Who to believe? (1 Viewer)

Feb 22, 2016
3,641
10,997
York
Funster No
41,744
MH
Bailey 620 Approach
Exp
Since 2015
We’ve had a holiday home in France since 2005. In 2006, we had a wood stove installed by a local supplier. He fitted it to an existing chimney. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of building done and we’ve had the chimney swept regularly, a requirement of our house insurer. No one has ever found any issues with the chimney and after sweeping, have provided the necessary certificates.

This year, we mad an appointment with a sweep who failed to turn up yesterday. So we asked another chap who also does plumbing, electrical and general building works. He’d just replaced a mixer tap and fixed a leak in the ancient plumbing. He inspected the chimney and then said he wasn’t able to clean it. He said it was dangerous for a variety of reasons such as the stove being too close to the wall, the flue being too narrow and also too close to the floorboards etc. Now, I don’t enough to gain say him. But what I find incredible to believe is that every previously used professional has failed to find any issues at all with the chimney or the stove. When we remarked that we’d had several different professionals work on the fire and chimney who all certificated the work, he said they must be criminals. I find this very hard to take. Knowing how fastidious the French are to observe ‘les regelements’ why would they risk not only civil proceedings but also criminal convictions for their work?

The last guy said he’d reposition the stove, and do the remedial work to the chimney for €1500 in April. We are going to get other professional opinions about the supposedly necessary work as well as the remedial costs. But it does strike us as somewhat bizarre that, after all the historical works carried out, only now does one tradesman discover faults that he says would have always been apparent to the other professionals.
 
Feb 5, 2014
1,716
4,031
mid-Norfolk
Funster No
29,980
MH
A class
Exp
since 2006
Here in Norfolk my son had a gas fire installed by a friend who is a gas engineer. Then a local builder dismantled the wrong chimney and had to reinstate his mistake.

The friendly gas engineer was passing and called to see what was going on. He told the builder that his work was illegal.

“Me and my colleagues have just done exactly the same job on 50 new houses” was the reply.

“Well you had better go back and tell your colleagues that they all need redoing!”

Sadly mistakes happen. Good luck with finding a reliable source of information.

Gordon
 
Feb 21, 2016
4,929
29,993
Uk
Funster No
41,726
MH
C class
Exp
Since 2017
Had various wood burners over the years. Seems to be one of the latest money earners to install new flue’s etc., ”in line with the new regulations”
The only concern would be about the closeness of the floorboards in my opinion. Maybe take them out and put down some stone flags or tiles maybe?

You imply that you might have used several different sweeps in the past and none of them found a problem……are they still trading? If so,get them to come and look.

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OP
OP
Ingwe
Feb 22, 2016
3,641
10,997
York
Funster No
41,744
MH
Bailey 620 Approach
Exp
Since 2015
Get the original chimney sweep back. It’s been ok for 17 years. Or get the installer back and claim as a latent defect?
Getting the installer back would he the way to go in the UK but don’t know the legal position in France.
 
OP
OP
Ingwe
Feb 22, 2016
3,641
10,997
York
Funster No
41,744
MH
Bailey 620 Approach
Exp
Since 2015
One of our neighbours is a sapeur pompier who apparently has a lot of experience of chimney fires. We’ll ask him for his opinion. I know you pays your money and takes your chances…….
 
Dec 2, 2019
4,152
9,326
South Lincolnshire
Funster No
67,140
MH
Rapido 7065+
Exp
Broken most bits now
The regs in the UK around wood burners are very tight. I would think France is the same. Most pro installs are probably non-compliant so DIY is safer if you do some research.
 
Aug 5, 2017
948
2,438
Skelmersdale
Funster No
49,831
MH
RV WindSport 32A
Exp
5 years only
We’ve had a holiday home in France since 2005. In 2006, we had a wood stove installed by a local supplier. He fitted it to an existing chimney. Over the years, we’ve had a lot of building done and we’ve had the chimney swept regularly, a requirement of our house insurer. No one has ever found any issues with the chimney and after sweeping, have provided the necessary certificates.

This year, we mad an appointment with a sweep who failed to turn up yesterday. So we asked another chap who also does plumbing, electrical and general building works. He’d just replaced a mixer tap and fixed a leak in the ancient plumbing. He inspected the chimney and then said he wasn’t able to clean it. He said it was dangerous for a variety of reasons such as the stove being too close to the wall, the flue being too narrow and also too close to the floorboards etc. Now, I don’t enough to gain say him. But what I find incredible to believe is that every previously used professional has failed to find any issues at all with the chimney or the stove. When we remarked that we’d had several different professionals work on the fire and chimney who all certificated the work, he said they must be criminals. I find this very hard to take. Knowing how fastidious the French are to observe ‘les regelements’ why would they risk not only civil proceedings but also criminal convictions for their work?

The last guy said he’d reposition the stove, and do the remedial work to the chimney for €1500 in April. We are going to get other professional opinions about the supposedly necessary work as well as the remedial costs. But it does strike us as somewhat bizarre that, after all the historical works carried out, only now does one tradesman discover faults that he says would have always been apparent to the other professionals.
I would bet it's because of newer regulations for installs. They wouldn't take into consideration an installation 17 years ago. I'd get the normal sweep in if poss? Better for the certificate anyway.

