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Chimney replacement and fuel types

Chimney replacement and fuel types

Old Feb 10th 2019, 12:10 am
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Default Chimney replacement and fuel types

Hi all,

I know there is plenty of info on this forum about chimney, replacement and fuel types, but to be honest I find it a little confusing to say the least! So could someone kindly clarify the following for me and perhaps others?

Scenario - You just bought a property in the Hungarian countryside and want to know:

1 - What types of chimney and boiler (heating) system will accompany that chimney (I.e. would you expect to find an old fashioned coal fire chimney? And if so, what could you replace it with (i.e a gas fire)?

2 - If you were to rip out the chimney altogether, what options would you have in terms of replacement? I.e. radiator system, under floor heating, etc?

3 - depending on house size, family size, etc what would be ecconomical and/or more beneficial to each type of house size, etc.

if someone could explain (in dunce mode if necessary!), exactly how the heating part would work (I.e which chimney/fuel type/boiler system would heat what area/s of the house, that would be appreciated, as would any other relevant info. Hungarian names of parts etc would be a bonus

Thanks


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Old Feb 10th 2019, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

There are 3 types of chimneys in common use in Hungary
1 brick built, some times integrated into a wall
2 insulated, either precast concrete with a ceramic linner or double wall stainless steel
3 gas flues

1 brick built are suitable for ceramic stoves and the old style wood burners or old wood burning boilers.
2 insulated are suitable for new type wood stoves (glass fronted air wash type) and new type gasifing wood burning boilers. Also anything that can be used with brick chimneys.
3 gas flues can only be used for gas appliances.

People do use the 1st type of chimney with the 2nd type of appliances but this is generally not a good idea. The 1st type of chimney can sometimes be upgraded to lined and insulated but this is not often done here.

To use a gas appliance with either of the other types of chimney it will need to be lined, not difficult and usually not expensive.

Unless you have some sort of wet system, radiators or under floor heating (UFH), then the appliance will only heat the room in which it stands. Sometimes the ceramic stoves are built between two rooms to heat both together.

For central heating retro-fitting UFH is expensive and disruptive and will only work if the house is reasonably well insulated/renovated and to do the job properly you will loose 6" ceiling height and have problems with door thresholds (or dig out all the floors). A radiator system is cheaper to install.

Fuel types come down to wood or gas. LPG is available but expensive, coal is a non-starter, the brown lignite coal available here stinks and i expensive. (electricity is prohibitively expensive unless your house is up to passive house standard or better) LPG vs wood? wood is cheaper to use but lacks convenience and a wood system can be / will be more expensive to install

If mains gas is available then that is the 'no-brainer' choice. Wood bought as ready cut/split works out at about the same price as mains gas and then you have all the work and mess of wood stoves / boilers. Wood can be cheaper if bought in logs and you cut and split but you need to be 2 years ahead with your supply. The wood solution is a life style choice!

Cheap fix for heating is individual room heaters, either gas or wood. Gas can be through the wall balanced flues (if the flues can be placed within the regulations and wood stoves can be supported by existing chimneys (modified?) or new chimneys of the second type. Down side is that there is no central control or programing available although the gas room heaters do have thermostats (but no timers)

Central heating is the usual upgrade, either gas or wood. A gas installation is cheaper and is much as it is in the UK with combi boilers being the favorite. If wood is chosen then it is best to have the boiler outside the living space because of the mess involved. A wood burning boiler of the modern efficient cleaner type of gasifing boiler will be 2-3 times the price of a gas boiler plus as much again for the buffer tank to help the thing work. Wood burning boilers of the old non-gasifing type are not as efficent (30%-40% less) as the gasifing type and a lot dirtier for the environment, but they are cheaper.

If you are looking at a house with CH already installed it will either be gas or wood fired with radiators (unless the house is a new(ish) build). Either way expect the boiler to be out of date (= expensive to run) Often the wood boilers will be in the basement and the system run on gravity circulation.

An over view - come back with specific questions!
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 4:54 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Thanks for the detailed reply Peter - I am still going through it (digesting it!), so will ask questions as I go along.

QUOTE - 2 insulated are suitable for new type wood stoves (glass fronted air wash type) and new type gasifing wood burning boilers. Also anything that can be used with brick chimneys.

Q) Are you meaning cserépkályha, as shown in these images:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cs...ih=482#imgrc=_

Q) do you have any images for 3 - flues/flue systems with Hungarian name?

Thanks
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Interestingly, my HU wife as just told me the insulation of a brick chimney is sometimes demanded by the council (inspection team) because as the brickwork gets older the chemicals released by fire etc damage the brickwork too much. I would imagine we are talking about decades of damage?

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Old Feb 10th 2019, 5:53 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by Szeged
Thanks for the detailed reply Peter - I am still going through it (digesting it!), so will ask questions as I go along.

