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  1. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    When you look at the cost of the masonry heater being part of the cost of building your house and being tied in with the morgage. It is no different then upgrading your kitchen or any other upgrade to a house. What does a nice fireplace cost extra or a swimming pool? I don't remember what my chimney cost extra when the house was built, but I'm sure it would seem a lot to me now if I had to pay out of pocket.

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  2. Burn-1

    Burn-1 Feeling the Heat

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    Lakes Region, NH
    There is one other important if not vital thing to consider with all of the talk of money and payback.

    Marty, or anyone else with a masonry heater, is making a fractionally larger long-term payment, (added pro-rata principal and interest due to masonry heater), in return for receiving short-term benefits, such as decreased wood consumpton, a cleaner chimney, few needed replacement parts and a safe comfortable heat source which doesn't need much tending so it's a nice thing to have now. But if the world went to crap it would be great to have since you can get heat, cooking, and hot water with few moving parts. So it's not only an investment, it's also a hedge against risk.

    A payment in return for decreased risk and more certainty with regard to return on investment is called insurance And if one takes a look at it that way then these look even better as 'investments'.
  3. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    And thank you, Burn-1:

    The same cannot be said about, say, adding a nice expensive swimming pool to your home?

    Aye,
    Marty
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We could have installed a cement patio and Pergo floors in our house and saved about $10K, but I wouldn't have been happy with either choice. Instead, we chose to invest in quality, longevity and aesthetics. The overall effect has nicely increased the value of our house as well.

    Marty not only increased his personal pleasure and comfort, but he has also increased the value of his home. I consider the masonry stove a (literally) solid investment.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    LOL :lol:

    There are some out there that would say the world has already gone to crap. Visit a Walmart lately?
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    If the world went to crap and we all went over to Marty's to keep warm, would that mean we'd only be able to get Budweiser to bring along?


    That's the sign that the world truely has gone down hill.

    Personally, I haven't been to a Walmart in about 2 years, but that's because I live dead in the middle of two each about 30 miles away. Che Target' is closer...and we still don't go there much.
  7. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Dylan:

    Here's "one of my stories" for you about an advantage of having a swimming pool beside storing water, just in case...

    Years ago I lived in an area in the West know for its occasional forest fires (this is a wood burning forum, right?). I had a modest size swimming pool. I like and collected what I considered nice wines. One year, sure enough, a nasty fire took a bead on my home and neighbors. I had enough time to scrape up some valuables, place my wine collection in the pool, which was at a reasonable temperature, and high tail it. Unfortunately, the fire burned down the house as well as a couple of my neighbors' (not from my fireplace insert at the time; from the forest fire).

    When allowed back to it, excited to see if my wines were OK, I dove in my pool and grabbed a bottle to see if the supply had survived the fire. The bottle was intact, so I opened and tasted it. To my relief, it was wonderful!

    Then, as I held it, the label slid off. ALL the labels slid off...

    I could tell red from white, burgundy from bordeaux, but that was about it.

    After, it was like opening a Christmas present almost every day...

    Aye,
    Marty

    Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get."

    Grandpa used to say, "So many wines, so little time..."
  8. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Let's see.....about 90% of Americans pass through Wal Mart stores in a one month time period.......
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Oh that's a sad statement if true. I've been in a Walmart twice. Once about 15 yrs ago and once about 6 yrs ago. That's enough for a lifetime.

    Thus my signature...
  10. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    NW MI near nowhere

    Dylan:

    I could volunteer this place to have our Forum group IF EVERYONE agreed (in writing) that they

    * would not poke anyone, or themselves, with a hot burning stick

    * could stand the heat in the kitchen

    * would not stay longer than 3 days.

    Anything else, I could handle.

    Aye,
    Mary

    Ben Franklin once said, "Fish and visitors stink after three days."
  11. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Great story! Hey, why couldn't you pump water from your pool to save your house? Too big an inferno?
  12. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    So-so house. Nice wine. I wanted to save the wine!

    Aye,
    Marty
  13. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    IOne question I just posted on a seperate thread - is it possible to put forced draft on a Masonry heater, so that you can build a longer exhaust path? That way, you could get more heat out (ie increase efficiency)?
  14. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Anton:

    The unit gets outside air, the plumbing for which I did not include in my $25K costs figure. Mine has a HD manual damper located at floor level at the base of the chimney. An upgrade, more $$ for sure, would have been to have an automatic, electronic or barometric damper installed high on the chimney inside just before it penetrates the ceiling and roof. This way, when the damper is closed, more heat is trapped proximally (between the ceiling damper and mainfloor heater) and, thus, heat transfer to the room would be improved (but hard to quantify since it heats so well as is).

