Multi fuel stoves etc

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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249624 boboff
Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Yellow pages, look under sweep, get it swept, talk to the sweep, take recommendations, act on those or not.

They are normally under a registration scheme, they can be a bit jobsworth, but if you speak to neighbours you might get a good recommendation. They are in and out of houses with new systems, old systems etc so are a fantastic source of information, what people did before the internet?? Or have I missed the point again! Lol!
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249627 scotsmart
Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:48 pm

Boboff
Great suggestion if only that simple? in the Highlands it doesnt quite work that way, sourcing or finding anything about here is undoubtedly a real battle ! i have yet to workout why though? it is very apparent however that there is a massive shortage of all trades as far out as we are and those that are here either dont want or need work??? (we have tried and failed to get a decorator, artexr and several other trades the only person we could get was a gentleman of dubious origins who would of taken on all we wanted doing but in conversation clearly didnt know what he was talking about, and in anycase when asked over a month ago, couldnt fit us in untill mid Feb next year :dontknow: ) whether because we are incomers, unknowns who knows we came here for the peace and quiet the no neighbours so wont let it affect us the big issue seems to be that there are few trades and nowadays nobody will travel we are 40 mls out of the nearest town (Fort William) i still am amazed by this as we are told daily how many dont have a job? yet offer cash in hand over so many trades and we cant get any done (we desperately need an artexer to redo the horribly done ceilings before we can decorate yet in 7 weeks cant get a plasterer or artexer for love or money)

This is what i meant however by getting some idea of the route to acheive my goal/s i will today ring around and see if i cant get the services of a sweep if for no other reason than to pick their brains also in a bid to find an amicable solutuion.


As always great advise which will be acted upon, must take the dog out fo her walk done the beautiful foreshore of our silver sands beach the reason we came here and make the most of the dry, sunny day (the first in a week or so :sunny:


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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249638 Zech
Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:00 pm

I know exactly what you mean about not being able to find tradespeople when you first move to an area. We've moved just over a year ago and it's getting easier now, as we get to know more people. The trouble is, it's the first year when you need most work done, isn't it?

If you just want emergency back-up, have you considered a gas heater running off bottled gas? It's not very eco, but it is cleaner than coal. You can get freestanding propane heaters designed for use in garages and workshops, or you could have a standard gas fire running off bottled gas. You'd need somewhere to store the bottle outdoors, for safety, though I'm not sure if that applies to small bottles - I guess there must come a point where it's not an issue. If you want to heat a whole house all the time, you'll need a huge tank of gas. We had gas central heating running off a big tank in the garden, which had to be filled every so often (we didn't use it long enough to find out how often). This doesn't really get you away from depending on other people for supply in bad weather - this time last year we were running low and the tanks couldn't get through because of the snow.

I'd also second what Boboff said about opening up the fireplace and getting the chimney swept. It is possible to buy brushes and do it yourself, but I don't know how difficult it is - haven't tried it myself (yet).

We now have new central heating running off a wood burning stove with back boiler. We were very lucky and got a free second hand stove, but even so, the system is expensive. This is largely because I wanted underfloor heating, but other parts of the system were expensive too.

If you want to store heat from the stove so you can have the heating on when the fire's not lit (we wanted a couple of hours in the morning before having to light the fire, without having to worry about keeping it 'in' overnight), then you need a big water tank called a thermal store. This is more complicated than a normal water tank, and bigger, so more expensive. Ours is 350 litres, has inputs from both the stove and solar panels that we don't yet have, and supplies both heating and hot water. It cost £1600 inc VAT. Working out what size you need seems to be a dark art, and most people say bigger than you would possibly believe you need! It remains to be seen whether ours turns out to be too small.

There are different types of stoves with back boilers - some are clip-on and some are integrated. I believe the integrated ones are more efficient, but I don't know how much difference it makes. If you get a stove with integrated back boiler (ours is), it's not a good idea to light the fire when there's no water in the boiler because the boiler might warp and crack when it gets very hot. This means with this type of stove you have to install the system all at once - we asked that question, too.

Just as a point of reference, we have a two bedroom bungalow with just two adults living here, and our stove is 10 kW, which (by chance) is just about right. This is split 3 kW heat into the room and 7 kW to the water. It's a multifuel stove but we're burning just wood, so we're probably not getting so much power out of it as we would if we were burning coal too.

