With the addition of my home inspection background, I have seen a few occasions where after closing the sellers take what they can out of a house and even swap out the appliances! During my chimney inspection today, the same situation occurred and the sellers even took the decorative logs from the fireplace.

My best recommendation on that end would be to hire a home inspector that is very thorough and also uses a program called recall check where the serial numbers are stored for the appliances in case of a future recall. It can help not only in the event of a recall, but also if someone tries to take and swap out appliances.

Onto the inspection.

Issue one:

The home was in the process of being set up for liquid propane but the fireplace had not been converted from natural gas for use with propane. If the system would have been used, it could have caused a fire due to the different orifice sizes used when using natural gas (huge safety hazard).

Issue two:

A CSST line was run into the appliance instead of a rigid line. Imagine what will eventually happen to that thin line over time as it rubs against sharp metal! This goes against not only the manufacturers instructions but National Fuel Gas Code.

Issue three:

Clearance to combustible violations.

The manufacturer clearly states that the flue liner should be a minimum of 1″ from combustibles for a very good reason, radiant heat. Over time, using the system would have broken down the combustible wood to where it could have caused a chimney fire.

Issue four:

No lateral supports for the flue liner. Imagine what could have happened over time as the flue liner expands and contracts each time from heat with no structural support.. the manufacturer states that the flue liner should be supported every six feet and it had zero support.

In summary, even if it is newer construction and the system has never been used before, don’t assume that it is safe for use. Even if three of the four safety issues did not exist, the system would have still needed to be converted over for use with liquid propane.

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