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    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 17th May 17, 9:38 AM
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    tightwadess
    multifuel stove question
    • #1
    • 17th May 17, 9:38 AM
    multifuel stove question 17th May 17 at 9:38 AM
    Hi ...sorry to be a bit dim.....but never had a stove before and are hoping during renovations to get two fitted...I understand and think I have the following right (please correct me if I am wrong)

    1) wood burns best on a bed of ash with air supply from top ???
    2) coal (smokeless) burns best on a clear grate with air supply from beneath ???

    So what I'm not clear on is this.....if you have been burning wood all day but then want to keep the stove in overnight with coal (advised this was best option) do you have to empty all the ash out first ...cos surely this will be red hot so you'd have to let the fire go out.....or am I missing something incredibly simple ......

    Apologies for not quite getting it ......TIA

    Edited to add....this will be the only form of heating in the property.
Page 1
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 17th May 17, 6:11 PM
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    A. Badger
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 6:11 PM
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 6:11 PM
    It's not really an ideal way to run a stove.

    The problem is that smokeless fuel needs air coming up through the fire bars. If it doesn't get it, not only will it not burn properly but you will also ruin your firebars - and that will get very expensive.

    To achieve what you intend to do, you would need to riddle the wood ash out of the fire, into the ashpan below, at the end of the day, then add coal to what solid wood remained hoping it would ignite the solid fuel.

    This wouldn't be very practical for a number of reasons. Note that if you have a rocking grate on your stoves (you almost certainly will) that will need re-setting as you change fuels. This isn't difficult but having to do it means you will never get a good bed of ash for the wood to burn on.

    The better thing to do would be to run on either solid fuel or wood exclusively. Note that wood is not really suited to overnight slumbering due to the smoke leaving flammable tarry deposits on your liner.

    Some people do this and get away with it but many simply let their fire go out overnight and light it again the next day, With a modern stove (especially if you use something like a Grendier for lighting) this isn't as onerous as it might seem.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 17th May 17, 6:15 PM
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    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 6:15 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 6:15 PM
    this will be the only form of heating in the property.
    Originally posted by tightwadess
    In which case, you'll probably want to go with coal.
    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 17th May 17, 7:37 PM
    • 226 Posts
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    tightwadess
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 7:37 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 7:37 PM
    Thanks guys......well it's not in a smoke free zone so do I need smokeless coal or can I use an alternative ??
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 17th May 17, 8:41 PM
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    Livelongandprosper
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 8:41 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 8:41 PM
    Thanks guys......well it's not in a smoke free zone so do I need smokeless coal or can I use an alternative ??
    Originally posted by tightwadess

    For a stove, you need smokeless. Coal will soot up your chimney way too fast which can result in a fire

    I have a multifuel stove, with a rocking grate and I will say, I get much better performance with smokeless and anthracite

    My stove is in use all day everyday from November to March. Evenings from as early as September through to June. It's only when I need evening lighting do I use wood. The other times I use wood is say around 10/11pm I'm not ready for bed but it's too cold to let the fire die

    I rarely keep the fire in all night. That's not to say it gets cold, there is always some residual heat and often a few embers to get started again. I light the fire with kindling and smokeless and once that's red hot and glowing, I cover with the anthracite and close the air down enough that whilst the anthracite lights, there's no roaring flame I can keep the fire going for 12 hrs or more with just one bucket as long as I keep the air control right

    Every stove works different. Even the same model will burn differently in different houses and in different rooms. It's a learning curve between you and your stove

    I find that with a multifuel you get a better heat from smokeless and anthracite. Logs are great for me this time of year where the days are warm enough but the wind and rain cools the evening. A few logs then cheers us up as well as warm us up
    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 17th May 17, 8:58 PM
    • 226 Posts
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    tightwadess
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 8:58 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 8:58 PM
    Thanks very much...this is really helping....at the cost of sounding really dim what is anthracite ????
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 17th May 17, 9:17 PM
    • 550 Posts
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    Livelongandprosper
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 9:17 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 9:17 PM
    Thanks very much...this is really helping....at the cost of sounding really dim what is anthracite ????
    Originally posted by tightwadess
    Anthracite is a high calorific coal. Little shiny natural nuggets. The heat it can throw if burning correctly can put you out of a room

    Smokeless is man made, coal dust and cement ( I think ). Burns well and lights easily where as anthracite is a pain to get lit

    To give an example on how good anthracite is, I buy three smokeless to one anthracite. It's like using slack on a fire, keeps it burning low and slow but throws the heat

    It's not cheap to buy, but the heat it throws is second to none
    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 17th May 17, 9:19 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tightwadess
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:19 PM
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:19 PM
    Thanks for the help...
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 18th May 17, 9:42 AM
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    A. Badger
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 9:42 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 9:42 AM
    That's excellent advice from Livelongandprosper but I would add two very slight words of caution.

