Finding a competent person to install your woodburner

Here at Gr8Fires, we do not carry out installations. We focus on selling wood-burning stoves and multi-fuel stoves at the best possible prices (backed by our lowest price guarantee). So, when you buy a stove from us you will need to find somebody to install it for you.

Let’s not forget, when you install a woodburner, you’re going to want to ensure that poisonous gases are sealed into the system and do not seep into your house. You’re also doing it to meet the building regulations relating to stove installations.

So, you need a competent installer who will help you to achieve both of those things. Fortunately, the government runs a series of competent person schemes, which allow installers who have joined the scheme to self-certify their work. This avoids the need to have to pay your local building control office to inspect and certify that the work meets building regulations.

Here are the competent person schemes currently in operation whose members are able to self-certify woodburner installations. Many of these bodies offer search functions on their websites to allow you to locate a registered installer in your area by either place name or postcode.

APHC

APHC
Full name: Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (Certification) Limited
Telephone: 0121 7115030

Benchmark

Benchmark
Full name: Benchmark Certification Limited
Telephone: 0238 0517069

BESCA

BESCA
Full name: Building Engineering Services Competence Assessment Limited
Telephone: 0800 652 5533

ELECSA

ELECSA
Full name: Certsure LLP trading as ELECSA or NICEIC
Telephone: 0845 634 9043 or 01582 531000

HETAS

HETAS_hri
Full name: HETAS Limited
Telephone: 01684 278170

NAPIT

NAPIT
Full name: NAPIT Registration Limited
Telephone: 0345 5430330

OFTEC

OFTEC
Full name: Oil Firing Technical Association Limited
Telephone: 0845 6585080

Stroma

stroma-certification-logo
Full name: Stroma Certification Limited
Telephone: 0845 621 1111

It is worth investing a bit of time to read up on the various merits of these schemes to check on their particular specialisms. For instance, some schemes have a stronger focus on biomass installations than others, while some specialise in wet installations (i.e. for boiler stoves) and others do not.

Why is my woodburner creating ash or dust in my room?

t1_black_1

Is your wood-burning stove leaving ash or dust in your home?

While this might be mildly annoying, it is not necessarily a major problem. Remember, your stove is burning fuel and burning fuel creates ash. Therefore, it is inevitable that some of that ash will makes its way into the surrounding area. Unfortunately, that means your living room.

As such, it is fairly common for ash to settle on the body of your wood-burning stove and the area nearby.

How does ash from my woodburner get into the room?

Some ash and other by-products of your stove will seep into the room when you open the door of your stove to add more fuel. This is especially true when the fire is dying down. At this stage, the draw of the flue decreases because it is not hot enough to suck the smoke, soot and ash upwards when the door is open. In other words, the draw pulling the ash into the room is stronger than the draw pulling it up the flue at that stage.

What if my ash problem is more serious that that?

If you notice that ash is coating furniture throughout the room and perhaps even throughout the rest of the house then perhaps the problem is a little more serious than the usual issue of a small amount of ash seeping into the room.

In that case, you might need to take some action to reduce the amount of ash that gets into the room. Here are some tips on doing just that…

How to reduce the amount of ash that comes out of your woodburner

Taking any of these measures could help to stop quite so much ash settling on your furniture:

  • Make sure any wood your burn is properly dry and seasoned. Test it with a moisture meter to ensure it is seasoned – don’t just assume that it is sufficiently dry.
  • Always keep the door closed when the stove is in use other than when refuelling.
  • Have the flue swept and cleaned to ensure that the draw is as strong as possible.
  • Ensure there is sufficient ventilation in the room to encourage the draw of the flue.

Songs about burning and chopping wood

We’re often talking about how being a wood-burning stove owner speaks to the human condition. Something about the act of collecting, chopping and burning wood connects us to our ancestors and, for many people at least, stirs something within them.

Perhaps one indication of that is that chopping and burning wood often makes its way into popular culture, including songs. Here are examples of songs that celebrate or at least mention woodburner-related activities.

Robin Williamson – The Woodcutter’s Song


Scottish folk musician Robin Williamson was a member of The Incredible String Band. In 1979, he and his Merry Band released an album entitled A Glint At The Kindling, which included this track. It features a traditional poem advising on the merits of burning various woods to Williamson’s arrangement. The lyrics are:

Oak logs will warm you well
That are old and dry
Logs of pine will sweetly smell
But the sparks will fly
Birchs long will burn too fast
Chestnut scarce at all sir
Hawthorn logs are good to last
That are cut well in the fall sir

Surely you will find
There’s no compare with the hard wood logs
That’s cut in the winter time

Holly logs will burn like wax
You could burn them green
Elm logs burn like smouldering flax
With no flame to be seen
Beech logs for winter time
Yew logs as well sir
Green elder logs it is a crime
For any man to sell sir

Surely you will find
There’s no compare with the hard wood logs
That’s cut in the winter time

Pear logs and apple logs
They will scent your room
and cherry logs across the dogs
They smell like flowers of broom
But ash logs smooth and grey
Buy them green or old, sir
and buy up all that come your way
They’re worth their weight in gold sir

Paul Weller – Woodcutter’s Son


On his 1995 album Stanley Road, Weller seemed to use the cathartic act of cutting wood as a metaphor for taking people down a peg or two. His previous album was entitled Wild Wood, so the song has also been viewed as an expression of creative renewal.

