A fireplace, like a stove, often requires professional maintenance and sometimes repair. However, do not rush to call the master: you can do something yourself. Let’s discuss gas fireplace repair and maintenance; how can it be repaired?
- CLEANING THE GLASS OF THE DOOR
Sooner or later, carbon deposits form on the inside of the fireplace glass. There are several ways to remove it.
Method one. We moisten an ordinary household sponge with water, and then roll it in the ash from the combustion chamber. Carefully, trying not to apply too much pressure, we wipe the glass of the door. We will repeat the procedure several times until the carbon deposits start to wash off. Then wipe dry with toilet paper or paper towel.
Method two. Instead of ash, we will use a descaling agent for gas stoves. We will apply it to the glass in the form of copious foam, wash off the soot and wipe it with a clean cloth.
Method three. It implies the use of a chemical grease remover for glass ceramic surfaces. We spray it on the most polluted places and after 5 minutes we will wash off the carbon along with the foam.
- CHANGE THE GRILLE OF THE GRILLE
Even a child can cope with this problem. Carefully take out the old, burnt-out grate from the cooled fireplace, having previously cleaned it of ash. We put in its place a new one of the same size and the same configuration. If the lattice rests on brick ledges, we check their condition: they must be even and not have any damage. Otherwise, they will have to be disassembled and the grate put on a special stand, otherwise the fuel will burn unevenly and the efficiency of the
the fireplace will decrease.
- REMOVING SOFT FROM THE CHIMNEY
As long as the thickness of the soot in the chimney has not exceeded a critical level and does not particularly affect the operation of the fireplace, its further deposition can be prevented by folk methods. In particular, this is the use of table salt: the products of its combustion do not allow soot to accumulate on the walls of the chimney. Potato peelings are also used, which, when burned, release starch, as a result of which the soot softens and falls down. Another way is to heat the fireplace with aspen or alder wood. Their combustion is accompanied by such a high temperature that soot also burns out.
However, you can also use special tools for cleaning chimneys. They are put into the furnace along with the wood. Under the influence of high temperatures these substances rise through the chimney and destroy the soot.
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- FILLING THE CRACKS
Over time, cracks often appear in the masonry of a brick or foam concrete gas fireplace. This is due to the fact that during the heating and cooling process, the material changes its volume. For filling cracks, special compositions based on liquid glass are well suited. It can be a mixture of Polish production “POLY-R”, a sealant from SOUDAL, and other similar compositions for furnace work. Before applying the product, the damaged surface must be thoroughly cleaned of grease, dust and soot. For this, you can use acetone or any other solvent. When it comes to repairing joints, the first thing to do is to remove the remnants of the old mortar.
For larger-scale works, it is advisable to purchase a ready-made solution of chamotte mortar, which is sold in bags of 25-50 kg. For strength, Portland cement is added to the mixture, but not more than 15% of the total mass of the solution.
- CLEANING THE CHIMNEY
In the event that deposits inside the chimney begin to impair draft, it is necessary to perform mechanical cleaning. To do this, use a special tool: scrapers, brushes or a round brush, on which a metal core is suspended. We will select the tool based on the configuration of the chimney: for example, if it is round, a ruff is best suited, the diameter of which should be slightly larger than the diameter of the chimney. For a rectangular duct, it is more convenient to use a square metal brush.
Before starting cleaning, make sure that all the doors of the fireplace and chimney inside the house are closed.
Fastened on the roof with a safety belt, we lower the tool into the chimney and begin to clean the walls of soot by moving the brush up and down. If during the cleaning process some kind of jam is found, we will break it with the help of the kernel.
Sometimes it is not necessary to climb on the roof: the direct chimney serving the open fireplace can be cleaned through the firebox. In this case, you will need a brush with a long handle.
- INSTALLING THE PORTAL
A finished gas fireplace insert usually needs additional decoration. You can refine its appearance using a polyurethane portal purchased at the store. It is much easier to mount such a frame than to assemble a portal from plaster or wood.