QUOTE - 2 insulated are suitable for new type wood stoves (glass fronted air wash type) and new type gasifing wood burning boilers. Also anything that can be used with brick chimneys.

Q) Are you meaning cserépkályha, as shown in these images:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cs...ih=482#imgrc=_
Thanks
Yes although the cserépkályah can also use the traditional brick chimneys

Originally Posted by Szeged
Q) do you have any images for 3 - flues/flue systems with Hungarian name?
Thanks
See
https://www.gepeszcentrum.hu/kazanok...azkemenyek_169
With these chimneys the flues are/can be plastic because the flue temps. are so low - an indication of the efficiency of modern condensing boilers.

Originally Posted by Szeged
Interestingly, my HU wife as just told me the insulation of a brick chimney is sometimes demanded by the council (inspection team) because as the brickwork gets older the chemicals released by fire etc damage the brickwork too much. I would imagine we are talking about decades of damage?
Don't confuse insulating with lining. The lining of a chimney that is faulty due to either age or chimney fire (or both) can be a stainless steel liner or a concrete slurry poured around a former which is subsequently removed. neither will provide insulation although insulation can be added with the SS liner afterwards and in the UK a slurry with some insulating properties can be used but I am not sure that this is available here. Typically the damage that requires lining will take decades but can happen quickly if there are chimney fires

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Old Feb 10th 2019, 7:37 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
See
https://www.gepeszcentrum.hu/kazanok...azkemenyek_169
With these chimneys the flues are/can be plastic because the flue temps. are so low - an indication of the efficiency of modern condensing boilers.
Could you be more specific at what I am looking at, Peter? For example: Which one would you go for price-wise, durability-wise, etc? Also, which one would suit the "average person in the street?" (i.e. What would a working-class Hungarian go for versus a so-called, stereotyped, rich Englishman?).

Thanks

Last edited by Rosemary; Feb 10th 2019 at 7:50 am. Reason: corrected quote
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

What does LPG stand for?
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

What does SS Liner mean?
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by Szeged
What does LPG stand for?
Liquefied petroleum gas

It is gas. Can be bottled or reticulated.
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by Szeged
What does SS Liner mean?
Stainless Steel Liner.
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Old Feb 10th 2019, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by Szeged
Could you be more specific at what I am looking at, Peter? For example: Which one would you go for price-wise, durability-wise, etc? Also, which one would suit the "average person in the street?" (i.e. What would a working-class Hungarian go for versus a so-called, stereotyped, rich Englishman?).

Thanks
Chimneys are designed and made to approved standards so in themselves they all work. Of course individual workmanship can contrive to screw this up! All gas installations must be done by a qualified workman and the regulations are strict because the flue gasses from gas appliances are largely undetectable by smell and deadly (which is why CO alarms are used)

What you will need will depend upon your particular installation. New chimney, lining an existing one or through the wall balanced flue and within that what will be needed to accomplish the installation. You will need a gas fitter to do the work and will have to be guided by what they say, of course you can (should) get several quotes before you decide.

If you are installing a gas boiler then this will be a condensing type which will need an outflow connection to a waste water pipe for the flue condensate water. It is not a large amount of water but provision has to made. This has to be thought about when deciding the location of the boiler.

The site I posted gave examples of the possibilities and typical prices. I found the site by googling gáz kémény and that site as just one of many, picked without any preference, as an example. Gas chimneys are not expensive and they plug together like Lego so they are quick to assemble. Of course this doesn't stop tradespeople ripping off foreigners but that is where several quotes comes in and when you get a quote you can ask how long the work will take and apply an HUF/hour to see if it is reasonable. If they won't give an hours and price quote then that tells its own tale.
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Old Feb 11th 2019, 3:37 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

I have a stainless steel woodburning cooking range with integral boiler for central heating. It uses the existing brick chimney that is within the thickness of the internal wall (it might have been an outside wall originally as the house has been extended several times) When used every day it seems to work fine but if the chimney gets cold it will not draw properly. To overcome this I use a hot air gun directed into the stove and run that for half an hour before lighting. If it has been used within the last couple of days it can just be lit normally but if it has not been used for a week it will need the hot air gun. The inside of the chimney is coated with tar rather than soot. I did speak to the guy who provides my internet and he says the chimney is too small for the stove. Is the tar a problem and is it due to the wood I'm burning or the unsuitable chimney? I think the heat sink effect of the boiler causes the wood to burn at a lower temperature. I also have a small woodburning stove in the bedroom as a backup if the central heating goes wrong. That hardly produces any smoke as the wood burns hotter but it consumes more fuel than the much bigger range stove.