We find that cleaning it isn't too much of a hassle - sweep out about once a week (because we're only burning wood, it likes a bit of ash to sit on, so we replaced the grate that was in there with a couple of fire bricks from an old storage heater - good base for a wood fire and easy to brush out), but feeding it is a lot of work, especially if you happen to get a load of rubbish wood, as we did recently :(

One last thought, as my smoke alarm complains about its low battery (how do I make it shut up?! :angryfire: ), if you are burning stuff indoors, whether coal, wood, gas or whatever, you should have both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the house.
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249639 scotsmart
Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:40 pm

Racheal
Many, many thanks what you say and understand of our difficulties are appriciated as is your sense making post, which hopefully will guide me a bit farther just one point from it is that whilst we are aware of Calor mobile heaters i truly would do everything and anything to stay clear of them as on the whole you rightly state they are firstly not very eco, secondly i have an awesome fear of bottled gas to that extent in the home after seing firsthand the results of said bottled gas which was the primary reason my best schooltime friend was maimed for life when one blew up in his home, admittedly not common but when your there, involved and witness the horrific scenes i have i am sure you will understand my reluctance, gas outside is not so bad a propotion my only issue in it is in terms of a big tank Calor own the tank always, which leaves you tied for life to them thus they can and do charge what they want, where the idea is to cut costs after all :iconbiggrin: so unless i end having no affordable options i would initially discount gas quite fairly i do beleive!

The information in depth on multi- fuel stoves has been very helpfull it seems some say a system can be stage built some say you cant or shouldnt possibly im now wondering if its more down to a make rather than a rule per chance? its a great shame if not as i doubt we would ever be able to afford a full system well at least not as i would like anyway, in that case we would be back to the dreaded storage heaters full-time and a solid-fuel stove part-time as and when required (we are also researching generators as an emergency power source if possible).

Opening the fireplace as an old type open grate also isnt of great interest to be honest far to much work and mess invlolved in this type of open fire so out only route would i fear be a stove.

My reasearch continues but you have been a great help, still waiting on the ONLY semi local sweep to contact us back :dontknow: :dontknow:

Slanj

Ps. Re Carbon minoxide detectors i am an ex motorhomer so am fully aware and have one in the house at present but great point well put :cheers: :cheers: :thumbright:
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249640 Zech
Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:52 pm

scotsmart wrote:some say a system can be stage built some say you cant or shouldnt

Sorry if I didn't explain very clearly. What I was trying to say was that this depends on what type of stove you get. Some of them, like the one Contadina has, have the boiler as a separate part that can be attached later. This kind is OK to install in stages. Others, like my one, have the boiler built into the stove. This kind is not OK to install in stages.

scotsmart wrote:Opening the fireplace as an old type open grate also isnt of great interest to be honest far to much work and mess invlolved in this type of open fire so out only route would i fear be a stove.

In my experience, a stove makes just as much mess as an open fire.

scotsmart wrote:Ps. Re Carbon minoxide detectors i am an ex motorhomer so am fully aware and have one in the house at present but great point well put :cheers: :cheers: :thumbright:

Ah, I did wonder if I might be teaching Granny to suck eggs with that one, but always best to mention it!
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249644 scotsmart
Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:18 pm

Ah ok possible a bit of me being thick also, great that makes a BIG difference (getting like a yo-yo) but keeping me busy changing my research criteria i will be a proffessional soon at this rate myself a firm beleiver in knowledge is king of course :iconbiggrin:

Im happier now that i might yet be able to then do as i want to anyone know if Clearview is one of the manufacturers whose products can be stage built as a good few now have pointed out their products as being the ones to go for.

Am i right in pressuming that a plumber would be able to fit these or do they require a specialist fitter to do it correctly/safely..

(still waiting on sweep he must be busy :dontknow: :iconbiggrin: )


:flower:
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249645 Zech
Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:32 pm

From the Clearview website:
The unique modular construction of Clearview's stoves allows various boilers to be fitted at any time.
so that sounds like a yes :iconbiggrin:

A plumber should be able to fit this, but we had some trouble finding a plumber who sounded like he knew this sort of system well enough to design one. I spent a great deal of time researching them myself and spent quite a lot of time chasing the plumber who sounded like he knew what he was talking about, until he eventually gave us a quote and did the work. Sorry not to be more encouraging, but it has taken a while.

