16. April 2014
Homesteading , DIY
So I installed an outdoor wood burner and in doing so needed to connect it to the gas furnace in my house. How the outdoor burner works is it sits outside the house about fifty feet form the house and burns wood in a large wood furnace that has a large tank of water around the burning chamber. This heats the water which is then piped into the house underground and circulated through a radiator in your furnace. So when your house needs heat, it blows ir through the radiator (heath ex-changer) and blows hot air through the house.
This is all rather simple to do, though the one not obvious piece for me was wiring the furnace. Now, my house has zones and 3 thermostats that control independently with louvers in the ducts. I didn't want to have a second thermostat to override the gas operation so instead purchased a Honeywell aqua stat like this one from Lowe's
It basically can be attached directly to the how water line going into the furnace. From here it has 3 wires.
Now a furnace has several ports or wires coming out of the mother board. They are as follows:
R= Red wire, power from furnace control transformer for heat function.RC= power from furnace control transformer for cooling function.C= power return to furnace control transformer for thermostat operation. Could be either blue, black or another color different from the other terminals.W= White wire, power from thermostat to heat function of furnace.G= Green wire, power from thermostat to manual blower operation of furnace.Y= Yellow wire, power from thermostat to furnace for cooling function.
What I did to get this all working is simply unhooked the Gas wire from the control board, hooked that directly to my aquastat R, then ran the Aquastat green to the gas and aquastat W to the fan. So if cold, turn on gas, otherwise just fan. Left control to fan in place if I want to run the fan. Seems to work great, I went the whole winter like this and saw it fail over to Gas when the burner was low, otherwise it just blew through the exchanger. After discussing this technique with my furnace guy, we decided we should turn off the breaker on the AC just in-case this method may kick it on, we didn't want they running at the same time, so just turned off the breaker for the winter to be safe.
So the local store called and said my chicks were in at 8PM last night and asked if I can pick them up by 9. A 30 minute drive later and I was driving home with a box full of 5 bronze turkeys, 5 aracanas chickens, and 5 pekin ducks with the heater blasting because it is only 17 outside.
This isn't my first go around with chicks, so I ran out to the shed, got my brooder boxes, chick feeders, waters and heat lamps, brought them in the house and set up shop.
I use paper towels that I swap out a few times a day for bedding, it just quick and efficient to change and doesn't make a huge mess when I do, I know some say its harder on the feet, but it seems soft enough and I have never experienced foot problems so use this tactic. I do have 2 brooder boxes, but wanted both heat lamps on the same box for a few days to make sure they were warm enough.
From what I have read, turkeys don't do the best with chickens and ducks because they are susceptible to diseases the other breeds carry, so I separated them with a barrier. I added the water, dipped their noses in it, gave them some chick starter feed, then off to bed.
The whole thing sort of looks like a spaceship, but the kids and cats love looking in, and the peeping is one of my favorite things about spring.
o I had just moved to the country, and decided I wanted some chickens, problem, I didn't have a place for them. Well, I wanted to enhance my carpentry skills anyways, so I decided to build a very classic looking chicken coop. Basically, I created a foundation of cinder blocks, created a 2x6, 16 inch on center sub floor, covered it with plywood and then vinyl, and famed up walls and nesting boxes.Next I covered the outside with plywood and put a roof on, it is roofed with metal.
Finally, I sided the coop with recycled wood from another shed that needs to come down.
After that, I painted it barn yard red with white trim. I built a door for it and put doors over the egg access holes to the nesting boxes. I also created a frame for an old window I found to swing out in the summer. I also added a run to the right in 2013 so they can have some protection when I'm not around, but not be cooped up.