Here is a classic issue we deal with once in a while. Remember you get what you pay for! If you're subject to salt water or salt air by the ocean you must make sure your products and or equipment will hold up as well.
If you're trying to save a few bucks, you will pay for it later!
We built an aluminum pan with steel burners and we were told that it was to be indoors. Well, it wasn't! It was actually outdoors under the edge of the cover but never the less, it was at the ocean next to the salt water pool.
The aluminum pan did just fine. But the burner pipes were severly rusted, the thermo coupler broken and the FPPK propane manual ignition was also corroded. Then I was asked if we would warranty the parts! Let's see, NO.
We can only help you if you tell us what you are doing. We will always try to find the most cost effective methods but not letting you compromise quality and longevity of the products we build. If you tel us wrong, we will build it wrong! Above the steel pipes sat under cover fro 2 years to look like this. These should of been #304 stainless steel or even #316 marine graded stainless steel.
Steve started our by purchasing Azurlite base glass and a 24" ring for his project. But then he called us and we received his pictures. Steve thought he had a ton of extra parts! So he took out anything he didn't understand.
Looks pretty cool with Azurlite, But lets light it and it seems to work for a bit, until the black smoke started. Since all those 'extra parts' were necessary to have a cleanand safe burn that wouldn't destroy the product. It's just a good thing the propane tank was 10 feet away.
Now who can tell me what he did wrong? Steve sent us all of those extra parts and we calibrated everything to work properly. No leaks, no soot and a clean burn. He is set as we repaired everything. Just for giggles let's keep the tank out from under the table.
The fireplace below was in sad shape due to some incompetent installers. They came out and sprayed paint over paint over paint. Which just caused the paint to keep peeling off.
The customer kept calling for support, but they ultimately just stopped reutning her calls. Which is where we stepped into the picture.
Below you see that we had to grind and remove all the old layers of paint before we applied our high heat paint paint.
We'd also like to point out that the fireglass was not properly broken up, you can see the large chunks that cause air gaps between the glass leading to sub surface burning; causing soot (nasty black smoke). Not only is this sloppy but dangerous and you are creating carbon monoxide for your customer let alone its just ugly! This type of glass/ installation looks like you poured trash glass in your fireplace. We were just contracted to repair the paint portion and she was going to try to get her money back from the fireplace shop (good luck). This is the reason we have patented fireglass that is tumbled and smooth so that it doesn't look like this! We have hundreds of dealers across the country, but none like this! When we learn about these types of dealers we black list them and never will sell to them, ever!
This person below tried to build his own propane burner, didn't work out so well. First he just ran propane into an air mixer without the use of a propane valve, thermo coupler and or a safety pilot light, oops. His complaint was that there was a lot of soot and black smoke. Not to mention how dangerous his set up is as well. Obviously he wasn't worried about all of the plumbing sticking out of the glass either.
Not very nice looking, is it? Now maybe you can see what we do is actually worth it. I would never make your fireplace or fire pit look like this! You get what you pay for. UGLY IS FREE.
They just keep rolling in! Sometimes I get amazed at what the next person will do with out getting advice or the proper parts. This next one is a ventless conversion. He almost got it right except: He didn't calibrate an air mixer to get a clean burn to the burner, First sign of issues was the black smoke, you think?
The glass started to pop out when it got hot, not our glass!
Most important, the firebox was constructed of wood, look close. Now what do you think will happen? Look at the walls, they are turning black! What do you think is happening else where?
The fireplace below had two issues: Soot and glass popping. We built a propane burner and pan but the customer found their glass elsewhere. First cause of soot was sub surface burning (burning below the surface) and as for the glass popping, it seems to be just large chunks of glass cullet. If you want to try this yourself, do it at a friends house first to see how it works out. It almost would of worked out if they would of used the correct glass.
This next fireplace was done with lack of knowledge! First they installed a 18" single burner and some real interesting choices of glass. What they did do correct is have a 3" sand bed under their yuk glass. The first issue we repaired was the stub out on the left side of the fireplace floor. All we did was install a 90 degree elbow and connect a 1/2" flex line to the new double 24" burner. They had left the flex pointing in the air and then reduced it to a 3/8" line and to top that off added they very sad single 18" burner. We repainted their futile attempt (of painting) with dark metallic brown, added 10 lbs of sand and poured 75 lbs of Starfire base glass over the new burner and sand filler. We will explain as we move forward:
Below you can see the black marks under the paint. Below you can see the flex line that was installed was left above the surface. Now if we tried that I think our customers would take us out and string us up, what do you think? To top it off this customer was an attorney! Completely happy with what we did.
Here is the new paint on the back walls. Now we added the Starfire base glass. One thing we have been doing a little bit different is to bring the glass out from the front of the fireplace. We let the glass come out of the fireplace from 3 to 6 inches to make it look even more grand. What do you think?
