Since we put the stove back in, following the installation of the new hearth stone, it has been drawing really slowly and keeping a nice slow burn. This has meant we’re getting through far less wood than last winter, when we were chucking wood on and needing to keep quite a high burn to get a decent internal temperature in the house.
I had thought this was mainly to do with the new external insulated render, which we had installed in March last year.
It turns out, it was far more to do with the fact that the flu pipe which comes up directly from the stove wasn’t even connected to the chimney liner! It was burning slowly because there was very little air flow up the chimney. I had discovered smoke collecting in the loft. This had been an issue we experienced before we had the chimney lined and was due to smoke getting through the small gaps in the stacks mortar. The idea of the liner was that the smoke wouldn’t even enter the main chimney, but be carried up the liner and out from the cowel at the top of the chimney pot. Claire had already called a chimney company who had said it sounded like a torn liner.
So, my hunch was that there wasn’t a liner tear and thought immediately it was a connection problem, mainly because the stove had recently been re-fitted. First thing I saw when I inspected it yesterday morning was the image above!
It took about 1.5 hours to get the register plate off, check the problem, fix the pipes together again and fix the register plate back up + clean and hoover all around. Not bad and I know it’s fairly easy to do if the stove needs to be taken out again.
The result of the re-connection is the stove is eating the wood up at a fierce rate! Maybe twice the rate as before but a bit less heat coming out into the room. Much more heat is now just going up the chimney and not being held in the stove. The solution to this problem is fairly simple: a stove damper.
This fits into the flu pipe, above the stove and below the service door, and can be turned to let more or less air up the liner. Some air is always allowed up through it though. The chrome handle matches the stove and it was only about £13. This will hopefully allow us to control the fire much more precisely and be able to leave it on very low while we’re out of the house for a few hours. It does require two holes to be drilled in the flu pipe but this shouldn’t be a problem (famous last words!).