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  1. #1
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    Default Vent for gas fireplace

    Fireplace with gas logs. My question doesn't have much to do with the exhaust piping as it does with the silicone around the inner pipe to the class B vent and its attachment method. Is the silicone appropriate? Should there be only mechanical fasteners?
    Note: The gas log nameplate reads "Ventless gas logs."

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  2. #2
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    Exclamation Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    You have larger problems here.
    You have an improperly installed woodburning fireplace that was not completely vented out of the building.
    There is what appears to be a custom transition from the woodburning chimney to type B-vent. This connection is caulked and strapped to a custom transition plate leaving the cooling air chamber open.
    There is no fireblocking or listed firestop because you were able to photograph the fireplace in situ behind the wall.
    There are unsupported combustibles in proximity or on top of the fireplace in direct contact.
    The ventfree logs are burning improperly, are dirty and probably out of position.

    This installation should have a level II inspection by a pro.

    FYI, you cannot bastardize factory built fireplaces with B-vent downsizing woodburning chimney. You cannot stop a chimney short. Gas logs are intended for use in fireplaces with the full sized chimney. I could go on......

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    You have larger problems here.
    You have an improperly installed woodburning fireplace that was not completely vented out of the building.
    There is what appears to be a custom transition from the woodburning chimney to type B-vent. This connection is caulked and strapped to a custom transition plate leaving the cooling air chamber open.
    There is no fireblocking or listed firestop because you were able to photograph the fireplace in situ behind the wall.
    There are unsupported combustibles in proximity or on top of the fireplace in direct contact.
    The ventfree logs are burning improperly, are dirty and probably out of position.

    This installation should have a level II inspection by a pro.

    FYI, you cannot bastardize factory built fireplaces with B-vent downsizing woodburning chimney. You cannot stop a chimney short. Gas logs are intended for use in fireplaces with the full sized chimney. I could go on......
    This is not supposed to sound condescending, I am still learning.
    So let me see if I understand this corectly.
    1. The original intent of the fireplace was to be woodburning? But instead of a woodburning fireplace, there is a ventless gas log unit (which ventless to me would mean it does not need a vent)
    2. The two pipe, the large one (cooling air chamber) and the one inserted inside of it are used in conjuction with one another in providing an ability to better vent the wood smoke and downsizing that is not allowed.
    3. I can see in behind the unit. There is insulation and wood chip particles and all manners of dust, but what should I see in an ideal situation? What would fireblocking in that instance look like?
    Where is Dale Feb when you need him huh?

    David D. Whitt
    1st Steps Home Inspections

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Hi David
    Go below to check out the link.
    Ventless gas logs are technological marvels. They have special burner elements that burn gas with minimal carbon monoxide production. Vent free gas logs certified by the American Gas Association (AGA) are equipped with oxygen depletion sensors (ODS). These devices sense when oxygen in the room drops to a certain percentage. If this occurs, the sensor shuts off the supply of gas to the logs. Defective sensors fail in the safe mode. They will not allow gas to pass to the logs.

    Gas Logs - Vented and Ventless

    Some states and Canada do not allow ventless and I always recommend clients have a C/O detector nearby plus make sure there is makeup air available.
    They also produce condensation adding to the humidity in the home.

    I am guessing they did a conversion because of the issues mentioned by Bob.
    You may be able to just close the damper but should look at the manufacturers Manual.

    Add this link to your reading list also.Gas Logs - General Introduction


  5. #5

    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post

    You may be able to just close the damper but should look at the manufacturers Manual.

    Add this link to your reading list also.Gas Logs - General Introduction
    CLOSE THE DAMPER??? Are you out of your mind? It's a bad install, report it as such and move on!!!

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  6. #6
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    Exclamation Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Ventfree can only be installed into approved fully installed fireplaces. You can NOT install VF into a factory built woodburner that does not have the full properly installed chimney and termination. Keep in mind, these logs could be removed and a wood fire burned.

    The unsupported Kraft paper-backed insulation and debris on the fireplace are fire hazards in and of themselves.

    You need the fireblocking and firestopping irregardless. If the fireblocking and firestop are in place, you should not be able to look down on top of the fireplace.

    Dale is in Arkansas on a fire loss investigation.

