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Author Topic: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?  (Read 6693 times)

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Offline dbnair

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E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« on: April 27, 2010, 05:13:41 PM »
Hello,

last spring, I was considering buying an E-Clasic 2300 last spring, but held off, based on what I read online.

A year has passed (luckily my mildest winter ever), but I am wondering if I should take the plunge.

My situation, I am in south east Ontario near Peterborough and live on a 200 acre farm, 100 of which is bush lot. So I have lots of dead trees, brush, etc. It gets to be around -20 to -25 Celsius most winters. I heat a 100 year old 2 storey brick farmhouse with no insulation in the walls. Working on renovating my house but it will be a while. I go through 1500 gallons of heating oil in an average winter.

I also own a woodmizer lt40 and would have offcuts and scabs from that.

I am leery of the really dry wood requirement, as well as the failures, etc, but like the efficiency.

Otherwise, I could go with a 6048 or go with a Tarm and a storage unit.

So do you think it would work well for me? Do you recommend yours? Or do I wait a few more years for these to become reliable and well tested.

Thanks for your advice and opinions,
Grant

Offline spacedog

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 05:28:35 PM »
I think that the E-classic is slowing improving.  I've had two because the first one had a fatal issue.  I only went with the E-classic because I have neighbors who I like and are withing 250 feet of my house.  It costs more and is more work. 

If you don't have close neighbors and the smoke is going to drift off into the woods I would go with a previuos generation before they get phased out.  Save a little money and a little work. 

In some New England states you can't install anything but the e-classic or similar gasification style OWB..

Offline stonebroke

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 07:39:51 PM »
I think Tarm also requires really dry wood.

Stonebroke

Offline ken999

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 09:47:49 PM »
Really dry wood is nice.

It burns cleaner and you get more BTU's than green. If you have that much room and that much wood on hand, I think getting a year ahead should be pretty easy. I'm starting my 2011-2012 wood right now as I'm all set for this coming fall and winter.

The E-Classic would be a good choice.

I would really be looking hard at the new Econoburn too if your set on an "Outdoor" boiler.

The Tarm with storage is a great set-up, as are any of the simliar indoor gasifiers. Tarm, EKO, Econoburn, Seton...they all pretty much do the same thing. If you've got room for the storage in your house, this type of system allows you to trap alot of the heat loss in the house, which is nice.

Have you looked into a Garn? They are mighty interesting. I belive the original Garn is still going after 30 years of burning.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 08:39:16 AM »
I will put a plug in for Heatmor.They are legal In Maine.A very simple OWB.Most things that could go wrong can be brought at any heating place,circulators,controllers,accept for the blowers.I like things simple.No electronic panels or solid state unit on a Heatmor. Not much to clean or maintain,just keep throwing the wood in.I do have to clean out in front of the blowers every month or so.Ashes and coals will fall in to a space in front of each blower.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Dean186

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 10:26:34 AM »
Yes to the new E-Classic 2400 or the E-Classic 1400.  I have had very good success with my E-Classic 1400 so far.

Dean

Offline doctorb

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 05:08:26 PM »
Grant-

I don't think it's an easy answer.  You burn a lot of oil, plus wood, to heat a porrly insulated house in a cold environment.  That's a bit of a recipie for failure.  you first need to look at your heat requirments before thinking about the stove manufacturer.  the E-2300 puts out about 175,000 btu per 8 hours.  The new E-2400 reportedly puts out more and is more efficient.   Dean, see below, has an E-1400 and likes it, but I don't know if it can keep up with your heat demands.  I would ask him about his heat requirments before going with a smaller unit in your situation.  definitely look at the heat output of the various furnaces before narrowing your selection.  This fact will narrow it for you, as you need a lot of heat energy.

I own an E-2300 and have been happy.  I would opt for the E-2400 if I had to buy one tomorrow, because of the change in the air intakes.  Obviously, you know Central Boiler has tweaked the E-2300 quite a bit since its release.  I am hopeful that the 2400 encorporates much of the improvements they made oveer the E-2300 design, decreasing furnace maintenance.

I own a summer cabin on Lake Opinicon, not too far from you.  I would be happy to stop by and discuss all this this summer, if you wish.  Now that I have a full winter behind me, and ours down south here was brutal, unlike yours, I think that I have a pretty good handle on the E-2300.  As they are no longer manufacturing the E-2300, you will probably be able to get a good deal on one, but you would be accepting the learning curve and design issues that you have been reading about.  I have not heard what the cost of the 2400 unit is.  Has anyone else?

I can't really comment on the Heatmor or Tarn.  I would rec. that you go with a more environmentally friendly gassification unit, and not the old style, as you will save wood and work with the newer type units.  To end where I began, figure how much heat output you will need and purchase a stove that surpasses it.

Doctorb.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline woodmills1

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 11:03:13 PM »
my free heat machine is not legal for a new installation here in new hampshire, but with it's fan to induse burning temp I must say it smokes way less than both the central boilers(old style) on my street.


Mine only smokes with me putting only green pine on less than cold days or when I burn the endless supply of horse chestnut or willow I got left with
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline dbnair

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2010, 06:46:42 AM »
Thank you to everyone for your replies.

I guess my first order of business is to try and insulate and tighten the house up better. Not easy on a 100 year old brick farmhouse. Wife doesn't want any more mess.

Getting quotes for heat pumps, due to large government grants available in Canada. And still would need 2 heat pumps to heat the house.

I'll also look into the e-2400.

