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Central hearing from woodburner- thermostat?

(10 Posts)
sparklingwine Mon 05-Nov-12 19:14:23

Does anyone else have heating that runs off their woodburner? We have recently moved to a house that does (no gas or oil). We just have a switch to turn the heating pump on to make the rads come hot.
Just wondering if it would be possible to have some sort of thermostatic switch? Our rads all have thermostatic things on.
And as an extra question- some of the upstairs rads get hot even if the pump isn't on- is that normal?
It's all a bit new to me- we used to have a combi!

PigletJohn Mon 05-Nov-12 20:00:35

you can, and should, have a thermostat to drive the pump.

However (and I have only had a multifuel boiler once) you must have some radiators and/or a cylinder that are big enough to absorb and dissipate the heat from the boiler even if the pump is not running, so there must be no valves in the way that could ever be closed, even TRVs.

this is because solid fuel boilers cannot easily be turned off like gas or oil ones can, so it is possible for them to boil if the heat is not dissipated, which can be rather damaging. It is quite possible for a person to fill them with fuel and open the damper, then get called away, distracted or absent-mindedly leave the house and leave it roaring away, or maybe there will be a power cut or the pump will fail. Hopefully the boiler will have its own thermostatic control to throttle it back, but you still need a heat sink.

When I had one, I had a big hot-water cylinder that used to get thoroughly hot by the end of the evening. If it is well insulated it will stay hot for 24 hours or so.

you would do best to find a reliable solid-fuel boiler person in your area, the chimney-sweep will probably know one, but if you are in a rural area, your neighbours and the parish magaziner will also be a good source. They will be able to advise and know how to do the work safely.

sparklingwine Mon 05-Nov-12 20:12:18

Thanks pigletjohn. We have got a water tank (normal size) for hot water that also gets hot, and a plumber who took out a rad for me said we have got a big tank in the loft for heat dumping.(?) and also a big pipe going up into loft (forgotten what he called it) He was very dubious of the whole setup (I think he hoped to get the job of converting us back to LPG)

I wasn't sure if we could fit a thermostat so thank you for your answer- and also for the suggestion of asking chimney sweep. My plumber us great, but is unused to solid fuel.
I shall ask him/ in the village for someone. We're planning on doing some other building work so hopefully can combine all the work.

sparklingwine Mon 05-Nov-12 20:13:43

Not ask the plumber- ask the sweep. That wasn't clear.

Pesephone Fri 09-Nov-12 13:25:51

I am thinking of buying a house which runs on solid fuel, I am really interested to know what you find out about this as the house e are looking at currently has very old fashioned ch system run on coal/logs and i would wish to update to a modern multifuel stove. So Please do share what you find out. smile

sparklingwine Sun 11-Nov-12 22:37:11

Hi pesephone I can let you know our experience so far- our multifuel stove was put in 10 years ago (it's a hunter make) and we burn wood on it. We moved here a few months ago so this is our first winter here. So far it's all ok. Obviously more hassle than gas, but I'm a SAHM so its become part of my daily routine to bring in the wood and lay the fire.
We have a switch to turn on the heating, once the woodburner is hot.
So far the biggest downside is cold mornings- I try and fill it up last thing at night so it burns as long as possible, but the house is still cold first thing (and obviously that'll only get worse!) we're lucky- good insulation.
We might end up having a few electric heaters for cold mornings.
I do like not having to rely on the big fuel companies for heat, and am getting better at remembering to always pick up random sticks/ twigs/ logs when walking dog.
I am also letting all my friends know I'm happy to have old bits of wood/trees etc which help with the cost of wood deliveries.
Am happy to update further as the winter goes on...

educatingarti Mon 12-Nov-12 10:18:22

Sparkling - your set up is my "romantic" ideal type of heating. I'm not likey to get it as I live in a first floor flat in a city. I've had to make do with an electric look-a-like "wood-burning" stove which is just not the same at all, but no doubt a lot easier to manage!

educatingarti Mon 12-Nov-12 10:18:41

Likey - should be likely!

Pesephone Mon 12-Nov-12 14:56:02

Thanks Sparkilingwine,
If your stove is Multifuel you should be able to do an overnight burn with anthracite (sp) or other coal type fuels, Its worth googling the model of stove you have to see if it is feasible.
I know once we get settled in the new house and money willing I plan on replacing the current 1980's stove with a modern more efficiant one and so have been researching and it seems overnight burns are possible on a multifuel. Hope this helps. And yes I'd love updates on your experience as the winter goes on.

attheendoftheday Tue 13-Nov-12 21:39:58

We have a multi-fuel stove that runs our heating and hot water and we have a thermostat. I would definitely recommend getting one, in was hard to keep the house a comfortable temperature when turning the pump on and off by hand.

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