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    • Dogsarethebest1
    • By Dogsarethebest1 15th Oct 19, 8:46 PM
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    Dogsarethebest1
    Multifuel 5KW stove not throwing out heat
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 19, 8:46 PM
    Multifuel 5KW stove not throwing out heat 15th Oct 19 at 8:46 PM
    Evening all, just wondering if anyone could throw some light on the problem we are having with a recently installed Fireline 5KW mulitfuel stove.
    Iíve previously had a stove (Morso squirrel) and it was fantastic, so I know to use properly seasoned/kiln dried wood and how to start a fire and use the vents to get a fire going etc, etc.
    However, I cannot get this stove to throw out a decent amount of heat. Itís been on for 3 hours this evening and hasnít heated the room sufficiently yet! The room is approx 3.5x3m Max.
    The installer said when it reaches temperature the white pads should change from black to white but they still havenít. We have been back to speak to him but he keeps insinuating that we donít know how to get a fire going. My husband grew up with a wood burning stove and as I said, Iíve successfully used one for several years in a previous house and it used to throw out more than ample heat.
    Our opening is quite narrow and the clearances either side are 7.5cm. Is circulation a problem? Would this prevent a stove from working efficiently to this extent?
    I feel as though all of the heat is going up the chimney.
    My mum died a few months ago and my dad passed on some money as he knew we wanted a stove and so I saw it as being bought by my mum and this adds to my upset that it does not work properly - although I canít say that to the guy in the shop!!
    Any advice much welcomed.
    Thank you.
Page 1
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 15th Oct 19, 9:43 PM
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    Ectophile
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:43 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:43 PM
    My 5kW Stovax is also stuffed into a fireplace with a similar clearance all round. But that doesn't stop it heating the whole downstairs of the house once it gets going.


    When I first got it, I was really disappointed - it was difficult to light, went out easily, the glass tarred up, and it produced little heat.


    It took me a good year to work out everything that was going wrong.
    • Just because the seller says wood is seasoned, it doesn't mean that it is. Any wood I buy now gets stored for another year. In the meantime, I discovered the manufactured heat logs.
    • Don't skimp on the kindling.
    • Open all the air vents and keep them open until the fire is roaring. Only close them down gradually.
    Manufacturers do like to hide the air vents. I spent a good hour trying to light one stove, until I eventually spotted a chain coming out of the back. One pull on the chain, and the stove burst into life.


    I find my smaller stove needs to be kept burning hot. It doesn't like big logs, especially the hard/dense woods such as oak that everybody else thinks are wonderful. Bigger bits need to be split before my stove will burn them.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 15th Oct 19, 11:58 PM
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    SonOf
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 19, 11:58 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 19, 11:58 PM
    Three of our stoves are in fireplaces and a good chunk of the heat goes immediately upwards. However, a stove fan makes a massive difference as it creates an air flow that pushes the heat into the room. Well worth getting one of those.

    All three stoves are 8KW clearview identical models but the one in the hallway chucks out significantly more heat than the other two. This is in part because there are multiple doors and a stairway and the airflow circulates the heat better. Some houses do not have good airflow to help the heat circulate. Make sure your air vents on the windows are open.

    You should aim to keep a nice bed of ash. A fire will burn better on a bed of ash than without. It is also easier to get going on a bed of ash. So, the first one or two fires on the stove with little or no ash may be harder to balance the air flow and keep the fire running efficiently (ie. having to run it with more air than you would like)

    You should have two air controls. Read the manual to make sure the controls are the correct way to what you are expecting. On Clearviews, for example, they are the other way around to what is most common. If you dont use the air controls correctly, you wont get a good burn.

    Finally, get a stove thermometer. It will aid you in learning about how your stove get to the ideal temp range and how adjustments in the air flow impact. Every stove is different and you need to learn how yours is. Even when its the same brand in a different location, each one will be different. So, don't be afraid to get the thermometer to help you. Stove snobs may look down on it but you will learn quicker if you have one. We have ours on the front rather than the pipe. Partly as they dont stick to the pipe well and partly as you dont need to have them on the pipe. Once you learn about your stove, you will tell from the flame and the glow when it is optimal.


    I find my smaller stove needs to be kept burning hot. It doesn't like big logs, especially the hard/dense woods such as oak that everybody else thinks are wonderful. Bigger bits need to be split before my stove will burn them.
    My hallway one prefers the hardwoods and bigger the better. it burns in the ideal range with just one large log going for hours once hot. The winter lounge prefers smaller logs and needs to have more in it to get a similar heat. Despite being the same model burner. The summer lounge isnt fussy.