Take care,
Grant

Offline doctorb

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010, 07:58:28 AM »
dbnair-

Have you ever lived in a house with heat pumps???  I can't believe that they are efficient enough to heat a home in Ontario, they barely work in Maryland.  I don't like cold air blowing around all the time, paying the high electric bills, and trying to convince myself that the house is comfortable.  I may sound nuts, but I like hot water baseboard or radiator heat (possibly radiant floor heat) and, unless I am forced to, won't buy another house with any forced hot air.  FHA with gas or oil may be warm enough, but standard electric heat pumps are not.

If your farm has other buildings, sheds, or shops to heat in the winter, an outdoor furnace makes sense.  I have seen several on farms in your area, but they are of the old type, smoke a lot, and burn tons of wood. 

I agree with the insulation part.  Most of your heat escapes through the attic and through leaky windows.  Even the best and most efficiently running wood furnace can not make up for excessive heat loss.

Doctorb
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline ken999

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2010, 08:12:45 AM »
Evacuated tubing solar set-up might be a good idea too...Can you get a government grant for that?


Offline superwd6

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 11:40:07 PM »
Lets see ---I'm a furnace guy, work for a large company in Belleville, I have a gas , propane, oil licence and full refrigeration ticket.The companyI work for does everything including Geothermal. I have propane in my house and now an E-classic. I own 50 acres of bushlot for lottsa wood.  I to could've got the government grants and had a way cheaper installation than you could get ;). Cutting wood is great exercise, get an old tractor and spreader for a wagon, big chainsaw or four to make you feel like a man and be WARM this winter. I spit my wood every day as I need it the exercise but you may be able to go with a smoker boiler. Furnace service men need the workout and less smoke ---E-Classic or checkout the Empyre  8)

Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2010, 01:26:44 PM »
After reading people's experiences with the e-classic on this forum and other places, the only reason that I would consider buying one over a regular inefficient OWB is if I had close neighbours that I didn't want to smoke out.  Out in the country with easy access to lots of firewood an e-classic is just not worth the extra cost and finicky operation in my opinion.  Lots of companies make decent furnaces, I am very happy with my Portage and Main after using it for 2 winters.

Tom

Offline barbender

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2010, 08:07:26 PM »
I'd like to hear more about the Portage and Main, you don't see those up here and a friend was telling me the other day he was looking into one. I have a Heatmor, I think this is the 4th winter on it. I've been very happy with it. I was telling my friend if the Portage and Main can improve on efficiancy and be as well made and simple, I'd go with one. Otherwise, it's tough to beat this Heatmor in my opinion, I know guy's that are on 12-13 winters with theirs, they are just trouble free. If you have a woodlot, you can burn the clean up junk, rotten stuff, stuff I wouldn't put in a normal woodstove, you can burn it. I don't think it smokes excessively. If I was just heating a house, buying my firewood, and looking to burn the absolute minimum amount of wood, I'd lean towards a gasification unit. However, I harvest all my wood, heat multiple buildings, and I don't want the hassle of having a winter's worth of wood dried ahead of time to feed a gasifier. So for me the standard OWB works dandy.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline superwd6

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2010, 11:36:17 PM »
Talked to my neighbors last night over beer. Each one of these guys lives two lots past me on either side. Neither one of them even knew I had a boiler, Guy to the south wants to hook up his pool to it to :D. Telling people I have an outdoor boiler is as politicaly correct as  saying I beat my wife ::). You might better suck it up and buy one you know isn't going to be banned in the near future and explain how little they smoke now. Love my E-Classic ;D

Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2010, 10:14:19 AM »
I wouldn't say that the Portage and Main is a significant improvement on the Heatmor.  One difference is the P&M does not have any stainless.  I think that is an advantage, (Stainless will not stand up to the change in temperature as well) but not everyone would agree with that.  I believe the initial cost of the P&M is less.  The dealer that I bought mine from used to have a Heatmor and had all kinds of problems with it and says the P&M is much better, but I also know lots of people who have Heatmors and have not had problems.

For me, there were 2 main factors that swayed me to the P&M.  First of all the company has been in business for over 30 years.  That is rare in the OWB world from what I can tell.  Secondly they have the best warrantee of any brand that I looked at by far - up to 25 years pro-rated.  To me those 2 factors say that the company knows they have a good product and will stand behind it, and that they have been doing so for a long time.

After 2 winters with mine I am a satisfied customer.

Tom

Offline shuswapian

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2010, 03:15:24 AM »
Econoburn also has a 25 year warranty.  I have an EB-200 in an out building and have had no problems whatsoever.  Run it the way it's designed and it will produce heat efficiently without smoke.  I have never heard of one of these boilers failing.  I can't believe how much crap the e-classic owners put up with from Central Boiler.  I don't think it's particularily responsible of them to put out an untested design and then expect the owners to modify them on a regular basis.  Can you imagine if a car company tried that trick?   :o

Offline superwd6

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Re: E-Classic worth taking the plunge?
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2010, 11:31:57 PM »
99% of every company update products over long production runs. Many changes between my 96 to 2003 Windstar . Every day I tell someone that their cheaper furnace , air conditioner or boiler is shot. Parts are no longer availabe. The best is the companys like Vermont Castings that go in recievership,, screw the customer who installed one last week, sucks to be you, now you get no warranty  but the company continues to build the same crap anyway and sell to new customers. I've been a heating man for over twenty years and would reccommend an E-classic  from Central Boiler in a second.I've had two issues and both were looked after extremely quick & professionally. Stick with the bigger companys like Lennox, Carrier or Trane for furnaces. When these companys do have issues they at least have the backing to do warranty. Luckily I never found any of these crap storys and got scared away from my sweet pool heater --the E-Classic fire_smiley


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