Liquid Propane Gas Heat and Natural Gas
There are two types of gas logs: liquid propane (LP) and natural gas.
LP gas contains more carbon than natural gas and burns nearly three times hotter. To get LP gas logs up and running, you'll need a tank positioned outside your home. Check for local LP gas dealers. If you choose LP gas, a tank will be installed at your home, and you'll contract with a dealer to have the gas tank refilled.
Natural gas is a lighter-than-air gas that dissipates when released into the air. It doesn't burn as hot as LP and other gases, but it costs much less. Natural gas logs must be hard-piped to an appliance from buried gas service lines.
If you have a natural gas water heater, oven, clothes dryer or other gas appliance, you're already set up for a gas log set. If you don't have natural gas service, check with your local natural gas company before purchasing a log set. If natural gas service isn't available in your area, you'll need LP gas logs.
How to Measure a Fireplace for Gas Logs
When shopping for gas logs or fire glass, measuring your fireplace is the most important step. The dimensions of your fireplace will help you determine the best size gas logs, or how much fire glass you need for your fireplace.
When measuring your fireplace, take the following metrics into consideration: Rear Width (A), Depth (B), Front Width (C), Height (D).
To understand what size gas logs you need, you’ll need to take a few different factors into consideration, including the size of your fireplace and the size of your gas logs’ fuel control system.
- Relevant fireplace dimensions for choosing gas logs include the width of the front opening of the fireplace, the width of the rear fireplace wall, the height of the front fireplace opening, and the fireplace depth from front opening to rear wall
- A minimum of 2 inches on both sides must be maintained between the gas log burner system equipment and the fireplace sidewalls, and some customers prefer up to 6 inches on both sides
- The gas log set chosen should not be longer than the width of the rear fireplace wall
- Fireplace should be a minimum of 12 to 14 inches deep for almost
If you need assistance with measuring your firebox or would like to get an expert opinion, our Fireplace Professionals are here to help. Call us at 949-522-2585 and one of our NFI Certified experts will ensure you find the log set that’s the perfect fit for your fireplace!
Vented Gas Logs
Vented gas logs are installed into an existing wood-burning fireplace. When burned, the logs produce carbon and soot that draft up your chimney as it wood with a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Vented gas logs produce the most realistic flame pattern, with yellow flames that leap in a random pattern around the logs. The realism of the logs can be enhanced by placing the logs on a bed of sand and rock that add the look of glowing embers.
Vented gas logs must be burned with the chimney damper open, meaning much of the heat of the gas logs escape up the chimney. Vented gas logs provide about the same heat output as a tradition, open-hearth, wood-burning fireplace. Because of the output of smoke and soot, fireplaces outfitted with vented gas logs require the same cleaning and maintenance as a wood-burning fireplace. Chimneys and fireplaces must be swept and inspected each year to avoid a potential fire hazard. However, any smell or carbon dioxide produced by the fire is exhausted up the chimney.
Vent-free Gas Logs
Vent-free, or ventless, gas logs can be installed in an existing open-hearth fireplace and burned with the damper closed, or in a separate firebox approved for use with gas logs. One major advantage to vent-free gas logs is that they be installed in virtually any room or along any wall, as chimneys or ducts are not a consideration. The major advantage to vent-free gas logs is that all of the heat of the fire is returned to the room, rather than being lost up the chimney.
However, the logs do produce a less-realistic blue flame with a pre-programmed burn pattern. Additionally, the primary byproducts of the fire are carbon dioxide and water vapor. The amounts of carbon dioxide introduced to a room by vent-free logs is generally recognized as safe, though if logs are burned for more than an hour, a window should be opened to allow for better venting. The water vapor also can cause moisture or mildew to build up within a room.
How to Light Gas Logs
There are three main ways to light your gas logs, which depend on the internal ignition system used for their operation. Most manufacturers offer a variety of ignition systems for their gas log sets; however, your options boil down to these three pilot and valve types: match lit, safety pilot or push-button, and on/off millivolt valve.
Pilot and Valve Types
Match Light — This is the simplest method of lighting a log set and usually only available for vented natural gas systems. In these cases, the burner assembly has no valve or pilot assembly attached. Instead, the gas supply line is connected directly to the burner.
To ignite, simply hold a lit match or lighter just above the burner assembly and below the log set. With the external gas valve open to supply the gas to the set, the gas will ignite. This is a good option for the greatest realism and lowest overall cost, with the added plus of no pilot or valve to hide.
Safety Pilot Light Valve — This system can be found on almost all vented and vent-free systems, both in natural gas and liquid propane configurations. This is usually a simple brass control valve that is affixed to the burner assembly and utilizes a standing pilot light. The system has three settings: Off, Pilot, and On.
The gas control valve adjacent to the fireplace can be left open at all times. During the offseason, the safety pilot valve can stay in the "off" position. For the regular burn season, the valve can be turned to the "pilot" position, and the pilot assembly remains lit. When the use of the fireplace is desired, you can simply rotate the control knob to "on", and the burner will light.
