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Stove troubles.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 27
Location: Garrison, Montana
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Ok. I am about to remove our rocket stove. This would be our third winter with it attempting to heat the house. We bought the book and researched everything we could find and built it according to the directions. We continue to have trouble every time the wind shifts and comes from the east. The house fills with smoke and we have to open the window on the east side to force it to burn. We have tried many things, including disassembling the stove looking for the problem. Any ideas?
 
pollinator
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Tina : I am sorry that you have had to put up with this problem, often people with brand new wood stoves of any type have some initial problems, and we can usually
help find the problem and propose a solution ! In this case you will need to share a lot more information in order to let us help you !

We will need to know the layout of your house, the location of your rocket mass heater, and carefully go over the size and ratios of the Feed tube, Burn Tunnel and
Heat Riser, which I know you have already done and checking it again will be very frustrating, please just give us a chance, we will be happier over the saving of one
RMH with its House Dragon -then with one hundred successful new builds !

Perhaps you have missed the warnings that attempting to run a RMH or even some wood stoves AND simultaneously run a Clothes Dryer, with its exhaust being vented
outside.

When the house is tight or has been extensively winterized it is possible to have problems running an exhaust fan over the kitchen range, or the bathroom simultaneously
with Your RMH!

Exactly what do you been that your house fills with smoke, when this happens do you see the smoke backdrafting from the Feed Tube, or is this a general haze, if so I
would check all your clean outs, for tightness and while you are there carefully check for Fly Ash and importantly, stray paper used for initial kindling and sucked down
deep into your Thermal Mass !

If you can, try to go without a fire for about 24 hours so that you come home to a cold house while the outside temperatures are still hovering around 70 degrees or
higher, take your time and do a good job and let us know how you reach success lighting your RMH.

Finally in what shape is your final vertical chimney in, inspite of some of the remarks fond in ''The Book'' it is universally true that the Vertical chimney should be in good
condition, and internally sized to the size of your RMH, and should reach a height at least 4' to 5' higher than Any nearby object larger than a TV antenna .

THis short list is a long way from being all inclusive and it is even possible that eventually we will find more than 1 thing that needs some adjustment ! Again allow us to
look over your shoulder while you check this out ! Lets see if we can calm your bad tempered house Dragon ! For the Good of the Craft ! Big AL !
 
Tina Lee
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Location: Garrison, Montana
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We have no vents in the house. We are off grid solar and wind powered. I do have a door that is being replaced that drafts, but the stove works perfectly until we have an east wind. I am going over everything again, but I have to hurry the man of the house might have it removed next time he has an hour. Thanks.

0840 Jumped on the ladder and the roof, raised the pipe 8 feet. Just have to wait for an east wind.
Thanks.
 
gardener
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Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Tina; Before you built your RMH , did you have a regular wood stove in the house ? If so did you have any wind problems with it ? How common is that east wind ? During an east wind have you tried blowing a small fan down your feed tube ? A fast growing wind block to the east should help. What about a 90 degree turn at the top of the chimney, facing west ? Or get fancy and mount that 90 on a swivel (bearing ) so it points with the wind ? As Al said, there is a fix for this that does not include removing a perfectly good RMH. Maybe an east wind diverter ( curved metal plate) mounted on the roof to make that wind rise over the top of the chimney creating a draft ? Distract your man , remind him how much work went into building that rmh and how much work it will be to remove it and reinstall a regular wood stove, not to mention the cutting (or BUYING ! ) the extra cords of wood to feed that wood hog.
 
Tina Lee
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Joined: Apr 14, 2013
Posts: 230
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana



Tina; Before you built your RMH , did you have a regular wood stove in the house ? Yes
If so did you have any wind problems with it ? No

How common is that east wind ? Evidently only during the coldest of weather. Prevailing wind is W - NW
During an east wind have you tried blowing a small fan down your feed tube ? Yes But it cannot turn it around.
A fast growing wind block to the east should help. We live on a hill in Montana, the only thing that grows here is juniper. LOL

What about a 90 degree turn at the top of the chimney, facing west ? Or get fancy and mount that 90 on a swivel (bearing ) so it points with the wind ? As Al said, there is a fix for this that does not include removing a perfectly good RMH. Maybe an east wind diverter ( curved metal plate) mounted on the roof to make that wind rise over the top of the chimney creating a draft ? Distract your man , remind him how much work went into building that rmh and how much work it will be to remove it and reinstall a regular wood stove, not to mention the cutting (or BUYING ! ) the extra cords of wood to feed that wood hog.

