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Old 11-27-2010, 12:55 PM   #1
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


My fire place has gas going to it. It has the fake logs in it right now, but I can just lift them up and take them out.

Can I burn real wood in my fireplace? How can you tell?

I attached some pictures of it.
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?-p1050141.jpg   Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?-p1050143.jpg   Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?-p1050145.jpg   Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?-p1050146.jpg  

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Old 11-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


My first impression is NO.

And it looks like someone has already tried.

If your at all interested in safety you first need to call someone that can look at what you have installed. Hands on is the only way anyone can tell what type of system you have.

I believe yours is only designed for gas logs and starting a wood fire could burn down the whole building.

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Last edited by Shamus; 11-27-2010 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:53 PM   #3
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


Absolutely not! With the gas setup you have there's not the correct amount of air supplied for complete combustion to take place. Not to mention the damage that would be done to any gas valves, ignitors, etc... And I wouldn't even want to think about what could happen if some of the gas piping somehow leaked.

Last edited by VIPlumber; 11-27-2010 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


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Originally Posted by VIPlumber View Post
Absolutely not! With the gas setup you have there's not the correct amount of air supplied for complete combustion to take place. Not to mention the damage that would be done to any gas valves, ignitors, etc... And I wouldn't even want to think about what could happen if some of the gas piping somehow leaked.
for a real wood fireplace....does the chimney have to be completely open?

not just have a small circular hole like I have?

man this sucks...gas is too expensive.....
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:59 AM   #5
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


IF this is a fireplace that was converted to gas, you could remove all the gas logs AND the gas line, and burn wood. Do NOT burn wood with that gas line still in there. (My house has a regular fireplace converted to gas.)

On the other hand, if it was NOT designed to burn wood, your chimney & flue won't be adequate.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


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Originally Posted by DrHicks View Post
IF this is a fireplace that was converted to gas, you could remove all the gas logs AND the gas line, and burn wood. Do NOT burn wood with that gas line still in there. (My house has a regular fireplace converted to gas.)

On the other hand, if it was NOT designed to burn wood, your chimney & flue won't be adequate.
is the flue the circular hole?

does it run all the way to the top of the chimney? Is that what that circular thing is on top of the chimney outside is?

it could very well have been converted....
its a 2 story house that was built in 1991....

I found an folder in my house labeled fireplace....it has a thermo-rite (tempered glass fireplace enclosures) paper in it....it says full swing door installation guide....

but...there is the little panel next to the fireplace....with the gas line that can be turned on or off.....i'll upload a pic of that...
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Last edited by limitdiy; 11-28-2010 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


^ If your house was built in 1991, I seriously doubt that this was a wood-burning fireplace.


Honestly, if it was my house I would just run the gas. In fact, we converted ours to a gasser. When it's all said & done, burning wood is a HUGE pain in the butt, unless you're really set up for it. Plus, you're not saving money on your heating bills.
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #8
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


thats a gas system insert with flue not intended for wood
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:22 AM   #9
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


It looks like you have a metal flu running all the way up. Wood-burning fireplaces traditionally have a much more open flu and chimney. There is an iron or maybe cast iron damper that runs the width of the chimney.

You mention the cost of gas but the downfall of a traditional fireplace and chimney is that they draw more heated air out of the house than they actually provide for heating the space. They are a throwback to the days when people would burn a wood fire for comfort but they would typically let the fire die out in the evening and sleep in a colder, but ventilated room under lots of blankets.

Your gas insert is still going to be cheaper to run for heat than an open flu wood fireplace. If you want to burn wood for heat you should look at wood stoves designed for modern heating needs.

PS sorry for the double post. Connection problems today.

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 11-28-2010 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Dup post
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


Get a knowledgable person that knows zero clearance fireplaces out and have them take a look. They should be able to id the fireplace and tell you if it was originally built to burn wood. Contrary to some of the other posts above, there were a ton of zero clearance wood burning fireplaces installed in new houses in the nineties. We put them in just about every house we built, including my own. Some of the brand names were Superior, Majestic. Yours looks like one of them, but like I said before, get an expert out to look at it. If it turns out it is a woodburner, you could use your existing gasline to power a loglighter since it is already there.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:07 PM   #11
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


Unless you have access to an unlimited supply of free wood, you will find that wood burning is more expensive than gas.
If your fireplace was converted to gas, it could be converted to an airtight wood-burning, air-tight fireplace. These inserts usually cost in excess of $1000 for the unit plus the labor cost.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


I'd do as already mentioned, keep it as is. This house was built around a gas fireplace and not wood. There are certain framing requirements when framing around fireplaces.
I've had both a free standing woodstove and a wood burning fireplace. As mentioned, the fireplace(unless fitted with an insert) just wastes heat and it needs to be lined with fire brick. I don't know what that gas one is lined with.

Wood is a chore even if you can supply your own. Splitting,keeping kindling around,keeping it covered from the elements,keeping the flue cleaned, etc,. etc.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


I know zero clearance garbage, I mean "fireplaces", and that is a gas appliance. Do not burn wood in it.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:18 PM   #14
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


My house had a wood fireplace at one point, there is now an electric fireplace in it which I will probably convert to gas eventually. Electric is mostly just for show. One thing I noticed is all the ceilings had lot of black soot in corners and along the edges, even in the bedrooms.

Wood burning is very dirty compared to a high efficiency gas appliance. I've thought about converting back to wood, as I find a wood fire is very comfortable and you can throw lot of stuff in there such as wood scraps - some places even give away wood palets that could be cut up etc... so it's nice for that. But it's very dirty.

I'd stick with the gas fireplace, but it almost looks like someone tried to burn wood in there. I'd have to checked to make sure all is ok. That fireplace also looks like it was converted at one point. Gas fireplaces normally don't have that much brick to them, though it's always possible they built that for looks.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:20 PM   #15
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Can I Burn Real Wood in My Fire Place?


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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
My house had a wood fireplace at one point, there is now an electric fireplace in it which I will probably convert to gas eventually. Electric is mostly just for show. One thing I noticed is all the ceilings had lot of black soot in corners and along the edges, even in the bedrooms.

Wood burning is very dirty compared to a high efficiency gas appliance. I've thought about converting back to wood, as I find a wood fire is very comfortable and you can throw lot of stuff in there such as wood scraps - some places even give away wood palets that could be cut up etc... so it's nice for that. But it's very dirty.

I'd stick with the gas fireplace, but it almost looks like someone tried to burn wood in there. I'd have to checked to make sure all is ok. That fireplace also looks like it was converted at one point. Gas fireplaces normally don't have that much brick to them, though it's always possible they built that for looks.
the entire house is brick all the way around...no siding...so maybe that's why they used brick there as well....I know the outside of the chimney is all brick....all the way up to the top...

thanks to everyone for all the info....you make me feel alot better about using gas....
I'll just stick with that I guess....

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