28 Questions &
from Springfield, OH asked:
July 13, 2017
What is the difference between a millivolt fireplace and an IPI fireplace?
These terms are often mentioned, but rarely gone into with depth and clarity. A millivolt gas valve is a common apparatus that is used in many types of gas appliances. It operates by utilizing a valve containing an electromagnet, attached to a plunger that controls gas flow. Within the combustion chamber and usually directly above the burner is a pilot assembly, which consists of a small gas tube, a thermocouple or thermopile, and an ignitor in most cases. A thermocouple is a small metallic probe that contains a juncture of two dissimilar metals. When heated, the resistance between the metals creates a very small amount of voltage. A thermopile is simply a larger version of a thermocouple and contains multiple chains of these linked junctures. A millivolt style of fireplace will have a manual push knob that initiates the flow of gas to the pilot tube. Utilizing the push button ignitor or a manual lighter, the gas exiting the pilot tube will ignite and begin to heat the thermocouple or thermopile. The resulting voltage being generated will travel back to the gas valve via a copper lead, energizing the electromagnet in the valve. When fully charged, the manual push knob can be released, allowing the pilot to remain lit and the appliance to commence operation. Voltage generated by the pilot is all that is needed for the appliance to work, making this a great low maintenance fireplace, at the cost of a small amount of gas being consumed. An IPI (intermittent pilot ignition) appliance has similiarities to a millivolt appliance. It still uses a gas valve and pilot assembly, but the pilot is not always lit as with a millivolt appliance. Instead, the appliance only lights the pilot when the system is calling for operation. When switched on, an electric spark ignitor begins to fire at the pilot assembly until the flow of gas coming from the pilot tube lights. The flame from the pilot heats a flame rectifier, which is similar to a thermocouple. Instead of generating voltage like a thermocouple, a flame rectifier generates a signal that is sent back to a control module in the appliance. When the module detects the signal, the computer logic tells the ignitor to stop firing and the gas valve to open, commencing operation of the burner. When the system is switched off, both the burner and pilot extinguish, saving fuel by not allowing a pilot to burn while in standby. This type of system usually relies on 120 volt power as a primary supply, with batteries as a backup. In recent years, IPI systems have become very reliable and are on track to outsell millivolt systems in the near future.
on July 13, 2017
from Colorado Springs, CO asked:
July 13, 2017
What is the difference between a vent free fireplace and a direct vent fireplace?
While they share some basic operating principles, there are several differences between these two appliance types that govern where they may or may not be installed. Direct vent appliances utilize a sealed combustion chamber that ensures they do not consume any oxygen from the room. The chamber is sealed with a gasketed pane of tempered or ceramic glass, which is held in place by bolted or spring loaded clasps. The log set is contained behind the glass and can easily be viewed through it. The direct vent pipe facilitates both the emission of burnt gases to the atmosphere and the intake of combustion gases to fuel the fire. Typically, the inner pipe is responsible for exhaust duties, while the outer handles combustion air. The pipe can be vented vertically and even horizontally, over limited distances. Because of their sealed nature, restrictions on installation are few and far between, with the primary limitation being the need for the vent pipe run. Like direct vent appliances, vent free units use a gas valve and burner apparatus, coupled with a log set, fire stones, or fire glass. However, vent free units use no venting system or glass front. They are able to do this due to a strict limitation on BTU output and requirements imposed on the media they can use over the burner. Because they do not require vent pipe, they are extremely versatile in how they may be installed, however they also have state by state limitations. In states where they are allowed, they can be a fantastic supplemental heat source for limited durations. For additional information and considerations to look into before working with an installer, we recommend reviewing our purchasing missteps article
. For the handy homeowners that have already made a selection, our fireplace installation article
is a useful guide to get you to the finish line.
on July 13, 2017
from Oxford Michigan asked:
April 9, 2018
Looking for a blower for my gas fireplace Model is Superior and the model number is DR-500CMN
An electrical outlet box (receptacle) is factory -
provided for the installation of the FBK-100 Single Speed, FBK-200 Variable Speed Automaticand FBK-250 Variable Speed with Thermostatic Switch forced air blower kits which can all be found on our site.
on April 9, 2018
from klamath falls, oregon asked:
March 26, 2018
do the hearths or mantles pictured come with the fireplaces? I am building a new home and just starting to shop.
