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Delci Plouffe
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I'm really new to all of this, so please, be nice
We live in Montana and every winter there is the issue of water freezing. Electricity is too far and expensive.
I would love to build a rocket stove for the greenhouse I plan to build and possibly to build one for our house. As I have been researching those items, I was thinking about the stock tanks.
Is it possible to somehow make a rocket stove (and instead of the butt warming seat ) to make a tank that would hold water? I know the issue is using a material that wouldn't disintegrate in the water and elements, and cob would do just that.
Is there any way? Any ideas?
I've seen the youtube videos where there is a fire built in the water in containers but we need something that doesn't need to be babysat and have to light another fire with more and more wood all the time.

Thank you so much for your time and answers! Delci
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I've been dealing with the same issues (more or less).
Electricity here is very expensive and I've been playing with heating the stock drinker by other means than a de-icer.
Last year I placed hay bales around the water bowl and it helped tremendously. My electricity bill for February of last winter was less than the year before, and it was much, much colder.
This year I am building what is called a "hot bed". I want the water not to freeze, but don't want hot water either. A hot bed is a composted bed of layered carbon and manure, that my drinker will sit in, and I am hoping it will be just enough to keep the water from freezing. Forgot to mention that winters here can reach -40C which is the same as -40F. I do honestly think this "hot bed" will work. I am keeping close attention to the whole and will be taking notes on how it works out.

A RMH may work well if the cob and pipes go around the exterior of your drinker, but you'll still have to light now and again in coldest weather. But depending on you weather patterns and extreme temps, a hot bed may suffice.

Hope I've been of some help.

K
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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Our winters aren't nearly as cold as yours so not sure if this will work, but around here people bore a hole well below frost depth and place the tank over it to seal the air in. The air will be warmed to ground temp, rise to the bottom of the tank, and when cooled, fall back to the bottom to pick up more heat. Kind'a like a closed loop heat siphon of sorts. The tank needs to be insulated and the opening for the animals to drink from needs to be as small as possible. Maybe 2 holes under the tank if oval? Let us know if you try this, no matter the outcome someone might find it useful.
 
Delci Plouffe
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Thanks for the ideas!
Does anyone know if there is a way to weather proof cob, if it is outside? I know there are houses made of cob but from what I've read, they do need to have protection from the weather or over a period of time they will begin to deteriorate.
Thanks again!
 
Bill Posey
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I HAVE BEEN BUILDING ROCKET HEATERS FOR 2 YEARS.  LAST YEAR WE CAME UP WITH A DESIGN FOR A STOCK TANK HEATER USING 4" EXAUST PIPE TUBING, 2" EXAUST TUBING & 4" SQUARE TUBE.  USING WOOD CHIPS FROM A  LOCAL SAWMILL & A 100 GAL. UNINSULATED OVAL STOCK TANK FROM THE FEED STORE, WE WERE ABLE TO RAISE THE WATER TEMP. FROM 30 DEGREES TO 60 DEGREES WITH 1 BURN.  WITH A SECOND BURN TEMP RISE WAS TO 72 DEGREES.  AVERAGE BURN TIME IS 45 MINUTES.  OUTSIDE AIR TEMP. WAS 27 DEGREES.  THIS UNIT HANGS FROM THE SIDE OF THE TANK & DOES NOT FLOAT.

IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE CONSTRUCTION DETAILS & PHOTOS I WILL TRY TO SEND.

THANKS,

BILL
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 97
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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Are you getting water from a well? How big of tank are you using?
 
Bill Posey
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WE ARE USING AN OVAL STEEL TANK 2' X 4' X 16" DEEP AND YES IT IS WELL WATER

BILL
 
Travis Johnson
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There are a few things you can do, and both are geothermal, but do not let the term scare you, it is much simpler than you think.

Stock Tank Heating:
To keep a stock tank from freezing, yet getting too hot, use geothermal. Simply buy a 15 inch culvert from any building supply store. A plastic one is $159 for 20 feet, but you can warm two heaters with it. Cut the culvert in half, then dig a hole 10 feet deep and install the culvert vertically. Place the stock tank over the hole and then use insulation and plywood to insulate the cover. Also cover some of the top to prevent heat loss. Warm air (57 degrees) rising from the earth below will warm the bottom of the stock tank and keep it from freezing.

Greenhouse:
Purchase inexpensive drain tile pipe. It is kind of a misnomer because it is a plastic flexible hose looking thing with holes. They are really cheap and come in 100 foot lengths. Start at your greenhouse, then dig a trench 4 feet deep and in a 100 foot loop returning to your greenhouse. At the inlet of the pipe place an electric blower. A small forced draft blower for a wood furnace or other low cubic feet per minute fan will work best. It works by blowing air from the greenhouse, through the pipe, warming it to 57 degrees, and then back into the greenhouse. It keeps the unit about 20 degrees warmer than outside temp. In my chicken coop where mine is installed, it is warm enough to keep the chickens water from freezing as the birds give off heat as well, and it is a super insulated chicken coop.
 
Bill Posey
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PERHAPS I DID NOT MAKE MY TEST RESULTS CLEAR ENOUGH, BUT I AM SOMEWHAT LIMITED IN MY VERBAL DESCRIPTION . WE ARE HEATING THE WATER THAT IS IN A TANK THAT HAS BEEN SETTING OVERNIGHT IN A FEILD IN BELOW FREEZING WEATHER.  OUR TEST WAS RUN WITH 1/2 INCH OF ICE ON TOP OF THE TANK.

HOPEFULLY THIS CLARIFIES TEST CONDITIONS.

THANKS

BILL
 
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