Regular maintenance of Fire Bricks
Whether you have a modern or older Metro wood fire, maintaining it regularly to the manufacturer’s instructions is important to maintain its safety, performance and longevity. Most wood burners and flue systems have Fire Bricks and parts that are designed to be replaced or cleaned periodically. It is also not uncommon to find wood burners that have been damaged due to deferred maintenance or improper use.
Your Metro fire will give you many years of efficient service with minimal maintenance if operated correctly using seasoned fuel. Your Metro fire must be regularly maintained and replacement parts must be authorised Metro fires parts only. The Metro radiant fires are painted wood fires and coated with ‘Pioneer Metallic Black’ high temperature paint and will require periodic repainting to keep them looking their best.
All other Metro fires are coated with vitreous enamel. Vitreous enamel is extremely durable and designed to last the life of the appliance. As vitreous enamel is glass, a solid or heavy object dropped or banged against a panel could chip the enamel surface.
All model Metro fires can be cleaned with a soft cloth when the appliance is not in operation. Do not use abrasive or solvent based cleaning agents.
Providing your fuel is properly seasoned, under normal operating conditions the air-wash design of the Metro’s firebox will keep the door glass clear. If the glass requires cleaning you may use either a razor blade scraper or crumpled wetted newspaper dipped in wood ash rubbed over the glass. If your door glass breaks it must be replaced with 5mm thick ceramic glass which is available from your local Metro retailer.
Door seals and adjustment
Over time, usually 3-4 years, the door and glass seals will stiffen and allow air to leak into the firebox, causing the appliance to ‘over fire’. Your Metro retailer stocks replacement woven fibreglass door and glass seals to replace your worn ones.
The door of your Metro is easily removed. Hold it in both hands, open at approx 45 degrees and lift the hinge end of the door up and over the top hinge pin, then lower the door from the bottom hinge pin.
Provision is available on both sides of the door to enable adjustment if required. To adjust the hinge end of the door, open the door fully, loosen the top hinge nut and slightly lift the latch end of the door; you will see the hinge assembly move back 1-2mm which will usually be sufficient. Retighten, then repeat by loosening the lower hinge nut, this time applying a slight downwards pressure onto the door to move the lower hinge assembly back a similar distance, then retighten.
The door latch is also adjustable, as the latch pin on the right hand side of the firebox is fitted through a slot which enables the latch pin to be loosened, moved back and re-tightened.
Hair-line cracks are not uncommon and are a result of the intense heat within the Metro’s firebox, coupled with mechanical damage caused by accidental impact when fuel is being loaded. However if the side bricks become cracked to the extent that they start to break up, the Fire Bricks must be replaced.
Over a period of time ash will build up in the base of the Metro’s firebox and require removal. The time this build-up takes depends on the density and cleanliness of your fuel. To remove the excess ash your Metro should not be operating. Fire Bricks.
- Open the door, and using a hearth shovel or similar, empty the excess ash directly into a steel or non-combustible container.
- If the ash is not disposed of immediately, be careful where you store it, as the ash can retain heat for many days and become a fire hazard.
- You must leave a bed of ash in the base of the firebox approximately 10mm deep; this insulates the base of the firebox and improves combustion.
Top baffle and promet extension (white board)
This is a ‘sacrificial’ part of the firebox and should be checked monthly. Usually only the ‘promet’ (white board) front/underneath section needs to be replaced when it starts to disintegrate. Cracks in the promet are not uncommon and have no adverse effect on the operation of your Metro. These cracks are the result of intense heat coupled with expansion and contraction. If the promet begins to breakup and crumble into the firebox, then it must be replaced. Burning wood which is not properly seasoned, i.e. to 25% moisture content or more, will expedite this disintegration.
Should be checked annually, particularly the bottom end of the lower flue section at its rear lock formed joint. If deterioration is noticed contact your Metro retailer or installer.
The flue pipe should also be swept a minimum of once a year, or as required during the winter season. Chimney cleaning is important to prevent chimney fires and to guarantee maximum heat output from your wood fire.
If smoke enters the room when you open the Metro’s door this usually indicates the flue pipe is becoming restricted and needs cleaning. The frequency of flue pipe cleans depends on many factors, with the main variables being:
- The seasoning of the wood. If not properly seasoned you will require frequent flue pipe cleans.
- The density of the wood. Softwoods generally result in more creosote build-up in the flue pipe.
To clean the flue pipe of your Metro, proceed as follows:-
- Open the Metro’s door fully, reach inside with the palm of your hand face-up and extended, lift the top baffle approximately 20mm, then lift it forward out through the door opening, placing it on a sheet of newspaper you have placed on the front of the floor protector.
- Close the door and slide the air control to the left Fire Bricks.
- Once on the roof, remove the cowl from the top of flue system and sweep the flue pipe using a 150mm-diameter flue pipe brush as detailed in the instruction manual provided with the fluebrush.
- Once the flue pipe is clear, clean and refit the cowl. Remove the excess soot which has fallen into the firebox, leaving a layer of ash 10mm deep on the base of the firebox, then refit the top baffle. The baffle must be fitted so its rear is touching the back wall of the firebox. If uncertain please refer to your Installation/Operation manual which shows illustrations of the correct baffle location Fire Bricks.
For further maintenance and operation instructions on Metro wood fires, download an operation manual here