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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default New Question

    Yesterday a client asked me a question I have not been asked before, so I thought I'd fly it by this forum. The culprit was a gas log appliance ("fireplace") with a glass front. Of course the owners never read the instructions, never cleaned the glass, and it was not etched from the byproducts of the gas combustion.

    My client wanted to know if he could just remove the glass permanently. Of course, I responded that it was an engineered system and that permission for removal would require notice from the manufacturer - blah, blah, blah. But, on the practical side of things, why would it matter?

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Question

    No if it's a sealed combustion, direct vent fireplace. Yes if it's a B vent fireplace.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-10-2009 at 11:45 AM.
    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Question

    You would lose a significant amount of heat up the flue without the glass doors when the fireplace was not in use. It would be similar to leaving a window cracked open continuously.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Question

    Might not vent properly with the glass missing and they could die. If you are the beneficiary of their life insurance, it might just work out.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: New Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    No if it's a sealed combustion, direct vent fireplace. Yes if it's a B vent fireplace.
    KR: Direct vent. Thanks.


  6. #6
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    Question burning with the glass off

    First of all, most mfrs. clearly state in the listed instructions the unit must be burned only with the glass properly installed. Failure to do so would void the warranty and listing and therefore is a code violation.

    Now, practically speaking, on a direct vent, it would probably shutdown, soot up, dump large amounts of CO into the home, burn the house down or all the above. We used to include a microswitch (aka: "idiot switch") on the glass to prevent such operation. With the glass off, large amounts of room air fight to enter the combustion chamber. This distorts and cools the flame resultiing in incomplete combustion, sooting, and a drastic change in the heat signature of the fireplace. Without that cooling air in the concentric vent, the vent temps will rise dramatically. All your stated clearances to combustibles go out the window. With that breeze pulling into the firebox, the pilot or IPI would very possibly blow out/ lose rectification and shutoff.

    A B-vented fireplace would suffer similar conditions except it would most probably vent into the room and up the mantel.

    Even if the unit continued to operate, it would suck a lot of already conditioned air out of the house, therefore cooling the home. Why would they want to do this?

    Bob

    There is a reason they put the glass in there.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New Question

    Thanks Bob.

    I had the same question last week. I of course wrote it up as wrong, but now know why (besides the listing)

    BTW: I didn't see any signs of problems as a result of the glass being missing, and the pilot was lit. I just figured that someone had broken the glass, but found it in one piece out in the garage.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: New Question

    Bob, What about a gas log conversion in a masonry wood burning fireplace. I always recommend fixing damper open and installing glass doors.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  9. #9
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: New Question

    ..... where do these Homeowners get their stupid ideas from???

    I remember that the first thing we did when we were kids is to take the chain guards and fenders off of our bicycles. LOL

    I guess that we got older graduated to taking the glass off of our gas fireplaces!!!!

    The glass is probably in the garage along with the chain guards and fenders from the bikes.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: New Question

    And that blade guard from the table saw.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: New Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    And that blade guard from the table saw.

    Table saws have a blade guard?? I've never seen one on a saw..

    Randy Gordon, construction
    Michigan Building Inspector/Plan Reviewer

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Default Re: New Question

    I got a couple more - Hacksaw the chainbrake handle off of the chainsaw "it gets caught in the brush and slows ya down."
    Run the saw all day with no ear protection -"with muffs on, ya can't hear if it's screwing up".


  13. #13
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    Default Re: New Question

    Excellent reply BH, I for one really appreciate your input and contribution to this board.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

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