I HATE the wood burning stove. Any alternatives please.

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karenm
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Postby karenm » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:01 am

Sapper wrote:We have had a big cowl on the chimney for six years, the fire draws well and there's not much smoke when we open the fire door unless you forget to open the damper first This winter though it is making a terrible noise, it sounds like rumbling thunder but is ok when there is no wind. My husband said it must be worn out, we will have to put up with the noise now until the weather improves it's too dangerous to be scaling a roof with all the snow and strong winds. He said he will have a look for a new one in the spring so they must be ok.
Going back to the electricity cut offs, we had a bad day last week when it went off and the UPS didn't cut in. There was a big panic on as the fire was well built up and blazing, the boiler sounded ominous, like it was ready to blow, very scary. The only thing to do is get the logs off quickly and kill the fire, not as easy as it sounds and the house was full of smoke. It turns out the battery for the UPS had gone flat, Jack charged it up when the lecky came back on (several hours later!) and it's working ok now. We do have some fun :D Pat


I read somewhere on the internet that a rumbling thundery sound can mean the chimney has caught fire !!!

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Postby MOD » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:03 am

Moscow_Wolf wrote:
MOD wrote:So.... I HATE the wood burning stove. Any alternatives please anyone?

:roll: 8)

Maybe YOU should tell us the ideal clean alternative heating system for your new dog box. :lol:


Be assured, if & when we are given a new dog box it will have all MOD cons. And we're wagging our tails for underfloor heating! :lol:

8)

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Postby Sapper » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:13 am

Karenm, please don't even think that, Murphy hasn't got that on his list of things to inflict on us! it is definately the cowl as it goes quiet when the wind drops.
On topic it would appear that there are no alternatives to the wood burner unless you have a lot of money and most people can't afford to start again with a different system. Pat

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Postby Slaphead » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:47 pm

[quote="Moscow_Wolf"][quote="brianj42"]We had problems with chimney draw and added a cowl, haven't had a problem ever since. The more I hear about your heating maister MW the more I believe he hasn't been doing it long :wink:[/quote]

Everybody wants to have a dig at my Bulgarian Heating Engineer/Plumber. :( He is fine, he worked in Israel so I guess he is more Solar orientated than wood burning stove. However, see Lilliana's post above yours. Not everyone likes the cowls for differing reasons. I'd rather read other folk's opinions before splashing the cash and finding out for myself.

Perhaps you don't get much wind where you live? We get strong North Easterlies to North West winds most of the time, (50 KPH now and again) and in April/May we tend to get winds from the East and the Black Sea (can smell the salt on the air). Rarely get southern or western winds and when we do, it is usually not wood burning stove season. I do take notice of the wind especially when wanting to light the stove and it changes my process of actually starting it. When the winds are high from the North, I'll add more fire lighters, paper, prep the chimney with some burning paper and get a small roaring fire as quickly as possible before adding logs. When there is little or next to no wind, I can build the fire as high as I want with dried sticks and it will suck in the air and burn up - no problem.

I will add a level or two to my chimney next year, (easy enough job) but if I am going to go down your Pellet Boiler route in the future then, there is not much point as that would be situated in the nearby boiler room/house where all the utilities are located.[/quote]

From what you've said here MW, I'd suggest your flu is too cold.
We also experience strong winds where we are, those of you who know where we live will appreciate how exposed we are. With the original external, single skin, galvanised flue (with an H on top) we suffered from blow back and had problems starting the fire, your solution of loads of igniters sounds so familiar. Then we had a chimney fire - not recommended, it sounds like you have a train running up your flue. Because the external flue suffered extreme wind chill, all the tar/flammable products that wood burning generates, condensed higher up the flue, just like an oil refinery cracker. Those products then ran down the flue and ignited, whoosh!
That fire was the catalyst to change. I did loads of reading/researching and installed an insulated flue in accordance with the UK building specs for chimney height and position. Touch wood, no further problems. As the flue is insulated it doesn't suffer the effects of windchill inside the flue itself. i.e. the gas stays hot all the way up.
The flue itself is not cheap at something like 100 lev/m but I only needed 2m for the external element of the flue and that's been repaid many fold by the reduction in the amount of wood we need to burn because of the fire's increased efficiency.

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Postby Moscow_Wolf » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:30 pm

Slaphead wrote:
Moscow_Wolf wrote:
brianj42 wrote:We had problems with chimney draw and added a cowl, haven't had a problem ever since. The more I hear about your heating maister MW the more I believe he hasn't been doing it long :wink:


Everybody wants to have a dig at my Bulgarian Heating Engineer/Plumber. :( He is fine, he worked in Israel so I guess he is more Solar orientated than wood burning stove. However, see Lilliana's post above yours. Not everyone likes the cowls for differing reasons. I'd rather read other folk's opinions before splashing the cash and finding out for myself.



From what you've said here MW, I'd suggest your flu is too cold.
We also experience strong winds where we are, those of you who know where we live will appreciate how exposed we are. With the original external, single skin, galvanised flue (with an H on top) we suffered from blow back and had problems starting the fire, your solution of loads of igniters sounds so familiar. Then we had a chimney fire - not recommended, it sounds like you have a train running up your flue. Because the external flue suffered extreme wind chill, all the tar/flammable products that wood burning generates, condensed higher up the flue, just like an oil refinery cracker. Those products then ran down the flue and ignited, whoosh!

