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Rock mass heater for my home in a small space  RSS feed

 
Karla Arnold
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Hi,

I want a rocket mass heater for my home. I only have a small space for it, in a corner of my living room. Every other wall has ac vents and/or electrical outlets. The only plans I have found have a bench, bed, etc. I don't have room for that.

I have a corner.. north wall4'!" it is a load bearing wall and I would love to open that part up so the heat could get to the rest of the house. The other wall east is 3'9", that wall has to stay. I know I will have to move what is in the picture.

Does anyone have a plan that could work for my space. I am tired of paying high heating bills and I feel a rocket mass heater would help me reduce them.

Thanks for you thoughts.

KJ
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this is the spot I have for a rocket mass heater
 
R Scott
Posts: 3362
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
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Load bearing wall should still be easy to put in a thimble and run the exhaust out and the bench on the other side.

4x4 is tight for clearances to combustibles, but can be done. There are several good youtube videos about putting regular woodstoves into tight spaces safely.

You will need to use proper thimbles for going through the wall for insurance to be happy. Take pictures of installs for EVERYTHING before you cover it with cob.

It will probably cost you more than a low-end airtight stove for initial install--but will pay itself off in reduced fuel costs fairly quick, especially if you have a good source for tree trimmings. The rocket stoves burn stuff most firewood guys throw away or have to run through a chipper.
 
Karla Arnold
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Thanks for your reply. R Scott. The other side of the load baring wall is the hall way to the second bedroom and if I put a bench you would have to climb over it to get to the bed room. My cats would love the bench but.... I have no room for a bench, in the living room or on the other side of the wall. Which is why I wanted to open up that load baring wall so cob could be put there and get heat to the back of the house.

Thanks for the take pictures of everything advice. I will if I can ever figure out how to do it safely. and post them here so if any one else has this issue they can use it. The plans even if I can get some.

I use a tree trimmer or I have for my big maple tree in my back yard a couple of times. When I did he left the wood for my friends that have a fire place and left the chippings so I could use it for mulch. I could contact him. I also live in town and have scrap wood in my garage, even a couple of broken pallets I got out of a dumpster which I hope to find more of once I have a rocket mass heater in my home.

I looked at E and E's plans to buy one but they won't work in my space to big. I wish they had some plans for small spaces like mine. Maybe I will get lucky and they will look at my post and be able to help me out, or someone else that has done something like this.

I will check out the utube videos thanks for the info.

Have a great day.

 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Could you go DOWN and put it under the floor?
 
Karla Arnold
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This is the other side of the load baring wall hall way into the second bed room. It was going in the right direction on what is saved but when I attached it it went side ways.. The wall you see in the picture in the bed room is a closet that was added to the room who knows when. My house was built in the 1930's.


Insulated crawl space and back unfinished room in basement is under where I want to put the rocket stove, the ac intake vent, you can see this in hall and under the hall way to the unit is in that area also and in the basement the central air and heat. I can take pictures of that area if it would help.

This house used to have floor vents, once they changed to central air and heat they just covered those holes with plywood. There is one of those spaces in that corner close to the door way into the all. So to go under the house would be possible. The hole in the second bed room is by the north wall and across the room from where I want the rocketmass heater. Walls are plaster and lath, under the paneling in the living room, and just plaster and lath in the hall side.


I got to thinking maybe along the wall a single exhaust pipe covered with some cob to a small bench in the second bed room as you enter the door against that closet wall. Any room I use makes getting stuff and in out harder, and it is a pain in the arse already to get stuff in that bed room. That second bed room has the computer, and my leather crafting work station in it. So that may be a bad idea.






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Devon Olsen
Posts: 1068
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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i've also been mulling over how one might make a small rocket mass heater, definately perplexing, whatever you come up with its always good to build a small model first to be sure that everything flows correctly and wont burn down your house or smoke you out of it...
 
