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My flue pipe has gone a copper colour in one section. What has happened?
If there is a concentrated spot of heat like a ring around the pipe then this is an indication of a possible internal flue fire. This is caused by a build up of creosote within the flue pipe which has then caught fire. If this is the case then a sweep would be recommended. Make sure you are using a sweep that has done a Pyroclassic fire before or has watched our video about flue cleaning. It would also pay to check the moisture content in your wood by splitting one of your logs in half and spiking it with the moisture meter that came with your Pyroclassic IV. Wood should be less than 20% to burn clean & efficiently.
How do I use my moisture meter?
The moisture meter is intended to be used regularly throughout the drying process, from when you first get your wood fuel delivered right through to just before burning it. It will allow you to know exactly what the moisture content of the wood fuel you are using is and it will ensure that if used correctly your new fire will be able to perform well. Poor quality wood fuel is the number one cause of issues with all wood fires and flue systems.
How much does it cost?
To download the RRP price list of our Pyroclassic wood fire and accessories, click HERE.
What do I do if one of my side panels are shaking/rattling when the fire is going?
Because of the panels being interchangeable and not permanently fixed to the fire there is a small chance that occasionally a panel may rattle slightly in its channel, this is due to the small gap between the coloured panel and the channel which allows the panel to move ever so slightly.
If this occurs then it can be remedied by removing the panel and putting a slight curve across the panel (you are only wanting to add a total of around 1mm - 2mm of curve) by flexing it from top to bottom. The easiest way to do this is to lie the panel half on a flat surface and apply weight to the bottom section on the surface and also to the top section hanging off the side. This will create a slight curve in the panel. Please note: You shouldn't bend it far enough to crease the panel or have any visible curve to it. This very small relief in the panel will mean that it sits tighter against both sides of the inside of the channel section and eliminates the rattle.
Why has the cowl not got a rain cap?
The Pyroclassic eco flue system and full flow vertical discharge cowl has been in use now for more than 20 years.
The cowl is designed to work with the fire in creating a good draw whilst not inhibiting the flow of the flue gases from the cowl. The design and shape of the cowl ensures that no significant amount of rain water can enter the flue system.
Many customers mistake the full flow cowl as the end of the flue pipe and often question whether something is missing from the cowl assembly when in fact this is the complete unit as it has no raincap or butterfly arrangement and is a straight pipe.
Why are there cracks and deterioration in my Pyroclassic cylinder?
This is a natural way to relieve built-up stress in refractories. It has no effect on operation, performance or useful life of the unit. The firebox is an arch structure, the most stable and permanent construction known. These cracks will develop over time and is nothing to worry about.
Due to it being cast as a one piece cylinder it goes through some expansion and contraction every time it is heat cycled. This is just the cylinder relieving its inert tension and results in a variety of different levels of cracking.
These cracks and blisters can slowly grow over time due to erosion through use. If you do not like the appearance of the cylinder when cracks appear, you can purchase veneering cement which can be mixed to a toothpaste like consistency and inserted into the cracked areas.
The story goes that the two original designers each had a Pyro and one touched up his cylinder every year and the other never touched his...25 years later both fires were still working albeit one was looked in better looking condition internally than the other!
25 year-old Pyroclassic II Cylinder
Can I put a natural tile on the wall instead of the wall screens? Does this comply with the 'non combustible wall' requirements?
Any non-combustible mineral board that is directly fixed to a combustible material like timber immediately loses its non-combustible qualities and therefore the full clearances must be applied. If this board were to be packed 25mm off the combustible material underneath and then ventilated top and bottom with 25mm air gaps then this would become a non-combustible wall covering. This can be covered with any other non-combustible material you like such as tiles etc.
As a note of caution please be aware that Fireline Gib is not a non-combustible wall covering.
What dimension is the cylinder
The cylinder of the Pyroclassic IV is 555 mm long, 367 mm outside diameter and 307 mm inside diameter
The cylinder of the Pyroclassic Mini is 368 mm long, 367 mm outside diameter and 307 mm inside diameter
The cylinder is 30 mm thick
How do I light my first fire?
1. Soak the reusable fire starters in methylated spirits. Tip: It is also handy to store the fire-lighters in a glass jar filled with methylated spirit.
2. Slide the Turboslide to the far right or far left position. This opens the air hole inside the door and allows air to flow through acting like an old fashioned pair of bellows.
3. Place DRY kindling and a few small logs lengthways in the front of the fire chamber leaving a clear space in front of the air inlet hole.
4. Place a soaked fire starter just under the kindling at the front of the fire chamber and light it. Try to avoid dripping methylated spirit on to any surface when doing this as it can discolour some hearth materials.
5. Close the door.
6. Once the fire is burning really well and you have a nice bed of hot embers, move the Turboslide to thecentral position (to cover the air inlet hole), this can be done slowly in several stages if preferred.
