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Do I need to insulate a Gas fireplace insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by hosehead, Sep 4, 2006.

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  1. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    I just purchased a Mantel and a 26" gas fireplace insert. I plan on putting it against a finished wall that has paneling on it along with an electrical outlet that will be hidden behind the gas insert. My question is, do I have to insulate the finished wall from the gas insert?
    If so, do I use fiberglass(what kind?) or a fire retardent board(what kind)?
    Thanks in advance.

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Lets start off on the right track.
    It sounds like you have a fireplace not a insert. Your not retrofitting an existing wood burning fireplace are you?
    The fireplace should have zero clearance to combustables. Can you please post the model and make of the unit you are purchasing?
  3. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    Its a gas fireplace insert and a wooden mantel unit I bought from home depot.
    There isn't an existing fireplace at all. This mantel just gets placed against the wall
    and the insert just sits inside the mantel.
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    If you dont have your terminology confused, then what you have is a retro fit for a wood burning fireplace.
    Insert = retrofit
    ZC fireplace = Fireplace

    I dont think HD sells inserts, so i assume you have a fireplace. The manual states its framing deminsions and mantel hights, thats not generic information. You should not have to insulate anything. Is this a ventless unit?
  5. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Ok, thats a fireplace. Some fireplaces have standoffs on the exterior that cant touch combustables. Your manual will tell you how far to keep it off the back wall. Sometimes its 0" sometimes its 1/2" You need to look that up. As far as any prep work goes, there isnt any, just maintain the clearacnes listed by the manual and away you go. No need to stuff any insulation behide the unit, (unless the manual tells you to) Now the gas line is a different story. Most places require a emergency shut off with 4' of the appliance.
    Hope that helps

    If you dont have a manual, maybe the folks at lowes know?
  7. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    Thank you sir
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Your welcome! :)
  9. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Vent free creeps me out. I have to narc on Home Depot usually twice a year to the AHJ and they have to pull the vent frees off the shelf. They're illegal here. Well good luck with your install, hope you enjoy the unit.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Yea shane, alot of places here too. Altitude loves to trip those ODS pilots. Oddley enough, there leagle in boulder, but not in denver. Where i live, they wont even turn on, they think the depeleted the o2 right out of the box!
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How much CO comes out of these units? I wouldn't consider one of these things for anything but a leaky barn.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That and moisture. Vent frees unload that ton of moisture that is in natural gas right into the living space.
  13. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    I asked a local University prof to figure out the CO2 emissions from a 30,000 vent-free gas fireplace a few years ago to answer a site visitor's question. You can read the results of his computations online at http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/hovfco2.htm
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Many states do not allow Ventfree gas fireplaces to be installed Other states that do only allow certaint listed and tested units.
    You have to find out what your state allows. Ventless units require two permits the gass permit and inspections then a permit from the fire dept which will include Carbon Monoxide detectors. You did not say what room the installation is going into It can not be a bedroom. Call me old fashion but I would never put a n applaince where I share my breathing air with the appliances exhanst
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Kitchen Ranges? They are vent free and used in tens of millions of homes. Kitchen ranges don't even have the ODS... (at least, not to my knowledge).

    The key to Vent Free is that they are OK if they are not used....or used a couple of hours a week.

    However, more than very occassional use will create problems, from excess moisture (rare) to having to paint the entire house! In a perfect world, they could work decently, but reality rears it's ugly head. They get dirty, reburn gases and fumes in the air (from other stuff in the house), so out of adjustment (cannot be adjusted in the field) and on and on....

    So, for a yuletide flame in a well ventilated room they might be OK, but not for constant space heat.

    Hopefully, you have read all the labels - not for sleeping areas, no unattended use, not for people with respiratory problems...I think there was even a warning about pregnant women....
  16. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Our gas range has two 6,000 btu/hr burners, one 8,000 btu/hr burner and one 10,000 btu/hr burner. We would have to run all four burners on their highest setting at the same time, which we've never had occasion to do, to equal the emissions of a 30,000 btu/hr vent free. Plus, the burners on a gas range aren't deliberately carbureted to burn "dirty" to simulate the yellow flames of a natural wood fire, as is the case with vent-frees.

    Nonetheless, we always turn on our power exhaust range hood when using our cookstove due to indoor air quality concerns, and we're not alone in taking this precaution: health professionals and government officials have been looking at the negative health effects of gas cookstove emissions in recent years, and several states have passed legislation requiring range hoods which deliver the exhaust outdoors for all new gas cookstove installations.
  17. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    You did buy this in your own state correct?

    A friend from work purchased a vent-free gas fireplace from Home Depot a few years back and her friend loved it and wanted one for herself and asked her to get the same one for her. My co-worker looked into every Home Depot within 60 miles and none had any, so she called out of state and they did. She travelled out of state, picked it up, installed it, went to get it inspected and was then told that ventless fireplaces were illegal as of that year in her state, and no one should've sold her one. When she told him she purchased it from out of state, he simply said he can't pass it, they're now illegal. I hope it purchased in state.
  18. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    Just an update guys, the fireplace is installed and had it started up.
    It definitly cranks some heat but suprisingly the back side of fireplace adjacent to finished wall was
    quite cool.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The convection chambers (often insulated also) around these are very effective. Just don't ever do anything to close off the vents in front!
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    hosehead,

    I'm a bit concerned that you mention the amount of heat your new unit cranks out. Remember, everyone is telling you that these type units are essentially for ambiance, not for heating an area, and certainly not for heating an area for over an hour or two.

    I have some gas logs at my place, but I only burn them a couple times a year. I even have a vented masonry fireplace. The fact is, all of these type devices are meant to impress your company on occasion. They are not effective or safe to use as heaters. There are other gas devices that are effective heaters, but you and I don't own them. If you're interested, ask about these type devices and others can fill you in.

    Be careful with those things and get yourself a CO detector. I have two of them. They are essential IMO for homes with any type of combustion appliances.
  21. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    Mo Heat,

    The heat generated was in a room that was already @ 74 degrees.
    I had the unit turned up all the way which puts out 26,000 btu.
    For what the unit is, it does produce some nice heat. Not enough
    for a primary source of heat, but enough to take the chill out of the
    air and for some ambiance.
  22. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Don't forget the CO (Carbon Monoxide) detector. It will give you definitive data for a critical air quality factor. I like the ones with a digital readout and peak memory. They're only about $30 or $40 at Home Cheapo. A small price to pay for piece of mind.

    I hope you enjoy your new gas appliance. Sometimes I think about getting one of those high efficiency gas inserts for my upstairs. It's hard to beat the convenience of gas. But there's something unequalled about a wood burner, so for now, that's where I focus.

    Best wishes. Let us know how you like it.
  23. hosehead

    hosehead New Member

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    Mo Heat,
    I will update as the winter months come closer.
    I aslo want to say that this is one on the best forums I have
    taken part in. Thanks to all that replied.
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