Here is a the almost finished product of what we do! We left several colors with the customer to add. We will post pictures when they arrive. Below are the finished pictures of what else was added: Yellow Amber, Ice Ice Ice, Clear Diamonds, Fuchsia Topper, Purple Topper, Red R Topper, Roma Red Topper
I think it turned out very colorful! Check it out!
Just when I thought they couldn't do something different, they did! I agree with the sand as a base under the Starfire base glass. I will explain as we go forward:
Above and below I understand testing the burner. OK, I give, he taped the holes to prevent sand from getting in the burner. That doesn't really matter as too much sand really can't get inside and if it does, no big deal.
What I don't understand is the burner left on top of the glass? Didn't I show enough pictures for you to get the hint? No really? I guess he missed those few hundred pages.
Oh well I guess, Different strokes for different folks.
The fire table below was build by an uninformed handy man; he made the table out of wood?! Particle board to be exact. And aside from it being flammable it will warp like the Enterprise.
I recommended next time using metal studs and wonder board / durock materials that wont catch fire!?
This is almost a classic. If your flue is dirty with ash and soot, it will fall down on your glass. This pattern of the soiled area is the same shape as the flue. So what do you think? Is the glass is clean below, then it came from above, right? Or, it came from the bottom sneaking upward carefully as to not touch the other glass and then JUMPED ON THE SURFACE GLASS! I don't think so. This is also called "Chimney Schmootz".
This is not part of the real estate market but it is part of the Las Vegas Boom! The customer removed the stub out from the inner wall and did not re tape the threads. Causing a slight gas leak in the wall. As you can see this Las Vegas Boom was on 2010! Be sure to install properly or you may end up on this page! This is not meant to frighten you, BOOO! but to make you aware of what you are doing and working with. But this may also depend on who's house you're working on? Just kidding.
From time to time we still find Hill Billy plumbers. Hey Buck! lets just put the shut off in the middle of the fire pit so we can always find it! Think about it guys?I think Forest did have cousins.
Frank attempted to blow himself up. I will explain. Frank wanted to save money and didn't want to purchase all of the required valves and equipment to make his proane fire pit burn safely.
So when Frank turned on his propane it was actually filling the pit up from the bottom. If he would of kept his gas running and burning at the top it would of BLOWN UP!
If you notice he only had flame in the middle as this points to improper installation, big time! If you don't know what you are doing, ask!
The air mixer was installed in the wrong place! It's not a magic bullet, it's just a small part of the complete system. Think about this, all of the gas/ propane is only burning in the middle???? It is being blasted to the bottom and as it rises it is burning on the top. Propane is heavier than air so it is filling the pit as well! Not Safe!
The fireplace pictures below show a good example of what you didn't do! If you have been burning wood, then you should check to see if your flue is soiled/ dirty. Second if the walls are dirty you really should clean and paint them (Fireplace Paint Page)! There is no excuse for UGLY! This was a beautiful home in Newport Beach and the customer called and told me about the soiled area on our glass. I mentioned where it was coming from. Anyway a few months later I sent a e mail and she told me it had gone away! Yes it will burn away, not to worry or you can wash the soiled glass. To top it off they didn't even try to cover the flex line!
The fireplace picture below shows what almost happened. The customer asked: Should I Paint? I think it looks good with the used marks, what do you think? I told him if he doesn't buy the paint that I would donate the paint. He did paint and it looks great! Now to show you a happy ending! Morris in Canada finished his fireplace any it turned out amazing! The fireplace pictures below show a happy ending!
YUK, YUK, and YUK! Burning wood is like having an incinerator in your family room.
There is nothing pretty about a wood burning fireplace. Now, paint the interior, connect the burner.
Test your burner.
Pour in the glass and you're done! Morris used a Starfire base glass ad topped it with 3/4" Starfire base glass and Rhubarb Topper.
Very nice Morris! One of our Canadian Customers.
Oops on the flex line! Next time plan on hiding on how it works! This a Don't let this happen to you picture.
Don't get me wrong, the fireplace turned out pretty nice, it's just the flex line should of been covered.
This next fireplace almost takes the CAKE! It belongs to David Cooke. A graduate of Cal Poly Pomona no less. An Engineer! He never admitted to being creative. He did try and he failed miserably!
It almost looks good in the dark if you're drinking. But when you wake up, YUK! He didn't even clean let alone paint the exterior and or the interior. Creative you're not, ugly you have! Better luck next time.
The next pictures is how a plumber convinced the customer to install a trimming valve inside of the burn area! Look on the lower right of the fire pit! NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! He just didn't want to drill the side of the fire pit or shield it at the side. There are many options, but don't BS.
Here is the answer some of you think you know. (You don't!) These are Air Mixers, Venturis Carburetors.
