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Fire Bricks - When do they need replacing?

The summer is the best time to do any maintenance on your woodburning stove, as you aren’t using it frequently and if parts have a lead time on them, you can order them ready for the Autumn when the nights start to draw in.

Vermiculite is a brilliant material for the interior of fire chambers with its insulative properties however due to its position in the stove, they often bear the brunt of everyday use when burning your fire.

There are several things to look out for to see if you need new fire bricks:

  • Cracks, although hairline cracks are not a reason to replace a brick set, larger cracks causing sections to move, or crumble will require replacements. Cracks like this are caused by impact, if a log is thrown into the chamber a little bit rougher than normal, or if the door has been forced shut on a log that is too big. Try to make sure you reload when the flames have died down and don’t overload the stove with fuel.

  • Crumbling of the bricks is caused by moisture and often starts as peeling of the surface. Commonly this is caused by the air controls not being left open during the summer months and condensation building in the chamber but it could also be a sign of moisture from your fuel. Make sure you are using good quality dry fuels.

  • Discolouration, vermiculite is normally a light sandy colour, if the bricks have a reddish or pinkish tinge to them, this can be a sign that the stove has been over-fired or burnt at excessive heat for a prolonged period. Try to avoid overloading the stove with too much fuel. It would also be worth double-checking you are burning the correct fuel for your appliance, sawn timber and house coals are not advised.

Genuine replacement fire bricks are available from our website in the spares area.

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