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
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.
(Gosh I hope you are a troll! If not, please stay away from anything sharp,
hot, or heavy.)
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?
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??
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.
I went to a fireplace store today and discussed with them. To their
knowledge having sand/vermiculite isn't a safety issue but for
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.
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.
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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