Converting See Through Fireplace

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clennys

New Member
Jun 12, 2021
1
United States
Hi. Sorry for long post! I am a new homeowner and am a little bit naive about the whole permitting process. I am already halfway done with this project when I realized that hey maybe this should have been permitted. I went with the certified fireplace installer that the fireplace store recommended so I just assumed everything would be OK. Here is the situation:

I have an existing see-through gas masonry fireplace and I am trying to convert to a single-sided fireplace. I will close off the other side and have an entertainment center built on the closed off side. To achieve this I decided to install a gas insert on one side and then close it off with brick on the other and will frame drywall right up against the brick. The fireplace installer said ok no problem I can do it up to code. He didn't try to get permits or anything. I just assumed he would have told me if he needed to but in hindsight I probably should have pushed for it.

So what he ended up doing was laying two layers of brick inside the firebox (8"). He insists this is enough and up to code. The gas insert hasn't been installed yet but when it is installed there will be roughly 10"-12" of air space between the back of the gas insert and the back of the firebox wall. There is then the other 8" to the framing. I've tried to look up code and can't find anything specific regarding gas insert clearance. I saw code that said the back wall of the firebox needs to be at least 8" and if there is any combustible material up against it, it should be 12" of brick but this is for a wood-burning fireplace right? Does that code still have to be upheld for a gas insert inside a masonry fireplace? I do have room for another layer of brick, but is it necessary? I already started so I guess I can't get permits but I just want it to pass if they were to ever come back to inspect it.

Thanks.
 

Lennox65

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
94
New Hampshire
As long as all of the material on the inside of the existing chimney is non combustible, that should satisfy local and national codes. There is a metal plate that needs to be attached to the inside of the existing masonry fireplace that states "
D. Fireplace Conversion Notice
Permanently attach the label with the following warning to
the inside lower back of the fireplace firebox into which the
insert is being installed. Silicone or mechanical fasteners
may be required to properly secure the label.
WARNING! Risk of Fire! This fireplace has been converted for use with a gas fireplace insert only and cannot
be used for burning wood or solid fuels unless all original
parts have been replaced, and the fireplace re-approved
by the authority having jurisdiction."
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,066
central pa
Hi. Sorry for long post! I am a new homeowner and am a little bit naive about the whole permitting process. I am already halfway done with this project when I realized that hey maybe this should have been permitted. I went with the certified fireplace installer that the fireplace store recommended so I just assumed everything would be OK. Here is the situation:

I have an existing see-through gas masonry fireplace and I am trying to convert to a single-sided fireplace. I will close off the other side and have an entertainment center built on the closed off side. To achieve this I decided to install a gas insert on one side and then close it off with brick on the other and will frame drywall right up against the brick. The fireplace installer said ok no problem I can do it up to code. He didn't try to get permits or anything. I just assumed he would have told me if he needed to but in hindsight I probably should have pushed for it.

So what he ended up doing was laying two layers of brick inside the firebox (8"). He insists this is enough and up to code. The gas insert hasn't been installed yet but when it is installed there will be roughly 10"-12" of air space between the back of the gas insert and the back of the firebox wall. There is then the other 8" to the framing. I've tried to look up code and can't find anything specific regarding gas insert clearance. I saw code that said the back wall of the firebox needs to be at least 8" and if there is any combustible material up against it, it should be 12" of brick but this is for a wood-burning fireplace right? Does that code still have to be upheld for a gas insert inside a masonry fireplace? I do have room for another layer of brick, but is it necessary? I already started so I guess I can't get permits but I just want it to pass if they were to ever come back to inspect it.

Thanks.
Is the doeble sided fireplace a masonry fireplace or is it a prefab box with a metal chimney?