For the vast majority of our fireplaces, the mantels/hearths pictured with the unit is not included with the purchase. Moreover, most of the time these are custom pieces for the stock photos. However, we do offer some units with corresponding/compatible mantel cabinets for enclosure.
Tyler M. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
on March 27, 2018
from San Diego asked:
January 29, 2018
Why are gas fireplaces with direct vent from the top more expensive than vent free? Seems counter intuitive. I have a gas fireplace from the 80's and it needs to be replaced. Do I really need to spend $3000.00 dollars for sheet metal lined with ceramic bricks?
Direct vent gas fireplaces are more expensive due to the cost of manufacturing, the solid glass front utilize and the engineering involved. Please note we do sell many models in the $1,100-$1,200 price range; the $3,000+ models are typically the high-end luxury models with many bells and whistles.
on January 30, 2018
from Williston, VT asked:
January 22, 2018
When we look at widths, is the width specified for the glass, or the box? We are trying to figure out the right size for our living room.
The fireplace size, 36 or 42, etc., will be the width of the finished opening. This will include the firebox opening and some of the black metal facing and the front glass, with direct vent fireplaces.
on January 23, 2018
from Southlake, TX asked:
December 24, 2017
Can the Superior Model BBV-42RMN B-Vent Gas fireplace flame height be adjusted?
This particular model has a fixed flame height that may not be adjusted.
on December 26, 2017
from Cheyenne, WY asked:
December 21, 2017
Do you need to run the electric fan on a fireplace all the time?
No, you do not need to run a fireplace fan constantly.
on December 21, 2017
from Lanham, MD asked:
December 11, 2017
I have a wood burning stove. I want to convert it to a propane fire place. Is this possible? I do not have natural gas in my area.
It would depend on the Make and Model of the unit. Some are convertible and some are not.
on December 11, 2017
from Brooklyn, NY asked:
November 23, 2017
I have a Napoleon W660-0122 remote. I want to get a fireplace that's compatible. Is Napoleon "connector" like a universal thing?
No, Napoleon has different remotes for some of their units.
on November 24, 2017
from VA asked:
November 18, 2017
For a Majestic model# 39BDVR RN fireplace, where is the thermocouple located and what does it look like?
The thermocouple will be attached to your pilot assembly. It is a small cylindrical piece of metal that is being heated by your pilot light.
on November 19, 2017
from Suffolk, VA asked:
November 14, 2017
I have a 14 year old Majestic fireplace model# 39BDVR RN with a SIT Nova control knob. When I tried to light the pilot this year, it would not stay lit. I turned the control knob to pilot and lit it with the ignitor switch, held the knob in for 1 minute and released the knob and the pilot light would not stay lit.
Your thermocouple is likely not recognizing the pilot flame, which is causing it to shut off when you let go of the knob. You will want to clean the thermocouple with a piece of emery cloth or high grit (1000) sandpaper. This should resolve the issue.
on November 14, 2017
from NY asked:
November 9, 2017
Can a 62" ventless gas fireplace, 42000 to 45 BTUs, be installed below a 62" monitor without arming the monitor?
At that BTU level, it is not recommended that a monitor be placed above the fireplace.
on November 9, 2017
from Benton, PA asked:
November 2, 2017
I have a fireplace with a Heatilator to burn wood. It is double walled steel and in between the walls is an air space that circulates the warm air. This has a damper leading into a masonry chimney with a smoke shelve. If I get a vented gas log fireplace and open the damper about 1/2 to 1 inch, would this be sufficient for a 50 to 70 k BTU log set?
You are advised to open your damper completely when using a vented gas log set.
on November 2, 2017
from Cambridge, IA asked:
October 16, 2017
Is there anyway to heat your house with the units even if the power is out?
Our electronic ignition units generally come with battery backup systems that will allow them to turn on in the event of a power outage.
on October 17, 2017
from CA asked:
September 1, 2017
Can a natural gas Vermont Castings stove also burn propane?
The gas unit needs to use the fuel type indicated on the rating plate, only, unless an approved conversion kit is installed.
on September 1, 2017
from OH asked:
July 27, 2017
I have an existing un-vented fireplace. Can I change it to vented? It has to sit against an interior wall.
