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Heating your home and water in the winter with wood.


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#1 BillyThKid

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 02:19 PM

Alright everyone. I have not posted here yet but i should have a while back considering how much i actually stay independent from Government handled resources.

 

 

Several years ago My family and i invested in what is called a Legend woodstove(or waterstove) which was developed by a man who use to work for the Taylor woodstove(waterstove) company. Now im not trying to advertise them or anything, they are just the only two waterstove companies i know of.

 

Anyway the woodstove cost us about 5000 dollars and here is how it works: A large woodstove body (36 inches wide by 40 inches deep i think) is surrounded by a tank of water that it heats up as it burns. Inside this water tank are Heat exchange coils that are hollow and allow water to pas through them. As the water goes through the hot water outside of the coils transfers heat to the water in the coils.

 

Next the water travels back to our house where it is stored in a hot water tank, The water inside the tank is constantly run back to the stove to reheat as you use hot water. The hot water also runs to our central heating and air and is used on a reverse radiator system that blows air through a grid that has the hot water running through it thus producing hot air.

 

 

Basically, instead of burning a fossil fuel which is NOT carbon neutral we burn wood which IS carbon neutral. We only use dead wood, never cutting down living trees.

 

So in not having to spend money on Oil to heat our home, or electricity the woodstove will have paid for itself by this coming spring.

 

Any thoughts or questions? 


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#2 Juthro

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 04:29 PM

I personally like wood heat, and use it to supplement the NG heat in our house, and as the primary source of heat in my garage/shop.   There is also a hydronic system in both places, to help with maximizing the woods efficiency.  Both systems are home made.

 

The house has a sealed water tank that sits on top of a conventional wood stove, and there is a recirculation pump that turns on when the firebox comes up to temp.  It then pumps the water through pipes that are crisscrossed under the kitchen and bathroom floor.  It is nice to sit on the throne and have the tiled floor heated under your feet.

 

The shop system has the has a heat exchanger inside of the fire box that then recalculates through lines that were laid in the concrete floor of the garage.   It is set up so that the firebox is outside the shop, under a shed roof, so you never have open flame in the garage, and can still safely store gas and other flammables.  

 

Both systems are sealed, and filled with a special anti-freeze, scale resistant heat exchange fluid designed for hydronic heat systems.

 

 


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#3 dead head jed

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:00 PM

i like the idea

and if i owned my own place would definatly look into it

 

either of ya'll got links to share... how to's or other further reading


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#4 throwmeaway7

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 05:54 PM

 

Basically, instead of burning a fossil fuel which is NOT carbon neutral we burn wood which IS carbon neutral. We only use dead wood, never cutting down living trees.

 

Any thoughts or questions? 

 

It's only carbon neutral if you're harvesting it as fast as you're growing it. I mean... it's a step in the right direction but you still need a mature tree to grow up and take the place of the one you cut down.

 

Then there's the whole matter of gassification. You want to see some real efficiency? Look into gassifying wood stoves.

 

Not that I'm taking away from what you've done. Nothing nicer than a fire on a cold night, and that heat sink is going to increase efficiency like crazy. The only drawback is going to be air pollution, monoxides, nitrogen compounds, other gross shit that you get when you burn wood. *Shrugs* Gotta stay warm somehow though.



#5 Foster

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 06:41 PM

I've been burning wood for primary heat for about 15 yrs now. The first several yrs in a modified 55 gallon drum stove in my basement.  Very sketchy. lol

 

Very cool Billythekid. Awesome idea there Juthro!  I've seen a couple DIY hydronics systems. Unfortunately they didn't plan well enough and mistakes were found after the concrete was poured. lol  Sounds like you did your homework and have a smooth setup. That's sweet man.

 

I have been using a Outdoor wood boiler for several yrs now. It's a Hardy Stove. 140,000 BTU. Very similar to your other descriptions. A sealed firebox with a thermostat controlled blower keeps the water at about 150-160ºF. 

 

One of the best things about it... I can put logs over 30 inches in length and 16 in diameter right in. If I can lift 'em :) And I can rack them in there. I get about 30-40 hrs of heat and hot water with one load in the firebox and temps outside range 20's-40's.

 

I use it in summer also just for the residential hot water.

 

It uses a tank and pump outside and heat exchanger inside (mounted in my HVAC return) to provide residential heating.

It uses a seperate cold water line input to a copper coil inside the larger water tank. Using the pressure from the cold line it pre-heats the residential water which is then stored in my electric water heater as we use it.

 

I love it, Could not be happier. I burn only dead wood as well. Other than brush or tree trimmings I use in summer.

 

I


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#6 Juthro

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:04 PM

Here is our Primitive Pete way of sucking some more efficiency out of a standard wood stove without a huge investment of labor or money.

 

The picture shows the water box (homemade with ¼ steel plate) on the woodstove.  Of the two upper lines, one is hot water out, the other has a pressure relief popoff valve, like you would find on your hot water heater (very important, do not skip, or you may well blow yourself up).  The lower line is return water.

