Wood stoves are an effective method of heating a home, but your stove needs to be maintained on a routine basis to ensure that the stove continues to function correctly and in a safe manner.
One of the most crucial things to do is to replace fire bricks, which are placed along the inside of the walls in the firebox of the stove when necessary. This is to shield the metal from excessive heat. However, accomplishing this feat can be difficult.
Throughout this guide, we have provided some tips on how to safely replace fire bricks and install new bricks in your wood stove.
Safety Precautions You Need To Take Before Replacing Firebricks
It is essential to turn off the wood stove and wait for it to reach its normal, operating, cool temperature before beginning the procedure of replacing the fire bricks. This is a vitally critical stove safety measure that should under no circumstances be ignored.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to wear safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask to protect yourself from any debris or dust that may emerge when working on your stove. This will help ensure that you do not get injured.
Products you will need
- Replacement fire bricks
- Heatproof Mortar
- Heatproof Screed for creating your own fire bricks
- Vermiculite fire bricks
- Board Adhesive
Steps To Replace Fire Bricks In A Wood Burning Stove
Remove the Old and Broken Fire Bricks
Once the wood stove is sufficiently cool, you need to pull out the fire bricks that are old and broken. You may need a chisel or other appliance to release the old, cracked fire bricks from the adhesive or mortar that might be holding them in place in the firebox. Make sure to also remove piles of ash and other debris from the inside of the wood stove using a small wire brush.
Measure the Replacement Bricks
Once the old, broken bricks are gone, you may take accurate measurements for the new fire bricks. This is a crucial step in ensuring that the replacement bricks will fit in the stove. Measure an old fire brick to see what size of replacement bricks you need. Make use of replacement bricks of the same material and dimensions as the originals. Usually, standard sizes should work for your wood burner.
If, for whatever reason, the standard bricks are not the same size as the bricks you are replacing, you can use Heatproof Screed to create firebricks that are of the size you require.
Apply the Mortar/Adhesive to the Bricks
If you are using clay fire bricks, you will need to add heatproof mortar to the back of every new fire brick. Similarly, if you are using vermiculite bricks, you need to apply board adhesive to each brick. This will keep the bricks from sliding around and keep them securely in place.
However, if you are creating your own firebricks from Heatproof Screed, then you do not need any mortar or adhesive.
Install the New Bricks
New firebricks can be carefully placed in the wood stove as long as any ash or pieces from the old, broken fire bricks has been cleaned out using a small wire brush and the mortar or adhesive has been applied to the brick (with the exception of bricks made from heatproof screed).
The brick will set in place with the use of heat. So make sure to start a fire in the stove after finishing the installation and it will complete the setting process.
When Should I Replace the Fire Bricks?
Fire bricks can be broken. Therefore, it is pertinent that they are replaced if there are any noticeable cracks or if they have broken into pieces. If you use a wood-burning stove, you should immediately replace any fire bricks that have broken. Replacing broken bricks extends the lifespan of your wood burner.
When the fire bricks in a wood stove are cracked, the trapped heat might be lost. By exposing the sides of the fireplace to excessive heat, this not only creates an inefficient fire but also makes them vulnerable to damage. If you don't replace the bricks immediately, your burners lifespan can diminish immensely.
Additionally, this could set fire to any combustible objects in the surrounding area.
Changing out the fire bricks in a wood stove is a job that calls for some know-how and precision, but can be accomplished with the correct equipment and some research. If you follow these steps, you should be able to safely change the fire bricks in your wood stove without damaging the appliance.
You can find replacement fire bricks in our shop.