Gas fireplace safe to use without vermiculite?

I moved into a house with a vented gas fireplace and gas logs. Beneath the grate holding up the logs there were vermiculite granules in a pan which covered the gas vents.
My wife wanted me to remove the vermiculite since she didn't like how it looked, and wanted to use the fireplace without it.
When I run the fireplace the flame jets exhaust downward on either side of the feed pipe, hitting the pan (now with no vermiculite in it).
Is it safe to run the fireplace like this, or should I put vermiculite back in it?
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same problem. They have replaced the vermiculite with gasoline-soaked rags. The rags look much better, though they have to be resoaked each time which is probably why the manufacturer didn't use them in the first place. Good luck.
(Gosh I hope you are a troll! If not, please stay away from anything sharp, hot, or heavy.)
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Does anybody else have a serious response to the question?
I've done a lot of searches and most references imply or outright state the main purpose of vermiculite is aesthetic. Is this not correct, or is there a safety issue?
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Why would there be a saftey issue the fireplace is designed for high temps, I think its cosmetic.
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for a more realistic burn. If your fireplace uses it, it should be there! Greg
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On the same subject:
Mine originally had cottony-looking pieces that were spread around the bottom burner and, when in use, looked like burning embers. Anyone know what THAT would be? I'd like to get some more. The wife was cleaning out the fireplace and vac'd all of it up. Is THAT vermiculite??
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NEVERMIND!
Did a google on "gas log embers" and came up with all kinds of hits. This one has the embers plus sand and vermiculite: http://www.firelogs.com/VentedGasLogAccessories.htm
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replying to Dr. Hardcrab, The Fire Queen wrote: Those are glowing embers not vermiculite. Go to your local dealer with the make and model of your fireplace or log set they should be able to get you what you need per your manufacturer.
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11 years too late!
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wrote in message....

I went to a fireplace store today and discussed with them. To their knowledge having sand/vermiculite isn't a safety issue but for aesthetics.
However I got some fireplace sand and spread it to the top of the gas burner pipe, and my fireplace seems to work better now. It not only looks more natural with the flames more evenly dispersed, but the flames aren't as yellow and apparently aren't leaving as much soot.
I also added some rock wool artificial embers on top and that also contributes to the realism.
Despite what they said about not a safety issue, my fireplace didn't seem to work properly without sand or vermiculite. The flames were very yellow and left lots of soot on the pan beneath the burner, the logs and the fireplace back wall. That was after only one hour's use.
Maybe the sand or vermiculite somehow alters the combustion to be less fuel rich, hence leaving less soot.
-- Joe
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I have never seen one with just vermiculite.
The normal is silica sand and vermiculite. The burner jets the gas down to the pan and then it rises through the sand and burns on TOP of the sand. The vermiculite merely glows like burning embers.
It doesn't sound right to me they way you have it now. If I were in your situation I would try to find a brand name somewhere on your set and then do a little research before burning them again. If Peterson is the brand you almost surely need some sand.
For you and Dr Hardcrab you can buy the vermiculite at any fireplace center that sells the logs. It is a little pricey as I recall.
Colbyt
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Colbyt wrote:

According to a swift google search, big box stores don't carry it anymore. However, it shouldn't be all that expensive, especially if you get it at a garden store. It's used as a soil amendment. If one can't find vermiculite, then try perlite. Both are relatively inert with high temp capability.
Both are also used in lite-weight concrete. I made a floor and back using perlite (substitutes for gravel) many years ago. I think a 3-4 cubic foot bag cost about $5.
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