Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas NV
    Posts
    68

    Sand in fireplace

    Gas company came out to turn on the gas in a house the other day. I wasn’t there but they left a note saying I needed to cover the gas line in the fireplace with sand & I could then put the decorative rock or log on top of the sand. I was wondering what the purpose of the sand was…

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
    Posts
    46
    The sand distributes the gas for an even flame pattern but what is it that have???? Do you have a log lighter or a burner pan for gas logs. JB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Las Vegas NV
    Posts
    68
    It is an older gas fireplace. Built with the house in 85. There is a gas valve to the side of the fireplace and a gas line that goes into the fireplace and it has little holes along the length of it. There is no igniter and you have to light it by hand. When I bought the house the line was covered with lava rock and a fake log on top of that. Seemed to work ok but the gas company said it had to have sand on the gas line first.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
    Posts
    46
    From what I can tell you have a log lighter being used as a gas log set. You should have a vented log set properly installed in order to have a safe installation. It is wise to have a safety pilot installed also. I would visit you local FP shop and they can show you your options.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,383
    Without the sand or fine rock, the gas will typically burn right at the steel burner, and failry commonly will burn the steel, enlarging the burner ports and damaging the burner. The sand also usually improves the appearance of the flames quite a bit.

    The type of sand really isn't critical, but white silica sand is most commonly used and most people find that is more sttractive than beach sand or whatever. You can probably get a 100 pound sack of silica sand at Home Depot for $10 or so, or a ten pound bag at a fireplace shop for about the same price.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Sounds like a log lighter to me. We have seen this a few times and wont touch it. You should contact a hearth pro and check out your options. You could either upgrade to a direct vent insert or get a real gas log burner pan. If there is no listing tag inside of there stating your model, and testing / listing info (for the gas thing) then you should shut it off and not use it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Kingston,Ontario
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
    Without the sand or fine rock, the gas will typically burn right at the steel burner, and failry commonly will burn the steel, enlarging the burner ports and damaging the burner. The sand also usually improves the appearance of the flames quite a bit.
    This was my understanding as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    78
    The sand also dampens the noise of the gas flow. Sand is used with natural gas. Vermiculite is used with LP.

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

    Cool

    All good replies. Sand/ vermiculite also provides the port loading or back pressure to reach the rated BTU input. It also tends to reduce the chance of a flashback.
    You don't lay logs on a burner--you lay them on a grate in a prescribed manner. As JTP suggested, you really should be a pro in there and replace it if there isn't a rating plate.
    Hearthman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Wichita, KS
    Posts
    41
    There are sometimes exceptions to the rules on these sets, also.

    Recently serviced a gas log set with a very odd burner configuration - all the orifices pointed UP.

    This was a natural gas set, which typically would require the burner be covered with silica sand media, however, with the orifices pointed up, if you put sand on it, the sand will drain into the holes. This set required vermiculite and rock wool.

    Bart Ogden
    NFI Master Hearth Professional
    CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
    NCSG Technical Advisory Council Member

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    Someone said to use fine rock in the burner pan. I would not use any type of rock in the pan, it is designed for sand or vermiculite. Rocks can hold moisture and may explode when heated due to the moisture turning into steam and expanding. I've seen people that used river rock in gas firepits and when the rock exploded, it took out a quarter sized chunk of the siding that was 12 feet away !!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event