Gas Fireplace Sand

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Old 09-15-08, 07:40 PM
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Gas Fireplace Sand

We have a gas fireplace that has a metal tray on the bottom with gas burner. When we bought the house, the tray was covered in sand with debris mixed in. We took all the logs out and vacuumed the sand/debris out. We refilled the tray with aquarium rocks. We called a fireplace shop and they said not to use small rocks, that sand had to be used. We removed the rocks and put clean sand back in. We turned the fireplace on and lit it. The gas jets blew the sand away from the ports and we had large pockets of flames coming out in some areas and not at all in other areas. Any ideas on how to fix this? Should we put the aquarium rocks back in since they were heavier and the gas jets could not blow them out?
 
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Old 09-15-08, 08:03 PM
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I replaced my gas logs last year. They came with a small bag of lava rocks. I have seen the same rocks sold for gas grills. I will get a few more pounds this fall.

I sounds like you may have plugged the burner holes with the sand. A vacuum should fix the problem. I agree that the rocks should not be used. The heat could cause poisonous gas to be released. Also if the rocks contain moisture they could explode.
 
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Old 09-15-08, 08:57 PM
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My gas logs came with rock wool. It gives it the burning ember effect. Just a thought.
 
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Old 09-16-08, 06:52 AM
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Gas Fireplace Sand

We do have the rock wool but I can't fill the whole bottom tray with it, the tray is too big.

Thank you for the thought on the aquarium rocks. What I don't understand is why the jets are blowing the sand out now. There was debris mixed in before but not enough to hold down the sand. What would make the difference?

At our other house, we also had lava rocks but it did not have a tray, just a burner so it was easy to control the flames. This one has a large tray with a small tray inside it and the gas comes out around the edge of the smaller one. If we don't cover the gas jets with some kine of material, we will just have pure, big flames coming out around the edge of the smaller tray.

I will try the lava rocks though. That makes more sense than aqaurium rocks.
 
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Old 09-16-08, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tornadomom View Post
We do have the rock wool but I can't fill the whole bottom tray with it, the tray is too big.

Thank you for the thought on the aquarium rocks. What I don't understand is why the jets are blowing the sand out now. There was debris mixed in before but not enough to hold down the sand. What would make the difference?...
What you say about the sand blowing out concerns me. The pressure of the gas should be very low. This could be a problem with the regulator. A photo would be helpful. Problems with gas appliances can be very dangerous. Having the logs checked by a pro wouldn't be a bad idea.
 
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Old 09-16-08, 04:59 PM
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What type of fuel are you using, Propane or Natural gas? Propane requires vermiculite which looks like cat litter. Some makers also have small pieces of rock wool mixed with the vermiculite. Propane operates at a different pressure and is more dense than natural gas and requires a different medium.

Natural gas vented pan burners use sand to cool the pan as well as diffuse the gas coming out of the burner tube. They also use a thin layer of rock wool on top to give it the glowing ember look.

NEVER use aquarium rocks or anything else in your gas fireplace that the manufacturer does not approve of in it's owner manual. Most rocks contain moisture that turns into steam when heated and will explode with serious force!!

There should be a metal tag attached to the burner telling the make, model, fuel type as well as if it is a vented, vent free or direct vent fireplace.

Please take note of this last thing........vent free gas logs are wonderful sources of heat but SHOULD NOT be repaired, maintained or serviced by anyone not qualified. You may get it right, but if you get it wrong, someone could die.
 
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Old 09-16-08, 05:11 PM
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Good advice Tater. When in doubt, call a pro.
 
 

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