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For those who burn wood............

jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
chimney fires!!! old stove shut down too far burning green wood.

only takes two things to cause such problems.


  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    A tale of two Garns

    We installed and fired up a couple Garn WHS 2000 in the last month. One went to a guy who had good seasoned wood and the other has wood that while cut for about a year, was left in 8 foot sticks until 2 weeks ago. Needless to say, that wood leaves something to be desired.

    We fired up the first one and it took the 2000 gallon load of water from 45* to 176* in just over 5 hours. Figures out to around 400K output. The one with the green wood only raised the water temp about 100* in the same time period.

    Moral of the story. If your wood burner isn't doing the job, check your wood first.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Chimney fires...

    That is one experience I don't EVER want to have again...

    As John Paul said, air tight stove, and greenish wood creates creosote, which under the right conditions will catch on fire, and then Katy, bar the door...

    The fire department couldn't really do me any good. Said if they sprayed water on the hot chimney (brick and mortar construction) that it would probably explode and catch my whole house on fire. It took it 4 hours to burn itself out, and all I could do was watch and hope it didn't bridge over to the framing surrounding the chimney. I got lucky... Most people don't get so lucky. I quit burning green wood.

    I choked the air ports completely off, and it STILL burned like a steam engine, with sparks and fire shooting from the chimney...

    Bad news.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • fatty_2
    fatty_2 Member Posts: 54
    reminds me of that old ditty

    Beechwood fires are bright and clear
    If the logs are kept a year
    Chestnut only good they say
    If for long it's laid away
    Make a fire of elder tree
    Death within your house will be
    But ash new or ash old
    Is fit for a Queen with a crown of gold

    Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
    Blaze up bright and do not last
    It is by the Irish said
    Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
    Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
    Even the very flames are cold
    But ash green or ash brown
    Is fit for a Queen with a golden crown

    Poplar gives a bitter smoke
    Fills your eyes and makes you choke
    Apple wood will scent your room
    With an incense-like perfume
    Oaken logs, if dry and old
    Keep away the winters cold
    But ash wet or ash dry
    A king shall warm his slippers by.

    (elder tree is larchwood types - they send sparks)
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
    Chimney fire extinguishment

    Putting water to a chimney fire may not necessarily cause it to explode but it is usualy a guarantee of cracking and destroying it. Dry chemical is often used from both extinguishers to dropping plastic bags of it down the chimney. The fear of a chimney fire is a super heated chimney or a chimney with leaks allowing the fire to travel into the building. After 22 years of police work and over thirty as a call firefighter I have seen many homes ruined this way.

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,844
    the manufacturers of gasification wood burners

    are very clear about burning only seasoned wood. they suggest 12- 18 months drying.

    Some brands even supply moisture meters to check your fire wood.

    I think of all those OWF that only burn 40- 50% efficiency with dry wood. Now use wet or green wood and I suspect a 30% or less burn efficiency.

    If you need to buy firewood that's a poor return on your heating dollar. Not quite free heat like many advertise.

    Good data Steve. glad to get it first hand.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    A bit more specific

    The first boiler using properly seasoned wood, achieved an output of approximately 390,000 btu/hour and I would guess that we burned about 200-230 pounds of wood in that initial 5 hour time frame.

    The second boiler only managed a 100* rise in the same time period which equates to an output of about 330,000 btu/hour. Along with that I'd guess that it took an additional 60-80 pounds of wood.

    Off hand I'd guess the second guy is wasting in excess of 100,000 btu's per hour evaporating the moisture out of his 50% moisture wood pile.
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