Author Topic: Outlet for fireplace insert  (Read 9348 times)

blub

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Outlet for fireplace insert
« on: January 05, 2016, 08:31:43 AM »
I'm considering getting a fireplace insert and my understanding is that any gas or wood-burning insert will need electric power to run its blower (and possibly for ignition). I've been told that it's common to have an electric receptacle installed in the firebox, and I'd like to know (1) where such an outlet should be, i.e. what sort of spatial allowances it needs to keep it from high heat, and (2) if I can use a normal plastic cover and normal romex for this receptacle, or if it needs heavier duty equipment. I've spoken to a guy who installs inserts, and I've read installation manuals for a couple of inserts, but I can't find any details. They all just say "hire an electrician".

Anybody have experience or thoughts on this? Thanks.

big_owl

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Re: Outlet for fireplace insert
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 09:11:18 AM »
I just thumbed through the NEC sitting on my desk here at work and could find nothing specific to wiring of branch circuits for gas fireplace inserts.  According to 430.102 (motor circuits), you need to have a disconnecting means within site of the motor itself though.  In the case of my house, these are just a wall switch to turn the fan functionality on or off.

We have two propane fireplace inserts in our house - one on the main floor and one in our bedroom.  Both have a special power strip - see figure 3 in link below.  The fan runs off the power strip and there are special inputs on the power strip to handle a rheostat speed control and thermostat switch.  My guess is that this comes with the insert, check around. 

http://hearthnhome.com/downloads/installManuals/107_981.pdf

The power strips are literally just screwed into the sheetmetal underneath the fireplace insert itself - right alongside the blower.  I actually think one of the power strips is just lying on the floor in the same compartment.  The temperature in the compartment under the fireplace insert doesn't even rise above ambient in the room when our fireplaces are running.  In fact one of them is much cooler due to the exterior venting arrangement of the propane insert. 

ETA - the manual above says to use 105C rated wire. 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 09:13:02 AM by big_owl »

lthenderson

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Re: Outlet for fireplace insert
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 03:30:49 PM »
I replaced a gas insert with a wood burning insert when we moved into our current house. The receptacle for the blower was on the back wall of the firebox and was encased in a metal box and cover with standard bromex leading to it and the receptacle was also plastic. We've been using the wood stove for three years now and have had no problem with heat on the receptacle. The insert itself is lined with bricks and heavily insulated outside that so I doubt it gets very warm at the receptacle. If it did, the cord that plugged into it would also melt. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

blub

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Re: Outlet for fireplace insert
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2016, 06:00:51 PM »
Thanks to both of you for the information!