That reminds me of something else I meant to say. Like you, we were very keen to have heat in case of power cuts, so didn't want a system that relies on electricity. There are two options for how to get the water from your stove to radiators/thermal store, pumped or thermosyphon. Thermosyphon systems (also known as gravity systems) work on the principle that heat rises, so don't need electricity. You'd generally want the thermal store higher than the stove for this kind of system, but it's not essential - ours are on the same level. I can tell you more about the details if you like, but I'm trying to resist giving you the "benefit" of all my research all in one go! :study: :study: :study:

The circuit that takes the hot water out of the thermal store and round the underfloor heating is pumped, and I'm not sure you can avoid that, unless you want a stove in the cellar, but in a power cut at least we can light the fire without fear of the water in the back boiler... boiling.
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249647 scotsmart
Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:53 pm

Zech many thanks :iconbiggrin: im currently waiting on Clearview's glossy brochures coming in the post its all very exciting (how sad are we :dontknow: ) all i want for Christmas is to be off the grid, off the grid, off the grid :cheers: :king:

I am happy to receive any of your research, all information is good, in my view its how its used of course that matters i would counter :roll: :roll:

I have it on good authority that the Clearview ones are what i want being that they can and will burn all week easily on a bag of anthracite and need cleaned out only as often which is very appealing to say the least, i can remember my old coal fire in a house i used to rent that we used to have to light every morning which is far less appealing and we would prefer to avoid if at all possible? at least initially when it would only be the stove operating ?? what size of stove would be the prefered size then for a 3apt cottage?

(a small side note any idea as to the laws regarding fallen trees and driftwood collection? as there is a plentiful supply all over the place locally here which would certainly help massively with what to burn)

For now again thanks, looking forward to your next installment :grouphug:


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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249653 Thomzo
Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:06 pm

Back to an earlier comment, I think you asked somewhere (I can't find it now) if you could use plastic plumbing fittings with a stove. When I looked into it (albeit over 10 years ago) the answer was definitely not. You can't stop control the heat of the water coming out of the stove so it may be far too high for the system to cope with.

Unfortunately, lack of local suppliers/trades is one downside of living in a rural area that many people don't consider when making the move. Think of it as all being part of the slower pace of life.

Not a cheap option and probably not very eco but what about a gel fire if you can't face a gas one? Just as a short term measure until you get the fire opened up and working.

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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249670 scotsmart
Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:59 am

Zoe
A gel fire??? never heard of one "expand"?

And your so dead right that people moving to rural areas do not properly understand the lack of everything really over more populated areas, we moved from Loch Lomond to Lochaber so we had nine years there dealing with a few similar issues and coped well it has to be said after we had both all be it seperately spent a total of 40 years in and around Glasgow where nothing was a problem but nobody warned us, nobody let on just how dire it really is, and lets be brutally honest when you view a property do you really ask "is there sufficient tradesmen about" i can tell you that you dont, we thought we had covered every base after a truly horrific time laterly at our previous location, hence my intrests were more in where the property was? how many neighbours? where the nearest hospital was? crime figures? shpos? etc the last and only thing i apparently did check was is there a workforce, its surely at least from a council/ha point of view not beyond the realms of sensibility as our landlords to point this out to us, a bit like our only other bug bear here in that its come to light only i may add due to us wishing to move a fence, and widen the mouth of the driveway to the property that in actual fact the driveway doesnt belong to this property nor the HA as my landlord not withstanding the fact its been used for yonks as one, apparently i should of asked if the driveway belonged to the house also :dontknow: :dontknow: (really in the realworld you just wouldnt and dont but im not going to let it spoil or ruin our otherwise ideal home the biggest factor in us accepting this property was the view, the only one neighbour and the overal location with did i say only one neighbour and really nobody for about a mile :iconbiggrin: :iconbiggrin: and beleive me it will take one hell of a lot more than these few minor things to put us off)

Shame that you beleive plastic piping isnt able to be used though, far easier to get around than any copper stuff and easier to hide must check into that one but i suppose on reflection probably quite logical, hadnt thought about it like that i was just thinking hot water :dontknow:

And yet another think, the hot water tank does this have o go behind the stove/fire as in the storage tank as there is very little space here not a great sized cottage, we have our current hot water cylinder in a cupboard to the righthand side of the fireplace as it currently is, i take it we would also have to construct a proper hearth also as we currently only have one of these fake solid fuel stoves (electric) sitting on two fancy garden concrete slabs, which dont get me wrong looks the part but i doubt would be suitable..


Again many thanks for the points raised all good brain fodder more to suss out and consider


Slanj
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249683 boboff
Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:59 am

If you call any sweep or heating engineer in June, he'll be straight there!

This is the worst time of year for trades like these, as everyone waits to the last minute, and the bad weather to get stuff done, and then it's a mad panic to get it done in time for Christmas.

You need to forget about being off grid at Christmas, 2012 maybe.

