If you need more reasons to choose National Fireplace Institute certified gas fireplace technicians to service your system, we’ll give you two. First, they won’t cut corners and leave you with an unsafe fireplace. Second, their training makes them quick to notice problems others would miss.
Here are a few of the code violations we commonly see. Each is either a danger to the family that owned it or kept the unit from working as designed.
Gas Fireplace Code Violations
- Unattached straps and supports
- Sometimes we discover straps that should be holding up the venting system, but are lying on the floor behind the fireplace unit instead. If the venting system came out of alignment as a result, superheated gas could leak inside the walls instead of leaving the home, a serious hazard.
- Venting pipes with combustible materials close to them.
- The venting system can reach temperatures high enough to ignite wood and other flammable building materials. A certified gas fireplace technician will ensure that all vents have proper clearances.
- Lint and other foreign objects inside the firebox.
- Sometimes we find things inside gas fireplaces that we would normally expect to find in a dryer vent! Common examples are lint and pet hair, which can produce unpleasant smells when the firebox heats up or even be a fire hazard. This is one reason annual fireplace maintenance (which includes thorough cleaning) is essential.
- Shutoffs mounted behind a wall.
- We see this in cases where a non-certified technician has installed the fireplace. Anyone needing to shut off or replace the valves would have to cut open the wall to reach them.
- Improper vent caps.
- Each fireplace model has a specific type of direct vent cap that has been approved for use with it after extensive testing by the manufacturer. The problem? Caps designed for fireplaces look similar to the B-type cap used to vent gas appliances, though they allow much higher gas flow. If roofers remove a cap and replace it with the wrong type, it will prevent the fireplace from working properly because gas can't leave rapidly as it should. It's also a violation of the manufacturers installation manual (example here).