Remove propane gas line

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by schinks, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. schinks

    schinks New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I hope this is the proper forum for this question, sorry if it's not. My fireplace was converted to gas logs before I bought the home. The logs are fueled by two oversized propane tanks (like what is used for a BBQ, but bigger). I want to convert the fireplace back to wood burning. I have called a few plumbers and they are estimating around $350-$450 to remove the line. This job does not seem to be that difficult... shut off the propane at the tank and pull the line... is there something I am missing. I was also told by a fireplace repairman that he could not fix the hole in the box where the line comes in until the line is removed (obviously). He wouldn't touch the line and said only a licensed gas line contractor could do that work, is that right? If this were installing a gas line then I would understand the need for a pro, but removing doesn't seem so hard. Any thoughts on whether or not this is something I can do myself, or do I need to suck it up and spend the $$$?
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,350
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You're partly right, it isn't too hard. However no professional will touch it unless licensed. It's a matter of liability. I find it interesting that you are removed an economical, device and reverting to a highly inefficient wood burner. Are you aware that because of the draft up the flue, a wood burning fireplace draws more heat out that it gives you? Most of us that have switched to gas, natural in my case, found that we couldn't use the fireplace when it was really cold. Not only that, but the Clean Air Authority puts a burn ban on all stoves and fireplaces during times when there is an inversion. And, that's when we want that fire! Wood is messy. It's your call of course, but I'd sure think about the negative aspect of this.
  3. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    I agree with the other post thats it's a bad idea to mess with propane; it's not like natural gas, I wouldn't trust a lot of licensed gas fitters due to the mistakes I've seen them make, your call.
  4. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    http://mha-net.org/ (MASONRY HEATER ASSOCIATION) I suppose you are not rich, but if you want to heat efficiently with wood maybe you could convert your fireplace to one of these. The EPA even gave them a 90+ percent rating, and you can get a bake oven too. I was going to build a new home in Indiana and get one but the deal fell through back in the late 90's. Tulikivi soapstone heaters are great too. Beautiful stuff. These are somewhat common in Canada and other none oil using countries.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,651
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Turn off the tanks and disconnect them. Remove the pipe for the fire log and replace it with one that just protrudes into the fire box, and put a cap on it. Also cap the line outside, but just to eliminate the initial odor of the propane until it all vents out. But then, a lot of people would KEEP the propane and install a "log lighter" to speed up the log burning.
  6. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    It's easy. Shut off the gas at the tank and then make sure the line is bled out of propane before you start disconnecting it. It's pretty hard to screw something up when you're disconnecting it and taking out....
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I am often conservative on the gas and liability issues, but I have to agree with Doherty on this one . How hard can this be. To be strictly on the up and up, get a gas man to disconnect the line from the tank, and properly cap the valve or tank. From that point, it is no longer a plumbing or gas job. It's just a floppy piece of tube.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,651
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    To continue with my original assessment. There are THOUSANDS of wood fireplaces with an unused gas pipe into them. Just because the gas is not connected, and even if it is, the pipe does NOT have to be removed if you just want to burn wood. The next owner might not want wood, or you could get into the situation, such as we have here, where wood fireplaces have been declared ILLEGAL.
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