How to Install Your Fireplace’s Gas Logs

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There’s two ways to have a burning fireplace in your home:

  1. The traditional way – with wooden logs that burn
  2. The new way – with decorative logs that use gas for fuel

With gas logs, you get to have the fireplace you’ve always dreamed of. And you don’t have to buy the wood or cut it yourself. Plus, you don’t have a potential fire risk. And you don’t have a mess to take care of like you do with a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

There’s 2 kinds of gas fire logs:

  1. Vented: Requires a traditional fireplace with an open chimney flue or damper. You get a larger, more realistic flame that looks similar to a real wood fire.
  2. Vent-free: These operate with your chimney flue closed. You get more heat in your home because your flue stays closed. But you don’t get as realistic of a flame, or that roaring and crackling fire sound.

So that’s a lot of benefits in your favor. Gas fire logs almost sound like an obvious choice. But they come with one catch: they’re a little harder to install.

But don’t worry, we have you covered. Read the steps below to learn how to install these logs:

  1. Get Your Firebox Ready

First, turn off the gas to your firebox completely. Your burner pan may have threaded ends on both sides. This accommodates the possibility of gas coming in on either side of your fire box. There’s an included cap – put it on the side that the gas will not enter.

This is also a good opportunity to clean your firebox. And you might consider painting it with black high-temperature spray paint to change its look (that’s up to you). Black helps the color of your flames stand out.

  1. Get Your Grate and Burner in the Right Spot

Most homeowners think their logs look best centered left to right in their fireplace. You might agree or disagree. This is your chance to test out the look.

You should center it front to back though. When fire logs are centered like that, it allows the gases to escape up your chimney in the case of vented fire logs. It looks a little more attractive too.

One idea is that, once you’ve centered your grate and burner in the perfect place, consider scratching locating marks in the floor of your fireplace. That’ll save you time when you decide to install your grate and burner in the future.

Caution: make sure your grate does not come in contact with your aluminum gas line. The grate will get very hot. Contact with your gas line will cause damage. It likely won’t cause a gas leak, but it can.

Double-check this before you move on to the next step.

  1. Attach Your Gas Lines

For this step, you may need to refer back to the instructions included with your ignition system or burner unit. They do differ.

But, in general, you usually get a flexible aluminum hose to connect the burner to your gas line. You can gently bend the hose without fear of breaking it and causing a leak.

Connect the hoses to your gas line.

To check for a leak: simply spray your aluminum hoses with soapy water. Turn on the gas. Look for bubbles. If you see bubbles, you have a leak. You can also usually smell the gas leaking too.

Repair the leak yourself, or hire a professional.

  1. Install Any Additional Materials

You may use volcanic rock to cover the base of your burner, if it’s liquid propane. You may also use sand if you have natural gas.

That’s it. The hard work is over – and now you can spend the rest of your winter enjoying your fireplace.