New to heating stoves

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New to heating stoves

Postby skeast » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:10 am

I am about to get a friend to put a multi fuel stove in my existing fire place. Well it is going in the space, I never had a fire there, it was boarded up. I will be using it as a secondary heating source as have a new combi boiler for central heating which keeps the house comfortable. Stove is a bit of a luxury, to be used when we are home at weekends and evenings. After my last gas bill I am hoping it will save a bit of ££ in the long run too.

Looking for any tips and hints for a new stove owner, including regarding installation. He says he can get builders ton bags of off cut wood for £30 and logs for £40 so was going to get one of each and mix them up, maybe some coal ? Also I have access to loads of shredded paper from school, is it worth trying to make those compressed log things ? What about 'accessories' ? just a poker or do I need to get the whole tongs, brush, shovel set thingy ? I dont have a lot of spare time for collecting up and chopping wood, so not about to forage it all sadly.

Any ideas will be most gratefully taken on.

Thanks

Sarah :flower:
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby oldjerry » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:42 am

Welcome to the forum.
In the UK there are now lots of (largely irrelevant) regs surrounding installation of multi-fuel stoves,so,if you want to resell your gaff,or are the kind of person who likes things done 'properly' check your friend knows what they're doing.
Fuel-wise, the shredded paper things are crap,and how long does it take to cut up a free pallet? BWs
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:55 am

Offcuts can be great value fuel. I'd suggest you try to avoid any treated or painted woods though.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby Odsox » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:27 am

skeast wrote:What about 'accessories' ? just a poker or do I need to get the whole tongs, brush, shovel set thingy ?

A brush is very handy especially if you're going to burn wood, as the ash is easier to brush through the grate (when cold of course), also a shovel to get the ash out that misses the ash pan, but not necessarily one of those twee ones you get in a companion set.
I have never used tongs, even though I have a pair, so I would say just a "proper" fire shovel, a poker and a brush.

As OJ says, paper logs are crap, takes ages to make, ages to dry out and don't burn well.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby GeorgeSalt » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:14 pm

skeast wrote:I am about to get a friend to put a multi fuel stove in my existing fire place.


Is your friend HETAS registered? - if not,think about how you will get building regulations signed off. You may have difficulty selling your house if you don't have the HETAS certificate and proof that building regulations were complied with. Others may have different opinions, but I would walk away from a house without the right paperwork or make sure I was discounting the purchase price to allow for me to have it removed, inspected and reinstalled.

How much wood are you getting for that price? - the best we can get locally is £60-80 per cubic meter, and even as secondary heat source we're finding (in our first year with this stove) that we need to budget for at least 7 cubic metres per winter (previous stove burned mostly anthracite). Think about how you can store this much wood in advance of winter. Over the summer we managed to collect a couple of cubic metres, but that will need to season and may not be ready for next winter - and this requires extra storage space.

If it's a genuine multifuel that will burn hard fuels efficiently (allows air through the grate), anthracite is very convenient for keeping a fire in 24/7.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby Crickleymal » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:28 pm

We use a lot of pallet wood which we get locally from one industrial estate (we have asked the people who own the building) and get hardwood logs for about £2 for a bag full. Occasionally I put some coal on to get things really hot to burn off any tar.

As for installation, we looked at doing it ourselves but to apply for building reg approval type work costs about £150 round here so it was easier to get someone in to install it and give us the certificate. It costs us about £225 which included getting the register plate made.

We have the CH on in the morning and evening for a couple of hours and use the stove for the rest of the time.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby oldjerry » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:31 pm

The building regs stuff only applies to stoves installed fairly recently,so if yours has been there since before you had the place.....................Bear in mind people have been using these things for donkeys,and as long as you have some decent ventilation,and the unit seals well all should be well,this is obviously anathema to people more responsible than I am,but I lived with woodburners for over 50yrs and to be honest,unless you do something stupid,you're far more at risk cutting the wood up.Still,if you're concerned get one of those fume alarms from B and Q.

