Posting a message to the forum will remove the above advertisement
  1. Checkout our Plumbers Insurance area - heavily discounted Public Liability Insurance and Van Insurance specifically designed for plumbers.

Discuss I want to learn more about running heating systems on uncontrolled heat sources in the Oil and Solid Fuel Forum area at

  1. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    I have the basic NVQ2 level awareness of wood burning stoves and gravity systems, but sadly this is one of the C&G (Maskrey) Plumbing textbook sections that should have been used for lighting the fire.

    I could bore you with the specific situation with the bungalow, the existing woodburning stove, the Primatic cylinder, the lack of heat-leak radiator, and my concept of running the new heat-leak radiator on drops using an injector tee powered by the gravity flow from the cylinder, but it gets too technical and specific for this forum and so I'll keep it to myself unless anyone's up for the pain. :)

    What I really am asking for is for recommendations for further study as I have decided I do not really want to progress my career down the gas route and would prefer to look into solid fuel and renewables. Some good textbook recommendations would certainly be appreciated.
  2. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    Hetas for formal quals.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    Yes, that's true, but HETAS gives you more the solid fuel side. I have lived in a houseshare with someone who ran HETAS training courses and he gave me the impression that the wet side was not covered in any great detail.

    It's the art and science of gravity systems that I'm more interested in. After all, I've been lucky enough to witness a ground floor woodburning stove running a radiator on the first floor via drops from the second floor, on gravity alone, via microbore. Conventional thinking says it can't be done...
  4. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    Hetas do both the dry and the wet side.

    Main thing is safety, especially when you get a power cut.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    True, but a HETAS course [EDIT: (other solid fuel competent person schemes are available)] would cost me almost as much as my Level 2 (but without anywhere near as much contact time) and I can achieve safety by fitting a large heat-leak radiator to a system with 22mm pipe and without valves. This would comply and be safe and Building Control (a cheaper alternative to HETAS if you do very little solid fuel) would agree with it, but, having had this discussion with my housemate, it's about as much as you get on the HETAS course. His answer to my question as to where you put the heat-leak radiator in a bungalow was that most houses had an upstairs.

    Obviously I can put a heat-leak at high level, but it won't look good, or feel like anything but a bodge and basically I want to know as much as I can for future jobs (plus my own house, eventually).

    Let's leave the solid fuel element out of this at present as it's proving a distraction and rephrase the question as to whether anyone knows of any excellent textbooks that focus specifically on the art and science of gravity heating systems, or any specific courses on this.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  6. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    As an aside, here's the full story.

    The existing installation is 'relatively' safe. There is a gravity flow to a Primatic cylinder with an open vent to a loft cistern. The loft cistern is not designed for boiling water and is to be upgraded. The Primatic cylinder is much-loved by the customer and so has to stay (it's taken two years of several children nagging before she would consent to a heat-leak radiator as she is quite eccentric).

    Heat loss from the unlagged cylinder is not sufficient to prevent kettling in the boiler and breakdown of the air bubble.

    Lagging is not strictly required as the stove is the only source of heat and so the cylinder only loses heat to rooms when it is cold weather.

    I have lived with a very similar system and can confirm that, although some authorities (e.g. Solid Fuel Association) consider this system to be safe, it is very unsatisfactory in cold weather as the need for water heating is limited but space heating is required all day.

    While this Primatic cylinder will probably accept a couple of radiators on a pumped basis, the customer really just wants a solution to the kettling backboiler situation for the moment and I just want to do this the best I can.
  7. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber

    Aye. Normally no space heating until hot water satisfied. Old school was to have manually switched pump to bypass clinder in cold weather and heat rads rather than cylinder.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber

    Thanks for that, Simon. You've got me thinking outside the box of my own creation now! Because once the system is safe, any other rads do not necessarily have to run on a heat-leak basis... hmm...
Similar Threads - learn more running Forum Date
ACS done again, 5 more years to go. Plumbers Arms Apr 20, 2018
House not getting warm any more Central Heating Forum Mar 29, 2018