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Could I have a dual Gas and Wood Fireplace?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by planehopr, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. planehopr

    planehopr New Member

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    I live in a house built in 2003. The fire place has never been used. Today I had a plumber install what looks like a tube with holes connected to a gas line. it produces many little flames across the fireplace. My plumber said that this will be used to light the wood and then I turn the gas off. I asked him a few times "are you sure this fireplace is meant for wood and not those fake gas logs?" He said I could do either.

    I'm perplexed. For the life of me I never heard of a dual fireplace. I don't know how to assess the situation. Honestly, I'd love to burn wood in my new house! It has a metal rack for the wood, a chain screen, and a glass enclosure just like other fireplaces. I'm nervous though. The last thing I need are dead family members or a burned down house, or smoke damage, etc.

    It is 2011...My house is 2003. It is a tract home neighborhood. How do I find out definitively if I can burn wood. If I can't do what can I do to make those little blue flames look like and warm like a wood fire?
     
  2. planehopr

    planehopr New Member

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    Sadly there is no owners manual. The house was bank owned...it didn't come with any good information. I'm sort of trying to figure stuff out on my own.
     
  3. planehopr

    planehopr New Member

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    I found something...deep in one of my closets was a stack of papers...in those papers was a manual for a WOOD BURNING fireplace that looks exactly like mine. The next book was a manual for setting up gas and gas logs. It looks like the wood fireplace has been converted to a gas fireplace. But my plumber told me the gas rod he installed below the "wood" rack will be used to light the wood. He said after a few minutes the gas can be turned off.

    Does this make any sense? I don't want to mess up, but I have about 5 months to figure this out :)
     
  4. planehopr

    planehopr New Member

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    OK! Message clear. I have an email out to the company about this, and I'll call them during business hours tomorrow. Thank you for helping me!
     
  5. greengoblin

    greengoblin Addicted to ArboristSite

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    First things first, I have absolutely no knowledge of anything you are talking about.....so dont take advice from me......That aside, the first thing I thought of was why would you want a high heat source next to possibly unburnt fuel that is prolly pretty combustibule and explosive? Sounds dangerous to me....The next thing I thought was, what kind of setup is this....if the flames are close enough to the wood to light it, that means the ash of the wood will fall into the "little holes" of the gas line and plug them rather quickly.....I imagine a something like a proprane grill fuel rail, except closer to the wood and uncovered. Again causing a very dangerous situation......I wouldnt touch the thing personally, until I knew what I was dealing with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  6. trailmaker

    trailmaker ArboristSite Operative

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    I've seen and used a couple of fireplaces with the setup you're describing. I don't know if they were conversions or what but they make ash clean out difficult and starting fires is easy enough without a gas line. Hopefully you can reach the company and get some advice. If I were you and couldn't get any definite answer I would either keep the gas and put in the fake ceramic logs, or remove the gas line and use it as a normal fireplace or better yet install a wood burning insert.
     
  7. CrappieKeith

    CrappieKeith Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Although we make 2 different sizes of wood/coal/gas furnaces that are UL listed to burn both fuels in the same furnace and vent through the same flue I'm not sure that what you have is designed to do that. As mentioned you should talk to the manufactures customer service reps.
    Your install may have been altered...verify.
     
  8. blacklocst

    blacklocst AboristSite Guru

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    I saw an episode of this old house where they were replacing a fireplace that had a gas line with holes in it, like your describing and said that it was used to light wood. Btw they capped off the gas line and put in an insert with blower fans.
     
  9. saxman

    saxman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I saw that episode this weekend, and that is what I understood them to say as well. The gas was used to light the firewood only. I agree with the previous, just like on the Ask This Old House, do away with it and put in a good insert. I have found that multi-purpose anything means it's not real good at anything.

    Steve
     
  10. zogger

    zogger Tree Freak

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    Ya, no need for natural gas

    Just a waste. And for the record, even most wood burning fireplaces don't throw the heat like a proper heater or even an insert will.

    Lose the gas, get an insert with a glass front for the looking at it coolness factor, then you get the best of both worlds. If the chimney is designed for wood, should be easy enough to tell, visual inspection, maybe you can access it in the attic/crawlspace? Seems though if you found paperwork with the house indicating a wood burning fireplace, and one is apparently there, chances are pretty good it is one. Just get it checked out first and go from there.

    And you better hustle *now* if you want dry wood for the winter!
     

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