Open fire......help needed.

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
4 replies 1.2K views
TonjarenTonjaren Forumite
27 Posts
Hi, I moved into a house with an open fire at the back end of last year and ran it on bags of coal from B&M, with some Homefire Ovals and seasoned logs.

The Ovals are hard to start the fire hence the cheap B&M coal, it's ideal to get the fire going being small pieces. When the fires lit and going well I tend to put the Ovals at the front and a log at the back.

If I put more coal on the fire it just smokes and suffocates, I'm guessing that's because the pieces are so small.

I know approx 70% of the heat goes up the chimney with this type of fire but to be honest the room was still chilly no matter how I seemed to build it up i.e. More ovals or more logs.

What am I doing wrong? Or is this just how an open fire is?

Thanks in advance....

Replies

  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
    5.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    First things first, have you had the chimney swept? If you haven't, get it done and ask the sweep to show you how to get a fire going.

    Assuming there is sufficient draught, you should have no problem at all building a decent fire. Most domestic open fires aren't designed for burning logs but should work well with decent coal or the appropriate smokeless.

    Smokeless is, as you've found, harder to light but once going should burn freely enough. I have no idea who or what B&M is but much chain store (or garage sourced) coal is rubbish and you would be better off (and save money) getting decent housecoal from a local coal merchant.

    Get some professional advice from a sweep (you may have a draughting problem), get some decent coal and start again, would be my advice. Oh, and don't take the 70 % figure too seriously. A well tended fire in a proper grate is capable of heating the average sized room.
  • TonjarenTonjaren Forumite
    27 Posts
    Hi, thanks for the reply,

    I had the chimney swept when we moved in and all was ok....so fine from that point.

    The fire is a Baxi with under floor draught....sorry should have said first off.

    I think your right about the coal being rubbish! B & M is a cheap chain store.... Coal is £2.99 per bag! I'll order some from the local coal merchant.

    Perhaps that's all it needs..."proper" coal!

    Thanks again....
  • firefox1956firefox1956 Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Are you sure the underfloor draught is working ??
    Sounds to me like is is either blocked or stuck shut.
    You should be able to have a fire like a blacksmiths forge if it is working !!
  • TonjarenTonjaren Forumite
    27 Posts
    Hi.....thanks for the replies

    There is a sort of round loop of metal at the top of the fire front that turns, but it only half turns, and it's really stiff.

    I've used some WD40 which has eased it but I'm not convinced it's completely opening the vent.....I'm afraid of forcing it in case it breaks.

    The fire place and I assume the front are original 1930's so I'm not sure how easy it would be to replace a broken part?
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