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  1. #1
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    I did an inspection on Sat that had a solid fuel pre-fab fireplace with ventless gas logs installed. The tag on the fireplace stated that when gas appliances were used in the fireplace the damper should be completely open.

    When the gas logs were installed a while back the flue was removed because it was no longer needed if the damper was kept closed. This information was provided by the seller who bought the house in 2007 with the fireplace in the condition it is in now....gas logs and no flue. The seller got their information from their inspector when they bought the house in 2007. He told them the installation was OK.

    I told my client that if a fireplace had a flue it needed to be connected and operating properly. I could not tell where the flue stopped but it is somewhere between the top of the fireplace and the roof.

    I have neverr heard of a vented fireplace being converted to non-vented when gas logs are installed. Sounds kinda dangerous to me!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    Don't believe everything people tell you their inspector said... I've been in the same room when folks retell what "I said" and it is nowhere close. It may have some of the same words but have a totally different meaning (especially if a realtor is the one retelling!)

    That said, I can't imagine an inspector would be that stupid but stranger things have happened.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Don't believe everything people tell you their inspector said... I've been in the same room when folks retell what "I said" and it is nowhere close. It may have some of the same words but have a totally different meaning (especially if a realtor is the one retelling!)

    That said, I can't imagine an inspector would be that stupid but stranger things have happened.
    This is a FSBO and they have moved out of state so they have no one local to look after their interest. I'm not sure what is going to happen. They have been using the gas logs so I am surprised the house has not caught on fire. There use to be a chimney on the top of the jut out shown in the picture. The roof had been patched in that area.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    I'll re-word the problem for you: The pre-fab fireplace *may not be listed for use with ventless gas log sets*.

    If the pre-fab fireplace is listed for use with ventless gas log sets, then it is quite possible that the pre-fab fireplace may also have been listed for use without a vent.

    The only way to know, though, is to check with the manufacturer of the pre-fab fireplace and find out how, and for what use, it was listed for.

    The next problem may well be: Yes, it is listed for use without a vent when ventless gas log sets are installed, however ... (there is that "however" we all dread) ... however, once the top was cut out and a vent installed - there is no listed repair to close the top of the pre-fab fireplace back up and use it as an unvented pre-fab fireplace for a ventless gas log set.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    I don't like ventless gas fireplaces no matter what the configuration. Especially if people wind up using them for heat sources as opposed to ambiance only.

    Ventless introduces CO gas into the living space. It's something to be very careful with.

    I'd question the configuration and warn of the safety issue regarding CO gas and threat to life.


  6. #6
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    Exclamation Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    If it is a factory built fireplace listed to UL 127 then it requires the listed chimney be fully installed regardless if ventfree logs are installed or not. You are putting one poorly fitting sheet of metal btw you and up to 40,000 btu/hr. into a confined unventilated space (chase). That's a fire looking for a place to happen.

    If this fireplace was built prior to May 1998 then there is no way it was listed for use with ventfree logs. Even if the mfr. of either the logs or the Fp state its ok to use VF, it can not possibly be listed for that application prior to that date therefore it would be an illegal installation.

    The fireplace and logs must be listed for use in that fireplace and the factory chimney must be fully and completely installed. Note your terminology-the flue is the inner section of the chimney.

    There are universal boxes for VF that have no chimney or collar and are strictly VF from the ground-up.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    If it is a factory built fireplace

    Bob,

    I was thinking of "pre-fab" as one of those Isokern ( Isokern Fireplaces & Chimney Systems ) types where the pieces are pre-fabricated and then assembled on-site.

    What would be the case if it was one of those?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    The fireplace is a 1995 model. Can you provide a code reference for your statement"

    If this fireplace was built prior to May 1998 then there is no way it was listed for use with ventfree logs.

    I think it might help the buyer with their arguments. The log set was also so large that it was sticking out of the front of the firebox.

    Thanks for your help!


  9. #9
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    Cool Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    14A Optional Unvented Decorative Log Temperature Test
    14A.1 This test shall be conducted upon completion of the Brand Fire Test, Section 13, and the Flash Fire
    Test, Section 14.
    Added 14A.1 effective May 17, 1999
    14A.2 Unvented decorative log sets of the single and double burner type that comply with the Standard
    for Unvented Room Heaters, ANSI/IAS/AGA Z21.11.2, are to be installed into the hearth of the previously
    investigated factory-built fireplace in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The unvented log
    set is to be of the largest size which fits into the hearth of the fireplace and is to employ an input rating
    of 40,000 Btu/h while fired with either natural or propane gas.
    Added 14A.2 effective May 17, 1999
    14A.3 The unvented log sets are to be fired with the flue-gas outlet damper of the factory-built fireplace
    fully closed, the screen mesh doors drawn closed, and the fireplace glass doors (when provided) fully
    open. The chimney system is to remain installed on the fireplace during these tests.
    Added 14A.3 effective May 17, 1999
    14A.4 The installation and operation of the unvented log sets are to be conducted in accordance with the
    log manufacturer’s installation and operating instructions.
    Added 14A.4 effective May 17, 1999

    -Excerpted from UL 127 7th edition. Note the date correction. Also note where it states the chimney system is to remain installed.

    JP- if you have an Isokern or any other 'Leggo' fireplace and it is listed to UL 127 then the chimney must remain intact-period. Now, if Isokern makes a VF box and has it listed as such without a chimney then that's fine. Otherwise, no chimney, no VF. Also, there is no provision in the code to make a masonry VF fireplace. You can install VF logs into a working masonry fireplace only.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre-fab solid fuel fireplace with flue removed when ventless gas logs installed

    It does help.....thanks!


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