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Aqua-Therm FAQ’s

Here are some commonly asked questions, with answers, about Aqua-Therm Outdoor Boilers.

Please click on the questions below for the corresponding answer.

Click here to view the Aqua-Therm Boiler manual. If you need any further information, Click here to contact us.

1. Are these open or closed systems?
2. What is a closed system?
3. Do the systems have forced air draft?
4. Why don’t these Boilers hold more water?
5. What kind of reputation does the company have?
6. How much maintenance is involved?

1. Are these open or closed systems?

An open system is vented to the atmosphere. They need a constant source of water to replace amount lost to steam and evaporation. Aqua-Therm Boilers all utilize a closed system. It’s filled, then sealed. You should never need to add water. The closed system has several advantages:

  • No need to keep adding water.
  • No oxygen in the water reduces problems with rust in the water jacket.
  • Fewer additives are needed.
  • No problems with mineral build-up clogging pipes or damaging the pump.
  • Can use anti-freeze to further protect system.
  • Can be hooked directly into other hot water heat systems without the use of heat exchangers.
  • Keeping air out of the system adds to pump and boiler life.
  • Can be used with existing boiler systems. Traditional (cast iron) boiler manufacturers do not recommend using an open system because of problems with water chemistry.
  • Water exposed to air is what causes problems in a heating system; circulation, corrosion, heat transfer, chemical maintenance, etc…
  • SAFETY! Closed systems are protected by ASME approved relief systems – no system is as safe as an approved closed system. Open system manufacturers try to persuade customers away from closed boilers but our untarnished reputation stands for itself.

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2. What is a closed system?

A closed system means no additional water is added once the system is filled. Water is an enemy of ferrous components. When water comes in contact with ferrous components, a chemical reaction occurs producing FeO2 (rust). Keeping fresh water out of the system eliminates the continuous supply of oxygen molecules.

On average, Aqua-Therm Boilers use only 70 gal. of water, depending on the model. It requires less energy and less time to heat less water, allowing for quicker recovery times. This is because our closed system boilers only need to heat the amount of water necessary to satisfy the load. Typically traditional indoor cast iron boilers contain 5 gallons or less.

Aqua-Therm Boilers operate at 12-15 psi (pounds per square inch). There is a safety pressure relief valve that will “lift” if the boiler pressure ever goes above 30 psi. We have been building boilers only with a closed system since 1983. Our reputation is built on it and we stand behind our boilers with our warranties.
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3. Do the systems have forced air draft?

A natural air draft system depends on draw from the chimney to bring air into the fire. It can be affected by prevailing winds, elevation, atmospheric pressure and temperature.

Aqua-Therm boilers have forced air draft systems. They use a fan to bring combustion air into the fire. The forced air draft is definitely superior for outside wood burners because:

  • Chimney height has less effect on the burn.
  • Has a faster heat recovery.
  • Does not smolder. It either burns hot or shuts down.
  • Hot fire will burn almost any material – even green wood.
  • Wood efficiency, it’s either burning hot, like a forge, or not burning at all – no smoldering.

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4. Why don’t these Boilers hold more water?

They hold the right amount of water for maximum efficiency. Less water is more efficient. High efficiency gas boilers have only a few gallons of water.

The more water in the system, the more wood required to maintain the heat. Think of it this way: if you had an electric water heater in your home that held 30 gallons and one that held 80 gallons; assuming you use the same amount of hot water, which would take more energy? The 80 gallon would use considerably more energy.

Less water also means faster heat recovery if the boiler has been off or the temperature has dropped. With a lower capacity system, it’s also affordable to use anti-freeze to better protect the boiler and the underground lines.

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5. What kind of reputation does the company have?

This is an important question and we feel strongly about the answer. Aqua-Therm has been manufacturing outdoor wood fired boilers since 1983 and we’re still going strong. With over 30 years experience in manufacturing and installing our boilers and heating systems, we have established an excellent reputation among professionals in the industry as well as with tens of thousands of satisfied customers. We’re working hard to keep it that way.

We do everything possible to ensure our customers are completely satisfied with their purchase. If you have any questions or concerns, tell us. We’re here for our customers and we’re here to help.

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6. How much maintenance involved?

Our boilers are among the simplest units to operate. No flues to clean. No need to add water. And, with the Aqua-Therm auger, ash removal is easy. Some alternate boiler brand models have creosote drains. This requires having to catch creosote in a pail and empty it when full. What do you do with a pail of creosote?

Aqua-Therm has an extensive, national network of Dealers. However, in the rare case there is no Dealer in your area, we will work directly with you and your installer to ensure you get the correct model for your application.

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