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surfside 12-20-2012 01:06 PM

Testing Gas Fireplace For Leaks
I moved into a home with a gas fireplace. The house was built five years ago, and I don't think that the previous owners ever used the gas fireplace even once. With the winter months coming here in Florida, I am interested in using the gas fireplace a few times during the few cold days that we have here in this area of the state. I have called several of the area propane companies to inquire about installing a gas tank, and inspecting the gas log set up before I use it. All of these companies will provide a free inspection, when I install their tank, which will cost me at minimum $200 for the installation and filling of their tank. I do not plan on using this fireplace near enough to warrant getting a tank that large and using that much propane. We do not have any other use for the propane around the house except for the gas fireplace. I am inclined to believe that I could just use a small tank, like what I would use for my gas grill, and that should be enough gas for me to use with the fireplace during the cold season. What I am leery of is using the gas fireplace without testing it first. Problem is that I don't know how to test it or what I should be looking for. Is there a way that I can do this myself, without having to pay a gas company $200 for more gas than I need? They won't come out and do an inspection, unless they get to install their service – which I can understand that from a business perspective.

nealtw 12-20-2012 01:48 PM

Find the make of the unit and then find their local supplier, and they will find you an installer who could check it for you.

surfside 12-20-2012 03:16 PM


Originally Posted by nealtw
Find the make of the unit and then find their local supplier, and they will find you an installer who could check it for you.

That's awesome! Thanks, I will get that info tonight and make a call tomorrow.

Wuzzat? 12-21-2012 10:08 AM

You could rent a detector but they do put an odorant, possibly mercaptan, in NG.

CallMeVilla 12-21-2012 01:03 PM

If installed properly, there should be a solid pipe from the fireplace wall to the burner. Flex-pipe is not allowed by code. Here is a simple approach:

With the interior valve closed, you can connect the tank (is it outside or inside?) and apply bubble solution to the fittings. This will reveal any leaks . . . as they say, "No bubbles, no troubles." You can then turn on the gas and light it.

More serious approach:

Buy a gas pressure valve ($15). Disconnect the burner and cap that end with a typical pipe cap. Attached the valve to the gas-side of the setup and fill it with no less than 15 psi air from a compressor. Let the valve sit over night. If it has not moved, your system is tight. Reconnect the burner, connect the gas, have a warm night!


nealtw 12-21-2012 01:49 PM

Besides the leaks, a fireplace should be serviced from time to time anyway. And we don't no way it was not used much so having it serviced is not a bad idea.

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