Why can't you simply re-instate an old fireplace?

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Hello,

Our house was built 60 years ago with a chimney and coal use to be delivered to be burnt. Reading up about log burners / fire places and you have to get a flu liner installed.

My question is - If the house was originally built with a fully functional fireplace and chimney, why can't it simply be used as it is? If it was safe enough back then, why's it not safe enough now?

Cheers
 
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Hello,

Our house was built 60 years ago with a chimney and coal use to be delivered to be burnt. Reading up about log burners / fire places and you have to get a flu liner installed.

My question is - If the house was originally built with a fully functional fireplace and chimney, why can't it simply be used as it is? If it was safe enough back then, why's it not safe enough now?

Cheers
If its flu has been checked and cleaned and it’s all original then yes you can use it.Usually though the fireplace has been removed and essential vents removed.Log burners may require more than that.
 
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As above, but also with double glazing etc., buildings are a lot better sealed than they used to be.
Chimneys can also deteriorate with time.
Before reinstating a disused fireplace, it will be worth finding a professional to check your flue is safe, smoketight and you have adequate ventilation to avoid the risks of CO poisoning.
Log burners with their own flues are also far more energy efficient, given the lack of a drafty open fireplace!
 
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Make sure your sweep is registered with the 'Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps', (I think thats the association name, maybe slightly different terminology), and expect to pay around £120 for a full inspection and clean.
We have our coal one and log burner one done annually, and it comes to just over £100 for both now after the initial inspection. You also get a certificate to show it's safe to use.
 
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As above, but also with double glazing etc., buildings are a lot better sealed than they used to be.
Chimneys can also deteriorate with time.
Before reinstating a disused fireplace, it will be worth finding a professional to check your flue is safe, smoketight and you have adequate ventilation to avoid the risks of CO poisoning.
Log burners with their own flues are also far more energy efficient, given the lack of a drafty open fireplace!

Make sure your sweep is registered with the 'Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps', (I think thats the association name, maybe slightly different terminology), and expect to pay around £120 for a full inspection and clean.
We have our coal one and log burner one done annually, and it comes to just over £100 for both now after the initial inspection. You also get a certificate to show it's safe to use.

We tried searching for a company that installs log burners to no avail. Apparently no one does it around here. I really want to DIY it but i can't seem to work out if anymore needs doing than possibly opening up the fireplace a bit and putting a flue liner down in from the top then connecting it all together. I do understand ventilation is needed and we have two huge vents in the room so i think that would be enough but would need to get it all signed off by building control of course.

Our house has some serious damp which i'm sure it would help with and we can't afford to turn the bloody heating on yet we do have an abundance of wood.

So is it a chimney sweep who could tell us if the flue is suitable for a solid fuel fire or not?

Cheers
 
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I really want to DIY it but i can't seem to work out if anymore needs doing than possibly opening up the fireplace a bit and putting a flue liner down in from the top then connecting it all together.
AFAIK the installation is supposed to be at least signed off by a HETAS engineer. Our insurers certainly insisted on that when we put our wood burner in. Something to do with there having been some cases of asphyxiation of people who had made a fist of installing theirs, apparently... and as with all things to do safety "thinking" doesn't cut it.

So is it a chimney sweep who could tell us if the flue is suitable for a solid fuel fire or not?
I have no doubt that an experienced sweep could advise, but if he had any sense he'd say it was a only a personal opinion and nothing more
 
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AFAIK the installation is supposed to be at least signed off by a HETAS engineer. Our insurers certainly insisted on that when we put our wood burner in. Something to do with there having been some cases of asphyxiation of people who had made a fist of installing theirs, apparently... and as with all things to do safety "thinking" doesn't cut it.


I have no doubt that an experienced sweep could advise, but if he had any sense he'd say it was a only a personal opinion and nothing more

That's a bit worrying lol it's definitely something i'd want to get signed off but that's probably going to cost an arm and a leg.

Apart from a company the specifies in installing them, do you know who else who would have the answers? As i say no one seems to install them here in the valleys.
 
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... it's definitely something i'd want to get signed off but that's probably going to cost an arm and a leg.
Our local authority charged us £150 a few years back. I believe that has gone up to £200 now. If your install doesn't follow Building Regs they can prosecute you, although I've yet to hear of anyone round here actually being taken to court. When you come to sell, though, if you have a woodburner you will need a HETAS certificste

In the end I found a HETAS engineer who was happy to let me do a lot of the work, but he did insist on doing a visual inspection of the flue after we'd had it swept and before we started work

Anyway, I Googled " HETAS Engineer South Wales" and got J J Vickers - Chepstow and Bristol, as well as Woodburn Installations - Bridgend, amongst others, but you could also ring one or two of the local sweeps (you will need to sweep the flue in any case) and maybe ask them. Other than that I have no idea why you can't find an installer in your area

Or you could just contact HETAS and ask them:

HETAS Ltd
Severn House
Unit 5 Newtown Trading Estate
Green Lane
Tewkesbury
GL20 8HD

Tel: 01684 278170
 
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I used the HETAS find an installer page to find someone to do my fireplace work (removal broken one, fit victorian insert, build a tile a hearth etc) and provide a cert it was kosher


I did have to ring a load of them though. Most wanted silly money. One chap was pragmatic and did a good job
 
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Our local authority charged us £150 a few years back. I believe that has gone up to £200 now. If your install doesn't follow Building Regs they can prosecute you, although I've yet to hear of anyone round here actually being taken to court. When you come to sell, though, ifvyou have a woodburner you will need a HETAS certificste

In the end I found a HETAS engineer who was happy to let me do a lot of the work, but he did insist on doing a visual inspection of the flue after we'd had it swept and before we started work

Anyway, I Googled " HETAS Engineer South Wales" and got J J Vickers - Chepstow and Bristol, as well as Woodburn Installations - Bridgend, amongst others, but you could also ring one or two of the local sweeps (you will need to sweep the flue in any case) and maybe ask them. Other than that I have no idea why you can't find an installer in your area

Or you could just contact HETAS and ask them:

HETAS Ltd
Severn House
Unit 5 Newtown Trading Estate
Green Lane
Tewkesbury
GL20 8HD

Tel: 01684 278170

Thank you for the info. I did try the ones in Bridgend but they wouldn't come out this far, Bristol is pretty far away but i'll try contacting HETAS.
 
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Bristol is pretty far away but i'll try contacting HETAS.
They are also in Chepstow, but as a larger firm they may have engineers nearer to you. I was trying to illustrate how you need to change your search parameters. Try HETAS

As @jacko555 says, some of these guys think a HETAS licence is a licence to print money, so you may have to ring a few to find a less avaricious guy
 

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