Repairing natural gas supply line for fireplace


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Old 11-21-11, 04:26 PM
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Repairing natural gas supply line for fireplace

I have a 25 year old home with a fairly large fireplace which appears to have had a gas log in it at one time. There was no gas log when I purchased the home, and the following link has a couple of pictures of the gas line in the bottom of the fireplace. Pictures are here.

I would like to install a burner or other apparatus for evenly starting a wood fire. As you can see in the pictures, the threads on the gas line are in pretty bad shape. Will I need to remove the fire brick from around the gas pipe and replace it with a new one before attaching a burner, or is there any other option for safely attaching a new fitting to the existing line?
 
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Old 11-21-11, 04:37 PM
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Sorry to say that pipe is toast. The only way to fix it is total replacement. That may be as easy () as spending a few hours with a cold chisel and hammer chipping out the brick until you get to the elbow and then replacing just the riser pipe or it could entail a much larger job of replacing all the piping embedded in the masonry.

Whoever disconnected the original gas log or ignitor system should have installed a cap to protect the pipe.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 05:16 PM
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It's not clear that this fireplace was designed as a wood burning fireplace. You need to be sure that it is before burning wood in it.

It looks like it could have been designed as a manufactured gas fireplace, and if so it would not be safe to burn wood in it.

If it is a wood fireplace that was converted for a gas log set, then it's probably not too much of a job to repair it and install the log lighter you want to use.

Is there a wall shutoff valve installed to turn the gas on and off to the fireplace? If so, I would presume that the gas line was disconnected and capped off someplace to be sure that gas couldn't come out of that open pipe.

If that's the case, you be looking at reconnecting that gas line and then probably putting in some pipe fitting through the floor of the fire place to the new log lighter. Just a guess, but probably an hours work for a repairman to do.

When I took equipment like that out of service, I'd have cut the fuel line near the main gas line and plugged it off. Repairing that would not be difficult to do. Of course we don't really know what needs to be done. This is all speculation.
 
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Old 11-21-11, 05:56 PM
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The fireplace is definitely intended for wood. It has an ash removal hole in the bottom of the fireplace and a door on the outside of the chimney for shoveling out the ashes.

I've removed the brick surrounding the natural gas pipe: Brick removed Can I cut the old threads off and re-thread the pipe? If the pipe has been hot, will it be strong enough to withstand re-threading?
 
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Old 11-21-11, 11:56 PM
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If I were doing the job, I would start by examining the whole length of the gas line through whatever crawl space or whatever that it run to, back to where it connects in with the main gas line.

I would expect the line to be cut and capped some place, and I'd want to know where and the condition of the line before I started.

For example --- suppose someone capped the line to the fireplace at the main fuel line and removed the old gas piping to the fireplace except for the pipe nipple you can see. Installing new equipment to that pipe nipple would be a waste of time, right?

You want to start by knowing what you have. If you aren't willing to do that, don't even consider DIY.
 
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Old 11-22-11, 11:59 AM
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The outside of that nipple is far too corroded to allow for rethreading, if you could even get a die in there and turn it.

Please follow SeattlePioneer's advice and inspect the entire piping run before embarking on what may be a futile endeavor.
 
 

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