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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
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    1,181

    Default Propane fireplace

    Does the damper on a propane fireplace require a clamp like a natural gas fireplace does?

    I had another inspector call and ask me this question. I didn't know so I told him I would check with the IN guys and get an answer.

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    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Propane fireplace

    Yes, for firelogs. No, if just a starter for wood burning.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
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    1,643

    Default Re: Propane fireplace

    It's not the fuel but the type of gas logset. If the log is listed as ventfree, then the damper may remain closed. If it is listed only as a vented set, the damper must be removed or blocked open to the Permanent net free opening specified. Usually, that amt of opening means wide open-not just a crack. Then there are logsets that a dual listed. In that case, you need to look at the clearances to the mantel, if a glass enclosure is used or not, etc.

    To learn how to distinguish between the various types of fireplaces and listings, click on the button for the FIRE Service's Inspector course.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Propane fireplace

    It DEPENDS...


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
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    1,181

    Default Re: Propane fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    It's not the fuel but the type of gas logset. If the log is listed as ventfree, then the damper may remain closed. If it is listed only as a vented set, the damper must be removed or blocked open to the Permanent net free opening specified. Usually, that amt of opening means wide open-not just a crack. Then there are logsets that a dual listed. In that case, you need to look at the clearances to the mantel, if a glass enclosure is used or not, etc.

    To learn how to distinguish between the various types of fireplaces and listings, click on the button for the FIRE Service's Inspector course.
    Interesting.. When he ask me I drew a blank..then thought why don't I know this.
    I'm assuming it's a gas log thats installed in an older wood burning FP.
    EPA requirements only allow 2-3 woodburning days a year in the Phx. area. I have a propane gas log in my home, used it once in 15 yrs. Checked my damper and no clamp.
    My suggestion was write it up, and let someone challenge it..

    Bob.I've looked at your website several times, never put 2&2 together that it was you.. kudos to you for providing us answers and giving us information with out sreeming , hey look at my website and buy my training with every post.

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Talking Re: Propane fireplace

    My website? Uh, I don't have one. I referred you to Dale Feb's F.I.R.E Service education via the button below but I'm not Dale and hope he isn't offended by that thought! FYI- Dale's my best friend so I can joke with him. That and he's 3,000 miles away so he can't hit me.

    Yes, Dale has several programs available from the full 6 day Inspector's course to a Home Inspector's one day gig and a new Hearth Advisor one day gig.

    Check 'em out.

    In response to those 'burn ban' days, one solution I've heard is to burn at night when the enforcers are home. ;-)

    Thx.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Propane fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    It's not the fuel but the type of gas logset. If the log is listed as ventfree, then the damper may remain closed. If it is listed only as a vented set, the damper must be removed or blocked open to the Permanent net free opening specified. Usually, that amt of opening means wide open-not just a crack. Then there are logsets that a dual listed. In that case, you need to look at the clearances to the mantel, if a glass enclosure is used or not, etc.

    To learn how to distinguish between the various types of fireplaces and listings, click on the button for the FIRE Service's Inspector course.
    Some issues that should be added to this discussion are that to install a vent-free gas log set in a factory-built fireplace with the damper closed, that fireplace MUST be listed for use with a vent-free gas log set. It will specifically list than on the listing plate. If not, then the damper must be clamped/clipped open. If it's listed for use with vent free and has a flue system, the flue system needs to be intact - no fireboxes in place with out piping fully in place - not partially, or not at all. (We find them regularly installed incorrectly, usually after a sudden-occurrence event...)

    If the vent-free log set is dual-listed for vented and vent-free and the firebox is NOT listed for use with vent-free, you could use it in a factory-built fireplace as long as the damper is clipped open. At that point, it acts like a vented set.

    Finally, if using vent-free appliances of ANY kind, they must be sized appropriately for the room. There is a formula for this in the installation manual to determine the correct size of vent-free appliance (in btu's) for the room.

    With these issues in mind, it's advisable for most home inspectors to simply pass that potential high liability of a hearth-related inspection on to a hearth-related specialist. Those specialists include, but are not exclusive to: a F.I.R.E. Certified Inspector, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, and/or a NFI Certified Gas Specialist. Each of those particular specialists has achieved a baseline comprehension in specific areas regarding to hearth and many have multiple certifications from different organizations.

    It remains up to the client to determine which level of knowledge is sufficient for them to hire that technician.

    Bart Ogden
    Wichita, KS


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Cool fireplace inspector referral

    Bart hit on just a few points relevant to this discussion but there are many more, which is why I suggested you take a course that teaches this material. That is why I referred you to the only one of those three certifications that has paid for advertising on this site for many, many years.

    As to your last point, two of those three certs. cover the issue of gas logs to any reasonable degree, but only one teaches you how to inspect them and shows the consequences of improper installation or application and that is the FIRE Certification.

    Relating to the discussion of ventfree vs. vented logs, what has changed in the CSIA Cert. that now includes gas logs and to what degree? Is it taught or just tested as it has been since thes start?

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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