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Old 05-05-2010, 02:45 AM
ivwshane ivwshane is offline
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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?
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:40 AM
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Knottscott Knottscott is offline
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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.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:36 AM
charliex charliex is offline
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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
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:55 AM
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pelligrini pelligrini is offline
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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.
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Last edited by pelligrini; 05-05-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:37 PM
ivwshane ivwshane is offline
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It's a standard masonry box.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:00 PM
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master53yoda master53yoda is offline
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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.
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:18 PM
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jdon jdon is offline
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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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Old 05-05-2010, 02:21 PM
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pelligrini pelligrini is offline
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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)
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:41 PM
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master53yoda master53yoda is offline
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Quote:
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!!!!!
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:58 PM
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Knottscott Knottscott is offline
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Quote:
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 at 05:57 PM.
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