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Author Topic: New E-Classic owner  (Read 26196 times)

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Offline ken999

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New E-Classic owner
« on: December 13, 2009, 08:33:16 PM »
We got our 2300 online FINALLY...We bought it back in January but didn't get the temporary install done like we had hoped.

We started it up on Tuesday and have had plenty of heat since, but it doesn't seem that I am getting gasification as of yet. The boiler is too smokey, much like a standard OWB. So far I'm not too impressed.

I'm hoping that I'm just in the learning curve, and things will start looking better this week. I'll be calling my dealer tomorrow to see where to start 'fixing' things.

So far, I'm burning good dry hardwood, my air holes in the upper firebox are clear, I've got coals, can poke a copper pipe through the the Fusion chamber and am putting in as little wood as possible to keep things from going out, yet leaving me enough room to clear the airways.

Offline dva

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2009, 09:57:18 PM »
Ken999,

Great news! Glad to see your 2300 is on line.  I blogged extensively about my install and the troubles and learning curve I went through on the thread e2300 install in PA. Whodoctor also has a great thread that helped me get going.  Here's a few tips that I learned from experience:

If you experience excessive smoking, it can be only one of three problems: 1) Wood too wet, this system needs dry wood to work best; 2) Bypass door open or not closing completely; 3) Gasification is not occurring.  Gasification can be stopped by: a) Poor draft due to low barometric pressures (during a storm) or odd winds with not enough chimney height; b) a full reaction chamber (needing to be cleaned out), turbulators needing to be cleaned, or chimney clogged; c) half-moon hole in the bottom of the firebox clogged or obstructed or coal bed too deep (more than 6" or so); d) no/inadequate air flow from the fan to the firebox (holes in firebox clogged, solenoids not operating, fan failure).

I got some great advice that has helped me with the odd and inconsistent smoking: After I load new wood or break apart a bridged load, I poke a hole down through the coal bed into the reaction chamber with a piece of copper pipe. This helps to insure that air flow gets into the reaction chamber to cause gasification. Easy to do, worked great for me.

Let me know if you get success...you will, there is a learning curve  but once you nail it, it works great.

Dave



Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 12:53:40 PM »
Thanks Dave. I hope to get things figured out soon as the boiler has been a bit of a disappointment so far.

I've followed, re-read etc. your thread and others and I must say they are VERY helpfull for newbies like myself. Thanks for taking the time to document and discuss your experiences with the stove.

As for my situation, I'm burning dry wood, no issues there. My bypass door appears to be sealing when looking in from the loading door, but I should probably look at it from the pipe-side as well before I can rule that out.

This past weekend was my first shot at being home all day while the stove burned, so I payed particular attention to NOT putting in TOO much wood in efforts to build the holy grail of coal beds. I split everything down to 3-4" and was carefull to prep the coal bed first, opening air holes in the bottom and sides, then I carefully placed in the wood, 2 rows of 16" long pieces, covering the bed evenly.

NO LUCK.

Got me....

Offline stumper

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 06:17:21 PM »
check to see if you are getting a good fire in the fusion chamber.  Should be a blow torch like flame.  Open the by-pass remove the clean out door then close the by-pass. 

If you have a good flame there double check that your wood is dry.  Load enough wood to last 12 hours plus a little. Then see what the smoke looks like after 10 hours.  I have burnt some wood I thought was dry but still had a lot of moisture.  If the smoke is clear after 10 hours that is likely your issue.  You are seeing water vapor. 

Offline dva

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 07:31:44 PM »
Ken999,

You sound just like I did. You'll see that since you read my frustration blog.

This boiler works. Period. What you need to get is your 'wood grove on'. This is almost a romance rather than a learning curve. There are so many small idiosyncrasies that can cause the problem you are seeing.  There was a suggestion made to make sure you are getting gasification - do try it. There are a lot of reasons why gasification can be hampered, but lets first go through the checklist:

1) We have established that you have dry wood, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but how are you sure? Do you have a moister meter or can you tell me how you know this for sure? 

