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Old Oct 31st 2017, 8:21 am   #1
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Default Installing a freestanding stove

Hi everyone. I signed up here earlier this year after my wife and I bought a house near the Balaton. Not really had anything to ask or comment on by way of introduction yet as we have luckily made some good friends and contacts locally which has made house renovations straightforward. My wife is Hungarian so communication has been entirely through her, while I guiltily make slow progress with the basics of the language. We're still resident in the UK for the time being, with monthly (or so) visits, but plan to live in Hungary more permanently in the long term. Thought I'd post here as it seems a friendly community. So, my query is about freestanding wood burning stoves. We will be installing one sometime over the coming months, but wanted to check if anyone knows of specific regs? Do they need to be fitted (or signed off) by a registered person, similar to a HETAS scheme in the UK? Also, we have a laminate floor, does anyone know what would be the common hearth material and thickness used there and any suggestions for good shops to buy from in the Badacsony area?
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 7:17 pm   #2
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

As far as I know there are no requirements to have a wood stove fitted by a registered fitter. Anything gas however does need a registered fitter.

The usual solution to hearth material is a sheet of steel of the appropriate size. (At one time you could buy an enamelled sheet of steel for the purpose of placing under free standing stoves) The alternative would be removing the wooden floor around the stove and replacing it with tiles. The specifications of the stove should give the installation details as to how far the stove has to be from combustible materials.
You could also use a sheet of cement particle board which (if the floor is flat and stable) can be placed over the wooden floor and then tiled over. (cement particle board - think chipboard with cement as the bonding. It is heavy, hard, rigid and just about indestructible inside or out but doesn't take to bending)

If you are going for a wood stove and you have had or will have new windows then you will need to think about air supply for the stove. With modern windows there just isn't enough air leakage into a house to give sufficient air supply for the stove so at best the house can get very stuffy and at worst dangerous (= deadly)

The current gas regs do not allow a gas appliance in the same air space as a stove although a stove with an external air supply is acceptable. Doors between rooms do not separate air space. If you fit a new gas cooker the fitter should check this along with the required powered ventilation needed for the gas cooker.

By law chimneys have to be inspected and cleaned once a year but this does not always happen. If the chimney has not been used for a bit then get it inspected and cleaned to make sure that there are no hornet or birds nests in it.
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 9:20 pm   #3
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary View Post
As far as I know there are no requirements to have a wood stove fitted by a registered fitter. Anything gas however does need a registered fitter.

The usual solution to hearth material is a sheet of steel of the appropriate size. (At one time you could buy an enamelled sheet of steel for the purpose of placing under free standing stoves) The alternative would be removing the wooden floor around the stove and replacing it with tiles. The specifications of the stove should give the installation details as to how far the stove has to be from combustible materials.
You could also use a sheet of cement particle board which (if the floor is flat and stable) can be placed over the wooden floor and then tiled over. (cement particle board - think chipboard with cement as the bonding. It is heavy, hard, rigid and just about indestructible inside or out but doesn't take to bending)

If you are going for a wood stove and you have had or will have new windows then you will need to think about air supply for the stove. With modern windows there just isn't enough air leakage into a house to give sufficient air supply for the stove so at best the house can get very stuffy and at worst dangerous (= deadly)

The current gas regs do not allow a gas appliance in the same air space as a stove although a stove with an external air supply is acceptable. Doors between rooms do not separate air space. If you fit a new gas cooker the fitter should check this along with the required powered ventilation needed for the gas cooker.

By law chimneys have to be inspected and cleaned once a year but this does not always happen. If the chimney has not been used for a bit then get it inspected and cleaned to make sure that there are no hornet or birds nests in it.
Thanks Peter, lots of good info for us to chew over there. Fortunately, we haven't replaced the windows yet so we do have a draft or two for ventilation if we were to go ahead in the short term . However, we're more than likely going to get this sorted in the New Year at the earliest now, but will get the chimneys looked at over the next month or so and can check out hearth options in the meantime. Thanks again
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 5:38 pm   #4
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Interesting, I have always had a woodburning stove and a gas stove in the same room but not mains gas and I don't use them both at the same time. I don't really see a viable alternative in my case, as my central heating uses a solid fuel cooking range with integral boiler. The electricity supply, although recently renewed, is not adequate to power an electric cooker so the lpg gas cooker is there for summer cooking.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 12:18 am   #5
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

