How To Guides: Fitting Your Multi-fuel Stove
- Why is it any different for a stove than an open fire?
- How do I stop creosote from causing a problem?
- Are there other alternatives to a metal liner?
- Which kind of metal liner should I use?
- Who should be installing my stove?
- Where do I find a HETAS engineer; can you recommend one?
- Will the installers you recommend install to my existing liner?
- Will you organise the installation of my existing stove or of a stove I have bought elsewhere?
- Will you site-visit my property before organising an installation?
- Will you organise the installation of a stove where there is no existing chimney?
- I am interested in a Gas stove – can you help with the installation?
- I am interested in an oil appliance – can you help with the installation?
- I am interested in an electric stove – do I need to be concerned about installation?
- HETAS approved Heating Engineers
Unless you are choosing an electric or flue-less stove then the installation of your stove is extremely important and you need to be thinking about it in advance...
The days when you could simply stick a pipe horizontally through a wall and leave it at that never existed (much to some people’s surprise) and gone are the days when you could put a pipe straight into an existing chimney and call it job done (sadly). Nowadays this is all covered by Document J of the building regulations and most people need a chimney liner. The reasons for this are simple, and for your safety and the safety of others.
Frequently Asked Questions
The main reason is efficiency. Most people choose to buy a stove because they know they will get much more heat from much less fuel than with their open fire. This is true (it’s one of the many reasons we love stoves) but it has consequences. The more you control and turn down the burn of your fuel the more creosote you start to create. Creosote is the black tar-like substance you sometimes find in chimneys – open fires can cause it, fire-boxes often do, but stoves are the real culprit! Creosote is acidic and over time it eats through brick and stone work causing leaky chimneys. It’s flammable and it causes chimney fires. And it can melt to liquid and drip down into fireplaces and on top of stoves.
Well, first of all, by trying not to create too much of it! It is important to buy the right sized stove (a large stove in a small room always ends up being turned down low and creates much more creosote) and burning the right kind of fuel at the right temperature (smokeless fuel or dry hard wood burned hot is best). But, secondly, and still more importantly, you need to install the stove well so that any creosote you do create is safely contained.
We think the best way to do this is by discharging the gases into a metal flue. This is either done through a Twin-wall system (when there is no existing chimney at all) or through the use of a metal liner dropped down an existing masonry chimney. The benefits of a metal liner are that it keeps the flue gases warm and moving quickly at a fixed (small) diameter so they are less likely to condense into creosote in the first place. The liner also creates a smooth run for creosote so that it can drip back down into the inside of a stove rather than on top of it. Liners can be swept successfully and closely by a small brush head which can normally be pushed up through the appliance or through a flue access door. And, finally, it can be removed should you ever wish to return to an open fire or should it need replacement.
Yes. Some people use clay or concrete linings (modern houses will usually already have a lining of this kind inside the chimney). The building regulations require that (in most circumstances) a chimney lining is no smaller than 6” diameter and no larger than 2” greater than the outlet size of the appliance that is installed. As most stoves have 5” or 6” size outlets, what this means for most of us is that the liner must be either 6”, 7” or 8” diameter. Should this be the case with an existing clay or concrete lining it should be properly smoke-spillage and core-ball tested and, provided it passes, it can normally be legally connected to, whether it can be done practically however is another question...
The difficulty with this kind of an installation is the connection at the bottom of the liner into the metal stove pipe and the stove. It is clearly unsatisfactory to simply slot a smaller stove pipe inside a larger clay or concrete liner (even with a register plate below) as the tar will not run down the inside of the pipe into the stove to re-burn but down the outside of the pipe onto the plate or appliance. Over time this can cause smells, fires and other serious problems. Instead, an adaptor must be installed around the outside of the clay flue which feeds into the inside of the stove pipe. Since the ends of clay and concrete liners are not standardised, neither are adaptors. Such a connection may prove simple, complex or even impossible; it will need to be considered carefully by an experienced person before you commit to doing it.
There are countless different types of flue liner and each has their own pros and cons. We can’t cover all the details here but please don’t simply assume one kind is right for you based on price or a sales description (or the fact your fitter happens to have some in their garage); give us a call so we can talk you through the strengths and limitations of the liner choice you are making.