**The reason I ask is that steam looks a lot like smoke and the system will NOT gasify and eliminate steam. Steam comes from three places: directly out of the wood by boiling in the fire, from condensation building up in the exhaust portion of the boiler (including the chimney), and/or (and very common!) from smoke free hot air exiting the chimney into cooler humid air. The latter often mistaken for smoke.  You can easily determine if it's mainly smoke or mainly steam by observing what is happening at the top of the chimney.  If you stand back from the boiler and look up at the top of the chimney do you see "vapors" that seem to start billowing AFTER about a foot past the top of the chimney? IOW's, you have about a foot of clear air then vapors? If so, that's steam and water vapors and it can billow out and look like smoke, often traveling quite a distance. Real smoke will be visible coming right out of the top of the chimney.  TEST: If you think it's steam, open up the bypass and you should see the "smoke" start coming right out of the top of the chimney. Close the bypass and watch it change back in a moment or so. The boiler is working fine.

2) You need a, what did you call it, "holy grail of coal beds" - funny but true. The coal bed should cover the half-moon opening leading down to the fusion combustor (essentially the hole in the bottom when the secondary air is injected) and down to the reaction chamber where the gasification occurs. 3-6" is good.  Don't let the HGOCB get too deep. It should'nt be so deep that it covers the primary air holes on the sides and back of the firebox.  Are you good on this point?

3) Check for gasification. Like Stumper said...and be careful. I would go one step further and shut off the master power in the back before I opened the reaction chamber cover. Then switch it back on and from a distance look in. I have pictures of what it should look like in my thread.  If you don't see the "blow torch" after about 2 minutes, you need to find out why.  First poke a hole in the HGOCB through the half-moon opening and into the reaction chamber. I use a 1/2 diameter piece of water pipe. Look again, after a minute see anything?

Get back with the answers to the above questions and we can move on to the next steps. Hang in there - this system works.

Dave
 

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 09:24:36 PM »
This AM the 'smoke' looked the best it has been. First and only time so far. I'll take a more objective look at the stack to try and determine whats smoke and whats steam.

The wood I was using over the weekend to eliminate one of the variables has been cut and stacked in the open since a year ago this past fathers day. Around about Sept. at the end of a 3 week or so dry spell we got it covered with old metal roofing. I've burned a chord of it so far this year through my PE Summit insert here in the house and there is absolutely NO steam/sizzle. Trouble is I only have maybe 2 chords of that left, and I consider it my 'reserve' for the insert should something bad happen to the boiler. Those stacks are cut 16" and are the only stuff I have to fit the insert w/o re-cutting the 'new' stacks.

My other piles, the 'new' ones, have been cut/stacked since April/May and are mostly Oak. I'm a little nervous about this wood being dry enough, but it is what it is at this point. I've 8 chord or so in these 'new' stacks, with 3 of it being White Pine that I'm trying to burn up before the real cold temps set in. I understand that the Pine is going to be trickier as it doesn't leave alot of coals, so I'm trying to stay on top of that a tick more when I load it.

The way my wood is piled, it'll be a couple-three days before I get into the hardwood again. I just today started into the 'new' piles and I have to burn some of the Pine that's in the way first.

I'll man up and try taking off the reaction chamber doors...see if I can get some 'Stumper' eyelashes...lol... ;D

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 07:56:50 AM »
Went out this AM....All the Pine I loaded bridged overnight. I'm thinking that splitting that stuff down real fine is going to be key for burning it correctly.

I took my 5.5' metal ice chopper and banged around in the upper fire chamber knocking everything down. It has a 3" or so blade on it that works pretty good for scraping the holes along the side of the airbox. I used it as a pry bar and slid everything on the bottom to center, over the Fusion chamber, then used my copper pipe to push a bunch of coals down INTO the Fusion chamber.

I shut the door, closed the bypass and the smoke cleared up quickly and was showing steam (I guess...) after a foot or two above the stack. 8)

Looks like this 'Scrape, slide to center, pack and poke the coals' is going to be the ticket.

The other good news is, after today I should be into a solid chord of hardwood before I HAVE to burn any more Pine out of the way.  ;D Hopefully I get this working and can just mix a few pieces in here and there.


