Click on the heading of the article in red to open the full article.
How do I clean the outside of the Pyroclassic and the flue pipes?
The powder coated panels on the Pyroclassic IV can be wiped clean with some light detergent and warm water. You can choose to do this with the panels on the fire or remove them for a more thorough cleaning. Be careful when you remove the front panel to not tear the insulating gasket which is on the inside of the panel: you will need to pull the centre of the panel forward slightly to allow it to clear the space behind it when you slide it up.
The stainless steel flue pipe can be cleaned using a soft cloth with a small amount of methylated spirits soaked into it. Try to avoid touching the flue pipe with your bare hands as this leaves oils from the skin on the pipe and becomes very hard to remove once the pipes have been heat cycled.
Can I use a heat transfer kit?
The simple answer is yes.
The thing with heat transfer kits is they work well with excess heat. The Pyroclassic IV produces a different kind of heat than your traditional 'black box' style wood fire. The black box fires spit out heat almost instantly as long as you keep refueling it regularly so will therefore provide you with excess heat which is why heat transfer kits are useful for these kind of fires. The Pyro on the other hand takes longer to heat up but once up to temperature retains this heat like a kiln and gives off a lovely, warm more consistent heat with less fuel needed once the cylindrical ceramic fire chamber is hot.
Many Pyro customers find this as the biggest advantage of a Pyro and have it going for 2-3 months solid during winter. However, it won't necessarily provide lots of excess heat for use in a transfer system. Our recommendation is to install the Pyro first before the transfer system as you may likely find you don't require one.
It is worth noting that in newer homes which have much better seals around doors and windows these kits can cause a negative pressure to build up in the room the fire is in as all the air is being sucked out. This results in the fire being starved of air and in some cases has even caused smoke from the starving fire being drawn back into the room. This same effect can also be caused by powerful range hoods and other fan forced systems in newer, more airtight housing.
If you are building a very airtight home, we recommend you put in an air vent, approximately the size of a fire brick. The Pyroclassic IV needs 3.6 cubic metres of air per kilogram of wood to operate effectively.
Why does my Pyroclassic not get as hot as traditional 'black box' style wood fires?
The Pyroclassic is not a conventional radiant heater. As with all fires it can only generate the heat available from the fuel loaded into it and a single kilogram of wood fuel, soft or hard wood, carries the same calorific value by weight, so if a 'black box' fire is using 3kgs an hour of fuel and yours is using 2 then the other has 50% more heat being generated during the same period.
A percentage of the heat from a 'black box' wood fire will be lost up the flue that would normally be captured in the ceramic cylinder of the Pyroclassic. However, this doesn’t generate more heat, it just recovers some of what might have been lost.
If you want more heat then more fuel and air is the way to generate it. Load an extra piece of fuel in each time and leave the Turboslide open for a little longer, this will build more heat quicker and get the cylinder up to a higher temperature.
The maximum temperature wood fuel can combust at is 1100c and the cylinder wall in your Pyroclassic is capable of withstanding temps over 1500c so don’t worry about getting your fire too hot. The other components like the first section of flue and the coloured panels will show signs of high temp levels long before the cylinder.
How does burning work with the Pyroclassic IV?
Solid wood must change to gas and vapour before any burning can take place. This change occurs by heating wood to high temperatures to make the best gas fuel, low temperatures will make smoke and tars that are simply unburnt fuel. The Pyroclassic® IV is a North/South burning fire so the fire is started in the front of the fire chamber and continues along the length of the wood to the rear. To make the best use of your firewood please ensure logs are placed lengthways into the fire chamber – NOT sideways. Your objective is to achieve a high temperature in the fire chamber quickly, which is easy using the Turboslide and dry wood. You will never get the fire to burn correctly if you try starting fires with green or wet wood. The only fuel authorised for use with this appliance within Urban Clean Air Sheds and Smoke Control Zones is well seasoned wood with a moisture content of 25% or less on wet weight basis, 12-18% is ideal.
