Do I need to use a HETAS installer for my log burner?

DO I NEED TO USE A HETAS OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL INSTALLER OR CAN I FIT IT MYSELF?

This is a question we get asked almost every time we sell a stove!

In simple terms the answer is – yes you could fit it yourself because there is no legal requirement or qualification for someone to install a stove like there would be with a gas fire.

However, there ARE a full set of regulations governing how it should be properly done and these are covered in the very lengthy “document J” of the “Building Regulations. (click here to get a copy)

To be honest, like most government documents, it is a very dull and difficult read and large tracts of it are nothing to do with residential stove installations. However, if you are willing to plough through it, you will find all the information you need to do an install yourself which is in full compliance with the Building Regulations.

The key thing to understand is that the regulations are entirely about ensuring the safety of the occupants (and neighbours) of a house where a real fire is burning in the hearth – and that has to be a good thing.

With this in mind, many people prefer to employ a professional installer who has been trained and licensed to do the installs in compliance with the regulations. These people are registered under the auspices of HETAS but unfortunately, hiring them to do an install often tends to come with a hefty price tag that puts many people off.

This means we still get many customers asking us if there are cheaper alternatives. The answer is “yes” but any install done by yourself or a builder still needs to be checked and certified as safe by your local council’s Building Control Dept – who will charge you a fee for inspecting and issuing a safety certificate.

The other thing to bear in mind is that, if you install a stove without obtaining the proper certification it could invalidate your homes Buildings Insurance in the event a fire starts in your chimney and razes your home to the ground!

Having said all that, installing a stove isn’t rocket science and by getting properly acquainted with the rules or by using a good builder who knows the rules, you can save hundreds of pounds on the installation cost. Then as long as you get it checked and approved by your local council you will be in full compliance with the law – and most importantly, safer.

The key issues covered under the regulations are;

1. The correct preparation, lining and suitability of the hearth, chimney and cowls.

2. The correct fitting of a register plate.

3. Leaving the correct “breathing” spaces all around the stove and at least 300mm of hearth protruding in front of the stove.

4. Correctly fitting flue pipes, chimney liner and cowls and sealing joints.

5. Installing an air vent (where appropriate) and a carbon monoxide alarm.

6. Correctly testing the stove after installation to ensure a proper burn and removal of flue gases.

If all these matters are correctly addressed, your local council’s Building Control officer will have no problems in certifying your installation and you can enjoy many years of cheaper and more beautiful heating warmth in your home.

If you’d like general advice or guidance on any of these matters, please feel free to give us a call and ask questions. We are always happy to help.

 

 

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