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Worried about parents' woodburner. Is this normal?

(18 Posts)
bobsnotabuilder Sat 06-Apr-13 18:40:52

The ceiling above is covered in a horrid black layer and when ds comes back after staying over he stinks like a bonfire. Is this normal? Im really worried about what they are breathing in. ..

NotSpartacus Sat 06-Apr-13 18:42:54

No, it isn't normal. It's normal to get a bit smelly on your hands if you are putting logs on it but otherwise all fumes should be going up the flue. How long have they had it? Was it fitted by a professional? When did they last get their chimney swept?

Movingtimes Sat 06-Apr-13 18:44:04

No that doesn't sound normal. How long have they had it? Was it installed by a qualified Hetas engineer? Do they have a certificate for it? We had to have the chimney specially lined for ours and the flue carries all the smoke away - there is no soot or smell. I would check out how the installation was carried out if I were you.

Twogoodreasons Sat 06-Apr-13 18:44:22

Woodburners can give off carbon monoxide. This needs checking ASAP.

ubik Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:03

The fumes from fires are incredibly bad for you - they need the burner checked and a carbon monoxide detector ASAP.

Meglet Sat 06-Apr-13 18:47:11

No. I know 2 people with burners and you would never know there is a fire in the room, no smoky smell or soot at all.

Something doesn't sound right at all.

MissBeehivingUnderTheMistletoe Sat 06-Apr-13 18:54:38

It doesn't sound like it's drawing properly and the seal around the door maybe broken. It's not normal to have fumes coming out like that. They need it serviced and a carbon monoxide detector fitted.

bobsnotabuilder Sat 06-Apr-13 18:54:51

My dad fitted it...

I gave them a co alarm and my mum says it was fine but then when I suggested getting it out again said she didn't know where it was hmm

bobsnotabuilder Sat 06-Apr-13 18:55:57

Im pretty sure they leave the doors open slightly?!

MissBeehivingUnderTheMistletoe Sat 06-Apr-13 19:04:06

That will be because the flue isn't drawing enough. Mine draws the smoke up the chimmney even with the door open but if they have to leave it open all the time then it's not working properly - the flue could be blocked or installed incorrectly.

jchocchip Sat 06-Apr-13 19:07:14

If your dad fitted it and he is not a hetas certified engineer then the local Building Inspector would check it for a small fee. It is a legal requirement to comply with building regulations and you shouldn't take risks with carbon monoxide...

specialsubject Sat 06-Apr-13 19:33:45

they need to stop using it AT ONCE. Woodburners should never be used with the door open - you put the wood on and close up. There may be a bit of a smell with certain wood but certainly no black on the ceiling. Sounds like an installation foul up, a blocked chimney, a failed seal or something else WRONG.

Unless you dad has a HETAS certificate (and if he has, shame on him) they have invalidated their house insurance with this. But they are at reasonable risk of death RIGHT NOW. The black on the ceiling means incomplete combustion which produces carbon monoxide.

Slainte Sat 06-Apr-13 22:31:30

Please get them to stop using it until they have a carbon monoxide alarm there.

HeavenlyAmy Sat 06-Apr-13 22:47:35

I thought you could use them with the door open. Ours came with a special grill for when you wish to use with the doors open. We sometimes have our doors open a bit to get it going. Only been in a year and was installed by HETAS.

SquinkiesRule Sat 06-Apr-13 23:08:51

There's something wrong with theirs OP, We've had one for 19 years and never had any soot on the ceiling and no one smells like a bonfire, you'd never know we had it. We have on occasion when it got really hot had the door open, as it draws air just fine all it did was make the wood burn faster.

PigletJohn Sun 07-Apr-13 00:40:11

as everyone has said, it is not normal and it is not safe. The black marks are soot stains. There is a leak somewhere in the stove or the flue, and/or the chimney is not drawing properly. Even with the doors open, it should suck all the POCs up the chimney, there should be no airflow possible INTO the room. It is possible that the room does not have sufficient natural ventilation to let fresh air into the room to allow airflow up the chimbney. Some people like to block ventilation because they consider it to be a draught.

If your dad is as pig-headed as me, though, he may resist suggestions that he has cocked up and put his family at risk.

You could start by getting an experienced local chimney-sweep to look at it, he will be familiar with all the common defects.

bobsnotabuilder Sun 07-Apr-13 11:36:45

Ive contacted a local company and will pay myself for them to take a look.

They dont have building insurance or a mortgage: mundic property so uninsurable anyway.

specialsubject Sun 07-Apr-13 12:40:29



they probably don't want to pay out to replace all their contents in a fire...

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