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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15

    Confused Direct Vent Fireplace Glass Shatters

    Glad I found this site. Looks like a lot of informed people hang here.

    Okay here is the story. My dealer hasn't been too helpful. I bought a fireplace in 1997 and it sat in clean and dry storage till it was installed, two seasons ago. Its a gas Direct vent made by Royal RH5500.... but the warrenty says Heat-n-Glow so I suspect its some sort of subsidiary. Its a one piece glass Museum front I think its called. You can't open it. Anyway last year in about Feb we wake up one morning and the entire glass is shattered. Looks like frosted glass its so shattered. Okay maybe old,,,, maybe a chip... sure I get a new piece of glass from the dealer. A couple of days ago... fire place again not on, hadn't been used since sometime the night before. We hear a loud pop n crackle. No impact, not while trying to light... it was just there... broke on its own. I have no idea what would cause the glass to shatter... so guy from dealer comes out.... looks... says gee, I don't know.... I am perplexed .... i sure don't want to spend $300 a season on glass... that much I know.... has anyone seen anything like this before... did I buy a cheapie....is that the problem? any insights would be appreciated.

    thanks
    steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15

    Picture

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68376096@N00/3346557175/

    here is a picture of the glass if that helps any.

    thanks
    steve
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kawartha Lakes,Ontario,Canada.
    Posts
    19
    Sounds like it's something with the frame pinching/binding on the glass. Don't know your particular unit but thats what I would look into. You said it doesn't open so when you dismantle frame/trim does all seem level,plum or out of square in any way? This is tempered glass and is very fragile so if it is not sitting in frame correctly that will happen. Was/is there some kind gasket or seal around glass? Maybe from sitting in storage so long that has become dried out or hardened. Anyway thats what I would be looking at.Also make sure unit is well leveled and plum because if cabinet is cheaper that will cause binding also. Also specified clearances that allow for expansion and contraction of unit.Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15
    Thanks for the response. When I replaced the first glass I was very careful to make sure nothing was pinching etc. It did have a gasket integrated into the frame of the glass. I hope the dealer today checked levels and plumb but I will check that too.

    thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kawartha Lakes,Ontario,Canada.
    Posts
    19
    Just curious,was it professionally installed by a licensed contractor ? That might give you some recourse as opposed to if you installed yourself. I definitely feel it has to do with glass binding in someway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    1,145
    OK, I'll throw my 2 cents in, for what it is worth. Also suspect binding, but as a result of expansion and contraction. Fireplace on the night before, broken glass in the morning. Not enough clearance to alllow the natural movement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    1,145
    OK, here is my 2 cents. Suspect that binding is a result of improper clearances to allow for expansion and contraction. Firepace on at night, broken glass in the morning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15
    Thanks for the replys. The actual fireplace was installed by a professional, carpenter. I installed the glass so possibly I could have misaligned it the first time. Thing is I also put the replacement in so maybe I am doing something consistanly wrong... but it doesn't appear to be rocket science. It really just goes in 1 way and its been there for a year. We used it nightly and some days probably 16 hours a day. Last weekend when it broke it had been 12 plus hours since we used it last... seems the contraction should be over by then. I will have the dealer install the glass this time, he never really offered the last time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,175

    Cool HG Royal Hearth series

    You need to get a qualified professional to inspect that fireplace before you try to use it again. Carpenters are NOT qualified to install, inspect or service fireplaces! The tech must ensure that not only is the unit properly installed but operating to spec. He will need a new glass front to test the operation ,test for leaks and verify proper ignition sequence (4 seconds) and burning. He will need to inspect the vent termination and as much of the venting as possible. Verify correct fuel setup. On the glass, verify the glass has room for thermal expansion and that the wing nuts are snug but not torqued down.

    The RH5500 was the first ceramic fiber log fireplace built by HG under the Gas Technologies Inc name back in the mid-90's. Be sure your replacement glass has the rope gasket and not the red rubber silicone strip. If I remember correctly, that glass came with a metal frame around the perimeter. Remove diamond rings and keep the glass away from hard, sharp points such as a raised brick hearth extension. Remember, you want the glass snug but not cranked down.
    HTH,
    Hearthman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    2,246

    Get A Profession F/P Company Out

    Their might be more to the picture and even pros can miss when not looking at all the factors. For the safety of your family it will be a cheap fix.
    Do it right the first time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15
    Thanks again for all the comments. I did have the professional Fireplace installers come out today. They checked glass install, they measured and they went outside and measured checked the vent. All was to their satisfaction. The glass wasn't too clamped down. It does have that rope gasket and the metal frame. Its not in contact with the tile. The fireplace store thought everything looked in order....so its got to be something wierd... I am not sure if they did any combustion checks as they didn't have another piece of glass with them.


    thanks
    steve

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
    Posts
    46
    I went on a broken glass call this last fall on a heat and glo. Upon inspection I could not find a single thing wrong with the unit and I checked everything. Cleaned the unit up, installed new glass, operated the unit for awhile and its been fine since then (5 months). I also broke a B vent glass one time by taking it out of the FP for service. It just completely shattered in my hand. I didnt drop and it was not touching anything when it broke. @#%^@# Happens.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by JBCat View Post
    I went on a broken glass call this last fall on a heat and glo. Upon inspection I could not find a single thing wrong with the unit and I checked everything. Cleaned the unit up, installed new glass, operated the unit for awhile and its been fine since then (5 months). I also broke a B vent glass one time by taking it out of the FP for service. It just completely shattered in my hand. I didnt drop and it was not touching anything when it broke. @#%^@# Happens.
    This is what I am worried about. I hope its not a design problem. I guess until we get the new glass and combustion checked I just wont know... because 2 in 2 years is more than "@#%^@# Happens". Especially at a cost of now I am told $300 for a piece of glass.

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