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DEFRA Approved Stoves

DEFRA (Government Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs)

Advice regarding the Regulations associated with the installation of wood burning stoves (including multifuel).

As a simple rule of thumb – a DEFRA Approved stove allows you to burn wood in a smoke controlled area.  You cannot burn wood with a stove that is not DEFRA approved if living in a smoke controlled area.

Be aware that the notation ‘SE’ (smoke exempt) also applies to stoves that are permitted to burn wood in a smoke controlled area.

Check with your Council

Many parts of the UK are smoke control areas where you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you are using a DEFRA Approved stove, burning an authorised fuel or using exempt appliances*1.

You should telephone your local council or check on their website to see if you live in a smoke control area.  You can be fined up to £1,000 if you break the rules and risk the costs of replacing your wood burning stove with another, DEFRA approved model.

Even certain types of kindling can be restricted – check with your council.

If you have purchased a non DEFRA Approved stove, the Regulations do allow you to use that stove in a smoke controlled area provided you comply with the burning of authorised fuel only. You can check with the manufacturer to see if they plan to apply for the stove to be placed on the exempt appliance list. Otherwise for a list of authorised fuels check out:  http://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php

Connecting Flue Pipe to the stove

If you are using a DEFRA approved stove and converting from single wall enamel or stainless steel flue pipe to a flue liner (transiting vertically up the chimney stack) – you can connect the pipe to liner which have equal diameters. For example, a 5” diameter single wall pipe to a 5” diameter liner.

The reason for this is because the relatively smokeless fuel leaves less soot build up in the pipe and liner.  Air vents have a slight variation in design to reduce the amount of time that the fire will smoulder after being alight.  This is often a cause of a build-up of soot in the pipes and liner.

It is rarely the case; however, we always suggest you check with the manufacturer’s recommendations in case they advise connecting to a liner with a one inch greater diameter.

If you are not using a DEFRA approved stove it is recommended*2 that you convert to one inch larger when connecting your single wall pipe to the liner.  For example, a 5” diameter single wall pipe to a 6” diameter liner.

It is best to increase the diameter when connecting a liner as soot can build up in the pipe and liner and gradually restrict air flow.

*1 Some stoves and flue systems may be exempt from DEFRA regulations – check with your council for more information or contact us to discuss this further.

*2 It is not against the law to connect the pipe to the liner which have equal diameters, just not recommended.