When do I repair my (human) crematory

  • Hearth repairs are typically needed between 2000 and 2500 cremations depending how heavily used. The hearth will begin to wear and create a depression directly under the cremation burner. At this point it will rapidly deteriorate, become weak and a hole will develop in your hearth. Capping a hearth is not recommended as it only temporarily covers an area that could collapse and create further problems.
  • Repairs ar needed when the brick on both sides of the loading door and overhead roof lentil are broken away or missing. Missing refractory around the loading and clean out doors will let to much air leak in and the heat and flame feeds off the leaking air. These areas become very hot and create to much heat stress to the metal face plate and will burn away and develop warped steel. Warped steel can cause door closer issues, sticking or not closing all the way.
  • The after burner roof (in most models) can and will break away around the burner opening. This will cause the burner flame to speed to wide and direct flame impingement on the surrounding brick walls will occur. This will cause the brick to get to hot and glass over becoming very brittle and brick spalling occurs. This are should be replaced soon as the heart can reach the exterior roof metal causing additional damage.
  • Your crematory should be inspected regularly by a qualified technician to avoid costly damage. Yearly tune ups and inspections will keep your retort running safely and properly. A qualified technician will advise you of any areas of concern and will recommend a solution to correct it.
  • Crematory repairs and service can get very expensive. Regular maintenance and inspections will keep your unit running better longer.

When should I rebuild my crematory

  • It is time to rebuild your crematory when the overall refractory conditions becomes stress and have lost it’s refractory life.
  • Each crematory operator runs a retort a differently. If a crematory is worked to it’s full potential day in and day out, it will break down quickly.
  • In my many years of crematory repair service I find the average crematory will need rebuilt at about 10 years of use. A heavily used crematory will need a hearth replacement every 2 to 3 years. As it comes time to replace the 3rd or 4th hearth, much of the existing refractory has diminished to unsatisfactory use.
  • After your 2nd hearth replacement you will begin to see other areas that needs repairs and depending on the issues, a decision will need to be made wether to install a 3rd hearth along with other necessary repairs or go ahead and rebuild. With the high cost of repairs it is usually most cost effective to rebuild your crematory if to many additional repairs are needed.

Pet /Animal crematories

  • Pet crematories are subject to a unique situation thats not normally found in human crematories. These retorts develop a greenish white calcine build up on the cremation hearth that attaches to the crematory hearth and attacks the refractory. This calcium build up should be removed as it builds up.
  • Depending on the crematory use privates or communal. They typical need repairs sooner and more often than human units.
  • Communal use retorts are production units and in many cases used past their suggested lbs per hour rating. You can expect to replace a hearth in these units every 2 years, 3 years if taken care of properly.
  • Muti-chamber cremators have their advantages and disadvantages. When it comes time to repair, the whole unit is shut down and when separate chambers need tone repaired, the remaining chambers are subject to collateral damage when performing repairs. Muti-chamer units have additional moving parts, burners and are more costly to rebuild.
  • It is recommended to upgrade the hearths in pet cremators to calcium and fluid resistant material.

Can I get higher quality refractory installed in my crematory

  • Yes, many upgrades are available at a higher cost of course. I always upgrade the hearth material (the hardest working area) in all of my repairs. Furnace Tech Inc uses a high strength abrasion resistant material capable of 3000 degrees and higher.
  • Other ways that Furnace Tech improves on the working life of your crematory is during a rebuild we install a very high end firebrick up both door jambs at the loading door and the first course brick above the floor on the sidewalls to reduce wear from continuous raking of cremains along the sidewall. Standard super duty brick will wear out along the edges and break away at the door jambs much sooner.
  • Upgrading refractory materials in high wear areas definitely outweighs the minimal cost difference.
  • The more you know about the materials used, quality of materials and craftsman installing this materials. The better you can make sound repair decisions.
  • Beware of low cost repair quotes! Refractory materials come in many grades and quality levels. A standard fireplace brick is the lowest grade firebrick. If installed in a crematory. They cannot withstand the continuous high heat and will not hold up.
  • A quality high alumina firebrick should only be used for safe and continuous use.
  • A reputable refractory manufacture will stand behind their product as well as a experienced and professional refractory installer.