How to Remove a Fireplace Insert

Everything has its own lifetime, same can be said about the gas fireplace insert or wood fireplace insert or existing fireplace or wood-burning fireplace When the time comes, you will have to get it out and put in a new one. This is not very easy when you are not a professional. But even if you are completely clueless, no need to worry. Take a look at this article and you can learn how to remove a fireplace insert by yourself in no time.

So you have been noticing several problems with your fireplace: Leakage, lack of heat, too much smoke, etc. These probably mean that your fireplace has reached its final days.

The obvious thing to do next is to replace it. But first, you will need to get the insert out without damaging the surrounding. This may get a bit tricky. Yet as long as you use the right tool and apply suitable techniques, it can be done.

Models of fireplace usually employ two ways to create heat: Gas insert and a wood insert. Each of them has its own unique removal process. It’s vital that you apply the correct one in order to avoid potential hazards. Every fireplace, especially the insert contains lots of heat.

Naturally, it’s would be wise to know how to remove a fireplace insert first than improvising as you go. Lucky for you, this article can show help you with that. First, let’s see what you need to have here.

Tools and gears to Remove a Fireplace Insert

Removing the insert will be a laborious task so prepare yourself. For the most part, a crowbar, a wrench, a knife, and a screwdriver will be sufficient. You may also need a bucket and a brush to clean out cooktop dirt and debris that accumulates in the insert.

And it’s a good idea to close the window and door in the fireplace room. You don’t want the wind to spread the ashes all over your house. Get a bottle of water in your reach as well, just in case things take a turn for the worse.

Since you are dealing with potential heat and plenty of dirt or rust, protection measures are mandatory. Generally, you should put on a pair of gloves, goggles, and face mask. One more important thing to do before you attempt the insert removal is to check the insurance terms and conditions.

The process of removing the fireplace insert may involve tearing down parts of the proximity walls. That action may void the warranty so be careful. Other than that, let get right into it.

The removal process

This part will be divided according to types of fireplaces: Gas and wood. Determine the nature of your fireplace and follow suitable procedures. Pay utmost attention and stay alert at all times. Old insert is not exactly as safe as when they are installed so don’t risk anything.

Your safety is the top priority here so when you encounter something unusual, stop and look for help at once.

The wood fireplace

•Step 1: Determine the conditions

Fireplace inserts can be installed in two fashions: The interior wall and the exterior wall. The removing principle is the same but if you need to know what is on the far side of the insert. This information will help you to consider what is the direction you are going to remove the insert.

A good decision may reduce the damages to the surroundings to the minimum. Get it wrong and you will make a giant mess out of everything.

•Step 2: The front or the back

Now, this is when the information from the last step comes into play. If your fireplace insert is built into the interior wall, your best solution is to get it from the back.

You only have to deal with the drywall in this case. On the other hand, if your fireplace insert is built into the exterior wall, the front would be the better choice. This may entail you removing parts of the wall.

•Step 3: Get the insert out

No matter your choice of direction, it’s time to put in some force. Make sure the fireplace is not in operation for at least 6 hours then start creating access.

After you have done cutting or prying your way in, there should be several connections right in front of you. These should consist of bolts, screws, and wires, remove all of them.

Swiftly pull or push the insert out. Clean out the ashes and dirt then you are done.

The gas fireplace Insert

•Step 1: Cut out the gas

This type of fireplace is a bit more complicated compared to the wood fireplace. The distinct feature of this type is the gas pipe. It’s vital that you disconnect the gas pipe from the insert first before you do anything else.

Locate a nearby valve and turn it off or just shut down the house main gas source. There must be no flow of gas into the insert while you remove it to ensure your own safety.

•Step 2: Cut out the edges

Nearly all gas fireplaces employ plastic or light metal edges. They are to give the insert a better fit within the wall and you need to get them out. You may follow the same guide as with the wood fireplace here to devise the best direction to do this.

But as always, be careful not to sever the gas pipe that connects the insert with the gas supply. For now, you only need to get a space to handle the insert secure mechanism.

•Step 3: Seal the pipe and get the insert out

When you get comfortable access to the insert, promptly deal with any things that hold the insert and the wall together. Next thing to do is pull out the pipe. The insert is usually covered by thick glasses at the front so you need to readily cover the holes.

Do the same with the gas pipe so as not to let residual gas from them escape into your house. After that, swiftly ventilate the room. This is to get rid of potential gas accumulation created when you removed insert.


And that pretty much wraps up everything, not that hard to understand, right? In order to replace the fireplace, you need to get the insert out and that won’t be simple. But as long as you know how to remove the fireplace insert then it’s can be done with minimal damage.

The most important of all is to use the right tools and apply the right skills along with absolute attention. If you can ensure that then you can do this by yourself quickly and safely.