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The outlet under our gas fireplace that runs the blower fan has a short in it, and needs to be replaced. I have replaced a few standard wall outlets and was thinking of doing this one myself too, but I am not sure if I need a special outlet or if it is just the big box store trying to up sell.

However, being that this is under a gas fireplace I am wondering if this is best to eat the cost of an electrician.

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Is the receptacle part of the fireplace assembly? – Tester101 Sep 5 '12 at 16:37
Check the manufactures documentation, it should have clearances and other important installation information. I believe most gas inserts are 0 clearance (at least on the bottom and sides), so there shouldn't be a problem with heat (depending where the receptacle/cord are). – Tester101 Sep 5 '12 at 16:42
@Tester101 No, the receptacle is not part of the fireplace. From my understanding, the fireplace was built to be wood and during construction a gas fireplace was put it instead. I believe I have found the right book for this model and will verify the clearance. – zk. Sep 5 '12 at 17:24
I thought I had posted this comment earlier, but what did the big box store try to sell you? – Spark Sep 5 '12 at 18:26
Like @spark I'm trying to imagine what the big box sold you. Fairy dust? A... um... I can't figure out what it might be. – Bryce Jan 14 '14 at 5:40
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've checked the National Electrical Code and there are no specific references to receptacles installed near any type of fireplace. Your biggest concern is likely the heat produced by the fire, but that's a concern for the ampacity of the wires, and has nothing to do with the receptacle. Also, like all receptacles newly installed today, the receptacle would need to be AFCI, a change in the 2008 code.

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You can tell very quickly if the outlet is at all special by shutting off power to the outlet, removing it, and inspecting it.

It seems rather unlikely to me that the outlet would be special since it's not near water, and it's supplying power for a blower. Other than making sure you've got proper amperage rating, I wouldn't think there would be any special concerns here.

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