If you have recently purchased a cast iron wood stove for your home, then you need to make sure that the device is placed a foot or more from your interior walls. Also, the stove pipe should be installed by a professional, and you should place a stone, cement, or fiberglass material underneath the stove. Once these tasks are completed, you are likely excited to start burning wood. There are a few more things you need to do to prepare the stove itself for wood burning, like some of the following things.
When you add wood to your stove and start a fire, the heat inside the stove will reach temperatures around 500 or 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat is absorbed by the cast iron and the high heats warm the air around the stove. The sides and top of the stove are not directly heated by the fire, but the heat is transferred through the small amounts of air that sit around the burning pieces of wood.
However, the very bottom of the stove will be subjected to constant and direct heat. This will cause the cast iron to heat up very quickly, and this can cause thermal stress against the metal. This stress is often relieved by the formation of a crack. Most cracks that form are small, but they will allow smoke to leak out of the stove. Also, cast iron will shift and warp slightly as it goes through numerous hot and cold cycles. The warping will cause the crack to open up further over time. While small cracks can typically be sealed, larger ones will require the purchase of a brand new stove.
Add Fire Bricks
The easiest way to keep cracks from forming on the bottom of your wood stove is to place fire bricks inside. Fire bricks are refractory ceramic bricks that can withstand extremely high temperatures without becoming damaged. Also, the bricks will reduce the transfer of heat from the burning wood to the bottom of the stove.
Fire bricks can be purchased from a masonry store or a stove and fireplace retailer. After purchasing the bricks, arrange them on the bottom of the stove so they cover as much of it as possible. Do not worry too much if there are a few openings or holes around the bricks. Smaller areas that expose the cast iron to high heat are less likely to form cracks than larger ones.
Cure the Stove
If you start a large fire when you first buy your stove, then you may be in for a shock when it releases a caustic smell that fills your home. All wood stoves are covered with a type of black paint that helps to keep the metal material from rusting over time. This helps to keep your stove in good working condition for many years. However, when you first start a fire, the solvents within the paint will burn off. This cures the paint, but the smell can be quite pungent if you burn a hot fire for several hours. Also, quick curing of that paint can cause it to crack and peel off more quickly. You should instead cure the paint slowly with a small fire.
Light Small Fires
Place two pieces of dry wood in your stove and light them. Allow the fire to go out afterwards and repeat the process three or four times until a strong chemical smell no longer comes from the stove. Build a large fire at this time that burns for several hours. If the larger fire does not produce a smell, then you can continue to use your cast iron wood stove normally. Watch out for peeling paint though, as you use the stove. You should touch up the paint with high-temperature stove paint after the heating season if you see paint coming off.
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4 November 2015
My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.