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How does the gas igniter for a fireplace work?

How does the gas igniter for a fireplace work?

Building Supplies
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Manage My Life
Some wood-burning fireplaces have natural gas igniters. This reduces or eliminates the need to use newspaper or kindling, for example, to start a fire.

Most gas igniters are very crude. The system is made up of -


gas supply pipe

from the house system (flexible gas piping is not usually permitted)

A manually operated


located just outside the fireplace (very often operated with a removable key)

An adjustable air inlet


, just inside the firebox



which is simply a 16 inch long (typical) steel pipe with holes every inch or so along its length The gas pipe may enter the firebox through the wall or floor.

The igniter is operated by opening the gas valve with the key and placing burning paper at the burner holes. On initial setup the air shutter is adjusted to obtain a blue flame. The shutter is then secured in place. Once the burner has ignited the wood above, the gas is shut off.

The burner pipe should not be buried in embers or ash. This may warp the pipe and obstruct the gas flow.

Speak to your local gas utility to find out whether they are permitted in your area. If so, what are the appropriate installation conditions? In many areas, the pipe coming into the firebox has to be sealed with a high-temperature caulking to prevent exhaust gases from getting out of the firebox. The piping may have to be insulated or in a conduit for several inches away from the firebox.
by Manage My Life
April 26th, 2007
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