Gas Fireplace Problems

jennnmJanuary 16, 2007


We bought a 10 year old home back in 2002. We have a gas fire place in our den on the outer wall. It does not have a chimmney- it has a vent straight behind outside it that looks like a cyllinder behind it with vent looking things. It has a glass panel on the front so you just "see" the fire. Here are my problems:

1. The lower vent below the glass panel is pushing in tons of cold air through during the winter and in the summer when the A/C goes on tons of warm outside air gets suck in through this vent. Our couch is next to it and we freeze in the winter. Is this normal?

2. We havent ever been able to light it ever because all we see are small blue flames when we turn it on. What is that?

3. Durning the summer when it rains a horrible moldy or mildew smell seems to come from the lower vent.

We are planning on calling a professional but I was hoping someone could help me with some of these issues just so I know I am not getting "scammed" by the tech.

If the whole unit needs to be replaced what should I look to replace. I am afraid I am stuck with the draft due to that back vent and the fact that we dont have a chimmney.

Thanks for your help.

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can't answer all your questions, but I'll give a try.

From what you described, you have a sealed direct vent gas fireplace. I have the same in my home. You shouldn't feel any drafts coming in around the fp.

There should be an adjustment for the height of the flames below the fire box. It would help if you can find out the model of this fp so you get an owners manual.

The fact that you feel a draft and smell mold/mildew may indicate the unit is not sealed properly. I think having a pro check it is a good idea.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 9:20AM
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We bought a 1996 house which has the same thing going on. We called in a FP guy and the low flame is just what it is - - we have no adjustments. He said the blue should disappear and the flames might get bigger after 45 minutes or so. We noticed only a slight change, but it did have less blue.

As far as the cold air, we didn't noticed that until this winter. We bought a small roll of fiberglass insulation at Lowe's. We cut a strip to size and put it inside the vent at the bottom of the FP. We just have to remove it when we turn the FP on. It helps a lot with the cold air. We didn't have any mold smell coming through though.

I've also seen those magnetic vent covers which may work, but I like the idea that the fiberglass doesn't show.

We can't afford a new system, so we hardly use ours. It is a quite pitiful flame, since we had a wood burning FP in our last house.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 11:57AM
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are the little blue flames just your pilot light? Mine has that & the makes a lovely noise & lights up to full-size when I flip the switch. The tech should figure that out for you when you call. The other issues are certainly not normal. Keep us posted on what you're told!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 2:19AM
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I also had cold air coming through the bottom vent on my gas fireplace. I found that there was an opening underneath the fireplace where the gas pipe came in through the side. The cold air was coming through that opening. I just used duct tape to cover the hole and no longer have the problem.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:43PM
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We have lived in our home for over seven years (the home is now about sixteen years old) and have never used our gas fireplace until this year we decided to give it a try. First we had trouble getting it lit and to stay lit. It has a wall switch and a remote. After finally figuring out the lighting problem and after taking off the door and cleaning it and finally getting it started it started smoking into our living room. We shut it off and was very discouraged needless to say. It is a GTi, model 5000 GDV, we have the manual but it has been no help to us as we are not savy with gas fireplaces, it is on an outside wall on the first floor. Any ideas or suggestions would be so helpful. Becky

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 9:29PM
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Please tell me what to buy to enhance our fire place flames. The fire place works, it has a small flame, but I would like to add additional flames without buying a new system. Thank you, Pat Kelley

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 10:37PM
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