We've listed a few common problems here, give us a call if you want further help or your particular issue isn't listed - If we can help, we will!
Glass blacking up
Make sure the air wash control is open (top air) or open further to retain a hot combustion level, maintain flames above the fuel. Make sure the fuel is properly dry inside – less than 20% moisture. Burning unsuitable smoky coal or poor quality wood will cause this.
Smoke into the room
A small amount of smoke or smoky smell during re-fuelling can be perfectly normal. Re-fuelling before the flames have gone will cause more smoke than necessary.
Smoke coming out through the air controls shows a problem with ventilation or the flue or chimney.
- Try opening a window which will add ventilation.
- Sometimes stove users come up against 'Cold Air Plugs'. This can be a bit surprising and definitely alarming. It's common for insulated twin wall flues or exposed chimneys to experience a ‘cold plug’. It occurs when temperatures drop suddenly and an invisible plug of cold air forms in the chimney. The result is that the chimney is effectively plugged and pushes smoke back down and out of the log burner into the room. It can occur even overnight if temperatures drop rapidly. It can also occur where a chimney has not been used for a while (but is known to be clean i.e. not blocked with a birds nest).
A solution is to try leaving the door of the stove open for about half an hour prior to lighting and/or start by lighting a firelighter on its own, opening the air vents and closing the door, then when the firelighter is almost burnt add another and some kindling. Allow this to burn for about five minutes before adding the logs. The idea is to gently increase the internal temperature of your chimney which will dissipate the cold air plug.
- If neither of these help, stop using the stove and call us.
A crack in firebox liners
This is normal and they do not need to be replaced until they cannot protect the steel firebox any longer. We can order replacements for you.
Bent or sagging baffle plate
This is due to over firing of the stove. The steel must approach melting point to sag under gravity. We can order replacements for you.
Replace rope seals and gaskets to maintain the air tightness of your firebox. This is included in our annual Stove Service. (Firebricks, baffle plates, rope seals, gaskets and glass are not warranted due to the severe and aggressive conditions they must endure during operation).
Slow burning even with controls fully open
Poor quality, damp fuel can cause this, but assuming that is eliminated it indicates a poor flue draught caused by lack of ventilation or a leak/blockage in the flue or chimney – Call us.
We get smoke and smells upstairs / smoke leaks:
Really common stove and chimney problems. The soot and tar forming in the chimney from smoke condensation is high in sulphuric acid. The acid eats away at the mortar joints within the chimney thus creating holes in the walls of the flue. We have many solutions for you.
We get smells upstairs even though we have lined our chimney:
Rare stove and chimney problems. This could be for one of several reasons:
- The residual soot / tar in the now redundant chamber is heating up due to the proximity of the hot stainless steel chimney liner. Check that you have sufficient ventilation throughout the chamber (vents top and bottom)
- The stainless steel liner has residual oil deposits from the manufacturing process (particularly 904 grade). The oil is evaporating and producing a smell / smoke. This problem will pass.
- The liner is blocked / damaged. Get us to inspect.
- Your chimney is not lined correctly. We have seen many ceramic / steel linings terminating before the top of the chimney. Just because you see a lining at the bottom, it doesn’t mean it is correctly lined.
Our woodburner doesn’t work as well as it used to:
No Heat: This is probably the fuel. If the wood you burn is not dry enough you will get little heat benefit. Try using a Digital Moisture Meter – we sell them in the Showroom – You should not be trying to burn wood which has a moisture content in excess of 20%. In essence, your stove is putting all its energy into boiling water rather than keeping you nice and toasty.
Poor chimney draw and, or smoke leaking out of stove: Sweep your chimney. A common myth is a lined chimney doesn’t need sweeping – untrue. If the draw is poor there is a restriction in the flue. Sweep the chimney and check the cowl is not blocked and check the area above the baffle plate is clear. Call 01453 753485 or 01989 218328 to book a Chimney sweep and Stove Maintenance.
Burns too fast: Check the seals on the stove. When a fire is burning it is sucking air. If the stove seals are good the air can only be drawn in through the air control inlets that you regulate. If the seals are poor the fire will roar! We have all sizes of stove rope and stove rope adhesive in the showroom. Re-roping your stove is part of our Annual Stove Maintenance service, and we’ll sweep your chimney at the same time!
If we haven’t addressed your stove and chimney problems or you need further advice don’t hesitate to call on 01989 218328 or 01453 753485. Also take a look at our FAQ pages.