A vent free firebox can not be converted to a vented one, but can be replaced by a vented unit. Installing a direct vent on an interior wall is not an problem.
from Clarendon Hills, IL asked:
November 29, 2016
I am building a house and want to put in a fireplace. My contractor told me to pick out a direct vent fireplace because there is no chimney. But now I am seeing different options such as ventless fireplaces. Do they have real flames. Do they need a gas line. What is the difference? If I can avoid the cost of running a gas line, that would save money
Ventless gas hearth systems will still require a plumber or gas fitter installing a gas line, but they do not require any venting. Initially, the installation cost will subsequently be less than that of a direct vent system, however, these systems are not allowed in all municipalities and do require maintenance more frequently than direct vent systems. If the concern is initial cost, one consideration should be an Electric Fireplace
as not venting would be needed and this would not require a plumber or gas fitter.
on November 29, 2016
from Norman, OK asked:
November 24, 2016
Can I keep the fireplace glass doors closed while burning a vented gas log set?
As long as the doors do not use gaskets to seal them, yes. I highly recommend leaving the doors open for at least the first 15 minutes of operation to ensure that the glass is warmed slowly. This will prevent the possibility of glass breakage, due to thermal shock.
on November 25, 2016
from Bay City, MI asked:
November 22, 2016
Where can I find a gas shut-off valve for a glass fireplace set?
If this is simply a natural gas vented burner, this may be operated with the manual key valve that should be installed in the wall or floor outside of your fireplace opening. If this is liquid propane, a safety pilot valve must be installed. In either case, we will need to have the make and model number of the burner to locate a compatible valve.
on November 23, 2016
from Mill Creek, WA asked:
November 5, 2016
How do you go about removing the glass so as to clean behind it?
While it depends on the brand, almost every direct vent gas fireplace requires that you first remove the upper louver assembly, then flip down the lower louvers. There should be 2 or 3 spring loaded clamps that will be visible along the bottom of the glass door frame. They can be pulled forward and dropped down out of the way, allowing you to tilt the glass forward at the base and then lifted up and out of the way. Some older units did not use spring loaded clasps, instead requiring you to loosen bolts that run along the base of the frame.
on November 7, 2016
from Vinemont, Alabama asked:
November 2, 2016
If I have a vented gas fireplace, and I take all of the the insides out, and replace it with a ventless system; will it work?
Unfortunately, this is not possible with a vent free fireplace.
on November 2, 2016
from Santa Monica, CA asked:
October 20, 2016
I have an old freestanding gas fireplace that vents through the roof; it's that older cone-shaped type, if that rings a bell. I am looking for something more contemporary that might replace it. I don't want a "regular fireplace" that goes in the wall or on the wall, but rather, a freestanding fireplace. Do you have any suggestions?
The only product we will be able to offer will be one of our woodburning stoves
on October 20, 2016
from Lovell, WY asked:
February 5, 2015
Do you offer any gas fireplaces that can run without electricity?
from Salisbury, MD asked:
December 10, 2013
Is there any regulation regarding how close to a window you can place a gas(propane) fireplace?
By national code for direct vent fireplaces, the edge of the vent termination can be no closer than 12 inches to a door or a window. Most terminations are approximately 12 inches across, so the center line of the vent passing through the wall would need to be approximately 18 inches from the edge of the nearest door or window.
Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional
on December 11, 2013
from NM asked:
August 11, 2013
When a fireplace is advertised as a 24" or 32" fireplace, does that just mean the box? Or the complete unit with surround?
This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. By and large, the measurement refers to the front width of the fireplace face, including the sides, but in other cases it is the opening measurement. For every fireplace on our website you can download the owner's manual and see the illustrated dimensions which will clarify this.
Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist
on August 12, 2013
from Bay Shore, NY asked:
March 26, 2013
Whats the difference between a "fireplace" and a "firebox"?
Generally, when an item is listed as a "firebox," it will not include a gas burner or a log set, whereas a "fireplace" will include the firebox, the burner and the log set. Every unit on our website should clarify what is included.
Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist
on March 26, 2013
How does one clean the brass or gold plating on the front of the fireplace?
A standard brass cleaner should work perfectly well for this application.