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Hot mantel shield

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wallycat, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. wallycat

    wallycat New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    I have a heat shield on my mantel that was attached by the folks who installed my wood-burning insert. The shield, which is about an inch from the mantel, gets very hot (too hot to touch). The mantel itself is only warm, but my concern is whether the center screw attaching the shield to the mantel could start a fire. The screw head gets very hot, but I have no way of telling whether the threads that are actually in the wood are similarly heated. There is a porcelain cylinder around the screw that acts as a brace/spacer between the mantel and the shield, and that too is very hot. Should I be concerned? The mantel is an old barn beam that is quite dry. I have no visible evidence that it has burned and it never smells smells smokey. I'll probably replace it altogether with a stone or plaster mantel soon for peace of mind. In the meantime, I'm not sleeping well... Thanks N.B. I can reduce the shield heat by turning up the fan, but I generally like the fan low because of the noise.

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  2. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Need some more information before I can give an opinion. What stove do you have? How far is the mantel from the stove? What is the minimum CTC for your stove? Are there air spaces on all edges of the heat shield? Some pictures would be nice...

    KaptJaq
  3. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    938
    Loc:
    North Alabama
    Get an infrared thermometer with LASER targeting and check those various spots. Harborfreight has them for ~ $30.
  4. wallycat

    wallycat New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    The mantel shield is 18.25" above the fan on the insert (Quad Voyageur). There are some very smal spaces on the edge of the heat shield along the brick, but they're les than 1/8", probably. There's also the space between the bricks that allows hot air in. I don't have a picture right now but will try to post later. Thanks for the replies.
  5. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Do you have an infra-red thermometer? How hot does the shield get?

    The manual for your insert specifies 29" above the top edge of the loading door. (Install manual pg 32) It does not specify any method to reduce the clearance. The only exception is:

    Clearances may only be reduced by means
    approved by the regulatory authority having jurisdiction. (install guide pg 2)

    For inserts I have always preferred heat shields that deflect the hot air and are located at the top of the surround. Some manufacturers have these as optional items. There is one pictured in this thread:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/jøtul-tamarack-insert.279/

    If the shield attached to the mantel does not have a clear source of cool air between it and the mantel it can get pretty hot. that heat will slowly deteriorate the wood. It will be fine short term but I would have the LAHJ (Local authority having jurisdiction) inspect and approve the installation.

    KaptJaq
  6. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    NW CT
    We used a high temp silicone to fill the little air gaps made by the mortar (we screwed the shield directly into the bricks about an inch below the mantel). Seems to work well. The shield gets hot on the underside, but it significantly cooler on the side nearest the mantel, and then the wood itself is just barely warm.

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