Journey to wood burning heaven

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  • Journey to wood burning heaven
  • Premier Icon cb
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    Loads of threads from people asking advice, so thought I’d share my experiences, I’m not an expert and DIY was not an option for me!

    Few quick pointers: –

    – If you are sure you want a wood burner – get your supply and storage sorted in advance. I didn’t!!
    – Read up on Part J of the regs – leaves you less open to BS from installers
    – Know what YOU want, not what is easiest for the installer
    – Invite quotes from several installers and obtain their details from a postcode search on HETAS website

    Our house is quite modern being built in 1996. We didn’t want a ‘traditional’ looking stove. This is what we had – in need of updating – TICK
    P1020166 by craigbart, on Flickr

    I wonder what’s behind here…
    P1020462 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Chimney OK? – TICK
    P1020460 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Get several quotes, get told all kinds of BS, finally find a guy to trust – TICK
    P1020633 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Wouldn’t go for your lunch just yet mate – that lintel is 6 inches too low – TICK
    P1020634 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Boards in
    P1020635 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Was it a messy day – TICK
    P1020632 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Was it worth it? We all have our own tastes, but yes I think it was!!
    P1020644 by craigbart, on Flickr

    Now to decorate and get a new carpet! I’m happy to recommend the fitter I used for anyone Cheshire / North West based.

    Premier Icon geoffj
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    Nice that – although it may heat the room better if it wasn’t quite so setback into the old fireplace.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    True enough but it doesn’t struggle to heat the room! Setting it back was all part of the look that we wanted and its always going to be a secondary heat source.

    hooli
    Member

    Looks great, very understated which I like.

    If only we had a chimney

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    hooli – perfectly possible to use the rear flue (or indeed top) exit on the stove and straight to an outside wall. They can “make” a chimney for you! Can also be done indoors – straight up through the roof space although that seems a bit of an arse to me.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
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    Morso S10-40? Cracking stove.

    I’ve got the wall hung version of it, prone to breaking the big rear firebrick but otherwise great.

    [/url]
    DSCF0373 by LOVATSTOVES, on Flickr[/img]

    I didn’t have a chimney either hooli, I now have a great radiator upstairs though 🙂

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Bedmaker – I looked at that model as well, it was my preferred choice and I think I emailed you about it ages ago as I’d seen your photo in another thread! Yes it is the S10-40. We were told by an installer that the wall hung version wouldn’t be suitable for our situation. I was told many things – very few of them true!

    I now need to get building / buying wood stores…

    hooli
    Member

    Thanks, I am aware that they can do it without a chimney but it adds a significant amount to the cost and I quite like the look of the stove going up a chimney.

    Saying that, bedmakers looks pretty good.

    Premier Icon dmorts
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    RE your thread title, I do hope it’s not literal http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9788546/Woodburner-pollution-can-be-fatal.html

    I love a wood burner but this study is quite compelling. It doesn’t seem to discriminate between one being in your house or whether it’s the reduction overall air pollution outside though

    I now need to get building / buying wood stores…

    A couple of fenceposts and some rope will do at a pinch (and a bit of tarp to cover the top).

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    dmorts – I too couldn’t quite understand the conclusions. I think they are implying outdoor air quality. Certainly I can smell ours when I’m outside which I assume means that there are indeed particulates present. Doesn’t seem to be much other information on lifestyles of those who contracted the illnesses?

    If I turn off the wood burner, I use more gas and/or electricity. Can’t see that being a win.

    globalti
    Member

    Very nice but that plaster patch is going to crack all the way round the junction I’m afraid – don’t ask me how I know! You shoulda gone much further back.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    globalti – you mean horizontally away from the stove? The fireboard stuff comes right out to the edge of the recess and the stove is essentially ‘inset’. I did ask the installer about the plaster and he reckoned no problems…

    I am toying with getting that whole wall skimmed as its a bit ropey. Its not a traditional plasterboard wall, it has a paper type finish on it.

    Premier Icon somafunk
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    cb/bedmaker – nice looking stove, i particularly like the wall mounted option.

    They are a pain the arse to install but once fitted it’s all worth it, the heat and running costs/difference over an open fire is alarming.

    I went for an inset stove as my room is only 13ft square (approx), Cut and lay the rough slate hearth and level off the area where the stove will sit.
    Cut and bond the slate firesides to the wall making sure they are level and install the 21ft flue liner up the chimney and attach it to the pot (i had a telehandler to help wi this).

    Install stove, fix in to place with homemade wall brackets and level it, backfill with mixture of vermiculite and weak cement mix and fit flue pipe to rear, wait a few days then fire it up for the first time.

    Cut and fit top section of slate, bonded into place using adhesive leaving a shadow gap between sections, plaster the wall and fit homemade stainless surround, wait a few days for plaster to dry then fire it up and wallow in the heat whilst supping a whisky.

