How to verify natural gas fireplace is safe to use?


Old 10-29-14, 05:04 PM
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How to verify natural gas fireplace is safe to use?

I recently had my stone fireplace rebuilt. When I bought the house, quite a few of the larger stones had fallen out so it had to be repaired. The mason who fixed it said the flue was fine and it would be safe to use now.

Originally I had thought it was a wood burning fireplace. The previous owner had left a fire grate in there and I could see remnants of old newspaper and other things they shouldnt have burnt. Yesterday I cleaned out the fireplace and found that there is actually a gas line sticking out. I knew I had a gas line into this room that went to my unvented heater and the back porch but I didn't know it extended into the fireplace. Currently I just have the gas line turned off from another room.

Now that I've identified this, I'm unsure if it's safe to burn in there due to the previous owner using it as a wood burning fireplace. The damper opens and closes fine and I can see up the flue. I think that part is fine, especially since I got confirmation from the mason.

Am I just supposed to buy a natural gas log now? Is it going to be a problem that there is still some dust on the gas line? There's also a few vents under the front of the fireplace, they definitely turn on and make a sound but I don't know that they work.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-29-14, 05:58 PM
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What you have there appears to be what is known as a log lighter. You use this as an enhanced method to get your fire logs burning quicker. You control the gas flow by turning it on and off using the key in your second photo. You have to make sure the fireplace damper is open. You stack up your logs and then use a long fireplace match or piece of paper to light the log lighter and slowly open the gas valve. There is an air shutter that needs to be adjusted so the flames burn blue. Once the logs are lit you turn the gas off to the lighter so the logs will last much longer. Here is a link to a manual with more detailed instructions:
Old 10-29-14, 08:19 PM
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If there is a blower under the fireplace..... that would be used to distribute the warm air from the fireplace. There may be a hollow jacket around the firebox that the air would blow thru.

The log lighter is a handy item but you don't have to use it. You can start a fire the old fashion way.

Having the gas there is a plus. You could always put in a sealed glass fireplace insert or gas fired logs.
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