How I Installed My Own Gas Stove Fireplace Insert


Gas Stove Insert
  • Purchase county permit.
  • Install chimney cap and liner
  • Seal chimney liner to close chimney
  • Run gas pipe from basement to fireplace
  • Install 120 volt receptacle in firebox
  • Place stove near firebox
  • Make electrical and gas connections
  • Slide stove into place
  • Connect chimney

My particular installation is for a used gas fireplace insert. I installed some gas piping to a water heater for a customer and he took out his gas fireplace insert so he could install a wood insert. Some people just love torture.

He wanted to give me the stove and I just felt guilty taking it for free after giving him a bill for all the gas piping. So I said no this stove is worth something, give me a price.

I had a wood insert and it wore me out. Cutting wood, stacking wood, keeping the wood dry. Buying wood at rising prices. I much prefer the constant supply of natural gas.

This whole article applies to propane just as well. Makes no difference.

When Are Building Permits Required For Remodeling?

I heard about a couple that wanted to build a new home, but they wanted to avoid building permits. They searched for and finally found a county in Nevada (don’t know which county or I’d probably move there) that did not require permits.

So I would say building permits are required in most counties and the ones that do not require permits are probably very isolated.

Always play it safe and purchase the proper permits. You may feel that the way you do things it will be safe enough and permits are not necessary.

A problem could arise if you sell your home and in the disclosures you are asked if all work done on the home has been permitted. Or, said a different way, did you do any work without permits.

Let’s say you choose to go without permits. The time will come when you decide to sell. Your conscience say’s you can’t sign these disclosures stating that all your work was permitted. Then go get the permit and have it inspected. I don’t advise this, because I’ve been there.

It normally doesn’t cost any more, but it’s a bother.

Do I Need A Chimney Liner?

Installing a gas stove into an existing fireplace requires a liner all the way up the chimney and out the top with a good wind proof cap.

Years age when the 80% efficient gas furnaces came out, some companies would stick the vent directly into the chimney without a liner. After a few years the home owners of those installations found that the mortar between the chimney brick began to disintegrate.

The heat of the flue gases cooled before they got all the way out of the chimney and condensed, with moisture dripping back down the chimney.

That moisture was acidic, eating out the mortar. The liner keeps the flue warm enough to reach the top and vent properly out.

Seal The Liner To Properly Close The Chimney

I had to take out some bricks to allow the liner to enter the firebox and attach to the gas stove.

Firebox with gas, power and flue

Then I went to my local steel supplier and bought a couple of steel plates thin enough to still work with but heavy enough to make a substantial cover and plate for the gas and electric to mount to going down and out through the clean out at the bottom of the fire box.

The top plate that covers the chimney got a 4 1/4 inch hole cut in the right place to allow the liner to slightly slide up to mate up with the stove when it gets time to finally connect the stove.

Installing The Gas Line To The Firebox

Fortunately I have a basement. Crawling under houses is not pleasant, but necessary sometimes. You can always get a young skinny nephew or someone to to the agony of getting into the abyss.

In my county I’m allowed to do any of the work any professional can do on my own house. Emphasizing my own house or home. If you rent it’s not okay. I can purchase my own permits and get final inspections without any state required licenses.

If you are thinking of a DIY project and working with gas frightens you then just do the rough in and call a professional to do the pressure test and final hookup. You may even have him or her do the entire gas line portion of the job.

Install 120 Volt Receptacle In Firebox

You’ll notice my gas line and electrical both at the bottom of the firebox. A fireplace clean out made the whole installation a piece of cake.

Again I’m glad I have a basement. I chose to install an electrical outlet in the box just because I didn’t want some cord sticking out of the firebox running across the floor to the nearest outlet.

You may think that’s okay, but I like a clean look.

It was simple to find a circuit in my basement to connect to for the power. These fireplace inserts only use power for the fan which draws a very limited amount of electricity.

I used MC cable (14-2 with a ground) from an electrical box near the fireplace clean out in the basement to the stove. It made an easy job out of routing the wiring. It’s a great product for many applications especially where you’re running through concrete and other obstacles.

Near Ready, Placing The Stove Near The Firebox

Like any project, there’s a little bit of put it together and take it apart to make sure things fit before putting in all the screws and making all the final connections.

I had it all in place, ready to install the stove and make the connections. I used a 36″ gas flex connector and my electrical outlet was all attached using led anchors.

The most frustrating part happened when I slid the stove in to check my flue connection. It got slightly bound up trying to lift the flue just enough to allow for the stove to fit into place and the bottom gore popped off the 4″ elbow.

Making those pop back on is not fun. Most the time I just throw the 4 inchers away and grab a new one, but this one was attached up inside the chimney now.

With a little coaxing it came together.

Gas Stove Final Installation

This turned out to be a nice touch for our living room. Some emergency heat in case we ever loose power and a warm spot to back up to take off the chills of winter.

I like gas heat. It’s plentiful and clean. No muss no fuss and no cutting, hauling, and storing wood.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is near 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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