    It took me 3 weeks to fit as i didn’t have much free time and i had to leave a number of days to allow the hearth/sides etc to set between other work, well worth it though.

    All in it cost me just over £800 on stove/parts and materials so it was worth it. The 40mm slate for the surround i got for free as a mate shipped it over from last trip to Pakistan, a very nice marbled/almost snakeskin effect to it, the hearth is a lump of 60mm uneven slate i sand blasted for a uniform finish.

    Premier Icon dmorts
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    dmorts – I too couldn’t quite understand the conclusions. I think they are implying outdoor air quality. Certainly I can smell ours when I’m outside which I assume means that there are indeed particulates present. Doesn’t seem to be much other information on lifestyles of those who contracted the illnesses?

    If I turn off the wood burner, I use more gas and/or electricity. Can’t see that being a win.

    Gas and electric can be made in ways that produce fewer particulates.

    The reason I find it interesting is that it was published in the British Medical Journal which is peer reviewed, so the study will have been scrutinised some what. The sample sizes are entire towns so confounding variables like lifestyle etc. will be very much reduced as the sample covers a broad range and number of people.

    Why it doesn’t affect women could be either, men are outside more inhaling the smoke more often or, men are the ones lighting and stoking the fire therefore more exposed to smoke.

    Still wood burners are cracking, I would like one but that has made me think twice

    The way the wood is stacked around that stove in the article above could certainly be life threatening!.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    dmorts – could be a business opportunity there! Miniaturisation of scrubbing technologies – would have to be driven by regulation though…

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    cb – Member

    I think they are implying outdoor air quality.

    The air will smell lovely, therefore higher quality.

    globalti
    Member

    The plaster will crack due to differential expansion all along the joint between old and new plaster. I would skim the entire chimney breast, perhaps sticking that mesh tape stuff all along the junction first to try to hold it all together.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Dmorts- they can be – but are they really ?

    Most folk i know burn once a week if that anyway – it a fashion thing.

    I burn every day a if i didnt id be burning oil…..

    And global- yet to experiance this cracking you speak of.

    globalti
    Member

    What that study may not consider is the different design of woodburning stoves in Oz and the UK. Here, they are used for heat only and are usually placed inside a proper fire recess, feeding their fumes straight up into a flue built into the wall and exiting above the roofline. Any fumes that do escape the low pressure inside the stove would rise straight up into the top of the fireplace and find their way past the register plate and upwards. I’d be willing to bet that in Oz, woodburners are a variety of home-bodged contraptions inside rooms with no fireplace, with an opening on top for boiling water, feeding into a ropey pipe that goes up in free space then exits through the ceiling or out of the wall, in other words plenty of opportunities for fumes and particles to enter the atmosphere in the room and be inhaled.

    Edit: yes; our plaster cracked all the way around where the plasterer made good around the opening. I wish we had removed the plaster for several feet around the opening and re-skimmed with one single mass of plaster.

    The crack hadn’t appeared when we took this pic but it runs about 9″ back from the opening all the way around, thanks to the very high temperatures in the area around the stove and the differential expansion of old and new plaster.

    Another edit: It’s a multifuel stove and this was our first burn, using smokeless, before anybody points it out!

    trail_rat
    Member

    From this unsafe horror

    After removing the half a coal scuttle used as a register plate and the kerbstone used as a lintel

    Trial fit

    New rough cut slate hearth and rear exit flue

    Finished article kicking out some heat.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    What did you do with the wee dog trail rat? She’s a beaut!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Previous owner of the house took it with them when they moved …. Good job too as the old guy smoked like chimney…..

    Premier Icon bedmaker
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    Don’t forget a handy sweep access!! 😯 😆

    [/url]
    Sweep hatch by LOVATSTOVES, on Flickr[/img]

    trail_rat
    Member

    nice – i sweep top down atm but im tempted to fit a damper – as my stove disnae have one and a flue with a door in that vertical behind the stove. It does have a sweep door on the bottom of the T coming out the back of the stove but even the flexy flexy sweep brushes cant get in there.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
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    TR, you can get a clamp on flue access cover which allows you to cut a hole in an existing pipe wherever you want it. Very handy. It would save buying a new length of pipe.

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    What that study may not consider is the different design of woodburning stoves in Oz and the UK. Here, they are used for heat only and are usually placed inside a proper fire recess, feeding their fumes straight up into a flue built into the wall and exiting above the roofline. Any fumes that do escape the low pressure inside the stove would rise straight up into the top of the fireplace and find their way past the register plate and upwards. I’d be willing to bet that in Oz, woodburners are a variety of home-bodged contraptions inside rooms with no fireplace, with an opening on top for boiling water, feeding into a ropey pipe that goes up in free space then exits through the ceiling or out of the wall, in other words plenty of opportunities for fumes and particles to enter the atmosphere in the room and be inhaled.

