Inlet vent for open fire - ?

We have an open fire, which we use occasionally during the winter. I rather fancy opening up a vent in the floor, near the hearth, in order to feed the fire with air from the vent, rather than it sucking draughts in via the doors to the room.
Does anyone have experience of this? Is my thinking along the right lines? And what would I look for, at Screwfix, Wickes, etc?
TIA
John
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You need one of these
http://www.screwfix.com/search.do ;jsessionid=3LZAZKEXPGREACSTHZOCFFY?_dyncharset=UTF-8&fh_search=lump+hammer
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jal wrote:

yes.
Yes.
Well assuming you have a vented underfloor space, one or two 4" drain pipes, some cement, and a couple of - in my case - 6" drain covers..the sort of cast iron thingies that you put in drainpipe collectors and the like.

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I my memory is serving me correctly you used to be able to get telescopic ones that you lifted up when you wanted the vent to feed the fire. Was 50 years ago though.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I don't know whether you can retro-fit them - maybe you can if you have suspended wooden floors, but it would be a bit more difficult with solid floors.
My in-laws' bungalow (built in about 1960) had solid floors with under-floor ventillation for the open fire built in. ISTR that there was an airbrick in an outside wall, with a metal duct below the screed - terminating under the fireplace. I think the relevant bits were made by Baxi - but I doubt whether they make them now!
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

With suspended floors, and airbricks in the outside walls, is it necessary to use ducting? I would have thought that some sort of sliding grid to open and close a hole in the floor near the fireplace, would be sufficient.
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wrote:

Cold feet?
S
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Spamlet wrote:

The idea would be to help avoid cold feet, by providing airflow next to the fire, thus (hopefully) minimising the rush of cold air across one's feet.
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wrote:

Ah, but without that connecting duct: would you not be drawing cold air from outside, into the *whole* floor space? Thus, trying to reduce the direct draft across your feet might make the whole room colder.
Incidentally, when I had the floors up in our 1900s house, that had originally had fire places in all rooms - each with a stone slab beneath - I found the ends of all the cross beams supporting the floors where they abutted the hearth stones, had been charred, and, what with some of the full length beams having rotted where they rested in the wall, this made for a very springy floor indeed! Moral: be careful, and don't let any hot ashes get under the floor - which that duct you mention might have been intended to prevent.
Not by any means an expert on this though. Have similar dilemma after being conned into the benefits of a flueless fire. Ours may or may not be consuming its own emissions, but it sure does very quickly use up all the air in the room, so just tends to suffocate rather than poison. Like you, I am wondering how to get an air supply to this to make it safe, without causing the drafts. As the room is also getting musty as a result of the blocking up of the chimney when this wondrous new item was fitted, it may look pretty but in effect it has been a dangerous mistake.
S
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Spamlet wrote:

It sounds as if either the fire or its installation (or both) may be defective. Winter's coming - I hope you get it sorted soon!
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We have CH as well: the fire is mostly for show and to take off initial chill before the CH gets going. Of most concern is what another user may do when the house is sold on...
S
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

You could certainly get somewhere *near* the fire by doing that.
But my experience of suspended floors is that you still have a solid base for the fire itself and for the hearth - so you'd have to tunnel under that if you wanted to deliver the air right to the point of combustion.
My recollection is that, in my in-laws' bungalow to which I referred in an earlier post, the exit from the duct was right under the fire basket, and that there was a lever to open and close a valve to control the airflow.
** Newsflash ** - just done a Google - see http://www.c20fires.co.uk/fireplace_accessories/burnall.htm
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

Interesting. If we ever convert the garage for living space, I'd consider installing that. I don't see us retrofitting the fireplace in the living room, though.
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OP here: thanks a lot for a very useful and productive discussion.
To do the job right, I'll have to start saving for what Roger (and others) have mentioned: http://www.c20fires.co.uk/fireplace_accessories/burnall.htm
-- looks great!
John
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On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 17:54:52 +0100, "Roger Mills"

Correct. Baxi did an excellent fireplace with up to four pipes going to each house wall and all terminating in a chamber under the fireplace. The idea was that any prevailing wind provided forced draughts to the base of the fire.
Sadly the controls were a bit lacking and you got anything from a blast furnace of a windy day to a peat fire on a silent day. :)
Emptying them was rather difficult as well.
They were normally put into a new build as it went up due to the pipeing.
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That was their recommended installation practice.

Depended on situation

The basic ones were difficult. They also came with rotating asboxes or, like the one I have, an outside firedoor to empty the ash.

Easy enough to put into existing property. This house went up in 1844 and didn't have a Baxi until 1978. And it has 3' thick stone walls, fwiw.
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wrote:

I think you're thinking of the Baxi burnall (see http://www.c20fires.co.uk/fireplace_accessories/burnall.htm for an example).
We've got one. Certainly makes maintaining an open fire easier.
Tim

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Yes, of course Baxi still make underfloor-draught fireplaces and necessary bits.
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Quite a timely thead for me this as we're having the living room floor done and I was thinking that now would be the time to put such a vent in. However, I have one doubt. I remember chatting to a damp treatment bloke who told me that one of the problems with older properties is that they get damp as they were (to paraphrase) meant to be draughty and heated with coal fires. If I bring ventilation direct to the woodburner, will I be depriving the house of a beneficial airflow and exposing the house to the danger of damp/condensation?
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David wrote:

Yes, if it is a crappy rotten old period house and you haven't damp proofed it PROPERLY already.
;-)
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