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Shaver steaming and water level solution...

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by fletcher0780, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. fletcher0780

    fletcher0780 ArboristSite Operative

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    I stole Hedgecutters idea for the temp probe and it works great! I also have the Ranco and am very happy with it 170* off 160* on. I used a tube of the red hi-temp silicone to seal my cover and it's working well.
     
  2. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I got my 250 up and running yesterday,and first mod i made was the elbow and clear pipe on the vent,thanks for the tip! Mine was dead level,and not steaming much,but then again,mine hardly ever gets over 160 degrees.I cant get enough air to mine,the air flap is wide open,and the temp is right around 160-170,with t stat set on 155.This boiler is seriously lacking in insulation,i guess thats the next project.
     
  3. urhstry

    urhstry ArboristSite Operative

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    :confused: :confused: Not getting enough air??? How in the world is that happening? Do you have it closed in a shed?
     
  4. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    Not sure if I read or understood your post. Seems like everything is working as it should.. What happens if you put the stat at 165 ? Do you have a forced fan draft or just a flap/damper etc ? If it went to 180 w/ a stat setting of 155, then I'd be worried..

    :confused:
     
  5. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Never put stat over 160,as I didn't have a guage that i trusted 100%.My fan has run about 80% of the time,with the flap open fully. With it shut 1/2 way the boiler temp dropped below 130 last night,with a full load of mixed oak/pine.I went out to the boiler,and fan was running,but not enough air.
     
  6. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    What make is your OWB ? Not enough air in a fan forced draft blower is hard to understand... for any make.. Did you check to see if there was an obstruction anywhere ? If its not that big of a deal I'd pull the fan and check it outside the OWB to see how much air it was producing.. Finally, I'd check w/ the manufacturer and other owners to see if there is a similar problem.. Heck, the cold weather isnt even here yet...

    :jawdrop: :confused:
     
  7. fletcher0780

    fletcher0780 ArboristSite Operative

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    If you just fired it up yesterday, you don't have a good bed of coals yet. Coal bed is very important on the Shaver boilers. I find I need to rake the coals over the grate to get them going good about 1/2 hour or so before I load it. I agree with you about the insulation, I'm going to strip the siding off mine in the Spring and cut hi-density rigid foam board insulation to fit over the solar guard and between the square tube framing, then tape the seams and put the siding back on. FYI there is no insulation under the boiler. I considered sliding a foam panel underneath, stuffing fiberglass batting in garbage bags and packing it under the furnace, or fill the underside with spray foam.
     
  8. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    ngzcaz,i have a shaver 250.fletcher,I think your right on the coals,just today it is running so much better with the damper open fully,and a few coals starting. I swear i have put close to a 1/4 cord of wood in it in 1 full day now,and it isnt even cold out.Ive loaded in 4x in 24hrs now,full loads of wood! Good thing i went with a 250,not a 165 like was recommended.The wood consumption is going to be a problem.If it eats this bad,I wont be able to keep up.I knew it would use more wood than an indoor furnace,but this is crazy.My home is tightly insulated,and didnt use a ton of oil to heat.I also have a water problem, in the roof of the OWB, today i noticed it was steaming the rain off the roof as it hit,thats how hot the roof was! Tonight,as i was loading it for the night, i got dripped on while adjusting the draft,it was cold water.I looked up,and the whole inside of the roof is soaked with water from condensation.It is dripping onto the insulation,and running down the back where the circulator is. I cannot believe how poorly this boiler is built outside of the firebox,I would be ashamed to call it a finished product as delivered. The chimney runs thru the roof area,screaming hot,and isnt even insulated! No double wall,not a single attempt to keep the roof cool.It don't take a rocket scientist to figure out if the bottom of the roof is hot,cold air on top will create the cold soda on a hot day effect,creating condensation ,which will then drip on what little poorly hung insulation is there.I just cannot fathon they sell a unit that they know is not finished,and needs the owner to do all this additional work just to use it as advertised.I am very sorry i waited so long for this boiler.I'm going to try to fix it's problems,so its somewhat efficient. I actually thought the Shavers were well insulated ,esp after reading this from one shaver dealers site.


    If you want to cut down on loading as often, you can go to the 250 model for $900 more than the 165, because the firebox is almost 50% bigger so it holds a whole lot more wood! (We don't make a dime more on the bigger models).

    Ditto for the 290 over the 250. With 21% more volume, you don't have to put wood in the outside wood furnace as often. It's only $250 extra.

    Bigger models do not burn any more wood because they are so well insulated - the extra water you are heating, doesn't lose it's heat!

    Wood Furnaces are Not currently for sale in Vermont or Maine - NEW EPA CERTIFIED MODELS coming SOON! (*See Coal Furnaces below)
    that is from the http://outdoorwoodburningfurnaces.com/5.html
    website.
    I will be placing a call to Shaver,as I feel i was mislead by them,and there posted information on insulation..
     