7. When opening the door to load more wood, slide the Turboslide to the far left or right open position, and continue as in number 6.
What wood should I be using?
DRY. This means a maximum of 25% moisture content but ideally under 18% if possible.
Do not burn any wood which has been treated as this will release poisonous gases and dioxins. Do not use any driftwood as the salt content can cause irreparable damage to the ceramic cylinder and metal components. Younger softwoods and timber which has a higher moisture content will produce a greater volume of creosote and soot than dry, well seasoned hardwood.
Logs should be approximately 100mm - 120mm in diameter by around 300mm - 400mm long for your Pyroclassic IV Fire. Logs should be approximately 100-120 mm in diameter by around 200-250mm long for your Pyroclassic Mini Fire.
Dry wood is a must. To get the heat out of wood the fuel must pass through several stages. Firstly, free water that is not chemically bound with the wood is driven off – even wood at 20% moisture content still has to get rid of 2 litres of water for every 10 kilograms of wood. In the second stage the wood breaks down into the volatile gases, liquids and charcoal. Finally, the charcoal is also gasified, burning with a very short flame close to the char surface that appears to glow. In wood stoves all stages proceed simultaneously.
Wood is the most prolific worldwide, solar embedded, carbon sequestered energy source which is renewable in a human lifetime. It will provide energy when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing, when the outside temperature is above or way below freezing and when the electricity is not coming out of that little hole in the wall. If the abundant, worldwide timber resource is managed correctly it is the most sustainable, environmentally safe, renewable, resource we have and it has sustained mankind for centuries, providing us with warmth for the space we live in, warm water to clean with and the ability to cook food.
With the discovery of more energy intensive and easily transportable fossil fuels, wood was relegated to a lowly place in the order of preference and although it is bulky to transport it is the safest as it does not need a specially built pipeline, it won't suddenly explode or cause devastating marine pollution and with almost no refining can be used in its raw state. The closer it is used to the place where it has grown makes this an even more environmentally friendly product.
Most designer wood burners catering to aesthetic demands totally disregard the thermal conductivity of wood. Microscopic examination of wood shows the channels which carry the liquid nutrients up and down the tree; consequently the properties of wood are very different along the grain than across it. Heat moves along the grain about fifteen times faster than across it, therefore, solid wood across the grain does not conduct heat and is an effective insulator meaning it does not readily burn.
When a fire is lit, even by rubbing two sticks together, the gasification process starts and it is the combustion of these gases with air that produce heat which we see as flames and smoke. When heat cannot penetrate wood easily, i.e. across the grain, the volatiles given off are not rich enough nor hot enough to burn efficiently. Efficiency apparently is not a consideration in such panoramic appliances.
This is getting to the really nerdy bit now...
Burning of the volatile gases delivers over 60% of the heat stored in the original log but few heaters can recover the major portion of this heat as the volatiles must be over 600°C and mixed with hot oxygen to burn them. Now these are difficult conditions to meet and here’s why: if the main air supply comes from under or around the burning logs, the glowing char consumes all of the oxygen - it takes only 5cms of glowing char to consume all the available oxygen. At that point, incomplete combustion continues as characterised by increased carbon monoxide and tars which mostly go up the chimney where the unburnt volatiles deposit on the flue walls as a highly flammable, gummy substance known as creosote. It is wrong to introduce cold secondary air above the fuel as it cools the gases below their ignition temperature and now they won’t burn at all. The requirement is to introduce a highly pre-heated but variable volume of air for the different stages of combustion. This is done very efficiently by the secondary air tubes inside the Pyroclassic IV fire.
All fires consume large volumes of air in order to extract the oxygen required to burn their fuel. One kilogram of wood needs 3.7m3 of air to burn completely, although this is only a theoretical minimum for stoichiometric combustion. Such ideal combustion does not exist in real life as only some of the oxygen in that amount of air can be used and therefore 'cool fires' need some 200% - 300% excess air to get the oxygen they need. Therefore some 7 - 10m3 of air per kilogram of wood pass through the firebox cooling the core temperature inside it and cooling air below 600°C , which kills the reaction needed to burn the volatiles. In most fires the air needs of the fire make it work against itself making it inefficient and polluting, the excess air it uses only goes up the chimney with all that gas, tar and particulates. A Pyroclassic IV only uses super-heated air in its secondary burn cycle ensuring there is no cooling of the firebox and no excess air consumed.
Burning wood scientifically is done very effectively by the Pyroclassic IV freestanding woodburning fire but even the cleanest and most efficient woodburning stove needs logs which are as dry as possible to give the best output from your fuel. Check the moisture content of your wood when you buy it and then let nature do the hard work for you. Stack it off the ground in an open sided, roofed store to allow plenty of air flow around it for as long as possible or at least until the moisture content is below 20%. It’s then ready to be used in your Pyroclassic fire to give you a nice warm house right through winter in the most efficient and cleanest way possible.