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 Firing up the wood burning stove

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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Firing up the wood burning stove   Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:03 pm

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Firing up the wood burning stove

There are lots of techniques for starting fires and like BBQ's I'm sure you will find a dozen blokes who know the right way to do it with a dozen different opinions. However you choose to light your fire? start with decent wood! Preparation is key. Buy it as early as you can. We bought ours a bit later in the year as we hadn't moved so wood was the last thing on our mind. We were also limited to what was available so late in the year but we managed to get 6 cubic meters of oak!. Our wood in total cost around 200 BGN which isn't’t bad for a whole winter. With properly seasoned wood and kindling you should be able to get a fire going in no time.

If it's a newly installed wood burner there are a few things to check. First, it's worth having a look round the house with a small fire burning to see that the smoke is going the right way and not coming out of anywhere it shouldn't? and it won't hurt to check the spare room isn't filling with smoke? This is also a good time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working if you have them fitted.

A lot of people are a bit shocked the first time they make a fire that some smoke seems to go the wrong way! Assuming you have cleaned your chimney, a common cause of smoke coming into the house from a wood burning stove is that the hot air pressure pushing the smoke out of the house is not as strong as the cold air pressure in the chimney pushing down. its a good idea to open a window in the room with the stove alight which will encourage a draught through the room and up the chimney. doesn't sound good if it's cold outside which it is or you wouldn't be lighting a fire but it is better than a room full of smoke. Getting the fire hot fast with as little smoldering as possible will help push the air up so it's worth burning some smaller wood and kindling to get things roaring before you get the bigger logs.

Another question is "
why is the top of my stove smoking?"
If it's a new wood burning stove then usually this is fairly innocent, just the paint and oil on the outside of the burner which basically burning off . This can happen the first few times you get the stove lit but if it keeps happening then you may need to talk to the people you bought it from because something isn't’t right! If you have an old stove that's giving off smoke then you could have a problem with some of the welds? or the door seal/glass seal may have deteriorated. It could be worth repairing the stove but look at the price for parts, there maybe wood burning stoves which are more efficient and inexpensive.

Another thing is to get the fire on was a set of fire place accessories-poker, ash shovel etc. which are a must! , you may need to put a guard around your stove to make sure no one gets burnt- children and pets.
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:20 pm

Hate to say this but a insulated stainless steel flue liner is the only way to go is you have a wood burning fire . As the flue gas will be at a higher temperature there will be no build up of tar in the chimney and not chimney fire to worry about . You should also have a supply of air from the outside to feed your fire this will stop the smoke in the room , Bulgaria is a poor country and they dont do thing correctly because of the cost .
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:26 pm

I light my fire with a gas blow lamp work ever time .
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:46 pm

Thank you John I never thought of that what a good idea
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:15 pm

So mpeople hows all your stoves doing at the moment I'm assuming that most of you have all fired them up now g
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:57 pm

I have been out and repaired a few in the Vt area . Some very poorly installed , in one the pump had been put up against the fire box and had burnt out because of the heat . The people in the other one had no idea that you had to keep the expansion tank topped up and had no tap in the bath room to top up with . Booth systems used plastic covered aluminum pipe to the expansion tank when in fact it should be steel as this pipe will not work with boiling water it is designed for temperatures up to 90 c not 100 c . Neither had a thermostat on the pump , so the pump was running all the time . Still that my moan for the day . The good thing is its not cold .
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:39 pm

I've just been reading this and thought I would bring it back to the present as we should all now be thinking of making sure everything is working well and safe for the winter.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Firing up the wood burning stove

There are lots of techniques for starting fires and like BBQ's I'm sure you will find a dozen blokes who know the right way to do it with a dozen different opinions. However you choose to light your fire? start with decent wood! Preparation is key. Buy it as early as you can. We bought ours a bit later in the year as we hadn't moved so wood was the last thing on our mind. We were also limited to what was available so late in the year but we managed to get 6 cubic meters of oak!. Our wood in total cost around 200 BGN which isn't’t bad for a whole winter. With properly seasoned wood and kindling you should be able to get a fire going in no time.

If it's a newly installed wood burner there are a few things to check. First, it's worth having a look round the house with a small fire burning to see that the smoke is going the right way and not coming out of anywhere it shouldn't? and it won't hurt to check the spare room isn't filling with smoke? This is also a good time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working if you have them fitted.

A lot of people are a bit shocked the first time they make a fire that some smoke seems to go the wrong way! Assuming you have cleaned your chimney, a common cause of smoke coming into the house from a wood burning stove is that the hot air pressure pushing the smoke out of the house is not as strong as the cold air pressure in the chimney pushing down. its a good idea to open a window in the room with the stove alight which will encourage a draught through the room and up the chimney. doesn't sound good if it's cold outside which it is or you wouldn't be lighting a fire but it is better than a room full of smoke. Getting the fire hot fast with as little smoldering as possible will help push the air up so it's worth burning some smaller wood and kindling to get things roaring before you get the bigger logs.

