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stumbling goat

Instal a wood burner into a fireplace, queries?

Good evening,

Is this is the right section for this post? If not, Moderator, please relocate it.

Hoping someone can give some guidance me with the above project I am starting?

I've used the search function and can not find a post that answers all the questions I have, and I want to get this right.

The existing fireplace has a metal plate surround, iron mantel above, with a grate in the bottom. It was suggested by someone that gave a quote that the existing FP is a bedroom fireplace, installed by persons, skills, ability unknown.

Had a quote to instal a class 1 flue liner, came in at at £800. Would like to reduce this if I can without compromising on safety. Rather than ask about options, does anyone know what sort of flue liner I need?

This week I'm going to remove the existing fireplace, and clean the chimney, I can do that without risk.

Any information and suggestions are very welcome.

If anyone knows an installer who works in or would work in North London, I would welcome a name and number.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any help.

Ty Gwyn

What size is this cast iron surround?that usually determines what the original purpose of the grate was.

A 903 grade is a longer lasting liner,suprisingly some installers whom I picked their brains recommended the 405? ,half the lifespan yet they charged more for.

Fluesystems .com I can recommend for supplying the whole kit needed for the installation.

cant help with an installer, sorry

for a woodburner you do need the proper flue, this is partly for fire safety ( wood tars = chimney fires ) , to ensure a proper draft and therefore ventilation (safety again ) and a good one can be regularly cleaned fairly easily.

when removing the original fireplace chip out a bit of the plaster around it until you can find the ties that fasten it into the wall/hole. cut or dislodge those and it should lift out fairly easily.

beware soot, rubble etc tis a messy job usually.

make sure your installer has the right qualifications ( same as gas, leccy etc but a different ticket ) , badly installed woodburners can kill with carbon monoxide or fire

as you are in a smokeless zone you will need a clean burn unit ( check the specs say it is defra approved for urban/smokeless areas ) they range in price but are more expensive than the basic grate in a box.
avoid supercheap cast iron (they often crack ) and go for steel or good quality cast iron. antique ones wont meet defra standards but second hand can give bargains (see approved specs and make sure it is ok )

£800 for a flue inc fitting seems about right in london for a short lift from a bedroom , see insulation above, make sure the flue and burner unit will connect easily (odd sized fittings can be expensive )

if poss get the gap between the flue and chimney walls filled with the correct insulation ( vermiculite iirc ) to ensure the flue stays hot to provide a good lift of gasses/smoke, a cold pipe wont draw properly

an access port for rodding the flue avoids removing the burner for cleaning

if you can line the hole with rockwool insulation and fireproof mineral boards to reflect heat into the room if you cant be bothered with that render the inside of the hole with a lime based mix or add plasticiser to a cement render to allow for thermal expansion which should avoid cracking. if you want a tiled hole it needs rendering
to get the render to stick it needs any cement render hacking off ,a very good cleaning and treating with a tub of the stuff for the job sorry cant remember the names but it is the same as damp proffers use when rendering fireplaces and chimney breasts (old soot/chemicals in the bricks etc ) as well as good raking of joints and roughing of any smooth bricks (a needle gun head in an sds drill/kango is quick but hellish noisy )

a decent size platform is required , most bedroom fireplaces have a very small hearth. a cast concrete or stone slab giving at least 18" in front of the burner door is ideal to avoid embers burning the carpet when stoking etc and gives a place for a bit of spare fuel.
make sure the platform is level, a wonky fire looks dreadful and is difficult to attach to the flue ( see carbon monoxide etc )

the room will need some form of ventilation to provide air for the burner

have fun and use appropriate ppe, coal tars/soot are quite toxic so good hygine matters at the rip it out and clean it up stages

hope that helps a bit, have fun .
stumbling goat

Good evening TG,

And thanks for your input.

