Helene Tesiere

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since Feb 12, 2019
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Recent posts by Helene Tesiere

Hi Hazel, welcome to the tread, sorry I can't help you a whole lot right now I just bought my Liberator and still trying to tweak it to work properly. And this is the first I heard of an ondol stove I had to google it ;o)

Well this is the first night since last week that it is cold enough to light up the stove. It's not that cold but at least colder outside than inside. I've tried lighting it up like Graham was mentioning, sort of. It didn't work, I took the chimney cap off to see if I'd get more draft. Didn't work either. I figured my wood must not be dry enough. So tonight I installed the pellet hopper. Surely that will work right?
Nope. My pot of water has been on the stove for about an hour and is still not boiling. Almost seems to be worst than burning with wood, and even lighting it with a torch took longer than expected and the fire was not that impressive.

So what now? Lengthen the chimney pipe either in the mass or on the roof? What if I put more elbows in the mass wouldn't that count as more length? The instructions say not to use more than 4- 90* bends, I only have 3, don't know if one more will help.

What if I left it like that, is it dangerous if the stove doesn't burn that hot? I would imagine it would create as much creosote as a regular wood stove, and maybe carbon monoxide?
1 year ago
Hi again guys. I didn't bother lighting the stove yesterday it was too hot outside ( I remember reading somewhere that if it's hotter outside that inside it can create some kind of back draft or something?) but I took the chimney cap off just to eliminate the possibility that the draft problem was up there. They were calling for 5*C/40*F this morning so I could try it again. I also split some old dried cedar pieces into kindlings. I figured I should learn how to light the stove properly before tackling more drastic measures like creating a bell.

So I tried lighting the stove the way Graham explained but the paper/wood burns too fast and keeps wanting to fall out of the trap door. I can see that could become dangerous, that's probably why the instructions say to close the bottom trap door after the initial paper lighting. I also didn't feel that taking the chimney cap off made a big difference. I suspect my biggest culprits at this point are my lack of experience at lighting the stove and like you guys mentioned, the wood may not be dry enough.
So The next few days are supposed to get really warm, I will concentrate on getting good wood and stealing more dry cedar kindlings from my brother's cedar mill ;o).

Thanks a million guys for all your comments I really appreciate your help, I will keep you posted
1 year ago
Graham, according to the instructions on the video, you only use the bottom of the feed tube to light up the  initial pieces of paper to light the stove, then you shut the bottom trap and do not use it again. You then throw the kindlings and another wad of lit paper down the tube while the air sucks the fire down through the kindlings and lights up the kindlings on it's way to the center of the stove. Then you start feeding the feed tube with wood.
My system Will be a RMH after I build the bench which will be as soon as this draft puzzle is solved

Glenn, Ok that system doesn't sound too complicated, do you have pictures, instructions or drawings of your bell so I can have something to guide me? Is there a link somewhere that I can check? As far as bone dry wood, I just went in the forest out back and grabbed dead wood that had either fell down or that I could pull down with my bare hands. Would that be considered bone dry? It hasn't been chopped though, I just got round branches. Is that good enough or is it better if I get chopped wood?
1 year ago
Looking at the last picture, seems like my 15-16ft height estimation of the chimney might be a little off. Looks more like maybe 12ft?
1 year ago
Thank you so much Graham and Glenn for your prompt response and very instructive ideas. Now I'm starting to think I was crazy to start this project! I'm a senior (female) who has never done anything like this before and looking at Erica and Ernie's book and Paul's DVDs on RMHs looked simple enough but I didn't trust myself to build the RMH core, that's why I bought the Liberator, then all I would have to do is build a mass for it (or so I thought). Now trying to wrap my head around things like cold invisible air traps, and building a bell heat exchange box and all kinds of things I don't understand is really scaring me. Plus it was 4*C/38*F   last night and my mass isn't built yet. Looks like I really got myself into a pickle!

OK to answer your questions, Yes the feed tube is opened when I light the stove (lighting from the bottom). Yes I believe you're right about the insufficient draw.  I haven't seen the smoke coming out of the chimney after I light the stove. The total height of the pipes from the floor to the top of the chimney (if the chimney went straight up) is roughly 15-16' and 6” in diameter. The added pipes inside the mass only adds about 4 feet plus 3 elbows. As far as the inversion layer, if I understand it correctly, it has been fairly warm and damp outside when I light the stove in the evening. As far as your suggestion about lighting the stove like an L style vs a J style, That's how I'm supposed to light it. There's a trap door at the bottom of the J (feed tube) where I light it with paper, then close that trap door and start feeding the stove through the top of the feed tube. Maybe I'm supposed to fire it gently first for a while until the invisible cold air trap disappears before I try to get it hotter.   But then the other day I fired it for 2 hours and the stove never got hot enough to boil a pot of water.

