Solid Fuel Stove Maintenance
Solid fuel servicing is often an unknown variable when people purchase stoves and similar appliances. Yes it’s true that many stoves can last a very long time but their internal components often do not.
The internal stones and grates of an appliance are designed to survive the rigours of use however they do decay, wear and occasionally break. Repeated opening and closing of doors degrades rope seals which will eventually require replacing. Check out, How to Replace Your Rope section page.
Controls and hinges can become loose or siege with time. Castings can even crack. It is advisable that you use your stove manufacturer for these replacements, as they will be specific to your stove.
Door Glass can be broken but more often becomes scratched or milky with use, replacing glass is not as straightforward as replacing the glass of a house window. The glass used in stoves is often a clear pyro ceramic which is held in place with heat proof fixings and sealed with a specially sized fibre glass rope. It is specially treated and pre-cut with bevelled or smooth edges to prevent early failure.
If you need to replace your glass it is best to get it from your stove supplier, but sometimes this isn't possible. SIS is a good website that deals with replacement glass. Click on the link below which will take you to the SIS website where you can find out how to measure and buy your glass.
The firebricks in a stove reflect heat back into the fire which allows for a hotter, cleaner burn but these are wear items and will need replacement from time to time. You can buy replacement bricks online, however, it can be difficult finding the exact measurement if you don't know the model or serial number of your stove, or whether the supplier still exists. SIS website will show you how to measure your brick and calculate what you need and buy from them at a reasonable price. Click the link below to find out how to do this.
The best person to use for solid fuel servicing is a professional Chimney Sweep or Hetas registered installer who is also trained and experienced in service and maintenance. The HETAS H009 is the de facto qualification in the U.K. for this type of work although those who hold the H003 will also in many instances be competent to undertake this work.
Experience is very important when servicing is involved as there are so many appliances only time and practice can teach.
There are some huge possible risks to the stove user who avoids or neglects the necessary maintenance and sweeping intervals:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning even death
- Chimney fire
- House fires
- Invalidated warranties
- Invalidated home insures
- Shortened appliance lifespan
- Greatly increased running costs
- Excessively polluting the air we breathe
- Loss of enjoyment. (Remember that your stove should be a thing of joy).
The risks are very real and significant.
If you are unsure of what you must do yourself then call a local approved chimney sweep and ask advice. Although the advice in this post is good it is not specific to your particular appliance. You must take professional advise specific to your particular installation and follow the guidelines set out by the appliance manufacturer and your home insurance company.