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  • FIRST POST
    • CandyCupcake
    • By CandyCupcake 7th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    • 218Posts
    • 869Thanks
    CandyCupcake
    What am I doing wrong?
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:17 PM
    What am I doing wrong? 7th Feb 18 at 7:17 PM
    Hi,

    We've recently had a multi fuel stove fitted, and I was looking forward to having a toasty warm room. But this is yet to happen

    I've seen online numerous times people saying they can get their room so warm that it's too warm, but I must say our room is definitely not that warm!

    We've tried burning just logs, just coal and mixture of the two but to no avail.

    Any hints / tips would be greatly appreciated!

    TIA.

Page 1
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 7th Feb 18, 10:05 PM
    • 3,121 Posts
    • 1,990 Thanks
    Ectophile
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:05 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:05 PM
    My little 5kW stove can heat the downstairs of the house very easily. When the central heating broke down, it was my main heating for the whole house, but that meant burning it for hours on end.

    When I first got it, I really struggled. I could barely get anything to burn, and the glass went brown and tarry every time I used it. The main problem was bad firewood.

    Logs must be dry and properly seasoned. The ones bought in nets are often damp and/or barely seasoned. Bad logs aren't even worth the effort of trying to burn them.

    Wood I scrounge myself is seasoned for two years. If I buy wood, I buy in the spring and keep it for another summer.

    Get or make a log store, making sure it's well ventilated. Try to keep a few days' worth of logs indoors, so any surface damp can dry off.

    As a back-up, the "heat logs" made from compressed sawdust burn easily and with a lot of heat. Shop around, and prefer ones that look like they have been painted with dark wood stain (as they are more compressed).

    Read the stove manual. Learn where the air vents are, and how to use them. When starting out, use plenty of newspaper and kindling to get the fire going. Put on small and/or split logs. Only gradually work up to full-size logs. Keep the air vents wide open until the fire is blazing away, and then slowly close them. Once you have a really good bed of glowing embers, any further logs should burn easier. But if they seem to be putting the fire out, open the vents again.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Feb 18, 9:28 AM
    • 5,723 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:28 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:28 AM
    Hi,

    We've recently had a multi fuel stove fitted, and I was looking forward to having a toasty warm room. But this is yet to happen

    I've seen online numerous times people saying they can get their room so warm that it's too warm, but I must say our room is definitely not that warm!

    We've tried burning just logs, just coal and mixture of the two but to no avail.

    Any hints / tips would be greatly appreciated!

    TIA.
    Originally posted by CandyCupcake
    Stove temperature is key to success. Go out and buy a stove thermometer which you attach to the pipe. I find that with a stove chimney temperature below 160C, wood will just smolder. Once 160C is exceeded, then the chimney just draws air through the wood and the stove works like a dream.

    Two other tips that my installer left me with. One, preheat the chimney using loosely bundled paper and no wood. Two, make sure that the fire sits on a layer of ash ( I appreciate that this isn't always possible)
    • brewerdave
    • By brewerdave 8th Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    • 4,840 Posts
    • 2,011 Thanks
    brewerdave
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    Agree wholeheartedly with post #2 ; we initially had problems with our little log burner til I bought a pallet of kiln dried logs - now it lights with minimum effort and throws out plenty of heat even tho its only rated at 4kW.
    We use a firelighter and some kindling to get it drawing then use smaller logs initially.
    • CandyCupcake
    • By CandyCupcake 8th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • 218 Posts
    • 869 Thanks
    CandyCupcake
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    Thanks everyone for your advise!


    Our stove is 8kw and we use kiln dried logs and smokeless coal.


    We can get it lit no problem, no tar / smoke and the immediate surrounding of the stove is hot. But it just doesn't seem to throw it out and warm the room temperature up until it's been on for hours. Is this normal? I must admit the manual that came with the stove is pretty vague, so I've been looking around a lot on line, and feel like I've followed all the right rules but to no avail. I was looking forward to this 'having to hang your head out of the window it's so hot' heat, but not happened yet


    I will definitely purchase a thermometer as we currently don't have one.

