I have often been asked "What are the biggest mistakes people make with their outdoor wood boilers?" Good question!
But the answer depends upon what stage you are at - are you:
1. Installing your Outdoor Wood Burning Boiler?
2. Doing Maintenance? or
3. Operating your outdoor boiler during the winter
There are major mistakes that you can make at each of these three stages. I will highlight the biggest mistakes that can be made, and what you can do now to avoid or correct these mistakes.
I will address the task at hand for most of us during the summer - maintenance. It doesn't take long, but there are some maintenance steps that must be taken during the summer. See our article below.
We want your outdoor wood furnace to last 40 years or more. And it can - as long as you do proper maintenance. During the part of the year when you are not using your boiler, you must do the "Summer Shutdown Checklist" (click HERE for complete checklist).
While all the items on this list are important, the TOP 3 MOST IMPORTANT items are as follows:
1. Remove the ash
2. Fill your boiler completely full of properly treated water with corrosion inhibitor, and send a water sample to be tested by the OutdoorBoiler.com Lab.
3. Perform a sediment flush
ASH - If you don't remove the ash from all steel surfaces, the summer humidity will get absorbed by the ash and it becomes a caustic paste that will eat your steel. Remove it from the boiler burn pot, and all other surfaces.
Do NOT forget to remove the chimney cap and clean out the chimney area with a wire brush, and shop vac out everything you can. Steel surfaces MUST NOT be covered with ash during the humid summer months.
WATER TREATMENT - If your boiler water is not properly treated, it will start to look like the inside of the Titanic, but much quicker. Remember the scenes of the Titanic when they discovered it with robotic submarines?
Treating the water in your outdoor boiler with safe and effective wood boiler water treatment is the most important thing you can do to protect your furnace.
We have seen the inside of your untreated boilers and it is NOT pretty! Liquid Armor is the #1 Outdoor Boiler water treatment because it has been specially formulated to protect the exact grade of steel in your outdoor wood boiler!
Click here for our Outboiler.com certified Liquid Armor Water Treatment.
Add the proper amount of outdoor boiler water treatment. Follow the instructions on the Water Treatment bottle, but generally one gallon of water treatment will treat 200 gallons of water. This is a generalization, however, because water quality is very different in different parts of the country.
The exact amount of water treatment you will need in your furnace will depend upon many factors - this is why the FREE water testing service is so very valuable. So SEND IN a water sample to the OutdoorBoiler.com Lab!
You can ALWAYS call us with any questions you may have, or check out our website for the FREE Water Testing Section FAQ HERE.
SEDIMENT FLUSH - Sediment is the "Secret Killer" of outdoor wood stoves. You must flush it out of the bottom of your wood stove at least each year by simply opening the drain valve for 5 seconds or until it runs clear.
Then, every four years, you must drain the outdoor wood burner completely, and flush it out. Follow our complete FLUSH Instructions at this link HERE.
Again, the entire Summer Shutdown Checklist is a very important set of maintenance standards that must be kept if you want to get the most savings out of your outdoor boiler, but these TOP 3 items are the most critical. If you stay on top of these critical items, you will Keep Your Family Toasty Warm and Comfortable for Decades!
Visit our online store OutdoorBoiler.com to browse for more outdoor wood boiler parts!