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Shaver Improvement Forum

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by ngzcaz, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. Holdstihl

    Holdstihl ArboristSite Lurker

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    Did you replace the probe? Are you sure the probe is below the water level? If so, sounds like the calibration is off
     
  2. yomax4

    yomax4 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I have a 1" T installed in the Pex below my main pump. The horizontal part of the T goes 4" and then up 4". That is where I have my well. I inserted a piece of copper tube into the pex and put the probe in there and siliconed it shut. When I changed the Ranco, I replaced everything. I may have to call and see if there is a calibration method. Maybe I just got a goofy unit. I did buy it off E-Bay.

    Thanks.
     
  3. projectsho89

    projectsho89 ArboristSite Operative

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    It is not possible to calibrate a Ranco. You can, however, test the sensor with an ohmmeter. Replacement sensors are available.
     
  4. scag52

    scag52 ArboristSite Operative

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    I bought lots of rancos from eBay . All have been fine. Are you sure the well you have is not causing a problem .
     
  5. yomax4

    yomax4 ArboristSite Lurker

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    This is a new way for the well but I was sure that with the pump forcing water down, The 4" horizontal would have pretty accurate water temp. With my other Ranco I simply taped the probe to the pex and it was very close to what my infered said. Maybe I will pull it out and tape it and see what I get.

    Thanks.
     
  6. urhstry

    urhstry ArboristSite Operative

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    I will add this.... I just happened to check my well with my Ranco probe inside and it is melted to the copper well. I tried pulling it out and it won't budge... but since it seems to be accurate, I am going to leave it go til Spring. Maybe yours, and others, are faulty that way.
     
  7. yomax4

    yomax4 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Wow, Was your well touching the fire box? Odd that OWB water temps would melt that probe.
     
  8. jmruggiero

    jmruggiero ArboristSite Lurker

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    door insulation

    has anyone that has insulated between the door and inner plate develop any problems arising from adding it. just wondering.
     
  9. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    When I was choking the stove 2 years ago with less than ideal wood, the moisture/creosote ran off the door when I opened it. That disappeared when I did damper mod. The original fiberglass is still in the door. A lot of guys insulated the door, don't recall anything but fiberglass actually used although other materials were discussed.

    :D
     
  10. yomax4

    yomax4 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I pushed in regular fiberglass insulation between the door plates as per some previous posts. It does keep the door cooler and probably pushes some heat back into the stove but I am unsure how to measure the good that it did. It is nearly free to do it and it does make a difference judging by the door temp so why not do it.
    Just for he record, I too choked my stove last year and had creosote water running all over. Out the door, Out the stack all over the stove and and killed the grass. None of that green wood this year for me and no creosote either. My stove pipe has been clean all winter even with a 4' extension. :clap:
     
  11. headleyj

    headleyj ArboristSite Guru

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    I used rockwool insulation - has a higher temp rating, figured it couldn't hurt.
     
  12. jmruggiero

    jmruggiero ArboristSite Lurker

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    i just recieved e-mail from ben shaver about this, and his reply was , they are doing this on there new units.
     
  13. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    1. How did you get the rockwool to stay in place.
    2. Did Shaver say what they were using ?

    Thanks,

    :monkey:
     
  14. jmruggiero

    jmruggiero ArboristSite Lurker

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    in Ben's reply to me was that they were doing this to there new units shipped. he did not state what type they were using.

    in my door i just packed ( i think it is rock wool ) in the space , no problems falling out.

    i would think regular pink might work. jim
     
  15. headleyj

    headleyj ArboristSite Guru

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    It's stayed just fine man
     
  16. Cedar-Acres

    Cedar-Acres ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello! New member

    Hi all,

    I am a happy owner of a Shaver 165 that I received and installed almost 13 months ago. Just found this site 2 days ago and have been reading through all the posts. This is a great thread and has validated everything I have done and am planning on doing with my furnace. I have even picked up a couple ideas that will solve issues I have been wanting to deal with.