    We use kiln dried logs when needing to get immediate use. If we bought seasoned, I would leave them for another year to be sure. We also have our own supply from our own trees which we give two years on.
    • Dogsarethebest1
    • By Dogsarethebest1 16th Oct 19, 7:11 AM
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    Dogsarethebest1
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 19, 7:11 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 19, 7:11 AM
    Thank you. I did think that it couldnít be solely the clearances. We eventually got it up to temperature last night and the pads cleared from black to white. The stove was still warm this morning at 6.30am but itís the projection that is the problem. We were still able to sit directly in front of it last night and hold our hands within half an inch of the glass. The stove itself is getting hot but the heat just does not project forward like it should.
    I will consider a stove fan. Perhaps it would help. I just donít understand why we arenít getting that projection that stoves are known for.
    • Dogsarethebest1
    • By Dogsarethebest1 16th Oct 19, 7:17 AM
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    Dogsarethebest1
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 19, 7:17 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 19, 7:17 AM
    Thank you. Interesting that the same model stove can behave differently in different locations but I suppose that makes perfect sense when you think about it.
    We bought kiln dried logs. Managed to get it up to a temperature sufficient to clear the pads from black to white last night. The stove was still warm at 6.30am this morning but projection remains the problem.
    We will definitely invest in a stove thermometer and monitor the temps. See what info that gives us. I think the suggestion of a stove fan might be the way to go.
    The only other thing is that the opening is not only narrow but taller than average. Would this influence projection negatively, do you think?
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 16th Oct 19, 5:54 PM
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    SonOf
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 19, 5:54 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 19, 5:54 PM
    Do you find the air controls make much difference?
    We have a spin wheel which controls the air from the grate. This should be fully open on lighting and fully close once burning (so just a few minutes open).
    There is an air slide control that controls the air that washes downwards from the front air manifold over the glass. This one should be fully open on lighting but you should close it in stages as it gets closer to optimal. Once optimal, it should be just fractionally open.

    If optimal and air controls correct, the flame should be slow-moving, almost graceful, and you could see gases igniting.
    If the air controls are both closed or the air wash is almost closed and the flames are still burning fast and furious then something is not right. It could be that the stove draw is excessive and the air controls make little difference and much of the heat is going up the flue.

    As for clearance, you do need enough space around the stove and yours seems fine but its air movement that is key. A closed door with no window vents open will not create any airflow and the heat just sits around the stove. It is surprising just how much airflow is created by those little window vents being left open.

    Another thing to test is the speed of the reaction when adjusting the airflow. The best stoves change almost straight away when you reduce the air to them. i.e. if you closed the airwash, the flame should change almost immediately. The lesser quality stoves take longer. Sometimes as much as a few minutes. It makes air control a little harder if it takes longer and is something you adapt to.

    Multi-fuel stoves chuck out less heat than dedicated wood-burning stoves. If you plan to only burn wood and nothing else, then it may be better to convert it to woodburning only. Most stoves can be converted by way of a kit.

    The only other thing is that the opening is not only narrow but taller than average. Would this influence projection negatively, do you think?
    No.

    In respect of stove fans, they are a must have. They create circulation. However, some of these can be useless. Some noisy. So, dont underspend on some cheap noisy fan as you will end up buying twice.

    I initially bought a VonHaus XL 4 Blade Stove Fan based on reviews and it was good but it just had a slight ticking to it. Not excessive but I thought I could get something quieter. So, I pushed the boat out and bought a Valiant Vanquish 250. This is really top of the range in terms of fans but it is very quiet and has one of the highest air flows. I kept that in the lounge we are in the most and put the other in the hall.
    • Dogsarethebest1
    • By Dogsarethebest1 16th Oct 19, 10:02 PM
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    Dogsarethebest1
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 19, 10:02 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 19, 10:02 PM
    Thanks for your reply. Yes, we do use both air vents. We were told if burning wood to rely on the top vent for control and if burning coal or smokeless fuel, to use the bottom one. We have so far burned wood, smokeless fuel and tonight, a combination of both.
    We are using the vents. Both open at first. Closing the bottom one down first if burning wood and then adjusting the top vent gradually as the fire takes hold and gets going.
    I managed to get the stove up to a higher temperature more quickly this evening and the pads turned white within an hour. However, projection in to the room was still poor. The stove itself is reaching a decent temperature (although still nowhere near the temps I used to get from the Morso Squirrel that I used to have years ago) but I can still sit directly in front of it at the edge of the hearth and can tolerate sitting there - normally I find stoves that have got going impossible to sit directly in front of. One sofa is about 1.5 m in front of the stove and we don’t feel direct heat from that distance at all.
    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you ask if the flames are still lively when the vents are closed down. I think they are. One of the first things I noticed was that the flames seem too fierce, after closing down the top vent. The flames do respond fairly well to the adjustments from the top vent (when wood burning) but when it’s almost fully closed they seem more lively than I’d expect (from previous experience). Then we close them off and we go to the fire just dying. There should be an in between. We seem to be a bit all or nothing if you see what I mean.
    My hunch is it’s going up the chimney and the birds are enjoying it all!! My Father in law (many years of having open fires and stoves) suggested a flue damper and we contacted the guy in the shop we bought the stove from about these issues but he explained for safety reasons why these are rarely fitted, if at all these days - which of course I understand.
    We can try a stove fan. Thank you for the advice on that. Apart from that, if the installation is within recommendations and the stove itself has nothing wrong with it, then we have no recourse with the seller or installer, as far as I can tell?!?
    Do we pay for a HETAS engineer to come out and look at it? I’m so frustrated. I had my first stove in 1998 when they weren’t fashionable and I taught myself how to light fires without any issues whatsoever. Yet it seems I can throw a hundred different methods at this one but all my efforts go up the chimney. Surely it should not be this hard? Sigh.
    • SonOf
    • By SonOf 17th Oct 19, 12:42 PM
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    SonOf
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 19, 12:42 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 19, 12:42 PM
    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you ask if the flames are still lively when the vents are closed down. I think they are. One of the first things I noticed was that the flames seem too fierce, after closing down the top vent. The flames do respond fairly well to the adjustments from the top vent (when wood burning) but when it’s almost fully closed they seem more lively than I’d expect (from previous experience). Then we close them off and we go to the fire just dying. There should be an in between. We seem to be a bit all or nothing if you see what I mean.
    It is usually a fine balance where most of the movement of the lever (or whatever method that closes the air) sees no change until the last inch or two. We know on ours where the optimal is but even then you find that you sometimes have to just nudge it a mm or 2 and no more than that.

