1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Wow the Quadrafire Brick is Crappy!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by velvetfoot, Sep 24, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I was cleaning the Quad 2700i insert and flue today.
    The firebrick looks like crap after one season!
    This is the second Quad I've had-the first one looked just the same.
    They are lightweight, like vermiculite I guess and chunks of it have come off already, and gaps seem very large now.
    In my last one I went down to the brickyard and replaced them all with firebrick.
    They seem quite a bit more sturdy.
    Sure, I'll have to cut them down (the original base size is 9" long-is that a standard size?) and even have to drill a hole for the air pipe (any sugggestions on what kind of drill?), but it'll be worth it.

    I imagine the company picked them for some reason, like their insulating properties, but good is that if they wear prematurely?

    Has anybody done similarly or have an opinion?

    (I vaguely remember a thread, so I'll start searching too.)

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    From what I have seen, "chunks" of them virtually "melt" off if the unit is over fired. I have worked on Quad units which have had many fires / seasons in them and the bricks are still in good condition. The only ones I see breaking quickly are the really thin bricks some units have on the edges, or the bricks with off-center holes. Other than that they seem to hold up just fine. In fact I just remembered, we have 3 models in out showroom that we burn all the time and the bricks are just fine. We also have a 7100 and Northstar that both got burned a lot last year.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    As far as I know, it's not operator error. My bricks are very lightweight. Almost like popcorn. Both my 2700i and my old 3100i stuff would adhere to the bricks and then when you clean out the ashes clumps of the brick come off too. The bricks have a very rough, porus surface, and as I said very lightweight. The problem is mostly on the bottom bricks. In my new 2700i the bricks almost seem as if they've gotten smaller-there is a large space filled with ash now-almost 1/2". The manual says the basic size of the brick is 9x4.5x1.5". Is that a common firebrick size? As I recall, I had no problem with the common firebrick I used to replace my 3100i's brick.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,271
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    That sounds like a popular size of "split" firebrick.... (4x8 and 4.5 x 9 are the two)

    If the bricks are very lightweight, I suspect they were used because of superior insulating capability - i.e., easier to get better numbers from EPA.

    Since UL tests do not include "destructive" tests, they would be get away with this.... I can't imagine this type of brick holding up in a firebox where wood is thrown in - They are more common in oil furnaces and in other situations where only heat (and not physical force) is applied.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,696
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    They are made out of pumice. I think Enviro uses them in their stoves also. If you have ever picked up a piece of pumice you can imagine how light and fragile they are.
  6. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    394
    My Kodiak uses the pumice bricks also (same size). Good luck trying to find them. I have not had any luck unless I want to by them from a dealer for $6.00 each! KD
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    My Osburn uses these also. ONly ones that broke down were the two center bottom. I replaced them with the heavier stuiff and burned last year with no issues. All bricks were fine this year. I had a problem with the brick getting clinker like material stuck to it when I burned certain woods. (Another reason to hate elm, but don't get me going on that) Nothing sticks to the newer brick, and I've detected no difference in the stove performance. Being on the bottom of the stove, the difference in insulation is likely not a big deal either.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    If they only last a year, I'm not going to replace them with the same type.
  9. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    I replaced the bottom bricks on my regency after one season. Just like Warren said, I get globs of stuff melted onto/into them and they break when I try to clean them off. I decided to replace them so cleaning would be a bit easier and at $4 each I figured I'd try it. Even if I have to do it every year, the extra cost (it's only the bottom ones) is tiny compared to what I'm saving on heating bills.
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I get the same thing happening-the stuff breaks off when sweeping out the ashes.

    The local brick yard sells the standard bricks for $1.06 each. It looks to be 19 brick pieces of some size or other.
    6 bricks need cutting and one needs a drilled hole.
    Maybe I'll just replace the bottom ones-I'm not sure yet.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I think I'll pick up the bricks tonight and do the whole thing.

