What Causes Fire Grates To Melt?

Posted: 11 January 2024

A good fire grate can last for many years before needing to be replaced provided it is cared for properly. There is range of reasons that can cause your fire grate to melt, warp, bend or crack so below we are going to outline some of these reasons and the simple solution to each.

1. Not removing ash from underneath your grate every day.

When ash is built up underneath the grate it prevents cooler air from being drawn through the grate bars which increases the temperature until the fire grate fails.

Solution - Always ensure there is direct airflow underneath your grate.

2. Mixing fuels and using manufactured fuels.

Mixing fuels or using manufactured options such as smokeless fuel is permissible, however this practice will shorten the grate's lifespan due to the increased heat generated. Fuels that are advertised as burning hotter can have the same consequence.

Solution - Be aware that mixing fuels or using manufactured fuels will reduce your grates lifespan.

3. Not pulling out the ashpan cover.

If your ash pan has no air gaps then it will not draw air and can cause the grate to overheat.

Solution - Ensure your ash pan cover has air gaps to help prevent overheating.

4. Not spreading fuels evenly.

When spreading fuels on your fire grate, ensure they are spread evenly to prevent hotspots on the grate as these will concrete a large amount of heat in one area of your grate.

Solution - Spread the fuel evenly across your fire grate to prevent any potential hotspots.

5. Improper sizing.

Using a fire grate that is not appropriately sized for your fireplace can contribute to melting issues. Similar to the above point, if the grate is too small, it may not disperse heat effectively, causing concentrated heat in certain areas and leading to accelerated wear and tear.

Solution - Ensure your grate is the proper size for your fireplace/stove. Unsure what size fire parts you need? Have a read of our fire parts sizing blog here.

6. Not tempering the metal.

It's important that your metal fire grate is as strong as it can be to ensure it will last for many years.

Solution - When using a grate for the first time, start with a small fire to temper the metal and this will prolong its life.

7. Putting water on your fire.

A large change in the temperature of your grate can cause your fire grate to crack so never put your fire out with water.

Solution - Never put your fire out with water unless it is an emergency.

8. Over-fuelling your fire.

Using too much fuel on your grate will create a fire temperature warmer than the recommended temperature which therefore places more pressure on the fire grate itself.

Solution - Limit your fire to the recommended amount of fuel to prevent over pressuring your fire parts.

To summarise, the main reason your fire grate is melting, warping or bending is because simply because it is overheating. To prevent grate damage, remove ash every day, temper your new grate, spread the correct amount of fuel evenly, don’t put your fire out with water and be aware that hotter burning manufactured fuels will reduce the lifespan of your grate.

Here at Ray Grahams we stock a wide selection of fire parts and accessories such as fire grates, ashpans, frets, companion sets, bricks, guards, log baskets, coal buckets, coal bunkers and much more. Click here to shop our full range of fire parts & accessories.

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