    Not all factory built woodburning fireplaces are approved for ventfree logs.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    Ventfree can only be installed into approved fully installed fireplaces. You can NOT install VF into a factory built woodburner that does not have the full properly installed chimney and termination. Keep in mind, these logs could be removed and a wood fire burned.

    The unsupported Kraft paper-backed insulation and debris on the fireplace are fire hazards in and of themselves.

    You need the fireblocking and firestopping irregardless. If the fireblocking and firestop are in place, you should not be able to look down on top of the fireplace.

    Dale is in Arkansas on a fire loss investigation.

    Not all factory built woodburning fireplaces are approved for ventfree logs.
    Thanks Bob, it's obvious you know what you're talking about.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Linas Dapkus View Post
    CLOSE THE DAMPER??? Are you out of your mind? It's a bad install, report it as such and move on!!!
    I see you are stalking me here as you did at the other forum.Brian will catch on soon and kick you out here.Get a life Linus and stop stalking me.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    Ventfree can only be installed into approved fully installed fireplaces. You can NOT install VF into a factory built woodburner that does not have the full properly installed chimney and termination. Keep in mind, these logs could be removed and a wood fire burned.

    The unsupported Kraft paper-backed insulation and debris on the fireplace are fire hazards in and of themselves.

    You need the fireblocking and firestopping irregardless. If the fireblocking and firestop are in place, you should not be able to look down on top of the fireplace.

    Dale is in Arkansas on a fire loss investigation.

    Not all factory built woodburning fireplaces are approved for ventfree logs.
    Exactly ,which is why I provided the second link and he also needs to check the log set ,burners,and plate information to see what the manufacturer has to say.
    This site has a ton of information....Gas Logs Vent Free Ventless Gas Fireplace Logs Gas Log Gas Fire Logs Gas Log Insert
    As far as what needs to be done to properly convert with an old improperly installed flue goes you might wish to call a chimney sweep in your area.In the Chicago area a typical level two inspection goes for about $200.

    Last edited by Bob Elliott; 01-26-2011 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Add link

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    I am guessing they did a conversion because of the issues mentioned by Bob.
    You may be able to just close the damper but should look at the manufacturers Manual.
    It does appear that at one time there had been a wood fire in the fireplace. Who would, IYO, handle such a conversion? Plumber? I will go ahead and list these concerns with my client and let them decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post

    Dale is in Arkansas on a fire loss investigation.
    No insult intended when I mentioned Dale, Bob, you guys are great and I appreciate all of your efforts.

    In your opinion, does a converted wood to gas log pose a hazard in regards to the flue situation?

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Elliott View Post
    I see you are stalking me here as you did at the other forum.Brian will catch on soon and kick you out here.Get a life Linus and stop stalking me.
    Stalking?? What's wrong with you Bob. Read my post, I just complimented you!!You're the one that got kicked off TIJ for causing trouble. Unbelievable!!

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Linas Dapkus View Post
    Thanks Bob, it's obvious you know what you're talking about.
    Read this!!!

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    My report would state the following, I would tweak a bit but essentially:
    The existing fireplace unit appears to be a modification of several fireplace types, i.e. ventless and wood burning. This unit should be considered unsafe for use and be removed immediately without any further use. Yes, you could have someone come out, do a Level II assessment and possibly repair it to a safe condition. Realistically, it isn't worth the time or money. If you want a fireplace, I recommend you have a complete new UL approved fireplace assembly installed.
    The following defects were noted:
    xxxxxx

    I won't even bother to mince words on that POS with a client. Bob H is so much kinder than I.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    The main problem with the above comments(mine included) is that the best option is to defer to a chimney sweep or contractor on this stuff.
    As far as (code) is concerned does anyone know for certain if fire blocking is still required if the damper is permanently sealed ?


  15. #15
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    My comment would be:

    The gas logs, pre-fab fireplace, and fireplace flue are not installed according to the manufactures installation instructions. One example of a major problem is the flue has been reduced in the attic. The fireplace installation needs to be repaired by a fireplace specialist before it is used again. The fireplace is currently unsafe to use and needs to be disabled to prevent accidental use until repairs are made.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    My comment would be:

    The gas logs, pre-fab fireplace, and fireplace flue are not installed according to the manufactures installation instructions. One example of a major problem is the flue has been reduced in the attic. The fireplace installation needs to be repaired by a fireplace specialist before it is used again. The fireplace is currently unsafe to use and needs to be disabled to prevent accidental use until repairs are made.
    James ,how about the dampers being sealed for the ventless assuming he has the proper burner and log set?


