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7 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I used it for the first half of last winter and hated it cause of the noxious smoke and lots of ash. Switched to excel and it was great. This winter, the excel is leaving far more ash......and had to get a few bags of supertherm and guess what? Far less ash. Still the noxious smoke. I guess the specs on these products mean diddly squat and they vary year on year. 

I'm glad we just have to press a button to produce heat. :D

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1 minute ago, Naughty Cal said:

I'm glad we just have to press a button to produce heat. :D

Your private life is of no concern here.

Seriously though, we too have central heating, both in the boat and in our house. But a living fire creates a cheerful ambience in a room, as well as more heat in cold weather. It's many years since we had a house, or boat, with no fireplace or stove.

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7 minutes ago, Athy said:

Your private life is of no concern here.

Seriously though, we too have central heating, both in the boat and in our house. But a living fire creates a cheerful ambience in a room, as well as more heat in cold weather. It's many years since we had a house, or boat, with no fireplace or stove.

We don't need more heat than the diesel heater provides. It gets the cabin far too hot as it is so we end up with the windows and hatches open!

 

A far cry from when we first got the boat and didn't think that a 2kw heater was big enough!

 

Best thing we did on the boat servicing and decoking the unit and replacing and lagging the pipework. Not an easy job due to access constraints but worth every penny it cost to do and every scratch, bruise and scrape caused in the process.

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18 minutes ago, MartynG said:

I realise many people do but you should not really burn printed paper.

Coloured inks probably  worse than black ink in terms of toxins produced. 

Bear in mind also your boat chimney is at low level so the fumes are likely to be  be breathed in by passers by and neighbouring boat owners  as  well as yourself. 

 

I think that is a bit 'dramatic'. When you light the paper, it burns fast ...hence hot ...and therefore the best chance the nasty molecules will be broken down. Compare that to our stove which is in 'tick over' mode 95% of the time burning coal or wood with limited oxygen. Limiting the oxygen means incomplete combustion with lots of CO and NOx produced for hours on end.

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2 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I think that is a bit 'dramatic'. When you light the paper, it burns fast ...hence hot ...and therefore the best chance the nasty molecules will be broken down. Compare that to our stove which is in 'tick over' mode 95% of the time burning coal or wood with limited oxygen. Limiting the oxygen means incomplete combustion with lots of CO and NOx produced for hours on end.

Which will no doubt end up in your dowwind neighbours boat :(

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16 minutes ago, Athy said:

Interesting observations, thank you.

Luckily newsprint is generally black (unless you read the "red tops", which we don't), though of course modern papers often have some colour photos.

I'm not sure that fumes from newspaper pose much of a threat, though, because the paper burns for only about two to three minutes, long enough to set the wood alight. 

That last sentence illustrates well why I didn't get on with it (old copies of Towpath and Canal Boating Times). It didn't burn very well and often went out before the wood was burning properly. The same cannot be said for the teabags. Since I first heard about that on this forum 2 years ago I've abandoned all other methods as it works so well for the c£1 cost of a small bottle of white spirit that has so far not yet run out. The teabags dry out very quickly in a little foil pie tray sat on top of the stove (note: eat the pie first).

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2 minutes ago, Lily Rose said:

That last sentence illustrates well why I didn't get on with it (old copies of Towpath and Canal Boating Times). It didn't burn very well and often went out before the wood was burning properly. The same cannot be said for the teabags. Since I first heard about that on this forum 2 years ago I've abandoned all other methods as it works so well for the c£1 cost of a small bottle of white spirit that has so far not yet run out. The teabags dry out very quickly in a little foil pie tray sat on top of the stove (note: eat the pie first).

It's all in the scrunch - compress the paper too tightly and it will indeed be reluctant to burn.

Your last observation has motivated me to nip next door to Russell's Butchers to buy one of their ineffably delicious pork pies for my lunch.

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30 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I used it for the first half of last winter and hated it cause of the noxious smoke and lots of ash. Switched to excel and it was great. This winter, the excel is leaving far more ash......and had to get a few bags of supertherm and guess what? Far less ash. Still the noxious smoke. I guess the specs on these products mean diddly squat and they vary year on year. 

That may explain why I didn't find Excel that much better for amounts of ash. I was put off trying Excel until recently due to reading comments on here that it stank. Mainly because of your more favourable comments I decided to  buy a bag and give it a go. Based on that one bag I think I'm now happy to use Excel or Supertherm but with a slight preference for the former. If they do vary over time that  could change.

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I'm confused with all this talk of lighting fires. We just buy a pack of firefighters. Lasts over a year as we light the fire and it runs for a month or more. We need the firefighters for the barby.

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Just now, Athy said:

It's all in the scrunch - compress the paper too tightly and it will indeed be reluctant to burn.

Your last observation has motivated me to nip next door to Russell's Butchers to buy one of their ineffably delicious pork pies for my lunch.

Good idea!

 

Mine came from the butchers in Braunston and was indeed delicious (steak and kidney).

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

I'm confused with all this talk of lighting fires. We just buy a pack of firefighters. Lasts over a year as we light the fire and it runs for a month or more. We need the firefighters for the barby.

