We have just moved into a house built in 1977 with a metal lined wood burning fireplace. We thought we wanted to install a gas insert and so had a gas line run into the firebox. We realized we had gotten the cart before the horse however when we discovered how much heat a gas insert would generate. We would like to go back to a wood burning fireplace. Is it possible to do that in way that makes the fireplace as safe as it was before?

The plumber removed the inner most metal liner and drilled a 1-1/8" hole through the second and third liners. The inner liner is intact and can be screwed back in place.

Thanks for your replies. I would like to just cap the gas pipe but it’s the coated flexible stainless steel pipe used as a substitute for black iron. I’ve read that type line can’t be exposed to an open flame. I plan to have it cut outside the house and capped. It will be available for use later. What concerns me most is the gap created by drilling through the second and third walls of the prefab unit. I can patch the second liner with sheet metal and refractory cement (if that passes muster). I can’t patch the third wall since I can’t get a patch through the hole. I can fill that area with high quality insulation. That seems good enough to me but I’m no expert. Fortunately the heavy inner liner is intact with no holes. It would be simpler I think if it were a masonry fireplace. Thanks again.

  • 1
    Don't know, but since you've spent the money on a gas line, another option is to swap from a wood burner to a gas burner. Its not "throwing good money after bad" but more of an upgrade that came in two parts.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 2:30
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    Why not remove the gas line and fill the hole with mortar?
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 3:14
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    Probably not as far as your insurance company is concerned. You'd likely need to get a welder involved to satisfy them. That said, we can't say from the general information you've provided.
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 13:19
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    You mention 'too much heat' from a gas insert... have you already installed a gas unit and find it too hot, or are you going on rumor? I imagine that you can get a gas unit that has adjustment (or modify your existing) to offer lower heat levels. Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


If the gas line merely runs in and stops, it's fine. Hopefully you have a screw-type connector where it goes into the fireplace combustion area. If so, just wrap a galvanized pipe stop in some PTFE and it should be fine. I would leave it in the fireplace wall because

  1. It's already plumbed
  2. You can turn that line off
  3. It does offer some value if you ever sell your home

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