 

The metal line is only ran next to the woodstove, after it goes through the floor, the hotwater out then plumbs into a recirculation pump that runs off of a thermostat on the back of the woodstove.  Then both the supply and return lines are plumbed in with plastic PEX pipe.  The PEX is ran right up against the subfloor, and then covered with some thermal insulation, so as to direct the heat to the floor.

 

The water box on the stove never gets hotter than you can lay your hand on, and we use it quite often to thaw out dinner.  The disadvantage to this is that you lose the ability to cook, or boil water on the wood stove.  We have natural gas, and a NG oven/stove, so I can still cook in the kitchen when the power is out, so it’s not much of a factor for us.  

 

This system is not real fancy, but is works well to spread the heat from our woodstove through the house where we need it.  My bathroom tile floor gets nice and toasty when I’m running the stove, and it is usually the coldest part of the house when I’m not.  

 

When I get a little more time, I’ll take some pics and show the system I have in the garage.woodstove.jpg


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#7 Peaceful

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 09:49 PM

I use a wood stove with blower insert as well as space heaters on days we don't want to deal with wood.



#8 wildedibles

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:29 AM

I been thinking about this for a long time .... almost all my life I have had wood for heat I love it except moving it 100 times b4 its burnt ;)

 

Cutting a tree down and letting new ones grow up in its place it a lot eraser (better on the environment)  than letting coal or oil grow back ;) and the burning of wood I think it a lot better than the other 2 options too we have been burning wood for as long as we have had fire I don't think that is what is destroying the atmosphere

 

we have had someone drill for geothermal heating around here it took 2 months of drilling to hit hot water and we had an earth quake after they were done ... IMO I don't think we should take from deep within the ground there is concequences way worse than cutting  a few trees down in a forest ... see those young trees that are waiting to grow in the shadow of that big tree will grow up 10x faster with better lighting and take that spot over in a couple of years compared to oil or coal which we will never see replenish itself in our life time


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#9 BillyThKid

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 11:08 AM

 

 

Basically, instead of burning a fossil fuel which is NOT carbon neutral we burn wood which IS carbon neutral. We only use dead wood, never cutting down living trees.

 

Any thoughts or questions? 

 

It's only carbon neutral if you're harvesting it as fast as you're growing it. I mean... it's a step in the right direction but you still need a mature tree to grow up and take the place of the one you cut down.

 

Then there's the whole matter of gassification. You want to see some real efficiency? Look into gassifying wood stoves.

 

Not that I'm taking away from what you've done. Nothing nicer than a fire on a cold night, and that heat sink is going to increase efficiency like crazy. The only drawback is going to be air pollution, monoxides, nitrogen compounds, other gross shit that you get when you burn wood. *Shrugs* Gotta stay warm somehow though.

 

 

It is carbon neutral because burning wood produces the same pollution as allowing a dead tree to decompose in the forest. 

 

No, i do not require a new mature tree to replace the ones I take because as i said i only take DEAD trees and i am not the one who made them dead. The trees would be gone one way or another so i might as well take the already dead ones to use. On top of that, I also plant trees most years because I really like trees anyway.

 

almost every chemical created by burning would is also produced by a decomposing tree in the forest, the only difference is that burning the wood lets the chemicals out faster than it would normally if it were just decomposing.

 

I also use the ashes to make my own soda ash and other useful things. i use everything that comes out of the stove for some purpose.

 

 

@juthro Does your water tank on the woodstove have a sacrificial metal rod in it? in my stove if you do not have this item the water will erode the pipes that the water for the house runs through eventually breaking them. we have to change this rod every year.

 

Wow guys this is a great topic with lots of interaction, Please keep it up!



#10 GadgetGuy

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:50 PM

This will be my first winter in the house I bought last may, and being a fireplace service tech the first thing I did was install a brand new badass woodstove. I don't picture my electric baseboard coming on at all this winter... I'm also going to be getting a pellet stove to supplement the heat during the day while I'm working although my woodstove is still usually warm enough when I get home to throw a couple logs on it and keep it going.

 

Wood heat is good heat.



#11 Juthro

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 02:33 PM

@Billy  Yes, I do have a zinc rod in the tank, but the tank and the pipe you see in the pic is all of the metal plumping in that system, the rest is PEX style plastic tubing. Since the system is sealed and not connected to my domestic water I was able to fill it with a special anti corrosion/anti scale liquid made for hydronic systems, it is very much like anti freeze for your car.

 

peace

Juth



#12 GadgetGuy

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:34 PM

That's really slick Juthro!



#13 Juthro

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:20 PM

Thanks GadgetGuy.  It is really a very simple closed system with no maintenance to speak of, but I cant take credit for it.   I saw a system like it and shamelessly copied it.  But for all of the looking I did, I found this to be the easiest way to to heat a remote area away from the wood stove.  I dont get the advantage of heated domestic water and it doesn't tie in with my central heating, but I'm not running a very big woodstove, so it fits nice within its ability.

 

@Foster,  Man that is an impressive system. Years ago I worked for a tree removal service in Oregon, and the owner had a setup kind of like yours.  It was a sweet setup.  He got paid for having his crew cut him wood to heat his house and swimming pool.  I was always a little jealous.