Rotating the system back to "pilot" will turn the main burner off but leave the pilot lit. Should the pilot blow out during either standby or during operation of the main burner, the entire valve will close and stop the flow of gas. Many safety pilot valves are on/off control only, but some brands, such as Empire, have a 3-step flame height adjustment.
On/Off Millivolt Valve — This system can be found for almost all vented and vent-free systems in both LPG and NG configurations. It builds on the capabilities of the safety pilot system and has the same type of control knob with the same settings. Millivolt valves can add the following abilities:
- Utilize a remote control or a wall switch for operation. The gas valve has a terminal block that will allow direct wiring of a wall switch immediately adjacent to the fireplace or the use of a battery-operated-remote receiver and transmitter set.
- It usually has a push-button ignitor for the pilot. Unlike almost all safety pilot valves that rely on a match or lighter to ignite the pilot flame, on/off millivolt valves usually have a piezo igniter to light the pilot.
- Many models offer manual flame height adjustment. Many valves have a built-in regulator with an adjustment knob that allows the flame height to be regulated. This is a manual-only feature that cannot be automated in most cases.
- Hi/Low Millivolt Valve — This system can be found for almost all vented and vent-free systems in both LPG and NG configurations. This system builds still further on the on/off millivolt system by adding automatic high/low flame adjustment. Almost all valves that have this type of system requires the high/low flame control to be done via a special remote control or wall switch. The system will usually not allow manual adjustment, as damage to the valve can result if it is attempted.
Electronic Valves — This system can be found for almost all vented and vent-free systems in both liquid propane and natural gas configurations, but the exact features and capabilities vary by brand. This type of system trades a standing pilot system for a fully electronic spark ignitor. The spark ignitor lights the pilot, and the pilot remains lit while the main burner is in operation.
This system is designed to save on gas consumption by not having a pilot light lit at all times. Almost all of these systems have a manual on/off toggle switch for basic control, but they are ideally utilized with a remote. Many models come with the remote as a standard feature. The most basic systems function like an on/off millivolt valve, allowing only on/off control from the remote only. More sophisticated systems will use a multifunction remote that will usually include high/low flame control, timers, and thermostatic settings.
SPQMKN Safety Pilot Quick Mount Kit in Natural Gas 90K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly/Bracket, Black Knob, Heat Shield, Swivel Connector, Various Fittins and Screws
SPQMKLP Saftey Pilot Quick Mount Kit in Propane Gas, 90K BTU's, Includes: Valve, Pilot Assembly/Bracket, Black Knob, Heat Sheild, Swivel Connector, Varios Fittings and Screws, Vermiculite (LP Only)
MVQMKN Millivolt Quick Mount Kit in Natural Gas 82K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly, Heat Shield, Swivel Connector, Various Fittings and Screws *This system operates by manual controls (knob on top of valve) or *Operates by Either GCRK (Grand Canyon Remote Kit) or GCWS (Grand Canyon Wall Switch) *Under Related Products
MVQMKLP Millivolt Quick Mount Kit in Propane Gas 82K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly, Heat Shield, Swivel Connector, Various Fittings and Screws, Vermiculite (LP Only) *This system operates by manual controls (knob on top of valve) or *Operates by Either GCRK (Grand Canyon Remote Kit) or GCWS (Grand Canyon Wall Switch) *Under Related Products
Our Grand Canyon Millivolt kit system operates with a standing pilot for ease of ignition.
MVKEIKN Battery Electronics in Natural Gas 82K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly, Module, Wiring Harness, Battery Pack, (2) Batteries, (2) Heat Shields, Swivel Connector, Fittings,*Operations include manual (switch on heat shield) or *Operates by Either GCRK (Grand Canyon Remote Kit) or GCWS (Grand Canyon Wall Switch) *Under Related Products
MVKEIKLP Battery Electronics in Propane Gas 82K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly, Module, Wiring Harness, Batter Pack, (2) Battteris, (2) Heat Shields, Swivel Connector, Fittings, Vermiculite (LP Only) *Operations include manual (switch on heat shield) or *Optional GCRK (Grand Canyon Remote Kit) or GCWS (Grand Canyon Wall Switch) * Under Related Products*
Our Grand Canyon Battery Electronic Ignition System operates without the need of a standing pilot.
This compact system sits in your fire box next to the burner system and functions off of 2 D cell batteries.
EIS 110V Electronic System in Natural or Propane Gas 200K BTU's, Includes; Valve, Pilot Assembly/Bracket, Module, Wireing Harness, AC Transformer, 4x12x12 Metal Box, Hard Piping. The (EIS) Box is a 110 Volt direct wire ignition system. Our boxes need to be mounted within 3 feet of the firebox and ideal for new build or remodels. This system comes with a 6′ (foot) pilot assembly lead and a 200K BTU valve. A transformer and module are conveniently mounted inside our 4 x 4 x 12 metal box. Ideal for our Jumbo sets and other larger front view and see-through burner systems. This system operates by an optional Wall Switch (GCWS) or Remote (GCRK). *Optional GCRK (Grand Canyon Remote Kit) or GCWS (Grand Canyon Wall Switch) * Under Related Products*