Once the stove is installed British building regulations require that a HETAS certificate is issued to show that the appliance was installed safely and legally. It will provide information of the installer, the materials used and the date of the installation so that a person working on the stove or chimney later has access to all the details they need. This certificate should be kept with the deeds of the property and included in the ‘sellers pack’. You can get this certificate in one of two ways – if a HETAS registered engineer installs the stove they will issue one themselves; if a non-registered person installs it (for example you or your builder) then it must be done through your local council and a building inspector will need to inspect the installation and issue the certification. You need to speak to the inspector in advance to ensure that the installation you have planned will comply with their wishes.
If you live locally to any of our showrooms then we will be glad to recommend a HETAS registered installer and even to liaise with them and organise your installation for you. Broadly speaking we work closely with installers who operate across Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Sussex and in some areas of Berkshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Surrey and Wiltshire. If you are outside these areas please call us to discuss fitting where you are.
Probably not. If a fitting component has been sourced and provided by us then we are confident of its quality and have direct channels of communication with the manufacturer. In the unlikely event of any problems arising with it we are able to examine similar items and installations and pursue claims through the correct channels. This should ensure our customers are treated fairly. We are therefore unable to organise installations using others’ components. (If the existing liner you refer to was purchased from us then that is another matter entirely and we will do our best to help you.)
As long as we are confident that the stove complies with British regulations and is compatible with our flue components we are normally happy to organise its installation within our local area. Customers purchasing both the stove and the fitting components from us will of course be given priority especially during the busy season.
As a discount supplier we are unfortunately unable to offer general site-visits free of charge. The price of a visit depends on the distance for an engineer (please telephone us for more information) but in most cases it will not prove necessary. Most of the installation work we organise proceeds without a site-visit; costs are estimated to within £50 through a conversation with our sales team either in one of our showrooms or by telephone. Any surprises on the day (should the chimney turn out to be much taller than was indicated for example) are always dealt with fairly and should an installation prove to be impossible within the allotted budget then the work and stove purchase (if applicable) would be cancelled at no cost to the customer. We are so experienced with the organisation of this kind of work that these instances are rare.
We are able to recommend installers in our locality who are qualified to complete Twin-wall installations. Twin-wall is insulated flue which can be used instead of a masonry chimney. These components are more expensive than ordinary chimney lining work and the location of the stove needs to be thought about carefully in order to ensure the chimney is able to function well. If you do not have prior experience with these kinds of installations then please speak to us before making any decisions or purchases. The placement of a chimney is more science than art (whatever the architect envisions!) and work like this is very costly if you get it wrong. A beautiful stove with an attractively placed chimney is no good whatsoever if it fills the room with smoke!
Gas stoves must be fitted in accordance with Document J of the building regulations and the work should be signed off by a Gas-Safe engineer. Harridge Stoves is HETAS registered but not Gas Safe. We recommend using theGas-Safe website to locate a suitable person for the work.
Oil stoves must be fitted in accordance with Document J of the building regulations and the work should be signed off by an OFTEC engineer. Harridge Stoves is HETAS registered but not OFTEC. We recommend using the OFTEC website to locate a suitable person for the work.
All of the electric stoves on our website have ordinary British plugs and plug straight in to the wall. The flame effects use ordinary coloured light-bulbs. It’s nice and easy!
The information offered above is intended simply as a guide and represents our experience and opinions only. There are many who have reached different conclusions and choose to install differently. At the end of the day, the person who signs off the installation is the one who takes responsibility for it so the work must be completed to their standards and in accordance with their opinions; and Document J of the building regulations stands as the guide for us all. Please therefore look closely at that document before making any decisions about how your stove is installed
HETAS approved Heating Engineers
Harridge Stoves is HETAS approved. Our fitters are HETAS approved therefore should you chose to have your stove fitted by us there will be no need to get a further visit from a Building regs inspector.
Company No 4878664. Registered Office: 124 The High Street, Midsomer Norton
Contact via Harridge Stoves 01749 347272 or Direct on 07967 125161
Company No 4862388. Registered Office: 124 The High Street, Midsomer Norton
Contact via Harridge Stoves 01749 347272 or Direct on 07791 884241