    To begin with, I don't see why there is so much anger at WeldRite now that they have improved things. Granted, there is more they can do to improve, but as the saying goes "You get what you pay for". I, like many others here, like to tinker and would rather save the money and do some of the work myself. During the time I was trying to decide exactly what I wanted to order I had the opportunity to talk directly with Billy Shaver to get some of my questions answered. I ordered the furnace on 12/1/2009 and took delivery at my home on 12/26/2009 as promised. I think a 25 day turnaround is great to have something like this built and delivered, especially over the Christmas holiday. Ben has been great to deal with and I have been able to reach him by phone more than half the time I have called and he quickly responds to my emails everytime. So, I tend to communicate with him via email. In mid December 2010 my blower bearings started going out and were very noisy. I emailed Ben and had a warranty replacement in my hands in less than 48 hours. I don't see how service could get any better than that.

    Over the past year I have been doing mods to the furnace and have it running very well now. To date these are the mods I have done:

    * Installed a digital temperature controller - Autonics TC3YT about $70 plus the platinum RTD sensor - this is industrial grade and will last a long time. Placed the sensor in the original location, put a piece of 1/4 inch thick blue foam and a fender washer between the sensor and hold down bolt and then insulated the crap out of it - it is stable and working fine. I have the temp setpoint at 160 degrees +-1 degree. I find setting it that tight makes the blower cycle fairly often and for a shorter time causing the fire to burn at a very steady rate and it recovers very quickly when there is a sudden demand caused by a change in the house thermostat or hot water usage.

    * Installed a Maverick Model #ET-71OS wireless BBQ grill thermometer on the side of the furnace facing the house with the sensor installed in the same place as the controller sensor. They report the temp the same or within 1 degree of each other. I installed the outside unit in a clear plastic weather proof outlet box. I can monitor the furnace temp on the side of the furnace and from anywhere in the house.

    * Installed a plastic dryer flap on the blower - Made a 1/4 inch thick blue foam collar that I hot glued to the blower. The collar is deep enough to prevent the flap from touching the blower and the dryer flap assembly fits snuggly into it and can be removed to adjust the weight of the counter balance. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole in the flap about 1 inch up from the bottom and installed a 2 inch nylon bolt. I put 2 steel nuts on the end of the nut to act as a counter weight to firmly close the flap. I found that on windy days the wind blowing across the top of the chimney would create enough draft to pull the flap open a bit and would almost double my wood usage. To fix this I installed a third steel nut on the flap counter weight.

    * Installed a 1/2 inch PVC cap with a 1/8 inch hole drilled in the center of it on the vent pipe. The cap is fairly loose and any pressure build up will blow it off. This has solved the excessive water loss problem.

    * Installed a 1/4 x 6 inch eye-bolt to hold the door shut. Drilled a 1/4 inch hole through the furnace frame and into the door frame and inserted the eye-bolt.

    * Installed unfaced fiberglass insulation into the air gap of the loading door.

    * Installed a 3 way switch in a weather proof housing on the side of the furnace. It switches power between the draft blower and a light mounted on the side of the nearby shed pointed at the front of the furnace.

    * Installed homemade solar heat collecting panels and connected them to the second set of ports on the furnace. This has noticably reduced wood usage on bright sunny days and allows me to have free DHW durning the summer without burning wood. I plumbed the DHW cold inlet to run through the HX coil before going into the DHW tank. I also installed a tempering valve on the outlet of the DHW supply. I used the pump that came with the furnace, that was intended for the DHW system as defined in the manual, for pumping the furnace water through the solar panels. I have the power to the DHW heater turned off and the furnace HX coil is doing quite good at heating the water up to 130 degrees or more. The tempering valve is set to 120 degrees.

    For regular maintenance I use an inexpensive garden rake and shovel set. They have steel heads and extendable aluminum handles that extend to 48 inches. The rake is excellent for raking the ashes/coals and the shovel is the perfect size for removing the ashes from the ash bin.

