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Combining solid fuel heating system

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Morning all,

we have just moved into a cottage with solid fuel heating system and immersion heater for summer. We like the idea of keeping the solid fuel but wondering if you can either combine it with gas central heating or air source heat pump. 

For the daft weather we are having at min its warm/ cold, snowing. who knows what's next. would like a quick way to heat rads up, with out loading the logburner up and waiting a few hours, is there a simple way to do this? we have a range with gas so have this already in the property. Other question is would the pipework be able to take gas as been looking and one is open other closed system.

any advise would be most helpful, still getting used to this type of heating system.

kind regards
James

Replies

  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    What you might need is something called a Thermal Store.  This is (usually) a big tank of water which you can heat by various means using heating coils that pass inside the tank (and which would replace your existing cylinder).  The heated water is then circulated through the radiators.  I think hot water is achieved by passing cold water through a coil inside the tank.  I don't have one myself although I gave some thought to getting one.  So maybe somebody with more knowledge can comment.

    A gas boiler will be cheaper to run than an Air Source Heat Pump, also cheaper to install, and Government incentives for ASHPs are diminished in a dual-fuel situation such as you would have.  
    Reed
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    It is not simple or cheap to combine a solid fuel heating system with any form of Central heating and can be extremely dangerous

    Without going into detail, if the water from the solid fuel heater - either a stove or a Baxi type open fire -  gets restricted by a manual or thermostatic valve the water will boil in a closed loop and there will be an explosion.

    There are devices like a Dunsley Neutralizer http://dunsleyheat.co.uk/neutralizer.html to overcome this issue.

    In my present house I had a Baxi Open fire and gas CH which were combined(without the Neutraliser) with a complex plumbing system and it was more trouble than it was worth. So I had the system dismantled and simply use the Baxi as an open fire.

  • jblakesjblakes Forumite
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    How easy it is to stick gas in, like I've said we have a range with gas. Can we use the old pipework. It was installed 2009. What sort of costs are we looking at?

    Regards
    James
  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    Cardew said:
    It is not simple or cheap to combine a solid fuel heating system with any form of Central heating and can be extremely dangerous

    Without going into detail, if the water from the solid fuel heater - either a stove or a Baxi type open fire -  gets restricted by a manual or thermostatic valve the water will boil in a closed loop and there will be an explosion.

    There are devices like a Dunsley Neutralizer http://dunsleyheat.co.uk/neutralizer.html to overcome this issue.
    ...

    So you're saying that if the OP does not have such a safety feature then what they do have is potentially very dangerous?
    Reed
  • edited 9 April at 1:57PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 9 April at 1:57PM
    Cardew said:
    It is not simple or cheap to combine a solid fuel heating system with any form of Central heating and can be extremely dangerous

    Without going into detail, if the water from the solid fuel heater - either a stove or a Baxi type open fire -  gets restricted by a manual or thermostatic valve the water will boil in a closed loop and there will be an explosion.

    There are devices like a Dunsley Neutralizer http://dunsleyheat.co.uk/neutralizer.html to overcome this issue.
    ...

    So you're saying that if the OP does not have such a safety feature then what they do have is potentially very dangerous?

    The OP doesn't have such as system; they have posted a query about the feasibility of combining solid fuel and CH.

    This from the Dunsley website: http://dunsleyheat.co.uk/LINKUP_LEAFLET.pdf

    TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES DUNSLEY BAKER NEUTRALIZER
    For a period during the late sixties early seventies there was a tendency to do away with the open fire by building up the opening and depending on one boiler source for heating the dwelling.In recent years the move has been to re-open the fireplace as an alternative source of heat and to give a focal point for the evening relaxation plus the advantage of good ventilation.

    With this has come the realisation that the open fire with high output boiler or a cooker with high output boiler would be very economical and versatile in use if it could be linked into the central heating system to supply, or assist to supply, the entire demand for heating and domestic hot water.

    In principle the requirement to link two or more boilers into one heating system is relatively simple to arrange. In practice there are physical difficulties, possible dangers, and in many cases high financial cost to the householder.

    The difficulties lie in linking the boilers, so that one boiler when in operation does not supply the second boiler with hot water when it is not in operation. Attempts to link boilers in domestic situations have resulted in solutions which are either dangerous, unnecessarily complex, expensive or a combination of all three.

    In my case I had the house built in 1988 with a Baxi fire - this is an open fire with a water jacket -  and the plumber combined this Baxi with gas CH. The plumber was either unaware of the Dunsley neutralizer; or they weren't invented in 1988. There were two difficulties with 'my' system.

    Firstly with the HW tank upstairs there was a gravity feed of hot water from this tank down to the Baxi fire. Thus this Baxi became an unwanted 'radiator' in the summer. The solution could be to place a manual or electrically operated valve in the pipe to stop the unwanted hot water gravity feeding to the Baxi when the fire was not lit. However if someone forgot to open this valve, or an electrical valve failed, the system was a potential bomb. Boiling water in a closed jacket and pipe with no escape causes an explosion. The building inspector would obviously not allow a valve or any form of pressure relief valve.

    Secondly the fire was mainly installed for 'aesthetic' reasons i.e. the pleasure of an open log fire as a focal point. Sometimes with every radiator in a large house fully on, the water in the Hot water tank boiled and with the house like a sauna, hot water had to be run off.

    As I said in my earlier post, it was more trouble than it was worth, and the system was dismantled. I wish it had not been installed in the first place - an expensive mistake.









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