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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Home-built boiler works well

    This wood-fired boiler heats almost 3000 sq ft, split-level home. Water pipes in the floor. The builder is now in his 90's. When I was there, the electric backup heat was keeping the house warm, fire had not been lit for months.
    One thing missing was a thermostat.
    I imagine it would not be difficult to install one to control that little electric boiler?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,217

    Default Re: Home-built boiler works well

    Twenty years ago I built a house in Georgia for a guy who wanted, in addition to electric heat, a wood-burning furnace. His intent was to save money by spinning the electric meter less by burning wood to heat the house when the weather got really cold. He owned some wooded land and got the firewood for free. "All" he had to do was cut the trees, delimb them, cut them into sections, haul it from the woods to his house, split and stack the firewood.

    I saw this guy over Christmas and I asked him how that wood-burning furnace was working out. He said he hasn't used it in years. Seems the cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking took a toll on his back. He and his wife had two daughters and no sons so he got no help with the firewood.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Cool Re: Home-built boiler works well....... for now

    There's an old adage that says wood warms you twice: once when you cut it and once when you burn it. They left out the hauling it out of the woods, splitting & stacking, then hauling inside.....

    I would hope a HI would flag any homemade boiler as a problem. In the States, you must have some recognized approval stamp for the safety testing. Otherwise, it should be removed. Could make a nice bomb. Also, the energy codes may have something to say about it.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Home-built boiler works well....... for now

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    There's an old adage that says wood warms you twice: once when you cut it and once when you burn it. They left out the hauling it out of the woods, splitting & stacking, then hauling inside.....
    Yet we will spend thousands to join a health club and walk the tread mills to nowhere and lift there weights only to put them down. Same people circle the parking lot until they can find a space next to the entrance so they don't have to walk .


  5. #5

    Default Re: Home-built boiler works well

    I know this drill! I heated my home in Lake Tahoe with wood. I used 5 chords of wood a year. At first I went to the woods to get it myself but that got to be a a pain because it was farther and farther out I had to go to get the trees that the forest service had marked for cutting. Lucky to get one load a day. I did this for ten years.

    Then I started having a "short logger" grapple truck drop a ten chord load of logs on my wood lot which I split with a neighbor. We did buck, split and stack it all ourselves. Hand splitting with a maul is a great stress reliever! Great workout too.

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  6. #6
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Home-built boiler works well

    In Texas we call those smokers. If you looked inside you may have found some brisket, sausage, ribs.

    I dont care what my Texas compadres say, mesquite wood sucks.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Home-built boiler works well....... for now

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    There's an old adage that says wood warms you twice: once when you cut it and once when you burn it. They left out the hauling it out of the woods, splitting & stacking, then hauling inside.....
    Yes, that's five times, plus running downstairs to stoke the fire, back upstairs before commercials are over, that's six.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    I would hope a HI would flag any homemade boiler as a problem. In the States, you must have some recognized approval stamp for the safety testing. Otherwise, it should be removed. Could make a nice bomb. Also, the energy codes may have something to say about it.
    Thanks Bob. I mentioned fire insurance issues with home-built non-CSA approved heaters. Think the buyers would be wise to install an new electric boiler, electric is cheaper than NG here. There are two pressure relief valves and a circulation pump, but you still need to know what you're doing with a wood-fired boiler, eh?

    Creosote build-up in the chimney was a big issue here. A cold water jacket and a damped-down fire burning wet wood = trouble.

    But the house was toasty warm with those little electric elements running 24 hrs a day!


  8. #8
    Michael Gregory's Avatar
    Michael Gregory Guest

    Smile Re: Home-built boiler works well

    Looks like a nice tidy unit. I burnt wood for years and still would if it wasn't for my wife's asthma. Like Dana said it's a good exercise and a great stress reliever.


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