1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Exactly how "bad" is this?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by snarkyinla, Dec 15, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. snarkyinla

    snarkyinla New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Los Angeles
    2 years ago I bought a condo built in the mid-80s, with a Marco gas-starter fireplace (Marco is no longer in business). The fireplace can in theory burn wood as well as a gas insert. Before I moved in I had a chimney inspection and some work done to the chimney cap and minor repair work around the fireplace itself (new starter pipe, sealing etc). Instead of using a gas insert, I wanted to install a burner for fireglass, but the repair company refused because they said the FP was not "technically approved" for fireglass, though they all said they thought it was probably fine its just because they didn't have fireglass when it was built and since Marco is no longer in business they couldn't technically validate the fireplace was OK for that. But they said they really thought it would be fine they just coudn't do it themselves.

    So, I ended up doing what one of my neighbors did, which is simply put the fireglass in covering the starter pipe, and lighting the starter pipe whenever I use it. I know this is not "ideal" and the fireplace guys said I "shouldn't" do that, but they also weren't willing to install a fireglass burner so it was either do that, or start all over again with another vendor which I didn't want to do. I don't use the fireplace often (I live in Los Angeles) but I do enjoy it when I use it. However, there's the part of me that alway is concerned that this is not the correct set up. So my question is: is this just not "ideal" but OK for occasional use, or is it so bad I'm actually at risk of blowing up my townhouse? Or some level of "mildly bad" in between. I would ideally like to keep the situation as I have it but I need to do an assessment of how risky this REALLY is (as opposed to what the guy trying to sell me a fireglass burner or will tell me).

    Thanks in advance for any advice...

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    What is fireglass?
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,394
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Fireglass is the "New Look" Gas log set. Basically it's the
    same type of pan burner as a gas log, but instead of sand
    or vermiculite in the pan, there are small shards of tempered
    glass, & the glass can be an assortment of colors. Last I knew,
    the fireglass sold for about $10 per lb, which ain't cheap.

    As for the OP, & without seeing pix, I'd venture to guess that
    you probably are using a "Log Lighter" in that old Marco ZC box.
    If you can find the owner's manual, you may find that it was approved
    for use with a gas log, & I'd be OK with installing a fireglass burner
    in it, as the priciple is the same. I'd check with your fire code enforcement
    person as he/she has the final say. If he/she DOES approve the install,
    I would make sure I had a good CO detector in that same room for safety
    reasons...
  4. snarkyinla

    snarkyinla New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Los Angeles
    Here are some pics of fireplaces with fire glass

    I'm not really questioning if I could get a burner installed that will work with glass, the question is that I am currently using the traditional gas log starter pipe to provide the flame for the fire-with-glass as some of my neighbors are doing. The question in how dangerous it is to do that...
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2014
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,394
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Let's put it this way. The way you are using your gas log lighter is
    not the way it was designed for or tested for.
    Bad? Probably.
    Unsafe? Possibly.
    Deadly? Possibly.
    Smart? NO.
    Your call.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    I'd second that DAKSY. Using a log lighter like that is a darwin award waiting to happen.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page