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  1. #1

    What kind of Fireplace do I have?

    I think I have a B-Vent, direct vent, or vent free fireplace, but I am not sure how to tell for certain what kind I have. It is a gas fireplace with the fake logs. I do not have an owner's manual nor can I see any marking to show me the Manufacturer or the model #. I do not have a chimney so that is why I believe it is on of the 3 listed above. The problem I am having is with the ventilation. When I light the fire it burns fine, but the gas fumes take over my house shortly afterwards. It's so bad that we cannot use the fireplace because of the possible health concerns. Any input is welcomed, but remember that you are dealing with the most amateur of amateurs when it comes to Fireplaces and the ventilation required.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    392
    There should be some sort of ID tag attached to the burner, if it's a vented or vent free gas log. If it's a B-vent or direct vent, there will be information under the firebox where the controls are.

    Vent frees can give odors if not properly serviced.

    If you are having odors, stop using it until you can have a pro evaluate it.
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Post some pictures, othewrwise if you cannot do that you will have to find a local pro and have them come inspect and service it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central WA
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    1,566
    Is this a new house or a new fireplace? New fireplaces do put off a very strong odor and have to burn off for several hours. However, if this fireplace was not installed properly, or is not operating properly it can put off fumes that can kill you and your family.

    Please consider this and have the fireplace serviced before burning it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
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    2,361
    Sounds as though you may have a gas log designed for use with a flue.
    Unvented gas logs are always equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS), which is designed to turn off the gas before carbon monoxide reaches a dangerous level in the room.

    More and good safety info at http://homebuying.about.com/cs/gaslo...tfree_logs.htm
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
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    1
    You may be able to figure out what kind of vent system you have by answering a couple questions.

    1 - If you can, look up inside the fireplace. Are there any holes, slots, or anything for exhaust to escape? If you don't see anything, then chances are you have an unvented fireplace. Some fireplaces do a really good job of hiding the vent openings, but they're generally pretty obvious.

    2 - How well is your fireplace sealed? If the fireplace is open, then you've probably got a pre-fab fireplace with a set of gas logs. Otherwise, take a look at it and see if it looks like the fireplace is completely sealed. Look around the front and underneath. If you find any openings into the fireplace, then you may have a B-vent (assuming you did find a vent in question one). No openings points to a direct vent.

    Of course, answering these will only give you an idea of what you probably have. Unless you have a manual or an ID tag telling you what it is, then you should leave conclusive identification to a professional.

    There are many possible smells associated with a gas fireplace. The one I run into by far the most often is simply burning dust. It can be a rather bad odor that can fill an entire house pretty quickly, but it's otherwise generally harmless. As cjpwalker mentioned, it could be the smell of the paints and oils used in construction curing. This is especially likely if the fireplace is new. Like the dust, that one's not particularly dangerous. Other odors include unburned gas, exhaust, and foreign material burning. An exhaust odor is typical of unvented fireplaces, but otherwise these three can be very dangerous.

    As others have said, you should have a professional service the fireplace before you attempt to use it again. A service tech will be able to identify both the kind of fireplace you have and the odor you're smelling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
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    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by Stealontgt View Post
    ...I do not have a chimney so that is why I believe it is on of the 3 listed above. The problem I am having is with the ventilation. When I light the fire it burns fine, but the gas fumes take over my house shortly afterwards. It's so bad that we cannot use the fireplace because of the possible health concerns.
    This sounds like a gas log designed for a vented fireplace operating dangerously without a vent.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
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    6,237

    Exclamation ODS pilots

    An ODS pilot is exactly that--an Oxygen Depletion Sensor--NOT a carbon monoxide sensor or alarm. An ODS is just a specially engineered safety pilot that shuts off when the ambient oxygen level reaches about 18.5%. That's it. You can have 20.9% O2 and still make CO.

    Let me make a few broad statements about ALL fireplaces and gas logs:

    -If you thnk your fireplace or appliance is experiencing problems, shut it off IMMEDIATELY and get professional service.
    -if you cannot find a rating plate, shut off the appliance until you can find the make, model, serial #, fuel type, BTU input rating, listing, and approvals.
    -if you cannot locate the operating instructions, do not use the appliance until those instructions can be located and understood.
    -if you suspect a fireplace is improperly constructed or is questionable for any reason, have a professional conduct a Level II inspection as defined in NFPA 211 Chapter 14.
    -if you are experiencing questionable odors or fumes are making occupants ill, shut the appliance off and call for professional service before use.
    -if you think your gas appliance or house piping is leaking, shut it off immediately and call for professional service. If it seems to be a substantial leak, evacuate the house and call 911 from a neighbor's home.
    -have a professional UNLISTED low level carbon monoxide alarm installed in all houses
    -have all houses with combustion appliances be inspected by a qualified professional for venting and carbon monoxide.

    HTH

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    392
    Thank you Hearthman! You, as always, hit the nail on the head. This should be a sticky in the fireplace forum!
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  10. #10

    Pictures of My fireplace

    Thanks to everyone for responding. Hopefully I can answer most of your questions. I would have responded sooner, but I had trouble trying to post the pictures.

    I posted a drawing (in PDF) of what my fireplace looks like since I could not take a very good picture. Looking at the photo you will see the vent is at the top and bottom. I'm pretty sure it is a ventless fireplace. The only markings I could find where on the rack that the gas logs sit upon. THe marking are IGN 14DO454. I couldn't find anything on the internet to match the markings. The other pictures contain images of the front (interior) of the fireplace and the back of the fireplace (exterior).

    Any help on the type, brand, and model of the fireplace would be helpful. Furthermore if it is ventless how can I use this fireplace with suffering from inhalation sickness.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Hearthman,
    I posted some recent pictures to respond to your questions. When you get a chance could you look it over and let me know what you think. As always I value your insight.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392
    -If you thnk your fireplace or appliance is experiencing problems, shut it off IMMEDIATELY and get professional service.
    -if you suspect a fireplace is improperly constructed or is questionable for any reason, have a professional conduct a Level II inspection as defined in NFPA 211 Chapter 14.
    -if you are experiencing questionable odors or fumes are making occupants ill, shut the appliance off and call for professional service before use.
    Your questions have been answered already and you will have a hard time getting fireplace professional to commit to defining what you have without being there to actually see what you have and without an ID tag. I will go out on a limb here......it "appears" to be a vent-free, but I cannot be sure without proper inspection.

    Please have a professional properly service this before you injure or kill a loved one !!!!
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    I agree with logdoc, it does appear to be a vent-free enclosure, with... something in it. Possibly a vent-free gas log. There is no way to know without a thorough personal inspection.

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