What coal should I use ?

What is the best coal for my appliance?

What coal you choose should be dependant on your solid fuel appliance. The Fireplace Superstore supply a full range of coals instore are best-selling coal is the Eco instant 50 light smokeless coal, this smokeless coal is ideal for multi-fuel stoves and open fires.

Twin wall flue systems

Twin wall systems are the ideal solution for homes where there is no chimney,  a flue system is needed  for use with a multi-fuel, wood burning or gas appliances. Twin wall pipe is insulated double skinned flue with a double layer of 316 grade stainless steel with a 25 mm installation section of rockwool with a outer layer of 304 grade steel.

Twin wall outer layer

The  Twin wall outer layer of the flue can pass within 50mm of any  combustible materials, this makes it ideal to install in existing homes, it is also weatherproof and carries the structural load of the flue system.

Rockwall Insulation

High density 25mm rockwall  between the  layers of the twin wall flue pipe will keep the external flue pipe cool with thermal resistant properties, warm gases then rise up the flue with the reduction of tars on the internal flue that can often cause chimney fires.

Twin wall Inner layer

The 316  grade stainless steel inner layer  will withstand coal and wood burning gases  from stoves and real fires.  When the inner steel flue pipe heats up a strong draft will ensure the waste gases are dispersed up the flue, as gas temperatures change the steel wil contract and expand throughout the stove or fire burn time.

Flue Pipe Advice

When installing twin wall flue systems there should be a limited amount offsets and horizontle turns.  If a solid fuel appliance is installed the distance between two 45 degree bends should not be greater than 20% off the height. Manufactures often recomend a increase the flue diameter, a twin wall flue should not be reduced to less than the flue diameter on the stove.

Using a locking band system to connect twin wall lenghts prevents any leakage and seals the flue. For sweeping, inspection hatches are normally found in vitreous enamel pipes or in 135 degree twin wall tee & caps.

Support brackets are recomended every 2m  on all flue systems they are available in both fixed and adjustable.

Adapters are used when when using virtreous enamel to twin wall insulated pipe sealing the joint and allowing you to increase the diameter of the flue. It is always recomended you increase the flue diameter,  this applies to all types of flue liners, your stove should work more efficiently with thelp from the draw on the chimney flue.

All lengths and offsets connect together using a locking band system which seals the flue and prevents any leakage, no joints should be made in walls or going through floors. Access must be made for sweeping and inspection purposes these are generally found in Vitreous enamel pipes with sweeping hatches or in 135 degree twinwall insulated Tee & Caps.

Internal installation.

External through the wall installation.

Smoke controlled areas

If you live in a smoke controlled zone you will need to use smokeless fuel or a Defra approved stove or appliance.

Because of air pollution, there are a number of legislative acts in place to help with pollution a problem caused by industries domestic heating and coal burning through the years.

The introduction of clean air acts in 1956 and 1968 was brought in to deal with poor air pollutions.

Many premature deaths were thought to due to poor air within the UK. Local authorities were given powers for controlling emissions of fumes dust and black smoke mainly from industrial properties. Domestic properties then became smoke controlled areas in many towns and cities throughout the UK.

If your home is in a smoke controlled area you are not permitted to burn fuels producing smoke when using a fireplace or a stove. There are many fuels that do not produce smoke these include electricity gas and anthracite, there is also a wide range of smokeless fuels now available ideal for use with stoves and fireplaces.

Many manufacturers now supply Defra approved wood and multi-fuel stoves for use in smoke exempt areas. The Fireplace Superstore offers a wide collection of Defra stoves from all the leading stove companies.

Register plates

Steel register Plates are used to seal off the base of the chimney. 

This Register Plates are 900mm x 495mm
With two access holes
It is suitable for 125mm and 150mm (5 and 6 inch) Black Vitreous Stove Pipe.

A register plate is a important component when fitting a stove in to a conventional chimney. The register plate seals of your chimney above the stove and fire opening and prevents debris from the chimney falling on to your hearth and fireplace, and helps the chimney to draw properly.

