Frequently asked questions 

Can the doors be left open while burning?

For safety and heat efficiency the doors should remain closed at all times.


When do I need to replace Firebricks?

We advise that a refractory brick would require replacement if it is crumbling away or is falling into the firebox causing a nuisance. If your firebrick is cracked it will not need to be changed as a crack will not affect the operation of the stove. 


Do stoves require a chimney?

All solid fuel stoves require a suitable chimney.


What are the causes of poor combustion?

When soot deposits form, typically this is a clear indication of poor combustion. Poor combustion can be caused by any of the following:

  • Poor or damp fuel being used

  • Poor chimney draught

  • Lack of Ventilation to the room in which the stove is fitted.

  • Continual low burning

If symptoms persist it is best to get your local service engineer to investigate the matter for you.

What causes webbing (hairline cracks) on stove glass?

The damage on the glass is consistent with sulphur from the fuel reacting with the glass. It is possible that by replacing the glass, it will alleviate this issue but if it doesn't you will need to look at changing the fuel or fuel supplier.


What causes the plasterwork on a chimney breast to crack?

When installing a stove into an existing fireplace, as the flue gas temperatures into the chimney system will increase, it would be expected that the chimney system and its surrounding brickwork will get hotter. If you are noticing hairline cracks appearing on the plasterwork, it is usually caused by a crack in the flue liner of the chimney system which is allowing for excess heat to get the surrounding brickwork.

To alleviate this issue usually the chimney system would need to be fitted with a flexible liner but I would advise that you contact one of the flue manufacturers who will be able advise exactly how to address this issue.


What causes glass to crack/break on my stove?

The following are the causes of stove glass cracked:

  • Impact Damage - If the glass is impacted by a piece of fuel sticking out of the firebox or by a stone in the fuel, a small chip can be created on the glass which over time (through repeated heating & cooling) can grow and will eventually cause the glass to crack.

  • Glass Fixings too tight - As the glass grows in size slightly when heated, if the glass screws are over tightened it can cause damage to the glass surface which can cause it to crack. It is recommended to fit the screws until hand tight and then turn the screws back approximately a quarter turn.


Should a chimney contain bends?

When fitting a solid fuel appliance in line with building regulations, flues should be vertical wherever possible and where a bend is necessary, it should not make an angle of more than 45° with the vertical.

It also advises that within the clay pot liners, bends above the flue mouth may help to reduce splashes of rain and soot that may fall on the hearth but the angle of the bend should be no greater than 45° and preferably less than 30°. For these reasons it has traditionally been standard practice for clay pot chimneys to be built with a sweeping bend incorporated in it and not have it completely vertical.


What causes glass to blacken on a stove?

The stove glass will self-clean when there is sufficient heat generated by the burning fuel i.e. when the unit is operated at the maximum air settings (i.e. Keep secondary air  damper above the fire door open). If a build-up of creosote occurs on the glass it may be due to low draft conditions, poor quality fuel or operating the stove at the minimum air settings for long periods of time. The glass should be cleaned when cool and cleaned with a non-abrasive cloth using warm soapy water. For stubborn deposits, a grade 0 steel wool can be used whilst taking care not to scratch the glass with any coal/ash deposits.


Should I protect myself against carbon monoxide?

Yes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas, it is produced by incomplete burning of carbon based fuels. CO has no taste, smell or colour and can be present in the fumes (combustion products) of gas, oil, solid mineral fuel or biomass burning appliances.

Solid fuel and biomass are safe to burn if the appliance is installed, maintained and used correctly.  UK Building Regulations Approved Document J now makes it compulsory to fit an audible CO alarm complying with BS EN 50291:2001 with each new or replacement solid fuel/biomass appliance.


What is the maximum allowable moisture content for fuel?

We would advise that fuel with a maximum moisture content of 20% are used in any of our stoves.


How to season a stove after installation?

After installing a stove it is recommended to run a couple of small fires starting off  to permit the refractory to set properly & to season the stove. Then run the unit at maximum output for a couple of hours to burn off all the remaining storage coatings on the stove (these are on the stove to prevent it from rusting during storage).

When operating the unit during these initial firings, it is recommended to keep the room well ventilated as an odour will be emitted that will be unpleasant but this odour will subside after the initial firings.


How do I clean the chimney on a solid fuel stove?

Prior to installing the stove, consideration must be given to providing access around the unit to allow for general cleaning and maintenance.

The chimney should be cleaned twice annually or if the stove is not used for a prolonged period during the summer period, it should be cleaned prior to commencement of usage. Always use a brush with plastic bristles that is the correct size to reach all areas of the flue. For flue systems containing different diameter pipe sizes, flexible flue brushes are available which ensure all areas of the flue are thoroughly cleaned. 


Can I install a solid fuel stove into a new build?

The current building regulations (Building Regulations Part L) state that all new dwellings must provide a minimum of 10 KWh/m²/annum (m2 of floor area) contribution from renewable sources to energy use for space heating and hot water, or 4 KWh/ m²/annum of electrical energy from a renewable source.

  • Renewable energy sources are classified as follows:

  • Solar thermal systems

  • Wood and pellet stoves

  • Wood pellet/chip boilers

  • Heat pumps

In the case of a wood burning stove, it must be installed in the largest living space to fulfil contribution to renewable energy (as detailed in the DEAP Manual) of the renewable energy requirement.

There is confusion in the marketplace with builders, architects and consumers alike who are under the impression that solid fuel stoves legally cannot be installed into new builds.  You can install multi fuel stoves with or without central heating and a multi fuel stoves will improve your BER rating compared to an open fire by 10% , 3 times more efficient than an open fire.

Wood burning stoves are dedicated wood burners which means you can't burn anything other than wood or you will damage the appliance. Wood burning stoves are most popular in room heating only models and there very few central heating models in the marketplace.  It is important to note that wood burning stoves will contribute a percentage (not all) of your renewable resource requirements and the unit must be fitted in the largest living space in the house.

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