Smoldering Fire

Why Does A Wood Stove Make A Clicking Sound?

In Indoor Fireplaces, Wood Burning Stoves by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Both our wood burning and multi fuel stoves make tick and click noises during use, and especially after the fire has been lit or has been put out.

So why does my wood stove tick or click?

A tick or clicking noise coming from a wood stove is the sound of the metal expanding or contracting on the stove as it heats up or cools down. Ticks and clicks are common sounds made by all forms of stoves during normal operation.

I’ve explained in more detail below why both our wood burning stove and multi fuel stove make ticking and clicking sounds when having a fire in our home.

Why Does My Wood Stove Make Tick Or Click Sounds?

Wood stoves help to produce more heat from burning wood in your home by extracting the most amount of heat from the wood and transferring it into the room through the body of the stove.

To help transfer the heat, the main bodies of wood stoves are made from metal (typically steel or cast iron).

Our wood burning stove is made from steel painted in a black finish.

Our steel wood burning stove

Our multi fuel stove, which is able to burn wood along with other types of solid fuel such as coal, is also made from steel, while the door is made from cast iron.

Clearview Vision 500
Our steel and cast iron multi fuel stove

The aim of a wood stove is to burn wood as efficiently and as effectively as possible. In order to do so the fire needs to be contained within a managed environment where both the air supply and the amount of fuel can be controlled.

As a result, fires inside wood stove are contained behind a closed glass door, and can’t radiate heat in the same way that a fire in an open fireplace can.

The bodies of wood stoves are therefore made from a material that is a great conductor of heat, so that it can absorb the heat generated by the fire and transfer it out into the room.

Steel is a great conductor of heat and so is a common material used within wood stoves. Steel can also withstand the high temperatures generated by a fire inside a wood burning stove, ensuring that the stove is durable and can last a long time without being damaged or warped through use.

A minor downside of using steel as the main material within wood stoves is that it expands due to heat, and also contracts as it’s cooling down.

Wood stoves can make a range of noises when warming and cooling, including ticking, clicking, pinging or creaking.

These noises are common across all types and models of wood stove (including ours), and so shouldn’t be a cause for concern when the stove is either heating up or cooling down. The expansion and contraction of the metal body of a wood stove is accounted for during design and manufacture.

A wood stove will make ticking or clicking noises much like the radiators in your home or your car as they warm up or cool down after use.

Any ticking or clicking noises coming from your stovepipe is also perfectly normal. Hot air from the fire inside your wood stove leaves your home via the stovepipe, and so will also get hot as a result.

The stovepipe on your wood stove will also get hot and so may also make clicking noises when in use

Why Does Metal Click When It Warms Up Or Cools In A Wood Stove?

The clicking or ticking noises made by wood stoves is down to the combined forces of thermal expansion and static friction.

Not all parts of a wood stove heat up at the same rate. Our wood stove is lined with fireproof material on the base, sides and back of the firebox.

The firebox of our stove is lined with fireproof materials on the base, back and sides and prevents the body of the stove from warming up as much in these areas

Because of this, we find that the sides of our stoves aren’t actually hot to the touch during operation. The top and front of the stove help radiate the heat into the room and so these parts do get very hot during a fire.

As these parts are all connected and they are warming or cooling at different rates, the stove makes a tick or click sound every time a part of the stove shrinks or expands at a different rate to another part next to it.

As one part of the stove warms up and expands (or cools and contracts) quicker than a part next to it, there will be a momentary point where the two parts will unstick from each other and shift position.

A clicking or ticking noise is made as a result of the process of two pieces of metal inside your stove shifting position in relation to each other on a very small scale.

Wood Stove Thermometers

You can use a stove thermometer to see how hot your stove actually gets during operation. You may notice that the stove will make ticking or clicking noises as the temperature of the stove is rising or decreasing.

We have a thermometer for one of our stoves, and the picture below shows what it looks like when the stove is cold.

Multi Fuel Stove Room Temperature

You can use a stove thermometer to measure the temperature of both your stove and the stovepipe.

Wood stoves should be kept within a certain temperature range to operate the most efficiently. This temperature range is identified as ‘best operation’ on our stove thermometer.

Stove Operation Temperature
Your wood stove should be within the best operation temperature range and you shouldn’t need to worry about any clicking or ticking noises

A wood stove that is running ‘too hot’ will also be identified on the thermometer. Wood stoves that are running at too high temperatures are burning the wood inefficiently at a faster rate.

Multi Fuel Stove Too Hot
You shouldn’t run your wood stove too hot

Overloading your stove with wood can cause it to over fire, which can lead to permanent damage to the stove over time. (More abut over firing wood stoves here). You should therefore always ensure that you’re never exceeding the maximum allowable amount of wood in your stove at any one time.

Ensuring that your wood stove is kept within the optimum temperature range means that any ticking or clicking noises from your stove shouldn’t be a cause for a concern, and can be part of the normal operation of the stove.

Further Reading

How A Wood Burning Stove Works

How To Use A Wood Burning Stove

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