    The first is that being a natural product and not a manufactured one, anthracite can vary depending on the supplier and batch. It's worth shopping around.

    The second is that not every stove works well with it. Sadly, I've come to the conclusion that mine is one of those, so I stick to smokeless.

    To be fair, there are some suitability issues with smokeless fuel, too. You would do well to try small sample bags of several fuels and find out which gives you the best result for your money - they do vary, quite a bit and as with most things in life, the supposedly premium products don't always offer the best VFM.

    One final thing, It is quite likely that your stove maker will tell you to avoid fuels with petroleum coke (aka petcoke) in them. This is because they burn at a very high temperature which can melt firebars. I have come across quite a few lower cost smokeless fuels (eBay sellers for example) which don't make clear that they use petcoke, and this could prove expensive for the buyer!

    If your stove maker says not to use it, follow their advice and stick to the better known brands of smokeless.
    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 18th May 17, 9:32 PM
    • 226 Posts
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    tightwadess
    Thank you very much....All this information is just what I need....��
    • Parisno
    • By Parisno 19th May 17, 12:22 PM
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    Parisno
    If you take a look on DEFRAs website you will see most if not all smokeless fuels contain Pet Coke, so don't worry about it too much, I think the manufacturers of stoves are referring to burning 100% Pet Coke.

    https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php?country=england
    • A. Badger
    • By A. Badger 20th May 17, 11:41 AM
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    A. Badger
    If you take a look on DEFRAs website you will see most if not all smokeless fuels contain Pet Coke, so don't worry about it too much, I think the manufacturers of stoves are referring to burning 100% Pet Coke.

    https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php?country=england
    Originally posted by Parisno
    The problem stems from the unknown percentage of petcoke in some of the cheaper solid fuels on offer. I'm not one to promote HETAS (for many reasons) but I'd suggest users stick to HETAS approved fuels and be cautious of cheap, unapproved, alternatives.

    There are plenty of references online to petcoke if anyone wants to Google it. For example http://www.soliftec.com/solidfuels.htm
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 20th May 17, 3:59 PM
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    EachPenny
    The problem is that smokeless fuel needs air coming up through the fire bars. If it doesn't get it, not only will it not burn properly but you will also ruin your firebars - and that will get very expensive.
    ...
    The better thing to do would be to run on either solid fuel or wood exclusively. Note that wood is not really suited to overnight slumbering due to the smoke leaving flammable tarry deposits on your liner.
    Originally posted by A. Badger
    Possibly not the best practice (so don't shoot me) but my aged parents have a solid fuel stove as a supplement to their central heating which is only used (for whole house heating) for a few hours a day.

    From October to March the stove runs almost continuously, and they get highly distressed if it ever goes out

    Their fuel of choice is currently Stoveheat Premium Smokeless which is a dense manufactured briquette with supposedly low ash output. They rake out some of the ash and top up the fuel before going to bed. Normally the stove will still be burning quite well the following morning.

    To keep the stove going overnight - which is probably the key objective if you have no other heat source - you should really look for the largest densest compatible product you can find, as the density and lump size are an important factor in length of burn. For proof, compare the burn time of a large hardwood log to the equivalent mass of softwood kindling.

    Low ash content also limits the risk of the fire choking itself out. Whilst possibly not ideal for the life expectancy of the stove and flue, some build up of ash also helps moderate the burn and will spread the heat output over a longer period. My AP's haven't had a problem with their burning style affecting the grate - the only thing that does is when dad throws large logs of wood into the fire

    The other key factor in keeping the stove going is being able to regulate the airflow sufficiently. Not all stoves have good dampers, and if they don't work properly then excessive airflow can burn out the fuel load well before the morning. You will also need to discover by trial and error how much fuel to add before going to bed - too little and it will all be used up, too much and the fire will overburn and also use up all the fuel. Get it just right and you'll have a nice warm house at breakfast time
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • tightwadess
    • By tightwadess 20th May 17, 7:19 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    tightwadess
    Thanks guys keep it coming lol ��
    • FreeBear
    • By FreeBear 24th May 17, 1:23 PM
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    FreeBear
    I've been running my multifuel stove on a mix of coal and wood over the last winter. Lighting the fire early afternoon with wood, put a couple of shovel loads of coal on, and then keeping it topped up with logs. Kept the stove set on low burn for wood, and the room stayed reasonably warm for the evening.

    Didn't worry about keeping the fire going overnight as it hasn't been excessively cold this winter - A thick duvet and hot water bottle works fine.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
    • redlady_1
    • By redlady_1 7th Jun 17, 1:55 PM
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    redlady_1
    I used to keep my stove in overnight and day time with coal (by that I mean some kind of anthracite etc) and then when I got home from work, riddled it and burned it hard with wood. This helped keep the build up to a minimum but I did have my chimney swept twice a year. I would riddle before bed and load up with smokeless fuel, then burn hard with fuel when I got up before slumbering again when I went to work. Weekends I used wood as I was always around
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