Offline ral

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 08:39:13 PM »
Been three months, got the bugs worked out, had to get to know the beast, just like a new huntin dog. Doesn't seem is if everyone is fighting the exact same bug. Heating 900 sq. ft. garage, 2 hot water heaters and 3500 sq. ft. house, I am glad to still be getting over 24 hr. burns. Temps been -5 -10 and in single digits during the day. Except one day the temp. was down to 115F. on boiler, Dad filled when we were gone and forgot to shut bypass, but appreciated him coming out to filler up, still didn't burn any LP! Using  a mix of ash, elm, oak and boxelder that is split with some small rounds. SO far (fingers crossed) we are doing fine. Very little to no smoke is great, wood all cut last year so pretty dry but not fully, I can tell with the wetter wood we are getting not smoke but I think mostly vapor from chim. Bridging problem very minimal using hard wood, have never lost the fire, must eventually drop as coals burn down, I think the weight of hard wood helps? We will see how bad the fusion chamber is in the spring being I have the older model bought on sale? The people I talked to and on other posts said CB has been very willing to give a new chamber for OWNER installation. Our unit is also fully enclosed, out of the wind, which must help a lot according to other more experienced folks.

DVA, did you talk to CB with your list of questions or I might have missed it. I asked about the insulation of entire circ. motor from the manual, being the fins are there to cool the motor some. Will it burn out?

Thanks for all the advice this site has given, best regards and Merry Christmas.
Randy

Offline dva

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 09:03:05 PM »
Ken999, this sounds like very good news!  If you are seeing a clear area of a foot or two above the top of the chimney before the "smoke" starts - that ain't smoke - that's steam. You will see that off and on as the weather changes. Wait until you finally see (or don't see) anything except for clear wavy thermals coming out. I think you're close to that utopia moment.

Your
Quote
Scrape, slide to center, pack and poke the coals
routine is exactly what I do.  You'll find that occasionally, as the wood falls and covers the opening that the unit will smoke for a bit until the area burns down. That's acceptable behavior. You can always shorten this time by poking a hole. I've been content to let it poke its own hole when that happens, usually back to a clean burn in a cycle or two.

What temp do you have the unit set for?
How many chimney sections do you have?

Randy - haven't called CB yet. Work has been crazy and I haven't been getting settled until well after CB goes to bed. I'm off starting the 18th through the new year, I plan on calling then. I do have your question and a bunch of others ready to ask.

Happy holidays all!
Dave

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 06:27:11 AM »
Pine SUCKS!!... ;D

Had an 'Ooopppsssiieee' last night. I came home from work to a bridged pile of pine, stove at 170, not much fire. I knocked it around and got it going. I scraped everything down and wanted to burn the pine down to the point wher I could add some Maple on top.

Wound up falling asleep on the couch and waking up at 2:00 AM... :o I ran out to the stove to find 4-5 peices of Pine laying on the bottom of the firebox doing nothing..."D**n PINE!!..." I knocked it around and found a couple coals, shut the door and let it light. I went to the wood pile and got a wheelborrow load of Maple. I fine split that load and put 1/3 of it on the now burning Pine trying to get some coals for this AM's all day load. I went out a bit ago to fine the stove running, nearly to temp w/ no smoke. I was hoping that it was gasification, but when I opened the door there was a big hole in the wood/coal's on top on the Fusion chamber, so I doubt I had enough heat for making 'gas.

I raked it around and put the rest of the load on the boiler, then fine split up another full load of Maple for today. Hopefully things look better here in a few minutes when I leave for work.

I'm set at 185 and have 2 sections of pipe.

Offline stumper

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 05:02:48 PM »
I load all my wood crosswise.  Since switching I have had minimal bridging. 

I have had better luck with pine when it is cold and mixed with good wood.  The pine does not seem to hold the coals it does not like the warmer weather with longer times between burns. 

Rememebr that no matter how dry your wood is you will alway be producing some water vapor.  The combustion produces CO2 and H20 plus some other stuff.

