TIPS FOR STOVE OWNERS

FROM THE HEATING EXPERTS

STARTING TO USE YOUR NEW STOVE

To get the best out of your new stove it must be ‘run-in‘ like a car. The first five burns should be taken gently, starting with a small fuel load and then building to a full fire load, allowing the stove to get cold again between each firing. This is especially important if your stove features any stone or ceramic panel options. These need to avoid thermal shocks as they build towards their function as heat exchangers. At the start you will not yet have a bed of heat-reflecting ash in your new stove, so on the first firing you can use some garden earth to cover the middle grate to help make it air-tight, otherwise the DAN SKAN air wash system will not perform the way that it is meant to. Each time the stove is burned and it reaches a new higher temperature than before you may see light smoke coming from the stove and smell paint fumes. This is perfectly normal as the bodywork paintwork begins to cure. Avoid touching any paintwork when it is hot, even when wear- ing a heat resistant glove, until it is fully cured. During ‘running-in‘ you should ensure that your room is well ventilated by opening a door or window to the outside air. 

PAINTWORK CURING

Please avoid touching the stove’s varnished surfaces and flue pipe (even when cool) when burning the stove for the first few times. In the early burns, the varnish will go soft first before it begins to harden into a durable and practical finish. 

Important:Leave the door open a little during this curing stage to pre- vent varnish marking the door gasket. 

ALWAYS LEAVE WOOD ASH IN THE GRATE

A well cared for stove will bring you the greatest pleasure. However, this does not mean that the fire chamber has to be cleared of wood ash every time you light a new fire – on the contrary: wood fires burn much better on a bed of heat-reflecting ash. Always leave a bed of old ash approximately 50mm (2") deep as this, along with the riddle grate in the closed position, will provide the ‘grateless‘ burning that wood fuel needs and also ensure that your stove‘s air wash system will be fully functional. The bed of wood ash will help protect the cast iron grate from over-heating and prolong its lifespan. Never allow the ash pan to overfill so that the ash touches the base of the grate, as again, this could over-heat the grate. 

AVOID THERMAL SHOCK

One of the practical features of many DAN SKAN stove models is the ability to use them for cooking and warming food. However, care should be taken to avoid placing cold saucepans and bowls etc directly on to any of the stove‘s hot surfaces, including ceramic and stone, as this could cause them to crack or break due to the sudden temperature change or localised and uneven
build-up of temperature around the vessel footprint.
Always use a metal trivet or ‘coaster’ which will provide a small air space between it and the stove. DAN SKAN trivets with metal feet, are available in the original stove bodywork colours of black (S) or grey (G).

Please ensure that your installer has used fire rope to create a small
air gap between the base of any stone or ceramic baking tray or front
plate so that they avoid direct contact with the stove’s metal bodywork.
This vital expansion gap will help prevent these from overheating
and potentially cracking or breaking.

CLEANING THE GLASS

Dirty windows and fire chamber walls are usually a consequence of a lack of combustion air (fire burning too low) or the use of damp or unseasoned wood and you should always try to investigate and remedy such problems.
All DAN SKAN stoves feature extremely tough ceramic glass which can be easily cleaned without using chemicals or proprietary cleaners by gently rubbing the stained area with fine wire wool, (No. 2 or No. 3 grade only) which incidentally, is actually softer than the surface of our ceramic glass. At the end of the burn cycle your stove may occasionally leave some light soot on the glass and, provided the wood fuel used has been perfectly dry (with a moisture content of less than 18%) you should be able to rub this sooting off with a bit of ash and some newspaper or kitchen roll.
You should do this each time you start a new fire to ensure that your view of the wonderful flame patterns your DAN SKAN produces remain undiminished. Healthy heating with a high percentage of radiant heat is possible with a DAN SKAN stove by incorporating heat storage elements such as our optional ceramics or natural stones which will convert the intense heat of your steel stove to a soft, more pleasurable, radiant warmth.

HEALTHY HEATING

Some people find that very dry warm or hot air in their living room makes them feel uncomfortable. Replacing some of the humidity in the room should help avoid this, as well as avoiding room temperatures which are too high.
A water-filed teapot or suitable humidifier placed on the stove surface (remember the trivet) will gently evaporate and raise the humidity level in the room as desired.

FRIENDLY TO ALLERGY SUFFERERS

DAN SKAN stoves are very friendly for allergy suffers. Unlike most other stoves, on a DAN SKAN stove the convecting back plate and side panels can be easily removed and the convection area thoroughly cleaned from dust, which would otherwise be moved around the room on the air currents.

PRECIOUS WOOD ASH

Once you‘ve extracted all that valuable heat from your wood fuel the ash that is left (and after burning a cubic metre there will only be around 2 to 4 kg of it) will still of be value in your garden. Ash from wood makes a great fertiliser because of all the precious potassium, calcium, phosphate, manganese and iron that it contains and that plants need.

FLUE PIPES

Where the installation allows, your stove will work better with a vertical top fitting flue pipe that is a minimum 60 cm high to provide a good ‘run-up’ for the flue gases. This pipe will also deliver some additional radiant heat into the room before the hot gases depart from the heating process via the the chimney or flue system. An inspection hatch is also recommended in this section of the flue system. Dampers may only be retro-fitted to cure strong up-draught problems and must only be specified and fitted by a suitably qualified installer who will ensure that the installation complies with local and national building regulations. The photographs in the DAN SKAN guide book are for illustrative purposes only and may not necessarily comply with your local and national building regulations.

BAKING COMPARTMENT COVER

Please only use baking compartment covers without stone/ceramic in the baking compartment. Side gaps as well as sings of wear from taking bake oven doors in and out are unavoidable and do not have any impact on the function.

IMPORTANT CERAMIC AND STONE INFORMATION

It is important to note that the craquelure (the fine pattern of hairline cracks) on our ceramic panels is typical for all stove ceramics and is a perfectly natural effect. It is simply part of the surface characteristics of the ceramic glaze which are created when the panel was originally fired and the different expansion properties of the materials have interacted. Over time the craquelure will become slightly more visible mimicking the delightful appearance of a beautiful antique tile.
Ceramic tops and panels should not cleaned when they are hot as the craquelure will have expanded and matter which is intended to be removed could be rubbed into these tiny cracks. Use a soft cloth and a mild household soap to gently rub the ceramics and ensure that all abrasive products are avoided.

Natural stones should only ever be cleaned with a moist cloth and with a hint of mild washing-up liquid. Soapy deposits can then be rinsed off with a clean moist cloth. Acetone can be used for severe grease stains but always select a discrete test area and ensure that it dries out normally before proceeding, making sure that it does not come into contact with any of the painted surfaces. One of the attractions of using natural stone panels is that each piece is unique with its individual surface characteristics created by natural and random processes many millions of years ago. Natural stone will therefore have its own colour and structure with subtle veins of grey, brown or white sediments – characteristics celebrated by artists and craftsmen throughout the centuries.
Soapstone has a lot of talcum in its composition and is therefore quite soft and liable to scratch. Small scratches can be disguised by using a graphite pencil and gently rubbing in to soften the colour. It may be possible to remove slightly deeper scratches by gently sanding these with some water and very fine surface wet and dry sandpaper. Again try these on discrete test areas.