    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 8th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • 3,121 Posts
    • 1,990 Thanks
    Ectophile
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    You could try getting one of the stove-top fans. I haven't got room for one, as the stove is wedged into a fireplace. But I know someone who has and it works quite well.

    They don't require any power source, other than the heat from the stove. A thermopile inside the body generates power to run the electric fan.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Feb 18, 7:07 AM
    • 25,018 Posts
    • 92,523 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 18, 7:07 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Feb 18, 7:07 AM
    It sounds as if your fire isn't burning stuff optimally, for whatever reason.

    We had an old back boiler Aarrow multifuel, rated at around 8kW, which we could rarely get up to a really good temperature. Once we had the chance, we disconnected the water and ran the thing dry, which certainly improved things a lot, but because of old seals it was never as controllable as we wanted and the chimney wasn't lined either. It got through a lot of logs!

    Fast forward to now, with a slightly enlarged living room, no Aga next door pre-heating the kitchen/diner, a 5kW Woodwarm on a lined 5" flue and we're largely heated just by that in the two principal rooms. Heat also drifts to other areas of our bungalow, so the oil boiler does a lot less work. Right now, I'm sitting two rooms away from the fire, its freezing outside and there are no radiators on at all.

    So, if your logs are OK and your house is relatively well insulated, draughtproofed etc I'd look at the quality of your fire and the chimney arrangement you have. I know we've had mild winters here in the past few years, but sorting out the fire really has made a huge difference to our comfort and overall fuel bills. (We do get most of our wood 'free.')
    'It's a terrible thing to wait until you're ready…..Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.' Hugh Lawrie.
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 9th Feb 18, 10:07 AM
    • 1,520 Posts
    • 904 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 18, 10:07 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Feb 18, 10:07 AM
    Sounds to me like the OP is not giving the stove enough draught.
    If you are burning smokeless fuel once it is lit give it plenty of BOTTOM draught.
    I can get my stove from cold to very very hot in a matter of maybe 10 minutes.........
    Stove thermometers here cheap enough.....
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Stove-Pipe-Magnetic-Thermometer-Wood-Log-Burning-Fire-Flue-Heater-Temp-Gauge/301329485102?epid=22011495849&hash=item4628a30d2e: g:Zv8AAOSwj1hadLbD
    Plenty of how to videos on Youtube probably worth a look at
    HTH
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 23rd Feb 18, 9:07 PM
    • 11,021 Posts
    • 29,372 Thanks
    suki1964
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 18, 9:07 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 18, 9:07 PM
    Are you giving it sufficient fuel?

    Mine is 5kw and Im one of those smug so and so's who say they can be put out of the room its that hot

    I get the flue nice and hot with a good handful of kindling, I don't skimp. Once thats burning away I chuck on about a third of a scuttle of smokeless, open both vents and let it burn. I don't shut the vents down until the firebricks are glowing red. Then I shut both vents down completely and the fuel will just sit there glowing. When theres a good coating of ash on them, I chuck on some more and keep the vents closed

    AT THE MOMENT Im getting in at 3pm and lighting the fire then. Its 9pm now and half a scuttle of coal has done us and its so warm Ive opened all the doors on the same floor to let the heat warm the other rooms

    If we are still up at 10pm, Ill put a few logs on and open the top vent a little.

