Most manufacturers will recommend that the seal be inspected for signs of wear on a regular basis. Some manufacturers will recommend that the seal be replaced every 12 months.
Of course, the frequency of replacement really depends on how often the stove is fired. We would certainly recommend that if the stove is used frequently, the seal should be inspected and replaced as soon as the door doesn’t compress the seal as well as it used to.
To determine whether the door seal is in good order it can be checked by using the ‘strip of paper test’ described in our instructions for replacing a seal.
Seals around the window glass are not subject to the same forces of compression as seen on the door and generally speaking they do not need to be replaced quite as often. When they do need replacing we have a range of tapes and small diameter ropes that will do the job.
The seals in wood, pellet and multi-fuel stoves are referred to using a number of different names including – Fire rope, glass rope seals, rope seals, fiberglass stove gaskets, thermal rope seal, stove rope.
All these names refer to high temperature glass fibre rope. They all serve the same purpose - to ensure that the stoves gases and fumes are efficiently extracted through the flue system and not allowed back into the room. They also ensure efficient burning of the stove by controlling where the air is allowed to enter the stove. Air should enter through the stove’s vents and not through any gaps between the door and stove body.
The Right Door Seal
There are a myriad of stoves on the market from manufacturers around the World. Obviously, one of the best ways to ensure you choose the right replacement seal is if you are fortunate enough to have the User Manual and it gives information on the diameter of the door seal.
Sometimes, even this information is not always enough because the stove designer may have chosen a seal with a particular compression. Generally speaking, seals can be graded as soft
or medium density.
If you take a look at the old seal in your stove it is likely to be sat in a channel/groove. The majority of these seals are fixed into place using adhesive sometimes referred to as stove gasket cement. Poor quality adhesives can lead to early failure of the seal because the adhesive will deteriorate with the heat from the stove and allow the seal to become loose or even partially drop away from the door.
We only offer high quality adhesives/cements as used by the professionals and original equipment manufacturers.
How to measure your old seal and work out what size and type to order
Stove Door Seals
The rope seal in the door will have started life as a round seal. As the door is closed tight the seal is designed to flatten and fill the gap between the door and the stove frame.
Start by measuring the width and depth of the channel
Gently prise a section of the old seal out of the channel - just enough to be able to measure the width of the channel with a ruler. Measure across the channel in millimetres and record the measurement
If some adhesive residue is left in the channel, take an old screwdriver and carefully remove the adhesive until it is possible to measure how deep the channel is.
The depth of the channel can be measured by printing off the width/depth template (download the pdf document here). The template can be printed onto a thick sheet of paper or you can glue / tape the paper onto a piece of stiff card and then cut out the appropriate template for the width of the channel.
Push the template into the channel and make sure it reaches the bottom. Use the rounded end if the channel is ’U’ shaped, or the straight end if the channel has a flat bottom. With a pencil or pen mark the template where the top of the channel is. Remove the template and measure in millimeters from the rounded or flat base to the mark.
For example, if the channel is 12mm wide and 9mm deep then always choose the largest measurement. In this case it is likely that a 12mm diameter seal would be needed. However, in some cases, if a soft seal has been used, the seal may have started life as a 14mm diameter and would have been squeezed into a narrower channel.
So, it is always a good idea to closely examine the old seal. Some parts of the seal will probably be more worn than others. Try to choose a section that doesn’t look too bad.
If the old seal can be moulded back to a circular shape then place a ruler across it and see how wide it looks to be. This information along with your measurements of the channel should give you a very good indication of what size to order.
The only other decision to make is whether you need a soft seal or medium density seal and the colour (grey-black or white).
- Soft seals can easily be compressed between the fingers – usually, it is possible to press a soft seal down to less than half of its original diameter.
- Medium density or firm seals will offer more resistance when squeezed. They may only compress by a few millimeters. Medium density seals will not usually compress below 50% of their original diameter.
If you are still unsure what size to order –
We offer a special free of charge service to those customers, who, after examining their worn rope seals and the door channel are still unsure as to what size to order.
Cut off a section of your worn seal (choose the best looking section) about 75mm – 100mm long and pop it in the post to us along with the following information:
- The make and model of your stove.
- Your full name and address.
As soon as we receive your sample we will examine it and send you a small section of new seal so that you can check how it fits into the channel of your stove door.
Obviously, the seal should be a snug fit in the channel. When in position the seal should sit proud of the channel so that when the door is closed it flattens to create the necessary seal.
If you are happy with the new seal sample, make a note of its diameter/reference and order the appropriate kit online when you are ready.
The Window Glass Seal
Stove manufacturers choose various methods and materials for cushioning and sealing the high temperature ceramic window glass in the stove door.
Carefully remove the stove door and place it on a suitable cushioning material such as cardboard or old sheets. Look at how the window glass is fixed in place and carefully remove any framing materials to reveal what sort of sealing method has been used around or on the edge of the glass itself.
The sealing materials used vary from one manufacturer and stove model to another.
Some stoves have single panes of glass whereas others are double glazed.
Stoveseals can offer the following products:
Glass Fibre Ladder Tape – adhesive backed
Ladder tape – sometimes referred to as channel tape is specially constructed so that it will fit around the edge of the glass and a seal is created on both sides of the window.
The ladder tape is supplied with an adhesive backing to make application of the tape easy and to ensure the seal stays in place during re-assembly of the frame system.
These ladder tapes are available in different widths and thicknesses. Typical sizes are shown on our products page along with a photo showing how they wrap around the glass.
Glass Fibre Tape – adhesive backed
Some stove designs don’t use a ladder tape system. Instead they use an adhesive backed glass fibre tape applied on one or both sides of the window glass. Common sizes are shown on our products page.
Small diameter glass rope seal
In some cases the window glass will be clamped down against a small diameter glass rope seal that fits in a channel - typically, a 3mm or 4mm diameter glass rope.
Special construction ladder /channel tapes
We are able to offer replacement seals where special seals are used. With this type of seal we would ask you to send us a piece of the old window seal so that it can be matched.