Announcement

Collapse

Have you called Obadiah's? Please read before posting!

Hello Cookstove Community members! If you have a question for us and have already contacted Obadiah's via telephone, please put a note in your post. We receive quite a few inquiries every day, and this will help us streamline our responses so we can assist everyone in the most timely fashion.

Thanks!
See more
See less

First days of our Heartland/Elmira Oval with Waterjacket

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • First days of our Heartland/Elmira Oval with Waterjacket

    We are new to cooking with a cookstove and thought we would share our experiences thus far. Reason for a cookstove was simple, we live off grid (yes by choice) and wanted a unit that could function with the dual purpose of heating water and cooking. After much research the oval was what we chose.

    Cooking is a breeze. The unit heats up very fast (compared to our wood stove) and puts out ample heat. The literature says it won’t heat much sqft wise, but so far not only is it heating my kitchen but my entire house! This was very unexpected. We are using an Ecofan to move the air around but hey, if it works, it works. FYI: 2 floors, 1125 sqft per floor. Now to be fair upstairs isn’t as warm as downstairs. I haven’t put any wood into my other stove (rated for 3000 sqft), but if for some reason I need the place to feel like the desert, it’s there. Average temp 20-25 degrees C downstairs and 17-21 degrees C upstairs. Outside temp: friggin’ cold.

    Heating hot water. I’m on the fence about this because I didn’t really know what to expect. 1st off my tank isn’t ideally located. It’s 15ft horizontal and 14ft vertical from the stove. It follows the rules of 1ft vertical for every 2ft horizontal but the thermo-siphon seems to be having trouble. It does heat the water and pushes it to the tank but by no means is it doing the manuals rated 10 gallons per hr. Now this could be due to the long run, however, with this being my first attempt at heating the hot water I don’t have enough knowledge on this subject. Some other things to note. The jacket heats the water in “intervals" and when it gets hot enough it sends the heated water to the tank. The hotter the fire the louder transfer. Almost like pushing bits of ice through a garden hose. The piping was hooked up as per the manufactures suggestions, and there is no air in the system. Water continues to flow at the tap uninterrupted throughout the heat exchange. It takes approx. 3.5 minutes for the water jacket to heat the water and send it on it’s way. Originally the plumber hooked the system up with a spring check valve. DO NOT DO THIS. Every plumber will tell you this is the way to go. It is not. I had warm water creeping up both pipes (Cold inlet and Hot outlet). In fact, the cold was doing better than the warm by about 3 ft. I had him switch it out to a swing gate and this fixed the problem. On the first day of really trying to heat the water tank I burned the stove for approx. 12 hrs. 2nd day for about 6. The tank is still not fully heated. Hot water continues to be sent in spurts. I’ve since insulated the hot water line from the stove to the tank, not sure if that helped much, but it makes me feel like I’m helping . Should this be doing better? I had hoped so. Is this the pains of a break in period as all the cold water gets cycled out and creates less of a temperature difference? Perhaps. Still, it is working. Just going to take a very long time to fill the 40 gallon tank. I could introduce a circulating pump, theoretically it should help, but I really wanted to keep the system simple. We’ll see in the days to come.

    So far that’s been our experience. Comments and advice are welcomed.

  • #2
    Greetings FreeBC, love the name, bet there's a story behind somewhere. Thanks for your input on heating Domestic Hot Water, especially the comment about the Spring Loaded Check Valve yes you are correct. A Brass Swing Valve allows the Thermosiphon to work. The pressure built in the system is not enough to push open the spring in a spring loaded valve which is designed for use in a Hydronic system that uses a pump to push the water. Be careful with the swing valve, get one that has a machined brass or bronze flap in a brass or bronze valve body.
    Please keep in mind the Swing Valves are designed to be installed in a perfectly level position. They have an arrow on the side that shows the direction of the water flow. If you install the Swing Valve in an position where it is in an incline, then the water pressure behind it has to be great enough to also push the weight of the flap. Installing this type of valve in a vertical position compounds the problem even further.
    As far as the way your system is not heating up..........(added to this as I sent if before I finished last time)
    1. The Oval water jacket from the factory actually works very well in my experience, much better than a water coil. The Oval firebox is on the small side, as far as a heater, it will throw heat, but when there are other cookstoves out there with much larger fireboxes, I don't rate it very high on the "heating cookstove" list, unless you don't mind feeding a stove constantly....I prefer sleeping at night, thanks.
    2. Maybe the wood has something to do with it? Don't want to insult you, but what is your wood like. Do you know the moisture content? How well seasoned?
    3. I'd stay away from the circulating pump, moving water through faster is not going to solve the problem.
    4. I can't really tell you why the system is not working without actually being there and seeing it in operation, but BTU's in, BTU's out, it is not rocket science. Somewhere you need to either make more BTUs or transfer them better.
    Good Luck! Keep us posted.
    Last edited by Woodstove Woody; 03-22-2016, 05:07 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Woody, great to hear from you. Yes the swing valve is brass and installed horizontally as designed. We are having a blast experimenting with our cookstove. Trying to find folks locally for input, both professional and living with, are almost non existent so it makes things somewhat difficult when issues arise.