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Originally Posted by fidobsa View Post
Interesting, I have always had a woodburning stove and a gas stove in the same room but not mains gas and I don't use them both at the same time. I don't really see a viable alternative in my case, as my central heating uses a solid fuel cooking range with integral boiler. The electricity supply, although recently renewed, is not adequate to power an electric cooker so the lpg gas cooker is there for summer cooking.
To comply with the regs your gas stove would need an extractor fan linked to come on when the gas stove is lit and an appropriate vent in the wall to allow air in and the solid fuel cooking range would need to have an external air supply.
Every year in Hungary there are deaths (sometimes several members of a family living together) due to faulty heating devices (gas and solid fuel) causing CO poisoning which is why the regs are a bit onerous. Having said that in the UK the regs regarding wood burners (without external air supply) also require a big hole in the wall for ventilation.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 2:28 pm   #6
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Peter, not only in Hungary!

In Germany we also had several cases where houses were "too well insulated", no fresh air coming in and people died in their sleep of carbonmonoxide poisoning.

An extreme cae was a group of six teenagers who died - there however the problem was an electricity generator who was supposed to work outside only ...
We've bought a CO- warning device, just in case ... They cost around or less than 10 000 HUF including a long life battery, comparable to a smoke detector whis in Germany is now compulsary.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 4:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

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Peter, not only in Hungary!

In Germany we also had several cases where houses were "too well insulated", no fresh air coming in and people died in their sleep of carbonmonoxide poisoning.
"too well insulated" is a common problem of bad reporting. Houses can not be "too well insulated", put on enough insulation and you don't need a heating system. The problem is poor or inadequate ventilation. Once windows and doors are replaced with modern standard ones, with the typical Hungarian build using internal render the result will be an air tight house - which is good but this will need a mechanical ventilation system either MVHR or PIV (google it) to ensure proper efficient ventilation, periodic opening windows is not enough.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 7:08 pm   #8
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Peter, of course you are right - it's a difficult topic, that 's why I put this in quotes:
"too well insulated"
A bit OT:
In Germany you'll read about "zero energy houses" where the insulation is kind of perfect so no heating necessary, but "air and heat exchange". There are tax breaks for these, but in Hungary?

PS:
Even 20 years ago when we installed a new central heating in Germany this had to be considered - here in Hungary we have the new type of central gas heating that gets its air from the outside, no chimney. You surely know the expression/definition for this.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 8:08 pm   #9
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfi View Post
In Germany you'll read about "zero energy houses" where the insulation is kind of perfect so no heating necessary, but "air and heat exchange". There are tax breaks for these, but in Hungary?
No - no tax breaks. There are however non-repayable grants and interest free loans for new builds and renovations - But you have to qualify to get these

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfi View Post
Even 20 years ago when we installed a new central heating in Germany this had to be considered - here in Hungary we have the new type of central gas heating that gets its air from the outside, no chimney. You surely know the expression/definition for this.
These are balanced flue central heating appliances. They either go through the wall (with restrictions about adjacent windows/doors etc) or up a special chimney. These will be the virtually only type you can get now.
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Old Nov 3rd 2017, 9:32 pm   #10
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

Yes, "balanced flue" - had forgotten that expression, seems I'm getting old ...
But I really hadn't read that word "flue" before ...

We Germans do it a bit more complicated: "raumluftunabhängige Betriebsweise"
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 1:18 am   #11
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

raumluftunabhängige Betriebsweise Aghhh
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 5:13 pm   #12
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

[QUOTE=Peter_in_Hungary;12374268]No - no tax breaks. There are however non-repayable grants and interest free loans for new builds and renovations - But you have to qualify to get these

Interesting you should mention the non-repayable grants. We were looking into these with the intention of installing solar panels as part of an overhaul of the boiler and water system, but heard from relatives and from various Hungarian articles that the once a year qualification period is very over-subscribed and you have to provide such detail as to make it a legal professional's document/application. Unless you are in the "politicial" know, then you can jump to the top of the queue of course. We decided against it...at least until we decide on a more permanent presence there.
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Old Nov 5th 2017, 6:38 am   #13
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Default Re: Installing a freestanding stove

The non-repayable grants for domestic are under funded and only those who submit application in the first few hours have a chance before the money runs out. The loans are better funded. One grant that seems to be better funded is for new build where you get 10,000,000 HUF grant plus 10,000,000 HUF loan but for this you need to have or commit to have at least 3 children plus other conditions about employment status.

There are no FIT payments like the UK here but the PV is calculated on an annual basis of grid demand against generation. The meter spins in both directions and the aim would be to finish the year with net zero as the amount you are paid for excess generation will never pay for the excess PV over what you consume.
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