General Fireplace Questions

General Fireplace Questions

I have a steel wood stove, brick lined, and doors come off for an open front. It is vented through a chimney. Can I put 18″ gas logs in it?

Yes, you can install the log set if you leave the doors off to do this procedure.


Can a gas fireplace be installed in a room that does not have a fireplace?

Yes. Direct vent gas fireplaces and stoves are designed for installation in this manner. Direct vent gas fireplaces are installed and vented without the need of masonry work.


Can we hook up our fireplace to a smart system?

If your fireplace has electronic ignition, hooking up to a smart system is a relatively straightforward process; essentially it is just another switch. If your unit has a standing pilot system, you will have to install a relay, which goes from millivolts to twenty-four volts which is the operating level for most smart systems. Town and Country fireplaces actually have an interface part available to work with smart systems.


How close can we install a mantel to a gas fireplace?

There are no standard measurements for all gas fireplaces. Every model has been individually tested during the approval process. When designing your finished project. make sure you consult the manufacturer’s specifications before proceeding with the work.


How often should I have my fireplace serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend servicing your fireplace once a year. However, if you use your fireplace often and as a primary or strong secondary heat source, we would suggest following the manufacturers recommendations. On the other hand, if you do not use your fireplace that often, servicing once every two or three years should suffice. A good tip for maintaining your fireplace is to open up the access to the control area and carefully vacuum and clean it out. These areas can be great dust collectors. If not cleaned out, the dust buildup can eventually affect your fireplace.


Who do I call for servicing?

When setting up a service call, make sure that the technician specializes in the servicing of gas fireplaces and is familiar with your model. There are differences between furnaces, hot water heaters and fireplaces.


Should we leave our pilot light on?

It is advisable in colder weather to keep the pilot on so that some heat is maintained in the vent system. This facilitates the start-up of your fireplace in colder months. In warmer months, if you are not using the fireplace, you can turn the pilot light off.


Can we change our fireplace from a standing pilot system to electronic ignition?

Historically, most gas fireplaces have operated with standing pilots, much like many furnaces and hot water heaters. Retrofitting existing units with electronic ignitions would require replacement of the valve and pilot system. With most fireplaces, this is not possible due to design restrictions.


Some manufacturers have rock style burners and use specifically colored and sized ceramic rocks in the burners. Can these be changed out for other rocks?

In the case of sealed direct vent fireplaces, it is important that the size and placement of the rocks remain approximately the same as recommended by the manufacturer. As long as these criteria are met, the rocks can be replaced with other ceramic rocks of slightly different sizes and colors. With open units, more drastic changes can be made.


Can we install drywall to the fireplace?

Drywall is considered a combustible. Check the specification of the fireplace you are installing for clearance to combustibles. Note too that drywall finishes will often crack in higher heat situations.


Can we turn down the heat from a fireplace and still have the flames?

More gas, more flames, more heat; less gas, less flames, less heat. A few direct vent zero clearance fireplaces have heat dumps, or heat take offs, but other than this you cannot have the flame without some heat. This will vary depending upon the efficiency of the fireplace.


Can you have a gas fireplace that directly vents out a wall without glass?

There are no fireplaces that direct vent without glass, as the waste gas would come into the room if not for the sealed glass. On the other hand, direct vent technology allows for the installation of fireplaces in areas where you could not previously put them and at relative inexpensive costs.


Can I put a TV above a fireplace?

The short answer is yes, however depending upon the fireplace, care must be taken to provide adequate clearance. Each fireplace has tested clearances to combustibles specs for the area above that should be followed carefully. We would also recommend insulating the framing in the wall above the fireplace to prevent heat going up through the wall, as well as installing some sort of deflection to direct heat away from the face of the TV. Ultimately, you have to decide if you want to watch a TV that is at least half way up the wall.


I recently bought a home where the previous owner converted the wood burning fireplace to gas. At the bottom I found sand and some white cotton like substance that glows when the flame is on. Is this asbestos? Was asbestos ever used in gas fireplaces?

It is not asbestos; it is vermiculite and rock wool.


There is a white film on the inside of the glass. How do I get it off and why is it there?

The film is generally caused by the mineral residue left over from the burning off of the gas. There are water components in gas which carry minerals. Luckily, there are specific cleaners made for cleaning fireplace glass. Do not use ammonia based products as they might cause damage or etching to the glass. To remove and clean your glass check your owner’s manual or call a service technician.


If the power goes out, will my fireplace still work?

Most fireplaces installed today have a standing pilot system which generates millivolts of electricity to operate the fireplace, thus no external power is required. At this point, electronic ignitions are seldom installed. Of course if you have a fan, it will not work in a power outage, however the fireplace will.


What are the regulations regarding installing a gas fireplace in a bathroom?

If the bathroom has a door, the fireplace must have a direct vent-balanced flue system – no open B vents. The fireplace must operate on a timer or thermostat and must be 18″ from the tub or shower. The glass on the fireplace should be ceramic.


What size of gas pipe do I need to use for a particular fireplace?

The size of the pipe required for a fireplace will depend upon the amount of BTU’s used, and the gas pressure along its route to the fireplace and back to the meter. In most cases, gas fireplaces can be fed by copper pipes from 3/8″ to 5/8″ or steel pipes up to 3/4″.


What does remote ready mean? Does it come with a remote?

Remote ready means that you can turn the unit on and off via the remote (wired or wireless). This requires a millivolt valve that creates millionths of volts of electricity to control the valve. Remote ready units do not come with a remote because there are up to 20 different kinds of remotes.


Do we need to have those brass strips like the ones shown in the fireplace brochure?

Most fireplace manufacturers, like car manufacturers, like to show as many options for the product as possible, even if many customers just want the basic unit. All the fireplaces shown in the brochure can be obtained in basic black.