Ventless gas logs? Natural gas fragility....

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ssholl, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. ssholl

    ssholl Monkey++

    Hi all,
    I live in the city and considering replacing my old (not functional) gas fireplace with either ventless gas logs or a wood burning insert. As the wood option is a lot more expensive, I am considering the gas. It seems like it would heat at least part of the house if the electricity fails.

    I don't know much about the natural gas system, though, and how fragile it is. Does anyone have any thoughts to help me sort out what would be the best way to prepare in case the grid goes down and I'm not leaving my house?

  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    NG is an excellent fuel. Weaknesses (other than piping/tubing inside the house) are in flood prone areas where service could be taken out by floating distribution lines. I had a problem in the street in front of my house (back in MI) where the in street pipe had a coupling come apart in a frost heave that lost heat for me over a looooongg day while they fixed it. The fireplace did yeoman service for that. Since then, my backups in depth have been wood.

    One thing to consider, if your gas log depends on a fan for circulating heat or ignition, power outage could affect it's operation. Mine is vented, and ignition is via a battery powered thermostat. It will fire up readily with power out. The circulating fan doesn't run, but it isn't necessary for heating the immediate area where the log sits.

    Assuming you don't have ng already in the house, the installation will be pricey. You mention an existing gas fireplace, so that sorta points to you already have the service. If so, and your furnace is also gas, a gas "log" might be the way to go. Watch the codes carefully, there could be a worm in the apple concerning your stack with either wood or gas.
  3. ssholl

    ssholl Monkey++

    Thanks much for the thoughts. No electricity (fan) would be needed in my house, and I don't live near water so the outside concerns might not be an issue.

    I am concerned though, that natural gas might need electricity to function. For example, if the grid went down in the city for any reason, would the natural gas still function?
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It should work as long as the delivery system (piping and controls) were not compromised somehow. IIRC, there are different arrangements for pressure maintenance and control in different cities, so you would do well to check with the gas company. Chances are, service will continue, power or not. You'll then be lighting it with a match unless your house controller has backup, like a battery.

  5. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Wood may be more expensive in the begining but you can usaully find wood to burn for little to nothing, not only that it can be stock piled alot easier than NG.

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