I wouldn't use firefighters unless you want to put it out

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

I'm confused with all this talk of lighting fires. We just buy a pack of firefighters. Lasts over a year as we light the fire and it runs for a month or more. We need the firefighters for the barby.

If you need firefighters for your barby I think you must be doing it wrong. Try teabags!

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7 minutes ago, rusty69 said:

I wouldn't use firefighters unless you want to put it out

This IPad is goin to need a firefighter when I chuck it on the fire if it keeps changing the words like that! How can a speelchucker change the sentence to mean totally the opposite?

Edited by Dr Bob

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7 minutes ago, Lily Rose said:

That last sentence illustrates well why I didn't get on with it (old copies of Towpath and Canal Boating Times). It didn't burn very well and often went out before the wood was burning properly. The same cannot be said for the teabags. Since I first heard about that on this forum 2 years ago I've abandoned all other methods as it works so well for the c£1 cost of a small bottle of white spirit that has so far not yet run out. The teabags dry out very quickly in a little foil pie tray sat on top of the stove (note: eat the pie first).

Lil, I'm still not sure why you just don't use a firelighter. They don't cost much; there's ones wrapped in individual bags that won't get damp; or smell; they're safer than playing with white spirits; they light the fire first time, every time; you can put your tea bags in the bin instead of sharing your lounge with them.  How often are you lighting the fire?  We light ours once and it stays "in" until we don't need it anymore - a box of firelighters lasts forever. Your choice, of course, but it's good to consider alternatives. :)

 

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10 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

We just buy a pack of firefighters.

Always handy to have in the cupboard tho.

You just never know when you (or someone close by) will need them.

 

Do they come in different pack quantities ?

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53 minutes ago, Athy said:

How inventive, I've never heard of that method before!

I am surprised that you have found newspaper useless, as generations of kindlers have used it successfully. Perhaps you were using the glossy magazine-style paper? This does not catch light well. You need the matt daily paper-type paper.

I've used dried out used tea bags soaked in paraffin for a long time, works a treat

Edited by tree monkey

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4 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Lil, I'm still not sure why you just don't use a firelighter. They don't cost much; there's ones wrapped in individual bags that won't get damp; or smell; they're safer than playing with white spirits; they light the fire first time, every time; you can put your tea bags in the bin instead of sharing your lounge with them.  How often are you lighting the fire?  We light ours once and it stays "in" until we don't need it anymore - a box of firelighters lasts forever. Your choice, of course, but it's good to consider alternatives. :)

 

I keep the white spirit outside and take the jar out to put a little in every so often, so little that it all gets soaked up so there's no liquid inside the boat to get spilt. I light the fire once a day at the moment, early evening, as I'm finding the boat is still warm enough during the day without it. I have still got some firelighters left but teabags seem to work at least as well and I can be as generous as I like with them (though 2 or 3 is usually enough) as they cost almost nowt and the more I use the less goes into filling up my kitchen bin and ultimately into landfill.

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22 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

This IPad is goin to need a firefighter when I chuck it on the fire if it keeps changing the words like that! How can a speelchucker change the sentence to mean totally the opposite?

You weed tu tak a liff out of my boob. Alweys chick yur speiling be4 pasting!

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I've always just chucked my teabags in the cut, thinking them easily biodegradable, but I recently learned that they contain some plastic, presumably to give them wet strength.

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Just now, Mac of Cygnet said:

I've always just chucked my teabags in the cut, thinking them easily biodegradable, but I recently learned that they contain some plastic, presumably to give them wet strength.

You best go and get them back out then! How long you been doing this?

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I used to have two problems. 1/  getting the charcoal alight in our tow path barbeque.

2/ getting rid of the white spirit I had used for brush cleaning.

Combine  1 & 2 Two problems solved 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Dr Bob said:

There is nowt wrong burning polyethylene or polyprop. Both burn very clean with no nasties.....well maybe the odd little bit but nothing as bad as Supertherm. However.....burning PVC or PET ( don't burn your pets unless they are ducks) is not recommended. PVC burns to coke and HCL which is not nice. In fact it is quite bad. I would say incredibly bad but someone would comment. Not a clue what PET goes to but likely bad. Polystyrene or HIPS have benzene rings in them so again it will give off toxic stuff. 70% of waste plastic is PE/PE which is ok. If you are burning PE or PP, keep the temp up and it won't flow down and clog the grate up.

Aside from the impact on health, the burning of plastic is, in my opinion, very antisocial. It stinks, and if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from asthma highly debilitating. Even though it is inevitable as a boater that you will be exposed to fumes from coal, some diesel/engine oil from tired motors, etc the burning of plastic is completely avoidable - why on earth would you do It?

 

Edited by BWM

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4 minutes ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

I've always just chucked my teabags in the cut, thinking them easily biodegradable, but I recently learned that they contain some plastic, presumably to give them wet strength.

Hmmm. Perhaps the effect on canal depth is negligible (even if we all did this) but I always feel I should avoid throwing anything into the cut. The damn things are shallow enough as it is.

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1 minute ago, Lily Rose said:

Hmmm. Perhaps the effect on canal depth is negligible (even if we all did this) but I always feel I should avoid throwing anything into the cut. The damn things are shallow enough as it is.

Especially stove ash.

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