Keeping the stove going overnight

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Potter's Farm
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Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247953Post Potter's Farm
Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:09 pm

We have a solid fuel boiler stove to do the heating and hot water. There are only 7 rads in the house, the stove is a 15kw model, 4kw to the room and 11kw to the boiler.
We are burning chestnut, oak and birch at the moment but cannot get the thing to keep going overnight. What are we doing wrong??

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247956Post gregorach
Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:40 pm

I've no experience with such a beast so I can't be sure, but given that mix of fuel, perhaps this woodsman's song has some clues:

Oak logs will warm you well
If they're old and dry.
Larch logs of pinewood smell
But the sparks will fly.
Beech logs for Christmas time,
Yew logs heat well.
Scotch logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.
Birch logs burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all,

Hawthorne logs are good to last
If you cut them in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame to be seen.
Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room.
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ash logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them up green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They're worth their weight in gold.

[My emphasis]

Or it could be that you haven't got the vents set right...
Cheers

Dunc

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247958Post Paul_C
Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:23 pm

have you considered coal?

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247959Post Davie Crockett
Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:29 pm

A friend had a similar problem and was recommended to try these: http://www.woofwoodfuel.co.uk/bark-fuel-logs.php They create a little more ash overnight but are really efficient at keeping the fire going.
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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247967Post Zech
Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:06 pm

I've heard that a shovelful of acorns will do the trick. We tried it last night - well, a couple of handfuls, might not have been enough - but that didn't work. We'll keep trying and I'll let you know if we manage to make it work.
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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247969Post Thomzo
Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:04 pm

I must admit that I never managed to keep my Rayburn in overnight on wood alone. But just a couple of lumps of coal would last the night.

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247975Post KathyLauren
Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:23 pm

I don't know that stove, but I have learned to get an overnight burn in my Pacific Energy wood stove. About an hour before going to bed, I start increasing the temperature of the burn. That may involve more fuel, more air, or both, depending on what it has been doing to that point. What I am aiming for is a bed of hot, bright orange coals, with hardly any black showing, and no smoke production at all.

At that point, I load up a couple of big logs on top of the bed of hot coals. The logs should start burning vigourously within 10 seconds if I have the temperature right. I give the fire a few seconds with the door open, to get established, then I close the door. I check that the wood is starting to char on top, then damp it right down to minimum. If I didn't get the temperature hot enough, I'll damp it part way and ask my wife (who goes to bed later than I do) to turn it down when she comes upstairs.

Usually, when I come downstairs in the morning, I have some coals still glowing. Saves on matches! :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247980Post boboff
Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:43 am

Absolutely, it's the bed of ash that is needed and then having wood embers in the ash which are effectively "charcoaling" it's these that stay in, the trick is to only remove enough ash so you have a good 2 inches of it as a bed to start with, when it's really hot and going a dinger, try some small sticks on the ash bed then more logs on top. It will always depend on the weather as well, in high pressure it won't burn as fast, in low pressure and with the increase in wind over your chimney it will burn faster.
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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247982Post Potter's Farm
Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:10 am

Tried a bed of hot coals with some logs on last night, nothing this morning. They were chestnut logs though, so maybe that's where i went wrong. We didn't want to use coal at all, but got 1 bag this week to try it. We've planted hazels and ash to coppice for wood but as yet they're still small plants. Will try again tonight with advice from all of your comments and see how we get on.

Thanks guys, Lisa x

Love the poem by the way Dunc!

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 247993Post Big Al
Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:12 am

I know it's not the same but we used to put some of them paper logs on and then bank it up with seacoal and it would be kept alight for weeks at a time that way. In these days of clean air the paper logs will still work but you might need to add more wood to it.... only a guess at the moment.
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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 248001Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:13 pm

We burn a mixture of oak, chestnut, ash, beech & hornbeam. Usually the fire stays in (I try to add oak at bedtime)... except when the wind is from the North. I have no idea why.

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 248008Post greenorelse
Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:36 pm

My preference is to build up the fire before bedtime on a cold night and let it burn hot, with the airwash vent open. The house is still warm the next morning and the door glass is clean! See the pic to the left. The house is usually still comfortably warm as the day darkens again, so we rarely run a fire during the day.

However, if I want to run the fire longer, I get a hot fire going, put a layer of logs on top (we have a lot of beech and ash) then a full broadsheet newspaper, folded in half on top of that, then more logs on top of the newspaper. The ash from the newspaper seems to slow down the burning of the logs above it.

Something else to try is to get a good fire going, then throw ash on top of it.
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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 248021Post KathyLauren
Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:00 pm

Potter's Farm wrote:Tried a bed of hot coals with some logs on last night, nothing this morning. They were chestnut logs though, so maybe that's where i went wrong. We didn't want to use coal at all, but got 1 bag this week to try it. We've planted hazels and ash to coppice for wood but as yet they're still small plants. Will try again tonight with advice from all of your comments and see how we get on.
Hmm. I burn mostly Douglas fir and other softwoods. I would have though hardwoods would burn slower.

I just assumed you are dealing with a modern airtight stove, but that's something to check. You won't get an overnight burn if air is leaking in somewhere other than the damper. How is the door gasket? Maybe check it and replace it if it looks worn.

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 248046Post gregorach
Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:50 am

KeithBC wrote:Hmm. I burn mostly Douglas fir and other softwoods. I would have though hardwoods would burn slower.
It really depends on the specific wood. Some "hard"woods are softer than some "soft"woods... Birch in particular burns very quickly. Chestnut I've no experience with.
Cheers

Dunc

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Re: Keeping the stove going overnight

Post: # 248053Post stevetc
Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:44 pm

Don't know your particular stove, I can only just get 8 hours from mine, butit's only a little one.
Are you finding that out goes out, with wood still not burned, or that out used all the fuel?
Get it good and hot, with a good couple of inches of ash in the bottom, then a handful of coal, and fill it right up with a hardwood on top.
If it's used all this fuel by morning, chances are you have air getting in somewhere.
If it's not used the fuel and gone out, you may have too little air, or too little ash (don't clean it out too often!). . . Or possibly your wood isn't quite seasoned?
When I'm burning poor quality wood I tend to sleep on the sofa - it's so uncomfortable that I wake up every few hours and can give the burner a poke. . .

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