Friday, 7 October 2011

Stoved In

Short version...

Just over 2 years ago I purchased a wood-burning stove (actually multi-fuel) at a good price and we had it installed as a dry stove (i.e. no hot water). The stove actually had a back boiler, but at the time we couldn't afford the plumbing work and were quite happy to use it as a living-room fire. Now this was no pot-belly job. If you know me, you know that about once every 5 years I take the head staggers and this was a classic version (the last one was buying the MR2 sight-unseen and bringing it back from England). This stove is huge. It weighs 240kg (that's a quarter ton in old currency) and at full tilt can reach 500 degrees C inside and generate 21kW of heat, enough to run at least 10 radiators.

So 2 years passed and we had saved money from using less oil (a lot less) and thought we'd get it plumbed-in. This cost the raw part of £2k and is a beautiful piece of work, all done in copper pipe. So the plumber came to commission the whole thing and water started pouring out of the stove. Lots of water. There was a pinhole-sized hole in the back of the stove in the seam of the boiler. This being cast iron there is no simple way to repair it.

After much gnashing of teeth we decided that everything being equal it would be better to buy an identical replacement stove as we are sure we will still save money and it will pay for itself in savings on oil in 3-4 years. To give an illustration, in the last 2 years the cost of oil has risen by 30% while the cost of coal has stayed the same and the cost of wood has gotten cheaper as more people have entered the sustainable energy market.

I will keep my readership posted (all 3 of you).

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I was just reading about you installing your wood burning stove and thought you might be interested in a forum I belong to. It's at There are a few threads I'm sure you would be interested in, especially the one about wood coppicing in the 'Heating with wood' section. I'm sure there is a bunch of stuff you'd like.