Q&A 1920 home w/ fireplace that burns both gas AND wood?

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 6:16 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We moved into a 1920 home which has a fireplace that, we were told, burns both gas AND wood. There is a chimney and a glass door structure. We have successfully burned a few gas fires but I'd like to occasionally burn wood or Duraflame-type logs. There seems to be a sheet or blanket made of some sort of non-burning wick-like material over the gas burners and, then, there are the burners themselves, so I was hesitant to just throw some wood logs in there and fire 'em up, not knowing what damage, if any, could be done to the gas-burning system. Is there such a thing as a hybrid (wood/gas) fireplace? Do I need to put some sort of cover over the gas burners to make sure that gas will work again after x number of wood fires? Any other operational and/or maintenance caveats?
    Thanks for your time and effort reading this. Keep up the great work on the site!


    There really is no such thing as a gas/wood fireplace burner in the current market. This does not mean that it didn't exist in the 1920's. However, it's my guess that your unit was a gas-only burner which the former owners burned some wood logs on.

    There are gas "fire starters" which are cast-iron tubes that are hooked to a gas line and ignite the wood..then they are turned off. Tell you the truth, these scare me a bit.

    You also may want to check if your burner has any updated safety features, like a pilot valve. If it doesn't, you should consider updating the set.

    By the way, the wick like material could be asbestos, so don't kick up a lot of dust in the fireplace. It's safe as long as the material doesn't get into the air you are breathing.
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