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Author Topic: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....  (Read 3946 times)

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Offline woodcutterswife

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"ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« on: March 08, 2010, 01:32:00 PM »
We've had our e-classic since last fall and the biggest issue seems to be cleaning it out.  We have to do this at least once per month and it takes over 2 hours.  Does this seem normal to anyone?  We end up with lots of soupy tar that we have to pull/scrape out with a putty knife.  The air holes are always blocked with the tar and hubby usually heats it up with a torch and lets the tar "run" out to unblock the holes.  Why all the tar/creatose??  We're using seasoned wood.

Secondly, the unit is loosing water.  We thought the leak was in the old water line, so we replaced that with the newfangled double line pipe (can't think of the proper name) to the tune of $3000 and STILL the unit is loosing water.  We have to fill it 3 times a week.  The dealer says the warranty will cover it and they will come look at it in the spring.  Was unsettling to pay for the pipe only to still have the water/heat loss.

Do you think the tar could be related to the water level.  Thus, a burning issue of some sort?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  We had the standard Classic Boiler for 15 years having just replaced it with the E-Classic.  Hubby thinks he'd rather have the old one back........

Offline firechief

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 01:50:32 PM »
Sounds as if you may have a leak in the water jacket, if you're filling it 3 times a week.

As far as the creosote build up here's a great way to clean:

Let the water temperature get down to 150 or so, take out most of the coals from the firebox leaving some hot coals only.
Get some finely split up wood and place in the firebox. Keep the damper open so the fire will get really hot.  About every 10 minutes or so open the door and scrap the sides of the firebox of the loosened creosote.  After about 5-6 times scrapping 10 minutes apart, the creosote will be gone and the holes will be clear.  The only downside is that for the hour or so, you will get a great deal of smoke coming from the burning creosote but it works like a charm.

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 02:26:14 PM »
Thanks for the reply firechief.

I will relay your cleaning method to my husband.

I think what he does is let the fire die down and scrapes while the creasote is still warm enough to scoop out.  Yes, there is a lot of soot/ashes in the air even with this method.  A dirty, dirty job no matter how you cut it.   He removes all the bricks (which have a thick layer of creasote under them needing scraped off too) grates, etc. 

I guess time will tell on the water leak.........

Thanks for viewing and responding!

Offline beenthere

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 02:30:26 PM »
Welcome to the forum
Tell us what "seasoned" means with your wood. From tree to burning, what was the progression? 

I've been heating water for home heat with wood for over 30 years, and never once have I tried to clean the creosote off the walls of the burn chamber. Granted, it isn't the E-classic, but am wondering why the urge to clean it off and not let it burn off?
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 02:45:11 PM »
Beenthere:

the wood is at least 2 years old and dry/sheltered.  They made a big deal of the fact that the E-Classic should burn "seasoned" wood.

Why are we cleaning/dragging the creasote out?  The creosote is blocking the air holes -thus the need to heat it up and let it run out to unblock the holes.

From looking at the creasote "build-up" that we take out of the burner, it doesn't look like it would ever "burn-off", only build up over time plugging up the entire operation of the burner - making it less efficient.

I don't believe we had this problem with the old Classic Boiler, it either burned off or didn't create as much creasote. 

Again, thanks for the interest/response  :)

Offline rondojod

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 03:04:22 PM »
When you say "takes out the bricks", what bricks?
If you are talking about the sidewall bricks, all bricks except the ones on the bottom of the firebox should be removed and left out.

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 03:09:06 PM »
You've got me there rondojod.

I'll have to ask the boss this question.

From watching over his shoulder though, I think the bricks are only on the bottom of the firebox, but can't say for sure.   It looks like only about 3 or 4 bricks are removed during the cleaning so.....perhaps that answers it.

Offline rondojod

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 03:26:57 PM »
How much water are you talking about and do you see any signs of water in the reaction chamber or where your tubulators are?
Do you check water level when boiler is up to temp?

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 03:34:59 PM »
Believe husband says the water level gauge is down an inch or more several times per week.

No, no signs of water leakage anywhere.  Only the sog in the yard where we were convinced the pipe was leaking.

Yes, the water level is checked when the unit is operating at it's normal temp.

Thoughts, rondojod?

Offline MudBud

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 10:52:04 PM »
I am still interested to find out why so much liquid creosote...I burn the worse wood going, PINE Crap, and I get very little, nothing even to worry about. My wood is less than a few months aged. What type of wood are you burning? I get the normal thin layer all over the inside but nothing that flows to block air holes or anything else. The worse I ever see is in the back corners but that stuff lifts right off.  I would be ticked off if I had to spend 2 hours a week to clean it.  I am lucky to spend 10 minutes a week and once a month 20 minutes. 

Good luck with the water problem as well, interested to find out what is causing the loss each week.

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2010, 08:36:11 AM »
MudBud, thanks for the response.  Are you using the E-Classic??

