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Question DetailsAsked on 12/20/2015

Ventless Fire Places-- gas supply on or off?

I have a ventless fire place with gas supply and electric start. The electric start will start pilot when knob is in "pilot" position. The knob has "pilot" "on" and "off". After pilot is lit, the knob is turned to "on".

Typically, when I am done with the fire I turn the knob to "off" and shut off the fire-- then I turn the key to the gas supply about 20 rotations and go to bed.

My question is whether it is safe to leave the gas supply turned on 24/7? Can I just leave it open all the time and keep the knob in the "off" position when I am not using it and then safety just turn it to pilot and and start it when I am ready?

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3 Answers


Yes - provided below is true.

I am not totally clear on what you said - you should get the manufacturer instruction manual (almost always on web) on your specific unit (nameplate with model number and such usually on back of free-standing units, typically on bottom panel of built-ins (commonly upside down under front lip so not visiable from room) but sometimes inside the front glass panel.

With it starting the pilot electrically, sounds to me like a unit that should have an Auto or Thermostat setting - starts and shuts off electrically, in which case if you left it in the Auto or Thermostat position you would leave everything on all the time, using the thermostat to control when it is on or off - or turning to OFF if you do not want it on automatic control for any reason.


If a unit with a standing pilot (always on pilot) as many are, then the electric start would turn on the gas to fire up, not to start the pilot as you said. Maybe a typo - maybe you meant electric start for the fire, and pilot is usually left on ? In that case, you would let the pilot burn (a few to maybe $10/year gas cost) all the time, and just turn the power on to fire it up as desired. If you wanted to shut off the pilot (like for summer or on vacation), then you would turn the control knob to OFF, but unless away for an extended period and wanting to be extra safe, you would not turn off the gasline valve on the line leading into it.


If not thermostatically controlled, and what you said about it electrically sstarting the pilot at pilot setting, then turning to ON for fire, so it is a totally manually controlled unit, then using the OFF, PILOT, and ON positions as you are doing would be right.


Usually, you would not turn off the gasline valve except if the unit control had a leak, or for turning the gas off for maintenance - though it should be turned on and off once about yearly just to keep it from freezing up from minor corrosion. But that valve is not designed to be used frequently - because if it wears and starts leaking, then your only solution is turning off the gas to the entire house till fixed. Unless you do not trust the control unit on the fireplace (in which case the control should probably be replaced) there is no reason to turn the gasline shutoff valve on and off each time.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD


Thank you LCD, your answer is very helpful and much appreciated.

Sorry to not be as clear in my description as I should have been.

I push/depress a knob while in the pilot position and then push a button. If I do these at the same time, the pilot will light. Once the pilot is lit, I will then slowly release pressure off the knob while simultaneously turning the knob to the "on" position. Only then will the rest of the fireplace light up.

One of your responses covered this scenario and I appreciate knowing I am handling this portion correctly.

I also appreciate your great advice on turning the key line and the damage I could be causing. I will have to get over my paranoia of having an open gas line because I do not want to damage it by turning the key the 20 rotations or so that it takes to open and close each and every time I use it, since that is not how it was designed to be used.

Thanks again for your very helpful reply.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_97025061


I understand your "paranoia", being a natural gas to electric convert for most appliances myself. One possible solution - to leave that main shjutoff valve open, but install a new ball valve (1/4 turn to close) between it and the flex tubing, or where the flex tubing gets to the fireplace if accessible. So you would have two shutoff valves in line, which is not a problem code wise. Then you could turn that one off every night if you wanted. Look like this -

easy to install yourself downflow from the existing valve (because you can turn it off while working) if you are into minor gasline replacement - be sure to use recommended natural-gas safve (usually yellow) teflon thread tape - or have a plumber or HVAC contractor do it for about $75-150 minimum service charge probably. IF DIY, be sure you are getting correct threads - pipe, tubing, gas fitting, or special ltype - there are about 8 different thread types out there on gas tubing connections.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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