Linda Potter

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since Jun 12, 2013
In the Sierra de Bazas, Andalucia, Spain
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Recent posts by Linda Potter

Correction ....the pipe that EXITS the stratification chamber....
4 months ago
Thanks everyone! One more question, can the flue pipe that exists the strategy chamber be  smaller than the system is? Byron, I know you said it needed to be, but were you referring to the standard RMH with cobbed in pipes in bench? I mean isn't the strategy chamber itself like a pipe?
After consideration of all this lovely information we're going to do the following
1) Plaster the stratification chamber on the inside, then across the top
2) Plaster the outside of the brick column in place of the oil drum
3)Extend the flue pipe to 3 ft above the roof and use double skinned insulated pipe for the outside section. This will be necessary as although we live in Spain, we chose an altitude of 2,700 ft, so winters are wintery.

We'll let you know how it goes.....maybe we'll be able to give you all a mental high five!!
4 months ago
Thanks to all, Peter, Graham and Byron for your input. One more question.  The flue pipe, the one that connects the strat chamber with the outside world is very wide. It will be cheaper for us to insulate and extend this pipe if it is narrower. Are there any guidelines or restrictions on the diameter of that tube? That should keep us busy for a while.....
4 months ago
Graham, Thanks for your help. My husband´s answer is, Ýes, but we don´t know how effectively.´ Oh, and I just saw on a YouTube from Honey Do Carpenter that if you´re exhaust tube isn´t insulated the draft of cold air from outside will push the gases back into the house....more questions... sorry
4 months ago
Oh boy. The rocket mass heater we have built has just been so difficult. After the ´wet wood´(not) dilemma we rebuilt it, but we are still having huge problems. We are committed to making it work.... for personal pride and to justify the work we have already put into it.... especially my husband. Just yesterday, in desperation, my husband installed a ventilation fan. Still set off the CO alarm.

So I was wondering if anyone out there could give us some more advice.. You guys are so great for sharing your knowledge and skills, thanks in advance . We are having awful problems with carbon monoxide entering the room.. usually at about the time the fire is dying down.  Which of these things is most likely to be the culprit ? In other words, which one would you start with ?

1)I read in a blog that, ´The exhaust vent of your stove must be at least 3 feet above your roof in order to reduce the risk of CO being drawn back into your structure. ´ Ours isn´t.
2) We haven´t gone with the oil drum ( I can just hear the gasps of horror...), but rather with a brick column around the heat riser. Could this be leaking carbon monoxide from gaps in the fire cement?
3) We haven´t gone with the cob bench but rather a stratification chamber. Could this be leaking CO from gaps in the fire cement?
4) The vermiculite clay layer around the heat riser is really thick. Could it still be wet after about a dozen burnings ? Could this be causing the fire to not burn cold enough ? Even so would this cause the CO to back into the room?
5) Anything else ?

I just want to add, that with this current rebuild we followed Ianto Evans measurements from his classic rocket mass heater booklet very closely...except for the comments above.

We would really appreciate any thoughts on this.

4 months ago

Satamax Antone wrote:One year of drying is not much. But if it's less than 5 or 7 cm square, it should be dry enough.

R check your gaps, Is the top gap more than 7 or 8 cm. If not, raise the barrel.

How's your flue transition?

Where is the chimney? How much ISA?  What is the system size?

Thank you everyone. And thanks Satamax. I'll get my husband to check those stats and that posting.
Fingers crossed,
7 months ago
Hi You Wonderful Forum People,

My husband and i have had the seminal book on rocket mass heaters by Ianto Evans sitting on the bookshelf for 9 years now. Finally we have, well he really, has built one. I know he read the book at least 3 times and has a handle on all the important dimensions and built it to them. One exception, we have used the stratification chamber idea for the bench. BUT we have a smokey dragon. It smokes in the house, it smokes out of the exit chimney and last night it set off the carbon monoxide alarm closest to it. We closed the feed tube almost completely before going to bed last night.  Could the weakest link be the not-entirely-dry wood (one year of seasoning but rained on over the summer....something we are not used in the arid high plains of Granada, Spain where we live ) we are using ? I'm thinking that not-so-dry wood will make the fire will be cooler therefore not burn all the smoke and carbon monoxide off AND create more ash and maybe a blockage in the system.

Any thoughts would be soooo welcome.
Thank you,
Linda and George
7 months ago
This is my daughters' favourite photo...
4 years ago
I have just (yesterday) received 12 one month old naked neck chicks ! Well, its only been 4 years in the making.... mostly due to a severe lack of funds needed to build a critter proof house and run, thanks to the banksters. That's my moan finished with now. I am a first time chicken mama and have spent an unnatural amount of time observing their antics over the last 24 hours and making sure I can still count 12 every time I pop down there. I have even noticed my husband getting maternal. .

One of the birds, and not the smallest, runtiest either, has been pecked so that its red, sore spots encourage even more pecking. Ahhhhhh, now I have a chance to put many months of study into practical application. I applied a 'salve' of manuka honey and blue food colouring to the sore spots and hey presto no more pecking. Hurray ! I surprised myself there... It does rather make a not-so-handsome bird look even freakier, but I have always liked supporting the underdog.

I do have a few questions. Does anyone know why some of them have had their beaks clipped ? Is it an identification thing ? Also, should I be having food available to them 24/7 when they are so small, or should I already be only feeding them twice a day.
4 years ago
Thanks for that Lonnie. That is something I will be paying close attention to. I recently stumbled across a video from the Sustainable Poultry Network and this is their main raison d'être. I realised I have a lot to learn !
4 years ago