We didn't have this much of a creasote problem with our old regular burner.

We, too, would like to know why there is so much creasote (!!) and yes, husband is getting quite ticked about all the cleaning!  Rightly so.

We burn good hard dry seasoned wood, and as far as I know, no pine.

I'll keep you updated on the water situation.  We're due for some warm weather here soon and I think he's going to isolate the burner and see if the leak is actually coming from the unit itself.

Offline muckamuck

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2010, 09:10:18 AM »
I have been burning maple seasoned in a shed about 10 months and I do get creosote that wants to cover the air holes, more in fall and spring. Everyday or at least every few days I let the fire burn down to the coals, then I use a flat shovel to push along the air holes to scrape the tar to the back (then scoop it onto the coals to burn).  Takes 10 seconds.  Maybe I use a small hoe to scrape out the bypass door opening too. I can't seem to clean out the rear air holes with the shovel or hoe - they are covered with creosote and hard to clean. Toss in some creosote remover powder and limestone. On the weekends I clean out the ashes from the firebox, save some coals, put coals back in, scrape tar onto coals, open secondary chamber, open top back panel and clean out tubes with reamer and brush and the top shelf in back, then clean out ashes from secondary.  Close it up.  Takes about 20 minutes.  Maybe you could go 2 weeks, but I like to keep the tubes clean for good heat transfer.  Next year I should have wood seasoned for 18 months ready to go and I'm hoping for less creosote.

Offline Dean186

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 10:42:24 AM »
I am thinking that your unusual water usage and creosote buildup are related.  The manual for the E-classic states It should not be necessary to add water to the outdoor furnace more frequently than once every six months.

You might have an internal leak into the firebox that cools the fire more than normal, causing the extra creosote buildup, but doesnt accumulate enough to puddle.  The firebox fire evaporates it before you can see it.  It would be like burning unseasoned/wet wood.

Do you see more moisture present in the exhaust plume?

You also mentioned the yard was soggy.  I would figure out the cause of that first.

Dean
E-Classic 1400 owner

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 11:25:48 AM »
Muckamuck:  "creosote remover powder" sounds like something we should look into.  Thanks for that idea.

Dean:  That's is exactly what we were wondering - if there was a correlation to the water level and the creosote build up!  I hope that is the case and this problem will be remedied if a leak is found.

I'll ask Mr. about the moisture in the exhaust plume.  Good question.

As for the soggy yard - we replaced our water line with the newfangled "plex" (?) pipe a few weeks ago for good measure (I guess)....and high cost.....only to find the water level in the burner still registering low every few days.

Thanks Dean.


Offline doctorb

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 12:06:49 PM »
woodcutterswife-

I'd hold off on the powder solution until you find out why and where you are leaking water.  I have run the E-2300 since December and never added water once.  If you are adding water at the rate you say, that is a much more important problem than creosote.  I, too, think the two problems may be related.  Can you at all estimate how much water are you adding three times a week?

My suggestion?  Shut down the stove completely, cleaning the creosote as you go.  Did you have this creosote buildup when the stove was not requiring additional water on a regular basis?  Once the stove is cool and clean, keep the circulating pump running and check the entire stove / firebox for water leakage.  The scenario you paint is not right.  Something is wrong with the stove.  My creosote problem and routine maintenance is very much in line with the description by muckamuck above.  I'll bet you have a water jacket leak and the water that's released is being boiled off as it contacts the fiebox.  Hence, no puddles of water to point you to the location of the leak.  Once the stove is cool, I would think that the leak, if present, would make itself apparent.

Again, when did the creosote problem start?  Is it temporaly related to the lower water levels in the stove?

doctorb
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Offline MudBud

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2010, 05:25:30 PM »
Yes I have the E2300 made in Aug 2008.  I agree with all the others that the two may be related.  The only time I remove the coals is at the end of the year before I close it up before summer...maybe I am lucky!!!

Woodcutter where are you located?

Offline island

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2010, 05:11:32 AM »
The reason to clean firebox is to be able to inspect walls and corners for cracks. My E-classic burns off the creosite for 65% of firebox,running at 185 degrees. The airholes  rarely get plugged.Sounds like something is cooling down the firebox,clean the walls and corners and check for a leak.I've read in this forum of other people with leak problems.

Offline woodcutterswife

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Re: "ISSUES" with E-classic - Help....
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2010, 08:17:52 AM »
Sounds like a few of you think the water loss and the excess creosote are related.  Thanks for the input.

That's what I was wondering/hoping.  I know we can't go on cleaning it the way we are - it's exhausting and disappointing.  I'll let you know when we find out something definitive on the water level/leak situation.

MUDBUD - location is northwestern Pennsylvania.  Near Lake Erie.

DOCTORB - thanks for the informative post/suggestion.  Most of your questions will need to be answered by my husband - I'll relay this to him.

Thanks all!


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