Go Back   InterNACHI Inspection Forum > Specific Inspection Topics > Inspecting HVAC Systems

Notices

Inspecting HVAC Systems Topics include heating, venting, and air conditioning inspections.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 8/31/11, 4:04 PM
crhead1 crhead1 is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Cool Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Are the requirements for a gas only prefab fireplace hearth different from a masonry or prefab dual purpose fireplace? The condo fireplace has a minimal flame and a small chimney flue opening. I am about to tell a client that a non combustible material hearth is required 16" out from the front and 8" out to either side of the opening. I am not sure if that is correct. This is in San Diego Cal. Please send any info you might have on the subject. Thanks, CR
Reply With Quote
Need a home inspection in Maryland? Check out InterNACHI's listing of Maryland certified home inspectors. Or, find a home inspector anywhere in the world with our inspection search engine.
  #2  
Old 8/31/11, 4:42 PM
Stephen W. Stanczyk's Avatar
Stephen W. Stanczyk Stephen W. Stanczyk is online now
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kapowsin, WA
Posts: 7,001
Send a message via AIM to sstanczyk
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Most modern gas only fireplaces with fixed glass do not require a hearth extension. The manufacturers usually require a 36" clear space in front (no furniture, etc.). Now if this was a wood burning fireplace that had a gas insert, the hearth extension would still be required. Once wood burning, always wood burning.

As a matter of terminology. The "hearth" is the "floor" located within the firebox, whether wood burning or gas. The "hearth extension" is the non-combustible material found in front of a fireplace. Both should be inspected. To call the "hearth extension" a "hearth" is common with many inspectors, but it is incorrect.




Stephen Stanczyk
Washington State Licensed Home Inspector # 221
President, Washington Association of Property Inspectors (WAPI)
(253) 241-0602 calls answered until 10pm


Pierce County -Thurston County - King County - Snohomish County
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 8/31/11, 7:10 PM
Jeffrey R. Jonas's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Jonas Jeffrey R. Jonas is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Minnesota & Northern Iowa
Posts: 19,743
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Quote:
Originally Posted by sstanczyk View Post
Most modern gas only fireplaces with fixed glass do not require a hearth extension. The manufacturers usually require a 36" clear space in front (no furniture, etc.). Now if this was a wood burning fireplace that had a gas insert, the hearth extension would still be required. Once wood burning, always wood burning.

As a matter of terminology. The "hearth" is the "floor" located within the firebox, whether wood burning or gas. The "hearth extension" is the non-combustible material found in front of a fireplace. Both should be inspected. To call the "hearth extension" a "hearth" is common with many inspectors, but it is incorrect.
I almost feel sorry for the Realtors in your area, nit-picker!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 8/31/11, 11:10 PM
Stephen W. Stanczyk's Avatar
Stephen W. Stanczyk Stephen W. Stanczyk is online now
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kapowsin, WA
Posts: 7,001
Send a message via AIM to sstanczyk
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjonas View Post
I almost feel sorry for the Realtors in your area, nit-picker!
Yep. When they want it done right, like for their own home, they call. When they want it done fast and cheap, they don't.




Stephen Stanczyk
Washington State Licensed Home Inspector # 221
President, Washington Association of Property Inspectors (WAPI)
(253) 241-0602 calls answered until 10pm


Pierce County -Thurston County - King County - Snohomish County
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 8/31/11, 11:15 PM
crhead1 crhead1 is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Thanks for the reply and good information. The interior hearth and exterior hearth extension designations will help me be more accurate in reporting. The unit I am asking about is not equipped or sealed with a glass plate or doors. What do you think? CR
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 8/31/11, 11:20 PM
Stephen W. Stanczyk's Avatar
Stephen W. Stanczyk Stephen W. Stanczyk is online now
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kapowsin, WA
Posts: 7,001
Send a message via AIM to sstanczyk
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Sounds like maybe it was an upgrade from an existing wood burning unit. I can't remember seeing a gas fireplace that did not have at least glass doors. Most have a fixed glass pane. Were there carbon marks on any of the refractory panels or fire bricks? Brand and Model?




