[color=black] [/colorThis is our first build and any useful advice from experienced builders would be greatly appreciated.
Our situation is this: Our cottage has a 576 square foot slab for a floor, our existing 6 inch wood stove chimney is about ~ 14 feet long from the top of wood stove to the chimney cap, We have 8 inch SIP paneled walls and 12 inch SIP paneled roof so the cottage is well insulated. The 6 inch chimney dictates the size of the RMH we intend to build be a 6 inch system since everything is set up for that and we are not heating all that big an area.
In “The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide “ that I got from our local library system ( obviously they are in on Paul Wheaton’s plot to rule the world) in Chapter 4 , Step by Step Construction Example, they use an 8 inch RMH as the model so not much use in my situation. For some reason I recall 42 feet of duct work being the absolute limit for a 6 inch system but for the life of me I can’t seem to find that specific info. in the book. If anyone can guide me to that page or quote me the right number I would be grateful.
So here is the question, is the maximum allowable amount of duct work (whatever the number) considered the total of both horizontal duct and vertical chimney or is the chimney considered be less of a drag coefficient since warm rises and is not struggling to go sideways and therefore I can have a greater amount of horizontal duct work in the thermal mass.
Our goal is to have 2 lengths of 6ft. - 6 inch duct plus 1 length of 3ft.- 6 inch duct and 5 90 degree 6 inch elbows/tees.
All total this would come out to the equivalent of 54 linear ft. 5 90 degree elbows/tees = 25 ft. , horizontal duct = 15 ft., Chimney = 14 feet.
Is this practical? Is I don’t want an RMH with slow to no draft.
Any feedback you could give would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Roger, from my notes (via E&E Wisner) the maximum horizontal ducting length on a really good quality built 6" RMH is about 40 feet with no turns. Subtract 10 feet for each 180 degree turn, 5 feet per 90 degree turn, 2-3 feet per 45 degree turn. Don't count the last 90 degree turn exiting your mass that goes vertical to connect to the chimney pipe, nor is the vertical chimney pipe length counted.
One way to help avoid a sluggish system is to test for natural draft before making your build permanent. I.e. lay out all of the horizontal ducting where it's going to be, all connected up with elbows, Tees and etc. and connect it to the chimney. Test for a natural draft at the other end that will be connected to the RMH barrel manifold. With your 14 ft. chimney you should have a fairly good natural draft, and with that you're good to go. The draft can always be improved by adding additional chimney height too.
I will definitely try the draft test. Your reply took a load of concern off my mind. I finally found mention in " The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide"
on page 229, Heat exchange-Channel Length. This is in total agreement with what you say. You mentioned notes via E&E Wisner, did you attend one of their workshops? I'm glade to have the my confusion regarding distinction between chimney and heat exchange duct work clarified. About 11 feet of the chimney is fully exposed on the inside and should be nice and toasty compared to outside temps.
I would like to have, but no, my build notes come from E&E's early permies posts, that have long since been buried in all the thread traffic over the years. If you dig deep enough you'll find them. Good that you have the Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide -- that's a must have and simply the best J-tube RMH publication ever!o) IMHO. My own stove is patterned after their compact Cabin-8 model, via their plans.
best regards, Byron
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