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Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4542
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1597
cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi All;
As you may know I recently replaced our 8" J tube with a 6" batchbox.
Everything went very well except...  After two days of burning my new construction portion dried out and warmed up...
However my mass temperatures did not want to rise very far at all? Hmmm wonder why...

The only thing I did Not do during the rebuild was to clean out the ash from last season... Big oops there!
Being my usual high energy self I had whipped thru the rebuild and although I knew I hadn't cleaned the ash yet... I thought...(BIG mistake)
Ahh it will be OK I'll just clean it out in a few days.
This is similar to hold my beer and watch this!
I was anxious to see my new creation burning... dumb ass....
When you build a new RMH all the bricks are soaked in water prier to being mortared. There is a huge amount of moisture to be evaporated.
Did you know that bone dry fly ash turn's into  a muddy black mess if you add what amounts to a bucket of water??? I can assure you that it does!

The fiberglass cleaning rods belong to my buddy. I should have asked for them weeks ago... Before firing her up!
But Alas I asked two days ago ... Got them last night and this morning I discovered how I had pucked up! What a flippin mess!  After removing the easy stuff and realizing how wet this stuff was I moved on to plan B!

Plan B involved the off grid homes best friend Propane!  My weed burner stuck thru the cleanout door and blasted up the mass went a long way towards drying things out.
Steam was billowing out the chimney!  I may need to do it again in a few days if things don't start heating and finish drying on there own!

Lesson learned (the hard way of course) Finish the job before building a fire!!!  I could have driven over and got the cleaning rods first... I guess that was just to easy...


20200924_085836.jpg
home made pipe scraper on fiberglass rod
home made pipe scraper on fiberglass rod
20200924_083357.jpg
Muck with me will you!
Muck with me will you!
20200924_083404.jpg
Starting to look much better
Starting to look much better
20200924_083508.jpg
Steaming out
Steaming out
20200924_083716.jpg
Better steam than smoke!
Better steam than smoke!
 
master gardener
Posts: 3359
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Yikes! I tend to learn and do things the hard way, too, so I feel your pain. I'm really glad you got it all safely figured out before you needed to depend on it, though!
 
gardener
Posts: 1581
Location: Westbridge, BC, Canada
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building solar woodworking rocket stoves wood heat greening the desert
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As much as we all like to hear success stories when someone fires up their dragon, its also really good to hear about what not to do. We'll all look like experts with a guy like you around!
Thanks for sharing Thomas.
 
thomas rubino
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4542
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1597
cat pig rocket stoves
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Ha my friends:  
I can always tell you the wrong way to do something!
It is a specialty of mine!
Luckily I do learn from most of my mistakes and strive to not repeat them.
Strive being a key word there.... hey hold my beer and watch this!
 
thomas rubino
Rocket Scientist
Posts: 4542
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
1597
cat pig rocket stoves
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Oops round two.
I had been burning the new 6" steadily for two days.
All the new brickwork was dry and warming up. The new stove itself is performing flawlessly!
Each time I added a fresh load of wood.  Thick billowing clouds of stinky grey steam would come rolling around the cap and out the chimney.
However despite cleaning all the yuck out of the first horizontal pipe I was still not getting good exhaust temperatures  in the stack.
Temps would rise with a new load of wood... but never even getting to 100 F.  As soon as the wood started coaling exhaust temps would fall.
Gain a little and then loose it all.

Yesterday after adding a fresh batch of wood. I was standing out in the yard watching the grey cloud start pouring out of the chimney.
A sudden thought popped in my head...  Its not raining , I should remove the cap from the chimney!  Maybe get some better draft going!

Up the access ladder I go, trusty screw gun in hand.  
The chimney cap is the old style . Commonly called a "coolie" cap. Basically wide open with 3 legs and a lid. Just enough to keep out snow and rain.

4 screws hold the cap to the pipe.  After removing the last screw and lifting the cap off... what did I see???

I saw the entire bottom of the cap covered in big fat drops of water!!!  OH Shit!!!  I'm evaporating the water out of the wet ash...
Sending it up the pipe in billowing stinky grey clouds... Where it was condensing on the bottom of the cap...
AND falling directly back down the pipe landing on the still wet ash!!!  Keeping a fresh supply of sopping wet ash!!!
Its no wonder my exhaust temperatures won't come up and stay there!

The cap came off yesterday, we will see how long it takes now for the stack temps to rise!







 

20200924_083716.jpg
clouds of steam coming past the cap (and dripping back inside)
clouds of steam coming past the cap (and dripping back inside)
20200927_165645.jpg
Stinky grey steam (but no cap!)
Stinky grey steam (but no cap!)
20200927_165617.jpg
long way to 100F
long way to 100F
 
Gerry Parent
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Location: Westbridge, BC, Canada
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A very important observation that nobody talks about Thomas. Good catch.
A rocket steam engine just waiting to be developed I can see.
 
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