  17. #17
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    I would stay with what the manufacture says about gas logs in their fireplace. Most fireplace manufactures specify what log sets are approved for their fireplace. And if the manufacture says the damper can be sealed then It can be sealed. If the manufacture does not say it can be sealed then it can not. My opinion does not matter.

    FWIW...Most fireplace manuals I have read says the dampers have to be open when gas logs are used.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    In a case like this, Code is the least of my concerns. There are too many violations to even worry about it. This is a life safety issue and that's the way I would report it. The pic looks like an 8" into a 3". D&H in my book.
    Person is buying a house and it is winter. It is reasonable to assume the buyer will want to turn on the fireplace in their new home. 'Oh, honey isn't it so wonderful and romantic'. I'm not letting a client of mine turn that thing on.
    Even if they don't die right away from fumes, the fire will get them soon enough.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    For all who responded to this post I thank you. all of your words were read and here is what I took from them.

    There appears to be a factory built fireplace and chimney section. These are built according to industry standards to be used for a specific purpose. Modifications in any way may adversley effect how the unit performs. While the inside of the flue is excluded from the home inspection, I noticed carbon deposits inside the opening above the damper. This may be an indication that the unit at one time was used for burning solid fuel or wood. As the unit sets, a ventless gas log set has been installed.
    Note: Please review the following illustration for an example of what the original factory built fireplace would have resembled.
    Defect: The gas log set has noticable carbon build-up on the burner arm which leads to irradic and sporadic flame patterns and needs to be cleaned and examined.
    Defect: The flue where it can be seen has a build-up of carbon on the inside. Excessive carbon or sometimes referred to as creosote needs to be cleaned out to lessen the probability of a chimney fire.
    Defect: In the attic, the fireblocking and firestop have been removed in order install the gas line and was never re-installed. As a result, combustible materials have come in contact with the backside of the firebox which is potentially a fire hazard. Combustables are required to be kept a certain distance away from combutables. The combustables need to be removed and the firelocking and firestops need to be installed.
    Defect: The chimney should be continuous and exit the home through the roof to vent the fireplace. There has been a modification that is contrary to what most manufacturers require of the flue. The reduction in the pipe size could cause unknown consequences as it is not a common practice to reduce an 18" flue down to 3-4". The modification does not appear to comply with known better building practices and requires that it be further investigated by a Level II chimney and fireplace professional.
    Final Note: Any use of the fireplace should be restricted until further evaluated by a Level II fierplace contractor. A licensed contractor familiar in this type of installation may be a good resource as to where to start looking. Another to find a certified chimney sweep is: Chimney Safety Institute of America (Chimney Sweep Institute of America) you can type in for our state and start calling the individuals on the certified list.

    I hope I did the correct thing to protect my client as always. This is a foreclosed property.

    Thanks again for all you who participated.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. Whitt View Post
    For all who responded to this post I thank you. all of your words were read and here is what I took from them.

    There appears to be a factory built fireplace and chimney section. These are built according to industry standards to be used for a specific purpose. Modifications in any way may adversley effect how the unit performs. While the inside of the flue is excluded from the home inspection, I noticed carbon deposits inside the opening above the damper. This may be an indication that the unit at one time was used for burning solid fuel or wood. As the unit sets, a ventless gas log set has been installed.
    Note: Please review the following illustration for an example of what the original factory built fireplace would have resembled.
    Defect: The gas log set has noticable carbon build-up on the burner arm which leads to irradic and sporadic flame patterns and needs to be cleaned and examined.
    Defect: The flue where it can be seen has a build-up of carbon on the inside. Excessive carbon or sometimes referred to as creosote needs to be cleaned out to lessen the probability of a chimney fire.
    Defect: In the attic, the fireblocking and firestop have been removed in order install the gas line and was never re-installed. As a result, combustible materials have come in contact with the backside of the firebox which is potentially a fire hazard. Combustables are required to be kept a certain distance away from combutables. The combustables need to be removed and the firelocking and firestops need to be installed.
    Defect: The chimney should be continuous and exit the home through the roof to vent the fireplace. There has been a modification that is contrary to what most manufacturers require of the flue. The reduction in the pipe size could cause unknown consequences as it is not a common practice to reduce an 18" flue down to 3-4". The modification does not appear to comply with known better building practices and requires that it be further investigated by a Level II chimney and fireplace professional.
    Final Note: Any use of the fireplace should be restricted until further evaluated by a Level II fierplace contractor. A licensed contractor familiar in this type of installation may be a good resource as to where to start looking. Another to find a certified chimney sweep is: Chimney Safety Institute of America (Chimney Sweep Institute of America) you can type in for our state and start calling the individuals on the certified list.

