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Plumbing gas to existing fireplace?

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Has anyone plumbed a gas line into their existing fireplace?

I'm trying to find a way to make my fireplace useful. It doesn't draw smoke well and it's not a good idea to create wood smoke in the neighborhood.

Any ideas welcome.
Lynn

Joined: Apr 20 2006

The easiest route for gas supply is over the roof, then down the wall next to the fireplace.

Every Eichler fireplace needs two things. 1. Outside air supply 2. Glass enclosure that fits well. When a fireplace is used, a very large amount of air rises through the chimney. This air supply must come out of the Eichler. I have heard that there is a net loss of heat in the house when using the fireplace. It is warm near the fireplace, but the rest of the house gets colder as outside air leaks into every little opening in the house and finds it's way to the fireplace and up the chimney. Most fireplaces don't work well unless a window is open. Ideally, the fire is fed by outside air entering through openings installed through the block. The close-fitting glass enclosure keeps the warmed air from escaping the house.I don't know what size openings, or materials are required for this modification.

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2004

Hi Lynn,

Yes I have and I'm glad I did. I had the same problem with my chimney. I have seen different fire place logs and such but I put in an a gas insert heater. Its very nice with an adjustable rate fan, a remote and also the largest viewing window available for an insert.
Its a Heatnglo FB Grand and take a look at:
http://www.heatnglo.com/products/inserts/gasInsertDetail.asp?f=07800
I got the Vision Operable Doors front.

It barely fit (I chipped away a little brick) so be careful with your measurements. I had to have this one so I did not mind the extra work.

Make sure you get a Direct-Vent type gas insert because the air is drawn from outside and you can seal that drafty chimney not to mention don't need to worry as much about carbon monoxide poisoning. I still have a detector to be safe.

As for the actual drilling it wasn't too bad. I had to get a 1" bit that was 18" long and drill from both sides but it worked out. The exit into the fire place should be about 2" from the back and about 2" from the bottom so you can work on the pipe with pipe wrenches.

I'm really happy with the heater it takes the chill out of the air in about a 1/2 hour and then I have a warm floor and air.

-- Ralph

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

Thanks for the info. This is not really a practical optionfor me because of the air balance. I have an Heat Recovery Ventilator in my home that bring in fresh air and ventilates the old air. It's a very slow exchange process but it keeps the humidity in check and the air fresh. I also have a well insulated /sealed home. I can't afford to upset the balance by adding a fireplace I think. Adding a fireplace would be simply for aesthetic reasons which is a big factor too.

So...Here's theother question. Has anyone removed their fireplace and what are the issues involved?
Lynn

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2004

Hi Lynn,

The product I mentioned is a _direct vent_ which means it only uses _outside_ air :-) Read up on all the details at:

http://www.heatnglo.com/products/inserts/gasInsertDetail.asp?f=07800

The air input comes down the chimney in one pipe and exhaust up the chimney out a different pipe.

The benefit of this design is you get radiant heat and convection heat from the fire but it does _not_ draw air from the room.

Regards,

-- Ralph

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Joined: Mar 24 2004

Will I still be able to put an insert and gas line with current foam roof?

Thanks

Diana

Joined: Apr 20 2006

A gas line can run over your foam roof, supported by wooden blocks. You may need a hole in the roof in the overhang. This is simple; Drill the right-sized hole, install gas pipe through a roof-jack....the cone-shaped metal piece. The roof-jack is sealed to the foam roof surface in a bed of exterior caulk.

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Joined: Mar 24 2004

Thanks Randy!
You are so helpful! :)

Diana

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

Here is a link to a much more moderinst version of the gas insert described earlier. Same company, but in stainless steel and w/o all the ornamentation.

http://www.heatnglo.com/products/fireplaces/gasFireplaceDetail.asp?f=27125

Lynn: I also downloaded some pics of things other Eichler owners have done to keep their fireplace, but using it as a decorative focal point, not a useable fireplace. We are having the same discussion night-after-night. I'd like the "glow" of a moderinst gas instert style on a cold rainy evening; hubby would too, but we wonder if the cost and hassle are worth it. After all, this is California. So the 2nd best solution in our minds is to forget about use and focus on aesthetics. That big black rectangle below my George Nelson clock just "doesn't cut it."

I have a new email address, so feel free to write me at cathyelynnATcomcastDOTnet - and I'll send you the pics.

Cheers!

Cathye

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2004

Hi Cathye,

That one is nice but will not work in a fireplace as an insert. You could add it to your house but would need to build a seperate box for it. I guess you could take out the fireplace and do that too.

I got the Vision Operable Doors front. This is a simple black frame model with glass doors. Really clean looking. Click on the broachure link on the right and you can see what the Vision Operable Doors looks like but seeing it in person at the dealer is better.

Cheers,

-- Ralph

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