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15 year old gas direct vent - time to replace?

Posted by brickhouse (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 8, 10 at 12:22

We have a 15 year old gas zero clearance direct vent FMI unit.
Not sure exactly how much the prior owners used it, but I think quite a bit in the winter.
I can not get a manual and no one here will inspect it w/o the manual.

Is it likely at the end of it's lifespan? Or should we still have a few more years.

We are remodeling, money is tight, but I hate to have to rip it out the new tile and hardwood to replace it in a year or so.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 15 year old gas direct vent - time to replace?

We are also remodeling and have 3 direct vent FPs installed in 1992, rarely used...Majestic brand. (1 in Master BR, 1 in Fam room, 1 in basement). Only working on main floor remodeling now... BR and Fam room. I'm about to head out to a FP store to check out options and am interested to hear any advice out there.

I removed the glass front from 2 of the units and copied down model, serial #s, BTUs, etc. info to take with me to the store today. Also taking photos on my laptop. I went to another store yesterday wihtout that info and without knowing the manufacturer name. Sales person was very helpful yesterday, however, and talked about possibility of refacing versus replacing.... mentioned we needed to have it inspected by a chimney sweep and that it would be worth having an HVAC person 1st see if FP unit could be repaired within reasonable cost before replacing. I appreciated her not trying to sell me a new unit right from the start.

Now that I know the manufacturer, I'm going to a shop who carries the same brand, although if I'm going to start all over, the new shop will have to work hard to impress me more than the lady from yesterday's shop. Will post any new info I learn.

RE: 15 year old gas direct vent - time to replace?

Our DV gas insert is just a couple of years old. We had it serviced for preventive maintenance by the guy who put it in. After removing the glass front, which he cleaned very thoroughly with the kind of cleaner that's used on glass top kitchen stoves, he removed the fake logs and cleaned them. Then he gathered up the fake ashes on the bottom of the firebox and set them aside. Then he vacuumed out the inside of the firebox. Finally, he put the whole thing back together again. He said it should be done every 2 years or so.

I think there are very few or no moving parts in the DV system, so nothing wears out. There is a possibility that the thing they install at the top of the chimney (I think they call it a "chase") might need to be replaced if/when it is eroded by the elements.

I can understand a service guy being reluctant to touch your system without a manual. I would try to find out brand name of your system and then contact the manufacturer. Or you could try to find a specialist who knows direct vent systems and is willing to check yours out.

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