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This is a question we get asked almost every time we sell a stove!

In simple terms the answer is – yes you could fit it yourself because there is no legal requirement or qualification for someone to install a stove like there would be with a gas fire.

However, there ARE a full set of regulations governing how it should be properly done and these are covered in the very lengthy “document J” of the “Building Regulations. (click here to get a copy)

To be honest, like most government documents, it is a very dull and difficult read and large tracts of it are nothing to do with residential stove installations. However, if you are willing to plough through it, you will find all the information you need to do an install yourself which is in full compliance with the Building Regulations.

The key thing to understand is that the regulations are entirely about ensuring the safety of the occupants (and neighbours) of a house where a real fire is burning in the hearth – and that has to be a good thing.

With this in mind, many people prefer to employ a professional installer who has been trained and licensed to do the installs in compliance with the regulations. These people are registered under the auspices of HETAS but unfortunately, hiring them to do an install often tends to come with a hefty price tag that puts many people off.

This means we still get many customers asking us if there are cheaper alternatives. The answer is “yes” but any install done by yourself or a builder still needs to be checked and certified as safe by your local council’s Building Control Dept – who will charge you a fee for inspecting and issuing a safety certificate.

The other thing to bear in mind is that, if you install a stove without obtaining the proper certification it could invalidate your homes Buildings Insurance in the event a fire starts in your chimney and razes your home to the ground!

Having said all that, installing a stove isn’t rocket science and by getting properly acquainted with the rules or by using a good builder who knows the rules, you can save hundreds of pounds on the installation cost. Then as long as you get it checked and approved by your local council you will be in full compliance with the law – and most importantly, safer.

The key issues covered under the regulations are;

1. The correct preparation, lining and suitability of the hearth, chimney and cowls.

2. The correct fitting of a register plate.

3. Leaving the correct “breathing” spaces all around the stove and at least 300mm of hearth protruding in front of the stove.

4. Correctly fitting flue pipes, chimney liner and cowls and sealing joints.

5. Installing an air vent (where appropriate) and a carbon monoxide alarm.

6. Correctly testing the stove after installation to ensure a proper burn and removal of flue gases.

If all these matters are correctly addressed, your local council’s Building Control officer will have no problems in certifying your installation and you can enjoy many years of cheaper and more beautiful heating warmth in your home.

If you’d like general advice or guidance on any of these matters, please feel free to give us a call and ask questions. We are always happy to help. STOVEMAESTRO WOOD BURNING STOVES MANCHESTER 0161 743 9567

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WHAT IS A REGISTER PLATE, HOW IS IT FITTED AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?

By StoveMaestro wood burning stoves of Manchester

Fitting a wood burning stove or fire carries no stipulation that the work cannot be carried out by a DIY enthusiast. All work however does have to comply with part J of the building regulations. These regulations can be seen by clicking here.

If this work is not carried out by a competent person (E.G a HETAS installer) it must be inspected by someone from your local councils Building Control Department. Solid fuel produces Carbon Monoxide. This gas, if unchecked is deadly.

Wood burning stoves and fires are, in themselves, fairly simple. The wood, or solid fuel is fed into the chamber, set light to, and the smoke and exhaust fumes escape up a flue to outside air. It is however, absolutely vital, that during this process no heat escapes through any gaps or cracks. Wood burners and other solid fuel fires, including open coal fires, create an immense amount of heat. If this heat is allowed to escape before it gets to open air it can very easily cause a fire and it is imperative you have any existing flue checked by a qualified engineer before attempting to fit a wood burning stove or fire.

register plateYou can just see, at the top of the fireplace, the new flexible flue liner hanging down. The first job, while the fireplace was empty, was to install a steel frame to hold what is called a register plate. The register plate stops loose objects falling from inside the stack into the fireplace and also keeps the flue insulation in place. It seals the chimney stack and prevents any smoke or other flue gases getting back into the room. It should be made of a non flammable material and it fits round the wood burner flue pipe while also blocking off the opening to the stack completely. Proprietary steel register plates can be bought from the fire supplier and they will measure the fireplace opening and position of the flue for you. You will still need to install a frame or some other means of holding it in place.

register plateSome people use fire proof board for register plates (as in the pictures further down in this article) because it is easy to cut, very light and easy to position but many people prefer to buy a pre-cut steel register plate with access panels (see picture left). This is useful in case of a requirement to get access to the chimney.

