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I bought an old school and I’m adding a wood boiler to the cast-iron radiators

MauryPower
MauryPower Member Posts: 3
edited November 2020 in THE MAIN WALL
Hi guys we bought a old school that has 8000 ft.² and we live in one class with 900 ft.² and plan on renting out other rooms in the school to like yoga teachers and I will teach a few classes as well.

WE DO NOT NEED THE WHOLE 8000 ft.² heated as I can turn on the rides in a room if a class is going to be on. But most the time just like 10°C would be fine The school has an old oil boiler with three big loops that have those big red pumps that are always circulating the water.
I will add a wood boiler and a few mini splits in the halls.

160,000 BTU would be totally enough for the space in areas that we need.

Wild idea coming:

I just bought an old New Yorker WF00 wood boiler and I am thinking about putting a glass door on the front of it and then put it in our living area so that we can have nice fires in the living space and that he would warm up our living space and then dump the extra BTU into the 2 inch pipe below the floor under the radiators. The circulation pUmps are always running and I am very aware of the fact that I don’t want to overheat the system so I would watch it and start slow and then build fires and learn fast so it doesn’t pop off and build as the outside temperature. We are home all the time and don’t mind tending to the fire. But putting it in the basement in the boiler room and then running up and down to add wood and then the boiler room getting all nice and toasty just seems counterproductive to me.

So my question is is it crazy to put the wood boiler in our living space and then have the water BTUs be dumped into the system which would circulate around and keep the whole School loops warm and that way we could open up any radiators in any room we want but most the Heat from the fire would be in our living space instead of I the boiler room.

Companies like DS boilers have a few boilers that don’t have any electrical controls on them for cast-iron radiators so manually adjusting the temperature or using a Samsung regulator should work fine right.

I’m just wondering if it’s real stick it in in the middle of a loop but it seems like it will be fine

Interested to hear some advice. I am very interested in a buffer tank as well but I heard the old New Yorkers don’t turn the air off like a Greenwood or a gas vacation would so I don’t think I will go to the buffer tank route for now unless a pro tells me otherwise.

It seems very hard to get someone to come out here and help me sketch this whole thing out and then help me build it. I do have a plumber who says he can add a wood boiler in place of the old oil boiler.

I really want to get rid of the old oil boiler as it’s 40 years old and there’s two tags in the basement and it’s taking up a lot of the room in the boiler room but if I decide to put this in the living room that maybe I could keep the old oil boiler??

It seems very hard to get someone to come out here and help me sketch this whole thing out and then help me build it. I do have a plumber who says he can add a wood boiler in place of the old oil boiler.

I really want to get rid of the old oil boiler as it’s 40 years old and there’s two tags in the basement and it’s taking up a lot of the room in the boiler room but if I decide to put this in the living room that maybe I could keep the old oil boiler??

Thanks very much in advance
Maury Power
BigDreamsClub

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    Got plenty of free or cheap wood? If not heating with wood may not pencil out. I would pipe it with both boilers, just in case.
    What is the BTU output of the boiler? Most times you need some buffer as the loads are ever changing and the boiler is pretty much a single speed🚲

    Google caleffi Idronics # 10 for some piping ideas 
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    MauryPower
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,924
    We heated with a wood burning furnace in out basement for about 10 years.
    Would not want that anywhere else, certainly living room.
    Ashes, bark chips and dust not welcome.

    Also with it in the basement you would benefit from gravity if piping was large enough, in the event of a power/pump failure.
    1st floor you have to rely upon pumps totally.

    Also warm floors are a benefit. We had a wood feed door thru the basement wall. The less you have to handle the wood the better, gravity helps. We could store about 1 1/2 cords in the basement....you most likely wouldn't do that in the living room.

    I did power line work and was paid for trimming trees, blocked it up on the job and hauled it home.
    After changing jobs and no more free fire wood, the gas furnace came into use again.
    MauryPower
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,548
    Putting it in your living room and putting a glass door on it, not what I would call good ideas.

    Is the wood boiler even listed for indoor use and is it a pressurized vessel that's listed?

