Break in Gas Fire Place

Old 11-19-23, 09:16 AM
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Break in Gas Fire Place

So I have a gas fireplace that has been sitting empty since I bought the house 5 years ago. I finally bought a gas fireplace log set and am about to install it. I had questions:
1. The wall that the gas pipe comes out of has a broken piece that has just been propped back in. Is that dangerous? I just have a mental image of flame sneaking into the wall and burning the whole house down

2. The gas pipe has a cap placed at the end. It was very tight and took a lot of effort to remove the cap. While I was struggling it, the whole pipe was shaking and I could hear the pipe creaking in the wall. What are the chances that some joint or connected developed a small leak/crack?

I may sound a bit paranoid but I have never done any work with gas pipelines and/or fireplaces and want to make sure I don't burn the house down.
Old 11-19-23, 11:19 AM
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1. It's generally not an issue though I like to seal any opening around the pipe. I use refractory cement or a similar high temp mortar. As far as flames getting in there it shouldn't. Your logs and the flames will be at least several inches above the opening.

2. Yes, you should be concerned. It is very important that you hold the pipe nipple (the horizontal pipe) securely in place when you remove the cap with another wrench. If you turned the pipe or let it transmit too much torque into the piping in the wall a leak is possible. I'm not saying it's a huge risk but that piping is tightened together and tested. Any movement of the joint, especially loosening, has the potential to cause a leak.

Do you have other gas appliances in the home or is this stove the only thing? If it's the only thing you can disconnect the gas source, connect a test pressure gauge and then pressurize the house's gas piping to 50 psi with air. Write down the temperature. Then 24 hours later check the air pressure and try to do it when the house is the same temperature as when you initially filled the system. Temperature difference can cause the gauge to move but loosing 10% in a day may indicate a leak.

Another option if you are concerned about the gas piping in the wall is to open up the wall. Then, with the system pressurized brush children's bubble soap on all joints and connections. If you see bubbles forming that is a leak.

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