Stephen Stanczyk
Washington State Licensed Home Inspector # 221
President, Washington Association of Property Inspectors (WAPI)
(253) 241-0602 calls answered until 10pm


Pierce County -Thurston County - King County - Snohomish County
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 8/31/11, 11:36 PM
crhead1 crhead1 is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Stephen, It is an original gas unit. I see them a lot in condos but most have some hearth extension. The gas valve,flex pipe and control valve are located directly under the fire box behind a removable metal plate. There is a place there to light the pilot light etc. The lower part is almost like a radiant heat wall heater in a 50's home. The gas flame operates from a wall switch. Maybe it is just missing the original glass doors but Ive seen these before and all have been without the doors. I would send a photo but am new with NACHI and don't have the know how. CR
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 8/31/11, 11:52 PM
Stephen W. Stanczyk's Avatar
Stephen W. Stanczyk Stephen W. Stanczyk is online now
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kapowsin, WA
Posts: 7,001
Send a message via AIM to sstanczyk
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Claude, remember to put your location into your profile. That way you may get more regional answers.

If you want to add a picture when you are posting, just hit the paperclip above and follow the directions. Easy Peasy....

Without brand and model number, there is no way to research any further for manufacturer's installation instructions or manuals. Good luck with your report.




Stephen Stanczyk
Washington State Licensed Home Inspector # 221
President, Washington Association of Property Inspectors (WAPI)
(253) 241-0602 calls answered until 10pm


Pierce County -Thurston County - King County - Snohomish County
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 8/31/11, 11:58 PM
Jeffrey R. Jonas's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Jonas Jeffrey R. Jonas is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Minnesota & Northern Iowa
Posts: 19,743
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Quote:
Originally Posted by sstanczyk View Post
Claude, remember to put your location into your profile. That way you may get more regional answers.

If you want to add a picture when you are posting, just hit the paperclip above and follow the directions. Easy Peasy....

Without brand and model number, there is no way to research any further for manufacturer's installation instructions or manuals. Good luck with your report.
There's a paperclip above?

I always use "Manage Attachments" below my post where all the other stuff is. Extra-Easy-Peasy !!!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 9/1/11, 12:21 AM
crhead1 crhead1 is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Thanks Stephen and Jeffry,
Good advice guys and thanks for the time and support. I'm working on it.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 9/1/11, 12:29 AM
crhead1 crhead1 is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 5
Red face Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

By George I think I've got it. Does this photo help at all. Hope it is here. gas-only-fireplace-hearth-requirments-gas-only-fireplace.jpg In any case thanks again, Claude
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 9/1/11, 10:30 AM
Jeffrey R. Jonas's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Jonas Jeffrey R. Jonas is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Minnesota & Northern Iowa
Posts: 19,743
Default Re: Gas only fireplace hearth requirments

Quote:
Originally Posted by crhead1 View Post
By George I think I've got it. Does this photo help at all. Hope it is here. Attachment 47850 In any case thanks again, Claude
Yep, looks like you got it.

Go into the MB Control Panel at the top left to edit your location, signiture, and other info.

That gas only fireplace is typical, except for there being no glass. You will need to check for local requirements. The hearth extension I would not be concerned with if glass was installed. With only the screen, there is potential of an issue if someone placed another meterial in to burn, like a picture of the EX, for example. Kids also like to see what will burn.

Barring any local requirements, I would place a cautionary statement in my report, suggesting glass doors, or a hearth extension, be installed for safety.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Masonry fireplace hearth is both floor and projection bgromicko Ancillary Inspection Services & Additional Topics 4 3/4/14 11:07 AM
Hearth size??? jcampbell Inspecting HVAC Systems 32 6/1/08 1:56 PM
Difficult Chimneys thance Inspecting HVAC Systems 2 1/29/08 8:16 PM
Gas Sealed Fireplace Hearth bglickman Inspecting HVAC Systems 4 1/18/08 12:44 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 3:01 AM.
no new posts