Our front room has an old fireplace that has been painted white and
filled with decorative ornaments by the previous owner. I would like to
install a gas fireplace in it but am really not sure where to start.
Here are some questions that come to mind.
a) I assume I have to strip the paint somehow and clean the chimney
(there is soot falling out of the chimney constantly so I assume it is
at least partly open)?
b) There is a gas point capped off and sticking out of the floorboard
just in front of the fireplace. We do have gas CH but do I need to
check that pipe is still connected to the main supply or is that pretty
c) The fireplace itself (not including the surrounding area) is wider
than it is high (31 inches wide by 26 inches high). What is the best
way to fit a gas fireplace as they tend to be higher than they are wide.
d) Anything else I ought to know to avoid burning the house down?
A step by step guide for super dummies would be ideal but any help is
very much appreciated :)
No guarantees whatsoever. We have ensured that the gas points to our old gas
fires are well and truely disconnected.
Yes. You will probably need to install a flue, which will probably cost well
over a thousand pounds, maybe several thousand. You may find that a chimney
sweep will advise in whether a solid fuel appliance may be more appropriate
and not require a flue. Much will depend on what is there already, how old
the house is and the type of appliance.
Ah. Well the question is how do I tell if I need a flue? The house is
over 100 years old and the fireplace was clearly used before it was
Should I just call in someone to look at it for me? If so, any
recommendations in London or general pointers?
Should get you started. You'll be able to get someone out to sweep the
chimney and determine if it needs lining for various types of fireplace.
After my experience with them, I'd advise that a chimney sweep (there's a
trade body for them, can't remember it's name offhand) is a good first point
Mine was able to advise with good knowledge of capping requirements for gas
fires, smoke-tightness of the chimney, confirm the class of flue and confirm
the draw from the chimney.
In fact, the CORGI fire fitter wouldn't have commissioned the fire without
the sweep's certificate.
That's a bit of a sweeping* statement for someone who has seen neither the
property, nor the intended fireplace.
Whilst there are some genuinely flueless gas fires, these should be avoided
as they lead to condensation and are not as safe. Apart from that they will
all need flues. Depending on what is exactly found, the flue may need
lining, although this isn't a certainty. Also, it is possible to get
balanced and fan flued models, if the chimney is on an external wall. This
is likely to be cheaper than lining an existing chimney, should lining be
found to be necessary.
* Sorry about the pun!
AISI A flue _may_ not be necessary.
Gas Fires can be significantly difficult to fit relative to other gas
They are many different types you might fit.
DFE, ILFE, Outset, Balanced flue, Powered flue,
You start with a model of fire you hope to fit, get the info for it and
then see what it will take to fit it properly.
In any case yo are going to have to have the shminey swept and evaluate it
for possible use as a gas flue. It may fail or it may be sound fail other
tests like leakage, or it may join to another fire place...
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
Thanks all. I have ordered a chimney sweep from NACS. I hope that is the
right professional trade body to trust.
On the question of the flue, it seems that maybe I won't need one
(unless I plan to fit a gas boiler in there which I don't). It is a 120
year old brick building after all. We will see what they say.
One of the problems is that a chimney that old is often as leaky as a sieve.
What you don't want is smoke pouring out of the skirting boards on the 1st
But you'll find out soon enough!
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