There are many benefits of choosing a wood burning stove – the charm of a real fire, saving on your energy bills and using a renewable fuel. 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 stove rope seal around the stove door and replacing an old rope seal, if necessary.
This guide will direct you on how to replace the rope seal around your stove's door and why replacing door seals is an important part of servicing stoves.
The purpose of a stove rope seal
The primary purpose of sealing around your stove door or stove glass is to ensure that the stove is well insulated and that excess air or heat does not go into the firebox of the wood burner.
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 stove door seal is up to scratch. All you have to do is close the stove door so it holds a strip of paper between the door and stove body. If you can pull the paper out easily, it is a good indication that the rope seal is not good enough.
Another sign that your door seals should be replaced is that there are tar deposits on the glass of your wood burner.
Make sure to thoroughly check all around the glass door of the wood burner for any sign of faulty sealing. If you discover poor door seals, you will need to simply replace the rope.
Replacing stove rope seals
Fortunately, replacing rope seals is not a difficult job. All you need is fire rope, adhesive, gloves, potentially a screwdriver and a wire brush.
Many stove doors lift off quite easily from its hinges so this should not pose a problem. First, you should carefully remove them from their hinges and then lay the glass doors on a flat surface to work on. Make sure to rest the door on a cloth or blanket to protect the glass. The rope is usually nestled into a groove which runs around the edge of the door. Wearing protective gloves, use a screwdriver to lift the old rope and any glass clips. Next, use a wire brush to dislodge and remove any traces of old adhesive or glue. You can also use white spirit on the wire brush to intensify the cleaning of the rope grooves.
Your replacement rope must be a fire rope made from glass fibre and of the same thickness or width as the old rope. In our shop, you can find glass rope seals that come in a kit containing glass fibre stove rope seal (2m in length), rope adhesive glue and protective gloves.
Starting in the centre of the bottom of the door, lay the new rope around the rope groove. If you need to cut ends of the rope to reduce its length, make a clean cut that abuts neatly to the other end without leaving a gap. For the seals, some may use heatproof tape but we recommend to use a heat resistant adhesive as it is specially designed for use with stove rope.
Once you have cleaned the glass door and rope grooves, measure the new rope to fit the correct diameter. Wrap the rope around to check this. Then, run a bead of adhesive around the rope groove and firmly push the rope into place. You should push it down so as to create an airtight seal. Finally, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess glue.
After the replacement of the rope seal
Always check the manufacturer's instructions for the necessary drying time before you rehang the door and for the curing process i.e. when you can light up the stove. Run the stove at a low temperature at first to further harden the adhesive. Subsequently, conduct the paper test again to make sure your work has been successful.
A wood burning stove should be maintained properly to ensure its longevity and to make it ready for when the cold weather comes round again.
You can search for more products to maintain fireplaces and stoves in our shop.