    The potential for a catastrophe with a wood boiler is very real and every proper precaution should be taken.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    MauryPowerSTEVEusaPA
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,548
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    MauryPower
  • kenjohnson
    kenjohnson Member Posts: 70
    You might want to wander over to the Boiler Room at hearth.com and get some ideas from that crew as well.
  • MauryPower
    MauryPower Member Posts: 3
    Thanks you all. Yeah we have arborists who are happy to drop off free wood but if that changes truck load cords are 100 each and we chop up.

    Basement it is. Good points above and helped me decide.
    Thanks.
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 282
    I would suggest that you educate yourself on hot water heating. On this site you can buy a book on hot water heating or you can read the caleffi Idronics trade journals and get information. The caleffi Idronics #10, I believe page #29 is what Hot Rod above suggested. That page gives you the basic idea, The information in Dan's book or the Caleffi trade journals will tell you how to do it different ways correctly. All supply's can be bought from supply house reasonably.
    MauryPower
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,924
    Not only read up on boilers, but also wood burning heating.
    Your chimney needs to be able to with stand the dreaded chimney fire that is the most feared part of wood burning.

    I have responded with the local volunteer fire dept. to several chimney fires with wood burning appliances.
    I recall one at night that had a nearly 10' blowtorch of fire beckoning the trucks in that direction of the country.
    In some cases people are awoken by the sound of the blowtorch.

    Typically you close all air inlets and let it burn itself out.
    There are flare looking sticks to light and throw into the fire box, they deprive the fire of O2 somewhat. "Chim-ex" or something like that.
    Also check the attic and lower side of the roof, the entire path of the chimney thru the structure.

    Assuming your schoolhouse is an older building, perhaps with large brick chimney on the outside, (3 cold sides) and maybe having burned coal and then oil. There may be residue inside needing to be cleaned out.
    If you have a 3 cold side chimney it needs a fair amount of draft and heat to keep it free of creosote build up which will burn as described above.
    Some codes do not allow wood and oil vented in the same flue.
    Even though the book may show it connected that way.

    If you need a new chimney for the wood then maybe consider a separate outside building.....much safer.
    MauryPower
  • MauryPower
    MauryPower Member Posts: 3
    Yeah thanks for all you guys. The chimney is very clean exterior brick with clay line and I would keep an eye on the creosote and definitely scrub it every year and burn nice dry wood

    Been doing lots of reading and learning tons.
  • cutter
    cutter Member Posts: 282
    I clean my chimney once a month, it needs it. The stove pipe from boiler to chimney needs it even more than the chimney. How many BTU's does your wood boiler put out? At 8,000 square foot it could take in the neighborhood of 250,000 BTU's to heat all of it if you are in a cold, cold area. I know you said you would not heat the entire structure.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,355
    edited November 2020
    This is one way to go OLD SCHOOL when looking at your heating needs. Buy an OLD SCHOOL!

    But it's the Principal of the thing that you need to look at is identifying how to learn about this project.

    Here is an easy to read TEXT that will get you started.

    http://media.blueridgecompany.com/documents/ZoningMadeEasy.pdf

    You will need to pay DETENTION to the details.

    I better stop with the puns before someone ends up in the nurse's office. I don't want to get beat up in the playground after school.


    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,355
    Don't do anything that you will regret. I went on an estimate for a church that was purchased by another group. The new people decided that 4 large mini-split air conditioners were a great way to cool the sanctuary. After finding out the mini-split systems were heat pumps and could heat the place, they removed the old steam boiler and all the piping.

    Now the 4 Mini-splits can't do the job when the temperature is below 30°F (-1.1°C) which is normal for this area from December to February. Now the pastor wants a price on replacing the pipes and a new boiler, Their budget for the job won't even cover the cost of the boiler, let alone the piping and labor which is 7 or 8 times that much. They cut out all that mains to for more headroom in the basement/general purpose hall/meeting room.

    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,924
    I have almost the same story as Ed.
    Old school house with 50+ HP steamer.
    New owner was considering having the steam boiler, CI rads and piping removed.
    I convinced that his newly added 100,000 BTU forced air furnace and 4 two ton minis would not even begin to heat the place.
    He is using the boiler nearly every day.