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I'm considering converting a faux fireplace to a working one with one of those self-contained gas units. For the gas lines I'm going to have professional do it, but wanted to get some advice on how invasive extending my existing gas lines would be - I'm not at all familiar with what's available these days for running such lines, what I have currently is black piping.

The fireplace is on the first floor and is probably ~30 feet from the gas meter in the basement on the same side of the house. In the theory the line just needs to run in the basement ceiling on a straight shot over to the fireplace, but the ceiling is not open and is plaster and lathe, which is a real nightmare to open up in my experience. Is it reasonable to assume that to run the line they'd need to open up the ceiling along the full length of the run, or is there some clever way this is done less invasively?

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The problem with going through the ceiling, is going to be supporting the pipe. Even if you could feed the pipe through a small opening, you'd still have to open holes at regular intervals to attach the pipe to the joist. Snaking Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) through the ceiling likely would work, but again, you'd have to support it at regular intervals (3 - 4' I think).

I see three options.

  1. Open up the ceiling along the entire length.
  2. Go outside as Michael Karas suggests.
  3. Run the pipe along the ceiling, and build a soffit around the pipe to hide it.
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I suppose there are many ways to deal with the gas piping problem. I had to have gas piped from the far side of my garage to my kitchen for a new gas range. The garage and lower 1/3 of my house sits on a slab whilst the other 2/3, including the kitchen, are over a crawl space.

The existing gas consuming appliances, furnace and water heater, are all located in the garage at the far side very near to where the gas meter is located. When the installer of the extended gas service came to install he gave up on trying to figure out how to go through the house structure and instead ended up digging a trench of 60 to 70 feet from the gas meter in a big semicircle around the side of my garage through the back yard around the deck and back up to the foundation wall below the kitchen. There he drilled a hole through the foundation and poked a pipe into the crawl space to go over to the kitchen range.

Not a hugely efficient solution but required minimal invasive treatment inside the house.

Since your fireplace is likely to be on an exterior wall of your house you may want to consider this exterior trench as an option.

Note that the buried part of the gas line was done with a flesh colored plastic piping about 1" in diameter.

  • @DanNeely - Thanks for pointing that out. It was a line that was not supposed to be there so I deleted it. – Michael Karas Oct 19 '15 at 5:37
  • If you go around the outside underground, make sure all the standard precautions are taken -- know exactly where the pipe is, and make sure warning tape is buried a foot above the pipe so anyone who starts digging without checking knows to hand-excavate carefully and doesn't break the gas line with a backhoe. I don't know whether it would-be your responsibility, or the contractor's, to send information about this to the folks who run 800-DIG-SAFE or local equivalent. – keshlam Oct 19 '15 at 13:11

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