Gas Log Confusion

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  #1  
Old 12-31-12, 01:14 PM
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Gas Log Confusion

Hey everyone,

So we are renting a house, and we have been trying to use this darn fireplace but I have no idea what I am doing... Our landlord is remote, so we are trying to figure this out on our own.

He said the fireplace can go either way - gas or wood burning. There is a gas log set up inside though, so I am hesitant to light up real wood with a gas line sitting beneath it, though that is our preferred way to use it.

The confusion with the gas log is that there are no controls or valves anywhere to be seen. There is a gas line coming in through the wall of the firebox, which goes straight into the burner plate. But... there doesn't appear to be any mechanism to start a gas flow or light a pilot. Ive scoured the inside of the firebox, as well as everywhere nearby in the room.

Is anyone familiar with this type of gas log? Any suggestions on where I should be looking to get this thing fired up?

Photo of what I've got here: View image: IMAG0119
Thanks, any tips are welcome, as i'm clueless

Matt
 

Last edited by baehoo; 12-31-12 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 12-31-12, 06:16 PM
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The first thing to do is to remove all the ashes and crap so we can really see what you have. I'm thinking that this is NOT a "gas log" but a gas ignitor for a wood fire. The two rods I see MIGHT be a spark ignitor and flame sensor or it might have nothing to do with the thing. Several more pictures (after cleaning) will help and have some of the pictures from far enough back to see the entire floor of the fireplace. Also at least one picture from far enough out in the room to see the entire fireplace and the wall on the side where that assumed gas pipe enters.
 
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Old 01-01-13, 05:49 AM
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Need a pix of the top of the hearth as well. At least on the right side facing the fireplace. Those "ashes" look to be cellulose and not wood ash. The square plate filled with finer grain (maybe sand) is the igniter area. Until we can see the complete cleaned up set up, there's not much we can do. Clean out the ash area, leave the sand area for now and post pix of the piping and the others Furd asked for.
 
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Old 01-01-13, 06:33 AM
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I agree that it looks like cellulose or rock wool or some other insulation around the unit which makes me think this is not or has not been used to burn wood. If the gas line is aluminum I think that confirms it is not a wood fire ignitor. And, seeing how clean the walls of the firebox are it looks like nobody has had a wood fire. I wonder if if is an old gas flame unit from before the days of gas logs. I don't see any modern safety features like a flame or low oxygen sensor.
 
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Old 01-01-13, 08:22 AM
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I copied the picture so I could enlarge it and now I see more detail. It now appears that there is a steel pipe entering from the right and that this pipe has a brass angle flare fitting connecting to an aluminum tubing (what I first thought were rods) and this aluminum tubing connects via another brass flare-to-pipe thread angle fitting to a steel connection running under the "pan" in the center of the photo. The material around the outer edges does appear to be mineral wool or something similar. I also see that this is a steel fireplace.

The material in the pan is some kind of non-flammable material and I suspect that there is some kind of ribbon burner or perhaps multiple burners under this material, at the very least a distributor pipe. The gas burns on top of this sand-like material. It is possible that at one time there were ceramic "logs" stacked upon the sand bed and the flames would appear to emanate from the logs.

I suspect that there are NO safety devices whatsoever with this arrangement. You need to find the gas valve and simply light a piece of crumpled paper on top of the sand bed and turn on the gas. When done turn the gas off. I would NEVER leave the fire burning unattended.
 
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Old 01-01-13, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for the tips, and sorry for the crappy photo!

After digging around inside the fireplace searching for a valve, I feel like a real dummy. Hidden in the floor under a rug next to the fireplace is a valve clearly labeled "log starter valve". And as you described, Furd, I was able to flip that on and light it right on up. Though, I just used a lighter and had a bit of a fireball... I think the crumpled paper is a fantastic idea

The whole safety idea makes me a bit nervous... I will definitely take the advice of not leaving this burning unattended.

Thanks much!
 
 

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