Quiet Those Noisy Wood Stove Inserts

The old-fashioned charm and warmth of wood stove inserts can be comforting on a chilly night, but if yours is disturbing the peace with noise or vibrations, there are several options to quiet the culprit. A noisy stove insert usually results from a problem with the blower. Leaving the blower off will probably resolve the noise problem, but you might not get the maximum performance from your stove. You can try to fix the blower problem before resorting to buying expensive and hard to find replacement parts.

Step 1-Remove the Unit

Make sure to unplug the insert before you remove it from the stove, then place it on a sturdy, level surface. Remove the screen, housing and any other extraneous parts. Plug it back it and have someone
hold it firmly, making sure to keep hands and anything else away from the fan and other moving parts.

Step 2-Check Performance

First, look for any debris or other foreign matter within the insert. Clean it out if there is anything that might be obstructing smooth operation. If it seems clear try running the unit at various speeds, from low to high, and watch the fan or rotor for any wobbling motion or contact with surrounding parts, like sheet metal. If the fan is hitting something, you might be able to fix the problem by simply removing the object from contact with the fan. If the fan or rotor is wobbling the problem could lie with a loose bearing or worn-out washer. If this is the case, turn off and unplug the unit before checking the washer for wear and tear, replacing if necessary. A wobbly fan or rotor can also signal a worn out bearing. Check the bearing for scrapes, ridges or gouging If it's really bad you'll have to replace it, but you can try oiling the bearing first with regular sae 30 auto engine oil.

Step 3-Replace the Part

If you can't find the reason for the noise by checking the performance of the unit, you can order a replacement motor if you've found that it alone is faulty, or you can replace the entire blower assembly. The motor will have all the pertinent information you need to replace anything stamped right onto the case, including make and model number among other things. If you can't find the information you'll have to take the insert into an HVAC supply store and have them match up the proper part. If you don't feel comfortable performing the various performance checks yourself, you could always skip it and take the insert directly to a supply store, but that can be expensive and time consuming.

In the end, the time and effort spent troubleshooting and repairing your wood stove insert will be well worth the resulting quiet comfort.