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Moving a gas line (gas fireplace)

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  • Moving a gas line (gas fireplace)

    For my laundry room remodel I have come across another obstacle. Right where I want to put a window there is a gas line that goes to the fireplace. I would like to move the gas line to as close to the fireplace as possible so I can add a window and the necessary framing (the window would be no bigger than 24"x24").

    Are there any reasons why I can't do what I want (aside from safety reasons)?








    Slightly off topic
    We currently use wood in the fireplace without the aid of gas, what would it take to be able to use the gas line (it does come into the fireplace)? Would I be able to use either wood or gas or is it one or the other? How hard would it be to make it turn on/off and auto light with a switch?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I'm just an average homeowner with no particular fireplace expertise, but AFAIK, fireplaces can only be one or the other...gas or wood. A gas fireplace would need some sort of a log set, and possibly a proprietary insert for the log set depending. There will likely be town safety ordinances about what you can and can't do, and often the gas line requirements are suggested by the manufacturer of the log set/insert. I would be very cautious about moving the gas line too close to a wood burning fireplace.
    Happiness is sort of like wetting your pants....everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

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    • #3
      Ditto what Knottscott said. "fireplaces can only be one or the other...gas or wood." If the fireplace was built for wood, the enclosure should withstand the heat. If it is a fireplace built for a gas log, a wood fire is dangerous due to the higher temperatures. A wood fire with a gas line in close proximity is a disaster waiting to happen. MHO
      Chas

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      • #4
        It depends on the type of firebox. Usually; some metal boxes and venting systems are gas only. If the box is able to burn wood it can burn gas as well. Most masonry constructed boxes are woodburning. My big fireplace in my house, and the one we had growing up was a woodburning masonry box. Both also had a gas line which we used as a starter mostly. Try a google search for gas starters and you'll get a lot of hits. There's a set of gas logs in mine now, but they never get used since my wife has covered the whole thing in plants and ivy.

        I'll take a look at the International Fuel Gas Code, but I don't think there are any issues with moving the line to where you want offhand. Your non-combustible surround should be at least 12" from the edge of the opening. If it's a metal box, the code usually defers to the manufacturers installation instructions.

        I couldn't find much of anyting doing a quick search about the location of the gas line in the International Residential Code or the Fuel Gas Code. Knowing if it were masonry or metal would help.
        Last edited by pelligrini; 05-05-2010, 10:15 AM.
        Erik

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        • #5
          It's a standard masonry box.

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          • #6
            you have two questions.

            1. When moving the gas line it must be pressure tested and should be inspected by the utility or the Jurisdiction Having Authority.(City, county etc.) The gas valve is normally located outside of the firebox to eliminate any fire danger due to heating of the piping.

            2. Gas fireplaces must have the vent damper locked in the open position to eliminate the posibility of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. this pretty well limits the us of the fireplace for wood. Also in order for the gas to be used and not put all the BTUs up the chimney you need to have a set of fireplace logs that serve to convert the BTUS into radiant heat that will go into the room this provides about a 50 to 60% efficiency.

            Most gas fireplace inserts reconfigure the venting and the combustion air to get the operating efficiency up to the 75 to 80% range but completely eliminate the ability to use wood.

            Hope this answers your questions.
            Art

            If you don't want to know, Don't ask

            If I could come back as anyone one in history, It would be the man I could have been and wasn't....

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            • #7
              off-topic off-topic: Seriously consider converting to a gas only fireplace. Having lived in two houses with wood ("real") fireplaces, when we moved to our current home with a gas fireplace, at first I considered it a downgrade/cop-out. However, I think we've used our gas fireplace more in one year than wood in 30 previous years, entirely due to ease of use.

              Not as authentic, but so much easier- no firewood inventory, fire starting/maintenance/fiddling to keep fire going right) , ash cleanup. Downsides: silent (no pops, hisses), odorless (no rustic lodge smoky aroma), not as visually interesting (variability and changing of burning logs appearance), and virtually idiot-proof (no macho points for starting and keeping a fire going).

              Kind of like the difference between charcoal and gas grills, but more so.

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              • #8
                master53yoda,

                Do you know what parts of the code pertains to your points in your #2?