Another question is "
why is the top of my stove smoking?"
If it's a new wood burning stove then usually this is fairly innocent, just the paint and oil on the outside of the burner which basically burning off . This can happen the first few times you get the stove lit but if it keeps happening then you may need to talk to the people you bought it from because something isn't’t right! If you have an old stove that's giving off smoke then you could have a problem with some of the welds? or the door seal/glass seal may have deteriorated. It could be worth repairing the stove but look at the price for parts, there maybe wood burning stoves which are more efficient and inexpensive.

Another thing is to get the fire on was a set of fire place accessories-poker, ash shovel etc. which are a must! , you may need to put a guard around your stove to make sure no one gets burnt- children and pets.
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:16 am

Yep it is that time of year and the heating devices will start to be used more and more. The previous article from gimp is very true and things need to be checked. Maybe a few little things to do ::

Check the flue is clear, has it been swept during the summer months. You may have a few lodgers e.g. Birds nests.

Do all valves work. Too late if they fail during the winter, takes a few moments to turn off then on again.

Check for air in radiators. You don't need to have a system on to do this.

Is the damper working. Flap thing at the back of the boiler.

Is the area around the boiler clear.

If you have an oil boiler check that the injector is clean if not 'Pric it'

Have you enough fuel. (Wood &
Oil)

If you cannot maintain it get someone in to do it for you.

This is not an exaustive list but may help some people to have a comfy winter.

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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:11 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
“YEP”.no doubt about it,it is now that time of year when Mr Caveman wants to take charge of the fire.

There is a caveman in most of us, I would always look forward to Club Night's!!

s s s
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:24 pm

One way to get an updraught going is to burn bits of lightly crumpled paper one piece at a time till the heat of the flames gets the air going up the chimney and out the top. If you have a low chimney (or a house at the foot of a hill where cold air flows downwards over your roof) then a good method is to assemble all the fire startings outside the firebox like this : pieces of crumpled paper, small shreds of cardboard, bigger bits of cardboard, then thin sticks, thicker sticks, slivers of waste wood, thicker slivers of wood, thin logs, medium logs, thicker logs. You burn the bits of paper till you have a good updaught then add the next thing on the list, always waiting till it is flaming well and hot before adding the next type. This method never failed me in a house with a much too short chimney at the bottom of a steep hill! It was a Bosky cooker-boiler, my own Neanderthol could never get it going as he insisted in laying all the fuel into the firebox before lighting it and it always filled the entire house with acrid smoke and then went out without ever getting to make any flames. I reckon if you're born in a fire sign - Aries, Leo or Sagittarius - you have an instinct for it!
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bigsavak
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:00 am

Thank you Fruitlover that was a very interesting addition to this topic.
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:42 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Thank you Fruitlover that was a very interesting addition to this topic.

Thanks guys for me and all of us well done!!

Oddy g

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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:45 pm

Thank you fruitlover its always good to get advice like this because we all have the same problems here in Bulgaria and the more information and help the better for all of us.
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:42 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
One way to get an updraught going is to burn bits of lightly crumpled paper one piece at a time till the heat of the flames gets the air going up the chimney and out the top. If you have a low chimney (or a house at the foot of a hill where cold air flows downwards over your roof) then a good method is to assemble all the fire startings outside the firebox like this : pieces of crumpled paper, small shreds of cardboard, bigger bits of cardboard, then thin sticks, thicker sticks, slivers of waste wood, thicker slivers of wood, thin logs, medium logs, thicker logs. You burn the bits of paper till you have a good updaught then add the next thing on the list, always waiting till it is flaming well and hot before adding the next type. This method never failed me in a house with a much too short chimney at the bottom of a steep hill! It was a Bosky cooker-boiler, my own Neanderthol could never get it going as he insisted in laying all the fuel into the firebox before lighting it and it always filled the entire house with acrid smoke and then went out without ever getting to make any flames. I reckon if you're born in a fire sign - Aries, Leo or Sagittarius - you have an instinct for it!

If you're having to do this then you have a problem with your flue.
A correctly installed chimney should always have and updraught even when the fire is off.
The danger you face if you need to carry out the above operation is when you have the fire burning slowly overnight and the outside air temperature drops to well below freezing. It's likely that your flue will cool to the extent that the toxic gas within it will flood into your room. it also means your fire isn't operating efficiently and you are wasting money on burning more fuel than you need.
jonbaz posted earlier in this topic and his advice is sound. Last summer we installed 2 metres of insulated flue pipe where it emerges from the roof and the improvement is remarkable. Total cost approximately 250 lev but that money will be recovered this winter due to using much less wood.
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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:38 am

How this is so true. Our flue was blocked to such an extent that I have built a complete new flue and the difference in heat is amazing. Not sure about the saving in wood yet but time will tell. The one thing that I also think is advisable is to get a CO2 detector they cost from 20 ish pounds and have a life span of about 5 years.

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PostSubject: Re: Firing up the wood burning stove   Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:28 am

Good idea Tony, it's worth getting a carbon monoxide detector too.
Here's a link to some usefull info regarding wood burners/burning:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ... rning.html

A search on google about woodburners, flues, chimneys, etc. will quickly give you a lot of usefull information.
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