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Roman Hypocausts

DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
so I did some looking on my shelves and came up with a nice chapter on these from an 1845 book, which you can now find in the Library. It's under <I>Very</I> Old Systems.

It's a very informative piece.
Retired and loving it.


  • jw
    jw Member Posts: 62
    Russian fireplaces

    We are still installing the hypocaust systems! Only now they are vertical, rather than horizontal. Call 'em russian or finnish fireplaces. Have an aquaintance that heated a 1600' home with one on 2 cord of wood. In Montana! Down side is that it takes a special mason who is knowledgeable to build one and they are massive, so no easy retrofits.

    My sweetie wants one of these in her next home, as well as warm floors. I plan on doing some integration so that I can have both and automate them.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    Did you

    enjoy that? Isn't that a great article?
    Retired and loving it.
  • BillW@honeywell
    BillW@honeywell Member Posts: 1,099
    I've mentioned this Discovery Channel show before...

    Some engineer/historian/archaeology/hvac types recently built a 2/3 scale working replica of one in Turkey, complete with a copper boiler exactly copied from a Roman original they found in Syria. They used as close to ancient techniques as they could, and only had to compromise on the mortar they used to attach the marble slabs that lined the bath. They didn't have time to wait for it to cure, so they used modern sealants. The system worked beautifully! Tending the numerous small fires must have been a miserable job for the slave who had to do it, but I suppose it was preferable to becoming lion chow in the Coloseum!
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884

    I tried to open it and could'nt.

    I opened others but could'nt get the Roman file open.


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  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    I scanned it

    using the same settings as the others. What are you seeing on your screen?
    Retired and loving it.
  • Wardner
    Wardner Member Posts: 20
    Been there, Done that

    I have built two of them using recycled bricks and fire bricks. I am not a mason. Like anything else, you just have to take care in what you are doing. I became intersted 30 years ago after reading articles in the Mother Earth News. My only cost was the mortar. I had an unlimited supply of brick

    In severely cold weather, they may require two firings that last about 30-45 minutes. Temps in the 30s and 40 require one. It is best to build a long fire box so that you can use trash wood. This means demoed building materials or small branches that litter a wood lot. Wood waste is better because it burns hotter and faster than cord wood.

    A google search will lead to numerous sites.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    I'll try again

    but when I tried it yesterday, it gave me a blank screen and said "done".

    I tryed the slave ship and that opened, and may I say " Wow ". What man has done to man :(.


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  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    It might also be

    a pop-up blocker or your firewall that's causing the problem, Scott. Alex Marx ran into that.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mike Reavis_2
    Mike Reavis_2 Member Posts: 307
    The Romans in Britain

    One of my early memories was of visiting an excavation with my mom somewhere in England. The archaeologist let us get up close to the mosaic floors, and took a moment to tell my brother and myself about how the Romans kept themselves warm in that climate. Thanks for helping me bring that memory back to mind. I think my mom still has the pamphlet, and a coin.

  • Jimmy Gillies
    Jimmy Gillies Member Posts: 250
    Romans didn't make it this far north.

    Well, it's not a great claim to fame, but the Romans didn't make it this far north in the UK. We had our own 'Dark Ages' going on when most of the UK was part of Roman Empire.

    They were a great race of people, but they just could not stand our food, like deepfried Mars bars ! So they put up a big wall to keep us at bay.

    In fact the Romans did not invade by force. They would say to local tribes ''Want to join us, look at what we can offer''. A bit like Tony Soprano (MBO also do great work).
    Thanks for reading.

    Kind regards.
    Jimmy Gillies
This discussion has been closed.