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Old 6th Oct 2012, 4:09 pm   #1
mark pirate
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Default Belling 212 electric fire

I spotted this at a car boot sale this morning, the guy selling it told me it was in working order and wanted a fiver for it. After a look round it was still there, so I haggled and got it for two quid .

Apart from the replacement mains cable? it is all original. After a quick safety test I gave it some power and it does indeed work fine. I will give it a good clean and fit a more suitable mains lead.

No doubt it will come in handy in the workshop this winter!

I guess it must date from the 50's, as I can remember my parents having one very similar back in the 60's and it was quite old then.

Mark
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 5:48 pm   #2
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Nice find there Mark and all for the price of a pint (beer that is, not milk!)

I'd agree that it dates from the early 60s and no doubt someone was only too pleased with their purchase as it would mean no longer having to sweep out the dirty old grate. Just plonk one of these on the fireplace and voila! Clean, instant heat.

They certainly look inviting with the 'coals' lit and an element or two glowing. Bit pricey to run these days though....

Look forward to seeing it all cleaned up with those reflectors really shining.

Steve
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Old 6th Oct 2012, 9:29 pm   #3
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

I have the 3 kW version of one of these in my garage in the same colour scheme. I was given it in the late 1970's. The third element element is shoehorned between the other two and so does not produce a focussed beam.

My mother still has one of the 2 kW models that was bought new in the mid-1950's. It is in light brown crackle finish rather than black. I remember that, in our previous house, we ran it on both bars from a 5A socket when we were still on 200V mains. It was only used intermittently on full power, and it was several years before the fuse blew! My father then drilled a hole though the wall to the kitchen and ran a cable through for a 15A socket that could be plugged into the kitchen 15A socket when it wasn't in use, this being the only other socket in the house at that time. BC adaptors connected to the light sockets via double adaptors was still the arrangement for the other rooms!

After we had moved house, one bar was too much for the front room where the fire was then used, so in the early 1970's I connected a suitably-rated silicon diode across the switch of one of the elements to provide a 500W setting. I didn't appreciate the possible effects of half wave rectification on the mains supply at the time, but I don't suppose it would have been enough to cause problems.

Our cats associated the lit coal effect with heat, and used to happlily bask in front of the fire when it was plugged in and lit up, but with the elements switched off.
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 11:17 am   #4
mike_newcomb
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Hi Mark,

Above the fire light bulb (often low wattage and red) there may be a fan to create a flickering effect.

If you find the fan is not turning well, use a soft lead pencil to 'lubricate' the point/cup where the fan turns on its axis.

Good luck - Mike
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 3:06 pm   #5
mark pirate
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

It's now been given a good clean, the reflectors have come up like new as have the aluminium strips at the top and bottom of the reflector. The 'coals' have been washed clean and a new bulb fitted.

Mike, there is indeed a fan above the bulb. I levelled the bent blades and it now works fine, thanks for the tip.

Quote:
Bit pricey to run these days though....
I will only use it for a boost to warm the workshop quickly, I use a modern halogen heater and a retro caravan gas fire for general heating.

I do like the flickering 'coals' though, very retro!
Here is how it looks now.


Mark
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 5:50 pm   #6
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

I once calculated the running cost of portable heaters and found electric less expensive than bottled gas.
Not so in rented places with pay as you go though.
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Old 8th Oct 2012, 12:09 pm   #7
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Nice period piece, well done for saving it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee View Post
I once calculated the running cost of portable heaters and found electric less expensive than bottled gas.
That's interesting. And no water vapour/condensation or risk of CO poisoning too.

And I suppose most people have far better-insulated homes than back in the fifties, so a given amount of heat goes further too, which is something to consider when calculating running costs.

N.
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Old 8th Oct 2012, 4:03 pm   #8
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Certainly a nice old heater.
As regards running costs, electricity varies a bit according to tarrif, and bottled gas varies a lot according to where purchased and size of cylinder, therefore no definate statement can be made as regards running costs.

Gas is definatly safer if the appliance or surroundings might get wet.
Electricity is probably safer in most other circumstances.
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Old 26th Nov 2023, 8:46 pm   #9
jennywren55
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire.

Hi Chaps.

I'm trying to source a radiant bar element for my 90 year old mum's Belling 212 2Kw electric fire.

