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Basement heater without vent

 
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Location: Lancashire, England
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Hi guys

My basement was recently flooded and is now suffering mould

I want to build a RMH to heat/dry the space to kill mould and remove any residual water.
I also want to spray some antimoulding agents but these are water based and once again will introduce moisture into the basement.

The only problem with building a RMH is that venting out the exhaust fumes will be difficult.

Seeing as RMHs burn extremely clean, could I get away with letting the combustion gases vent out into the basement itself?

In terms of ventilation to the outside world, I have 4 air bricks.

I'm the only person who goes down into the basement probably once every other day to fetch something.

A nice side effect of a rocket mass heater in the basement is that it will provide a mild underfloor heating effect to the room directly upstairs.

Thanks in advance

M
 
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Short answer NO!
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and can kill you.
 There have been many threads on permies about exhausting a RMH in a greenhouse to help increase C02 levels for plant growth as well with the same conclusion.....NO.
Have you not considered a dehumidifier?
 
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I agree with Gerry, get a dehumidifier.

Also, get a product called Damprid:

https://permies.com/t/162929/kitchen/Humid-Pantry-problems

https://permies.com/t/118103/Permie-dehumidifier-idea

https://damprid.com/

 
M Ahmed
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Location: Lancashire, England
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Thanks guys for ruling that out.

I'll make the effort to clear the area around the chimney and get it all properly vented.

Which RMH is the easiest to make using materials easily available in the UK?

Primary purpose: to dry the basement; a test run for when I move into my next house; to provide residual heat to the room upstairs.
In the future I might want to have a play around with hooking my water central heating up to the system although I understand this is more complicated than it sounds.

Thanks again

M
 
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No matter where you are, you can probably find bricks, which will be a good material for building a rocket mass heater. Firebricks for the combustion core will last longer, but as this sounds like a short-term setup, you just need to be sure the bricks are not concrete-based, as that will disintegrate in RMH core temperatures. If you are in a remote area and have clay easily accessible, cob is a good reliable material. You can build a complete RMH out of cob - I have done it.

The easiest thing to build would probably be a J-tube inside a masonry bell (hollow brick box). A 6" equivalent size would probably suffice for warming and drying a basement, and is likely the most common chimney vent size to find.
 
M Ahmed
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Glenn Herbert wrote:No matter where you are, you can probably find bricks, which will be a good material for building a rocket mass heater. Firebricks for the combustion core will last longer, but as this sounds like a short-term setup, you just need to be sure the bricks are not concrete-based, as that will disintegrate in RMH core temperatures. If you are in a remote area and have clay easily accessible, cob is a good reliable material. You can build a complete RMH out of cob - I have done it.

The easiest thing to build would probably be a J-tube inside a masonry bell (hollow brick box). A 6" equivalent size would probably suffice for warming and drying a basement, and is likely the most common chimney vent size to find.



Thanks buddy.
I think I'll go for a 6 inch batch box with a 5 (or 6) minute riser.
I might go for a steel barrel instead of a masonry bell.
I will build it outside first as a test (and to grill some food).

Couple or questions....
Can I make the firebox out of standard (reclaimed) red brick? Are some bricks better than others?
What should I use as mortar?

I live in a victorian terrace house in Lancashire, England.
Our chimney is shared with the neighbour. It travels up 3 stories before it exits the roof.
Are there any considerations I need to make about using it to vent out the gasses?

Thanks again
M
 
Glenn Herbert
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Sounds like a plan

Yes, you can make the firebox from standard old red bricks. Firebricks would last longer, but are not essential for a short-term build. Especially for a short-term build, fireclay slip is probably the best mortar, as it can be knocked off leaving clean bricks when you want to build something new. It may or may not meet building code where you are; it is a bedding/sealing agent only and not a cement. (US "International Building Code" requires refractory cement mortar which is strong and sticks to bricks, though I don't know how often that is actually used.)

It sounds like you have a good tall interior chimney which should have good draft. I hope both houses do not share one flue, as that might cause complications with draft.
 
M Ahmed
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Glenn Herbert wrote:Sounds like a plan

Yes, you can make the firebox from standard old red bricks. Firebricks would last longer, but are not essential for a short-term build. Especially for a short-term build, fireclay slip is probably the best mortar, as it can be knocked off leaving clean bricks when you want to build something new. It may or may not meet building code where you are; it is a bedding/sealing agent only and not a cement. (US "International Building Code" requires refractory cement mortar which is strong and sticks to bricks, though I don't know how often that is actually used.)

It sounds like you have a good tall interior chimney which should have good draft. I hope both houses do not share one flue, as that might cause complications with draft.



Thanks buddy
Flue is not shared with neighbour, nor with any of the other fires in the house.
I've had a look at the internal mortar flue from another fire in the house when I needed to do some remedial work a couple of years ago, it was stained black with soot but no creosote build up.

Its plausible this particular mortar flue in the basement has not been used in decades if at all ever.
Do I need to do anything special before I start directing my vent there?
I'll be sure to do the standard smoke test using a coloured smoke bomb,

Thanks again
M

 
Glenn Herbert
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Once you confirm that the flue does not leak and is sound, I think you will be good to go. The exhaust temperature will be much lower than a standard wood fired combustion unit, so it should be safe.
 
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