                I'm not disputing anything, I'm just curious. (and I don't want to spend too much time reading through sections that I'm not familiar with)
                Erik

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pelligrini View Post
                  master53yoda,

                  Do you know what parts of the code pertains to your points in your #2?

                  I'm not disputing anything, I'm just curious. (and I don't want to spend too much time reading through sections that I'm not familiar with)

                  This code on locking the fireplace damper maybe a pacific northwest code as the code is based on the InlandHVAC gas code, I know it is in affect in Eastern Washington Idaho and western Montana. It is not part of the UMC.

                  the InlandHVAC gas code was a co-op between the gas utility, the contractors, and the JHA's in this area. It is an excellent code but I 'm not sure how far it extends beyond the area above. That part was added after a carbon monoxide poisoning incident because of a fireplace log being installed and operated without opening the damper.. In the case of a wood fire it would have smoked visibly in the case of the gas you don't see or smell anything to start with and the people lit the fire when the power went out and went to bed. The house was warm but the dog was not and the people were sick!!!!!
                  Art

                  If you don't want to know, Don't ask

                  If I could come back as anyone one in history, It would be the man I could have been and wasn't....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jdon View Post
                    off-topic off-topic: Seriously consider converting to a gas only fireplace. Having lived in two houses with wood ("real") fireplaces, when we moved to our current home with a gas fireplace, at first I considered it a downgrade/cop-out. However, I think we've used our gas fireplace more in one year than wood in 30 previous years, entirely due to ease of use.

                    Not as authentic, but so much easier- no firewood inventory, fire starting/maintenance/fiddling to keep fire going right) , ash cleanup. Downsides: silent (no pops, hisses), odorless (no rustic lodge smoky aroma), not as visually interesting (variability and changing of burning logs appearance), and virtually idiot-proof (no macho points for starting and keeping a fire going).

                    Kind of like the difference between charcoal and gas grills, but more so.
                    +1 on using gas for the convenience. We have a wood burner in our bedroom, and a new gas fireplace in the livingroom. While we were deciding which to go with in the LR, a co-worker said, "a wood burner is great...you'll enjoy it every time you use it, but you'll enjoy a gas fireplace everyday"....and he was right! We use the gas about 50x more than the wood burner.

                    There's no comparison in the overall realism, but we hooked up an MP3 recording of a crackling fire in the valve compartment below our gas burner, and it does a pretty good job killing the deafening silence. I haven't worked out any viable plans for flame variation or smoke smell yet!
                    Last edited by Knottscott; 05-05-2010, 04:57 PM.
                    Happiness is sort of like wetting your pants....everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by master53yoda View Post
                      This code on locking the fireplace damper maybe a pacific northwest code as the code is based on the InlandHVAC gas code, I know it is in affect in Eastern Washington Idaho and western Montana. It is not part of the UMC.
                      OK, I hardly ever get into those parts of the code here. There were a lot of sections regarding venting, flues, etc in the International codes. A whole lot more information that I want to even try to digest at the moment. I've been back and forth most of the day with some grey accessibility codes concerning a remodel and getting too much into the Mechanical and Fuel & Gas would probably cause some severe mental anguish. (I think my head would pop)

                      I was kind of hoping that I could find a quick answer to the earlier gas line question. I've found that quick answers from code sections that I don't use very frequently are about non-existant. Occaisionally it happens, but very often.

                      The damper thing makes a lot of sense though.
                      Erik

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                      • #12
                        I ended up just capping it. It's a good thing I went that route too! After removing more dry wall I found the on/off valve behind it but even worse than that, it appeared that they cut through five studs to route the pipe! Mind you these studs were on an external load bearing wall!

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                        • #13
                          Plumbers best friend is the framer worst nightmare.....its called....................
                          THE SAWZALL

                          I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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                          • #14
                            ON the wood vs. gas. I remember seeing a fireplace at a friends hose that was a wood burner, but he gad a gas burner under the wood grate that he used to start the logs. It worked very well. If I was putting in a wood fireplace now I would be looking for one of those gas burners.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chopnhack View Post
                              Plumbers best friend is the framer worst nightmare.....its called....................
                              THE SAWZALL


                              You are telling me!


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