Frank M’s Kuuma Vapor-Fire 200 Set-Up

Frank purchased a reconditioned Kuuma Vapor-Fire 200 a few years back.  He did a great job with his installation so we figured we would share some pictures and e-mail exchange.


Hi Dale,

Hope you and everyone at Lamppa are well & doing fine, particularly with the virus thing & the now turbulent economic times we find ourselves in.

I wasn’t sure if I ever sent you photos of my Vapor Fire 200 with the water tanks installation.  Set it up according to your schematic. Works GREAT! Within 3 fires: 95 degrees water in the 50-gallon tempering tank & 80 degrees water in the 40-gallon electric tank with the switch off to the electric heater. Mr. Lamppa & Daryl were geniuses and ahead of their time in developing this unit & system for heating water from a continuously firing heating appliance.  Everyone around here said it couldn’t be done – you have shown the world how to do it correctly 7 safely & proven all the “experts” wrong – 40 years ago.
So, herewith hopefully you will find my pictures:  if I can properly copy & paste them to this mailing.  Please let me know if they do not go through and I will try again another way. ( A steelworker & paperhanger/painter I once was, not a computer techie.)
Frank M
Cape Cod, MA
P.S. The high-efficiency condensing heating boiler on the right side wall is for heat only – it is not a combination unit for heat & hot water also. The domestic hot water never goes through that unit, but directly upstairs from the electric tank outlet.  The water valves stay unchanged throughout the year, so the system is pretty much foolproof.  The valves only need to be adjusted if the power is out & I want to isolate the electric tank from the heating coil & tempering tank so that the water stays hotter in the tempering tank.  But if the power stays out for a long while & thus continuing to utilizing the Vapor Fire 200 for heat: then the valves can stay the same so as to have more reserve hot water & also prevent any, if at all, the chance of a temperature & pressure build-up problem.
Thank-You for the high praise on my installation.  I figured the layout myself, positioned & installed the furnace & venting, & the water tanks: myself; & figured out the water tank connections needing only a licensed plumber to plumb. Everything, including all electrical work, was permitted, inspected & approved by the Town, and, was installed according to all state & local fire, plumbing, & electrical codes.  I used a local licensed plumber & electrician for all the necessary work.  Prior to all this work, several years ago I removed an on the floor, conventional gas boiler & had the heating contractor install the new one over to the right away from the chimney flue – thinking that someday I might want to install a wood-burning appliance.  Having the new condensing boiler & all that related piping already over & out of the way – made the Vapor Fire 200 & water tanks installation relatively easy to envision & perform.
I also meant to state in my mailing with the photos: that there is really No Chance of ever having a temperature & pressure problem with the heating of the domestic hot water with your Kuuma Vapor Fire 200 water coil & system set-up.  The reason being is that if someone is home “keeping the home fires burning”, then domestic hot water is always being used even with just one person at home. You’d be surprised as to how often & how much domestic hot water even just one person will draw in an 8 hr. day. When I had my system running: I could continuously monitor everything throughout the system with the T & P gauges I had the plumber install at key pipe locations.  From the very first day of operation: I could tell there would never be a T & P problem because of the fact of the water drawn by anyone at home stoking the furnace.  If I were to go off for the day, I never worried either: as one fire carries the house for the day, and it would take many more fires than one to heat up the water in just the 50 gal. tempering tank by convection to a temperature & pressure point limit/problem.  With the 40 gallon electric tank connected in tandem to the 50 gal. tempering tank – the only chance of having such trouble would be to continuously fire the furnace for a week and never draw any hot water for that amount of time – a highly unlikely scenario to ever occur. However, in that case, the temperature & pressure valve would blow off & fail-safe the system.
Such safety features are just one reason why I have slept soundly every night since the first time & day I ever fired off the Vapor Fire 200. This unit runs safely with or without power & is fool-proof to boot.  A great investment that I am ever so glad to have made & when I did several years ago – with the present times & weather being what they are.