Convert from gas to coal?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by kev25v6, 30 Nov 2009.

  1. kev25v6

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    I want to change my leaking gas fire back to a coal/log fire as i like the look of old fires. The chimney was originally for a coal fire as next door but one still has a coal fire. Would a liner or something have been put up the chimney for the gas fire or would it still be open as for coal? The gas pipework is cut off so i guess i can remove the fire without any gas problems. Who would be best to call to check the chimney out, gas man, builder, chimney sweep?After a sweep has been done i guess a smoke test would have to be done- by the chimney sweep? I have a marble hearth and back plate with a polished wood mantle, would this be ok for an open fire or would i need to change it?
     
  2. Richard C

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    The gas flue liner (assuming it has one :confused: ) won’t be suitable for solid fuel & will have to be removed; weather or not you will need a new flue liner or the original flue is in good enough condition, only an inspection & smoke test will tell. You will also need a new fire back, chimney throat & the constructional hearth must be checked to ensure it meets current regulations; although you’re reinstating an original open fire, new regulations additionally require a permanently open vent in the room above 5 Kw. If your present marble hearth/surround is constructed in one piece, it’s just cosmetic & unlikely to withstand the high heat generated by an open fire; it will probably crack. Building Regs. also restrict how close combustible material (wood) can be to the fire so the wood mantle may not be suitable either.

    Although you’re converting back to an open fire, this is now controlled building work with regards to regulations concerning the flue, hearth & ventilation amongst other things & unless you use a registered HETAS installer, you need to notified your LABC who will advise, inspect & possibly require to witness a test of the new fire (fee required). A HETAS installer will inspect/test the existing flue, install the new fire, new flue liner if necessary & then test, issue you with a certificate of compliance which you will be asked to produce when you sell & notify your LABC for their records; yo can DIY but this is probably by far the easiest route to take, especially if it involves climbing around on the roof with an 8m long flue liner; make sure you shop around though or you could pay up to twice what you need to.

    Consider a multi-fuel cassette stove or even a log burner as an option; open fires look very nice but are extreamly ineficient & your lounge will always be covered in black smuts + there is always a huge draft which sort of defeats the object a bit. After many years with an open fire, we’ve just had a modern cassette stove installed; looks almost as good with a very large glass window but is far more efficient & we are using only around ½ the solid fuel we used to burn, get a much higher heat output & no longer have smoke smells & black smuts over everything.
     
  3. kev25v6

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    Looks like it will be a major upheaval to change it back to coal. Since the marble would have to be changed i think it will be a job for when we redecorate the room next year. That way we can altar everything in one go and not have to decorate twice. I will have a look at the stove type burners instead of open fire too. Its more for the look of it than for heating the house, we have the boiler for that.With a stove type wood burner does that still have a flue liner from bottom to top? Are the regulations the same with what can surround a stove burner?
     
  4. Richard C

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    There is more to it than might first be obvious to keep the work compliant with current Building Regs. but they are not arduous. The stove must be sealed to the flue but need for a liner is largely dictated by the condition of the existing flue but the Regs. are broadly the same for wood burners, multi fuel & open fires with the exception of minimum flue diameter. The higher efficiencies of wood burners & multi fuel stoves means that less heat escapes up the chimney leading to cooler flue gas temperatures higher up the chimney. With larger uninsulated open fire flues, this can lead to reduced up draught & condensation problems in the top section of the flue & it’s recommended that an insulated, twin wall flue liner is fitted to such appliances to keep the flue gas temperatures up. 4 inch can be used for wood burners I believe but it must be minimum 5 inch for multi fuel stoves.
     
  5. Tibbot

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    Are you sure about 4'' flue for wood only models. Not disagreeing with you just not heard before.
     
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  6. Richard C

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    Well spotted; as I said, I wasn't entirely sure & got that bit wrong :rolleyes: . My 6” flue liner jammed & one of the considerations was to go down to 5” but as I have a multi-fuel stove, I refused to do that as I had already checked I needed 6” to comply with the B Regs. on my particular stove; we ended up digging a large hole in the lounge wall to clear the flue jam :confused: .

    I did a little more digging & came up with some further info;
    • The flue size (diameter or cross sectional area) must not be smaller than the size of the stove outlet.
    • It is in the building regulation guidance notes that the minimum flue size for stoves is as follows:

    up to 20kW burning smokeless fuel - Minimum 125mm diameter.
    up to 30kW burning any fuel - Minimum 150mm diameter.

    • So the regs recommend a minimum flue size of 150mm for any stove (on which wood could be burnt). Many stoves come with a 125mm flue outlet which then requires upsizing to 150mm.
    • It should be emphasised that if anything other than smokeless fuel is likely to be burned, a 150mm minimum flue should be used. For safety reasons, you should never fit a 125mm flue on any solid fuel appliance, 150mm should be the minimum.
    • Some stove manufacturers produce stoves with a 125mm flue outlet but stipulate that it should be connected to a 150mm flue/chimney system. In cases such as these you must follow the manufacturers stipulation.
    • Many HETAS installers will not install a 125mm flue/liner system so, if you decide to use 125mm flue/liner, ensure that your installer is willing to install it before you purchase.


    This is a useful link;
    http://www.stovesonline.co.uk/stove_building_regulations.html
     
  7. kev25v6

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    There is a lot more to it now a days than just taking out the old gas fire and putting a fire grate in the bottom of the fire place. I think were in a smokeless area, would this mean i would be stuck to smokeless fuels like coalite and not be allowed to burn wood? When the fireplace is ripped out what would be the best type of surround for a stove/wood burner? If i was going to just use it as a coal fire i would get one of the cast iron type fire surrounds, victorian style i think it is. Ive been wanting to change back to a proper fire since we moved in, our second to last house had a proper fire and its loads better in the winter compared to a gas fire.
     
  8. kev25v6

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    Looks like someone else on here is doing a similar thing to what i want so i will keep an eye on that thread. Heres a pic of what i have now if it helps.

    [​IMG]
     

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