Best way to find Tradesman in a rural location....Pub. Well really pretty much the only way in my experience, it takes a few months of drinking three or five times a week, but if you are really commited like me, then it will be ok! Make sure you go around Tea time as well, early doors.
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249695 The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:50 am

boboff wrote:
Best way to find Tradesman in a rural location....Pub. Well really pretty much the only way in my experience, it takes a few months of drinking three or five times a week, but if you are really commited like me, then it will be ok! Make sure you go around Tea time as well, early doors.


Or small ads in shop windows. Might want to make sure they are proper ones, not cowboys. But I think Boboff's idea is better.

The central heating run off from our stove uses plastic pipes. Not the immediate offtake because that is under pressure, but after the expansion vessel the run switches from heavy grade copper and braised joints to heavy duty plastic with brass screw fittings. Couldn't tell you whether that was someting used in the UK.

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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249709 scotsmart
Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:12 pm

Yeah
Great idea, about the pubs hadnt thought about that well done you ( take it your a local tradesman :iconbiggrin: ) would never of thought of that in a million years, sadly as we are both teatotallers but might be a venue for dinner for a few nights, take it im looking for a pub with lots of vans in its carpark then .... no doubt my luck would be they are all smokers hanging about outside and we dont smoke :iconbiggrin: :hugish: (not even it would seem as yet via our chimney)

You are of course probably right in that everyone wants these guys all at once due to it being way colder now, dashed this winter indeed, all these tasks, what ifs and questions are holding us up to a great degree with other stuff cant decorate until we sort out whether were installing a stove or not? then we need an artexer/plasterer to sort the god awful badly artexed ceilings throughout, why oh why is life so hard? ( i knew my idea of a residential caravan was the best anyway :cheers: )

Onwards and upwards hopefully, Christmas 2014 might be the Christmas we sit around a stove in this cottage at this rate :hugish: not to worry Rome wasnt built in a day or so i keep getting told but at least they had a workforce to build it lol :dontknow:


Again helpfull advise, guess who is eating out tonight ...


Slanj


Ps still waiting in the sweep calling ? busy busy man this you know :dontknow:
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249710 scotsmart
Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:20 pm

Quote - "Or small ads in shop windows. Might want to make sure they are proper ones, not cowboys. But I think Boboff's idea is better"

Tried all that and on local Facebook, sales and Freecycle groups its surely like the secret service here abouts, in a country that is in ressession, that has millions out of work offering cash in hand employment, one would of thought it would be relatively simple apparentely the Highlands doesnt come into these stastistics they have to much work, they wont travel to work, and dont advertise that they do, all very cloak and dagger indeed, we are beginning to wonder if its really more down to the old "incomers syndrome" that is causing us most of our problems or a mixture of that plus the lady we swapped with to get this cottage, i think upset everyone locally, had not one nice word to say about anyone and mucked most about in one way or another, so whether when the address details are given this is what stops trades coming i dont know but im starting to think this house is cursed .......


Slanj
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Re: Multi fuel stoves etc

Post: #249719 boboff
Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:12 pm

I don't really know why I am replying but I will try and give you a more possitive view.

You live 40 miles from "city" thats an 80 mile round trip, so thats £25 in fuel and say 90 minutes travelling or for a workman £30 of his time, so thats £55.

It's not personal, but would you come a running, after doing this 20 or so times and being "messed" around, with absolutely no work to show for it, moans and groans all the way through, and people generally treating them like they are "cowboys" and out to rip you off.

There is another side to all these Watchdog / Rip Off britain style "entertainment" programs you know.

I used to deliver logs and stopped because for £50 a load people wanted them cut at 6 inches, could not understand that the lanes were frozen and I could not move them for 2 weeks, and then phoned me on bloody Boxing day giving me grief, I really am lucky that I don't need the money that bad.

We live in Cornwall, and Kelts are very insular I know, but it is funny that what sets apart people who are accepted and those who are not, is those people's attitudes, if you continually see the slight's being made, and the "syndromes" and the unfairness of everything you seem to, then honestly I can understand why people might shy away a bit............ I am trying to be nice, I know it might not seem so, but I just have this vision of you going into the Pub, and, well, you know, being an Uber Manic Noob, and then when you don't get anywhere after spending £30 on crap food in a freezing cold Bar, with smelly blokes who swear, or worse the place is empty, you leave with no telephone numbers and blame me!!!

So anyway, I have said it now, and I am HONESTLY just trying to say, please calm down, breath, remember the Emperor probably thought about building Rome for 5 years or so, whilst he went to the Pub, and lived his life, travelled, read books, researched travelled, waited for the Rental boom in Bethlehem to die down, then found his workers and built Rome!

Anyway, enjoy your soup in a basket! ( Do they still chain up the swings on a Sunday where you live?)
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