Tired of hauling wood indoors and cleaning up the sooty mess a wood fire leaves behind? Or maybe you want a fire in the hearth every chilly evening—but you’re not allowed to burn wood on the “no-burn days” in Maricopa County and parts of Pinal County when air quality is at its worst.
Either way, the solution could be to convert your wood-burning fireplace to gas. It’s not a job for a do-it-yourselfer.
Whenever gas is involved, only a licensed professional—like a fireplace installer or a plumber—is qualified to do the work.
If your home already has a gas stove or a gas furnace, getting gas to the fireplace involves moving the gas line to your fireplace. If you don’t have gas available at your home, you’ll have to power your new gas logs with propane.
The licensed contractor who moves your gas line or installs your propane tank will put a safety device on your pilot light that will automatically shut off the gas flow if the temperature in the fireplace drops below a safe level. He also will comply with local building codes that apply to gas. Ask him about both, just to make sure. Once your gas supply is safely in place, you or your contractor can install a gas log system: a set of gas logs, burners and a valve that lets you control the height of the flames and turn the fire off.
Most manufacturers recommend that you allow your contractor to install the gas log system rather than doing it yourself because the professional is more experienced with placing accessories like “embers” and “twigs” to make the most natural-looking fire.