Wood burning fireplace converted to Gas, no liner, no cap, sugestions?


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Old 01-02-13, 07:53 AM
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Wood burning fireplace converted to Gas, no liner, no cap, sugestions?

We moved into this house with the fireplace in its current state. Currently I have a piece of metal covering the top of the chimney to keep the elements and the critters out. I'm not super worried about it to the point of spending tons of money to get it working, but I would like it to work if it wouldn't be to much trouble. Ill let the pictures do most of the talking but from what little I know the previous owner converted it to Gas from Wood burning, I know a Cap needs to be installed but all I have seen on the internet require a Flue mainly and mine appears to be just straight brick and mortar. There used to be wool and some rocks in the fireplace with the current fake logs I just cleaned it all out a couple of years ago to see what all I had in there. Basically where I'm at is Id like to be able to burn the gas logs here and there for looks I have a furnace for heat (Would gas logs like this even produce a significant amount of heat?) But from what little I have read I see thousands of dollars needing to be spent in order for some chimneys to be usable. Just not sure what my next step is here?
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Old 01-02-13, 08:40 AM
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Welcome to the forums! I am not a fireplace expert, but from all indications it is a well built one. Chimneys do deteriorate and many choose to install flue liners and caps to keep the heat from further degrading the brick and mortar. Yes, you need a cap, but I would let a professional look at it and determine the best course of action. Some of out guys are more into fireplaces, too, so hang in there for further comments.
 
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Old 01-02-13, 09:16 AM
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Hi headrunner and welcome as well,
I deal more with the draft issues than the actual construction, but shifting from wood to gas would be a reduction in flue temperatures which should be headed the right direction for what the chimney can handle. But an inspection by a professional, as Larry suggested, is always the best course when health and safety are on the line.

I can't tell for sure, but it looks like an outside chimney and they can get very cold, although not as often down there. You want to be sure the combustion products from the gas are going up the chimney at all times so some testing on very cold days would be advisable, along with a low level CO detector or two.

As for heat, an open flue like that will carry more heat up and out than it produces for the inside. Gas is better than wood, since you can turn it off and close the damper, if you have one, to stop the venting process. Just don't forget it is closed the next time you run it.

The best answer ($$$) would be a sealed combustion insert that draws its air from the outside. Yes expensive, but they can produce heat and act as a backup for times needed. I have frequently cooked on my air tight wood stove. An insert would also use a chimney liner.

One last topic, you may want to check with your insurance company before investing any money. Some will not enjoy wood or even gas as you currently have.

enjoy
Bud
 
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Old 01-02-13, 09:47 AM
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I guess another thought I forgot to mention in my original post, Would it be any cheaper / easier, to get rid of the gas and make it where I could burn wood in it? I would honestly prefer wood.
 
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Old 01-02-13, 10:02 AM
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You have gas available, so "cheaper", maybe, since you can cap off the gas. "Easier", probably not, since, as Bud says, you will definitely have to make an adaptation for outside air for make up. If you had the pro come in and give a thumbs up, then you could leave the gas there, install a block lighter and not have to worry about lighting the fire Boy Scout style .
 
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Old 01-02-13, 10:02 AM
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I would still have everything checked out but it seems you would need to do little more than removing the gas logs and gas line to start burning wood.

If you want heat, stick with gas. That said, I love wood fires way more than gas but I know I'm not doing it to heat my house.
 
 

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