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Correct operation

Your Metro fire is designed to give you many years of warmth and service, subject to the following key factors. These key factors, if not adhered to are the major causes of unsafe installation, poor performance and flue blockages and potential product issues. If your Metro fire has been installed correctly, your fuel is well seasoned (dry) and you operate your fire correctly, you will find it a pleasure to use.

  • Your Metro fire must be installed correctly. We recommended you have your new fire installed by a NZHHA registered installer or a competent and suitably qualified installer.
  • In New Zealand a building consent is required from your local building authority. The homeowner is responsible for obtaining this consent.
  • It is preferable that Metro fires are installed with a Metro ECO Flue System for improved heat retention and optimum draw.
  • Properly seasoned (dry) wood is necessary for your fire to operate efficiently. Wood with a high moisture content will create many issues.

Modern day wood fires need to be operated hard and fast, more so than low and lazy to ensure the firebox and flue run hot and efficiently. If the fire and flue are up to temperature, the fire will perform extremely well, the flue gases will be drawn up the flue pipe with ease, and the fire will produce a clean burn and good amount of heat. It’s much better to have a small fire running hard and fast, rather than a big fire running low and lazy.

If you are burning unseasoned fuel (wet) or continually operating the fire on extended low burn cycles, the door glass will run black, the flue will tend to block up more frequently and the fire will end up smoking into the room when reloading. Operating your fire like this will also cause excessive creosote to form. Creosote is very corrosive and excessive buildups will result in failure of the flue pipe, flue spigot and upper burn chamber. Failure of the appliance and/or flue system due to creosote damage is not covered under warranty. The formation of such is not an appliance issue, it is a fuel and operational issue.

The following troubleshooting guide may be of assistance if you are experiencing any problems with the operation of your Metro Fire.

Why does my fire smoke into the room?

If the flue pipe joins are not sealed correctly, the flue pipe will not draw as well as it should. The flue pipe join connecting into the flue spigot on top of the Metro is most critical, if this is not sealed correctly, smoke will enter the room when the door is ajar. To check this join is sealed correctly, run a match or lighter flame around the join. If the flame is sucked into the spigot then it is not sealed correctly. This check needs to be done when the fire is not going. Ensure you check the rear of the flue pipe/spigot join, as due to the seam in the flue pipe, this is the most common area for not being sealed correctly.

If you are burning unseasoned fuel (wet), the fire will cause nothing but problems. The Metro won’t deliver much heat, it will be lazy, smoke will enter the room when the door is ajar, and the door glass will run black. Unseasoned fuel is the main contributor to excessive creosote deposits which can be corrosive to your appliance and flue system.

Add more flue pipe as the longer the flue system, the better the draw of the flue pipe. Please note, if you did not purchase the Metro ECO Flue System, you will not have the ECO Cowl which increases draw. We highly recommend the Metro ECO Cowl is fitted as this will increase the draw. If you already have an ECO Cowl and smoke is still entering the room, please add another 600mm length of flue pipe.

If you have checked all of the previous factors and the fire is still smoking into the room, it’s possible there may be a down draft issue. Down draft is environmental and can be caused by many variables, and it is purely trial and error to ascertain the cause. Air turbulence and/or negative air pressure influences around the flue termination can be caused by too close or overhanging trees or natural/artificial ridges etc. Address these where possible or look to extend the flue further above the roofline.

Other options may be:

  • H Cowl, designed purely for downdraft issues, but if you have an ECO Cowl fitted as standard, you will also need to add another 600mm of flue pipe to compensate as the H Cowl is shorter in length
  • Directional Cowl, designed to rotate with the wind direction. A simple solution for reducing down draughting and atmospheric issues in troubled areas.

Ensure the air control setting is on high before opening the door to reload, as this increases the draw up the flue pipe. Always crack the door first and then open it slowly.

If your fire never used to smoke but is now starting too and is getting worse, the flue pipe is in need of a clean. It is recommended that the flue pipe is cleaned every season, however if you are burning the fire on low a lot, or are using unseasoned fuel, flue pipe cleans will be required more frequently.

Other troubleshooting

The smell is creosote that will be seeping through the flue pipe join or out of the flue spigot onto an external surface, thus creating the smell in your room. The cause will be either unseasoned fuel, fuel mass too large, incorrect operation on low burn cycles or a combination. Creosote is very corrosive and excessive buildups will result in the flue pipe and potentially the flue spigot and upper burn chamber failing. The formation of excessive creosote is not an appliance issue, it is a fuel and operational issue. Failure of flue pipe or firebox due to creosote build up is not covered under warranty as excessive creosote build up is only possible from either unseasoned fuel or incorrect operation.

There will always be some expansion and contraction noise as the Metro heats and cools. This can usually be reduced by loosening the fixings at the rear of the appliance. To remedy, locate the 25mm deep cavity at the rear of your Metro between the ‘rear panel’ and the ‘inner rear heat shield’. Using a 10mm ring or open ended spanner, loosen any visible nuts/bolt heads so they are finger tight only.

On all Metro freestanding fires the air channel that allows the combustion air to enter the fire is fitted to the top underneath of the door opening. It is fitted with two M6 bolts. Slightly loosen both of these bolts.

The door itself may need readjusting, the hinge and latch is slotted and allows for movement. Loosening the hinge and moving it back a few mm will make the door seal tighter and stop air leaking into the fire. The door and glass seals may be in need of replacing, which is generally required every 3-4 years.

Familiarise yourself with the instructions on page 8 before proceeding with this maintenance.

Need help choosing the right fire?

Selecting the right size Metro fire for your home and heating requirements with correct operation and good dry fuel will provide you many years of warmth and reliable heating.

Buyers Guide