Help required- new to real fireplaces!!

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Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
Moved into a new home and paid quite a bit for a real fireplace to be installed

It's all installed and been using it for a few weeks but I must he doing something wrong

I start with kindling and then put a softwood log on

It burns amazingly strong for maybe 20 mins then dies , with the log charred but in no way burned through

The fire we got installed is direct up the new flue, there is no damper at the top or any kind of air control at all actually

Is this the problem??

The fire takes the edge off the cold in the room but never actually heats it. If I'm being honest in disappointed with this and hope I am just doing something daft!

Any help much appreciated thank you
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Moved into a new home and paid quite a bit for a real fireplace to be installed

It's all installed and been using it for a few weeks but I must he doing something wrong

I start with kindling and then put a softwood log on

It burns amazingly strong for maybe 20 mins then dies , with the log charred but in no way burned through

The fire we got installed is direct up the new flue, there is no damper at the top or any kind of air control at all actually

Is this the problem??

The fire takes the edge off the cold in the room but never actually heats it. If I'm being honest in disappointed with this and hope I am just doing something daft!

Any help much appreciated thank you
Sounds like wet wood to me.
 
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Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
Case in point, this has been in for about 90 mins and never really burns, the heat log itself properly flames and turns to ash but the actual soft wood logs never look to actually be on fire with flames coming off them, they just kinda char!!
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Could that really be all it is?

Is the damper not essential at all or a lack of one being the reason the fire rages with kindling, but the logs just char and never really burn to ash??
You have an open fireplace there really is no control. The reasons the logs don't burn is most likely because the wood is wet. How long has it been cut split and covered?
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Wet wood for sure.
 

Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
You have an open fireplace there really is no control. The reasons the logs don't burn is most likely because the wood is wet. How long has it been cut split and covered?
Ok thank you

Well I have tried logs from the supermarket (I can hear you cringe!) Then I tried logs from my sawmill as per the attached. They said they were for fires and less than 18pc moisture

I tried the fairy liquid on the end trick and blew through and to be fair it bubbled!

Is that not a cut and dried (excuse the pun) test though?
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Ok thank you

Well I have tried logs from the supermarket (I can hear you cringe!) Then I tried logs from my sawmill as per the attached. They said they were for fires and less than 18pc moisture

I tried the fairy liquid on the end trick and blew through and to be fair it bubbled!

Is that not a cut and dried (excuse the pun) test though?
That looks absolutely fresh cut. Probably over 30% if not 40. Open fireplaces aren't as picky about dry wood as a stove would be but it still needs to be reasonably dry. What fireplace is that? Where are you located?
 

Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
That looks absolutely fresh cut. Probably over 30% if not 40. Open fireplaces aren't as picky about dry wood as a stove would be but it still needs to be reasonably dry. What fireplace is that? Where are you located?
First of all thank you for your help with me here and your patience!!

I am in glasgow. It's a Victorian fireplace that we bought off ebay, which was refurbished.

Got an local chimney sweep to install it for us.

I was thinking maybe its because the fire basket itself is quite small and I can only really fit one log in at a time and maybe having no damper, so only one log and too much air is maybe why it doesnt burn the log properly

It is as if it never actually catches fire properly

And the more I Google the more I am now worried about chimney fires from the fact the wood is maybe too wet!!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
First of all thank you for your help with me here and your patience!!

I am in glasgow. It's a Victorian fireplace that we bought off ebay, which was refurbished.

Got an local chimney sweep to install it for us.

I was thinking maybe its because the fire basket itself is quite small and I can only really fit one log in at a time and maybe having no damper, so only one log and too much air is maybe why it doesnt burn the log properly

It is as if it never actually catches fire properly

And the more I Google the more I am now worried about chimney fires from the fact the wood is maybe too wet!!
Being a Victorian fireplace and looking at the design my guess is that it was meant to be a coal fireplace. It should still be able to burn wood if the flue is sized properly but it won't hold much wood. And regardless an open fireplace will never be a very effective heater
 

Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
Being a Victorian fireplace and looking at the design my guess is that it was meant to be a coal fireplace. It should still be able to burn wood if the flue is sized properly but it won't hold much wood. And regardless an open fireplace will never be a very effective heater
Ah!!

Is that maybe my problem then?

The basket as I say is quite small, so maybe just not designed to burn wood?

Maybe best trying coal out?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Ah!!

Is that maybe my problem then?

The basket as I say is quite small, so maybe just not designed to burn wood?

Maybe best trying coal out?
You couldn't pay me enough to burn coal in an open fireplace in my home. Like I said it will probably burn wood if you get wood that is dry enough. Water doesn't burn very well at all
 
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Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
You couldn't pay me enough to burn coal in an open fireplace in my home. Like I said it will probably burn wood if you get wood that is dry enough. Water doesn't burn very well at all
Haha due to... carbon monoxide I take it!?

I will try to find a reputable place for proper dry hardwood first if all and try that

Am I right in saying that not all fires can take coal anyway as it burns hotter?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Haha due to... carbon monoxide I take it!?

I will try to find a reputable place for proper dry hardwood first if all and try that

Am I right in saying that not all fires can take coal anyway as it burns hotter?
Yes because of the danger of co. Coal burns differently not nessecarily hotter.

And for the record it doesn't need to be hardwood. Softwood is perfectly fine as well. Wood just needs to be dry
 

Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
You also should not expect to get much heat from an open fireplace. Generally speaking. Even with good wood.
Yeah it's just the fact the wood doesn't burn through that's weird

Maybe it is indeed for coal supposedly, since the grate I have has gaps in it which from reading up, is to allow air to the coal underneath as that's what coal needs as opposed to wood
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
The wood should burn through if it's dry and fire gets established.

We have an old time Franklin looking stove at the cottage. Air comes underneath. It will reduce everything to fine ash.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Yeah it's just the fact the wood doesn't burn through that's weird

Maybe it is indeed for coal supposedly, since the grate I have has gaps in it which from reading up, is to allow air to the coal underneath as that's what coal needs as opposed to wood
Yes coal needs air from underneath coming up through the fire bed. But most open wood fireplaces are burnt that way as well. It is not the most efficient way to burn wood but neither is an open fireplace
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
The wood should burn through if it's dry and fire gets established.

We have an old time Franklin looking stove at the cottage. Air comes underneath. It will reduce everything to fine ash.
Most Franklin stoves were built to have a fire directly on the floor. Did someone add a grate or is it part of the stove?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,431
central pa
Haha spread fairy liquid on one end and blow through the other

If it bubbles then apparently it shows that the wood is dry enough to burn...
What is fairy liquid? Regardless all that will tell you is that the wood has an open pore structure
 

Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
I'm just really confused!

The fire itself might be made for coal, going by the shape of it but if its made for wood and I use coal can that cause problems?

It's just really really weird how the logs here, which have been in there for close to 3 hours are still not burned through despite the heat log thing I also have in still glowing red
 

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Millertime_9

New Member
Feb 3, 2020
24
G72 8ax
What is fairy liquid? Regardless all that will tell you is that the wood has an open pore structure
Sorry just realised I'm not on a uk forum!

Fairy liquid is a washing up liquid, the advice might be a lot of rubbish and would tend to suggest it is, since I tried it spreading on one end of the log blew through the other and bubbles did appear

The site I looked at says if that happens it proves the wood is dry but maybe not
 
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