The nearest trees are at about 50- 75 feet from the house. This bell box sounds like a good idea but I'm not sure if there would be enough space for it. The total space I have for the whole system including the Liberator is 7ft long by 3ft wide and my ceilings are at 7ft 6 in from the floor. I can't go any bigger than that as there is a door at each end of the space. You're also mentioning an 8” thickness on the box wall which would make it even bigger, right? What do you think?

If that's the best idea, how do I go about building that by myself?
Here's another question, if the Liberator works so well on the video without a mass why doesn't it work just as well in my house without all these bells and whistles?

I forgot to mention also that what they have suggested was to add a damper to the pipe. Would that add to the draw?
1 year ago
Hi Graham
The bottom trap door is for lighting the fire and clean out purposes, once the fire is lit, you close the bottom trap door and feed the fire through the top of the J tube. I sent the same post to the makers of the stove and they told me that the problem was that I don't have enough draft. they suggest putting a damper on the upper pipe. I'm not sure how that can help?
1 year ago
Hi guys , thanks a lot for all the comments and ideas. So here is what I did. I slanted the downward sloping pipe slightly upward. Yes I did have a problem starting it. It seemed like the wad of paper was burning out before I had time to throw the kindlings in, don't know if I wasn't putting enough paper in or maybe not lighting it thoroughly before pushing it in there. And yes the wood was mainly old dried up branches from my forest. Yes there is a cap at the end of the clean out pipe, it just looks like there isn't ;0) .

So today I borrowed my brother's propane torch and got a bunch of 5-10 year old cedar kindlings from his cedar mill (cedar doesn't rot). I figured that would make it burn faster.

Well the stove did light up faster and easier with the torch but about half an hour into it the fire was coming up the feed tube. I don't know if it was because of the cedar or because I was pushing the kindlings down into the bottom but it was creeping up and black smoke started coming out of the feed tube so I got scared and put the lid on. After a minute or so I opened the lid again and a cloud of black smoke came out so I shut it again.

So what did I do wrong this time?
1 year ago
Hello again
Here's an update and a couple more questions )

Due to lack of time before winter sets in, resources and confidence, I decided to purchase the “Liberator” Rocket stove and build a mass around it. My RMH sits on a 7' X 3' cement pad. I wish it was bigger but that's all the space I have for it.

The stove and pipes are now assembled and I did a couple of test runs. Everything works fine, no smoke leaks etc. But there's one problem: the stove doesn't get very hot. I put a pot of water on top and after 2 hrs the water was steaming hot but still not boiling and the lid was on the pot! I don't have a stove thermometer but my room thermometer registered 27C/80F, it should have been cooking hot in that room. The company website shows a video where the Liberator heats up really hot.  https://www.rocketheater.com/  (look at the second video, not the first).

The instructions say not to use more than four 90* elbows, I only have 3. On the pictures you will see that the whole system is a bit slanted. The reason for that is that the pipe that comes out of the stove is 7” off the floor but the other end of the pipe at the “T” joint, the pipe sits at 11” from the ground because I had to put an elbow under it that leads to my clean out door so it makes the whole system a bit slanted. So this is what I'm wondering:

1- The bottom horizontal pipe leans upwards towards the chimney while the top horizontal pipe leans downwards a bit, could this affect the draft?

2- Maybe I'm putting too much wood, or not enough in the feed tunnel, that may also affect the draft?

3 does it matter if my assembly including stove is not perfectly level?

4- What else could result in low heat?

The stove measures 32” high, 16” wide and the feed tube is 25” high. I'm using 6” pipes, total length of pipe from stove to ceiling cap is 11' 4”, and clean out pipe is 27” long.

I sent an email to the stove company and waiting for an answer, but I really value you  guys expert opinion also.
1 year ago
Thanks Thomas.
Good idea about the cement board, I think I will do that for safety.
The reason the pipe between the entry point and T-joint is not level is because the T-joint is higher than the entry point and I can't lower it in order to have an elbow under it for my clean out pipe.
You're right about the short run through the mass, I wish it was longer but the space I have doesn't permit it and the makers of the Liberator advise not having more than four 90 degree elbows in the run
The measurements inside the mass will be approx 10 ft in total length plus three 90 degree elbows and a T-joint. The Liberator stove bell is 36” high and 16” wide and requires a 6” diameter chimney.

Thanks again for your help Thomas. Can't wait to get my stove and install it. I'll send pictures when all done
1 year ago