How to avoid damage to firebricks
Firebricks are regarded as consumable and are not usually covered under the stove manufacturer's warranty so it pays to look after them. Damage to firebricks, whether they're the original refractory clay type or the newer vermiculite, can be minimised and the life of the firebrick extended if you follow these simple rules. • Always use a length of log that allows a minimum of approximately 20 to 25mm air gap at each end of the log and the side fire bricks. This will allow free passage for the combustion gases, which naturally exit at the end of the log, and avoid heat and condensate build up which over time will damage the bricks. • With the above in mind therefore try to avoid placing the log ends right up against the fire bricks. • Never 'throw another log on the fire' as the impact could easily crack both clay or vermiculite firebrick types and / or begin to 'chip' away at the compressed outer surface of the vermiculite thus leaving the inner core exposed and making it even easier to crumble every time it is knocked. When re-loading your stove therefore, wear a good quality heat resistant gauntlet and place any new logs exactly where you want them. This will also deliver you a much more satisfying fire – better looking and more efficient. • Never overload your stove as the excessive heat created from over-firing will over time shorten the life of the stove components, including the firebricks.