Click on the heading of the article in red to open the full article.
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.
How do I clean the glass?
If the correct quality fuel is burnt in the right manner, the glass should stay relatively clean. The air wash which passes down the inside of the door will scrub off any deposits during the burn cycle. If the glass is becoming dirty then scrunch two pieces of damp newspaper, dip one in cold fire ashes and rub over the inside of glass, use the other to rub over the glass to clean off the dirt. Do this in the morning before rekindling the fire as the glass will be cool enough at this time. To help keep the glass clear and clean if it is becoming dirty then get into the habit of cleaning it regularly as this will maintain the glass and prevent ashes from being fused onto the glass due to intense heat in the firebox.
What can I do if my wetback develops a thick coating on it?
The wetback can develop a coating of crusty creosote when the wood fuel is not being burnt in the most efficient way. Firewood can play a major role in the performance of a wood fire. The species is part of the picture but the most significant thing is that whatever the type of wood it must be well seasoned and dry. Best performance cannot be achieved without the best fuel.
So back to the question...
Burning wood at low temperature causes incomplete combustion of the oils in the wood, which are off-gassed as volatiles in the smoke. As the smoke rises through the chimney it cools, causing water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on the interior surfaces of the chimney flue. The black oily residue that builds up is referred to as creosote, which is similar in composition to the commercial products by the same name, but with a higher content of carbon black. Over the course of a season, creosote deposits can become several inches thick. This creates a compounding problem, because the creosote deposits reduce the draft (airflow through the flue) which increases the probability the wood fire is not getting enough air to burn at high temperature. Since creosote is highly combustible, a thick accumulation creates a fire hazard. If a hot fire is built in the stove or fireplace and the air control left wide open, this may allow hot oxygen into the chimney where it comes in contact with the creosote which then ignites—causing a flue fire.
The easiest way to clean the flue is by placing a deep baking tray or similar under the base of the flue and sweep the flue down into this. This stops all the debris from falling into the top chamber and requiring vacuuming out. The build-up around the wetback is best removed by hand and the rest can be carefully removed by a vacuum cleaner.
The wetback can be knocked out of alignment if it is moved when the creosote is being cleaned off. This can cause the constant rise to be knocked out of alignment and can result in water hammer developing in the system so be careful.
We have just had a minor gas explosion/back puffing in our Pyroclassic. Why has this happened?
This could be caused for the following reasons:
- Rake not used to bring hot char forward causing wood to burn at the wrong end. Use the rake as per Operating Instructions.
- The Turboslide was not opened after re-loading large, cold logs.
- The burning of an explosive substance - battery, aerosol container, etc. DO NOT DO THIS!
- There was an insufficient bed of coals to ensure adequate ignition of a fresh fuel load.
- Too high moisture content of wood fuel. Split one of your logs in half and use your moisture meter to test the wood.
As a point of caution you should never insert a fresh log which is too large or placed in the fire too late to ensure a flaming combustion, doing this will cook the wood fuel on the remaining embers releasing unburnt volatile gases into the combustion chamber which will eventually reach a point of ignition, this can result in a sizable explosion inside the fire chamber and may cause damage to the unit.
Why is smoke coming from my Pyroclassic fire into my room?
There are a few reasons why this could be happening:
- Negative pressure in the room - this can be caused by a household electric exhaust fan or severe pressure difference in a windstorm. Open a window to equalise the pressure.
- Severe down draft due to surrounding structures, hills, trees or roof layout.
- Most commonly, this is an indication your flue is blocked. Clear the obstruction and investigate the cause. Check the moisture of your wood and make sure you are burning good, dry wood. The flue pipe can block very quickly if you are burning wet or gummy wood. Make sure you are using a reliable chimney sweep as the Pyroclassic is different from other wood fires.
Download down draft troubleshooting info HERE.
My fire isn’t going like it used to and performs like the flue is blocked even after cleaning. What do I do?
Remove the front panel by sliding it up. If there’s a white felt material (gasket), remove this and put back front panel.
Reason for removal: The gasket is present in Pyro models pre 2015. It was initially there to insulate the bolt but we found it restricted airflow as it tore and clogged the primary air intakes causing the fire to be starved of air.
If the gasket is not there and you are still experiencing these same issues then it is likely to be one of these three reasons:
1) Use of wet or unseasoned fuel - test your wood with a moisture meter by splitting a log in two and spiking the centre. If wood is above 20% this is not ideal and you should look at getting some drier wood.
2) Flue height - it could be a case of the flue not getting enough draw so it needs to be extended to create more positive draw. Every house is different, some houses require 600mm, some 1200mm. This depends on roof configuration and external factors like neighbouring buildings, trees, cliffs & wind.
3) Operation - you may be unintentionally not allowing the cylinder to get hot enough. Leave the Turboslide open for 30-45 minutes on initial start-up and open again for approximately 5-10 minutes after refuelling to ensure the new fuel has ignited and for the cylinder to maintain an optimum temperature.
How do I clean the outside of the Pyroclassic and the flue pipes?
The powder coated panels on the Pyroclassic IV can be wiped clean with some light detergent and warm water You can choose to do this with the panels on the fire or remove them for a more thorough cleaning. Be careful when you remove the front panel to not tear the insulating gasket which is on the inside of the panel: you will need to pull the centre of the panel forward slightly to allow it to clear the space behind it when you slide it up.
The stainless steel flue pipe can be cleaned using a soft cloth with a small amount of methylated spirits soaked into it. Try to avoid touching the flue pipe with your bare hands as this leaves oils from the skin on the pipe and becomes very hard to remove once the pipes have been heat cycled.
How much does it cost?
To download the RRP price list of our Pyroclassic wood fire and accessories, click HERE.
What chimney sweeps can you recommend to clean the flue?
It would be great if we could keep an up to date national register of all the good chimney sweeps around the country but as you can imagine this is a somewhat transient profession and so a call through the good old yellow pages and an ask around some friends is usually the best course of action to get a sweep.
It is always worth asking them if they have done any local Pyroclassic fires before and if so can they tell you where so you can ask the homeowner how it went, any doubts and we are always happy to give some tips to proactive chimney sweeps.
How do I use my re-usable fire starters?
Place the soaked fire starter in the front of the fire chamber just underneath the front of your kindling. When the fire has started use tongs to remove it and place somewhere safe to cool down. When the fire starter is cold, place into a jar of methylated spirits for storage.
- NEVER leave methylated spirits near the lit fire
- NEVER soak a hot fire starter in methylated spirits
- NEVER squirt spirits or any liquid fuels directly into the fire chamber