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    I have just registered with the forum hoping to get some good solid advice. We are extending our cottage in a couple of years and are wishing to upgrade our current Aarrow Ecoburn 5 to a stove with a boiler to heat 6 radiators (1 big double, 4 medium and 1 small) as well as domestic hot water. We will have electric showers installed so the water is needed for the odd bath and warm enough to wash hands and the like. We want this to work alongside our current combi boiler so we have the combi as back up rather than main source of heating. Also we want the option to eventually rig up some solar heat at a later date and ditch the mains gas altogether.

    After lots of research I am really interested in the Clearview 650 for this purpose with the Morso Dove as second choice. Does anyone have any experience of the stove's being used for this purpose? I have read a range of experiences from excellent to not advisable and to have a stove with an inbuilt boiler. We had a solid fuel heating man around the other day to fix yet again our combi boiler and he recommended Hunter Herald 8 for this purpose or Parkray. Both of these have very poor reviews on the stove review website. I am very confused. Having had our Aarrow Ecoburn which I am reasonably happy with but seeing the responsiveness of our friends Morso and also the Clearview at a stove shop I am keen to have a stove of this quality and controllability.

    We used to have a Rayburn Royal doing all of our heating and hot water but were awarded a grant on the Warmfront scheme to have full gas central heating installed. As this was free we thought we would go along with it, so we had a Vaillant boiler fitted 2 years ago. They are supposed to be excellent I gather but we have had nothing but problems with it, frequently being left without heating and hot water. It's not been working for the last 3 weeks and we have been told the pump or sensor has gone on it - a 2 year old boiler!! I wish we still had the Rayburn. This is why we wish to go back to the solid fuel heating that we had before.

    Anyway, I have gone off track slightly so.... my final question is if the Clearview 650 stove is used for the boiler purpose, how much heat does it give out to the room? We have a 20ft x 15ft living room. Any advice would be very gratefully received from a very confused person wishing to make the right choice!!

    Many thanks

    The experts will come along shortly and provide some great detailed info but as a non expert but someone in a similar position (old cottage, used to have a Rayburn, now have an efficient back boiler and a Clearview 650 and will not be using gas or oil) I thought I would throw in my thoughts...

    Do not underestimate the problem of finding a good heating engineer/plumber.....

    Clearview have been a really good company to deal with and I have actually been able to talk with the man who designs their stoves. The 650 without a back boiler needs a large room if you are to not over heat or have to run it inefficiently. If you are anywhere near Ludlow recommend you go and see them - their show room is worth a visit even if you do not buy one of their stoves and they are more than happy to talk about anything to do with woodburners. They will certainly be able to state the outputs to the room and to the back boiler but from my own experience I would expect the 650 with a boiler to be sufficient for a 20x15 room.

    Hope this helps.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
    I'd get the boiler fixed or even replaced. I wouldn't replace a gas combi boiler with electric showers as they are much more expensive to run and generally don't perform as wel. If you are sure that's what you want best check the electic supply to your house is adequate before you do anything. A 9.6kw electri shower consumes 41A. It's possible the supply to your house is inadequate especially if you want more than one.
    Thank you Aberthonin, that is really helpful. Is the Clearview very guzzly with the fuel? How long does it take to get up to temperature with the radiators and hot water? And does it still heat the room adequately?

    I will get in touch with Clearview next week I think and would love to visit their showroom, although it is a bit of a trek from Somerset... maybe a day trip!

    Also thanks CWatters. We already have an electric shower installed from when we didn't have gas in the house and it performs fine, but thank you for your comments.
    • CommentAuthorsune
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2010
    I'd start out by planning improvements to your insulation, draught proofing, etc. When you extend you may also be able to make use of solar gain.....reduce then replace...
    Then do a heat load calc for the whole house peak heat load based on the better insulation values.
    Then, depending on your usage patterns and situation (for example will you burn just in the evenings or all day, and do you want to store up heat for the morning) you can work out the sort of outputs that you will be wanting to look for and can then pick from a range of suitable boiler stoves - of which the Clearview may well be one (it is a good stove).
    One of the most convenient ways to do this is to dump the heat to an accumulator tank (=very well insulated and fairly big water tank). This lets you runs the stove at its most efficient, is an easy way of integrating everything inc solar, and convenient as you can program heating to come if you have enough stored. If you do this then you might choose a stove with high heat to water and low heat to the room - that way you can burn the stove hard without overheating and have a rad in the room.
    Underfloor has lower loop temps and works better with accumulator tanks by the way - or if you install new rads over size them all so you can get your loop temp down.