I will look into the swivel bearing idea. It is rocketing along right now.......of course no wind.
We will see what the day brings.



 
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allen lumley
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Tina Lee : There are literally scores of 'storm hood' type caps for your Final Vertical Chimney, unfortunately, we ALL are going by hearsay evidence
on how effective each type is. The only Clear fact seems to be -none of them work all of the time, in ALL locations. It is highly likely that this is your
problem area! Big AL
 
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I would say if you have a j-tube style then get rid of it and change to a batch box style like I just did. I see your location is NW Montana, you are welcome to see my build and have a demo of it running. I'm north of Sandpoint and south of Naples. Alan
 
Satamax Antone
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Tina, the ultimate solution for my workshop rocket, has been a fan for windy days. Work wonders, and it's pish easy to startup.

http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/849/green-machine-inch-tube-help?page=4#scrollTo=11668
 
allen lumley
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Tina Lee : As '' Max' has explained, a special exhausting fan that is usually fitted into the exhaust pipe of ALL Kinds of Fossil Fuel Fired Forced air (or boiler type )
furnaces, can be easily adapted to solve you problem !

With many years of Trouble shooting F.F.F.F-a.Furnacies and wood stoves, I can count on the number of in-line exhaust gas fans I have installed!

A Technician who admits to installing one of these is admitting that he has a problem that he can not fix any other way! However if you have had to deal with this
situation for 3 heating seasons- Then This becomes a go-for-it solution.

It CAN BE run all the time or just when needed or when you have to leave the house ! This is a good practical tho last choice working solution !
Big AL
 
Tina Lee
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Well I am back.
Thanks for all the help.
We raised the vertical pipe another 7' and put what I call an "H" on top (which is in the original rocket stove book). We had the "H" on before but it was not helping. Now we have what I believe to be too much draw, however that is better than filling the house with smoke. In my little world I wanted it to work as it said in the book by pushing not drawing. No worries it is working. Now we only have smoke trouble when there is no wind, which is not often.
We did not look at the fan idea as we live on a small solar power system and feel we would rather put in an Earth stove than use electricity for a fan.
Last night got down to -10 and my heat bed was at 170 degrees when I went to bed. It was chilly this morning in the house but warmed up nicely.
Once again thanks for the suggestions, Tina
 
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what was the temp of that "heat bed' in the morning? so, did that help enough to keep the stove?
 
Tina Lee
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The heat bed was at 158 degrees in the morning, the house was at 48 degrees with a temperature well below zero. It took only 1 hour to bring the house temperature to 60 degrees. It is not as good as our old earth stove as far as keeping the house warm, but we knew that would be the case before we started this project. This morning with a temperature of -5 the house was at 52 degrees and warming up. We are keeping the stove in place for now. We have talked of making some modifications this summer but it is working well.
 
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Hi Tina, can you give a rough comparison of the amount of wood you burn with the Rocket compared to the Earth stove in a season. I know that years differ but mostly people have an idea if one appliance is easier on wood than another. Thanks and hope you get the smoke thing under control long term.
 
Tina Lee
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Thanks Wyatt. But this is our third winter with the rocket stove and the amount of wood burned in it is probably the only reason it was not taken out. LOL
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Tina, how many years did you heat the space before the rocket and could you give an estimate on the difference in wood use, 3/4 ,2/3 ??
 
Tina Lee
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The rocket stove cut our wood consumption by half. We have to many variables to have accurate measure of it. We put the rocket stove in at the same time as we built an addition onto the house, it made the construction easier.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Thanks.
 
Tina Lee
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Rocket stove update. LOL a year later and lots of tweaking we have had a breakthrough. We have no idea why but the rocket stove is working better this year.  It is currently -27 outside and 62 in the house the heat bed is running around 225 and the house is comfortable considering the conditions.  We do have a wood cook stove to work along with it in this weather but that is all.  For those who always ask how much wood we use.  We have been using a pig feed bag full of juniper everyday. LOL the bags make it easier to carry and measure.  The last several days I have burned 2 pig feed bags a day anticipating this storm.  Now just waiting for the sun this morning.   Thanks all.
 
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