When and how should I clean the flue?
Pyroclassic Fires are renowned for burning very cleanly when dry fuel is used but you should still always clean your flue once a year. This is often a requirement for many insurance companies.
Keeping your flue pipes clean will help eliminate the risk of a flue fire. Your flue is also a great indication of how your wood fuel is performing. If the pipes are clean then the wood is good, if the pipes are filling up with carbon, creosote and tar deposits then you may need to revisit the operating instructions and refresh yourself with how to create a cleaner burning fire.
The easiest way to clean the flue is by placing a deep baking tray or similar under the base of the flue and sweep the flue down into this, this stops all the debris from falling into the top chamber and requiring vacuuming out. Sweeping the flue into the top chamber is never a good idea as it can restrict the flow of gasses from the primary fire chamber and cause your fire to perform poorly.
To clean the top chamber and wetback, you will need to remove the top plate (it just lifts off) and clean out the top chamber of soot and creosote. Take care not to remove any of the Kaowool lining during cleaning and ensure that the gasket is all intact before replacing the top plate. Support the flue with a frame made of wood so you can easily remove the top plate.
The build-up around the wetback is best removed by hand. The wetback can be knocked out of alignment if it is moved when the creosote is being cleaned off so be careful as this can cause the constant rise to be knocked out of alignment and can result in water hammer developing in the system.
Why is the door glass small?
Big door glass = big waste of heat
Glass is a very poor insulator, which is not ideal when it comes to wood fires!
The original Pyroclassic fire did not even have a glass as the scientists wanted the fire to be as efficient as possible. Over time, consumers expressed their desire for a window into the fire which has resulted in the glass getting larger with each version.
The Pyroclassic IV has the largest door glass that can be fitted to the front of the fire as the glass retaining strips fit just inside the front opening of the fire chamber.
Why is smoke coming from my Pyroclassic fire into my room?
There are a few reasons why this could be happening:
- Negative pressure in the room - this can be caused by a household electric exhaust fan or severe pressure difference in a windstorm. Open a window to equalise the pressure.
- Severe down draft due to surrounding structures, hills, trees or roof layout.
- Most commonly, this is an indication your flue is blocked. Clear the obstruction and investigate the cause. Check the moisture of your wood and make sure you are burning good, dry wood. The flue pipe can block very quickly if you are burning wet or gummy wood. Make sure you are using a reliable chimney sweep as the Pyroclassic is different from other wood fires.
Download down draft troubleshooting info HERE.
How to replace the door to glass sealing gasket
Download the instructions here - Replacing-Door-to-Glass-Sealing-Gasket.pdf
Can I use other tools in my Pyroclassic fire chamber?
Depending on how the fire is used, the surface of the cylinder can wear and erode over time. This can be accelerated through using the wrong tools, such as a flat shovel to remove ash (shown below). As you can see, this has resulted in two carved grooves in the ceramic. Although this is not ideal, it is not of a major concern as the cylinder wall is over 35mm thick so it will not compromise the integrity of the structure and the surface can easily be repaired through the application of veneering cement, which can be purchased from our Online Shop.
How do I light my first fire?
1. Soak the reusable fire starters in methylated spirits. Tip: It is also handy to store the fire-lighters in a glass jar filled with methylated spirit.
2. Slide the Turboslide to the far right or far left position. This opens the air hole inside the door and allows air to flow through acting like an old fashioned pair of bellows.
3. Place DRY kindling and a few small logs lengthways in the front of the fire chamber leaving a clear space in front of the air inlet hole.
4. Place a soaked fire starter just under the kindling at the front of the fire chamber and light it. Try to avoid dripping methylated spirit on to any surface when doing this as it can discolour some hearth materials.
5. Close the door.
6. Once the fire is burning really well and you have a nice bed of hot embers, move the Turboslide to the central position (to cover the air inlet hole), this can be done slowly in several stages if preferred.
7. When opening the door to load more wood, slide the Turboslide to the far left or right open position, and continue as in number 6.