    I only use logs late in the day or not so cold a day as getting good quality seasoned logs here is difficult and if I can get them, expensive. Usually I have to get wet forestry logs and store them myself for two years
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Krapsite
    • By Krapsite 5th Mar 18, 4:28 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Krapsite
    Some good tips here. I have had a Charnwood 4KW for thirteen years now in our front room and keep it lit from 1st November to 31 March non-stop. I use Supertherm smokeless fuel which left little mess and slight cloudy door which wipes off. In the Spring/Autumn I burn wood. I season this for at least seven years in a proper log store that I made. All this wood must be oak,ash or beech. No softwood or you will be tarred up.Lots of air for wood especially on the front air wash.. Just a little bottom for smokeless. Yes, these stoves do put out 4KW as they say but you need to study them and adjsut your habits to their needs. I am up at 7 am to do teh ash and refuel in winter. In spring etc I light teh stove when it get s nippy. I hope it was installed properly.
    • Sycorax
    • By Sycorax 6th Mar 18, 3:30 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Sycorax
    I've heard good reports of the stove top fans making quite a difference to circulating the warm air and they're not outrageously expensive just check the CFM (cubic feet per minute), I found this site to be useful.

    http://stovefanreviews.com/compare-fans/

    Also I don't use wood, I found it chucked out very little heat (using a 8kw Firefox 8), however briquettes are great! The RUF style ones made from compressed sawdust (easy to stack, clean, very little ash and hot).

    I tend to get mine from here:

    https://www.woodfuel.coop/

    Delivery is included in the price...but as with anything they vary in quality, so check out the customer reviews or just buy a mixed pallet and see what works for you.

    Or you could just try leaving the vents open and see if that helps. The other thing it could be is are you getting enough draught, if your flue or chimney isn't long enough that could cause a problem. I understand the opening should be about 4.5 metres from the stove.
    Last edited by Sycorax; 06-03-2018 at 3:35 PM.
    'I think that God, in creating Man, somewhat overestimated his ability'..Oscar Wilde
    • Gwendo40
    • By Gwendo40 7th Mar 18, 6:49 AM
    • 101 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    Gwendo40
    Some good tips here.... I season this for at least seven years in a proper log store that I made. All this wood must be oak,ash or beech. No softwood or you will be tarred up.
    Originally posted by Krapsite
    Seven years for seasoning wood!!
    That seems excessive to me, I would have thought the wood would start to deteriorate in some way if left that long and actually lose some of it's thermal efficiency?

    Also softwood is fine if is properly seasoned
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Mar 18, 7:49 AM
    • 25,018 Posts
    • 92,523 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Wood only deteriorates when it rots, as the beams in the centuries-old cottages near me testify, but 7 years is unnecessary for seasoning. I find a year in a breezy barn is fine after initial seasoning outdoors of a year or two, depending on what it is.

    As for wood not throwing-out enough heat; surely that's factored into the choice of the stove for the space to be heated? Yes, solid and processed fuels will give out more heat, but if the fire's chosen correctly, then it's far cheaper for some of us to run on logs.

    Finally, using logs, I don't have any problems with having to clean glass on my Woodwarm, regardless of how I run it. There is naturally a trade-off with extra flue cleaning if a stove isn't run hard all the time, but if it's DIY, there's no cost to that at all.
    'It's a terrible thing to wait until you're ready…..Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.' Hugh Lawrie.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Mar 18, 10:21 AM
    • 11,021 Posts
    • 29,372 Thanks
    suki1964
    It amuses me when people say don't burn soft woods. What do they think is burned in Scandinavian countries?
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • Ectophile
    • By Ectophile 7th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
    • 3,121 Posts
    • 1,990 Thanks
    Ectophile
    It amuses me when people say don't burn soft woods. What do they think is burned in Scandinavian countries?
    Originally posted by suki1964
    I've been known to shove the odd bit of softwood in my stove. Mostly some sort of cypress from a back garden.

    It can take longer to season than hardwood, and poorly seasoned wood of any sort is rubbish.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
    • Gwendo40
    • By Gwendo40 8th Mar 18, 6:53 AM
    • 101 Posts
    • 95 Thanks
    Gwendo40
    Wood only deteriorates when it rots, as the beams in the centuries-old cottages near me testify,.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I'm not saying the wood will actually rot, but I'm pretty certain that over time it will still lose it's ''thermal energy''...
    I imagine those centuries old beams would burn a lot quicker and throw out a lot less heat than a piece of Oak that's been air dried and seasoned for a year or two.
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