I have an old brick fireplace that had a gas line installed in it years ago. It works fine, but doesn't produce much heat when it's turned on (most heat goes up the chimney). I've read that a cheap way to improve heat is to put a cast iron fireback in it.

My one concern is that the gas line comes in through the back of the fireplace, not directly in the center, but not fully at the edge, if a fireback were to be placed inside, the edge of it would probably be within an inch of the pipe. Would the heat from the fireback be a cause for concern at all being that close?

Also any other suggestions on how to cheaply improve heat output would be appreciated.


  • Safety aside, I think you're going to be disappointed with the results. It would take quite a while for a small gas flame to heat the cast iron enough to begin radiating much to the room. I'd look into adding a fan with ducting above the flame. Better, upgrade to a proper insert with an integrated fan as Paul Logan mentioned. – isherwood Dec 19 '17 at 18:39

No. You are safe. The sch-40 black iron pipe and the natural gas can easily withstand any heat from that situation. These set-ups are notoriously inefficient. A good upgrade, though somewhat expensive, is a gas fireplace insert.

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