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Thread: Wood Stove Hot Water Danger..

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  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Wood Stove Hot Water Danger..

    A Quote I Found: I DO NOT KNOW THIS PERSON!

    "A co-worker of mine put a heat exchanger in his furnace firebox. Without proper controls he quickly made high pressure steam and soon solder joints were failing and the system came apart in what sounded like several small explosions. His solution? Weld the damn thing together the next time. It held together, but it back-fed steam all the way to his artesian well and he had a nice geyser out back. True story."
    Scott

    In this case the pressure had somewhere to go. Without a place to expand the resulting explosion could cause injury or death.

    I am very interested in heating hot water using wood as a fuel source. I want to do this safely and efficiently. What are some general considerations before I even begin to discuss specific ones? I have 2 good engineering schools neary to me, and both do work on alternative energy. I may be contacting them, but I wanted the opinion of you pros first.

    The biggest obstacle to adding DHW systems to wood stoves is that EPA emissions certification virtually eliminates the possibility of taking heat directly from the stove. Any DHW collector that robs heat from the combustion process would almost certainly create a dirty burn that would fail the stove. That is why manufacturers of EPA certified wood stoves don't offer DHW collectors as optional accessories. There may be one or two available, but we are aware of none at all.

    TIA,
    Molo
    Last edited by molo; 10-31-2007 at 06:10 AM. Reason: CLEANUP
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I would not want to use any heat source that does not have a high temperature limit to prevent boiling. A sensor can control a circulation pump, but something else first needs to control the burner.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Sounds like he is trying to reinvent the wheel.

    People died long ago so safety systems could be designed into present day systems.

    Just buy a system already designed to do the job and and enjoy the results so no innocent people are hurt.

    Your friend ignored the warning he got when the solder failed to hold and made a dangerous change that was the wrong one to make by welding the pipe.

    Unless you live alone and you are the only one that can be killed, maimed, or injured should something go wrong I would say don't try and build your own system buy something that has already been designed and tested.

    Steam is nothing to fool with.
    Last edited by Cass; 10-28-2007 at 05:53 AM.

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    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I set 2 quarts of water on the stove, it heated to over 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

    If I'm home and the stove is running, would there be a problem with putting an open topped container on the stove that holds 10-20 gallons and then running it off into my hot water tank before I go to bed (I could direct pipe it, and I would have to determine how much weight the stove could hold, I'm looking for a plumbers perspective).?

    TIA
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

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    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking Wood burning stoves and insurance companies

    Another thing to think about......

    I had a very cheap wood burning stove in my old house in the basement, it could pretty much heat the whole place
    well ...but my home-owners insurance had a hissey fit
    when they learned of it......

    if he is still doing this or you are thinking of rigging up some sort of steam boiler---wood burning stove.....

    you will probably not be insured when the unit burns down
    your house or blows out a side wall or roof...

    they will worm out of covering the damages...

    becasue their is no UL or Antsi lable on that rigged up
    boiler you created....



    stuff like this was done a long time ago with the original manual water heaters called "side arms" in 1880'
    ...ocasionally someone would forget how to operate the unit they and it would cause a steam explosioin.....

    many people are trying to figure out a better mouse trap right now ........for home heating..and you can
    find their creations alll over the internet for sale...some good and some bad.....

    if I could talk my wife into a good wood burning stove in our downstairs laundry room we could easily heat our
    house very well with that alone.....

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    Another thing to think about......

    I had a very cheap wood burning stove in my old house in the basement, it could pretty much heat the whole place
    well ...but my home-owners insurance had a hissey fit
    when they learned of it......

    if he is still doing this or you are thinking of rigging up some sort of steam boiler---wood burning stove.....

    you will probably not be insured when the unit burns down
    your house or blows out a side wall or roof...

    they will worm out of covering the damages...

    becasue their is no UL or Antsi lable on that rigged up
    boiler you created....



    stuff like this was done a long time ago with the original manual water heaters called "side arms" in 1880'
    ...ocasionally someone would forget how to operate the unit they and it would cause a steam explosioin.....

    many people are trying to figure out a better mouse trap right now ........for home heating..and you can
    find their creations alll over the internet for sale...some good and some bad.....

    if I could talk my wife into a good wood burning stove in our downstairs laundry room we could easily heat our
    house very well with that alone.....

    THIS IS AN OPEN SYSTEM, I'm talking about placing a metal pot on the stove with 5-10 gallons of water while I'm at home. IT WILL NOT EVEN HAVE A LID. Worst case scenario, it will evaporate out.
    Also, the first post isn't somebody I know, it is a quote from a site with extensive warnings about designing and building unsafe systems.


    Yes, I see that trying to add hot water to the tank would be tough when the tank is full. Does anyone have any suggestions for how this could be done?

    TIA,
    Molo
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  7. #7
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo View Post
    If I'm home and the stove is running, would there be a problem with putting an open topped container on the stove ...
    No problem there other than the danger of scalding a passerby, and it would humidify the area ...

    Quote Originally Posted by molo View Post
    ... then running it off into my hot water tank ...
    That would require a pump and the evacuation of the water already in the tank.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default stove

    The owner of the wood burning boiler in the initial posting was lucky. If there had not been multiple small explosions there could have been one big one, about he equivalent of 3 sticks, or more, of TNT.

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