That fire was the catalyst to change. I did loads of reading/researching and installed an insulated flue in accordance with the UK building specs for chimney height and position. Touch wood, no further problems. As the flue is insulated it doesn't suffer the effects of windchill inside the flue itself. i.e. the gas stays hot all the way up.
The flue itself is not cheap at something like 100 lev/m but I only needed 2m for the external element of the flue and that's been repaid many fold by the reduction in the amount of wood we need to burn because of the fire's increased efficiency.


Valid points and noted. I don't have a galvanised flue in the chimney. The chimney is built from those made for purpose 'ceramic' brick with a central hole and just cemented on top of each other to the current height. I do have an inspection hatch on the outside wall where I can clear away any fallen soot and I assume I can use the same route for a sweep if and when necessary. I don't even have an 'H' at the top, just a concrete slab supported a few inches above the chimney on four brick corner stilts.

I also do not have any exterior insulation on the chimney as it never entered my mind to do it until NOW. :roll: It is at least rendered, but that is it. It gets worse, I have a bad Heating Engineer (who will admit he is no builder) and a cold flue. :(

If/when I get chance and remember, I'll take a photograph of it and stick it in my gallery. :wink:

Thanks for the head's up.

Even MOD don't know any good alternatives as he wants underfloor heating but didn't say how he was going to heat it. :lol:

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Postby Hippyboy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:55 pm

Well I asked a mate down the pub (actually a retired engineer) about mains gas central heating in VT where he has a flat (although he normally stays in the village) . He said that a few people in his block had gone for it , but not many due to the high installation costs . His impression was that the company 'Bulgaz' or 'Bulgargaz' brought the gas pipeline into the appartments for free , but on the condition that they then installed the cental heating system ; maybe they are the only people acredited to install gas boilers ? He really wasn't sure , but had a vague notion of 5000Lev for an average appartment . Like me , he was sceptical about them being prepared to run a pipeline to my house in VT unless I could persuade most of my neighbours to switch to gas as well ; which seems highly unlikely . Given that Bulgaria has just pissed-off the Russians by cancelling the proposed gas pipeline project to Burgas , he also reckoned that there was a good chance that the price of gas (whatever it is) might skyrocket ; its not rocket science , don't you know !

I seem to remember that a couple of MYBGers had LPG tanks installed , and although it wouldn't be practical for my place in VT , it would nevertheless be interesting to hear how cost effective they felt their heating was , a few years on .

With the likely scrapping of the Belene nuclear project (another middle finger to the Ruskies , for which they are demanding compensation) Its unclear how Bulgaria intends to meet future rises in electricity demands , other than a general committment to increase the number of windfarms , and possibly (although as with most of Europe its hard to see how solar would help very much with peak demands in the winter) It is reasonable to assume therefore that the price of electricity will continue to rise , but by how much and how quickly is anybody's guess .

Its also equally unclear how sustainable Bulgaria's forest's are , despite a declining population the demand for firewood seems to be increasing . There certainly seems to be a lot of logging going on , but whether its just affluent Bulgarians and foreigners burning more to keep their gaffs toasty , or , as I've heard tell , firewood being exported, again who knows .

I don't know if anybody on the forum burns coal or not , but judging from the smoke eminating from a couple of chimneys in VT , it looks pretty rank , and unlikely to provide a cleaner alternative to the woodburner . Presumably pellet burners will become more popular , although from what Brianj42 says the quality of pellets is abit of an issue.

Unless we all take up hibernation , it looks as though we have a bit of a quandry . Tim .

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Postby spantrout » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:03 pm

Hippyboy wrote
I don't know if anybody on the forum burns coal or not , but judging from the smoke eminating from a couple of chimneys in VT , it looks pretty rank ,


Never burnt it, but when i bought this place i had about 200kg of what looked like bars of soap made out of coal dust!, didn't smell of coal has to be said, but it reminded me of the old brickettes u used to be able to buy many many moons ago in the UK, my workers took it as a bonus!!

But as u said looks quite skanky and the smell from a chimney is quite rank, along with the thick beige brown smoke which accompanied it

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Postby Hippyboy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:34 pm

Yeah , yellowy-brown sulphurous muck billows from a chimney near me . That being said , it might be preferable to the house down the hill from me , whose fuel of preference smells like , and may well be , old shoes ! Tim.

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Postby qwerty » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:39 pm

Hippyboy wrote:Yeah , yellowy-brown sulphurous muck billows from a chimney near me . That being said , it might be preferable to the house down the hill from me , whose fuel of preference smells like , and may well be , old shoes ! Tim.


Could be either cow or donkey poo coal Tim :)

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Postby Hippyboy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:31 pm

In my experience , properly dried cow poo gives off very little smell when burnt . Whatever they're burning down below almost certainly is scavenged from the trash bins , unless they have a particularly good deal on old shoes . Tim .


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