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Author Topic: Building your own log fired boiler.  (Read 4094 times)
Diced
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« on: May 17, 2014, 05:01:06 PM »

Not something to suit everyone - I live alone and am out for the majority of the day, working my fingers to the bone... but I thought I would share my experience of this.
I have a 3-bed semi, detached garage with a Warmflow oil-fired boiler which I put in around 10 years ago, in the middle of winter - I wasn't waiting around for some halfwit boiler engineer to call, as their working hours don't match my free hours!
 This was to replace the existing boiler which was a bit ropey - the burner wouldn't always fire, it locked out all the time, etc.
Given the price of heating oil, I was thinking what to do with the old boiler - the scrapman, or do something with it?
So, I decided to do something with it. Brazed on an extension to the top, approx. 10 inches. Just a 3mm steel rectangle, really, to add a bit more height. Sourced a burner from the local scrapyard for 30 hoping it would work - it did.
Welded up a grate to sit just above the burner, with a couple of "blobs" of braze on the inside to support it. Installed a simple ash drawer under the burner, just pull it out and dump it in the ash bin.
Flue all in place (scrap man again!), it's now working perfectly. Each night before I head to bed, I chuck in a bit of kindling, then dry logs on top. The central heating timer is set to fire the boiler at 5am, which starts the burner and turns on the pumps. Boiler thermostat is set at 100 degrees, as it's "pocket" is now in the centre of the fire.
So the oil burner fires up, lights the kindling, which light the logs, which then get hot enough to turn off the oil burner - it normally only fires for 5 minutes or so. And the rest then becomes a log-fired boiler, running the central heating and hot water for the morning. If I want to keep it going so the house is warm when I get home, I add some peat - dampish stuff, that smoulders all day and keeps the chill off the house. Still use the proper boiler depending on the weather, but it was a very cheap, simple solution to rising oil prices, and most of the year I only need the wood/peat burner!
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todthedog
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 05:09:15 PM »

Diced hello and welcome. Sounds good.
How about a picture, love pictures Grin
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Kidwelly South Wales
jotec
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2014, 05:10:05 PM »

Sounds good, any chance of some pics?

Beaten to it!!
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Aiming to reduce dependency on 'mains energy'. Own bio for 120k miles, solar water heating (DIY),  CHP done, Solar PV, use wood cut from own trees.
In U.K. near Worcester
biff
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2014, 05:34:19 PM »

Excellent idea diced,
                    Pickies pleath?
                                Biff
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An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
knighty
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2014, 06:41:59 PM »

ohhh yes, we need pictures !


sounds good tho :-)
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spaces
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 09:22:40 PM »

Hi Diced,

I think that's a brilliant idea, right up my street - make do, mend and improve. What sort of snags, if any, did you encounter? Def need pix!
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Simplicity, the ultimate refinement
Diced
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 02:42:35 PM »

Hi Diced,

I think that's a brilliant idea, right up my street - make do, mend and improve. What sort of snags, if any, did you encounter? Def need pix!

I'll get pics asap - but my phone is dead at the minute!
No real snags, I did have to do a bit of simple wiring to keep the oil burner fan running even after it had stopped burning oil, to feed air to the fire - and in hindsight I should really have extended the water jacket on the boiler up a bit, rather than just adding a single layer to increase the height. but it was a quick and dirty build - I intend to build another one, with a taller extension (including water jacket), so I can fit more logs in for those REALLY cold mornings! Other than that, it is a simple job to do - and saves a fortune!
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Mishoo
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2014, 10:32:23 AM »

Really keen to have a go at this. Please please send some pics.
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biff
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2014, 03:54:19 PM »

Hello Mishoo,
           There are quite a few other members hoping for picies as well. We just hope that Diced is ok and that his newly converted oil boiler is not responsible for his absence.
  It did occur to me that if damped down  fuel was left in the boiler box to smolder and build up gas because the bottom inlet could be blocked off,A sudden gush of flame from the oil
 burner set off by the timer would ignite the gas and cause a explosion. I only hope that this is not what happened to Diced.
  So If you are Lurking out there Diced and reading these posts,will you please let us know that you are Ok.
   Anyone else wanting to try this idea would be well advised to wait and see how Diced got on. I know that Jotec is a brilliant engineer but anyone who has worked with solid fuel knows that a damped down fire do emit gas build ups,especially if the air is shut off and the gas is heavier than the air,dropping down ,rather than being carried away up the flue.
  I would have put these points to Diced but I assumed that he knew.He already had damped the fire down,so I thought that everything was OK.
  Hopefull,Everything is OK and that I am only letting my imagination run free. but remember members,Even though,this is a brilliant idea,This is also a potential time bomb,I kid you not,so it has to be extremely well tested.Let,s hope that Diced is Ok.
                                                     Biff
                                        
« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 10:09:10 PM by biff » Logged

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
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