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 06:27:23 AM »
Came home yesterday to find the maple load still going, but smoking a bit more than I'd like. I poked it a round some but no dice....so I pulled the cover on the RC and found 3" of powder in the fist half. In towards the FC it was more more hot coals than powder, but I shoveled it out while I had the door off. I then fired the stove and got a big fireball out the door...whoo-hooo!...lol...it didn't appear to be the nice 'jet' that dva gets, but I thought the chamber might not be hot enough immediately after taking out the powder, so I closed it back up and poked some more coals down the FC, then went to the wood pile to get a small load of pine. I still need to burn some of that out of the way so I figure burning small loads while I'm home might be the way to go.

At this point the stove was still up to the bottom of the door, maybe a tick less, with the maple from the AM's loading, so I expected that and the 1/2 WB load of pine to be gone by bedtime. I planned to load some more Maple on for the night burn but I fell asleep and didn't get back out till this AM. There were still some small coals and a few pieces of pine leftover and stove was at 184. Nice.

I fine split a load of maple for today and put 10 or so pieces on the now burning pine. I fiddled around holding the fan button and got the 'base' pile nice and hot, then added the rest of the WB load for the day.


Overall, I'm still not too happy with the amount of smoke I'm getting. Things are getting better, but they are still not what I expected. Tonight I'll clean the turbulators and re-check the RC.

Stumper, what length wood are you burning crossways?

Offline cb6048

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 04:28:36 PM »
Not that you need to hear this but I just throw wood in my 6048 and shut the door......done.....heat
when hell freezes over I'll snowmobile there too

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 06:42:48 PM »
Haha...I know...

Getting heats not the issue for me, got lots of that thankfully...

Seems I'm getting a little less smoke tonight. I came home and around 4:15 and the stove was off and @ 182. Most all the maple was gone, just 4-5 charred chunks and a few coals. I raked it around, scraped the holes clear and turned the stove up enough to kick on the fan while I went went to the wood pile. I put some fine split maple on the bottom then mixed in some more pine with the next 1.5' or so, then topped it off with some bigger chunks of pine. I looked out the window a few times since coming in and it doesn't seem to be smoking much tonight.

Too cold to fart with the turbulators tonight...mebbe tomorrow...lol...

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 07:27:44 PM »
Let's try some install pic's...

Making some room.



Supervisor #1



Prepping the trench.


Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2009, 07:33:16 PM »
Underdrain and stone done.



Thermopex and electric in.



Sand then rigid foam then sand.



Backfill done.


Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2009, 07:36:50 PM »
Supervisor #1 and I tamping the pad prior to concrete.



Crete's here!...



Supervisor #1 putting a shine to it...



I had to wake him from his nap, but I managed to get Super #1's 'stamp' of approval before things set-up.




Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2009, 07:44:11 PM »
Stumper- What length wood are you loading sideways?

Offline Dean186

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2009, 10:31:19 AM »
Ken,

I enjoyed looking at the photos of your project.  Nice wide trench, I dug mine by hand, so I was used to seeing a 12 inch wide trench.

It looks like you didnít mess around on the concrete pad either, nice and thick.  I poured mine at 5 Ĺ inches thick.
Do you have a photo of the stove on the pad with the typical smoke stream coming out the chimney that has been troubling you?

Dean

Offline ken999

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Re: New E-Classic owner
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2009, 01:33:28 PM »
Dean- No pics for the stove on the slab yet. I went overboard on the slab to keep from getting a 'light load' fee. I poured the patch where I crossed the blacktop drive too. It wound up being 6-7 yards if I remember correctly. The slab was 10" thick and 12' x 12.' I offset the hole for the T-pex to the left side so I could slide the stove over leaving me some room to stay on the pad while cleaning the Reaction Chamber. I MIGHT add another 2-3' on the back of the pad this year so I'll have something to stand on while working behind the boiler cleaning etc. Not real sure at this point. First things first though, I'm building a woodshed off the left side of the boiler and will encorperate a roof of the unit so I can stay out of the weather while fiddling around scraping the firebox and loading it up. I'll have to come up with something cleaver so the boiler doesn't become 'trapped' should something ever happen to it.


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