If you need to clean or maintain your chimney, you are going to first need to know how to remove a fireplace insert before you can tackle the rest of your job. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult of a task. A fireplace insert rests inside a fireplace and helps it heat your home more efficiently, so it’s a good idea to use an insert if you use a fireplace.
Removing the insert is a project you can probably handle yourself, or with a few helpers. Whether you are removing the insert permanently or just to help with cleaning and maintenance, you can tackle this project by yourself.
Before you get started, make sure you have all the right tools, so you don’t get stuck halfway through your project.
Step 1: Remove the Trim
Using a hammer, mallet, or pry bar, you will want to remove the trim and any nails around the fireplace that is holding the insert in place. Make sure you are careful, you want to remove it without damaging it. Removing the trim is the hardest part of removing the insert, since you want to do it without breaking or damaging anything and some trim can be a little delicate.
Step 2: Disassemble pipes and Vents
This is the step where you are disconnecting everything. Using a wrench, take care to make sure the insert is disconnected from the chimney, vents, or pipes. At this point, the insert should not be attached to anything at all. Go ahead and remove the metal grate and the soot from the bottom of the insert, placing the soot in a bucket and disposing of it.
Step 3: Pry the Insert
With your pry bar, pry the insert and disconnect it completely. Remember that these inserts can be quite heavy. Don’t lift it and carry it as you are liable to injure yourself carrying something so heavy; you want to just slide it out of the way. At this point, you can safely and completely remove the fireplace insert.
Step 4: Set it off to the Side
Get the insert out of your way. Decide how far out of the way you need your insert. Are you just cleaning the chimney and then reinserting it? Are you getting rid of it completely? If you are just going to be reinserting it then don’t try to move it too far since it is heavy and you will just be moving it back into the fireplace eventually.
Is a fireplace insert heavy?
They can weigh as much as 400 pounds! Make sure you have the right tools and the right amount of people to help you with this project, as the weight can make it a difficult project to complete.
Is it expensive to hire someone to come remove a fireplace insert?
The price adds up quickly if you pay someone to do this task. Not only that, but it is a job you can probably handle yourself, so it’s better to save the multiple hundreds of dollars and try to do this job on your own.
How long does a fireplace insert last?
It’s possible you need to replace your insert, not just remove it. You can usually get 15-20 years out of a quality fireplace insert, but any longer than that and you risk safety issues and losing your heat. Of course, regularly maintenance and cleaning will help you get the most lifespan out of your fireplace insert.
By following just a few tips, you can easily remove your fireplace insert, which means you will be able to perform necessary cleaning and maintenance on your fireplace and chimney. We do love seeing your finished products, so drop us some comments and tell us how easy the steps were to follow.
Include a picture or two of a before and after shot of your fireplace with and without the insert so we can check out your project! If you know anybody else who needs to remove a fireplace insert, please be sure to share the article so they too can easily remove a fireplace insert.