I have made some bad decisions in my life, and since moving to Norfolk, it would seem I have made another one to add to the list. Many readers will recall the various tales of problems with the wood burning stove that we had installed. As there was no existing chimney, the pipework had to go through the ceiling in the living room, and out through the roof. We bought a quality stove, the best we could afford, and had the whole thing installed by a reputable company.
At first, it worked well. We sat contented in front of our lovely blaze, watching the flames flicker behind the glass door. The large living space was heated so well, that we rarely had to use the central heating system at the same time. It provided a focal point to an otherwise featureless room, and seemed to add to the overall feel of living in the countryside.
Then we began to see small water leaks appearing during very heavy rain. At other times, we had smoke entering the room, blown back by strong winds, that caused down-draughts. The installer came over, and completely rebuilt the whole system. We hoped that would solve the problem, but it didn’t. Long negotiations with the company supplying the equipment, the installer, and myself, eventually resulted in a suggestion. The chimney was not high enough to clear the roof-line, and that was causing the problems. This summer, we duly purchased an extension tube, and the outside of the chimney was increased by almost a metre. This left us with an unusually large chimney, on a one-story house. No matter, it seemed to work. Perhaps all the money spent was finally going to be worth it, and we had seen the end of over two years of problems. We lit the fire in October, and we were delighted to see it burning well, with no issues. We looked forward to a cosy winter ahead, enjoying the sensations offered by a real fire.
Today, it rained, for the first time in a while. It wasn’t light rain, but torrential, albeit for a short time. Later, I went into the living room, and discovered that water was once again leaking down the pipe, and splashing onto the top of the fire. I think if I was strong enough, I would rip out the whole thing with my bare hands, and throw it out onto the street, such is my frustration and annoyance. I have e mailed the installer, who has always done his best in the past. I know that he is running out of ideas though, as I am. I sit looking at the stove, sitting proudly in the centre of the side wall, unable to be used, mocking me with its coldness. I am also concerned about unseen water intrusion above, although I can find no evidence in the loft as yet. I can only see two options remaining. Throw more money at a problem that may never be cured, or have it all taken away, write off the money, and pretend that it never existed.
At the moment, I am too fed up to consider either of them.