Our 13 year old home was built with a pretty basic Marco fireplace. The home builder included a Hearthmaster gas log lighter, along with a Hearthmaster key and gas valve which is mounted on the wall. We had a small leak about 5 years ago, and the gas company determined there was a small leak coming from the gas valve/key. They removed the gas log lighter bar and capped the gas stub into the fireplace. We haven't had any problems since, but now I want to install a direct vent insert and I want to have the valve repaired.

Can someone tell me if what we have is a gas ball valve, or is it a Dante valve? The chrome cover plate to the valve clearly says Hearthmaster, and the valve looks exactly like the one on the Sioux Chief (Hearthmaster mfg.) website, but somebody told me it might be a Dante valve inside. I can tell you this - the key will turn many times, and is not limited to 1/4 turn so is this some type of corkscrew assembly and not the ball valve assembly I thought it was?

Can this be fixed by replacing the stem packing or does the whole valve need to be replaced? It looks like there is a threaded center part (the square key fits on the end of this) and I am wondering if I could have somebody replace just that part which appears to be connected to the actual valve.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks for your help.

David