So, we bought Peter at the beginning of December 2007, at the beginning of a REALLY cold winter
Our main room, kitchen/diner is brilliantly spacious, with a nice high ceiling and loads of room,
but it does mean that it gets cold in there very quickly, so we moved the anthracite (a type of coal) stove from the bathroom:
to the main room, which meant having a hole cut in the ceiling and welding a flue pipe in there.
before fitting the stove in place.
We got it in and working and it was FANTASTIC, heated the whole room and kept us toasty.
The Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms kept going off, at random times but every couple of days. we'd open the windows and turn the stove off (which means emptying out the burning anthracite) and it got so that we felt worried when it was on, as we ddn't want to die of CO poisoning. SO, we contacted the really nice man from Pithers Stoves, who builds these things and coincidentally lives about 2 miles away (the stove was bought off him 20 years ago and ends up just down the road, cool huh?) and he came to have a look at it. He said that:
a) it's 20 years old and needs a bit of an overhaul to fix a couple of bits that have warped with 20 years of heat.
b) the flue should really have an ash trap in it to avoid an ash buildup in it.
c) where the flue comes out of the roof it is uninsulated and so the hot air rising up it (with all the CO in it) cools down and sinks again before it gets out into the open air.
d) the flue doesn't have a hat on yet, which also doesn't help the hot air getting out.
e) we haven't been using the right technique to clear the ash when the stove is on.
So, a combination of some of these things is causing the problem, and he's going to a) overhaul the stove and b) put an insulated flue and hat on the roof so HOPEFULLY that'll fix it and we'll be toasty again.