Inspection Training

How to Inspect a Gas Fireplace (UPDATED 6/18/18)

When the inspector is inspecting a gas fireplace it needs to be turned on using the normal operating controls (like a switch on the wall) and a clear picture of the flames needs to be taken. It is also important to check for any gas leaks with the gas detector and take a picture with the gas detector in the picture. If the fireplace does not turn on or if there is a gas leak it should be put into the report as a defect under Repair/Replace.

 

NACHI SOP

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

 

3.8. Fireplaces

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. Readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys;

B. Lintels above the fireplace openings;

C. Damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and

D. Cleanout doors and frames.

 

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. The type of fireplace.

 

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. Evidence of joint separation, damage, or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension, or chambers;

B. Manually operated dampers that did not open and close;

C. The lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace;

D. The lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace;

E. Cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect the flue or vent system.

B. Inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.

C. Determine the need for a chimney sweep.

D. Operate gas fireplace inserts.

E. Light pilot flames.

F. Determine the appropriateness of any installation.

G. Inspect automatic fuel-fed devices

H. Inspect combustion and/or makeup air devices.

I. Inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity controlled or fan-assisted. J. Ignite or extinguish fires.

K. Determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics.

L. Move fireplace inserts, stoves, or firebox contents.

M. Perform a smoke test.

N. Dismantle or remove any component.

O. Perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.

P. Perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

 

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Inspector should turn the gas fireplace on/off if the pilot light is on and also check for any gas leaks with gas detector. This is for section 14.02 (Gas Fireplaces).

 

Tools Needed

The inspector will require a flashlight and gas detector when inspecting a gas fireplace.

Procedure

  • Inspector should turn fireplace on with switch if the pilot light is on. Make sure to take picture of flames when fireplace is on and make sure to turn off. This is the first picture that should be taken showing the fireplace is on and working.

  • Check for possible gas leaks with gas detector and take a picture showing this with the shut off valve in the picture. You must have the gas detector in the picture or else it’s your word against the client. Use your nose and if you smell anything, start looking. Make sure gas detector doesn’t come into contact with dust or it could set it off. If there is a gas leak detected, make sure to check it three times with gas meter.

 

Common Defects

  • Did not have a “shut off” valve above the floor (not easily accessible)
  • Did not have proper vent kit.
  • Did not respond
  • Glass is cloudy
  • Had a leak
  • Most remain open during use
  • Only “vented fire logs are allowed in bedrooms
  • Pilot on, but no flames
  • Was Damaged
  • Was Disconnected
  • Was improperly routed through ash dump
  • Was Loose
  • Was loosely connected at vent hood
  • Was not operable
  • Were cracked, damaged, or loose
  • Would not ignite

 

Common Mistakes

  • Not turning the fireplace off after the inspector has turned it on.
  • Saying that the fireplace is working when it is not working.

 

Report / Software

IN


  • The property had a gas-fueled fireplace that appeared to be in serviceable condition and responded to the controls. The fireplace had one gas shutoff valve(s) present. No gas leaks were detected.

NI

  • The gas-fueled fireplace was not inspected because [[word1]]. The fireplace and components could not be inspected for proper operation. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    • Boarded Up
    • Gas Leak
    • Gas Valve Off
    • Pilot Would Not Light
    • Removed

NP

  • The property did not have a gas fireplace installed.

RR

  • The [[word1]] at the fireplace [[word3]] [[word2]]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
    • Did not have a “shut off” valve above the floor (not easily accessible)
    • Did not have proper vent kit.
    • Did not respond
    • Glass is cloudy
    • Had a leak
    • Most remain open during use
    • Only “vented fire logs are allowed in bedrooms
    • Pilot on, but no flames
    • Was Damaged
    • Was Disconnected
    • Was improperly routed through ash dump
    • Was Loose
    • Was loosely connected at vent hood
    • Was not operable
    • Were cracked, damaged, or loose
    • Would not ignite