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Multi Fuel Stove..who has one?

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Florence61 Report 25 Nov 2017 18:30

For the first time ever, I am in a house with a multi fuel stove. I'm used to putting on an open fire and burning peat/coal etc.
But this stove seems to eat coal and logs(don't have access to peat now) as if its continuously starving. It takes about 3/4 before the radiators are warm, but I need to keep it going with the coal to keep the rads warmish(never boiling hot).

The dial on the side I put to 4 when I start up the stove and once going turn it down between 2/3.

A bag of coal only last 2-3 days at most and a small bag of logs 2 days.

I thought it would be cheaper than having the oil on several times a night but I'm thinking actually it may be cheaper...although not as cosy in the lounge.
Would like to hear from anyone else who has a stove. I did try these anthracite nuggets but they did not last nor give the heat that coal gives.

in the hebrides


Inky1 Report 25 Nov 2017 22:14

We have three small stoves. Two are multi-fuel, and one of those is burning as I type this. But none have a water jacket, so I have no experience in the controls necessary for full house warming.

However, although you do not specify the make/model I would put some questions to you:-

- I guess cast iron. Does it have firebrick lining? No cracks in either?
- Is there a damper (ie a leaver of some sorts) on the flue outlet?
- If so, do you use it?
- Is there a riddle? (ie some sort of leaver that is used to 'shake' the grate.)
- If so, how big is the hole that the riddle lever protrudes through?
- I guess that there is fibreglass rope round the door(s). In good condition?


RolloTheRed Report 26 Nov 2017 10:20

I used to own an old house at Bank in the New Forest.

When I bought the house it had a multi fuel stove which was expensive to run and not very effective. Multi fuel stoves usually prefer one fuel to another ... if it likes coal then there will be a riddle for the ash. It is vital to riddle regularly or heating performance will suffer.

In the end I sold it, and converted the AGA to gas and went back to C17 arrangements in the main room with a big grid burning logs (after an expensive chimney renovation). The heat from this was amazing) but difficult to control.

So I was pretty sceptical when I bought the house in Normandie which also had multi fuel which also ran the CHS. After two winters of cold, damp and big bills I scrapped it and installed modern gas CH run off propane as we are off grid. Oil is way expensive, messy, high maintenance and subject to price shocks. The tank takes up too much space.

OTOH long ago my parents used to heat a large Edwardian house with a collection of Esse, Rayburn and AGA solid fuel and we were warm as toast. When I was no longer around to bring in the coal, anthracite dad converted to gas lol.

Wood / coal burning is extremely polluting and not eco friendly as is sometimes thought. Peat is even worse. Neither is gas of course but it is a lot better.



BrendafromWales Report 26 Nov 2017 13:52

My experience with multi heat was a long time ago.
After having a Rayburn and then an Aga and liking them,when I moved into an area in Snowdonia with no gas laid on I went along that route.of central heating:

It was fine when I was in,but due to my aunt dying suddenly and having to drive 80 miles to tell my mother and staying for a few days in the winter ,my house was flooded as the pipes froze.I suppose I should have drained the radiators ,but that wasn’t at the front of my mind at that time.

I now have gas central heating.My piano was badly affected,but I put a lamp in and I still have the piano which is fine!

Must admit though that there is nothing like an open fire!


maggiewinchester Report 26 Nov 2017 14:23

Aren't there Estovers, or 'Common of Fuelwood' related to old houses in the New Forest?
That would cut fuel bills.


Caroline Report 26 Nov 2017 15:50

May be difficult to control the heat but yes it would have been free wood in Bank for sure.


Florence61 Report 26 Nov 2017 15:52

The stove is cast iron and in good condition. I have 2 trays for the ashes and empty everyday. There is lever to rake through the grate which i use as well.The doors are tight when shut.

My only complaint is that it burns the coal and logs at quite a rate. I do have oil cental heating. The tank is outside. Its clean and no bother but the price is 52p a litre just now. When petrol goes up so does the kerosene. Unleaded is now at £1.27 a litre here.
There is no mains gas supply here. I have a cooker with fan oven but gas hob which i have to buy calor gas tin which connects from outside.That cost me just over £30 but i only use it when im boiling veg or cooking curry etc..

Its just some of my friends have these stoves and a few years ago were raving about them saying they were cheaper than oil and cosy etc but i beg to differ.

However i put up this thread just out of interest to see if it was just my stove or are they in general costly.

Rollo,up here cutting peat is what you burn on open fires, its a tradition and cheap as its costs nothijng but your labour to cut it. i guess its not very Eco friendly but here you have to heat the cheapest way. Everything we get up here is imported by sea and we have to pay extra to cover that so not a lot of choice.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions..very helpful

in the hebrides


Andysmum Report 26 Nov 2017 16:28

I don't have a multi-fuel stove, but the info. below is from a long article from Which about buying a stove. If you want to read the whole thing, Google multi fuel stoves and scroll down until you come to the Which report.

How different fuels burn

To burn efficiently, coal needs air to reach it from below. Multi-fuel stoves have a grate for the fuel to sit on, making them ideal for coal. Some also have a riddling plate that allows you to remove any ash that's built up, letting more air through from underneath. Wood, on the other hand, burns best when sitting on a bed of ash (also called a firebox, which is where the fuel burns), with air circulating from the top.

---------- look for a stove that will allow you to remove the grate, so wood can be burnt on the base of the stove, instead of the grate.


Florence61 Report 26 Nov 2017 20:17

Thankyou, yes I read the reviews. I havent had to buy the stove as im renting the house but just finding it expensive to heat.

Upstairs the bedrooms only have a tiny radiator that really doesnt give out enough warmth. Its freezing at night so much so that tomorrow im buying 2 oil filled radiators for each room. They use a kw per hour which is 16p. So 2 hours on will warm the room more than the rads.

I have a friend who never stops going on about her cosy stove but she lives in a small house with a tiny sitting room and kitchen. 2 small bedrooms upstairs so of course she thinks its great as her house is warm. But this house is rather big with 9 radiators and 3 large bedrooms.

Once my contract runs out in feb and other things maybe get settled, i shall be considering maybe moving once more although not something i relish so soon!

Thanks for all you advice and comments

in the hebrides


Kay???? Report 26 Nov 2017 21:14

If they raditors are like traditional ones do they need to be bled or if old ones need flushing out?


Florence61 Report 26 Nov 2017 23:23

I have had to let air out once or twice but for the size of the room, I feel they should have been double the size.

Nevermind , its a learning curve for me. First time I have ever rented in my life! Next house I go to, I shall take my time to enquire about heating etc and costs. I had to move quickly to this house and took it because I had no other options.So partly my fault and partly a bit of ignorance on my part too.

in the hebrides