I don't know the dimensions of the existing FP. I'll check and post them on Wednesday, with a picture, if I can work out how to post one.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look. I was going to have the flue fitted, got to the age where I don't bounce so well if I fall. Not sure I would have ever bounced too well if I fell off a roof? Wink

stumbling goat

And thanks dpack,

for such a detailed response.

I'll read that several times to make sure I get everything out of it.



i might have missed a few things, if you get stuck just ask.
Mistress Rose

Think Dpack has covered most of it. Flues are either metal or salt glazed ceramic. In many ways salt glazed ceramic is better as it is longer lasting, but it needs to be put in with the sockets pointing downwards. It will be more expensive however, and it may not be easy to build into an existing chimney.

If you haven't had a wood burner before, make sure your wood is as dry as possible before burning. If possible, bring about a weeks supply into the house a week before use, and store some near the side of the fire (but not touching) for a day if you can. A stove suitable for a smokeless zone should be fairly efficient. Another advantage is if you can get a multifuel grate as then you can add a bit of smokeless coal overnight if you want to keep the fire in. When shutting the fire down overnight, make sure that the logs have charred a bit before shutting down. Putting fresh, even very well seasoned and dry wood on, then shutting straight down causes tar. You may get away with a few big logs for overnight, but having the option of adding a bit of coal is always useful, although not so eco-friendly.
stumbling goat

Thank you M Rose,

I installed a coal/wood fire many years go prior to the new regs. That worked fine and was safe.

With this project and new regs, think it's best if I do one stage at a time and then check that I am doing it right at that stage?

Taking out the existing should not be too difficult and will give savings. I'll be back with dimensions and pictures.

stumbling goat

The old fireplace is out. Dimensions pdf the grate are

13.5 inches across at the front, not allowing for a slight arc, 9 inches across at the back, 5 inches depth front to back.

The original gap is now exposed and its already an improvement.

The gap is now 28 inches cross. 17 inches depth. and 28 high from base to top of the steel bar (lintel) which has a course of bricks above. This sill need making good with render and plaster.

A neighbour has had a burner recently fitted, and on looking at it, the plate above the burner filling the gap between the room and the chimney is fitted in the gap but not sealed. Also, it feels like very thin SS. Is it advisable, or should, the gap around the plate be sealed?

Client wants a slot in wood burner apparently despite the fact that a stand alone looks better as not a solid wall of object. Breaks up the view for the eye. Hey ho.

It will be an enclosed wood burner not a fireplace so does the render to make good need to be a special mix? Or just sharp sand and cement with a plaster skim coat? I'm going to need to fit beads for the edges as the old fire damaged the corners.

Ty Gwyn

Definitely a bedroom fire place,
Were there securing clips on the casting?as I`ve never seen any on the numerous ones I`ve pulled out and installed.

The register plate above the burner is normally sealed.

If its an enclosed one,it needs fermiculite around the burner,similar to how parkrays were fitted years back,normally brick around the sides and back ,leaving a 3in gap between burner and fill the gap with fermiculite.
stumbling goat

Hello TG,

It is as was suggested then, a bedroom FP installed in a lounge. Would have been a real time consumer to keep filling up with little tiny logs.

It had 2 lugs about 6 inches below the top each side which allowed 2 screw fixings that we ere then rendered over. Unfortunately the bottom of one side cracked off, but a clean break, so repairable. It will end up on eBay I suspect.

Looking at FDC burners, the one next door looks lovely.


what tg said, the chimney plate should be stout enough to be properly fitted to the masonry and to allow for a proper flange to attach around the flue system

3/16 mild steel is a good choice

the flue fitters can advise etc .

if you sweep the chimney now you can A get the messy stuff over and B notice if any bits of masonry fall down

i dont know what a sweep costs in london but a set of rods is about £20, it is an easy job ( work through a taped on cloth with a slot in it to minimise mess, always turn the rods in the together direction only Embarassed ) and they will save you loads on doing the new flue regularly
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