    If we are talking makes of stove then in my opinion the Hunters are actually pretty good too. Reading through the reviews one person seems actually to be grading the stove badly for what appears to be a bad experience with their retailer and installer. Another says the firebox is small and if you are just burning wood then they are quite right but you should then choose the woodburning version which does not have a grate and ashpan taking up vital room.
    Hope that is of some help.
    But I'm not suggesting any particular make to you from the start. The insulation and then the heat load calcs and planning are really the next steps that I would take.
    Why would you want to go to all this trouble when you have gas available? Gas is cheaper to run and less hassle than burning wood or coal. Unless you have free wood you are spending a lot of money to install a system that will cost you more to run. Get the gas boiler sorted by somebosy that knows what they are doing
    I still recommend a trip to Ludlow and Clearview even if its just to see a lovely town and a great show room. Clearview showroom is housed in and old 3 story building on the walls of the castle and has working stoves in most rooms. Additionally, every room is dressed with wonderful furniture that is for sale - my wife loves it and leave me plenty of time to discuss flues etc....

    My 650 does not have a boiler but starts very easily and quickly, will generate a lot of heat and will run well banked down - with a couple of good logs on before bedtime it will also go through the night.

    I believe that Clearview were in the lead with secondary burning design originally uit now many other companies have now emulated the efficiency of Clearview (there is some debate over patent infringement but probably not a issue to be discussed here!) but if the price is acceptable I can vouch for the quality of this British made stove.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 1st 2010
    I have a Clearview Solution 400 (no boiler) and very pleased with it. CAN be set to burn very slowly. Note that models approved for smokeless zones don't appear to burn as slowly.
    I have cause to wonder if the newer Morso stoves are as well constructed as the older ones, specifically in respect of the designed to be replacable cast iron panels/parts within.
    Because the first & last set I fitted about 2 years ago are knackered.( and were genunine Morso)
    In contrast the origionals lasted 12 years & the firing material or regime has not changed in this time
    Had the stove from 1996 btw
    I called Clearview stoves yesterday to get an idea on what would be suit our situation when our house has been remodelled. They were really helpful and suggested for the size of our cottage the 27,000 btu boiler would be adequate and the stove would burn almost as efficiently as if without a boiler giving 6kw to the room for space heating. This sounds about right as still we are without our gas heating (the sensor or pump has gone) but our 5kw stove is managing to keep the whole house reasonably warm and that is with appalling insulation at the back which is mainly single glazed rotten windows in a single skin knackered extension!!

    We will still have the gas as back up but I am hoping it won't need to kick in very often.
    We're thinking of getting a woodstove with back boiler. The Esse 700-27B is high on my shortlist. Anyone got one?

    "The boiler stove version of the 700 ... offering a total output of 60000btu/h (17kW), delivering 27300 btu/h (8kW) to water heating and 30700 btu/h (9kW) to direct space heating."
    • CommentAuthorcrusoe
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2010
    Daisy - I run a couple of Clearview stoves. Too much detail to go into, but in an old house, so long as doors are open to other rooms, the 12KW 650 runs well - and cleanly - in a 12' x 12' room. Not what we would have expected.

    I spoke to Clearview too before buying - v helpful - if a bit purist and not in the real world (their view, which is puritanically correct,, is that no boilers are best, boilers are evil, affect clean-burn combustion, yada yada...). I bought mine at the same time I installed a second for a customer, with 40K back-boiler. Take care with the theory - we found that the boilers don't give the full output after a week's burn because they tar up, which reduces the output drastically. Doors still pretty clean though...and it's as hungry as you want it to be. Only minor negative is compared to the many other stoves I have had, it has a 'flat spot' where, at a low burn, it doesn't like to move quickly or pick up well - I overcome this by opening the door a smidge.

    And mine's for sale if you (or anybody) are interested (18 months old with as-yet-unfitted 40 000 btu boiler which can be reduced to 25-30 000 with vicuclad board) as my flue is too small (6" - see other threads) to add the boiler in, so I'm having to swop to a smaller stove.
    • CommentAuthormartint
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2010
    Daisysundae - if you are looking at running all your heating, have you looked at the renewable heat incentive? This could be a cheaper option, as the government annual 'grant' should end up paying for the equipment and installation. Only problem is that it does not (currently) include wood burning stoves - you will be looking at a garage or outhouse based log/chip/pellet boiler.
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