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Old water heater or 55 gal drum - which one to use?

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I want to construct my first Rocket mass heater and I have access to a water heater and a 55 gal steel drum. I am looking to heat up my unfinished basement.
Any advice or information would be appreciated,

Right now they majority of the basement is unfinished, it is framed out and half insulated...
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Brooke Tempest : Wow! Once again I remind myself we all started where you are now. Relax, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. While not exactly nirvana-

you are surrounded by Fellow Members and Rocketeers who All want your Build to succeed !

Our 1st job is to help point you at 3 specific and interrelated tasks that will greatly improve your understanding of the workings of Your future D.I.Y. Rocket!

1st) There are many reasons why the ( ill-used /unfinished ) basement of your home is generally a poor to very poor location for your Rocket Mass Heater RMH .

Please do a Google Search for Stack Effect AND Whole House Stack Effect. This is not a nice-to-know exercise, but a core value you must be able to understand

well enough to explain it to your Grandmother . This will allow you to understand why the simple acts of opening an upstairs window, or running a cloths drier or

gas water heater that vents to the outside, or even the exhaust vent over your cooking range can cause your RMH to draft backward- filling your house with smoke!

2nd) Your RMH like every other Wood stove is a space heater and retro-fitting it into your home requires some compromise and great attention for both safety and

performance, this can not be done if your RMH is in a out-of-sight, out-of-mind remote location !

3rd) Please, please, please! Goto rocketstoves.com to download your PDF Copy of the 3rd edition of Evans' and Jacksons' great book " Rocket Mass Heaters "

This is ''The Book'' that ensures that you can return here to Permies.com and use the same words describing the Sizes, Shapes, and Orientations of the parts both to

themselves and the whole ! "The Book'' will also help you greatly; saving time, money, and frustration in selecting the correct parts / materials for your build !

Though most Rocketeers would automatically select the Drum over the water heater*, it will depend on your Location and Climate, Also important is the final selected

location of Your RMH, and the size of the core area you want to heat ! Pictures or sketches of your homes lay-out will help greatly !

I hope this is clear and helpful, for the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL.

* Even though we are in the habit of using the terms 55gal barrel, and 55 gal Drum interchangeably,the drum is actually a Container for Solid material and is provided

with an end that is removable, that end held locked in place with a clamping band ! This can greatly simplify the pumbing of Your RMH

This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:

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