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  1. #1
    sarah castaner's Avatar
    sarah castaner Guest

    Default Fireplace key shut off location

    Problem: Having built ins placed in two large alcoves on either side of the fireplace. The fireplace is a wood burning fireplace with a gas starter option. The key to the valve is located in the alcove to the left about 3 feet up from the floor. One contractor included repositioning the valve to the front of the fireplace in his bid. It is his belief that the code requires the key to be visible and accessible. This will be about 800.00. The second contractor states that it only needs to be accessible and his plan is to have a cut out for it in the built ins in the portion that has doors. (Basically lower closed cabinets, then open shelving is the design of the built ins.) I have tried to figure out who is right, but have failed in trying to decipher the language of the code. I am in Austin TX and any help would be appreciated. I want to do this right and avoid future headaches.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    North Central Texas

    Default Re: Fireplace key shut off location

    Austin is under the 2009 IRC and adopted amendments. The gas valve must be accessible, but not readily accessible as per that code. G2420.1.3 (409.1.3) Access to shutoff valves. Shutoff valves shall be located in places so as to provide access for operation and shall be installed so as to be protected from damage. If it is visible and reachable within the adjacent cabinet it is accessible.

    Is this a masonry fireplace or a manufactured steel fireplace? If manufactured, you must defer to the manufacturer's recommendations. Some, such as Rumford, recommend placing the valve on the wall or in the floor within 2 feet of the fireplace opening.

    The further removed from readily accessible the valve is the more dangerous the lighting of the gas log starter or ceramic log set will become. The simple answer is no, it must not be in the front of the hearth if it is a masonry unit; yes, it may be required to be within a certain distance from the opening by the manufacturer, and yes, it would be wise to put it there no matter what.

    It is inevitable that others will follow to expound, expand, explain, extrapolate, excoriate, and excommunicate further, but that is the gist of the matter.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-19-2012 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Polishing.
    Texas Inspector
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Garland, TX

    Default Re: Fireplace key shut off location

    we've been down the "inside the cabinetry" road before

    while down on your hands and knees you turn on the gas
    crawl over to the firebox
    strike your ignition source and pray it ignites on the first try
    whatever gas has escaped and built up will flash once you finally get the igniter lit
    oops you forgot to open the damper before the previous procedures
    the flash out if male might rearrange/remove your smartly coiffed facial hair
    if either sex the reddening and stinging will fade and soon be forgotten in a matter of days
    until your next attempt at having a romantic atmosphere
    this will all lead to a lifetime of anguish and cost megabucks to work through with your therapist

    a simple remedy if you're embarrassed among mixed company by an over exposed gas valve

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