So I stayed in the Hutchinson memorial hut on Monday night, and it is very swanky and new inside. The stove has a sign above it saying 'this multi fuel stove should not be used with house coal'. So, if no coal, how is it multifuel? And what harm would it do burning coal?
In reply to girlymonkey:
as you say if its multi fuel it will burn coal . a wood "only"burner can be destroyed by using coal as it burns way too hot. i ve seen the result of this. cheap wood burner completely knackered. my guess is the mess. well seasoned wood burnt in a well installed stove leaves only a small amount of lite clean ash that can is easily disposed off . cheap coal can leave nasty smelly thick gunk that is pain in the arse if you dont have a weekly rubbish collection.
A combination of that and extending the life of the stove. Even a multifuel stove will need new linings and baffle plates eventually. They've also no control of how the stove is used. One of Mrs Ridge's mates is an absolute lunatic who thinks the object of a stove is to burn as much fuel as possible, see if the stove will glow orange and shatter or maybe blister the paint on the back wall 6m away from the stove, (and breath Ridge...). There's no coal in the bucket and no more than 4 logs in the room whenever she visits.
You shouldn't use house coal in a stove but smokeless fuel should be OK. The bitumen in house coal clogs up the flue and if it gets wet (such as the steam frmo burning logs or just because it's a damp bothy) the sulphur dioxide will form sulhuric acid and eat away at the flue
I will make sure I take smokeless in future then. I did use the normal housecoal as I had carried 3kg of it, and wanted the warmth! I was just wondering what damage we might have done! I will be good in future and take smokeless. Thanks for the info
The sign means no bituminous coal. Multi fuel stoves can be used with smokeless coal but not ordinary house coal. The tar from the smoke in ordinary coal builds up in the flue and can catch fire/cause damage.
Is this an MBA bothy? Might be worth having a more detailed notice explaining this. I will now start carrying smokeless to all bothies as it sounds like a safer option. Maybe if detailed explanations went up, people would carry the right stuff. I might email the MBA and suggest it.
Maybe the sign would be better reading as below so people who don't know (like me) understand what we're supposed to do
"Please use >insert good fuel types< as >insert bad fuel types< will damage this stove"
In reply to girlymonkey: You can use smokeless fuel on a multifuel stove. The common house coal, is bituminous coal. This can cause one or two problems. The most dangerous is when the fire is covered in coal with no flames showing. A thick greasy greeny yellow smoke is produce, which has a high concentration of coal gas in it. When the flames do get though, if there is any air above the fuel load this mixture can explode violently, all the way up the flue. I have seen the end blown out of a property as a result of this. If it does not explode it will deposite bitumen, creosote and tar up the flue which will either restrict or block the flue, sending dangerous and very toxic flue gases (Carbon monoxide) back into the property, or catch fire and cause a lot of damage to the flue.
I used to be a consultant for the National Solid Fuel Advisory Service, and the British Flue and Chimney Manufacturers Association, and had to report on many instances of these problems/events, some causing fatalities.
Stick to wood, smokeless fuels and manufactured wood fuels as per instructions.
So that is the detail that needs to be in the bothy!! Thanks for the detail. The bothy doesn't say what should be used, or why no house coal.
I have emailed the MBA suggesting more detailed signage, and I will carry smokeless in future
Hydrogen sulphide is one of the toxic gases inefficiently burned bituminous coal gives off. If the flue is cold and damp this gas mixes with the moisture to produce sulphuric acid! It also combines with the moisture in your lungs to do the same!
So I sent an email to them, and this was the response, just in case anyone is interested. Sounds to me that they don't really care that much, so why put the sign up in the first place?!
Thanks for your bothy report and query regards the Hutchison Hut.It is indeed a multi-fuel stove, and can burn household coal.The down side is that the flue soots up quicker if housecoal is used, and the makers recommend that you use smokeless or fire logs etc.If you only have house coal, don't worry, as the flue is quite big and would take some time to soot up.
> So I sent an email to them, and this was the response, just in case anyone is interested. Sounds to me that they don't really care that much, so why put the sign up in the first place?!
> Thanks for your bothy report and query regards the Hutchison Hut.It is indeed a multi-fuel stove, and can burn household coal.The down side is that the flue soots up quicker if housecoal is used, and the makers recommend that you use smokeless or fire logs etc.If you only have house coal, don't worry, as the flue is quite big and would take some time to soot up.
It isn't that no-one cares. Wood or smokeless fuel is what is recommended for the stove and that's what the MBA would recommend you use. But MOs tend from experience to be pretty pragmatic and recognise that lots of shit goes on in bothies that shouldn't. For instance, the MO has just had a sign put up in the Hutchie asking people not to wear crampons inside the hut. Will it stop them? In many cases probbly not and we all know that eventually we'll end up having to repair the floor. But you gotta try.
Well might you ask, but crampon marks have been found inside the hut. (Although one new year I walked up there with not a drop of snow in sight, but I had to put crampons on to cross the iced-up rocks at the Glas Allt Mor.)