Fitting wood burning stove

4 Jan 2004
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United Kingdom
I have an early 1950s house. It has a central heating system heated by a Baxi back-boiler gas fire. The CH system has been fitted at a later date, but I guess about 25 years ago (when 22mm copper pipe was joined with swaged ends which fitted over the next length). The chimney has been lined to suit the gas fire flue. I am in the process of updating the CH system, and will be replacing the Baxi boiler with a new boiler in the cellar. The Baxi fire will be removed. My plan is then to replace the fire with an open log fire or (more likely) with a small wood-burning stove. To do this, I must remove the gas flue lining from the chimney. The chimney is not straight up, but has a small dog-leg. Total chimney height, from hearth to top of stack is about 6m.

Question: Will the original chimney be suitable for the log fire? I assume the original heating was from a solid fuel fire, so would the chimney be suitable for log burning? I expect that when I take the old fire out and look up the chimney, I will see the original sooty inside, but are there any tell-tale signs to look for which might suggest a leaky chimney?
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Its a case of checking the flue for integrity. Problems tend to be found in lofts and the chimney which protrudes from the roof as the lower parts of the chimney are plastered. What you are looking for is weak mortar joints, loose brickwork and flaws or cracks in the brickwork. A smoke pellet should be used as well as a visual inspection.
Make sure you have adequate ventilation by closing all the doors and windows when you use the smoke pellet. This is very important as solid fuel can be worse than gas for Carbon monoxide poisoning
You will need a chimney pot fitting.
If you live in a smokeless zone you may not be able to burn anything other than smokeless fuel. Check with the council.
If you have any problems get someone HETAS approved to check it out for you.

This is their website for more info
personally I would go for a stove, will you be fitting it yourself as I have fitted one in a previous house, quite easy to do but a few legal requirements to follow...
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The building regulations. The ODPM site is a good place to visit. The topic has been discussed here recently too.
Get a sweep in!

They should be able to check the chimney and sweep it at the same time.

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