Bob Marley – Small Axe


On a similar track to – and perhaps the inspiration for – Paul Weller’s song, this also compares cutting down a tree with causing the demise of an enemy. Appropriately enough, it’s taken from the album Burnin’.

Van Morrison – Choppin’ Wood


The ubiquity of the fireplace is nicely summed up by Van Morrison’s tribute to his late father who, whatever else was going in his life, kept on chopping wood for the fire.

Jackyl – The Lumberjack Song


American Southern rock band Jackyl also used the chopping down wood as cutting someone down to size metaphor. And there hit The Lumberjack Song actually features a chainsaw solo!

Have we missed your favourite song about burning or chopping wood? Leave a comment to let us know

Removing scratches from your woodburner or flue

ashleyinroom

It is always very annoying when your pristine wood-burning stove and flue suddenly becomes sullied by a scratch. Whether you – or someone else in your household – has bashed something into the stove, dropped something on it or found another way to mark the appliance, there is no escaping the fact that your eyes will instantly be drawn to the new imperfection.

That doesn’t have to be the case because it is actually really easy to get rid of scratches and other marks on your stove.

Here’ how to do just that…

Getting rid of a scratch on a woodburner

In most cases, the only thing you will need in order to hide the scratch forever and return to a beautiful, unmarked woodburner is a lick of stove paint. Remember, you will need to use specialist heat resistant stove paint and only apply it when your appliance is at room temperature.

Depending on the nature of the scratch or mark, you may need to remove the existing paint from the surrounding area in order to apply the touch-up coat. In some instances the paint might dry flakily or pull off more paint from the first coat. If that is the case, gently use wire wool to remove the paint from the affected area, then apply the new coat.

Keep in mind that the paint might also peel off when the stove is in use if you have applied too much.

Ready to get rid of a scratch on your woodburner?

If there is a scratch on your wood-burning stove at the moment that you want to get rid of now, all you need is a can of stove paint. Remember to buy flat / matte finish or metallic paint depending on the current finish of your appliance.

Click here to buy stove paint now.

Why is there a ticking or knocking noise coming from my woodburner?

olive_and_dublin_surround2

If you’re relatively new to wood-burning stoves, it can be a bit disconcerting if yours suddenly starts making a funny noise. Perhaps your stove has starting ticking or knocking noise, or maybe a noise that sounds a bit metallic clanging out every now and again.

The good news is this this sort of noise, which can sometimes be quite loud, is not normally an indication of a major problem. Here are some possible causes:

Expanding metal

The very process of using a woodburner means you’re relying on a lump of hot metal to heat your room. When metal gets hot it can expand, and when it expands it can sometimes make a noise. This is the most common reason for a ticking or knocking noise coming from a stove. For peace of mind, invest in a stove pipe thermometer to make sure you’re not asking your stove or flue to expand too much.

Contracting metal

Remember the reverse of the above is also true. If the noise is audible when the stove is out of use or the fire is dying out, it might be because the metal is contracting back having expanded when the appliance was in use.

Windy or exposed property

If you think of how a musical instrument like the flute operates, it is little wonder that a flue pipe can make a noise if it particularly exposed or if its windy outside. Should this become a regular or annoying problem, you might consider a chimney cowl to limit the wind’s interference with your stove system.

Loose parts

If none of those possible explanations sound right, it could be due to a loose part within your stove system. Loose flue joint straps or cowl/cap straps are prime candidates in this case.

Wrong fuel

Burning the wrong sort of fuel in your woodburner can cause mini-explosions within the firebox. These can sometimes be substantial enough to crack the glass or cause damage to internal stove parts. Household fuels like pet coke and household coal should be avoided for this reason.

Best-selling woodburners – January 2016

Time for our first best-sellers chart of the new year as we find out which woodburners have been flying off the virtual shelves in January 2016.

1. Mazona Signet 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

(NEW ENTRY)
signets_1
The little Mazona Signet races into the top five and straight to the top of the chart. Its success is due in no small part to its bargain price during our January sale. That said, its regular price is pretty impressive, too. Have a closer look.

2. Mazona Olympus 8 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

(+1)
Mazona Olympus Bargain Multi-Fuel Stove
The always popular Mazona Olympus was our second best-selling woodburner in January. It moved up from third in our last chart before Christmas. Its 8kW heat output provides a big boost of warmth to even large rooms. And a traditional cast-iron body, five-year guarantee and airwash system only add to its popularity. Have a closer look.

3. Mazona Rocky 6 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

(-1)
Mazona Rocky Cheap Wood-Burning Stove
The Mazona Rocky swaps places with its slightly bigger stablemate, the Olympus. After a short spell out of stock, the Rocky is now back fighting its way up our chart. Have a closer look.

4. Evergreen ST0406GS Poplar 8 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

(-3)
Evergreen Poplar
The popular Evergreen Poplar has risen to prominence after some incredible discounts in recent months. Still available for just £244.99, this 8kW appliance delivers a huge heat output for a very small cash outlay. Have a closer look.

5. GBS Mariner 4 kW Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

(-1)
GBS Mariner
Along with the Signet, the GBS Mariner is the second of two 4kW stoves in charts, which goes to show that lots of people were adding a little heat boost to snug spaces during January. With its clean lines and modern design, the Mariner is always a firm favourite among our customers. Have a closer look.

All prices correct at time of writing.