A 5 minute Guide to your Wood Burning Stove

If you read nothing else, please read this 5 minute guide before using your Burley stove.

Unless you have already had a Burley Fireball, this stove is totally different to any you have used before. You have bought the World’s most efficient and clean burning stove; like jumping into a Ferrari, if you’ve not learnt how to handle it you won’t get much from it, you may even damage it.

1. Make sure your chimney has been lined. The new regulations for wood burners mean that all manufacturers have had to up their game to meet Burley’s existing standards, therefore a bit of flue pipe on top of the stove shoved up the chimney might have worked in the past but will no longer suffice. If the flue has not been lined it won’t draw the air through a modern stove and you will never have a decent burn.


2. Water doesn’t burn. Check that your wood is not damp, we give you a moisture meter to do this. If you have water coming down your chimney Burley did not supply it, either your wood is wet or your chimney leaks.


A Burley wood stove inset into a wall

3. Ash. The Fireballs burn best on a bed of ash, you can leave 3 or 4 inches in the combustion box, the air injection system means it will burn down each time. When you do eventually need to empty the ash, leave a couple of inches in the bottom.


4. Lighting. Don’t scrimp on the kindling, cold flues don’t draw, you need to get heat into it so it will pull air through the stove and make the wood burn, a cold flue = no fire. Cross hatch thin battens of kindling on top of the firelighter perhaps 4 layers deep and put 2 small split logs on top. Split logs are better to light the fire as bark doesn’t burn very well.


5. Once you have lit the kindling, put the door handle on the notch so it is held open a little. Move the air lever all the way to the right.


6. The fire will take hold quickly and will get the flue hot so it can draw without the door being open. When most of the kindling is alight (you will probably hear a throbbing or roaring sound), close the door fully on the latch. Stoves that light very easily with the door closed are leaking air from poor seals, welds or castings, they may light easily but they will never be efficient, hot or clean.


7. Once you have closed the door fully the flames will die down but will rally again after a couple of minutes. If the fuel has burned down add another log. The temperature inside is now rising quickly, the creosote which many stoves lose up the chimney is starting to spontaneously combust creating a chain reaction which will suck more and more air through the stove which in turn burns more and more wood. It may look spectacular but you are getting through lots of wood without heating your room efficiently. The Fireball technology means your Burley stove gets hot like no other stove, incredibly hot. You have effectively created a blast furnace which can eventually even melt the stainless steel baffle (stainless steel melts at 1500°C) and frost the ceramic glass (same stuff that is used on the space shuttle windows to withstand burning up during re-entry). Once the stove is burning well you need to slow this chain reaction down by moving the lever to the left to control the air.


Burley Fireball wood stove on a log base

8. Experience will show you where the ideal position is, but for the first time, move the lever a couple of inches to the left and leave it a minute to settle down. What you are looking for is a controlled burn, rather than rushing up the chimney, the flames will start rolling around the combustion chamber more lazily. If the fire is still roaring move the lever another inch, if it dies down and doesn’t recover or starts pulsing with occasional clouds of flame, move it back to the right a little. Look at the video on our website if you need to.


9. When you have found this nice constant rolling flame you are getting the maximum heat into your room and achieving greatest efficiency. You will hear the stove clicking as the metal expands. The first time you light it you will also see smoke coming from the stove, this is the paint curing and hardening and is normal, leave a window open for the first hour.


10. Adding fuel. A rough indication that you have the correct air control is that you will be burning the correct amount of wood.

Model 9104 / 9304 : add approximately 650 grams of wood every 30 minutes

Model 9105 / 9305 : add approximately 800 grams of wood every 30 minutes

Model 9108 / 9308 : add approximately 1.3 kg of wood every 30 minutes

Model 9112 / 9312 : add approximately 2 kg of wood every 30 minutes 11. Stove thermometer. If you have a stove thermometer this should be positioned very carefully in the bin. All it tells you is how inefficient your stove is by showing how much heat is going up the chimney, no help at all. Your Burley stove has a unique heat exchanger which scrubs the heat out of the flue gasses and puts them into your home where they are wanted, so the thermometer will never be ‘in the green’. Customers therefore fill their stoves with more and more wood and open the air up trying to meet this arbitrary figure, possibly damaging the stove. Throw it away.


12. Glass. When you next come to light your stove you will see a fine film of ash on the glass, clean this and any soot off each time to prevent the intense heat from firing it into the glass. A ceramic glass cleaner is usually sufficient, occasional cleaning with cider vinegar removes tougher marks, and very rarely rubbing with carborundum paper (wet and dry sand paper) will shift even more. Don’t use conventional sandpaper. Tip – making a thin paste of ash and water makes a free ceramic glass cleaner.


13. Boards. The boards which manufacturers use inside stoves are made from vermiculite, this is an inert insulating material perfect for withstanding high temperatures and improving combustion. It can survive nearly anything except impact, if you throw logs into the stove you can break the boards. Using a cracked board is OK but if pieces are missing it should be replaced. You can get replacements from Burley or your local stove shop usually keeps some which can be easily cut to size.


14. Finally, your Burley stove is made in The United Kingdom, not China, not India. We are just up the road, so if you have a question please feel free to pick up the phone and chat, we’re always happy to help.


Thank you for buying a Burley stove, we hope it will give you years of faithful service and enjoyment. Remember all spare parts are available from Stoves & Solar!


spare parts for Burley stoves

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