How to Remove a Cast Iron Insert From a Fireplace

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Things You'll Need

  • Assistant

  • Cardboard

  • Broom

  • Dustpan

  • Utility knife

  • Screw gun

  • Gloves

Fireplace inserts are designed to make a fireplace efficient. These inserts may be made of steel or cast iron and some are even equipped with blowers, forcing warm air out into the room. Cast iron inserts may become rusted and corroded more quickly than modern fireplace inserts, making replacement necessary. Homeowners can remove these types of fireplace inserts to make room for a new, more efficient and aesthetic insert.


Step 1

Ask a family member or friend to assist you in removing the cast iron fireplace insert. It will be too heavy and bulky for one person to lift out of the firebox.

Step 2

Place cardboard over the hearth to keep it from being scratched by the insert. Open the cast iron insert and clean out the inside using a broom and dustpan. Close the insert back up thereafter.

Step 3

Cut the caulking around the outside lip of the cast iron fireplace insert around the extender mounting panels on the sides. Also, cut the caulk between the insert and top extender mounting panel.


Step 4

Unfasten the retaining screws on the side and top mounting panel using a screw gun. There will be as few as six retaining screws and up to 12 or more retaining screws between the two side panels and top panel.

Step 5

Unfasten the vent line going up into the chimney using your screw gun to free it from the top of the cast iron insert.

Step 6

Put on gloves and ask your assistant to put on gloves as well. Lift and pull the cast iron fireplace insert out of the firebox, resting it on the cardboard covering the hearth to complete the removal.


Owen E. Richason IV

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.