    I hope I did the correct thing to protect my client as always. This is a foreclosed property.

    Thanks again for all you who participated.
    Looks good to me and I am sure a good exercise for us all.


  21. #21
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    Smile Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. Whitt View Post
    For all who responded to this post I thank you. all of your words were read and here is what I took from them.

    There appears to be a factory built fireplace and chimney section -[where is the chimney?]. These are built according to industry standards to be used for a specific purpose. Modifications in any way may adversley effect how the unit performs. While the inside of the flue is excluded from the home inspection, I noticed [carbon-delete: you don't know if its 'carbon' or creosote or both or ash] deposits inside the opening above the damper. This may be an indication that the unit at one time was used for burning solid fuel or wood. As the unit sets, a ventless gas log set has been installed.
    Note: Please review the following illustration for an example of what the original factory built fireplace would have resembled.
    Defect: The gas log set has noticable carbon build-up on the burner arm which [leads to irradic and sporadic flame patterns and- indicates a malfunction in operation and] needs to be cleaned and examined[ by a qualified professional].
    Defect: The flue where it can be seen has a build-up of carbon on the inside. Excessive carbon or sometimes referred to as creosote needs to be cleaned out to lessen the probability of a chimney fire.[see comment above about deposits--don't state what the buildup is unless you can prove it]
    Defect: In the attic, the fireblocking and firestop have been removed in order install the gas line and was never re-installed.[no, fireblocking and the listed firestop are missing-period. Don't get into the forensics of chicken versus egg] [As a result-delete], combustible materials have [visibly] come in contact with the [delete-backside of the] firebox which is [delete-potentially: it IS a fire hazard} a fire hazard. Combustables are required to be kept a certain distance away from combutables. The combustables need to be removed and the firelocking and firestops need to be installed.[The chase interior should be sheathed to support the insulation and prevent the combustibles from violating the stated clearances while weatherizing the envelope of the home.]
    Defect: The chimney should be continuous and exit the home through the roof to vent the fireplace. There has been a modification that is contrary to what most manufacturers require of the flue. The reduction in the pipe size could cause [a fire or carbon monoxide exposure and is a violation of the installation instruction and therefore the product listing and building code.] [unknown consequences as it is not does not appear to comply with known better building practices and-the consequences ARE known] requires that it be further investigated by a Level II chimney and fireplace professional.
    Final Note: [delete-the fireplace should not be used under any circumstances as installed.]Any use of the fireplace should be restricted until further evaluated by a Level II fierplace contractor. A licensed contractor familiar in this type of installation may be a good resource as to where to start looking. Another to find a certified chimney sweep is: Chimney Safety Institute of America (Chimney Sweep Institute of America) you can type in for our state and start calling the individuals on the certified list. [www.nficertified.org], [www.f-i-r-e-service.com]


    I hope I did the correct thing to protect my client as always. This is a foreclosed property.

    Thanks again for all you who participated.
    Dave, your heart is in the right place but you could use Dale's course to tweak your approach a bit. Just stick to known facts and make the referral to a pro and be done with it.
    No insult taken with regards to Dale--he is the expert.
    HTH,
    Bob H.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  22. #22
    Jack Murdock's Avatar
    Jack Murdock Guest

    Default Re: Vent for gas fireplace

    Dave,
    This looks like a direct vent fireplace converted to b-vent. I have never seen a wood burning fireplace with a breech that small. I could be wrong as Bob Harper has been doing this longer than I. (1980 MGF, NFI etc) Another concern should be a vent spill switch. If I was there I would shut it off and red tag it as a safety hazard.

    Jack


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