    They’re actually quite civilized in Aus now you know. They have building regs and everything, some stricter than ours. Wood burners are also popular in New Zealand and I spent a while there. Every wood burner I saw in NZ was pretty much identical to the type I’ve seen people install in the UK and the ones in this thread.

    Regarding the ones in Aus, the study states

    During the late 1980s and early 1990s, wood stoves became increasing popular for home heating throughout Tasmania.

    So they were installed relatively recently which means they’re likely to have been installed to some form of regs

    Premier Icon dmorts
    Subscriber

    There is this image, which point more to outdoor cumulative affects.

    Still though, why does it affect men and not women? You’d think both are just as likely to be outdoors, but is it not more likely that a man tends to the burner? That’s the bit that worries me. Regardless, the study shows that biomass smoke is not good for you, especially if you’re a man

    You’d think both are just as likely to be outdoors, but is it not more likely that a man tends to the burner?

    I’m betting on this one, TBH. Simple proximity to the really hot smokey bits. Face in fire trying to get a damp log going, that kind of thing. Biological differences in response to environment seem a bit less likely.

    But what do I know, I’m not a doctor.

    BTW all the stoves in this thread look far too clean and tidy!

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Face in fire trying to get a damp log going”

    well thats just darwin at work then isnt it ?

    its not hard to keep a fireplace clean.

    soops
    Member

    Bedmaker. Is that hatch to get access to the sweep access on your flue pipe?
    If that’s your flue pipe then that wooden hatch is too close for the regs.
    Did you get a hetas cert after it was fitted?

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    It’s not mine!! Pic sent to me by my sweep this morning.

    Did you some poor mug get a hetas cert after it was fitted?

    I very much doubt it.

    soops
    Member

    Just thought I had better comment just incase.
    Another of the home installs on here looks like the flex is connected nearly direct on to the inset stove.
    I always put at least 300mm of flue on before the flex.

    trail_rat
    Member

    “Another of the home installs on here looks like the flex is connected nearly direct on to the inset stove.
    I always put at least 300mm of flue on before the flex”

    some stove instructions show otherwise

    Also – kennys in scotland.

    thank goodness for these sentence’s “In England and Wales installation work relating to domestic solid fuel, wood and biomass and the associated systems for heating, controls, hot water etc are subject to Building Regulations” and “The Building (Scotland) Act 2003 permits the design or construction of building work to be certified by qualified, experienced, and reputable building professionals and tradespeople as complying with the building regulations without the need for detailed scrutiny of designs or inspections by local authorities.”

    Got home last night to find the street in darkness and the house at 9degrees. Was quite happy sitting infront of the stove with the candles on – was still in darkness this morning , can only imagine what temperatures the neighbours are down to this morning.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    “Another of the home installs on here looks like the flex is connected nearly direct on to the inset stove.
    I always put at least 300mm of flue on before the flex”

    The stove manufacturer said a 6″ flex pipe adapter fitted using fire cement was more than sufficient for the type of stove design, and seeing as i used 904 grade stainless flex liner (rather than the inferior 304 grade) connected to a suitable rain cap n’ cowl i am perfectly satisfied that it will not cause any issues.

    With my choice of inset stove and bad design of fireplace/chimney it would have been near enough impossible to insert any length of rigid pipe up into the chimney void from the stove exhaust/register plate when fitting the stove due to the angle of the inner concrete chimney breast.

    Not every stove install/chimney breast is able to take a straightforward fitting such as you mentioned however that does not necessary mean the subsequent install is compromised or unsafe in use, in an ideal world it would all go together as per the book but sometimes you need to work with what you’ve got.

    I don’t burn unseasoned wood, my mate has at least 50tons of seasoned wood (mostly elm and oak) stacked according to year in a barn on his farm taking from windfall in his forests and as i help to cut/collect it/stack it it’s all free to me, so tar build up or hot spots is not a problem i need to worry about.

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    Somafunk – please tell me where your friend lives and how good a lock he has on his barn…

    Premier Icon somafunk
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    😀
    On a farm/shooting estate not a million miles away from where Henry Moore’s Standing Figure was stolen by thieving pikeys back in October, needless to say if you can get past the video security and pressure sensitive security pads leading up the lanes to the house or the farm then you are welcome to attempt a stealth filch, though you’d better watch out for the three german pointers and the two spaniels, the pointers take a very dim view of any strangers on the land but the spaniels (being spaniels) are rather accommodating and as long as you throw something for them then they’ll be happy enough.

    I was rather worried bout this big guy in the grounds wi the 70mph+ winds the other night but he’s just lost a branch so phew!.

    He’s almost 23ft round the base, a big lad indeed.

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