Gas Fireplace Maintenance

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Seasonal inspection instructions for gas fireplaces including gas fire logs, flue, and gas piping checks.

Gas fireplaces are a modern convenience that makes having a warm comforting fire as easy as turning on a switch or flicking a remote control. Gas fireplaces can be connected to your household natural gas service or to a separate propane gas tank, typically located outside. With all this convenience, gas fireplaces still require some basic maintenance to keep them working for years to come.

Gas Fireplace Diagram

Instructions

Before performing any routine maintenance of your gas fireplace, you should review the owner’s manual that came with your appliance and follow them completely. Failure to do so can void the warranty and lead to serious injury or property damage.

Always remember to turn off the gas valve before cleaning your fireplace.

Cleaning

It is important to keep the control compartment and the burner clean. Use a soft brush and vacuum to clean the compartment at least once per year, but before and after the heating season would be better. The ceramic logs may be fragile and can be damaged easily. Use a clean soft paint brush to remove any dirt and debris from the surface of the fire logs. The glass doors can be cleaned with standard glass cleaner. Do not use any abrasive pads or steel wool and don’t clean the glass while it is hot.

Gas Fireplace components

Any metal plated trim should be cleaned with a damp cloth. Do not use abrasive materials, chemical cleaners, or any other substance that may damage the finish.

Venting

Inspect the metal vents at least twice a year to look for signs of damage, wear, or obstruction. Areas that are exposed to the elements should be inspected for streaks, rust spots, and holes. If you notice holes anywhere on the venting stop using the fireplace immediately. Check the owner’s manual to determine the part number that needs to be replaced and order it from the manufacturer.

Fireplace Parts

Inspect the interior of the unit for water forming in the inner liner or corrosion around the joints. Condensation can corrode fittings, pipes, and caps. Inspect the joints to make sure everything fits securely and that nothing is loose.

Remove the flue cap and shine a flashlight down the chimney and check for obstructions such as leaves and birds' nests. If possible remove them of contact a professional chimney sweep to clear the chimney.

Fire Log and Glass Replacement

Never use your gas fireplace with broken logs or broken glass doors. To replace the logs, turn off the gas valve and make sure the unit is completely cool before carefully removing the logs. If your fireplace has a standing pilot, do not try to remove the logs with the pilot light still on. Use a replacement log that has been certified to work with your fireplace. Follow the instructions on positioning the log. Incorrect positioning can result in carbon build up and poor performance.

Glass panels also must be certified for use with your particular fireplace model. If you have problems with reinstalling the gas logs or doors you should contact a licensed technician do replace them for you.

Gas Piping

Inspect the piping for signs of corrosion. Inspect all fittings and unions for leakage. Apply a small amount of leak detector fluid around all threaded connections and turn the gas back on. Look for any bubbles forming on the fittings and tighten them if necessary.

Gas leak detector

Professional Inspection

Your gas fireplace should be inspected by a trained professional at least once a year. If any part of the appliance has gotten wet from a chimney leak, you should not use the appliance again until the unit has been inspected by a technician that has been certified by the manufacturer.

Starting

Follow the instructions located in the owner's manual for your appliance on relighting you gas fireplace. Perform the final checks required before using standing pilot or electronic ignition gas fireplaces.

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john doe
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Posted on Sep 24, 2011
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Posted on Sep 24, 2011