These plates come in standard sizes and can be trimmed to fit if neccessary. They also come with the fitting frame

Next the flue outlet is fitted to the top of the wood burner. To stop heat escaping from any gaps the flue outlet bracket sits in a slight recess at the top of the wood burner and a length of fire rope is placed in between the two.

As the flue outlet is tightened down onto the top of the wood burner, the fire rope is squashed into place.

Fire rope is also used as the seal between the wood burners door and the frame it butts up to. This is in place when you purchase the woodburner.

stove and flueHaving measured the distance from the top of the fire (inside the flue outlet) to a point at least 100 mm above the top of your new register plate frame, you can cut off the surplus flue liner and cut the wood burner flue pipe to length.

If you use a steel register plate it is better (if it will not cause an eyesore) to keep the joint between flue pipe and flue liner, below the register plate

A special collar, or adapter is used to join the top of the flue pipe to the bottom of the flexible flue. Sit the flexible liner into the collar so it is located centrally. Tighten the self tapping screws round the collar to hold the liner in position and to secure the collar to the liner. Another length of fire rope is inserted into the collar and fitted around the circumference of the flue pipe. Fire cement is now rammed into the collar so there are no air voids.

The joint is then smoothed off and left for a while. Fire cement register plategoes hard when exposed to heat. Many installers use fire mastic for this joint.

The register plate can now be fitted into the frame. The offcut of the flue pipe can be used as a template and a line drawn round it. This circle can be cut out with a jig saw, pad saw or coping saw. This is done for the two parts of the plate surrounding the flue pipe and straight lengths are fitted to fill any gaps. Fire cement can be bought from us or at any good builders merchants.

Seal the joints and gaps of the register plate with some fire mastic.

Finally, place a chimney “pot hanger” over the remainder (maximum 150mm) of flexible flue liner and secure it in placet.

Lift the register plate to check the adapter joint periodically.

DON’T FORGET TO HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY SWEPT BEFORE THE INSTALLATION AND REGULARLY AFTERWARDS!

SEE OUR RANGE OF REGISTER PLATES AS WELL AS FLUE PIPES, CHIMNEY LINERS AND EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO INSTALL YOUR STOVE BY CLICKING HERE.

WHY ARE WOOD-BURNING STOVES SO POPULAR AGAIN?

Wood burning stoves (also known as multi-fuel or log burning stoves) have been growing in popularity over the last 15 years, partly because of rapidly rising gas and electricity prices and partly because of a fashion trend to more natural light and warmth in the home.

Some wood-burning stoves are sometimes referred to as multi fuel because they can burn coal, charcoal or smokeless fuels as well as wood. This flexibility can be particularly useful if you live a in a smokeless area or if you cannot always get a ready supply of properly dried and treated wood to burn.

The wood fuel can be small pieces of cut wood, or a even a full log if your stove is big enough to be a log-burner.

If you are looking to buy a wood burning or multifuel stove, you should also insist that it has the “air wash” system, which is an airflow method of keeping smoke from accumulating on the inside of the glass window of your wood burning stove.

With a good wood-burner stove you can cut your winter fuel bills dramatically, whilst at the same time adding a charm and beauty to your house that only come with a real fire.

Larger wood burning stoves are also sometimes used for cooking or heating a kettle for tea and coffee, simply by leaving it stood on the top surface like you would with an Aga.

This can be very fuel efficient as it can remove the need for your traditional kettle and save all that electricity!

In addition, A pan placed in the same way could be used for warming food, slow cooking a stew or just providing free hot water for washing up.

Many larger wood burning, multi-fuel stoves are fitted with boiler attachments to actually provide hot water to the home, or even to help run a central heating system.

Many people find that this allows them to use a wood burning stove side by side with their existing heating and hot water systems, whilst allowing them to save money on gas and electricity.