Installing register plates 

When installing a register plate with a multi-fuel or wood burning stove you seal the chimney making it fume tight. Register plates are manufactured from 1.5m galvanised steel with a hole in the centre for the vitreous enamel pipe to go through and tw access holes.. Four supporting brackets are supplied ready to be cut to the size required for your chimney opening, the brackets now require drilling and screwing in to the brickwork. The register plate is then cut to the correct size with the hole vertically above the vitreous enamel pipe, any gaps between the brackets and the brickwork should now be sealed with fire cement. Fire cement and fire rope must be installed around the pipe going through the plate as a sealant. The register plate can be sprayed to suit the colour of your stove.

Maintenance

With all solid fuel appliances, it is recommended your chimney is swept and maintained frequently at least once a year. Access hole covers can be removed at the same time and hoover and remove any debris on top of the plate.

Questions and answers for wood

Firewood and Logs

Why Kiln dried logs?

The average moisture content in kiln dried wood is 20% Which is what most stove procucers would recommend. When wood is kiln dried there will be overall improvement in the quality helping for a clean burn with a maximum heat out put, companies including Certainley wood have kilns fired on there own wood waste, and solar panels producing electricity for a very green and eco friendly enviroment.

How long should wood logs be seasoned?

There are no set rules on how long wood should be stored, because when trees are cut down and left in the forest they do not dry, the bark will stop moister escaping. Ideally wood needs to be split in to logs and stored under cover with a good air flow area. Many wood species dry differently, soft woods including spruce and pine are quick drying woods, hardwoods including ash are also dry in approximately 9 months. Other woods including apple beech and oak have a longer drying process.

When to buy firewood?

In the UK the best advice would be to to purchase your firewood early and stock up for drying puposes and to avoid running out. Many local suppliers will have low stocks as we get in to the winter     months and the quality can often be poor, this can also lead to problems in your stove and flue, and the quality of the burn.

How to check for dry wood? 

A moisture metre is the ideal way to measure the moisture content of your wood this should be 15 – 25%, Certainly wood  supply logs with a average of 20% these are available at The Fireplace Superstore.

The drier the wood the more efficiently it will burn and it will have up to twice the burn time as poorly seasoned wood and therefore be better value for money. If you have a efficient stove your wood will burn cleaner, if your fuel as to much moisture your glass will go black and you will have a build up of soot and tar in the chimney or flue.

 How much firewood will i need through the winter months 

There are many factors to determine the amount of firewood you will require for a typical UK winter including how cold the weather is, the size of your property, how well insulated your home is and the efficiency of your stove. In a normal winter when using a efficient stove with kiln dried wood you would expect to use on average throughout the year 3-4 cubic metres.

Getting the best from your smokeless fuel

Open Fires

When lighting a  fire with smokeless fuel you will require quite a lot of heat to light the fire because of the dense fuels and the low volatile gases, because of this your fire will be enviromently firendly.

Please follow the instructions below regarding how to light your Open Fire. 

Place a few pices of scrunched up newspaper placing firelighters on top, the put your kindling gently over the paper and firelighters at a angle in a pyramid shape.

Place a small amount of fuel on top scatterd sparingly.

Light the newspaper ensuring any dampers (if fitted) are fully open.

When the fire is well established slowly add more fuel, allow the fire to burn to a deep red glow, you can adjust the draught level if your fire as this funtcion.

It is always recomended you use a fireguard in front of your fire especially if chidren the elderly or any pets are present.

Lighting a Multi – Fuel  Stove 

As with open fires burning smokeless fuel you will require a good amount of heat to light your fire because of the dens fuels and low volitile gases.

Please light as above (open fires) firstly remove the ashpit door to maximise the draft ensuring the primary air normally located at the bottom of the stove is open and the secondary air and airwash is also fully open. When the stove is working to capacity it is advisable to close the primary air in to a very low position and to leave the secondary air half open, this should allow your stove to burn less intense, if more air is required through the burn, the primery air can be opened to allow more air in to your fire. The ashpit door must be replaced to the original position.

Flexible flue liners

Graded Flexible Flue Liners 

A  stainless steel flexible twin-skinned flue liner also known as a Quattro is for use in a class 1 chimney.  When a chimney inspection as failed or the draw is insufficient  or not performing effientlly a flue liner should be installed. The Fireplace Superstore always recomend installing a flue liner when fitting a wood burning or multifuel appliance.

