How to remove a wood-burning fireplace insert

Written by cameron easey
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How to remove a wood-burning fireplace insert
Ash must be cleaned from wood-burning fireplace inserts before removal. (Old fireplace image by avatec from

A wood-burning fireplace insert must be removed when your fireplace and chimney enclosure need cleaning. It's easier than removing a gas insert because it's not necessary to remove or disconnect gas lines. Most wood-burning fireplace inserts are heavy and are secured to the enclosure with screws or bolts. If you don't want to hire a professional to remove the fireplace insert, you can attempt to remove it yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Metal scoop
  • Bucket
  • Brush
  • Dustpan
  • Power drill
  • Socket wrench
  • Utility knife

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  1. 1

    Open the doors of the fireplace insert, if they have been installed. If an ember shield is being used, fold it up and set it aside.

  2. 2

    Remove the metal grate used for the wood.

  3. 3

    Remove soot from the bottom of the insert and place it in a bucket, using a metal scoop. Dump the contents of the bucket when it gets full.

  4. 4

    Clean up any remaining debris from the bottom of the fireplace insert with a broom. Sweep the waste into a dustpan and place it in the bucket.

  5. 5

    Search for the screws or bolts used to secure the fireplace insert to the chimney. Remove the screws with a power drill and the bolts with a socket wrench.

  6. 6

    Remove any decorative trim or caulk that has been placed around the edge of the fireplace. Cut any caulking used to seal the fireplace insert, using a utility knife.

  7. 7

    Pull on the bottom of the fireplace insert to slide it out of the enclosure.

Tips and warnings

  • Removing the fireplace insert is a two-person job.
  • If tiles are around the edge of the insert, they also must be removed.

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