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The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust
Professional chimney sweep service for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch & Dorset

Monday 25 March 2024

Replacing Fire Rope in Your Wood Burner: A Step-by-Step Guide (Updated)

Keeping your wood burner operating efficiently and safely requires a well-maintained fire rope. This guide will walk you through the process of replacing your old fire rope, including using fire rope tape to prevent fraying.

It's always recommended to have a competent person fit your fire rope such a chimney sweep or woodburner installer.

Before You Begin:

  • Safety First: Ensure your wood burner is completely cool before starting.
  • Gather your tools: Ruler, flat head screwdriver, small steel brush, damp cloth, utility knife or scissors, replacement fire rope (high-temperature ceramic fiber recommended, size based on your measurement), high-temperature fire rope tape, fire rope adhesive (usually included with the rope), and gloves.

Measuring and Ordering:

  1. Measure the diameter of the old fire rope: Use a ruler and simply pinch the rope between your thumb and forefinger to work out if the rope is soft or firm (most fire ropes are soft or firm) Fire rope comes in various diameters, so refer to the manufacturer's specifications or consult a chimney sweep if unsure.
  2. Measure the length of the fire rope channel (recommended method):
    • Avoid removing a section of the old rope. Instead, use a long piece of string or thin wire.
    • Carefully run the string or wire around the entire fire rope channel, following its path around the door opening.
    • measure its length. This will give you a good estimate of the fire rope length you'll need.

Alternatively (less accurate):

  • You can measure the top, bottom, and both sides of the fire rope channel opening separately with a ruler and add those measurements together.
  • Note: This method might not account for bends or curves in the channel, so it's better to order a fire rope slightly longer than your measurement to ensure you have enough.
  1. Purchase replacement fire rope: Consider buying a pack that includes fire rope tape and adhesive for a complete solution. Get a slightly longer length to count for miss measurement.

Replacing the Fire Rope:

  1. Remove the door (if possible):
    • Hinged doors: Simply unhinge them.
    • Pinned doors: Wiggle the door back and forth while lifting to release the pins.
  2. Place the door on a protected surface (like an old towel) to work on.
  3. Wear gloves throughout the process.
  4. Remove the old fire rope: Carefully pull it out of the channel.
  5. Clean the channel:
    • Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully remove any stubborn pieces of old adhesive or debris. Be careful not to scratch the glass.
    • Use a small wire brush to remove any remaining dust or particles from the channel.
    • Wipe the channel clean with a damp cloth and let it dry completely.

Prepare the New Fire Rope:

  1. Cut the new fire rope to the exact length you measured (no extra inches for trimming).
    • If using fire rope tape, wrap it securely around then cut ends to prevent fraying.

Install the New Fire Rope:

  1. Apply adhesive: Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using fire rope adhesive.
  2. Start at the bottom center of the channel and carefully push the new fire rope into the channel, ensuring a snug but even fit.
  3. Work your way around the door opening, pressing the rope firmly into the channel.
  4. Avoid overstuffing the channel, as this can create gaps and hinder proper sealing.
  5. If the rope is too long after installation, carefully remove a small section with scissors.

Reassemble and Test:

  1. Rehang the door on the wood burner carefully to avoid disturbing the fire rope.
  2. Close the door and check for proper sealing. There should be no gaps between the door and the frame.
  3. Let the adhesive cure completely according to the manufacturer's instructions (usually requires burning a fire for a few hours).
  4. Ensure your co alarm is in date and working.
  5. Do a test burn: Start with a small amount of wood and monitor for proper operation, leaks, or unusual smells. If you have any concerns contact your chimney sweep or stove installer.

Feeling Uncomfortable?

If you're unsure about any step, consult your appliance manual or get in touch with a professional chimney sweep for assistance.

Bournemouth Chimney Sweep
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This article was written by Jim Chim-in-ey

An insurance approved chimney sweep 

JC sweeps all open fires, wood burners and stoves.
Covering Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford Forum, Wimborne, Christchurch and Dorset.

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