These like a carburetor on any engine act as the air fuel mixture governor. Have you ever been behind an older car that smells funny? Wrong air mixture! Bad mechanic! The air mixers have to be calibrated not only to the valving but the burner as well. We have been building propane burners for several years now and we have never had an issue with any configuration that we have built, ever. It's the same as porting an engine for proper air flow. If you just STICK one of these on your burner then you may be giving us a call soon enough.
Here are a few pictures of the 1/2" and 3/4" air mixers, (40,000 to 400,000 btu mixers).
If you attach it and create back pressure, you will have a fire or an explosion, guaranteed. We are not trying to frighten you but to make you aware. We believe in safety first and we don't build systems without thermo couples and or pilot light systems, ever!
As you may have of seen on our "How Not To Do It Page" they still screw up no matter how hard they try. We are here only to help!
The next abomination I had to post! A customer asked me what he had to do to convert their fireplace! This is supposed to be an insert. Putting a fireplace in a fireplace is just nuts! If you were shown what they are or were going to do, would you still continue? I don't think so. This seems like a money making scheme to sell you something as ugly and idiotic as an insert. Why couldn't they come up with something more aesthetic or useful? I guess the fireplace industry is not very creative. After seeing so many of these the only advice I can give is RUN if anyone recommends an insert. You be the judge:
It looks like they hacked up the fireplace installing the flexible vent, nice job!
in my opinion, they butchered the fireplace and stuck in some insane part of a dead robot! It's a fireplace! You're looking for failure if you install this type of a fireplace.
You also may want to see "What Is An Insert?"
This one I had to post. This company has absolutely no creativity what so ever!. Here is what the customer had to say:
I live in Michigan and had wanted to convert an existing gas fireplace to a glass gas fireplace. I am sending pictures of what happened to MY unit. I don't think the owner of Flame to Fire had a clue as to what I wanted or expected, but in the end the glass fireplace installation was resolved by him taking the unit out and refunding my money for the equipment. Since he did remove my existing logs (and the dead bat in the chimney) I felt I should cover his labor charges for his employee, so I offered to do that. I had looked at your site, plus others, and what I envisioned was totally different that what was done.
He said he had to have all the lines due to safety requirements. I don't see anything like this on your site. What needs to be done to install the burners without having all the ancillary lines from the gas stub? I have a keyed gas turn off outside the fireplace, also the secondary turn off on the stub.
Thanks for any information you can provide. I am ordering a burner as soon as I know what else needs to be ordered to make this happen.
I can't believe anyone would try to pawn this type of a pan/ burner off on anyone! Just so you know, this is a typical pan and controller on a log set, Nice HUH?
The next fireplace is located in Palm Springs California. The decorator asked what could be done about these two fireplace. I told them to get a refund! Or call the Fireplace Police!
The next two pictures are of a typical burner that a fireplace store/ shop will sell you for around $170.00 to $180.00! Please notice: The line coming in is 1/2", the reducer is 3/8", then back to 1/2" on the burner??? Why would you reduce it only to increase it back to 1/2"??????? Then charge 3 times the price??????
The burner below is the one we can sell you for about $69.00. Two burner pipes, 4 rows of flames for a third of the price. The stores that we do sell to won't sell our burners because lack of profit!
The origami of a burner was just sent to us! This is going to be a neat trick to turn the valve off, after you have melted the nylon seat in the valve!
Now you get the picture! Just because several companies sell products, does mean they know what they are doing! If ever an installer starts off like this, get a stick and beat him. Tell them "WRONG"! If you did the installation and it looks anything like this, get a stick for your spouse to beat you! No REALLY!
Below is what the customer sent us to see. Not our glass, not our burner, not really our problem! But we are repairing the burner as the company that sold him this "stuff" won't service nor does not know how to! The back wall is burnt and the glass at best needs to be covered!
Just when you think the mistakes have stopped, think again...When in Mexico... Once a nice glass fire pit but these clowns think it's an ash tray and a beer bottle holder. I hope their not friends of yours!
The next fireplace was just a regular fireplace at one time. Then some ambitious salesman decided to sell them an insert. A fireplace in a fireplace. Who will think of what kind of crap they can sell you? Are some customers that gullible to believe this "Stuff"?
This next one actually did get my tongue!
I see thousands of fireplaces if not tens of thousands. I help customers try real hard to make their fireplace look wonderful, marvelous, fantastic, amazing... you get the idea. But when some send in hideous glass pictures and asking what I think, what am I to say? You be the judge: Nice paint? Inside and out!!!!
They used some sort of shards, beach glass? Nasty and sharp at best.
I won't even respond to this one, D-
The next fireplace has a Starfire base, Gold (15 lbs) 2 lbs of Ice ice Ice and 3 of our new 4" Black Porcelain coated Fire Balls! What went wrong was they left the screens on and the burner was not centered, very important!
I hope she removed the screen centered the burner...
Without the lights it looks nicer though...
Click HERE to see Page 3 of the How Not To Do It Page!