    Masonry drill for the air tube hole?
  12. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    394
    I would replace mine with the brick yard stuff, but, I have been told here that the insulating qualities of the pumice brick is better (safer?). Just not sure. KD
  13. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    Some people said certain woods seem to stick to it more? One person mentioned elm? We always thought people were abusing the stove when we saw giant pits in the bricks. Seems like most people around here don't have that problem, only a few. Possibly it is some wood types not commonly burned in this area. Can anyone confirm wood types that destroy their pumice bricks? I was thinking about bringing this up to Quadrafire for discussion.
  14. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Jtp,
    The wood that was the worst on my bricks was soft maple. I got the stove hot a few times 850 f, but certainly not glowing, so I don't think it was from overfiring. I am sure your customers would appreciate you looking into this especially if it affects their warrenty.

    The woman at the stove shop said that they are a very common item to replace on Regency's.
  15. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    I would consider a stove top temp of 850 over firing on any of the Quad units if it was sustained for any amount of time. This is what I have seen destroys the bricks, it looks as if they gets melted from the extreme heat.
  16. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    All my regency manual says is not to let it glow! When it did get that hot I shut the air down and let it slow down so it wasn't sustained (I'm actually not sure if I could keep it that hot if I tried), but I guess there's a whole lotta heat going on inside the firebox.

    I'll keep track of things this year and let you know if there's any damage between periods when I know that it hasn't gotten very hot.
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Yes, it is wood specific. I burn Oak, Apple, Ash, Elm, Cherry, Pine, Cedar, and Maple, even Sumac. The only wood that consistently leaves clinker like (as in coal clinkers) deposits that are actually hard and crunchy is Elm. The Elm I burn is exclusively stuff that was killed by dutch elm disease, so it's close to seasoned while standing, but does need some drying out. I burned a good 2 cords of it last year, and there is no mistake about that elm is the single wood that does this. I actually kept notes.

    The clinkers form directly in front of the front air intake on the floor of the stove, and stick to brick. The non-pumace stones are not as porous, so the clinkers do not stick.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Wouldn't it take extremely high heat to melt the average firebrick? The low end is 2,800 F according to this: http://www.answers.com/topic/firebrick . This link says typical steel melts at 2,500 F: http://education.jlab.org/qa/meltingpoint_01.html .
    What temp are you guys talking about anyway? From a probe inside a flue or from a surface mount? Anything on the surface is just guessing especially with an insert. My point is firebrick should edit: NOT melt, and if it does it's even crappier than just a flaking, popcorn piece of doo doo.
    Anyway, my insert was never glowing, and I never overfired it.
    The stuff just flakes off. Not all of the bricks-the ones on the bottom where the the wood/ash bonds somehow.
    The same exact thing happened with my 2100i in the other house (this is a correction from the 3100i I cited above-the 2100i is discontinued). I waited several years before I replaced them, but the 2700i's are going down the same road, so I'm replacing them with sturdier units now.
  19. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    I never said they were actually melting (if I did thats not what I meant). I just said I have seen ones that look as if they are melted, and it seems to be people running the unit way too hot. It seems there are certian woods that also break down the bricks so that must be the case with you. Or you are just unlucky and the bricks hate you.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Well, I do not think I am the only one those "bricks" hate, and vice versa.

    PS: Other than the bricks, I've liked both Quads.
  21. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    I will bring it up to the wood specialist over at Quad and see what they think about it, and what they think about putting other bricks in there.
  22. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,471
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Thanks.
  23. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    The company I work for looked into putting a similar sounding material in our wood stoves. It was seen as a cost savings move since we currently had to pay a few guys to cut brick all day, and all the wasted pieces thrown away verses having a 1 piece no waste floor (replacing 6 or more bricks), and another for the sides, back etc. I don't know if it's the same material as Quad uses, but there was concern about durability in long term tests.

    Since then I've seen gas burners being made of the same material. So it looks like it could stand the heat, but as stated perhaps the impacts over time can cause some people problems.
  24. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    No, Quad uses bricks, but they are made out of a more porous material.
  25. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Corrie? Mike? What do you guys over at Englander know about this?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page