Author Topic: DIY Gas Fireplace  (Read 317 times)

Mgmny

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DIY Gas Fireplace
« on: April 12, 2018, 08:06:38 AM »
I've tried googling everything imaginable, but I can't for the life of me figure this out.

I'm interested in making a DIY gas fireplace for my bedroom (The store models are WAY too expensive!!). I would think I could easily do this by buiding/acquiring a normal fireplace insert, running a gas line, putting in a burner, and adding some logs. This should cost me like $300-500 tops, but i literally can't find any information on the WWW on how to create a gas fireplace from scratch. Everything seems to be centered around installing a purchased fireplace, but like i said, that is super expensive. Has anyone made one from scratch? Like I said, it should be simple?

Thanks!

Khaetra

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 11:47:47 AM »
Just doing a quick search, seems it's much more involved than what you posted.  You will still need to vent it outside (chimney, duct, etc.), pay for someone to find the gas line and install it (even the DIY sites say to do this), run the electrical, etc.  Doesn't look like an easy project at all:

http://www.topbilling.com/articles/DIY-Gas-Fireplace.html?articleID=1377

lthenderson

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 06:50:42 AM »
Having worked in a different industry that made gas appliances, there is a fair amount of calculations that go into determining pressure and orifice size to produce a clean burn which is something you would definitely want in any gas burning appliance you put inside your home.

Fishindude

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 12:45:50 PM »
I'd definitely want something vented.   
Those unvented gas fireplaces put a whole lot of moisture in the room, plus they tend to stink and could actually be unhealthy.

Jon Bon

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 02:02:48 PM »
Just waiting for the pearl clutching crowd to tell you how you are going to blow yourself up....

Sounds like you have a decent grasp on the fundamentals, but I feel we need more information.  I have worked with gas on multiple occasions and it is relatively straight forward. Depending on size of fireplace and length of pipe a 1/2 line would probably be sufficient.

I guess I dont even know what you are looking for. Is this going to be a primary heat source or something you use for an hour or so a few times  a week? Heating something as small as a bedroom with a 25-50k BTU gas fireplace is gonna make it HOT in there in a hurry. A normal sized furnace is about 100k btu and it heats an entire house.

Personally I like vented fireplaces more, but vent-frees are so dang easy to install. So if it is going to get regular use I would say find a way to get a more complicated vented fireplace, if its going to be a limited use thing a vent free might work.

I still dont know why you want to build a fireplace, could you send us a picture of what you think you want?  I feel like building something would be 10x more difficult and complicated then buying one ever would be. IME the price of the fireplace is minor compared to the price of running the gas and exhaust lines.

OK so here are my questions:

1. Picture of what you think you want.
2. How much use?
3. How big of room?
4. What time of climate do you live in?
5. How far is this from the gas meter?
6. What your experience level/How much are you hiring out?


Mgmny

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 06:59:29 AM »
Just waiting for the pearl clutching crowd to tell you how you are going to blow yourself up....

Sounds like you have a decent grasp on the fundamentals, but I feel we need more information.  I have worked with gas on multiple occasions and it is relatively straight forward. Depending on size of fireplace and length of pipe a 1/2 line would probably be sufficient.

I guess I dont even know what you are looking for. Is this going to be a primary heat source or something you use for an hour or so a few times  a week? Heating something as small as a bedroom with a 25-50k BTU gas fireplace is gonna make it HOT in there in a hurry. A normal sized furnace is about 100k btu and it heats an entire house.

Personally I like vented fireplaces more, but vent-frees are so dang easy to install. So if it is going to get regular use I would say find a way to get a more complicated vented fireplace, if its going to be a limited use thing a vent free might work.

I still dont know why you want to build a fireplace, could you send us a picture of what you think you want?  I feel like building something would be 10x more difficult and complicated then buying one ever would be. IME the price of the fireplace is minor compared to the price of running the gas and exhaust lines.

OK so here are my questions:

1. Picture of what you think you want.
2. How much use?
3. How big of room?
4. What time of climate do you live in?
5. How far is this from the gas meter?
6. What your experience level/How much are you hiring out?

To be honest, I just have an unused corner in my bedroom that I thought a fireplace would look nice in. Not for anything other than ambience - not a primary heating source. I originally was going to go the full-masonry route, but i have since learned that adds a ton of weight to your house, and you need to re-inforce the flooring when adding so much brickwork, so I thought a gas fireplace with stone veneer would look just as good.

Running the gas line really shouldn't be that difficult, the meter is on the floor below my bedroom and across a semi-finished utility room, so running the gas should be a breeze. Venting shouldn't be a challenge either - I can just go straight up to my ceiling, into my attic and out the roof (doesn't seem that difficult...?).

I would do it all myself, and really I am just looking for a fun project to do, and I figured running a gas line, a vent, and installing a burner and tossing some logs and fake coals in a box REALLY shouldn't be this hard, yet stores are charging easily over $1,000 for a metal burner and some gas logs. Heck, even if i went the fire glass route it wouldn't even cost that much!

One thing I guess I haven't considered is the "clean burning" air/gas mixture. I would assume that if I vented the unit it would burn clean from the natural gas, but if that is incorrect and I need to do more calculations, then i am probably toast.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 09:25:33 AM »
After a quick Google search, I am having trouble with your idea of building/acquiring a normal fireplace insert and then converting it to gas. Note: I am reading acquire as buy, and not dumpster diving at the transfer station that all the fancy pants use when they remodel. The cost/benefit just doesn't seem to be there; the first few suggestions for a wood insert on Google shopping have several between 500 and 600, while a similar search for gas inserts returns 2 in the first 5 at ~360 and ~440 (and the 360 one is ventless).

Another concern I would have about going the insert route without an existing fireplace is clearance to combustable materials. A free standing stove generally has requirements that it be placed so far from combustable materials or the materials be protected by a non-flammable barrier. A traditional wood insert may be designed with the assumption that it will be placed into an existing fireplace lined with fire bricks.

Of course they do make pre-fabricated fireplaces in both gas and wood that can be installed without the need for an existing fireplace and its bricks that look very similar to an insert. But again a quick Google says that a pre-fabricated wood fireplaces start around 500 (and gas log sets run 140-400). While a gas firebox generally starts around 1000, but I did find a vent-free gas insert for 674: https://www.efireplacestore.com/mon-gcuf42c-f.html?Choose%20Firebox%20Type=Louvered%20Face&gclid=CjwKCAjwk9HWBRApEiwA6mKWaadXRWczV4Pm2HLp8AYhNlOiyghOiF6aETEhAZvNecZr6CZN76IPZBoCdDYQAvD_BwE&refnum=Apr-763-6842#caption

We've looked at upgrading our fireplaces to inserts and yes the store models are expensive, those same models are expensive online, but there are other options out there that don't have all the bells and whistles that are more affordable.

I do not doubt that building a site built gas fireplace is within the capabilities of a competent DIY'er, but I do question whether it is worth the extra time/effort/expense/complication to start by buying a product meant for wood and converting it to gas.

Regarding venting, I personally would prefer to vent. If gas means propane there are all kind of odd combustion products that I would not want building up inside. And while natural gas burns much cleaner, it still introduces a lot a moisture if it isn't vented.

waffle

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Re: DIY Gas Fireplace
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 09:47:03 AM »
If you are just doing it for ambience then maybe look at electric fireplaces. I think they have come a long ways and a lot of them really look like real fire. You can choose to have the "flame" with or without heat so you can still get the ambience in the summer and install is as easy as can be.