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Monday, August 17, 2009

RV Fireplace repair

If you electric fireplace looses it's flame, here's the process to bring it back.

You will need a few tools. I like to use this little Popular Mechanics tool kit that I received free from someplace. I don't remember the promotion that it came from but it is probably the handiest took kit I own.
The two parts of the kit I will use for this project are the extension and the square bit shown here in the corner of the kit. This bit fits almost every screw in my trailer, so it get used a lot.

The first thing I need to do is remove the decorative wooden plugs that hide the four screws holding the trim molding in place.

I found that the knife blade on my Leatherman tool works well for removing the wooded plugs. I just place the edge of the blade against the plug and give it a little twist. The plugs pry out easily and I don't leave visible marks marks on the trim or the plug.

I like to use a little Black and Decker battery powered screw driver for work like this. The screws are long and the electric screw driver makes removing them much faster. Any screw driver will work though so long as you can use a square bit that fits the screws.

Once all the screws have been removed just set the trim molding aside where it is out of the way and won't be damaged by falling or by someone stepping on it.

Next you need to remove the smoked glass from the front of the fireplace. It is held in place with a single screw and a bracket. Remove these and set them aside. Next just tip the top of the glass toward you and lift it up and out. Set it aside in a safe place too.

Once the glass is removed you can lift the foam log replicas out and as with the trim and glass, set it aside in a safe place.

When I removed all these items from my fireplace I discovered that it was totally full of dust. I also removed the mirror from behind the logs but found that it was unnecessary to do that. You can clean everything that needs cleaning without removing anything else except the light bulbs. I used a vacuum with the brush attachment for most of the work then wiped everything out with a cloth. I cleaned the logs too. They were very dusty.

My fireplace has six clear, 60 watt bulbs inside. I bought a package of six bulbs at Walmart for $3.78. There are two bulbs located at the top and four at the bottom of the fireplace. The four bottom bulbs are the ones that make your fireplace look like it is really burning. Light from these bulbs reflect off of a long foil or silver colored reflector that is designed for that purpose. The reflector is placed behind the mirror inside the fireplace where you can't see it.

The two bulbs at the top of the fireplace illuminate the top of your logs to help make it look real. These lights can be adjusted to give a bright or low light effect to suite your mood.

Before reassembling the fireplace it's a good idea to clean the mirror and front glass. I use a few paper shop towels (I love these things) and any good glass cleaner.

I also take a second to turn the fireplace on to make sure that everything is working properly.

Reassemble the fireplace in reverse order from how you disassembled it. Then sit back and enjoy it!

I hope you found this article helpful. Be sure to visit our Road Notes Blog to find learn about new campgrounds and other travel notes as we move about. You can find it at

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