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Stonemason
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Our local masonry supply carries only Whitacre-Greer firebrick... A product that I've been somewhat less than satisfied with in recent years. Our only alternative would be to special order Alsey firebrick, which has always seemed to be more of a pain than it's worth, but I'm not so sure any more.... My latest beef; the firebrick we're getting has always had a 'dusting' of brick dust between the layers on the skid. Lately though, they are using RED brick dust between the layers of BUFF firebrick. This results in dicoloration of the brick... Not sure if thus is due to the red dust being 'ground' in to the face of the brick during transport, or perhaps due to getting wet during improper storage... Or what...? In any event, there are too many discolored brick to simply avoid using those. I'm going to try washing a few today, and am wondering about an appropriate cleaner... Any thoughts on an appropriate product?

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Vendor
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I sell over 100,000 of the W-G firebrick a year, and I have seen what you are talking about. Not sure why they do that with the wrong color sand, but if you soak the brick and then hit them with a light muriatic wash they should clean up.


And so far as I have seen the W-G are better than any other low duty firebrick, that is why we rail them in from Ohio instead of using the locally made Elgin Brick.
 

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They probably dont think anything of it since most everyone laiys them on edge. Pretty sloppy though. Didnt they used to use silica sand inbetween them?
 

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Wow ! Glad I do not have that problem. We are in a huge steel making area (south shore of lake Mi.) have so many refractory producers you cannot go 5 miles without tripping on one. Have a ton of brick choices.


That red dust may be as easy to remove as clay splash at the base of a wall.:sad::



Good luck ! Please keep us posted as to what works.
 

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The thing I like about the WG is the very light buff color. But yes, I've seen the discoloration at times though not as bad as what you've got there.

Hope it does clean off for you.

I try to pick up my firebricks myself, or at least stop by the brickyard to make sure their stock is in good condition. I've gotten really chipped firebricks, and bricks that varied in color before and had to send them back!

Dave
 

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Some outfits here are going with a smaller firebrick. More brick in a cube for the same shipping. It's really biting the idiot salesmen in the ass because masons are driving way out of their way to come to my local yard that still carries full 9x4 1/2.
 

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Stonemason
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your input... And sympathy. I will try out a mild acid wash and let you know how it goes.
 

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Stonemason
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Discussion Starter #10
dbrons said:
I've gotten really chipped firebricks, and bricks that varied in color before and had to send them back! Dave
It's always fun to discover you've got a skid of 'tumbled' firebrick on a job where you are hoping for perfect 1/16"joints.

Another pet peeve; 2-1/2" firebrick that ranges from 2-3/16" to 2-7/16" in thickness.... Calls for a lot of time spent sorting bricks prior to installation.
 

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Yes, the small firebrick is available (Elgin firebrick are also the smaller size), but we do not stock them, we carry full size and splits, buff and red. I do see quite a bit of color variation, but not usually among a pallet.
 

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Stonemason
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Discussion Starter #13
I received this reply from Whitacre-Greer yesterday;

John,
Sorry for the delay. As strange as it is your email went into our junk email box. Muriatic acid should not be used to clean brick except in very small quantities contained in Prosoco cleaners. Visit their website for information on masonry cleaners. Enviroclean Safety Klean and Sure Klean 600 have been used with success by many masons. ALWAYS do a small test area before treating the entire area.
Our plant is aware that our current sand source, which prevents sticking together of units, is turning from tan to a reddish color in the kiln. They are testing new material.
regards
Andrew Karas
Whitacre Greer
 

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Well you got an answer I guess. FWIW I always wash my firebrick with Vanatrol and it works well. Muriatic can leave a rust stain - found that out years ago.

I've got to line a large firepit I just built with the "whitest firebricks you can get", which is WG. So, again, this is a time I'm going to have to go to the yard to pick up the bricks - thanks for the heads up.

Dave
 
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