 

But Im glad I have what I got, becuse we got our first snow of the season last night.  Better late then never.

 

peace

Juthro


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#14 Uncle G

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:04 PM

Pretty neat.   I burn wood.  Cooked soup on the wood stove tonight.   I like the ideal of heating water that way.   I really also would like to have hand pump on my well just incase of power outage.  



#15 pharmer

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 04:12 PM

Juthro,

 

what size/capacity is the recirculating pump? how long is the PEX inside your house?

 

is the fluid you're using ethylene glycol?

 

can you ballpark the total cost of everything other than the firebox?

 

what temperatures are the thermostat set to?

 

how is the PEX secured to the joists? does it "jump" when the pump turns on?

 

thanks


Edited by pharmer, 25 November 2013 - 04:23 PM.


#16 Juthro

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:35 PM

What size/capacity is the recirculation pump? How long is the PEX inside your house?  

How is the PEX secured to the joists? Does it "jump" when the pump turns on?

 

The pump is a Bell and Gossett 1/25hp boiler recirculation pump.  I was able to get it and the thermostat for free off of a scrap boiler.  A new one goes for around $150.  It is low pressure and volume, it just keeps the water moving.  There is no jump in the lines when it starts and stops.  The lines are just strapped with metal plumbers tape and deck screws.  The total loop is about 60’ or 70’

These pics are of the set up in my garage, but it is basically the same, and I didn’t have to go under the house to take the pics.  The expansion tank was about $30. I don’t have one on the house system, but I probably should.

b and g pump.jpg expan tank.jpg

 

Is the fluid you're using ethylene glycol?

 

The anti-freeze is Cyro-Tek 100 by Oatey.  It is propylene glycol, and rated to prevent bursting to -100*F.   It’s about $80 bucks for 5 gal, but it can get to -45*F outside here in the winter time, and the system in the garage is set in the concrete floor.  I don’t want to take any chances.

cyro tek 100.jpg

 

can you ballpark the total cost of everything other than the firebox?

 

If you had to buy everything new, my best ballpark figure would be around $400.



#17 pharmer

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:45 AM

my man, thank you very much

 

$400 was my guess and I can live with it considering it will pay for itself pdq and is a semi permanent improvement to the house.

 

I inherited a perfectly good smallish wood burner from mom and it's been sitting in the basement for five years doing nothing.

 

I'll mount it on a concrete pad outside, build a small shed roof to keep it dry, and do the magic plumbing.

 

Mrs Pharmer won't know how to behave herself when the house is toasty.

 

please take a guess at the electricity cost per year for the pump


Edited by pharmer, 26 November 2013 - 11:48 AM.


#18 Juthro

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:02 PM

My pleasure Pharmer, glad I could help.  The recirculation pump is a minimal draw on electricity, less that an Amp.  I doubt that you would notice a difference on your electric bill.

 

It sounds like you might get be looking for a system more like my garage then my house.  While the hydronics help you achieve more efficiency out of your wood and lets you plumb it to where you want or need it.  A large percentage of your heat is still radiated through the fire box.  Is there a reason you don’t want the firebox inside?  You said basement so I’m guessing maybe no good place for a chimney.  

 

That is one of the reasons that I have the firebox outside of my garage.  I have a guest room of sorts upstairs and it would be hard to run the chimney through.  That and I want to store flammable liquids in the garage and don’t want to blow myself up.

 

The pics show the air box (I don’t know what else to call it) around the fire box, and the inside wall with the blower and return air access.

outside front.jpg blower and return.jpg firebox.jpg

 

It is built with 2x4 and ¾ ply and lined inside with cement board for fireproofing.  The front face has no plywood on that side, just the diamond plate face.  That way no wood is in contact with the firebox.  That little ventilation fan drives a lot of heat into the shop that I would lose if I relied on the hydronic alone.

 

I hope I answered more questions then I created.

 

Peace

Juth


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#19 pharmer

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 04:06 PM

thanks again.

 

space issues make the outdoor location preferable. I'm also hoping to find there's enough residual heat in the liquid loop to warm a greenhouse attached to the garage for a couple months early and late in the cactus  growing season. the outdoor location, assuming there is sufficient heat to serve both the house and the greenhouse, is central to both.

 

I can't remember the last time I started a project as useful as this one :)

 

anyway, even though the firebox is a quality brand I just can't get used to the idea of any amount of smoke and smell being inside the house.



#20 Juthro

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:42 PM

You are most welcome, I too love a worthwhile project.

 

I wish you success and enjoyment, and if I can help please ask.  I try to keep my karma count as high as possible in my favor, cuz you know sooner or later I’ll hit a bump and need them extra points.

 

Something I noticed with the hydronic heat is that if you can run it to something with some mass to it, so that it can store and then slowly release your heat, even long after the fire goes out, it seems to be more beneficial.  Like the tile floor in my bathroom, or the concrete floor in the shop.  They heat slow, but then release the heat slowly over a long period of time.  Just food for thought.

 

Peace and friendship

Juth


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