the title is
The phenomenon of corrosion into the gasification boilers
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MarkP

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Re: Incomplete burn
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 11:53:37 AM »

The video makes a little more sense now, about the heat required to dissipate the moisture.  I tried turning the water temperature up to 155 degrees a few weeks ago, and saw a change in the creosote.  The damper was still sticking some... maybe about 20% as much as before, so today, I turned it up to 165 degrees.  I'll give it a few days  and see how it does.  As of today, I've burned 1 1/4 cord of wood since I fired it up Oct. 22nd.  That's .4 cord a month.  I'm on schedule to burn 2 more cord this year at most.  I'll give it a few weeks, and I'll get back with you all.  THANKS!! 
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Homemade OWB  (Smokey)
Stihl 290, 2 Stihl 170s
Tractor supply 22 ton splitter
One good woman that can cut and split wood
Le Roy, WV