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Sep 8 08 8:42 AM

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I've mentioned a few times that we had to turn our Rayburn off after it consumed about 1750 ltrs oil in 6 weeks. It didn't heat the water properly nor did the hot plates get up to heat. It was serviced when we moved in here last year but I think there's something wrong somewhere judging by what I've read on the net.

So, we considered getting a new multi fuel stove with a back burner, very expensive as the Rayburn would also need to be removed, plus, the property is rented.
Then I started reading about conversions. The model is a Rayburn Royal 501 OF and it has the round burner wick thing inside (I believe this makes a difference in conversions?)
I'm not sure what questions to ask but here are some that spring to mind:

Has anyone here done this or know of someone who has?
Can this be done DIY?
If so, how?
Chimney issues?
Cutting off the oil pipe?
If it has to be done by an expert, what do I put in a google search to find someone to do it?

Any help appreciated!
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#1 [url]

Sep 8 08 9:56 AM

**1750 ltrs oil in 6 weeks*** smokin moly that would cost around £900 now

I think Mr L did this to theirs?mebbes Mrs can sit him down at the pooter & get him to post
Another thought...have you checked theres not an oil leak anywhere,the tanks or the pipe?if the oil went yet the stove wasnt getting hot makes me wonder if somewhere along the line the oil not got right thru to it properly.

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#3 [url]

Sep 8 08 11:10 AM

Right - I've got my OH riding shotgun here. He says we did the conversion the other way round (multi-fuel to oil). The wick burner just sits inside the stove and can easily be taken out once the fuel has been disconnected. The fuel line should have a fire valve/tap on it - turn it off. There should also be one where the fuel leaves the tank/comes into the house, and that would also need to be turned off.

Then you need to put a suitable sized grate back in to the firebox of the Rayburn. You need to check if you have a metal liner or an infill liner in the chimney. If the chimney's been lined with volcanic "stuff", you're OK. If it's a metal liner, and it's single skinned, and thus suitable for oil, it needs to be replaced with a double-skinned liner suitable for solid fuel. (These are not cheap).

Once done - put wood in and light fire! Be warned - it will use enormous amounts of wood, according to OH, as you are running central heating off it too. He reckons better to run on anthracite unless you have access to the huge quantities of wood, free! To get it extra hot for cooking, some wood on the anthracite works a treat.

DIY? Depends on whether stove was originally designed for solid fuel or oil. If designed for oil, you may have to bolt or weld brackets in to hold the grate. If originally designed for solid fuel, you should be able to buy a grate (also not cheap) and fit straight into place.

The liner needs to be put down from the roof down the chimney, and fastened at the top, so someone with a long ladder and good head for heights needed! e.g. electric drills on top of the chimney, drilling holes, plugs etc.

I am sure there is a stove guy (did he advice you GTM when you had problems) on the INEBG site. He could give you the low-down as to costs and DIY-ness.

GTM - ours would use 1000 litres of oil in 6 weeks if we had it on all day for central heating (we have a back-up boiler downstairs as well). But we do have all the hot water we could need, and background heating in the rooms (only hot room is the kitchen).

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#4 [url]

Sep 8 08 1:15 PM

Ok Bovey, thanks for the info!
The central heating is separate so we're not worried about that, all we're hoping for is a nice warm kitchen, hot water and slow cooking.

The pipes running from the stove up the wall were always hot to the touch when the stove was on but the water didn't get hot.

How can you check the chimney liner, what does it look like?

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#6 [url]

Sep 8 08 2:09 PM

That's the chap - he's the bee's knees when it comes to stoves and problems with same. I did wonder whether a Rayburn would need firebricks to line it with a proper fire burning? OH didn't mention it . . .

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MrsL

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#7 [url]

Sep 8 08 3:58 PM

MrL did ours a few months after we moved in - ours is a Rayburn Royal too. Rayburns aren't designed as woodstoves as such, though, they are solid fuel. We were quoted several hundred pounds to convert ours back to solid fuel (it was originally, but the old couple who were last in the house had it turned to oil as they got older), but MrL got hold of Spillers of Chard (they have a website, and very helpful with questions, etc) and bought the bits for 124.00. I don't know if our kitchen chimney is lined or not - it may well be if it was required when changed to oil, I'll have to check on that. He took the oil burning gubbins out (I wasn't around, so not sure exactly what was removed regarding wick things, etc, but I can ask him), removed the piping, then put in new fire bricks and a grate to fit, and off we went , but we've been burning anthracite. Never had any problems with it at all. Recently, we've been going over to wood, and I'd like to eventually run it on wood entirely, but as said above, it will take a heck of a lot of wood to keep it fed. Soemr ecommend using wood for cooking, then banking it up with coal/anthracite overnight to keep it in,r aking it through in the morning, and off with the wood again. It burns the wood very fast, and gives a fierce heat - the water comes out the taps almost boiling Because of the high heat, it seems to be getting through teh firebricks quicker too, and we will need to replace some of them soon too. It's possible to DIY, but MrL is an engineer, so knew what he was doing - not saying MrK doesn't , mind. I'd be a bit wary of DIY in a rented propety maybe? It needs firebricks whether burning oil or solid fuel - quite easy to get hold of, also the grates. We get orus in Mole Valley Farmers, so a crofting supplies or similar up where you are should have something maybe.