  9. Windwalker7

    Windwalker7 ArboristSite Guru

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    John D


    I wanted to reply to some of your comments. I too have a problem with not getting enough air flow but one of the things I found out is, if you run with the fan door wide open, all your heat goes out the chimney. I actually had my insulation smoldering my chimney got so hot. You ned to close to at least half way.

    Fletch is right. You need a good bed of hot coals. Also rake your coals right over the grate and keep the fire closer to the front of the furnace, not in the back. If its in the back you get more heat going right up the chimney.


    Did you seal the DHW cover plate with high temp. silicone? You need to seal it all the way around. Also, seal the two seams in front of the coil. One seam is covered by the DHW plate when it is in place. Make sure you seal that one good. My Shaver 165 leaked here until I sealed it.


    The reason the roof is so hot is because you are running with the fan wide open. This is also making you burn more wood because the heat is going right up the chimney. This, inturn, causes the roof to get hot.

    Try the tips above for a few days then get back with us.
     
  10. Windwalker7

    Windwalker7 ArboristSite Guru

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  11. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think you got it there,and thank you for the tips on keeping the fire up front.Yes it is all in the back of the unit,as i have zero coals up front,the wood just falls thru the grate as it burns,in back there is a coal bed starting.No matter where the fire is in the unit,it should be able ot take full lenth logs,and not form condensation.As you know water,and insulation do not mix at all. I closed the damper to 3/4 of the way,and I just got up this morning,it held temps much better last night than it did tuesday night,as it fell down to 130ish tuesday night.last night it seemed to hold 157 at the indoor boiler.
     
  12. fletcher0780

    fletcher0780 ArboristSite Operative

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    Ditto, run it for a week before you get frustrated, the wood usage will be reduced once you build up a coal bed. I'm heating about 5000 sq. ft. including a poorly insulated garage and when the temp is 30* or above my day goes like this: 7:00AM rake coals around, maybe trow 1-2 pieces of wood on, 4:00PM rake coals around, 9:00PM rake coals fill furnace 1/2-3/4 full. On colder days I increase the wood I add in the morning, and on really cold days I throw a piece or two on at 4:00.
     
  13. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    John, you did bring up a valid point which, in my haste to get things going, forgot to remedy later on. The chimney absolutely should be insulated to avoid the condensation caused by the hot/cold air mix. It is interesting Shaver is so worried about condensation in its firebox but completely ignores it in the chimney. Maybe a little unfaced fiberglass is in order. There's probably better choices but its so early in the morning my brain isn't awake yet.

    I, like Fletch, will take a serious look at the insulation in this thing come springtime and make some changes I'm sure....


    :agree2:
     
  14. trshmn

    trshmn ArboristSite Member

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    John, my 165 took some getting used to, Windwalker and Fletch are right, you need the coal bed, mine has a 6" coal bed all the time and my damper is only open about 1/4", (not 1/4 open but 1/4 inch), and the blower isn't strong enough to push thru the coals unless you rake it and make a few holes, if the blower is running when I load it there is never a flame until I open the door, but it keeps up with temps, I load mine twice a day, at 4:00am, and again at between 4:00pm and 8:00pm and it always has wood left in it, just rake them to front and center and reload with between 5 and ten peices of wood, seems to me that the 165's do better after they (Season). I'm heating 1245sq ft. up and 1245sq ft. down and 800sq ft. atached garage. (wife's smoking room, has to be at least 80 deg.) Been burning since 10/17, had a problem with the stack because I reduced it but fixed that and so far no problems.
     
  15. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thank you,and it is getting better. In addition to the coal bed finally starting to form towards the front of the unit,I laid under it thursday night,and put R19 3 strips wide,the full lenth of the underside.I have mine up on cement blocks so the height is more suited to my liking.Fletcher was right on the money again,zero insulation under the unit,i reached up and touched the bottom of the water box in shock at its lack of being insulated. The heat was just escaping everywhere,esp up the back.raising the unit made it worse,IMO because the heat just rolled right up the sides and back.I also laid full r 19 batts on the back side,and taped them to the solorguard up top to eliminate air movement up under the r 19. I have the fire right behind the door now,and I am still getting sweating under the roof,and its dripping down my new R19 on the back.The OWB is keeping up much better now with the insulation down,but i still need the damper open 3/4 of the way to keep the temp of the OWB stable at 160-175.If i close the door more,and one zone is calling for heat,all is fine,but if the second zone kicks on or the hot water circ kicks on,temps in the inside main boiler will drop to 135,within a few minutes,and it will not recover for hours,or until a circ shuts off,which wont happen,since the temps are so low,it takes forever to gain 2 degrees on either heating zone,it also makes the hot water circ run constant since its set to turn off at 140. so basically if i shut the damper more, i might as well just drain the water and turn on my oil fired boiler,because the OWB isnt keeping up at 140 degrees,and will not recover.
    One other thing i noticed is it takes forever to recover when i wake up in the am,usually both zones are calling for heat,and boiler temps are 145ish,it will take hours to get up to 175 after i load it,and even with the damper fully open.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  16. ngzcaz

    ngzcaz ArboristSite Operative

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    Glad to hear you have the unit functioning more to your liking. In one respect, it seems some of the problems occurred when you raised the unit up in the air ( heat loss because of more exposed area but I'm still wondering at the seeming lack of proper air that requires you to have the door 3/4 open. I also have a 165 and for the last month have been feeding it nothing but junk rotten pine, have practically zero coal bed and cant open the door more than 1/4 open. If you have it raised that far you should have even more fresh air available to the unit.