The main things you have to consider before going for a wood burning or multifuel stove are;

  • Do you have access to a regular supply of properly dried wood fuel and can you store it and keep it dry?
  • Do you live in a smokeless area that would prevent you from burning fuels that produce smoke?
  • Do you have a chimney and hearth suitable to install a stove?

If the answer is yes, then it comes down to choosing one the right size and design for your room and that is where we can help with our wide range.

Here at StoveMaestro wood burning stoves Manchester we offer all different types of wood-burning, multi-fuel and log-burning stoves so if you need any help or advice choosing the right one for you, just give us a call. There you will find answers to the most common questions, but if you can’t find the answer you seek, drop us an email or call our technical help line.

We are happy to help in any way we can.

FITTING A WOOD BURNING STOVE IN A CONSERVATORY OR OTHER ROOM WITHOUT A TRADITIONAL CHIMNEY STACK. by wood burning stove in a conservatory

This is a question we seem to be getting asked more and more these days. The difficulty and expense of heating a conservatory or new extension to any property can be a big problem for people, but here is a beautiful and elegant solution. A wood burning stove.

To begin with, do you really want to extend your existing gas or electric central heating system into your new room, and have a plumber running new hot water pipes through your walls out there to another ugly radiator?

Or worse still, are you considering having an electrician gouging a channel along the wall to run an electrical cable out to run an expensive electric heater of some sort?

Many more people these days are eschewing these ideas and plumping for the warmth and beauty of a real fire in the form of a wood or multi fuel burning stove in their homes, so why not in a conservatory or new extension room?

Of course the immediate problem is how do you get rid of the smoke without a hearth and a chimney to stand your stove in? Well the answer is that it can be done using a special flue arrangement that goes straight out through the roof.

Firstly, you will want to decide on where your stove will be placed in your room, and this is an important decision as not only is it an aesthetic choice for you, it will affect where and how your flue will have to go through the roof.

Also at this point you should consider on what your stove willl be standing. If you have a lovely wood floor and stand a stove directly on it, you can rest assured that over time it will become discoloured and damaged by the heat it conducts from the stove legs. Most people would therefore put down a base of some sort. Tiles or stone would do the job and be an attractive feature, but pretty much anything with low heat conductivity and stable enough to support the weight of the stove will be fine.

Next you have to consider the size of the room and choose a stove with a Kw rating of the appropriate size so you don’t over or under heat it. If you need help with this use our handy Kw calculator

You will then need the assistance of a good installer to help you set up the flue pipe arrangement.

A quick and relatively simple way is to use the conventional steel/stainless steel flue pipe for the first sections coming out of the top (or rear) of your stove. This flue pipe will be visible in the room, so it is important to choose flue pipe you like the look of – whether it will be shiny chrome or a matt grey to match the stove colour – as in the photo on the left.

This length of flue pipe will also have an added heating bonus as it will radiate more heat into the room as the flue heats up when the fire in the stove gets up to temperature.

As the flue reaches the ceiling height of your conservatory or extension room, you will need to change to twin wall insulated pipe, using an adaptor.

You can clearly see the join in the picture on the left where it changes colour.

In this example the twin wall flue pipe is starting lower down than ceiling height because this enables a false chimney breast to be formed from 3×2 timber and covered with plasterboard.

This allows you to make a nice decorative feature of the stove in a new extension to a property but is not always quite so suitable in a conservatory where you will probably need to go straight up to the ceiling with standard flue pipe and then switch to twin wall flue to finish the job.

You will also need to place a fire guard around any wooden joists in the roof void and continue out through the roof using the twin walled pipe use a flashing kit to seal the external roof and then finish with a suitable cowl as you can see in the picture on the left.

If this was a conservatory flue install, your installer would simply cut a hole in the conservatory roof, using a jig saw, run the twin wall flue out, and then seal using a flashing kit as described above. This method can be used on most single storey flat or pitch roof buildings.

What you can end up with is a beautiful wood burning stove that looks something like the picture on the left, with a single flue pipe coming from the top and a roaring fire to enjoy on those long winter nights ahead.

After all, you didn’t add a conservatory or extension to your house to only use in the summer months did you?

