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Thread: Plumbing for a gas log

  1. #1
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default Plumbing for a gas log

    What are your code requirements in different locals thank's tool

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default gsd

    The pipe has to enter the fireplace within the first or second brick off the floor, (narrow bricks not 8" high ones), and near the front of the fireplace. There has to be a key operated shutoff within arm's reach of the log, meaning no more than 3' from the fireplace. The damper has to be welded in place or a stopper put on it so it cannot be completely closed.

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    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thank's for the reply H J

    Hoping to fish gas tite in finished ceiling below, with only one cut out in drywall.

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    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    The damper has to be welded in place or a stopper put on it so it cannot be completely closed.
    Ugh. What a waste of hot and/or cold air.

    Is there a way around that that's code?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default damper

    Is there a way around that that's code?

    Absolutely not. It is a requirement so that if there were a natural gas leak, or the log was turned on without being lit, the gas would pass up the chimney instead of accumulating in the house.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You could put a nice glass door in front of the firebox, and open it when using. I think that would still meet code, but check first.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default code

    That would minimize air loss, but the damper would still have to be permanently propped open.

  8. #8
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Thumbs up the glass doors

    are the way to go. They are left open during operation. can't have a damper,you might wake up dead!

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua
    You could put a nice glass door in front of the firebox, and open it when using. I think that would still meet code, but check first.
    I went through this at my former house. Oh my god, those glass doors (two-sided fireplace) cost me almost $2000. One side of the fireplace was to my bedroom and the other went to a living room. The glass was nearly "black-out" so we could get some privacy.


    I'm willing to share a patent if anyone wants to file one.

    Given how much the government is trying to promote conservation, it seems to me that a device that would allow a homeowner to really close a damper would be a fairly big seller. Of course it would require a change in code but that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

    If interested in pursuing such a patent (I already have a software patent and I'm writing up another one), let me know. (Right now, I'm not sure if I'm joking.)

    That's what I get for being out of work and poor.

  10. #10
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default Maybe someone has an answer

    On vent free gas fireplaces.....those units produce 1 gallon of water in humidity an hour when you operate those.

    In other words, you run that in your home your windows will be soaked with moisture running down to the panes.

    I installed one of these "vent free" types and demanded that the customer open the damper to the existing wood burning fireplace the vent-free gas logs were going.

    He called the mfg. regarding what the plumber was insisting on and the maker of the logs took the stance that their product was burning the fuel at a 98% efficiency and that it was made to operate in a unit that has no exhaust to outside at all.

    Totally uncomfortable about this whole experience I walked away from the job stating that just with a few minutes of operation in the home.....the smell of unit along with air movement blowing everything hanging on the mantle getting extremely hot was just too dangerous.

    My theory is this; for flame you need oxygen. You have one of those operating and have a somewhat airtight home.......it seems to me that the margin of error grows significantly for the need for fresh air incoming into that home.

    And if you have a home that's been remodeled to death along with a lower efficiency furnace and a standard flue water heater, where is all the demand for these units (might as well throw in a gas stove operating along with a gas dryer) for fresh air coming from?

    Naturally a large square footage home is different but you hear of people getting overcome by space heaters and pitted heat exchangers/plenums on furnaces all the time.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I am not comfortable with the vent-frees either. There are plumbers in my area installing those things in bedrooms all the time. I can smell the emissions and can see the moisture in rooms where those are installed! I believe code here allows them in non-bedroom space, I don't like them in any living space. Mayber a garage or an unoccupied storage space. And yes, I don't blame you for wanting to be able to come up with a solution to avoid purchasing glass doors, but still provide the safety of an open damper.
    I just read a great book on the very effective and functional fireplaces that Count Rumford designed in the 1800's. Shortly after he designed his fireplaces, Ben Franklin designed the "Ben Franklin woodstove", these closed metal stoves became so popular that fire place use and design development quickly became extinct. Not many people have given much thought to designing and building functional fireplaces since before Franklin. That's why so many modern fireplaces are terrible at burning a clean, hot fire, and why so many of them don't draft well and often send smoke back into the room. The old Rumford design from over 100 yrs ago is one of the only designs that considers these issues and solves them. He was simply forgotten by time and other innovations. But with the number of people who want fireplaces in their homes, they should take the time to consider his design.

    Molo

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    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo
    And yes, I don't blame you for wanting to be able to come up with a solution to avoid purchasing glass doors, but still provide the safety of an open damper.
    The idea would be to have the damper open when there is a fire running but closed when there is no fire.

  13. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default damper

    The idea is that once it was closed it might not be opened again, and a gas leak could occur while it was closed. The requirement is not negotiable for that reason. They prefer that the damper be welded in the "ajar" position, but a restricting clamp will often pass inspection.

  14. #14
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    I can't speak for the code setting authorities, but it was always my impression that the reason for blocking the damper was because of the extreme danger of CO buildup if a gas fireplace or gas log was operated with the damper closed.

    Anyway, as hj said, I have never know it to be negotiable with an inspector.

    This item is a "freebie" for the real estate home inspectors. They almost always get to right this up as a safety issue, and of course they are paid by pound of paper in the report, so they love it.

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