How to Replace a Stove Door Rope Seal

How to Replace a Stove Door Rope Seal

There are many good reasons for choosing a wood burning stove – the charm of a real fire, saving on your fuel bills and using a renewable source of energy. When working as intended, a wood burner is remarkably efficient, but, like any appliance, it does need proper maintenance to maintain top performance. Most stove manufacturers recommend an annual cleaning and service in the spring.

One important aspect of the service is testing the rope seal around the door. A poor seal allows too much air into the stove which can lead to over-firing, that is, burning at too high a temperature. 

This is inefficient, wastes fuel and can eventually damage the stove itself. It is easy to find out if your door seal is up to scratch. Close the door so it holds a strip of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, then the seal is not good enough. Make sure to check all around the door.

Fortunately, replacing a rope seal is not a difficult job. Many stove doors lift off quite simply and can be laid flat to work on. Rest it on a cloth or blanket to protect the glass. The rope is nestled into a groove which runs round the edge of the door. Wearing protective gloves, use an old screwdriver or something similar to lift the old rope and a wire brush to dislodge and remove any traces of old adhesive.

Your replacement rope must be proper heat resistant rope made from glass fibre and the same thickness as the old one. Starting in the centre of the bottom of the door, lay the new rope around the groove. If you need to trim the end, make a clean cut that abuts neatly to the other end without leaving a gap. You also need a high temperature adhesive designed for use with stove rope.

Once you have cleaned the door and measured the new rope to fit, run a bead of adhesive around the groove and firmly press the rope into place. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess adhesive. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the necessary drying time before you rehang the door and when you can light up the stove. Run the stove at a low temperature at first to further harden the adhesive. Conduct the paper test again, just to make sure your work has been successful and then you will be ready for when the cold weather comes round again.

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