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Feb 18, 2017
4,166
8,073
Greenwich, London, UK
Funster No
47,382
MH
Hymer MLT 570
Exp
1986
As others have said, wood burning stove install regs are tight (UK, France you would expect the regs to be very similar as probably EU regs initially)

Also what may have been legal, (or at least 'gray area') in 2005 may not be legal today.

Wood floors, you need a hearth, and it needs to be something like 40cm from front of the stove.
Brick surround needs to be a fixed minimum distance as well, from memory it's about 25cm.
Flues need to be a minimum size depending on the stove.
Flues must be bent for the venturi effect
The top of the chimney needs to be 1m above the roof and also 1m from the ridge line unless its high enough above it.

Here is what happened to a mate of mines shop a couple of days ago.
All his Xmas stock has gone up in flames.
FB are not yet saying it was the stove, but it was the only flame in the shop.
Insurance have already asked him who installed the stove.
Insurance are yet to come back to him ......
He is hoping it was dodgy christmas light electrical problem.

St Tudy major fire
 
Sep 3, 2012
7,603
26,190
Cheshire
Funster No
22,759
MH
C Class Elddis 175
Exp
8+ years
One of our neighbours is a sapeur pompier who apparently has a lot of experience of chimney fires. We’ll ask him for his opinion. I know you pays your money and takes your chances…….
That's probably your best course of action. If he doesn't know he may also know someone who does
You have to be aware that rules change. What was ok last year is not the case this year.So you really need someone who is up to date and don't forget that some rules are for new installations ,not necessary for older ones .
 
Aug 18, 2014
23,945
135,440
Lorca,Murcia,Spain
Funster No
32,898
MH
Transit PVC
Exp
16 years since restarting
such as the stove being too close to the wall,
yes there are rules about distance from wall at rear & space side to side.

Is the flu the same diameter as the fire outlet? if so it is correct. If larger that is also ok. any bends should be 45º at worst . 90º bends are verboten.
double walled stainless steel flue can exit through wood floors with minimal clearance it is only the single skin enamelled/galvanised that require a clearance all round & best is a metal liner also.
Also what may have been legal, (or at least 'gray area') in 2005 may not be legal today.
& not usually retrospective.
What was ok last year is not the case this year.S
as above.
 
Jun 30, 2010
7,926
27,272
Cornwall
Funster No
12,372
MH
1992 VW Auto sleeper Mono
Exp
Since 2005 this time
We put a couple in the 16th centery F/house the Daughter & S-i-L lived.

Had to sleeve the chimney to the top, then infill with Lime mortar around the sleeve to the bottom
 
Mar 12, 2021
453
644
Renfrew Scotland
Funster No
79,716
MH
kontiki sport
Exp
20 years tugging .5 years MOH.
I would bet it's because of newer regulations for installs. They wouldn't take into consideration an installation 17 years ago. I'd get the normal sweep in if poss? Better for the certificate anyway.
Yes in uk regs mark these defects down as not to current standards, meaning it used to be okay but not now.
More than 3 NCS. On an appliance or installation is classified as dangerous and no engineer in his right mind would sing it off.
 
Jun 29, 2015
3,511
58,227
Southampton
Funster No
36,999
MH
caravan (for now)
Exp
on and off since 1984
When I was working I sometimes found faults with gas installations that had been missed by other engineers for years, quiet likely I may have missed other faults myself. Often a fresh pair of eyes is a good thing.

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Oct 9, 2019
4,999
17,500
Todmorden
Funster No
65,104
MH
Van conversion
Exp
FUNSTER in a PVC
At least 25 years ago our regular chimney sweep broke his leg and we had to get another, who turned up swept the chimney then stated that it needed pointing inside it not outside on the stack! I was incredulous, I thought how the hell is he going to do that ? He quoted £450 and I sent him packing, our old sweep arrived 12 months later and I told him the tale, he knew who I was talking about and confirmed my thoughts that he was a cowboy who tried it on with everyone and occasionally someone fell for it.
I asked my sweep how he would do it and he said he couldn’t but he would go up on the roof for an hour and occasionally throw sand down the chimney to make the customer think he was working, whilst all the time he would be smoking a roll up or 3. Robbing git.
 
Feb 18, 2017
4,166
8,073
Greenwich, London, UK
Funster No
47,382
MH
Hymer MLT 570
Exp
1986
When I was working I sometimes found faults with gas installations that had been missed by other engineers for years, quiet likely I may have missed other faults myself. Often a fresh pair of eyes is a good thing.
Which is why I have used the same family of plumbers/gas engineers since the last century.

I maintain a number of properties, and if the plumber/gas certificate/installers ever does the classic
'suck through the teeth' and say "I'd not have done it that way", my reply is always, "well take that up with your dad/granddad as he was the one that did it"

None of the properties have failed an annual gas inspection in 25 years!
 
Jun 4, 2010
393
785
Funster No
11,918
Best look up the building regs for flue construction. The main thing is the hearth protects the wood floor and there is sufficient air circulation around so as not to overheat the masonry. Bear in mind french regs might be slightly different
 
Nov 18, 2011
11,863
43,678
Planet Earth
Funster No
18,938
MH
A van
Exp
Over 25 year's
Don't mention what he has sed when you get another sweep my brother ha sumthing similar last year.
He got another's sweep no problems with doing it and certified issued.
Bill
 

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