      Soooo, since you’ve had experience heating water, would you say I’m getting what should be expected? Is it possible I'm heating the unit incorrectly by not keeping the firebox full/hot enough for the first few hours, or do you think a circulating pump (assuming you’ve used one) would really make the water jacket efficient and fill our tank in 4-6 hrs?

      I absolutely agree about the small firebox. I find it needs refuelling every 1 - 1.5 hrs. This wasn’t something we really took into consideration. We had the other wood stove and the Oval’s purpose was for cooking and water heating. The fact that it is doing more is merely of a bonus for us, and had we had know before hand how well kitchen cookstoves can really perform we would have looked for something with a larger firebox and not use the other wood stove at all. I wouldn’t recommend the Oval for heating your home but it is working well in our situation. Partly because we designed the house for wood heat.

      My advice to people curious about cookstoves or even nervous/apprehensive about switching is….don’t be. Time to cook on the burners is maybe 10mins. If waiting an extra 10mins to heat a pot is too much for you, you’re life is too busy. In which case I demand you buy a cookstove and slow down. This is an enjoyable experience and yes food does taste better with wood heat, especially grilled cheese sandwiches! I will note the Ovals door mounted temperature gauge for the oven is 75-100 degrees off, easily solved with an in oven temperature gauge. I’ll post more as I learn more. Happy heating!

      Comment


      • #4
        BC I went back and edited the previous post that addressed your question. I must have gotten a phone call and forgotten I had not finished my reply before I posted it. Thanks again for the PM letting me know what I did.....
        ! keep us posted as to what the fix finally ends up being, please. We need more folks willing to share their experience with heating domestic hot water via their wood cookstove, besides me.
        Here is what I meant to post to answer your question. I try not to dance around questions, hopefully this helps.
        1. The Oval water jacket from the factory actually works very well in my experience, much better than a water coil. The Oval firebox is on the small side, as far as a heater, it will throw heat, but when there are other cookstoves out there with much larger fireboxes, I don't rate it very high on the "heating cookstove" list, unless you don't mind feeding a stove constantly....I prefer sleeping at night, thanks.
        2. Maybe the wood has something to do with it? Don't want to insult you, but what is your wood like. Do you know the moisture content? How well seasoned?
        3. I'd stay away from the circulating pump, moving water through faster is not going to solve the problem.
        4. I can't really tell you why the system is not working without actually being there and seeing it in operation, but BTU's in, BTU's out, it is not rocket science. Somewhere you need to either make more BTUs or transfer them better.
        Last edited by Woodstove Woody; 03-23-2016, 12:44 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          HaHaHaHa, Thanks for asking about the wood quality. I’m not so sure I can get insulted from someone who’s trying to help, but you are more than welcomed to try ! The wood had been seasoned for 2 yrs but since you asked I thought could it be..? So I decided to pick up some different wood from a supplier just to check and no change. It’s all about process of elimination. I contacted the makers of the water jacket to see if there is anything that could potentially be defective and I was assured that there is nothing that could go wrong with the jacket so I’ve decided to post a picture of my set up. After going over the schematic, I noticed that the plumber put the air vent on the cold line going into the 40 gallon tank and the mixing valve. If it was me I would have put one on the HOT outlet from the 40 gallon tank. I also heard the 40 gallon tank burbling last night which leads me to believe there is indeed an air issue that is not being addressed by running the taps. Also noticed a significant drop in pressure from the hot water tap when the water jacket was pushing up a new batch of boiled water. In the schematics you’ll notice that there are 3 shut off valves that are NOT ever recommended in a system like this. It is a safety hazard in the event that the gates are all closed. I only did it in my system so I could bypass the 20 gallon electric tank when not in use. Could this be as simple as a misplaced air vent? Plumber said no, but I’d like a second opinion from folks who live the lifestyle. cookstove plumbing.pdf
          Attached Files
          Last edited by freebc; 03-28-2016, 12:31 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            On the other hand, the extra valves will give you additional capacity, turning your 40 gal. revere into 60 gal.

            Comment


            • #7
              PROBLEM SOLVED!

              Hi folks, not sure if you’ve been able to view my plumbing schematics but currently trying to work it out and will update asap. The good news is my hot water heating issue is fixed! After a pleasant conversation with the all knowing Woody, he was quick to point out that the check valve was unnecessary and needed to be removed. He was absolutely correct. Perhaps if my tank was closer to the stove it may not have been an issue, but it definitely messed up my system. I’ll try to upload a video file or audio of the noise it was making so you’ll know what it sounds like. Be aware that the manual shows a check valve needs to be installed on both the active(circulating pump) and passive system and not an option. It makes sense in an active system to protect the pump. I’m not sure what other manufactures suggest but all I can say is that the valve needed to go. Thanks Woody!

              Comment


              • #8
                Cool Beans, Happy to help. Looking forward to being able to share what you have there with others so they can understand how simple the system really is. It works well, as long as there is little restriction to the natural flow of the water as it rises with the temp and falls when it cools in the circulation system. If there are noises like popping or banging, there is a restriction somewhere. Thanks for posting!

                Comment

                Working...
                X