Testing Gas Fireplace For Leaks

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by surfside, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Dec 20, 2012 #1

    surfside

    surfside

    surfside

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    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.
     
  2. Dec 20, 2012 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    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.
     
  3. Dec 20, 2012 #3

    surfside

    surfside

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    That's awesome! Thanks, I will get that info tonight and make a call tomorrow.
     
  4. Dec 21, 2012 #4

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    You could rent a detector but they do put an odorant, possibly mercaptan, in NG.
     
  5. Dec 21, 2012 #5

    CallMeVilla

    CallMeVilla

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    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!

    :D
     
  6. Dec 21, 2012 #6

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    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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