45 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

You hire a chimney sweep to inspect (and clean) it. In some cases it may need to be completely rebuilt - in others, it may simply need cleaned and inspected, or it may need something in the middle. ...
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  • 132k
38 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

I would heartily suggest hiring a professional. Where I live what you are doing is actually illegal. Your territory may have different laws, but guessing with gas is never a good idea. It goes bang! ...
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  • 4,131
22 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

Another thing to consider with a chimney that old is the distinct possibility that the bricks were laid up with a mixture of sand, horse hair and a bit of lime mixed in. It is not uncommon for a ...
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  • 61.1k
14 votes

Smoke coming out of my light

What's a "hi hat"? Is that like a can light (i.e. a light installed in a can flush behind ceiling drywall)? Anyway: stuff, whether smoke or otherwise, shouldn't be blowing from any lights. One hopes ...
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  • 1,785
13 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

If the pipework broke there, who's to say what its condition is like further inside the wall? That apart, you're asking what to do. That means you're not qualified or experienced. O.k. There's a way ...
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  • 2,632
11 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

I hate working with gas - and would strongly recommend getting a pro to fix it. The pipe does not look in good shape either - I suspect the "proper" fix will be to replace the last piece of ...
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  • 6,826
10 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It is a bad idea. TV screens are designed to be viewed basically level from your eyes as you sit in your TV room. If you mount it above the mantel you will forever looking up to see the thing. The ...
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  • 61.1k
8 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

If someone offers to modernise your chimney by putting some sort of metal tube or liner inside, make sure the chimney is cleaned first and all soot is removed. If this is not done properly, you risk ...
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8 votes

Can a wood fireplace be completely open without any boundaries and just a chimney?

Yes - examples are out there. For practical reasons the chimney tends to be metal, or in older buildings, just a smokehole in the roof.
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  • 132k
8 votes
Accepted

Gas Fireplace - Starter or Gas Log?

That is a wood burning fireplace with a gas starter. The intent is to use the gas starter to get your log fire burning. You can then shut down the gas starter jet. Since it's a foreclosure the flue ...
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  • 7,589
8 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

(Edited based on added information from the OP) As a DYI-er you could do gas fitting under supervision and inspection, and in readily accessible spaces. But if the space is tight, and you are unable ...
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  • 10.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Why is smoke entering my home through the fireplace?

Damper closed - most likely. Chimney blocked - while "damper closed" is a self-correctable version of this, if the fireplace has not been inspected there may be anything from bird nests to parts of a ...
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  • 132k
7 votes

Gas fireplace won't stay lit

Looks like I had to rotate the pilot flame a few degrees to get it to better align with the thermocouple, especially when the fireplace was lit. This seems to have resolved the issue.
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  • 121
6 votes

How much clearance is needed on a gas fireplace?

You should try to determine the manufacturer and model of your fireplace and get a copy of the installation instructions, which will have detailed instructions on the required clearances. The ...
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  • 3,868
5 votes

Can I paint the background of my gas fireplace?

Yes. These are painted all the time. I just used this for a traditional wood burning fireplace. You can search for fireplace paint but really you are looking for it to withstand the max temperature....
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  • 46.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Options for restoring or otherwise utilizing old chimney

I would really suggest that you should hire a local expert to come out to your place to give you advice on the chimney condition, design and safety. I am quite sure that there was good reason to cap ...
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  • 61.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What's the deal with this (fake?) chimney on my house?

Your dad is wrong. Chimneys have been used for non-fireplace heating systems since the days of the Franklin Stove. Also, remember that the interior of the house may have been drastically rearranged ...
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  • 16k
5 votes

Need advice on removing fireplace gas starter pipe

I had the same problem when converting mine. The pipes have been subjected to repeated extreme heat and cooling cycles and will be difficult to unthread. Your best bet is to soak with penetrating oil ...
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  • 33.4k
5 votes

Fine Mesh Screen for Chimney

No, this is a bad idea. In the winter, the moist combustion byproducts or plain leaky indoor air can condense and freeze on the cold metal screen. After a while and in the right conditions, enough ...
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  • 1,800
5 votes
Accepted

How to make stone fireplace look better, darker and shinier?

Generally, cleaning then sealing can give you a shinier appearance. I emphasize the clean, since 90% of people skip that step. The sealers tend to give a wet stone look. It might not be darker but ...
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  • 151
5 votes
Accepted

Is it normal or necessary to line gas fireplace cavities with drywall?

It depends on: The specs for the unit. Some require an air gap and typically have metal protrusions to enforce that spec. Older ones may have called specifically for fire-resistant wall treatments. ...
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  • 104k
5 votes

How can I direct heat from a fire pit table?

Reflection of radiant heat is what you would be after. If you could magically hang it, one of the best would be a metal surface above the fire reflecting heat back down to everyone. Using an upside ...
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  • 5,551
5 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It may not be desired, but sometimes it's the only available wall space in the room. FYI, we mounted our 55" above the fireplace. But the fireplace was converted to propane at the same time. I was ...
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  • 3,959
5 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to seal a gas fireplace?

Where I live, it is mandatory that if you can smell the gas, you have to call a professional certified in detecting gas leaks in home installations, or if you can't afford that, emergency gas service. ...
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  • 494
5 votes
Accepted

Laminate floor against fireplace brick

I would rent an "undercut saw" and put a diamond blade in it. Cut a channel along the floor at a suitable height. Brick cuts fairly easily and you'll have a dead-straight, perfect fit to ...
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  • 104k
5 votes
Accepted

Is there any reason not to use the trap door ash receptacle in my fireplace?

The benefit is that (with the door below closed as per normal practice) you don't need to wait for anything to cool (it's going into a nice masonry chamber, nothing to burn) and you don't need to ...
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between fireplace gas lighter and burner?

What you have is a gas starter for lighting wood logs to start a fire in your fireplace. I've seen them before in some older homes and it's simply a means of getting a fire started easily without ...
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  • 7,589
4 votes
Accepted

When installing a stone fireplace, do I install the wood mantle first?

To mount this mantle you will need to drill into the stone face! The outline of the mantles' position should be taped to keep track of its placement. You will need to scribe the profile of the stone ...
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  • 31.1k
4 votes

What kind of wall switch is needed for a natural gas fireplace to ignite consistently?

I had the same problem, tried everything, replaced the switch and the thermopile, no avail. Then finally I removed the pilot light assembly, the top just pops off and using a straw blew a bunch of ...
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