Karla Arnold
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I will take the advice. In the book it says to build it outside first and check it out so I plan on doing that.

I will post what I end up doing even if it is not possible in my home.
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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well thank you for promising to post... i do a bit of brainstorming of ideas but am normally busy and neglect putting them on paper or website so i look forward to seeing whatever you come up with
 
August Brooks
Posts: 14
Location: Rainier, WA
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Hi Karla,
Here's a new type of rocket mass heater made locally in Washington Stateā€¦ It's probably going to fit in your space.

The website is www.zaugstoves.com
Enjoy!



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Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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well thank you for sharing!!!

seems expensive but i havent previously shopped for fireplaces by any means


however it seems like a good start for designing ones own system... my problem, and i suspect the OP's problem is where to run that 40ft of exhaust if there is no room for a bench in the firstplace to cover it...
 
Karla Arnold
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ah nice concept but 2 grand is not in my budget and I don't have room for 40' of pipe as Devon pointed out.

I guess need someone who has experience designing these things to design one for me or to say it can not be done, so I can do something besides spin my wheels about this.



 
August Brooks
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Location: Rainier, WA
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It's not necessary to run the exhaust out 40'. That's the maximum you could go.
This stove can be vented straight up and out like a conventional wood stove if you would prefer.
However, you'd be missing out on the benefit of heating a mass.

But I agree, $2k is a lot of money.
 
Karla Arnold
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I want the benefit of some mass heating some how. I am starting to think it is not possible in my current house and I will have to wait until I build my dream house when ever that is.

But thanks for your responses. If I had a spare 2 grand I would consider it, but I don't have that kind of money just laying around waiting to be spent.

I am wondering if I could put some cob around a pocket rocket and get some thermal mass to store some heat.. not sure if that would work....

 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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$2000 is about what a high-end woodstove goes for these days. And about that much for triple-wall chimney pipe if you are going up two stories. And whatever to make the floor and wall non-combustible.

They aren't cheap, and the new EPA rules did not make them cheaper.
 
Devon Olsen
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Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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unfortunately regulations seem to only ever hurt the price of something and despite their attempt at helping never seem to accomplish mmuch else but skyrocketing prices

as i try to come up with ideas i got to thinking that THOUGH LESS THAN IDEAL one could run it under the home if its a trailer... for mass one could stack stones or blocks around the exhaust pipe and they would continue to stay warm well after the fire was out, similarly one could pull an rv or a camper van over the same stack of rocks
though id probably be wary of parking a vehicle over it due to risk of fumes and possible explosion

from my understanding if the chimney is higher than the burn tube you can still run a fire
SO one could have the barrel sitting on the floor as the "zauger" (forgot name and on phone) does and just run the exhaust down a few more inches to existing ducts before running outside, provided the ducts allowed for proper airflow and didnt cause back flow due to stagnant places... you would also have to close vents into rooms to prevent co2 buildup or co buildup
 
Karla Arnold
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Well I said I would let ya'll know either way. It is a no go for my small space with a rocketmass heater.. Maybe someone with more know who will design one.

Thanks for all the post.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1068
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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sorry to hear it, i too may be out of luck but hopefully soem kind of design is found soon that fits our bill
 
Jenny Valentino
Posts: 1
Location: Indiana
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This post brings into mind another issue. How heavy is the mass? Can it be built on regular flooring/subflooring? We also have a space that has a shallow crawlspace under it. Was wondering if the mass would be too heavy to put on a regular (old farmhouse) floor.

I was also wondering how many square feet the standard (I guess 8 inch?? I am new to this and trying to learn) rocket mass heater will heat? Will it heat a first floor well enough for the heat to travel upstairs to the seond floor? I am learning about these. Love the concept! Like the previous poster, I am wondering how to do this with what I have to work with. Thanks!!!
 
Nj Moran
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I want a rocket mass heater for my home. I can't build it. Does anyone do this in Michigan?
 
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