Will quiz Mr L about the liner bit when he gets back, also about what he took out. Ours does water, heat and cooking. Most folks gave us 6 months, saying we'd be back to oil. I'd never have anything else now, though, and if and when it needs replaced, it will be with a wood burning stove.

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#8 [url]

Sep 8 08 6:35 PM

I think it was me wot said about banking overnight with anthracite.

We made large efforts to burn wood rather than anthracite last winter. (We only run ours during the winter.) It definitely won't keep 'in' during the night with just wood, but was fine when it could be fed during the day.

Our Rayburn has been here since before rules and regulations about flue liners and it hasn't got one. Our chimney sweep recommends burning a special log thingy - sorry, can't remember the name of it, but I can find out if you want to know - which melts the deposits wood leaves inside the chimney. It costs about £15 and is burned just like an ordinary log but clears the deposits which could cause a fire.

Someone at work told me today that she's had a letter from the coal merchants she and I get the anthracite from saying the price is going up from £14 a bag to £18.50. It isn't only gas and electric prices which are increasing. We will be ordering a load of logs soon (if it ever stops raining long enough to put a load away dry!) and I'll be interested to see if the price for that has gone up too.

I can bore for England on the subject of solid fuel Rayburns, but I'm afraid I don't know about converting them from oil. Once you've done it though just set me in motion and I'll type pagefuls!

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MrsL

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#9 [url]

Sep 9 08 7:39 AM

KD - could you find out about the burning log thingy - MrL would be interested in that, never heard of it before, could be useful. Our anthracite isn't that expensive! We ahve just bought a large amount at summer prices, to be delivered in parts every fortnight for several months, saving over 70.00. We have a good coalman, very helpful.

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#10 [url]

Sep 9 08 8:58 AM

Wood isn't a problem for us, son is a tree surgeon and the wee cottage round the corner is occupied by a tree surgeon too, who son works with.

Mr Kathy isn't confident with this kind of thing so I'll shop around for quotes and ask around some friends, never know who's lurking around that knows about these things!

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#12 [url]

Sep 9 08 3:04 PM

I've phoned Rayburn and they've confirmed that my model was originally an oil model and that oil consumption should be around 55 ltrs per week. He reckons that the servicing chap missed something somewhere when he serviced it.

So, next step, I've phoned a local company and am waiting for a phone call back from the engineer (as opposed to the office lady).

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#13 [url]

Sep 9 08 4:42 PM

That's the one Silene. Mine came from our local hardware shop, and as you say, it's called The Chimney Cleaning Log.

Mrs L., the instructions say to use one every 60 fires. You place it on the hot embers and allow it to burn and smoke until it has disappeared. The blurb on the box says it's charged with additives which rise and attach themselves to the creosote deposits. You leave the ashes in and put the new logs on top and it continues to release the magic chemicals.

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#16 [url]

Sep 10 08 8:13 AM

I saw those log things in the Lakeland book the other day Hope the servce man can come out & sort the stove Kathy,if its supposed to run on 55 litres a week there obviously is an issue if it used what it did in 6 weeks & didnt work right to boot,it will help to have it running properly until you can sort the conversion
I worked in a coal yard years & years ago....phurnacite (sp??) was £4 a bag back then.... normal house coal was £1.50 & folks used to huff & scowl at the prices then...

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#17 [url]

Sep 10 08 8:41 AM

Thanks for all the help folks.

The engineer chap did phone, he was very helpful and didn't try to push any of his services on to me. Apparently you can't convert an original oil Rayburn to coal/wood, (I think you probably can but it would be a big expensive job), other way round is fine.

He said the last chap couldn't have done the job properly, something to do with calibration or perhaps the wick and suggested I contact this same chap regarding this. He's happy to come out and do a full service if I want £145 + vat + any parts needed.

I'll think about it, see how much cash is in the coffers in a couple of months. With it being a rented property I'm not sure about going to the expense of a good quality stove, plus we'd have to reinstate things if/when we left.

Undecided now.

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#18 [url]

Sep 10 08 8:56 AM

Hopefully he can help get it running better then Kathy x I think any stove purchase is an investment as they keep getting more expensive like everything We installed our Clearview here & will take it if we ever move,the landlord paid for the flue installation so of course that remains but the stove is ours,I would never leave her

Could you speak to the landlord about it? & say if ever you leave you would leave everything made good,the old rayburn could be stored soemwhere if possible?

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#19 [url]

Sep 10 08 6:49 PM

I don't know, Mrs L, about the 60 fires thing. So far we've only used it on the woodburner, which we only use in the autumn and spring. (In the winter the Rayburn is on, and we don't need it.)

I think we'll have to get to grips with using it on the Rayburn though, if we burn even more wood this year. It seems it works best on a dying fire, so we would probably let the Rayburn get low, bung the log on to do its thing and then tickle the Rayburn back to life.

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MrsL

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#20 [url]

Sep 10 08 11:27 PM

MrL keen to investigate the log thing for the Rayburn, so will look into that further. He agrees , as Kathy says, that converting one is easier if it was originally solid fuel to oil then back again. Stoves designed to run on oil from the beginnning nto designed to run on wood or solid fuel, or be converted to do so.

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