Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Is this ok?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Is this ok?

    To me, this looks like someone is burning something flammable in a firebox meant for a vented gas log insert? There is a metal flue with a damper. The gas line on the right seems to have been capped off?? Is this ok? I don't think so, but I'm not sure...

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    It is not uncommon here to have a gas supplied burner under the log rack to act in place of kindling. Maybe the apparatus has been dismantled. Is there a gas shutoff on the face or ether side. Sometimes a red inline ballcock. Sometimes what appears to be a Key.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    oops...sorry, I didn't pull down the lower front cover and look into it while I was there...nothing on either side though... It's just that before, these always have gas log inserts not ashes? I'm home now working on the report...


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Did you observe the damper on this unit? Most of the gas units have more of a flimsy sheet metal damper, not meant to ever fully close (partial fixed open). Also can't tell much from the photo, but usually preformed fireboxes (not brick and mortar) are meant for gas. I am no expert, but I always include the following catch all phrase:

    Note: Fireplace flues and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected periodically by a chimney specialist. This inspection does not include lighting a fire in the fireplace to check for proper operation. It is recommended that the flue be inspected and cleaned by a chimney specialist prior to use.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    by the way...it's ok to slap me around a bit if I need it...I'm a big boy..I can take it


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Yes, I looked at the damper...like you said...flimsy sheet metal. I'm pretty sure they shouldn't be burning stuff in there. Probably a Duraflame log. I'll put something in the report that recommends against it.... and cleaning by a professional prior to next use...thanks...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Cool factory built fireplace

    You have a factory built fireplace. If you look behind the mesh curtains, you should see the rating plate showing it is listed to UL 127, which would make it a woodburning fireplace. Now, some but not all 127 woodburners can take a gas log lighter pipe, some can accept vented gas logs usually up to 100,000 BTU/hr input rating and some are listed for use with ventfree logs up to 40,000 BTU/hr. input rating.

    The chimney and termination cap are listed as part of the fireplace and cannot be modified or accept aftermarket components.

    The gas line penetration must be through a conduit provided by the mfr. through the sides of the firebox. You cannot drill holes anywhere you want to in these units. Again, if it is not tested and listed for gas it won't have this conduit. The gas pipe cannot be CSST but only 1/2" NPT steel. The pipe should be chinked with high temp. insulation where it penetrates the inner firebox wall behind the refractory panel then the gap to the refractory should be grouted with refractory mortar.

    This appears to have the orginal factory grate still installed. Note the tabs connected at the rear wall. This controls how far forwards the logs and therefore heat signature can concentrate. Aftermarket grates are unlisted and therefore not approved since they represent a fire hazard.

    Vented logs require the damper be blocked wide open to meet the specified minimum permanent net free opening--usually 50 sq. inches, which is the full 8" round on smaller boxes like this one. Larger boxes may have flues up to 14" ID.

    Some mfrs such as Majestic expressly forbid burning mfd logs such as Duraflame in their fireplaces.

    Most of your questions, including clearances to combustibles will be answered by the listed instructions.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    ok, I'm hearing it's both (gas logs and or wood burning)...I saw the cap on the gas line opening to the right. I'll just leave it alone then...thank you sir.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Bob may correct me on this, but if it has a fairly large flue (6-8 inches) and an operable damper it was built for wood burning and is OK for wood burning.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southwest US
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Giles View Post
    by the way...it's ok to slap me around a bit if I need it...I'm a big boy..I can take it
    YOU STUPID MORON, WHAT THE HECK'S THE MATTER WITH YOU? WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR INSPECTION DEGREE, NACHI? GET WITH THE PROGRAM!
    hows that??


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    actually, I was thinking more along the lines of....LISTEN ROBERT, IF YOU WANT US TO BE ABLE TO HELP YOU, YOU GOTTA AT LEAST BE SMART ENOUGH TO OPEN THE DOGGONE FRONT COVER SO THAT WE CAN SEE/KNOW WHATS IN THERE!!!...OH, AND BY THE WAY, TRY USING THAT LITTLE ZOOMY THINGY NEXT TIME IF YOU'RE GONNA BE TOO DARN LAZY TO GET ANY CLOSER THAN 8 FEET AWAY...IDIOT

    HAHAHAHA...I Kill me ain't hindsight a **tch....


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    You guys are killing me. You can tell what it is listed by for, wait for it...............looking at the listing on the rating plate!!!!!!!!!


    Seriously guys, as inspectors you can't inspect the box to find the rating plate to see what it is approved for? You should know what the various listings and standards are so you can distinguish between a woodburner from a gas unit and whether or not it is vented, ventfree or dual listed. The rating plate---not the physical attributes tell you what it is. Click on the banner and take the FIRE course. You'll learn a huge amount about construction in general as well as liability, codes and standards you never thought about.

    Robert, you mentioned the cap on the gas line. Is is properly sealed? Can you locate a shutoff serving that fireplace? What about the rest of the installation? You seem content to walk away from this Fp.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    Click on the banner and take the FIRE course. You'll learn a huge amount about construction in general as well as liability, codes and standards you never thought about.
    Bob,

    Regarding this particular course...the Certified Fire Inspector teaches and tests for the Level II. Does FIRE offer a more generalized inspection course that doesn't necessarily lead someone to these advanced levels?

    OK, on further examination (I didn't understand what the website was saying the first time)....it is possible to merely take one of the courses.

    Do they ever come to Texas? I would be interested in the class.

