Hello, for the newbies and not-so-newbies, the forum's seminar on RMH in Sept should include some real-time, real-world info about the liabilities, code/s enforcement, fire insurance, legal-beagle stuff about building your own RMH. This was brought to the fore (again) just recently, when I visited a fella who is selling his collection of good, used hunting bows. When I visited the guy at his apartment, he made mention that he 'needs' to make some cash on these (he has 20 something..). Seems his house burned last winter (it was cold here in PA, well 'cold' for us, not like Montana..), he had his chunk stove a-roaring. Seems a little too much, since he caught his house on fire...lost everything (the bows and hunting equipment were kept in the free standing garage). I asked him about 'rebuilding'.., he sadly said that wasn't going to happen! Seems he did NOT read his homeowners Casualty Policy. He , himself installed the wood stove, and NOT to codes, single wall piping, and was 'squeeze fit' at that...no steel screws to secure the pipe joints. SO< long story short...they denied the Claim, as it was written into the policy (that he had), that any..."wood burning, or heating device, the installation of and use of is to meet all local and applicable Codes, and the Insurer is to be notified of such installation, before any such use"..! Now, THAT's a very expensive lesson to learn. To the wise, all of life is a lesson to be observed and learned. Nevertheless, I wish ya'll's well, and a successful RMH heater seminar. Be well, do good work, and see ya's later, Sincerely, Mikhail
Ernie and Erica always cover that. And, Ernie and Erica were involved in getting rocket mass heaters into the code in Portland, Oregon. I think you will find that this forum has a lot of discussion in this space.
My insurance also says I have to have a UL approved woodstove. By the time I get one of those and a professional installation it will take a long time to break even. Value of the mobile home is about nil anyway, and my personal possessions are not documented. The main reason I keep insurance is liability, so if I do install a wood burning device I figure I'm on my own and I'm careful. They didn't give me fire insurance on the garage anyway.
I do try to follow codes where it's practical, but last time I installed a flue to code, the code changed shortly after.
My brother is a powerful attorney and a fairly influential advisor of mine. So when I asked him if I should build a rocket stove he thought I was nuts cuz the insurance wont pay and blah blah. So for a week I sent him stuff I had studied and after that week my brother was offering ideas for improvements and ok,ed the build. Its rediculous the amount of heat these put out with just a little fire. The actual fire in my feed tube was just a little bigger than my closed fist and it was heating my entire home with the help of a fan WTF. My fire extinguisher for the rocket stove is a 2 gallon jug of water mostly to appease my brother
When it comes to rocket mass heaters and local codes, I strongly advocate that people do the exact same thing as was done with pot: nobody touches it until the government says it is okay. Even though it could save you thousands of dollars and/or is something that cuts your carbon footprint by 90%.