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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    1,411

    Vented Gas Insert Install Questions

    I'm interested in having a natural gas, vented fireplace insert installed in my existing wood-burning fireplace. Had a bad ice storm in January here in extreme Northwest Arkansas and lost heat for 3+ days. I have a couple of questions since I have never had an insert, only gas logs in a previous house that already had a gas feed and outside valve control in the floor. I will have to have a gas feed installed and also an electrical connection.

    The retailers have mentioned running the extension cord for the blower out of the unit and along the fireplace and cabinets to an outlet. I do not want this ugly implementation. We do have an electrical outlet above the fire box and mantle. Is it feasible to run an electrical line down inside the firebox and connect the insert out of sight in there?

    We have natural gas in the house already. The house penetration appears to be 20 feet or so up the exterior wall above the fireplace brick. What would be a “reasonable” way to run the line and penetration, along the outside brick wall? Is that ugly and safe?

    Where is a reasonable place to put the gas line shutoff?

    One of the retailers has an existing demo unit that appears to be the right size. The salesroom is only 1 ˝ years old and they have many other demo units so we suspect that it wasn’t used that much. Is it wise to get that one? Will they damage it during the move? What about warranty? The unit appears to be a Regency built in Canada that has a limited lifetime warranty. Do you think that it would reasonable to ask them to heavily discount the unit by say 50% and/or to throw in all installs and connections?

    Your input for this newbie is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    33
    As a contractor I would discount a demo if I wanted to get rid of it. I would have no problem with a full warranty. Don't push your luck by asking for the moon let the guy make a living and he will be there to honor your warranty.

    I agree with you re: the unsightly power cord running across the hearth. There is no reason it cannot be run in with the gas line and hidden in the firebox of the existing fireplace. Gas lines run exposed outside is in my opinon, a last resort and ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    763
    If there is an outside cleanout on the chimney, they could cut a tee into the gas line and run copper (if allowed in your area) or csst into the cleanout and up into the fireplace. Theis is the way I do them most often. Shutoff can be put in the fireplace. (Preferred for easier access for servicing.)

    If you don't want the cord on the outside of the hearth, get an electrician to install an outlet inside the fireplace to plug in to.

    As to buing a demo model, they should give a discount but 50% is asking a little much! The guy's got to make a living! I doubt the ammount of discount would be equal to the installation/labour. There is a fair bit of work involved to correctly & safely install the unit. I can usually install one by myself in a day including gas lines and liner. We get a sparky to install an outlet in the fireplace if required. They should still give you a full warranty. Will they damage it during the move? That's like asking 'Will you drop that bag of groceries carrying it into the house?' Answer: not if reasonable care is taken.

    BTW we are a Regency dealer and they make a good quality product.
    http://www.regency-fire.com/

    What model are you looking at?
    Where are you? Are you done yet? I got ONE more call for you.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,710
    Had a bad ice storm in January here in extreme Northwest Arkansas and lost heat for 3+ days. I have a couple of questions since I have never had an insert, only gas logs in a previous house that already had a gas feed and outside valve control in the floor. I will have to have a gas feed installed and also an electrical connection.

    how much heat will this produce without the blower?

    if you have no power, then the blower won't work and I don't know how much better this will be than wood burning fireplace.

    if you will be using a back up generator, make sure that the electrician knows this so access will be made.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    pacnw, a gas insert like the Heat & Glo FB-IN will produce a lot of heat without a blower. The firebox is a patented firebrick material that reflects heat so most of the heat is radiated through the glass. When people do add blower on this unit it does not do a whole lot except help blow the heat out into the room better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    1,411
    PACNW, I realize the blower is non-functional without power. The dealer turned the demo unit on in the store. After it heated up, this Regency (also make Excalibur) unit seemed to throw quite a bit of heat without the blower. The unit is 35,000 BTU's. Compared to all of the wood fire heat going up the chimney, the unit seemed pretty good. Hopefully everything else works without power. Need to confirm that I guess.

    Not sure I understood the clean out box approach. Are you saying that one can run the gas in through that as opposed to drilling the fireplace brick from the outside?

    Regarding the electrical work, is it appropriate to expect the dealer to provide the electrician? We know nobody here and I would like to have one contractor responsible for all work even if he sub-contracts it. Right?

    You guys are great. Really appreciate the advice on something costing a few bucks with features I have never installed before.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    PS: jtp10181, the wife and I were raised up on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan so Madison, WI almost sounds like home. Well, within 300-400 miles anyway.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Powell River, BC, Canada
    Posts
    763
    [QUOTE=jerryd_2008;3110602] Hopefully everything else works without power. Need to confirm that I guess.

    Which model are you looking at? Almost all Regency inserts work without 110v power (except blower).

    Not sure I understood the clean out box approach. Are you saying that one can run the gas in through that as opposed to drilling the fireplace brick from the outside?

    That's exactly what I'm saying. Makes for an easy install without having to bust a new hole in the brick/concrete. The cleanout plate outside is notched to allow the gas line through, then we seal it. The gas line comes up through the ash dump hole in the floor of the fireplace. Check first to make sure it is allowed in your area, it is here (BC, Canada)

    Regarding the electrical work, is it appropriate to expect the dealer to provide the electrician? We know nobody here and I would like to have one contractor responsible for all work even if he sub-contracts it. Right?

    Some places do, some don't. We have electricians we recomend if asked, but it is up to the customer to arrange/pay them for the work.

    QUOTE]
    Where are you? Are you done yet? I got ONE more call for you.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    1,411
    gasguy, thank you for the input. Sounds like you are familiar with the Regency inserts. The demo unit proposed is the U35. But the tech measured it yesterday and it looks like our height is 24 3/4, it says it needs 25 inches. He didn't know if he could grind out the extra so he had to measure the actual demo size. Any thoughts about that?

    Looking at the brochure, the E33 unit has more BTU's but fits in our opening. So we are sort of up in the air until he calls back.

    I talked to the tech and watched him measure for gas and electric. He didn't seem to want to attempt to extend down the electrical outlet above the fire box and mantle. Proposed extended the wall outlet out through the brick wall and running it to the same fire box entrance as the gas line. Do you have any thoughts on what's the issue with extending the the existing electrical? Does it sound like a good idea to run both in there?

    Both the gas and the electric need to be buried. I have concerns about our irrigation lines and heads in that area. Are the new lines and the existing irrigation system compatible?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    1,411
    Went with Heat N Glo from another dealer. Amazing how much difference dealers will bid even for the same manufacturer.

    Had to go to an FB IN medium sized unit because the FB Grand unit missed by a fraction of an inch on the entry height. Disappointed. Hope the smaller unit, face and surround will be compatible with our huge 8 footish wide brick fireplace.

    Had to convince them that I want the gas line buried and not exposed to my terrible mower machine and other lawn care implements. Didn't like the idea of the conduit or plastic pipe running 26 feet along my brick wall either.

    Appreciate all of your ideas and comments.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas via Chicago Area via Straight Up from There on Lake Superior
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    The dealer is suggesting running an extension plug for the blower through the brick fireplace and then the backs of some cabinets to a plug. Is this correct?

    There is an outlet above the mantle. He doesn't seem to want to try and connect with that. That sound reasonable?

    Thanks.

  12. #12
    That sounds reasonable to me. I sounds similar to what they did when I had my chimney liner put in last fall.

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