First of all, we will lay out all the parts of the cladding on the floor and glue them together. Now let’s get down to editing. We attach the assembled structure to the wall and mark with a pencil the outline of the future fireplace. Apply the adhesive to the base and gently press the portal to it for one or two minutes, until the glue seizes.
ATTENTION ! Polyurethane is afraid of open fire, therefore, portals made of this material are suitable only for closed-type fireplaces.
- CHANGE GLASS
Cracked glass of the furnace door must be replaced. When choosing a new glass, you need to keep in mind that it must be a heat-resistant material that can withstand temperatures up to 550 ° C for a long time. If we talk about a short-term increase in thermal load, then for a single-layer structure, the load limit should be at least 750 ° C, and for a multilayer one – 1000 ° C. The optimum thickness of fireproof glass for the furnace is 4-5 mm.
The glass is attached to the back of the door using pressure plates that are bolted in place. To remove the old glass, it is enough to slightly unscrew the bolts and loosen the plates. When installing a new one, we carry out the entire procedure in reverse order: insert the glass, press it with plates and tighten the bolts.
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Neither rain nor snow will get into the pipe, if you protect it from above with a small gable canopy. Precipitation should not affect the operation of the fireplace and the functioning of the chimney. In addition, the canopy over the pipe will not allow birds to build a nest on it, which sometimes happens during a long absence of the owners. Nevertheless, foreign objects sometimes get into the chimney (for example, bricks falling out of masonry), so it is advisable to check it before the start of each heating season.
Household waste – plastic packaging, leaves and other waste – must not be burned in the gas fireplace! Another prohibition concerns the use of gasoline and other flammable liquids for ignition: the use of these means is fraught with fire in the chimney. Overheating of the fireplace must not be allowed: when laying firewood, make sure that they fill the firebox by no more than one third of its volume. When laying firewood, leave an air gap of 1 cm between them, otherwise the fireplace will smoke. The recommended thickness of the logs is 7-10 cm.
When firing up the fireplace, the presence of reverse draft is not allowed: the air flows should not go from the fireplace to the room, but vice versa – from the room to the fireplace, and then to the chimney. To prevent smoke from entering the room, all chimney dampers should be opened. If the ash pan is clogged with combustion waste, it will have to be cleaned, otherwise enough air will not get into the combustion chamber.
To avoid smoke, it is not recommended to open the fireplace door completely during fuel combustion.
The time of continuous operation of the device is always regulated by the manufacturer of the firebox, therefore, operating the fireplace in a longer mode can lead to its rapid failure.
To prevent soot from settling on the chimney, the fireplace should be heated with hardwood with a minimum resin content. This can be, for example, alder and aspen (but not birch) – they burn out completely, leaving no soot. In addition, hard rocks burn slowly.
Wood that has recently been felled is too wet for a fireplace, so it must be dried outside under a canopy for a year (or a little more).
Anthracite also belongs to the materials that hardly form soot when burning.
- GAS FIREPLACE
The fireplace of today is neither wood burning nor electric. The modern fireplace is gas. Instead of logs, there is a burner in it, to which, for supporters of the heating classics, refractory dummies of firewood, coal and ash are attached, imitating the real ones with maximum realism.
Usually the burner is hidden in a cast-iron body under tempered glass. For the circulation of warm and cold air on the fireplace portal, ventilation grates are provided. It is forbidden to operate a gas furnace without cladding: disruption of air exchange can cause a fire.
The top of the gas fireplace acts as a smoke collector. Combustion products enter the exhaust duct and exit the chimney. And the “accordion” from the ribs on the body of the smoke collector serves to enhance heat transfer, heat losses in such a fireplace are only 15%, while in a wood-burning fireplace they reach 70%. The advantage of gas fireplaces is their efficiency. It is achieved due to forced air exchange, a sealed combustion chamber and effective removal of combustion products in an isolated scheme. When choosing a gas fireplace, it is important to remember that the chimney in it serves not only for draft.
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