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Andy H

Log burner advice

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Decided to ask for some advice on here as I am getting such conflicting ideas from heating companies

I live in an oldish house, that used to have an open fire, the previous owners put in a back burner with a gas fire.

We have just had a combi boiler installed, and have had the gas fire and back burner all taken out, it's only a small room so thought I would get a nice small log burner, pop it in, and off we go, then somebody said I needed a new flue, and this will be anywhere from £600 to £1000 to install!!

So I have gone from finding a nice little log burner for £165 to facing a huge bill!! I then had a chat with a customer of mine, and he seems to think because it was an open fire originally, I would only need a small flue out of the burner, and that would be it?? Which would suit me, as I can do it for £200 all in!!

I have three children so want to make sure I make the correct choice, but also don't want to spend a fortune on something I might only light a few times a year!

Help please

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Could you not just make it an open fire like I have? would certainly be a lot cheaper then getting a log burner in, I know you have 3 kids but a fire guard would keep them away from it

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That is an option, but still been told I need to line the chimmney? It's not the cost of the log burner, it's the flue costs and fitting them!

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That is an option, but still been told I need to line the chimmney? It's not the cost of the log burner, it's the flue costs and fitting them!

 

For an open fire you should only need a chimney pot these don't cost much think mine was under £100 supplied and fitted by a roofer.

 

I'm fairly sure you only need your chimney lined for log burners rather than open one's

 

Your best bet is to go to a heating shop who will be able to advise you for certain

Edited by Summer Sun

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Technically you should get building regs to put one in.

We have two, both in fireplaces which had existing open fires in there. So long as the chimney is sound and not leaking through the bricks higher up the chimney you would be ok. With any fire I would suggest in investing in two carbon monoxide alarms, one down stairs and one up. Should they start kicking off then you have a problem.

I love ours and the fact you can shut them down at night time and feel safe that the house won't burn down

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It depends on the condition of the chimney to some extent.Yes, ideally you do want an insulated liner installing, the reason is that more heat is extracted to the room, and it's easy to close the stove down which also makes the chimney potentially cooler than with an open fire.The result of this is that you *might* get tarry deposits condensing into the chimney, this can be a hazard in a chimney fire and the tarry stuff can even come through walls and spoil decor.However, it's not unusual to have a sound chimney of modest proportions or it might have been lined with clay pipes and concrete around them to stop smoking or other problems in the past.If so, especially if it has been lined, you should be OK with a stove.If you did, install like this, it's worth bearing in mind your chimney is not ideal and it's best not to burn it at lower temperatures too much.Somewhat counter-intuitively burning closed down at lower temperatures causes more problems than a good hot fire.This 'must line it' thing only started quite recently, there are many stoves installed into 'unsuitable' chimneys working without serious problems.It used to be fairly common to install what's called a registry plate to close down even very large old chimneys so that the stove pipe was sealed into it.To be honest you would be best doing it properly then you know it is right.There is always a risk from re-opening a chimney not used for many years.You might not get smoke in the house but could be getting deadly carbon monoxide in some circumstances.They can be a a wonderful addition to a house even without the potential reduced use of the boiler saving you money.  

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Thank you so far for your advice

Katie, I will certainly get carbon monoxide alarms, even if I have it lined

4wd, we have been thinking about this for a good few weeks now, and whatever happens we will get the chimney lined regardless, but after spending £4000 having the boiler done, it's not something I can warrant spending out on at the moment! So was thinking of getting the log burner in, or even as summer sun mentioned, an open fire, just to see us through this winter?

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My burner is poorly installed, just the flue going half way into a large open fire chimney, not ideal but works ok. It's a rented house so can't do much about it.I get all my wood for free so I'm quite happy, still haven't put the central heating on yet. Remember that a woodburner is far more efficient than an open fire so any initial expense is worth it in the long run. 

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I`d give serious thought to fitting your own adhering to the (overkill) "Part J" building regs widely available and save yourself a good 300-1000£ by purchasing your own 10metres of 316 grade (10 yr guarantee, 20 yr guarantee with 904 higher grade liner) which usually come with a metre of visible vitrous enamel pipe, a metal closure plate (to stop falling debris, soot, debris etc. from entering the room & deflecting heat out of the recess), adaptor to fit liner to vit enamel pipe, a top plate to hang your liner on with brackets at the top of your stack underneath a chimney pot and anti-bird cowel, flaunched with a sand cement render with waterproof additive.
All these parts with a few tap ins and fireproof cement should not exceed 350-400 and with half a days rate to pay a roofer then the saving is moderate but you have to also advise the local authority so they can check your work and issue a pass to satisfy house insurance.
Theirs also other things to consider though like what your going to burn? Solid coal fuel and/or wood logs (billets)?
and have you tested the "draw" of your flue?
From my experiences Iv`e seen a non-liner setup with a small morso squirrel (4-4.5kw) outperform a dunsley yorkshire stove (10kw+) with insulated liner purely due to better draw and air inflow for the former!
The slow burning practice is also not recommended as previously mentioned, where lower temps incur tar deposits, but on the other hand I have had customers call wondering why their supplies of logs are being used up very quickly where it has been found that they are burning at too high a temperature with their primary & in some cases also tertiary air baffles fully open! Thermometers fixed above your woodburner below the closure plate on the enamel pipe gives a good indication of how much air to allow in your stove.
My only 100% clear no-brainer is to NEVER EVER burn nothing but fully seasoned, as in an absolute minimum of 6 months, of split segmented logs that have been left outside open under a "lean too" which covers from rain elevated a couple of inch off the ground, differing varieties like Sessile or Pendunculate Oaks can take 12mnths or more. Beech Apple cherry etc 6-12mnths but softwoods and Ash, Sycamore are generally good after 6mnths, the rule of thumb is this <18% moisture talk but you can tell when a wedge of wood is dry by knocking it as it sounds hollow where wet/green fresh would has more a dull thud sound as well as weighing more/heavier.
,,,oh, get on the good side of a tree surgeon or farmer woodland owner etc and forage around trees for fallen deadwood and storm damage etc where you can gain knowledge to cross cut, split with a maul and season by storing your own logs but you can also try a local wood mill or carpenters etc for off cuts and such.
All this cos the politicians and energy suppliers are holding us to ransom eh Posted Image
info
more info/

Edited by mezzacyclone

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To give you an idea of the job in front of me

As it looks

post-2895-0-24649300-1384038507_thumb.jp

Up the chimney

post-2895-0-69395600-1384038521_thumb.jp

Left side in chimney

post-2895-0-95711000-1384038530_thumb.jp

Right side in chimney

post-2895-0-06994200-1384038544_thumb.jp

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