Multi-fuel flexible liners are used in a traditional class 1 chimney. A liner consists of a smooth inner layer and a corrugated outer. Both layers are joined by a lock jointing system to withstand a wood and solid fuel stove or fire. A multi-fuel flexible liner can also be used for gas and oiled fires.

Graded flue liners available are 316/316 904/316 and 904/904

316/316 Graded flue liner. This liner as Iner and outer skins both made from 316 grade stainless steel and comes with a 10 year guarantee (replacement product only) . The 316 is suitable for for use with the following fuels: seasoned dry logs, coal, coke, cured dry peat, some smokeless fuels and gas.

904/316 Graded flue liner. This liner as a 904 graded Iner and  316  graded outer skin both made  stainless steel and comes with a 20 year guarantee (replacement product only) . The 904/316 is suitable for for use with the following fuels: seasoned dry logs, coal, coke, cured dry peat,  smokeless fuels and gas. This liner is recomended for use with smokeless fuels.

904/904 Graded flue liner. This liner as a 904 graded Iner and 904 graded outer skin both made  stainless steel and comes with a 20 year guarantee (replacement product only) . The 904/904 is suitable for for use with the following fuels: seasoned dry logs, coal, coke, cured dry peat,  smokeless fuels and gas. This liner is recomended for use with all smokeless fuels. The high grade flue liner is ideal for overnight burning and heavy usage of your stove.

How to fit a top plate and top clamp

When fixing the flue liner to the top of the chimney stack the chimney pot must be removed then the top plate and top clamp are used together for the installation, and then the chimney pot reiinstalled.

 

Line adaptor

The line adaptor is used to connect  a flexible flue liner to the the vitreous flue pipe of the top of your stove  or the base of the flue. The line adaptor manufactured from 316 grade stainless steel. There are two skins on the top of the adaptor the liner connects between these two skins. The strain when sweeping is reduced due to the inner skin being slightly longer to prevent snagging.

 Increase line adaptor

Increase adaptors are used to the flexible flue liner to the vitreous flue pipe coming of the top of your stove or at the base  of the flue. As with a normal line adaptor the strain on sweeping is reduced due to the inner skin being slightly longer to avoid snagging.

Self tapping screws are required when connecting the liner to the adaptor. Holes must be drilled through the outer adaptor to securely fasten the liner in place. Fire cement must now be used as a  sealant between the outer skin and adaptor.

Moisture and deposits will stay on the inside the of the flue pipe due to a hole on the inner adaptor allowing any moisture inside the liner to drain.

When installing a solid fuel stove there must be access to sweep through the stove. On many stove this can be completed by removing the baffle plate at the top of the stove, if this is not possible a vitreous flue pipe must be installed with a sweeping hatch.

Facts about coal

Coal / Known As Rank

Coal is composed from oxygen hydrogen and carbon, and formed from vegetation, the coal seams are formed from the consolidation between other rock strata, all altered by a microbial action pressure and extreme heat over a long period.

Coal is classically known as “rank” this is based on the transformation of a original plant material to carbon.

Below are the ranks of coal with little carbon to a larger percntage of carbon 

Low rank are Liginite and sub bituminous, and Hard coal is Bituminous and Anthacite

Due to the varied heat produced from coals they are used for different purposses, anthracite is generally used for domestic and industrial heating,(smokeless fuels are poduced from this.)

What is Smokeless manufactured Fuel?

When burning smokeless fuel it will only produce 5g of smoke per hour. This works with the clean air act guidlines, you can burn smokeless fuel anywhere in the UK including all smokeless zones.

Anthracite is a very popular naturally occuring  smokeless fuel ideal because of the high heat out put and long burn time.

Many cosumers prefer smokeless manufactured coals like Homefire due to a more asthetic flame picture compared to anthracicte which as a subdude flame. Manufactured fuels are made up from anthracite and other products like house coal, this produces a easier to light and a better flame for a more enjoyable fire.

What Are The Avantages Of Smokeless Fuels?

