For optimum stove performance it is crucial to ensure a tight seal when you install the fire door gasket in your pellet stove. If it is not sealed properly, problems associated with air leaks such as vacuum error and a lazy flame could occur. Vacuum errors may prevent your pellet stove from starting up. Some pellet stoves, especially newer stoves, will display vacuum errors on your control panel. A pellet stove with a properly sealed door gasket will have a lively dancing flame, but a stove with an improperly installed gasket will not have a robust flame, the flame more still. I refer to this as a lazy flame and the stove will not heat your house as effectively. I always use a high quality graphite gasket when servicing pellet stoves and for my own stove at home. The reason I do not use the less expensive white gaskets is that sometimes they cause the door to stick to the stove due to a lack of lubrication. One of these came installed in one of my customers stoves and she could not open the fire door for cleaning. Here are some simple steps to properly install a fire door gasket in your wood pellet stove, ensuring a proper seal.
1. First employ the dollar bill test to see if you need to replace the gasket. Insert a dollar bill on the top of the door and then try to pull it out. If you can pull it out, it fails the test and you need a new gasket. Try this again on the bottom and the sides.
2. Pull off the old gasket, then using a drill with a wire wheel, remove all the old cement or silicone.
3. Apply new high temp orange or clear silicone. I prefer the clear silicone for looks.
4. Press in the new gasket and then cut length to ensure it comes out to the right length. If you try cutting without pressing it in first, the length won't be accurate enough.
5. Close the door and open it, then wipe off excess silicone.
6. Close the door and let it cure for an hour or so.
I've heard that some people wet the gasket prior to install. I don't recommend it. I don't think it would be good for the curing process. You may also want to replace the door glass gasket as well. In most stoves this must be done before installing the door rope gasket. Most pellet stoves use 11/16 inch wide flat tape gasket. Graphite impregnated recommended.
That's it! Your home will be warm and cozy.
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