    I had been using 6 inch black stovepipe for the chimney extension but since it is cold it builds up creasote quickly requiring removal and cleaning every 2 to 4 weeks. If not kept clean it will shed crap that gets stuck at the 5 to 6 inch adapter that is required to make it fit the stock chimney and chokes up the furnace. I read about using the 6 inch insulated chimney and sliding it down over the stock chimney in this thread and think that is a great idea! I am going to pick up some this evening and install it this weekend. I had also been thinking about improving the overall insulation and this thread has shown me how to do it, so I will be doing that soon as well beginning with 2" blue foam on the bottom and then fiberglass bat on the sides and top.

    Thanks all for the wonderful ideas and information!!!
     
  17. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    Welcome new member.. you certainly found the right spot for pro and negative reviews on this OWB. You placed your order at the right time for prompt delivery. Many weren't as fortunate. Your mods are interesting. I, for one, would like to know how your thermostat is working as far as when it comes on and off. Whats the temp swing ? The stat is reading the temp through 1/4 in or so of steel so even if the stat is set for 1 degree plus or minus I would really be surprised if it actually worked that way. The stock stat is set for an 8 degree swing ( I spoke with the factory to conform this ) but because of the mounting on steel no one is getting that . Mine is around 20 degrees which is OK because I have a small heating area and recovery is pretty quick. One way you can get an accurate water temp for less than $ 10.00 is to get a temp water probe that screws right in the the T fitting located just after the pump and right where it attaches to the pex. This is an actual water temp because the probe is in the water. Its approx a 1 inch gauge showing the temp. The whole thing is only about 3 inches give or take. I then remarked the stock stat to reflect the actual water temp. The settings on the stock stat were off by around 12 to 15 degrees.

    Could you elaborate a bit on the 1/2 plastic cap ? You pushed on the cap and drilled a hole on top for venting if I understand it ? You may want to consider some pex curved upward a bit. Much better than removing the plate by the chimney when adding chemicals. ( unless the factory made an improvement I'm not aware of )

    Lastly, most members are satisfied w/ the functioning of the units. They work fine with a bit of tweeking. Just some items a lot of guys felt should been done at the factory weren't and as a former welder the appearence of the welds made it look like it came from China. I would be pleased if Shaver corrected some of these concerns for future purchasers.

    :smile-big:
     
  18. Cedar-Acres

    Cedar-Acres ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the welcome, ngzcaz.

    The "water use reduction" fix I did is a simple 1/2 inch PVC cap. I sanded the exterior of the vent line nice and smooth with 220 grit sandpaper so the cap would slide on and off easily. I drilled a 1/8 inch hole in the center on the cap to allow the tank to breathe with atmospheric pressure changes and water volume changes that occur with changes in water temperature. The cap slips on with very little force and will come off if the water were to boil and build pressure. Each week when I do the ash cleaning I pull the cap off (to be sure it isn't getting stuck from sitting in one place too long) and top off the water. Then I slip the cap back on. Since I started using the cap I only have the fill water on for a second or two, before I had to let it run for 15 to 20 seconds to top off the tank.

    I'm not really hung up on the exact temp of the water as long as the controller is keeping it in a reasonably tight range and I am getting hot air and hot water in the house. To check the actual water temperature I insert a long probe on a digital thermometer into the vent tube far enough that it is in the water inside the tank. I normally see a water temp that is within 3 degrees or so of the temp shown on the controller and wireless remote thermometer. The reason for this is that I insulated the crap out of the place I installed those probes. First, the probes have thermal conductive grease on them, then 1/4 inch blue foam insulation over them, then fiberglass filling the factory hole for the temp controller, then 1/4 inch blue foam over that and extends about 2 inches beyond the hole all around to hold in the fiberglass , then 3 inches of fiberglass bat over all that. With the digital controller set to come on at 159 and off at 161 degrees F the draft fan cycles for a short time often. I'm sure there is some lag in the system due to the 1/4 inch of steel between the water and the probes, but if you hold the temperature fairly constant for a period of time the, I'm guessing 10 minutes or so, the extra insulation will allow the heat to soak through the steel and the temperatures to equalize. Once equalized the response to small changes in temperature is good enough to control the system. This results in a very steady burn as long as there is a constant load from the house. My wife thought I was nuts, maybe I am, when I sat and watched the furnace run one night for almost an hour and a half. It was much more relaxing than watching the tv.... Anyway, the outside temperature was about 18 degrees that night and the house thermostat was kicking on for about a minute and off for about 8 minutes in a steady cycle. The furnace draft blower was kicking on for about 4 or 5 minutes once about every 3 house cycles. The temp of the furnace was cycling from 159 to 161 and never strayed from that. I use a set back thermostat in the house. The normal temp is 72 degrees and it sets back to 65 degrees during the day while we are at work and school. I have it step up to 72 about a half hour before we get home and it never fails to be there when we walk in. I have a digital thermometer in the house that records the high and low temps and it does get down to 65 during the day when the outside temps are in the low teens or less. The furnace is usually at around 145 to 150 and recovers within a half hour after we get home, even with the hot water useage that occurs during that time - not bad for a sudden 7 degree jump in the house temperature. Another example is when my son takes a much too long shower. The furnace temp will drop to around 153 degrees or so and then recover. When he finishes the shower it will overshoot to no more then 164 and then settle back down.

