If you have an outdoor wood boiler, this applies to you. Period.
Avoiding these three KILLERS will extend the life of your boiler an additional 20 years! (Not doing this may cut the life of your boiler by 75% or more!)
1. You must follow the “Dry Burn” procedure. See below for the details.
2. NEVER allow water jacket temps to drop below 140.
3. NEVER let ASH level build up more than 1-3 inches deep.
First, ASH LEVELS. Remember that dry ash is harmless. But, if ash gets moist, it is caustic and will eat through steel. Deep layers of ash absorb moisture from your firewood, and from the humid summer air.
NOT let your ash get deep in your boiler. I take out a shovel-full every day, and scrape it completely clean every week.
Second, NEVER allow your water jacket temps to drop below 140. At temps below 140, your boiler will build up creosote, and generate condensation that will destroy your boiler fast.
I once ran a prototype boiler at my home to heat my pool. In just two years, I destroyed the boiler because it always ran below 140 degrees - it was too small to heat my pool! The condensation created so much corrosion that it was a total loss - an expensive but valuable lesson.
Solution: Do not adjust the aquastat below 180 degrees. Add wood daily, but only enough wood to burn for 12-24 hours. And if you are heating a pool with a heavy heating load, call us for special instructions to protect your OWB.
Third, please, please, please ALWAYS use the "Dry Burn" technique. Please read this carefully:
These are the top three reasons you should “Dry Burn” your Outdoor Boiler everyday:
- Longer Boiler Life - Condensation inside boiler kills it. Short life costs money. Long life saves you money!
- Less Maintenance – Your time is valuable, isn’t it?
- More efficiency=lower cost – get the biggest bang for your fuel!
How do you get a DRY BURN?
As wood burns, the moisture is slowly burned out of the wood. Unfortunately, that moisture is coming out of the wood for most of the burn cycle – it is only at the very END of the burn cycle when the wood is just dry hot coals that all the moisture is out of the wood. This is the DRY BURN state.