Can anyone tell me the length of the bar between the fixing points?

Any help would be appreciated. Mum loves her fire and has used it every year since she bought it in the late 50's.

Many thanks,

Jenny

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Old 27th Nov 2023, 11:09 am   #10
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Smile Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Hi,
The radio & TV shop I worked in back in the 70s used to sell replacement nichrome resistance coils for hot plates & electric heaters. I can't remember if resistance wire was also available to rewind fire bars.
Cheers, Pete.
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Old 27th Nov 2023, 11:35 am   #11
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Goog luck finding a replacement element. The central bar of my Belling 212 was broken, and when I started using it as a radiant heater in our verandah during the time in Covid where you could have visitors in your garden. I tried to get a replacement element. I couldn't find any of the exact length on line, but did find a suppier of vintage spares in the West Country that had a range of elements. They had one (and only one), that was only an inch shorter. I bought that, and found a U-shaped piece of steel in my junk box that I used to bridge the gap.
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Old 28th Nov 2023, 9:30 am   #12
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

My life seems to have a lot of coincidences this week. I drove past the factory where they made these about 20 minutes ago!
Burnley, Eastern Avenue, my mum worked there in the early 70s. It's an aerospace engineering works now. She worked just up the road at the Lucas factory too.
Nichrome is a good choice to rewind, but there are other similar alloy resistance wires they also used. I have a roll in the drawer at my unit. It is possibly too thick, but if not, you can have it for the postage cost.
If I don't get back by midday, assume it is too thick. Minus three here, so I will look when I've fed the stray cats.
When I was a science tech in a Scottish school, I used the 'flame effect' discs which sat on the glass lamp spike of these fires to demonstrate radiant heat.
It's amazing the stuff ones' mind is full of...
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Old 28th Nov 2023, 7:49 pm   #13
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

If it's of any use, I was recently given a 1000 watt "pencil type electric fire element" - that's the box description anyway. Length 11 and 3/4 inches, described as "suitable for Belling PTB 102 X/T 1125B". Made by Wellco, no date on the box but it looks new.
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Old 29th Nov 2023, 10:26 pm   #14
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

A correction to my earlier post: now that I have looked at the fire again, I remember that the U-shaped bracket was something I did try, before finding a steel hex spacer in my odds and ends that had the same thread as the element, and was the right size to make it fit. A nut and bolt provided fine adjustment. NB the element was not switched on in the photo: the red colour is the colour of the ceramic rod.

The original elements measure at just over 11 1/2". The longest replacement I could find was 10 1/2".

The GEC catalogue of 1911 explicitly stated that their mains plugs and sockets would safely handle those multiples of their rated currents.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 3:55 pm   #15
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

I remember these fires well, and in my opinion I much prefer the method used to rotate the fan blade, which is silent, unlike our new fire with the coal effect driven by a motor, which is relatively noisy.
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Old 23rd Jan 2024, 5:09 pm   #16
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Surprised no one has mentioned that lovely MK plug!

I'd have been happy to pay £2 just for that.
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Old 23rd Jan 2024, 6:59 pm   #17
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

I'd replace the twin and earth with some proper flex, though...
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Old 23rd Jan 2024, 9:57 pm   #18
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Hi Folks, I believe E Spares and some other suppliers have spare bars available.
If all else fails I have some Nichrome or Oxy-Ferry wire available that would do for a rewind

Ed
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 1:06 pm   #19
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
Our cats associated the lit coal effect with heat, and used to happlily bask in front of the fire when it was plugged in and lit up, but with the elements switched off.
Lovely fire! Brings back memories… my parents had one. On chilly days, my mother would frequently “turn the glim on” as she termed it, lighting up the coals with no heaters energised. It’s the placebo effect, but it’s interesting to see that it affects animals as well as humans!
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Old 24th Jan 2024, 5:21 pm   #20
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Default Re: Belling 212 electric fire

Yes, ColinB!

I had noticed the twin and earth cable aswell.

I do hope the OP (Mark) re-uses that vintage MK plug on the new mains lead.

I know it doesn't have shielded pins, but it's just too nice to not use it. Please don't just throw it away, Mark!

Some nice, good quality, cloth-covered flex like this (see pic) and that fire will be in fine fettle.
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