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I would like to know if my gas fireplace can burn wood within it safely. It is built into the wall, made of stone, and does not have any metal within it (apart from the pipe leading gas into the firebox). You can see the metal key and valve for starting the gas, and there is no ignition switch, so I light the fire by hand. The logs in the fireplace are decorative. It leads into a chimney.

I noticed here, which seems to have a similar setup, that it seems like a gas log fireplace, but I don't understand where to burn any wood (and it would seem unsafe to burn wood near the gas pipe). Would the gas line need to be capped?

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Thank you!

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I'm not a Chicken Little type, but there's no way I'd do that, for a couple reasons:

  • You don't know what's behind the surface masonry. Wood-burning fireplaces have multiple layers of insulating masonry to handle the massive heat that can build up, protecting the wood framing around it.
  • You don't know that the flue will handle creosote, sparks, etc. Wood fires are messy and produce much more flame and embers than a gas unit.
  • It's probably not designed to draft a smoky wood fire. You'll have billowing smoke in your room on a regular basis. It's carcinogenic.
  • You'll almost certainly void your homeowner's insurance (and make yourself legally and morally liable for death and dismemberment of occupants).

The answer to your actual question ("How do I...") is that you have a specialist stop by. They'll be able to see things that you and I can't from here. It's just not a question for the internet.

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    Thank you for the response. I made an appointment with a certified chimney and fireplace inspector. – Philosopher-Programmer Nov 17 '20 at 0:27

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