    Bruce

    Last edited by JB Thompson; 05-18-2012 at 08:23 AM.
    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Smile FIRE courses

    The F.I.R.E. Service teaches several courses including a shorter course designed specifically for home inspectors then the full Certified Inspector course, which is taught only in Moorpark, Calif or Richmond, Va. The inspector's course uses special props so it is not a traveling road show. It's very hands-on, which differentiates it from other courses.

    Another useful tool for H.I.'s would be to get the books from the National Fireplace Institute for Building Officials. While similar to the full NFI cert. textbooks, these handbooks are designed more as reference books to be carried in the truck.

    You can call both the FIRE Service and the NFI for more info. or click on the FIRE banner below. You can reach the NFI at NFI Certified

    HTH

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    If you don't have the time or money to invest in the full FIRE course, look into the "Home Inspector and the Fireplace" course which you can find by clicking the same banner Bob mentioned.. I took it a few years ago and it made a big difference in my inspection of fireplaces and associated chimneys.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    What banner are you two talking about?

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

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    hey Bob,
    .
    I asked my initial question after I was already home. I no longer have access to the Fp. Just wanted to know if I should tell these folks (in my report) to quit burning duralflame logs in their gas insert only Fp. I saw it sealed/capped off where I normally see the gas line coming through. Didn't know there were Fp's out there rated for both gas inserts and also wood burning.

    It sounded like you were telling me it was rated for both. Was gonna leave it alone... Am I wrong about that...did I misunderstand? I'm listening...


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Smile Re: Is this ok?

    Robert, a few things might help:

    gas insert- a self contained unit tested and listed to ANSI Z21.50 or Z21.88. Have a sealed glass front and connect with one or two aluminum chimney liners.

    vented gas logs- an appliance consisting of a burner, gas control and decorative logs intended for installation into a fireplace otherwise approved for burning wood. In factory built fireplaces listed to UL 127, the fireplace mfr. must approve of the installation of vented logs into their fireplaces with the input BTU/hr. limit, which is usually 100,000. These logsets can be listed to ANSI Z21.84 which are match lit and have a manual on/off control or a set with a safety pilot factory installed and listed to ANSI Z21.60 .

    ventfree gas logs- an appliance consisting of a factory assembled gas control, burner and positive log placement indices with an oxygen depletion sensor safety pilot. May be a millivolt control, which may be controlled by a low voltage wall switch, thermostat or remote control or it may have a hydraulic thermostatic sensing bulb. Ventfree logs can only be installed in factory built fireplaces that have been tested and listed for use with ventfree and not to exceed 40,000 BTU/hr input rating. Certain brands specifically forbid the installation of ventfree gas logs such as Heatilator and Heat&Glo. You also must meet the requirements in the code for type of room, makeup air, building construction and gas piping. Listed to ANSI Z21.11.2

    decorative gas appliance- a gas fireplace tested and listed to ANSI Z21.50 for decorative purposes and not heat. May not be controlled by a thermostat and must be attended operation. A gas fireplace built into a wall or covered with a cabinet that may use direct vent piping or may use B-vent.

    vented room heater- a gas fireplace built into a wall or covered with a cabinet and direct vented with special gas vent listed for use with that specific make and model fireplace. These units are tested and listed to ANSI Z21.88 for use as heaters so they can be operated by a thermostat for unattended operation.

    loglighter- a gas appliance consisting of a steel pipe, air shutter and external manual gas control designed to assist with igniting solid fuel in fireplaces rated for woodburning. Must be listed to CSA 8. The pipe penetration must be sealed around the conduit with high temperature insulation then grouted to the firebox refractory with high temperature cement. Actually, you need two valves: one to serve as the 'shutoff' and one closer to throttle the burner, both installed per the gas code. Gas piping into factory built fireplaces can only be installed through the conduit provided. If no conduit is provided then no holes may be cut into the firebox. To do so would void the warranty and listing of the fireplace and constitute a fire hazard. In addition, some mfrs. such as Heatilator state a clearance to combustibles inside the chase cavity off a steel gas pipe installed into their fireplaces.

    Now, back to the fireplace in question: it appears from the comfort of my desk to be a woodburner with a gas pipe installed but ashes from burning a densified solid fuel log. This fireplace may or may not even be approved for gas since we have not identified it or read the manual. Therefore, I would suggest you recommend inspection by a qualified hearth professional and to locate the listed instruction manual. I cannot tell you from here for sure what it is or is not rated for.

    Tom, do you see the F.I.R.E Service banners on the fireplace forum?

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    thanks Bob...this information is quite helpful. My Carson Dunlop reference manual barely touches on this particular subject. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't provide more/enough information but honestly, I had no idea it would turn into such a technical discussion. I was expecting a couple of folks to chime in to say either yes its ok or no its not ok. In any event, I've listened and heard you loud and clear. I will do better next time. I will get all of the information that I need to make an informed decision directly from the device itself or from the manual. I now (with what you've graciously provided and the internet) have enough resources to reach my own conclusion next time.

    That's how I learn...I make a mistake...acknowledge and own up to it....learn from it...and I never make that same mistake again. I knew I was in the right place.

    Now, today, I'm off to immigration and nautralization. My lovely filipina wife is being sworn in as a citizen today. It's been almost five years and I'm loving (almost/ ) every minute of it. thanks and good day to you all...


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    Got it! I couldn't see it because it was right there in front of my nose.

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

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    How do I go about taking The Home Inspector & The Fireplace course? Is it in person only or is it available online etc.

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

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: Is this ok?

    In person. Click on the banner to see what courses they have coming up and where. If you get enough people interested they can bring the home inspector's course to your local chapter.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •