Wood stove glass replacement becomes necessary when the panel becomes cracked. This can happen due to thermal breakdown, but that takes years of use. The more likely scenario is that the panel breaks due to impact, or stress due to tightening the mounting screws too tightly.
What to do when your wood stove glass breaks? A common misconception is that you need wood stove tempered glass, but in reality this is the type found on glass fireplace doors or a glass fireplace screen. It’s stronger than ordinary glass, but it’s not made for constant exposure to high temperatures and close contact with flame. Tempered glass for wood stove is a misnomer.
Wood stove replacement glass is actually not glass at all. It’s a transparent ceramic panel that looks like glass but performs like ceramic. Look for trade names like neoceram and Pyroceram III. Neoceram is 3/16 inches thick. It has a slight amber tint and can withstand temperatures up to 1,600 degrees F. This is far more than the tempered glass fire screens you would use in a fireplace.
Glass replacement for a wood stove is an easy operation but requires concentration, just like any other job involving expensive, breakable material. First you’ll need to order the replacement panel. A dealer for your brand of wood stove is the first place you should look for this, since you know you’ll be getting a perfect fit if you go this route. If you can’t find a dealership, there are sites online that promise an exact match for your old ceramic glass panel if you give exact measurements. These sites can even match curved panels and special cuts by working from a drawing or diagram.
When you have your replacement panel, remove the wood stove door lay it next to the new panel on a large work table with plenty of good lighting. Put down some old towels for padding so you don’t crack the new glass. Carefully remove the old panel and set it aside. If your model has a gasket between the panel and the door, inspect it and decide whether to replace it. This item is a dealer part, but it’s set up for easy replacement. Most of them come with a built-in adhesive strip. You simply peel off the backing and press it into place.
Now comes the part that requires concentration. Lay the replacement panel over the gasket and install each screw but don’t tighten them yet. When all of the screws are in place and tightened just enough to touch the panel, begin tightening them one turn at a time. Work in pairs by starting with the two across from each other closest to the center of the panel. Move to the next two across from each other. Always tighten the screws in pairs across from each other, and never tighten them more than one turn at a time. Less is more with this part of the job. What you want to avoid is getting one screw too tight and then snapping the new glass panel in two when you move to another screw and tighten it. Check the glass for movement as you tighten and stop as soon as it’s securely in place.
Reinstall the stove door, and your wood stove glass replacement operation is complete.