Today, with the help of Ben Hickey from ThermoRite Starfire Distributing, I am going to walk you through how to install a vented gas log set. As long as you already have the gas lines ran to your fire box the installation process is very manageable for the average DIY’er. However if the gas line needs to be ran to the firebox we recommend that you contact consult a gas professional for that step in the installation process.
You can install your very own vented gas log set in just 4 easy steps. What you will need to begin is the gas log set that you will be installing, pipe dope or Teflon tape, gas fittings, gas flex pipe, two wrenches, Silica Sand, Rock Wool, and Lava Rock. Once you have everything gathered it is now time to install!
Step #1: Attaching the fittings to the burner
Start by applying the pipe dope or Teflon tape to the connecting end on the burner pan. Be as careful as possible as the pipe dope does not come out of carpet or clothing very easily, if at all. Always use two wrenches when you are working with gas line fittings. You do not want to spin something that is already tightened. This could cause you to create a leak in the line without even realizing it. Make sure that the gas feed will be pointing to the back of the firebox.
Step #2: Connecting the Gas to the Burner Pan
Place the burner pan in the center of the firebox. Using a piece of flex tubing, copper, or aluminum pipe you will connect the gas line to the burner pan fittings. We are using a flex tube to connect our gas lines. So now we will bend the flex tube into a “U” shape, point it to the back of the firebox keeping it low. We have used flare fittings so we will not need to use any pipe dope or Teflon tape during this step to keep the connections tight. You can if you would like to but it will only be effective on the seat of the flare fitting. If you are using compression fittings, which Ben does not recommend using; you will not need to apply pipe dope or Teflon tape either. Make sure that the connections are good and tight on both ends of the pipe or tubing.
**Before you move onto the next step it is highly recommended that you install a Damper Clamp. It simply attaches directly to the damper and gets tightened down. This clamp will keep you from being able to shut the damper completely, which is a no-no with vented gas logs or fireplaces. This is an important piece if you forget to open the damper for whatever reason.
Step #3: Make the Appearance of a Traditional Wood Burning Fireplace
The goal with a gas log set is to make it as realistic as possible so that when someone looks at your fireplace they will have to take a closer look to determine if you have real wood or gas logs. Following our steps for application of the following materials you will be able to obtain a very realistic look to your firebox.
Once you have the gas connected to the burner and the clamp installed it is time to give the firebox the realistic look of a traditional wood burning fireplace. We will start by filling the burner pan with the filler media. We will be using the provided silica sand as we have a natural gas fireplace. However, if you have a propane fireplace you will need to use vermiculite and also install a safety pilot kit. Completely fill the burner pan with the filler. Now place the grate over the gas burner pan.
After the grate is in place you will begin to place the rock wool, a.k.a. glowing embers, under the grate starting in the back and working your way to the front. Leave some room in the front so that it does not fall to the firebox floor and get covered by the lava rock. You can use the rock wool to cover the gas fittings so they are hidden. The rock wool will not glow over the fittings as there will be no gas flowing through them but it will keep the fittings from being obviously seen.
Now place the Lava Rock, a.k.a. Cinders, along the floor of the firebox surrounding the grate. The lava rock is supposed to make the appearance of ash or cinders. Now finish putting down the rest of the rock wool to fill any holes or gaps between the silica sand and lava rock. Make sure that the sand is completely covered. The sand is where the gas comes from and the flames will make the rock wool look like glowing embers. Don’t be stingy with it, put it anywhere you can.
When placing the gas logs you will want to place the shorter of the two long logs to the back of the grate. The longest log will then go on the front of the grate. Then with the top log pieces you can be as artistic as you would like with the placement.
Step #4: Light the Fire and Enjoy!
After you have the firebox all set up the way that you like it, it is time to turn on the gas and light the fire. We did not include an ignition in our installation so we will be lighting our fire with a long stick match. Have the match lit and placed under the grate above the rock wool as you turn the gas on to the fireplace. Once the flame is lights you are all done! Ta-Da! Now all you do is sit back and enjoy the beautiful realistic gas fire!