    Finding that sweet spot when the flames are slow and wavey will take you some time. And then as the season changes or the wood type is different, you will find what you thought was a perfect position is slightly different. Often only by a few mm on the control.

    We were told if burning wood to rely on the top vent for control and if burning coal or smokeless fuel, to use the bottom one.
    I don't have much experience of different brands but normally you start with both controls open and then one is closed down very quickly once the fire is burning and the other is then closed in stages to be as closed as possible without the fire going out. Ours are multi-fuel and I just checked our instructions and it was the same irrespective of fuel used. If we were to swap the controls over the burn would not be right.

    The difference in multi-fuel and wood only is usually an integral grate and pan to allow the air to be drawn from underneath to burn best. When using non-wood fuel, you have to clear the ash off the bottom regularly to keep the air flow coming from underneath. With wood, you want a layer of ash on the bottom and dont need or want that underneath draw. So, you let the ash build up over the grate and don't remove it until it gets too deep. Even when I clean it, I always leave an inch of ash behind and dont clear the grate fully. I just empty the pan, then use a brush over the ash so it falls down the grate into the pan but try to ensure enough ash is left behind. I never take it back down to grate level. It makes a really big difference with wood.

    but I can still sit directly in front of it at the edge of the hearth and can tolerate sitting there - normally I find stoves that have got going impossible to sit directly in front of. One sofa is about 1.5 m in front of the stove and we don’t feel direct heat from that distance at all.
    Multi-fuel stoves are about a third less efficient than wood only when burning wood. That could well be your difference. So, if you are going to burn wood, try and keep that ash layer on the bottom to reduce the underneath airflow.

    With hindsight, I wish mine were wood only. However, you really can mitigate it a lot by letting the ash settle over the grate. And of course, the stove fan

    Do we pay for a HETAS engineer to come out and look at it?
    Not yet. Like you, I was initially disappointed with the heat projection but not any more. Mine is on at the moment and I am sitting 10 ft away and the heat is hitting me and you can feel the heat barrier as you walk into the room. Yet the first burn of the season, where I had hardly any ash on the bottom gave a lot less heat. I think you need to play a bit more to get the hang of it and if that doesnt work, then maybe go for more advice on whether it is working correctly.
    Last edited by SonOf; 17-10-2019 at 12:45 PM.
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 17th Oct 19, 7:36 PM
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    Ectophile
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 19, 7:36 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 19, 7:36 PM
    At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious - the person who installed the stove did fit the baffle plate to the top of the stove, I hope.


    Another time I found that a stove was burning nicely, but threw out little heat. I eventually found the baffle plate hiding under a pile of kindling.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 18th Oct 19, 5:21 PM
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    silverwhistle
    Another seconder for having a bit of a play with a stove: they need playing sometimes - more like a fiddle than hitting a piano key.


    I've a tight fitting wood burning 5kw stove which is my main source of heat as I hardly used the GCH last winter. I have a flue thermometer and a fan on top and check my wood using a moisture meter; all useful and fairly cheap bits of kit. Don't rely on kiln dried always meaning much, which is where the meter helps, although I burn scrounged and then seasoned wood. Once, out of curiosity, I tried a bag of logs from a well known chain, and it was so bad I had to retrieve it from the stove. The moisture reading was appallingly high. Occasionally a few briquettes when I see them at a decent price - which is rarer these days.


    A good amount of kindling helps too: used pallets are my source for this (and apple tree prunings, but they take an age to dry).
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