Is having an AC receptacle inside gas log firebox ok to meet building code?


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Old 11-19-12, 01:16 PM
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Is having an AC receptacle inside gas log firebox ok to meet building code?

I have a fireplace that has a simulated electric display, so it has an AC receptacle inside the front edge of the firebox toward the bottom. There is a switch for the receptacle on top of the mantle. This used to be a standard wood burning fireplace built into the home in the 1950s, but I think sometime in the 1960s this receptacle was retrofitted into the firebox to make it an electric simulation when the 2nd much larger wood burning fireplace was installed in another part of the house.

I would like to have a gas log fireplace installed, but I am not sure if this AC receptacle presents a building code problem, or if it is an advantage. I can imagine turning the receptacle into a flush junction box and installing a nice AC powered electronic ignition system with a metal conduit. I asked the gas log manufacturer and the retail store reps, but they have no idea if this is OK or not, since the gas log heats up the entire firebox. When I searched the web I found discussions about other people installing AC receptacles inside the firebox, so this must be somewhat common.

Here in California is this likely to cause me a headache when the city inspector comes out? If so, I can easily remove the receptacle and fill it in with fireplace masonry cement, but wouldn't want to do so if I can make use of it for an electronic ignition system.
 
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Old 11-19-12, 04:57 PM
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Californya is possibly a problem. The receptacle in the firebox in and of itself may not pose a problem as factory units come with receptacles for fans, etc as an integral part. However, most of them are behind the metal wall. Did they cut into the metal wall or just a hole for the cable? Can you post a couple of pictures of what you have so we can see if it will be a problem? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 11-19-12, 09:30 PM
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I stopped by a fireplace specialty store and learned that I can actually take advantage of the receptacle if I choose a gas fireplace insert such as the Regency models (enclosed unit with glass front). The insert needs AC power for the blower fan. The guy told me that there is enough space in front of the unit so the receptacle won't get in the way, and the cord would plug right in. They also have metal grill door options in front of the glass so kids won't burn themselves on the hot glass. I think this is exactly what I was looking for.

My only question remaining is puzzlement about what requires permits, and what doesn't. I thought anything related to fireplaces needs city permits, but the expert at the fireplace shop said that installing this kind of insert does not need a permit. If true, that is good, it makes it even simpler.
 

Last edited by flyingpolarbear; 11-19-12 at 10:09 PM.
 

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