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Needing some pointers

 
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Im wanting to build a RMH for my home. I haven't acquired any plans as of yet. Some of my questions/concerns are as follows

1. i have a walkout ranch style home, built in the early sixties. Not super insulated but not drafty by any means. The foundation is aprroximately 1.5 foot stone and mason. The home is 1200 square feet on both levels for a total of 2400 square feet. Does anyone have experience heating a home this size? Would i be able to install a pebble style RMH in the basement and expect it to warm the entire house radiating through out? The basement currently is only used for utilities and time isnt spent down there. (may change in future but for now)


2. Ive found a market place post for 56 new 9"x4.5"x1.25" fire brick. Is this going to be a proper brick size for constructing my J tube? Would it be part of my supplies or are they not the ideal size?  


3. Is there anyone near or within a reasonable distance to the capital of kansas that would be willing to help in the construction and or anyone with leads on materials for a pebble style RMH


4. If i install in the basement is there a wood feed design that would would allow it to burn on its own a bit longer unaided?


Im sure I have many more questions and concerns, just getting the gears going.

Thanks folks  
 
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Hi Jason, Welcome to the Permies Rocket Mass Heaters forum!  

Jason Wingerson wrote:Does anyone have experience heating a home this size? Would i be able to install a pebble style RMH in the basement and expect it to warm the entire house radiating through out? The basement currently is only used for utilities and time isnt spent down there. (may change in future but for now)


There was a fellow Jason Speaks who started a thread about building a RMH in the basement here: RMH-built-basement-radiate-upstairs Might have a few things in there that may help you.
Do know that a J tube requires frequent monitoring and filling of wood so it really needs to be put in an area that is a high traffic area or that you spend a fair amount of time in.

Jason Wingerson wrote:2. Ive found a market place post for 56 new 9"x4.5"x1.25" fire brick. Is this going to be a proper brick size for constructing my J tube? Would it be part of my supplies or are they not the ideal size?

 
EDIT: They are referred to as 'splits' - which are half the thickness of full bricks but are the same length and width. If they are the dense heavy kind, insulation is put around them. If they are insulated bricks, then less insulation is needed. The dense heavy ones though are often used around the feed tube as they handle the wear and tear much better. Both will work but the insulated are a bit better to get temperatures up and to produce a clean burn quicker. If they are a good deal, then I would say scoop them up. You wouldn't need that many though if you build what is dubbed a 5 minute heat riser made out of superwool and a piece of pipe. Very easy to build and lasts a long time from all the experimenters out there who have gone that route.

Jason Wingerson wrote:3. Is there anyone near or within a reasonable distance to the capital of kansas that would be willing to help in the construction and or anyone with leads on materials for a pebble style RMH


Here is the current list of people who have listed themselves on this site: List-Rocket-Mass-Heater-Builders
Doesn't look like any of them are from Kansas but their may be a lurker out there that may answer your call.

Jason Wingerson wrote:4. If i install in the basement is there a wood feed design that would would allow it to burn on its own a bit longer unaided?


The batch box RMH is such a beast however, if this is your first build, they are a bit more tricky to set up and get just right. You need a proper door and a metal secondary air port. Look into them though and do a little research to decide if you are confident enough to handle such a project.

Also,  Rocket-Mass-Heater-Builder-Guide is a great resource for novice and pro. A lot of the questions asked in this forum have been answered in the book. Lots of pictures, design examples and well written. Highly recommended.

 
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Jason Wingerson wrote:Would i be able to install a pebble style RMH in the basement and expect it to warm the entire house radiating through out? The basement currently is only used for utilities and time isnt spent down there. (may change in future but for now)


No way, one need to be in the vicinity of the RMH, even sitting on the bench, before it's comfortably warm.
Please, build that heater in the living space. It might take a hefty footing in the basement but at the end it's worth its weight in gold half of the year.

Maybe you need to change your view from a central heating boiler in the basement to a hearth in the living room where all inhabitants flock together when northeastern wind is howling outside.
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