I have a fireplace with 3 thin fire brick panels covering the metal chimney behind them. The back panel is not secured. The 2 side panels are screwed in flush with the metal behind it. But the back panel is leaning a little forward and loose, so you can push it back to touch the metal behind and then it leans forward again.

Is this a major issue? Should I call a repair man to secure this back panel? The first image shows all 3 panels, the one not screwed in is the back one. The bottom image shows the side panel screwed in

all 3 panels

side panel

  • 1
    I can't see images on your Google drive. Please resize them or post them to a proper hosting service and link them individually. Even a screen snip of the photo will probably do.
    – isherwood
    Jan 16 at 16:47
  • Using SE's built in hosting will allow everyone to see them, even after you decide you don't need them cluttering up your drive space any more. Without pics this question is not very answerable. If they're too big, you can upload them directly to imgur.com and paste the links here.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 16 at 16:49
  • Just added the pics
    – gary69
    Jan 16 at 17:15

2 Answers 2


I have had 2 wood burning fireplaces like that over the years in the various home I lived in. The panel are held in place by the "Z" clips like you see in one of your pictures. The fireplaces I had used the clips on all 3 panels. It seem your rear wall is missing them, since it is tilting over at the top. The screws are simply drilled through the sheet metal that hold the clips in place. You may with some care and a good light, see where the clips were at one time. If it never had them, it needs them now. They can be added after the fact. There is no magic to get them to do what they need. Use the spacing/placement that the other clips have from the ends to either locate the old holes if it had them before, or use that dimension to add new ones.

The panels are one piece on each wall and bottom, and reinforced with a fiber so when it cracks it will not readily fall apart. Mine cracked every year, I replaced them every year too. They should be removed periodically and cleaned behind them, removing the ash that collects under the bottom and behind the walls. Ash is corrosive and will degrade the coating on the walls of the firebox.


Looking at this remotely, I would err on the side of caution, and have it inspected by a competent repairman. The firebrick is necessary to protect the sheet metal from the intensity of the fire. A gap risks exposure through it, and repeated movement risks damage to the mortar if not the brick itself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.