Last edited by fidobsa; Feb 11th 2019 at 3:40 am.
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Old Feb 11th 2019, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

IMO it is not because the chimney is too small. Tarring up of chimney is caused by too low a flue temperature caused by too low a fire/stove temperature. Tarred up chimneys can be dangerous. Eventually they can block up, the tar is usually very difficult to remove and is prone to catch fire which can cause a very serious (and destructive) chimney fire which can be difficult to put out.

The usual causes of too low a fire temperature is either running the stove closed down for too long a period (e.g.over night) or over cooling the stove by running central heating (CH) without proper controls to keep the stove temperature up, or of course a combination of both.

The small wood burning stove produces less smoke because it is burning hotter and for that reason it will not tar up the chimney. It is also less damaging to the environment as the pollution level / kg of wood will be less than a stove burning at a lower temperature.

Wood burning stoves running CH should have controls to stop the heating unless the stove water temperature is up to a certain level. At the most basic level this is a thermostat set at about 70 deg to prevent the CH running unless that temperature is present. A better solution is to have a recirculating pump and valve that maintains the stove temp at 70 deg input temp. and only allows flow to the CH when there is surplus to maintaining that stove temp.

With combined stoves, either room heaters or cookers with back boilers there is usually a conflict between supplying the CH, keeping the stove running efficently at a high enough temp. and keeping the room in which the stove sits at a bearable temperature. And this conflict along with the desire to keep the fire in all night this usually results in the stoves being run at too low a temperature increasing tarring and pollution and decreasing efficiency.

Wood burning stoves/boiler run most efficiently when run at full throttle. When they are run partially shut down efficiency drops and pollution increases. Dedicated modern CH wood burning boilers do not supply the CH direct but rather heat a buffer tank of water which the CH then draws heat as needed. In this way the heat production is separated from the demand so max. efficiency and minimum pollution. (My wood burning boiler heats a 2000ltr tank which then supplys the CH and hot water).
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Old Feb 11th 2019, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Thanks Peter. I will investigate the buffer tank idea. Someone else was talking about such tanks yesterday. There is a version with an extra heat exchanger for a roof mounted solar panel. My friend is looking at using the buffer tank running on solar for hot water in the summer and for central heating + hot water with his pellet stove in winter. My system is a typical UK type design with pumped CH and gravity DHW. There is a boiler thermostat that switches a motorised valve + the pump when the water reaches a certain temperature. I will try setting that hotter so that it reverts to DHW when the fire is only ticking over. The pump is a type that slows down in certain conditions but I've never really understood how that works. Perhaps it slows down when the input and output temperatures match?
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Old Feb 11th 2019, 7:49 am
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Default Re: Chimney replacement and fuel types

Originally Posted by fidobsa
Thanks Peter. I will investigate the buffer tank idea. Someone else was talking about such tanks yesterday. There is a version with an extra heat exchanger for a roof mounted solar panel. My friend is looking at using the buffer tank running on solar for hot water in the summer and for central heating + hot water with his pellet stove in winter. My system is a typical UK type design with pumped CH and gravity DHW. There is a boiler thermostat that switches a motorised valve + the pump when the water reaches a certain temperature. I will try setting that hotter so that it reverts to DHW when the fire is only ticking over. The pump is a type that slows down in certain conditions but I've never really understood how that works. Perhaps it slows down when the input and output temperatures match?
Buffer tanks work by having the stove supplying the heat running at max. which heats the tank to about 90 - 95 deg when the stove is then allowed to go out. The heating then draws on the tank. When the tank is down to about 60 deg the stove is lit again. Such an operation is perhaps not too conducive to a stove that is also used as a cooker because timing of heating the buffer tank and the need to cook probably won't coincide.

Setting the thermostat hotter so that it reverts to DHW when the temp. is lower should help as gravity is more self regulating in that if the temp. drops the circulation slows down which allows the stove to increase in temp - which speeds up the circulation and takes away more heat. But wood burners should not be run 'only ticking over' because this tars up chimneys.

The pumps that slows down under certain conditions (modulates) are usually used in conjunction with thermostatic radiator valves. When the rooms are up to temperature the thermostatic valves close, restricting the flow. This restriction is sensed by the pump and the pump slows down to match the required flow. They work by having a set head of pressure to run the system, this pressure will be maintained by the pump so when the rad valve shuts this will increase the circuit pressure so the pump will then modulate to maintain the original set pressure - at least that is how mine works.

By the way a note about chimney size - as a general rule the chimney should not be smaller that the outlet of the stove but can be bigger (within reason)

And a note to your friend, the setup they are proposing works but it is generally better to separate the CH and DHW as the heat demands are different. My system has a 2000ltr buffer tank and a 300ltr DHW tank (serving 2 houses) the buffer tank supplies the CH and the DHW tank which is indirectly connected to the buffer tank and thermostat switched so that the DHW tank is only heated when the buffer is above 70 deg.
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