What is a Baffle/Throat Plate?
So a chimney sweep has been to clean your chimney and told you your baffle plate has given up and needs replacing. Right now your panicking thinking "What on earth" is a baffle plate and how much will it cost! Dont be too alarmed its not the end of the stove its an easy fix and you can soon get your woodburner up and running again.
You havent answered my question!
Dont worry im getting to that! So a baffle plate which can also be known as a Throat plate is a part that sits generally above the fire bricks in your stove. A baffle plate is designed to slow down the roaring flames to avoid damage to the top of the stove and to ensure that the heat is combusted fully within the firebox to ensure that all that precious heat is sent to your room as apposed to being sucked up by that greedy chimeny!
This baffle or Throat plate is made from 3 different materials:
Vermiculite Board: Is a little more rare as it is prone to breaking. Back in the day the Hunter stoves used to use a large vermiculite brick but after many complaints that the brick was snapping due to its size they decided to replace it with a steel baffle. It is making a come back as the newer eco-Design stoves use them for higher efficiency.
Steel Plate: This is the most common of plate types due to steel being such a strong and relativly easy material to work with. The majority of stoves nowadays will have a steel baffle and they can range in thickness. Some plates use 3mm thick steel and some use 5mm (More Common). Steel is great as it is fairly priced and can withstand a whole lot of heat as the melting point is around (1300 Degrees Centigrade) so running it in your stove at 300-500 in your stove is pretty easy. That said it doesnt mean that he baffle plates are indestructable. Overfiring your stove can cause the baffles to warp and bow out of shape. this is due to the fact that the baffle is under contant temperatures and over time the lifespan does decrease. Another reason is due to the baffles shape. As its suspended over the firebox and not supported all the way across over time the steel will start to sink and lose its shape. Its then time to replace.
Cast Iron: A number of stove still use cast iron baffles and they do hold up very well. Cast baffles again can deterioate over time and with cast expanding and shrinking all the time they do weaken over time. Cast will often burn through or crack when it comes to the end of its life.
Is it a big job?
Thankfully replacing a baffle plate is a pretty easy job to do depending on the stove of course. The baffle plates generally sit on top of the fire bricks and can be fitted within 5-10 minutes. Should you get in to trouble most chimney sweeps nowadays will replace a baffle for a few £££.
Should I replace the baffle straight away?
If the baffle has become warped or distorted in any way we reccomend replacing the baffle as soon as possible. It is a major component of the stove and protects the top of your stove from the excessive heat. Failing to change the stove baffle and using the stove could result in the top of the stove becoming damaged especially in cast iron stoves which can crack.
If your sweep or maintenance guy gives you the bad news that your baffle is dead do not worry all is not lost and can be rectified easily.
We stock a large range of Baffle/Throat Plates for many different brands and offer next day delivery on many of the more popular models.
If your struggling to fit the baffle plate we reccomend you visit the N.A.C.S website where you can search for local sweeps in the area.
If you need any help with finding the right Baffle/Throat plate give our team a call on 01646 278010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org