Baffle replacement alternative

Bushels20

Feeling the Heat
May 20, 2018
417
OH
I am needing to replace my 2 baffles on my Napoleon 1101 insert. These run about $80 for the pair and they naturally get beat up through use and need replaced every 2 years or so. This morning, I noticed the baffles just happen to be exactly the same width as a firebrick. If I ran 2 1/2 firebricks lengthwise on each side of the insert, I could effectively replace the baffles much cheaper and ideally, they would be much heartier.

My understanding of baffles is they keep the smoke in the firebox for secondary combustion, correct? If this is the case, is there anything wrong with using these firebricks instead of buying the expensive fiberboard baffles?

I have read that baffles are made of many different materials, including concrete. Not sure how accurate that may be.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,137
Lackawaxen PA
Disclammer, don't know your stove or the negative issues with your idea. But it sounds like a reasonable solution. My baffles are two identical cast iron plates, that in newer models of the stove were replaced by vermiculite baffle plates. I think my cast iron are more durable. In 18 years they're fine. My plates have a insulation blanket that lays on top of them.
Yes, correct what you said is what the baffle does. As well as keeps the heat in, creates a path of the exhaust gasses. So if your replacement creates the same top of the fire box, with similar insulation qualities, it sounds likes a good solution to a poor baffle plate design. Note the firebrick can be easily cut with a circular saw and the right blade.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
I am needing to replace my 2 baffles on my Napoleon 1101 insert. These run about $80 for the pair and they naturally get beat up through use and need replaced every 2 years or so. This morning, I noticed the baffles just happen to be exactly the same width as a firebrick. If I ran 2 1/2 firebricks lengthwise on each side of the insert, I could effectively replace the baffles much cheaper and ideally, they would be much heartier.

My understanding of baffles is they keep the smoke in the firebox for secondary combustion, correct? If this is the case, is there anything wrong with using these firebricks instead of buying the expensive fiberboard baffles?

I have read that baffles are made of many different materials, including concrete. Not sure how accurate that may be.
Are the baffles the same thickness as 1/2 firebrick (1.25")? With regular firebrick there will be a drop in insulation value. If substituting, pumice firebrick might be better.
https://www.stoveworld.com/Pumice-Firebrick-Splits-6-Pack-p/2rpala999.htm
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
22,130
central pa
The concerns are exactly what beegreen said. If it is the same thickness and you use pumice brick it would probably work ok. But it will void your warranty for sure.

2 years is a really short life span for baffles i would look at what you are doing that beats them up so bad and adjust that instead of changing the baffle. Firebrick are very brittle and if you hit them often they will break as well.
 

Bushels20

Feeling the Heat
May 20, 2018
417
OH
I see what you both mean with regards to the insulation value. I’ve attached a photo. The firebrick is actually thicker by about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch (didn’t measure) than my baffle.

Maybe I’m just too worried about the aesthetics of my baffles. If they aren’t broken in half/still in one piece, are they ok? Mine aren’t broken, just beaten up pretty badly.

I admittedly can probably be a little overzealous on reloads sometimes bumping the baffles trying to get that extra split in there. That certainly shortens the lifespan of the baffles.

Note that the photo is of the (1) new baffle I have on reserve. Not the beaten up two.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
I'd stick with the originals and not try to pack the stove to the baffle. It looks like there is a cast-in stop to hold it in place.