    Now, perhaps its the pine that is causing me not to have the door further open and maybe when I start burning the oak, maple and other hardwoods I'll have to open the door further. I can only put about three to four pieces in every 12 hrs because they are 10 to 12 in rounds. Maybe it would be interesting to hear what size/quantity logs other owners are using.

    In all fairness to the unit, if the water temp in the owb drops to 135 its going to take any unit quite a long time to heat ( in my case 175 gallons ) the water back to 165 to 175 degrees especially if the house is calling for heat. Not sure how much area you are heating, or more importantly where you live, but you shouldnt have problems with heating your home unless the unit is undersized for your needs. Did you purchase the unit with the Shaver recommended sizing calculator ?

    Good luck.....winters almost here


    :cheers:
     
  17. Windwalker7

    Windwalker7 ArboristSite Guru

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    In regards to the sweating, did you seal the DHW cover plate ?

    You need to seal that really well with High temp silicone
     
  18. trshmn

    trshmn ArboristSite Member

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    It seems to me that mine did sweat quit a bit when I received the unit, maybe because the water temp was so cold when I first filled it ? but this year it did'nt, I don't know if it is because the water sat in it all summer ? My t-stat is set at 150, but John I don't have a boiler, I have forced air heat in house and garage plus DHW, Don't know much about boilers, all nat. gas around here, but my OWB pump circ. 24/7. my house and garage have separate t-stat's, if both are running I notice a little bit of heat loss but not much. When I set it on the concrete pad I slid foil backed insulation under it and put unfaced batting in the roof area, wished I had it raised up, would help my back, my DHW is set at 128 and it kicks on and off as needed and never have run out of hot water, (me , wife ,two teenagers , boy and girl) water bill says 9000 gal./month, most of my wood is split hardwood, I do have some rounds (smaller 4-6") that I try to put in at night, rounds do seem to last longer, wish I had bigger rounds to put in like NGZCAZ has, will definitely have more next year, seem to do alot better after you get that good bed of coals going, hope you get your's going as you would like, we all have had to learn how to run these, and still learning thanks to this site. keep us posted!:cheers:
     
  19. John D

    John D Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am burning some old pine as well,rounds about a foot in diameter,and a foot long or so,and the small pieces,i put it under the oak,and locust rounds,to get it going. i used the Shaver calculator,it recommeded the 165 for my home,even my building permit is for the 165,I upsized at the last minute,to a 250,so i wouldnt have to load as often,and in case i want to heat my 24x20 garage down the road. I am 3400 total sq ft,but dont heat the garages,so im heating 3000 sq ft+ hot water.A 250 should be more than enough.I didn't use a lot of oil,as my home is very well insulated,and a ranch,I used about 900-1100 gallons a yr at the most.If oil hadnt hit $5 a gallon this summer,and i didnt have access to wood at my job,and property,i dont think i'd spen't the $$ for this OWB,I still think i should have just kept paying for the oil.This OWB is way too time consuming,ive spent the majority of the last week just stacking wood,building a wood shed,and tinkering with it,trying to get it set up right.I'm loading 3x a day,now that its cold,and its burning quite a bit of wood.I dont want to give up on it,as i feel oil will just go back up again,and i love heating with wood,and the workout is good for me,I love the smells,and sounds of it all.Something about gathering and cutting/splitting firewood is a natural endorphin trigger for me.:greenchainsaw:
     
  20. Windwalker7

    Windwalker7 ArboristSite Guru

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    I realize I'm not there in your shoes, but I still feel you have the draft door open too far, sending the heat right out the chimney.

    I had a similar problem when I first fired mine up.

    I'd open that draft door up and it really had a fire roaring inside the furnace. It really ate the wood too.


    After establishing a good coal bed as others had recommended, I closed the door to just about 1/3. I rake all the coals to put them right over the grate before loading. There is a bluish flame coming off those coals if the draft blower is on. It really throws the heat. I then throw the wood on top of the blue flames.


    Before I'd try to make sure there was nothing on the grate and stacked wood to the sides. I thought I needed to keep the grate open so the air could come up through. Not the case.This didn't work as well.

    Even before that, I use to shove the wood as far back as I could get it. I really had trouble with the heat going up the chimney.

    There is definitely a learning curve with these things.

    Right now I just keep everything in front as centered as possible.
     

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