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Terminology

316 grade (used to manufacture chimney liner): A grade of stainless steel, typically carries a 15 year guarantee.

904 grade (used to manufacture chimney liner): A grade of stainless steel, typically carries a 30 year guarantee.

5”/6”/125mm/150mm: Most modern stoves connect to a 5″ tor 6″ pipe that carries away the smoke. 5″ may be referred to as 125mm and 6″ may be referred to as 150 or 152mm.

Air vent: Stoves may require a vent in the room to allow air into the room to replace air use by the stove. See here: http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/do-i-need-an-air-vent-for-a-wood-burning-stove/

Building Control: It is a legal obligation that a stove should be signed off by your local council (Building Control Department) or an organisation such as Hetas (see “Hetas”). See here: http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/building-regulations-for-wood-burning-stoves/

Building Regulations: Legally binding regulations for the building industry. For stoves we generally refer to Document J which can be found here (PDF file): http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADJ_2010.pdf

Carbon monoxide: Invisible gas that kills. Get a Carbon Monoxide detector.

Chimney liner:
 
Stainless steel tube inserted length of chimney to carry gases away in the most efficient manner. See also “316 grade” and “904 grade”.

Chimney stack: The part of the chimney that rises above the main building.

Closure plate: Plate that seals off the chimney above the stove. See: http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/closure-plate-register-plate/

Combustible materials: Materials not designated as A1-fire rated. Essentially brick, stone, steel etc. is non-combustible whilst wood, cloth, plastic etc. is combustible. Plasterboard is, surprisingly, classed as combustible because it breaks down over time when subjected to heat (even the fire retardant pink-plasterboard is classed as combustible for Building Regulations purposes).

Cowl: Sits on top of a chimney pot to prevent rain/birds/down-draughts getting in.

Chimney: Carries smoke and gases safely from fire. If the chimney is a polo mint then the “flue” is the hole. See also “Flue”.

Defra approved/exempt: Stoves that DEFRA (Department Environment Farming and Rural Affairs) have stated CAN burn wood in a Smoke Control Area. Stoves with a 5″ flue collar that have DEFRA approval can also be fitted with a 5″ liner rather than the usual 6″ minimum (makes fitting a liner easier). See also “Smoke Control Area” and “flue collar”. See here: http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/what-is-a-defra-approved-stove/

Efficiency: If a stove has 80% efficiency then, to put it simply, 80% of the heat will pass to the room and 20% will go up the flue and off to the outside. The more efficient the stove then the better the flue needs to be (e.g. if a stove is 90% efficient then only ten percent is rising up the chimney and will need looking after to make sure it gets to the top before cooling and therefore stopping rising).

Feathers: The bricks that separate two chimney flues in the same chimney.

Firebox size: Firebox size is far more important than the kw size specified by the manufacturer. Manufacturer’s specified outputs are “nominal” (see definition of nominal) rather than “maximum” and higher outputs are probable with many stoves. A 5kw Aga Little Wenlock (takes 6 logs at 30cm length) is far smaller than a DG Ivar (takes 15 logs at 38cm length) yet both are rated at 5kw. The more logs then the more heat and the stove will not change this heat ouput except by a few percentage points.

The 9@20 type of measurement is a Stove Fitter’s Warehouse invention. Firebox size is very important as it is the size of the firebox that determines what size logs can be placed in the stove but, more importantly, the amount of heat your stove will produce (more wood means more KW output). Firebox size 9@20 means that this stove will physically accept 9 logs with a maximum length of 20cm. A standard log is 7x7cm at its end. We actually use 300g packets of cream crackers for our logs when testing should you wish to try to imagine this). Note that the Firebox size is only indicative of the amount of air in a firebox (9 logs with the dimensions mentioned would not burn well so tightly packed in).

For more about this subject see: http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/what-size-wood-burning-stove-for-my-room/

Flue: If the chimney is a polo mint then the “flue” is the hole. See also “Chimney”.

Flue collar: The spigot at the top of the stove where the vitreous pipe goes into.

Hardiebacker: 12mm A1-Fire-Rated board for creating closure plates and lining fireplace recesses. Available builder’s merchants and some branches Jewsons/B&Q. See here: http://www.jameshardie.co.uk/images/uploads/resources/hardiebacker-multifuel-leaflet.pdf

Hearth: The base upon which the stove sits (there are Building Regulations to adhere to).

Hetas: Hetas trained engineers can fit solid fuel stoves and self-certificate (they do not have to use Building Control). Hetas engineers do 3-5 days Hetas training. See also “Building Control”.

Liner: See “Chimney liner”.

Lintel: A strong arch or beam used to bridge gaps in buildings (e.g. above doors, recesses, windows etc.).

Multifuel stove: A stove that can burn wood and coal/smokeless fuel. Will have a grate and ashpan.

Nominal: of, being, or relating to a designated or theoretical size that may vary from the actual.

Non-combustible materials: Materials not designated as A1-fire rated. Essentially brick, stone, steel etc. is non-combustible whilst wood, cloth, plastic etc. is combustible. Plasterboard is, surprisingly, classed as combustible because it breaks down over time when subjected to heat (even the fire retardant pink-plasterboard is classed as combustible for Building Regulations purposes).

Wood burning stove: A stove that can burn wood only. Will NOT have a grate or ashpan. Some “wood stoves” can be upgraded to multiple with a kit, but others cannot.

Register plate: See also “Closure plate.

Sealing plate: An item sold by Stove Fitter’s Warehouse. A 9″ square plate designed to allow the vitreous pipe to pass through a closure plate in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

SE: Stands for Smoke Exempt. This means that this stove can burn wood in a Smoke Control Area as determined by DEFRA. See “Defra”, “Smoke Control Area”.

Slumber: When a fire is burning at a very low rate because the air supply to that fire has been restricted. A slumbering stove does not burn off all of the pollutants in the fuel and these pollutants (including soot) will pass through the flue (and potentially block the flue with soot if a stove is slumbered often).

Smoke control area: Areas within the UK where certain materials cannot be used as fuel. Usually cities. DEFRA approved stoves CAN burn wood even in these areas. See “Defra”,
“Smoke exempt”.

Smokeless fuel: Fuel that can be burned in a Smoke Control Area (is similar to coal but has been tweaked in design so as to be less polluting than coal).

Solid fuel: Fuel that is not liquid.

Spigot: Same as flue collar. See also “Flue collar”.

Thunderbolts: Thick-shanked screws that do not need Rawplugs. Google “Thunderbolts”. I use the ones with tapered heads as these can be countersunk.

Twin wall: Insulated chimney pipe that is generally used to construct a chimney. Often used when a brick/stone chimney is not present. See http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/installing-a-twin-wall-flue-chimney/

Vitreous pipe: The pipe (usually black) that exits the stove. Usually sold in straight lengths (25/50/100cm), elbows (30 and 45 degree) and T-pieces (off back of stove).