The total cost on an installation like this can be considerably less than extending your central heating system and the savings on fuel costs in the future make the prospect even more attractive.

For more help and advice on installing a similar system in your own home, why not give us a call?

stovemaestro

Excellent article from the StoveMaestro website

WHAT IS A REGISTER PLATE, HOW IS IT FITTED AND WHY DO I NEED ONE?

Fitting a wood burning stove or fire carries no stipulation that the work cannot be carried out by a DIY enthusiast. All work however does have to comply with part J of the building regulations. These regulations can be seen on the Governments planning portal website.

If this work is not carried out by a competent person (E.G a HETAS installer) it must be inspected by someone from your local councils Building Control Department. Solid fuel produces Carbon Monoxide.

This gas, if unchecked is deadly.

Wood burning stoves and fires are, in themselves, fairly simple. The wood, or solid fuel is fed into the chamber, set light to, and the smoke and exhaust fumes escape up a flue to outside air. It is however, absolutely vital, that during this process no heat escapes through any gaps or cracks. Wood burners and other solid fuel fires, including open coal fires, created an immense amount of heat. If this heat is allowed to escape before it gets to open air it can very easily cause a fire and it is imperative you have any existing flue checked by a qualified engineer before attempting to fit a wood burning stove or fire.

The first job, while the fireplace is empty, is to install a steel frame to hold what is called a register plate. The register plate stops loose objects falling from inside the stack into the fireplace and also keeps the flue insulation in place. It should be made of a non flammable material and it fits round the wood burner flue pipe while also blocking off the opening to the stack completely. Proprietary steel register plates can be bought from the fire supplier and they will measure the fireplace opening and position of the flue for you. You will still need to install a frame or some other means of holding it in place.

We use fibre cement for our register plates because it is easy to cut, very light and easy to position.

Next the flue outlet is fitted to the top of the wood burner. To stop heat escaping from any gaps the flue outlet bracket sits in a slight recess at the top of the wood burner and a length of fire rope is placed in between the two. As the flue outlet is tightened down onto the top of the wood burner, the fire rope is squashed into place. Fire rope is also used as the seal between the wood burners door and the frame it butts up to. This is in place when you purchase the woodburner.

Having measured the distance from the top of the fire (inside the flue outlet) to a point 100 mm above the top of your new register plate frame, you can cut off the surplus flue liner and cut the wood burner flue pipe to length. If you use a steel register plate it is as well (if it will not cause an eyesore) to keep the joint between flue pipe and flue liner, below the register plate

A special collar, or adapter is used to join the top of the flue pipe to the bottom of the flexible flue. Sit the flexible liner into the collar so it is located centrally. Tighten the self tapping screws round the collar to hold the liner in position and to secure the collar to the liner. Another length of fire rope is inserted into the collar and fitted around the circumference of the flue pipe. Fire cement is now rammed into the collar so there are no air voids. The joint is then smoothed off and left for a while. Fire cement goes hard when exposed to heat. Many installers use fire mastic for this joint.

The register plate can now be fitted into the frame. The offcut of the flue pipe can be used as a template and a line drawn round it. This circle can be cut out with a jig saw, pad saw or coping saw. This is done for the two parts of the plate surrounding the flue pipe and straight lengths are fitted to fill any gaps. Fibre cement can be bought at builders merchants and it is most often used in strips of 100 or 150mm wide as a tile undercloak to roof verges.

Seal the joints and gaps of the register plate with some fire mastic and you are now ready to get up onto the roof (Please read the relevant safety warnings) and slide the closing plate off, or to one side, while you fill the void between flue liner and chimney with Vermiculite insulation. As you tip the insulation into the stack, tap and shake the flexible flue liner a little to make sure the vermiculite travels all the way to the bottom of the stack.

This will make sure your flue stays efficient by reducing condensation and keeping its heat. Finally, place a chimney pot over the remainder (maximum 150mm) of flexible flue liner and haunch it in place with sand and cement.

Lift the register plate to check the adapter joint periodically.

DON’T FORGET TO HAVE YOUR CHIMNEY SWEPT BEFORE THE INSTALLATION AND REGULARLY AFTERWARDS!

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