Innovative solutions to common problems

Dean Fletcher, chimney system specialist for Stovax Professional XQ, discusses the common problems faced by installers and explains how product innovation can hold the key to meeting many of these challenges…

Product Innovaton could hold the keyThe increased demand for wood burning and solid fuel heating installations has spurred a growth in the renewable energy sector over the last ten years, according to HETAS, who are the official body recognised by Government to approve woodburners and other heating appliances. As a result, there are an increasing number of flue systems being installed across the country and this increased demand has brought with it the need for higher product quality standards as installers strive to maintain both efficiency and safety in the field.

Evaluating feedback from both retailers and installers alike, many of the common issues or concerns in the industry can be categorised into the three areas of system stability and suitability, installer safety and product supply.

System stability should really be a prerequisite to any installation being completed, however, achieving this can often be far from easy given the numerous and diverse architectural obstacles that make up our homes. The twin wall pipe lengths themselves can add to the structural integrity with the introduction of a twist locking connection system, a wonderful design development that also makes for swift installation.

Extra support can be provided for a flue pipe run of up to 3 metres after the last wall bracket by the introduction of structural locking bands where the flue lengths connect. These can also offer additional strength when used around the eaves. Negotiating the overhanging eaves has always been a particular challenge, as you can easily loose lateral support to what is essentially a vertical system. In addition to the use of structural locking bands, our product development team has created a new long adjustable bracket extension system that securely braces the installation up to 532mm out from the wall, greatly improving its rigidity and negating effects of lateral forces.

The ingress of water or moisture into the property can cause untold decorative and potentially structural damage within, so eliminating this from your installation is paramount. There are a number of flashings on the market and it is imperative you select the one most appropriate for the pitch of the roof. Although a good quality flashing should give a suitable seal around the flue pipe as it enters the property, it is always advisable to enhance this and provide protection longevity with the addition of a storm collar, an additional component that offers a second seal with a greater surface contact area to the flue pipe directly above the primary flashing connection.

The addition of a bright, stainless steel flue system to a property can often be seen as impacting the aesthetics of the area. As a result, planning departments, the national trust and national parks often impose restrictions on this and may stipulate a colour requirement. The Professional XQ range can be powder coated to virtually any colour enabling the system to meet any such colour restrictions and help it to visually blend in with the surrounding structures or landscape.

Safety at height is of paramount importance. By the nature of the industry, the added element of height is unavoidable, so any methods or products that can be employed to bring a safer working environment are welcomed by all. Recently we were pleased to introduce a ‘captive nut’ connection system across our range that affords the installer single handed connection, freeing up a hand allowing them to retain safe contact with the ladder or platform.

To ensure continued developments and improvements within the industry, it is crucial that good Good relationships between installer and supplier are crucialrelationships are nurtured between installer and supplier in which communication and feedback are encouraged.  Not only will this provide expert advise and support in the field, but it is only through this exchange that we can get to the true heart of any issues and with it can continue designing integral features or components to make high quality chimney systems that are easier, quicker and safer to install.

The Stovax Heating Group take great care to ensure that all its products are designed tested and manufactured to the very highest possible quality and safety standards. As such they are only available from experienced, independent retailers. For more details on this specific range, please contact the dedicated Professional XQ team on 01392 474040 or visit



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