    I feel I finally have the temperature control of the furnace working the way I think it should and it is very solid in it's response as long as there is wood in it and I keep the grate and chimney clean. Now I want to work on the chimney creasote problem by installing the insulated chimney and then insulating the entire water tank much better than it is to reduce my wood useage and extend my run times. There is a single thin sheet of (probably wet) fiberglass insulation that came with the unit to place under the water tank. Even with that I noted that all the 1 inch of snow we had Monday was melted out to about 4 to 6 inches from the furnace with an outside temp of about 20 degrees.

    As it is I only fully load the front half of the firebox over the grate, that is the firebox is only half full of wood, once a day in the evening with the average daytime temps in the 30 to 40 degree range. Below that I throw in 4 to 8 splits in the morning depending on the predicted high for the day and how much sunshine we are supposed to get to make sure it stays hot. Above that range I only about half fill the front of the firebox once a day, that is the firebox is only 1/4 full. How much wood is left and how much I have to add depends on whether the day was very sunny or not. When it is sunny the solar panels tend to keep the temp up and the blower off all day long so there is lots of wood left at the end of the day.

    I hope that adequately answered your questions!
     
  19. scag52

    scag52 ArboristSite Operative

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    Hello, Another welcome. Any chance we could get some pics. Would love to see the homemade solar panels. Very interested. Thanks, Russ
     
  20. Cedar-Acres

    Cedar-Acres ArboristSite Lurker

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    scag52, here is a picture of my current set up as of early October 2010. There are 2 4x8 panels installed at this time. I will be adding another panel this spring to get the system to where I want it. When there is not a fire active in the furnace I install a box made of 1 inch styrofoam over the doors to stop the massive heat loss that occurs there. The box is held on with super strong rare earth magnets. Using that box reduced the night time BTU loss by almost 50%. I'm sure that when I strip down the unit this summer and add a bunch of insulation I will see much better heat retention.

    This past weekend I installed a 6" double wall insulated chimney stack. As I was cutting the chimney hole in the roofing tin larger I discovered that this model furnace was built with the center roof support right up against the factory chimney! Was I ever upset!!! Now my quick 30 to 45 minute job had turned into a 3 hour ordeal!!! I ended up having to fully remove the roofing tin and attach a come-along to pull the center support toward the front by about 1-1/4 inches to get the new chimney to slide past it and all the way down to the water tank. Then I released the support. It is tight up against the chimney and is effectively clamping that section in place so it won't move. It turned out that a 3 foot section came to almost 2 inches above the factory pipe, just right to allow me to caulk the gap between the two and still have room for the flange on the next section. I added 2 more 3 foot sections and a rain cap to get it well above the shed roofline.

    I also reworked the vent line. I removed the cap with the 1/8 inch hole and installed a 90 degree elbow and a 2 inch straight piece. This is rotated toward the front at about 45 degrees so that the opening is about 1/2 inch above the vent line. In this position I can see the water level in it. Now I don't have to worry that the cap might get stuck and cause an over pressure problem.
     

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