multifuel stove question

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
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tightwadesstightwadess Forumite
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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.
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  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    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.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    this will be the only form of heating in the property.

    In which case, you'll probably want to go with coal.
  • tightwadesstightwadess Forumite
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    Thanks guys......well it's not in a smoke free zone so do I need smokeless coal or can I use an alternative ??
  • Thanks guys......well it's not in a smoke free zone so do I need smokeless coal or can I use an alternative ??


    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 :)
  • tightwadesstightwadess Forumite
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    Thanks very much...this is really helping....at the cost of sounding really dim what is anthracite ????
  • Thanks very much...this is really helping....at the cost of sounding really dim what is anthracite ????

    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
  • tightwadesstightwadess Forumite
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    Thanks for the help... :)
  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    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.
  • tightwadesstightwadess Forumite
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    Thank you very much....All this information is just what I need....��
  • ParisnoParisno Forumite
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    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
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