Smokless fuel makes life easier with less refuling required due to the longer life of the fuel and will also produce a more intense heat. From the green prespective the less smoke produced this will will help the environment. Smokeless coal will lower emissions by  about 20% less CO2 than everyday house coal.

Choosing a fireplace to suite your chimney

Before choosing your new fireplace you must determine what fire you can install in your home. With new technology there are many new products available in the marketplace for both modern and traditional homes. The Fireplace Superstore advise a installation survey to determine the correct fire to suite your class of chimney and advice on the quality of your chimney to evaluate if a flue liner is required. If your home as no chimney there are options available including balanced flue and power flue fires.

Class 1 

Older houses built before 1960 would commonly have a class 1 chimney with a 7″ (180mm) diameter or larger flue. Usualy consisting of a brick built “stack” situated on a external or a internal wall. A class 1 chimney can contain multiple flues for  gas or solid fuel fires, with each fire flue working individually and not sharing.

With a class 1 chimney you can install all types of fires and fireplaces including all types of gas fires providing the unit will fit in to your chimney breast, solid fuel fires inset and freestanding wood and multi-fuel stoves will normally fit in to a chimney. ( Excluding some European wood burning stoves that may require a larger flue size).

Class 2

A class 2 flue 5″ (127mm) diameter can be found in new homes and older homes built from 1960 onwards where the existing chimney as been lined with a propietary steel flue or a new house with a steel flue built in. There are many gas fires available for a class 2 flue from many companies including Legend, Paragon, Kinder, and Flavell, all subject to the depth of the chimney fireplace.

Class 2 Precast

A precast flue will be often found in new homes and houses built later than 1960, consisting of a precast concrete chimney system. Only specific gas fires can be used in a pre cast flue (solid fuel fires can not be installed). Many companies now supply eye catching slimline gas fires to suite the shallow depth in this type of flue.

No Chimney

Many modern new homes and extensions are built with no chimney. There are many options now available in the marketplace including electric fires, flueless fires, power flue fires (external wall required) . Balanced flue glass fronted gas fires are now very popular with many leading companies including Dru who have developed  high end fires to fit in many situations including bedrooms, Kitchens, loft conversions and many other places. You can now install fires up to 1.5 meters wide or tall to go in corners, panoramic viewing windows and tunnel fires for views in to a through room. Balanced flue systems draw air from the outside for combustion and and then expel gases to the outside as well.

A fireplace can now be created in almost any living room with a specially-made replica chimneybreast. These breast are made of steel and heat resistent board and modelled to fit each fire installation.  If there is no outside wall the flue can be installed vertically through the roof if structurally appropriate. With the new Dru powervent system you can extend even further, this opens up the option of having gas fire in the most accessible locations.

Media Wall Bespoke Chimney Breast Case Study

Specially made bespoke chimney breasts are constructed and modelled to suite your fireplace and fire installation using steel and heat resistant board, when the balanced flue gas fire is installed on a out side wall the flue pipe fits 1 metre above the fire and though the wall, alternatively the pipe fits up and out. Bespoke chimney breast can also be constructed when a existing chimney breast needs more depth to suite the fire, more often applicable when a continental wood burning appliance is installed.
Highly efficient gas fires with generous out puts can now fit in homes with no chimney.

Below are just a few examples of how a Bespoke chimney breast constructed to fit with your choice of gas fire.

A Bespoke chimney breast with side features installed with the Dru Metro 100 XT3 3 sided balanced flue gas fire.

A Bespoke replica chimney breast with a marble base available in many colours and materials with the
A Bespoke chimney breast and base with black granite top with the Dru Metro 130 XT3 3 sided.

The Dru Metro 130 XT3 3 sided shown with side vents to distribute the heat from the gas fire. (more choices in vents are available.)

The Dru Metro 130 XT Tunnel gas balanced flue gas fire installed in a existing class 1 chimney breast.
The Dru Metro 130 XT Tunnel gas balanced flue gas fire installed in a existing class 1 chimney breast.
Kal Fire Heat Pure 105
Wood burning stove installed in to existing chimney where the chimney breast as been extended to suit the depth of the fire box.
The Kal Fire Heat Pure 105 wood burning stove installed with marble and granite cladding