    I have not heard of forced draft in these systems. To my thinking this would work against you for getting more heat since the (extra) air being added would have a cooling effect, decrease time for heat transfer to masonry or chimney, yada.

    What is available (it's all custom, limited to $ and space) is a longer efferent pathway (aka smoke path) between heater exit channels and the beginning of the chimney; i.e., sitting benches, plate warmers, etc. which would add more warmed surface area to generate more radiant heat. I didn't have the space for this, and, according to some, I'd be too chincy to do it anyway (and, besides, I'm lookin' at another boat).

    Aye,
    Marty
  15. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    Marty-

    I've always wondered... is there any chimney maintenance to speak of in your masonry unit... does it have a cleanout setup and how much creasote do you get/year... I suppose a fire in the heat exchanger would be a boon in that thing.

    Also All,
    Here is one of my favorite masonry heater links (Russian):
    http://www.stove.ru/index.php?lng=1&rs=3

    -Marty
  16. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Marty (and Dylan - here's another story):

    Since it burns so hot, there is virtually no creosote so nothing to ignite in the heat exchangers. This has been verified by the same chimney sweep on his annual visits, usually May.

    Besides the chimney top brushing down, there are two cleanout ports (one 8" x 8", one 8" x 12") with cast iron doors located floor level in one horizontal run of a heat exchanger on one side and the other at the base of the chimney distal to the manual damper on the other side.

    "Fly ash, it's clean" is all he reports, then hands me the bill.

    I'd do it myself except I fell off a ladder in '67 painting my garage breaking both forearms. Had those external "pins" holding things together. Needed help in the bathroom but the good news was I got to know my secretary real well.

    Well, I'm here now to tell you I don't climb on ladders or roofs anymore except rarely to rescure my neighbors cat.

    Aye,
    Marty
  17. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the info.
    I can see from your list eariler that while falling off a ladder might be pleasant, it can also get pretty expensive. But these are the sacrifices we have to make sometimes to budget for a long term investment.

    My grandmother used to always say: "You have to eat a bushel full of dirt before you die, so go ahead and enjoy the picnic."
  18. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Marty:

    Sounds like my grandma.

    Aye,
    Marty
  19. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    Right, mine's just not as prolific. She did know how to survive though, until the day she died.
  20. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Marty:

    Last I thought about it, everybody's doing it.

    If I have a choice, I'll take all my dirt right at the end. And, now I'm thinking about that, perhaps it's best if we take some dirt each day since we mortals usually don't know when the end will come. Now I think that's a good thing.

    Aye,
    Marty

    Who said, "It's not over 'till the fat lady sings" ?
  21. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not sure if she ment you had to eat it all at once or over the long hall but after she told me that, I fretted less, so I took it as good enough advice.
    As to what they say about the fat lady, if they are wrong I'll meet you for a drink after the show, and don't bother to wash out the glasses.
  22. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    More on PAYBACK:

    As future energy costs increase (is there any doubt of this?), payback will be shortened each year.

    Some masonry heaters can be put in fairly modestly. Some wood stoves cost nearly as much.

    If you opt for lots of masonry for the design effect ($$$), payback is estimated at no more than purchased art.

    On insurance: how about independence from power interruptions?

    Consider the sense of calm and appreciation, with opportunity, for those (few) "in the know".


    Aye,
    Marty
  23. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    Funny you mention power interruptions. We've been having heavy wind storms here in WA, many people have been without power. It feels so good knowing that if my power goes out I'll be ready. Have oil lamps in the house, good books to read, and a woodstove to keep me warm. :D

    -Kevin
  24. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    It seems to me the real big advantage of masonry heaters is in the reduced pollution and more importantly, fuel consumption. Although the eaiser tending characteristics are highly desireable to be sure.

    It is a wonderful thing that wood/corn/pellett burners use local sustainable energy sources that do not fiddle with the atmosphere's natural cycles, but if the percentage of them were to increase to any appreciable degree we would be faced with polution and fuel scarcity problems that far exceed those that origionally led to the masonry heaters development.
  25. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Easier tending? Many people consider starting fires a pain... Isn't having to start 2 fires every day and gather kindling, paper, etc... to start things a bit of a pain vs just tossing splits into a running fire every so often?
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