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  1. #1
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Wife won't allow a wood burning fireplace which is a shame since we have tons of wood...

    She wants a ventless propane and all pipes have now been plumbed and making the fireplace is next.

    Scenario: We can buy a firebox and propane logs (actually have already done this)

    Now that we've bought the parts she wants to re-do it ($$$)

    Are there any issues having a "wood burning" type fireplace built and using the propane fire logs in there.

    So, to reword it.... take the propane fire logs out of the metal firebox and replace them back into a brick/mortar built in fireplace?

    (the new setup would still be ventless)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Richard, you are treading on ground that is potentially very dangerous. Regardless of what is written in this thread following my post, I advise enlisting the help of a local expert in fireplaces. Again, this is a very serious territory. Life, health and property issues abound.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    How can you have a ventless wood fire?

  4. #4
    Veteran Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Wife won't allow...... Now that we've bought the parts she wants to re-do it ($$$)
    I think I see your problem, but you probably don't want my advice on the solution.
    But seriously, make sure whatever you do is safe. I think people do put propane fireplace inserts in fireplaces all the time.
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  5. #5
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Ace: In case you think that *I* am doing the work... that is wrong. I'm hiring a HVAC guy that does gas and he's done all the installation.

    He installed the metal firebox "fireplace" for the ventless propane logs. We've just not yet built around it to make the outside pretty but, the "fireplace" itself is currently operational and working. Reason I put ($$) above is it is during this process that the wife has changed her mind and every time she changes her mind it gets more expensive!

    PaGuy: we would have "ventless logs" in there. They are ceramic or something that won't burn and the flames surround the logs for a view and some heat. Actually, most (all) the heat dumps into the room and it's used to warm things up.


    So let me reword this....

    Let's pretend that anyone reading this thread has a professionally installed and properly working WOOD burning fireplace. Let us also presume that you have propane plumbed to the fireplace (let's not worry/quibble as to why)

    Now, take your chimney and SEAL IT UP. You now have NO chimney!

    As of this moment, your "wood burning" fireplace is useless..... but here's an idea...

    Get some propane burning "logs" for a ventless fireplace, slide the ensemble into your fire area, plumb the propane to the input and turn it on.

    What we've now done is swapped a "wood burning" fireplace for the standard metal box "fireplace" (that doesn't burn wood but instead, HOLDS the propane burners with the fake logs next to them)

    There was no chimney built for the new "fireplace" since it won't be wood burning....it will house a VENTLESS system.

    I personally don't see any issues. I also don't want to have someone go out of their way "willy nilly" since I live 15 miles out of town. I don't want to drag them out here unless I'm 99% sure it will work and we're going to do it.

    Here's a picture of it. Essentially, it would be the following: (tried to upload picture and it didn't work, will try later)

    1. Remove the propane burner from the inside of this fire box (that has no vent)
    2. Build a stone , brick, whatever the material might be... "fireplace" in this location (that has no vent)
    3. Insert the propane burner into the new enclosure (that has no vent)

    The building of the "fireplace" would be done by someone who builds fireplaces (not me)
    The installing of the propane "logs" into the new fireplace would be done by someone who plays with gas (not me)

    My logic is, it's the propane burner that makes this "ventless" and not the "box". So I THINK I should be able to replace the "box" (build a "fireplace") and move it over.

    This metal box is in my view, pretty cheesy feeling.

    (it would be so much easier if the wife simply allowed a traditional wood burning (with chimney) fireplace but, I digress)

  6. #6
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    -ventless-jpg

    Seems I got it to work this time. Here is the "fireplace" of mention. The goal is to take the outer metal "shell" and replace it with stone or whatever a REAL fireplace is made from... and keep it ventless.

    We'll then add the cabinets to the sides that she's got on her build list.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Richard, all I am saying is that there is much concern over unmodified, properly-installed ventless fireplace units. What you are proposing is modifying ventless equipment for a use not intended by the manufacturer.

    I cannot think of something I would less-likely do than what you are proposing. Just stating my mind here.

    If something were to go wrong, who takes responsibility?

    The manufacturer? Nope
    The installer? Nope, he'll fold his LLC and have wording on the contract to protect himself.
    Insurance company? Probably not.

    Is the local jurisdiction inspectors going to sign off on this work?

    Don't let you wife decide something this important. This isn't like selecting the color of floor tile or where to hang a picture.


    I promise not to further clutter your thread.
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  8. #8
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Check the specs and see what the minimum clearance to combustible materials is...
    To change the looks to your liking some framing may be required...

    I've seen fire rated cement board screwed to all the sheet metal facets and then covered with stone,tile,brick etc...
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

  9. #9
    Gold Member tman1020's Avatar
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    Default

    From my understanding properly rated gas logs can be added to wood-burning fireplaces. There is no such thing as truly ventless fireplaces. If you are combusting something it has to vent to somewhere. if you read the instructions on "ventless" items they require you to open the windows to a certain amount. there goes your efficiency.when gas logs are properly installed in wood-burning fireplaces the dampers are blocked open a small amount. I think building a proper wood-burning fireplace and then adding a gas log to it is a good option. Seems like the safest way to go and then if you change your mind and get sick of wasting money on gas you can always use it as a normal wood fireplace. always a good idea to have functioning CO2 detectors when you're having any type of combustion. Two years ago I just ripped out a gas log wood-burning stove to replace it with a true wood-burning stove best decision I ever made. Through the Old unit into the scrapheap it was an expensive one too,cost a fortune to run.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building a fireplace (ventless) question...

    Even propane need to be vented as it produces excessive moisture as well as depletes oxygen in the house.
    Use a pro and be sure the unit is CSA or ULC rated.

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