I've always found loads of unwanted pallets,as CM says,cruise your local industrial estate....you can get 8 on the roof of a volvo estate(2 stacks of4).............that may well be illegal too.......
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby The Riff-Raff Element » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:16 am

oldjerry wrote:I've always found loads of unwanted pallets,as CM says,cruise your local industrial estate....you can get 8 on the roof of a volvo estate(2 stacks of4).............that may well be illegal too.......


Nah. I'm pretty confident that Volvo estates are still legal.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby Thurston Garden » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:35 am

I put a Morso Squirrel in the straw hoose and despite the insulation, the Squirrel is too small. It's the only form of heating and it's a big volume of air to heat, being open plan and full height ceilings under the roof. The regs up here state that you can't put in a stove with more than 5kW output without dedicated external ventilation. I was not cutting holes in the floor to let cold air in so 5kW was the max. It is not helped by having a back boiler which takes half the stove heat away to the thermal store. In due course I might well put in a bigger stove. I think you can have a work around the ventilation aspect by having a dedicated ventilation pipe through the external wall right into the stove.

One thing I don't like about the Squirrel is it's multi fuel capability. Without keeping a coal heart in, it's difficult to burn economically with wood. The grate is dished down and logs just don't sit in it well - all the log ash drops through the grate and you loose the heart in the fire. It won't stay in overnight on wood alone, so a load of coal needs to be added on the colder nights when I want to keep it in. Burning coal (them wee nougat things, not house coal) slowly overnight really dirties the glass door up.

I will need to do some better research on a new stove in due course. I think a wood only stove might be the way ahead for me.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby GeorgeSalt » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 pm

I had a Squirrel at a previous house (the cleanheat version), without the back boiler it's a very effciient stove and could heat most of the house via convection (two-up, two-down terrace - the only bit it couldn't heat was the extension off the back). But I did run it on anthracite over winter - the grate area just isn't large enough for wood to keep a fire in.

We've had a Charnwood Island II put in at this house, again no boiler. One thing that made that the one to have for me is the rotating grate that does good service for wood and hard fuels. Worth looking at the Charnwood range if considering a swap.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby oldjerry » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:27 pm

I've had a squirrel and the bigger Dove,NEITHER stay in well with wood,never thought about the shape of the grate,that's good thinking.Very good stoves even so,apart from a rayburn,what will stay in on wood?
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby Zech » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:57 pm

I don't know anything about squirrels, but when we got a secondhand mulitfuel stove (Charnwood, with boiler) we took out the grate (most of it was missing anyway) and replaced it with a couple of fire bricks scrounged from an old storage heater. It's now wood only (haven't tried burning coal in it, and would rather not). We can't keep it in overnight, but the point of the back boiler is so we get a nice store of hot water and can have the heating on in the morning instead. It kind-of works.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby oldjerry » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:25 pm

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
oldjerry wrote:I've always found loads of unwanted pallets,as CM says,cruise your local industrial estate....you can get 8 on the roof of a volvo estate(2 stacks of4).............that may well be illegal too.......


Nah. I'm pretty confident that Volvo estates are still legal.



(stupid grinning thing)...........you aint seen my Volvo!!
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby skeast » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:53 pm

What are the differences between wood only and multi fuel stoves ? What does each offer and why would you choose/avoid it ?

See a total newbie to all this. Thanks.
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Re: New to heating stoves

Postby GeorgeSalt » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:51 pm

skeast wrote:What are the differences between wood only and multi fuel stoves ? What does each offer and why would you choose/avoid it ?

See a total newbie to all this. Thanks.


The difference is in the grate.
- Coal, anthracite and other hard fuels need a supply of air from below, coming up through the fuel, in order tip burn efficiently. they need an open grate.
- Wood needs to lie in a bed of it's own ashed to burn efficiently. It needs a flat, closed grate.

Some fires have grates can rotate through positions where they either allow or restrict the flow of air from beneath, some allow you to swap between different grates, others are fixed as one or the other or some half-way compromise between the two.

What you need depends what fuel(s) you will have available and whether this will be a primary or secondary source of heating. Don't underestimate how much fuel you'll get through, even if you're only planning on having it lit for a couple of hours in the evening.
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