Ready the Firebox
Make sure that gas is completely turned off to the firebox. You will notice that your burner pan has threaded ends on both sides. This is to accommodate the possibility of your gas line coming in on either side of your firebox. Use the included cap on the end that will not be connected to the gas line covering the threads with Teflon tape. This is also a good time to clean your firebox. If the fireplace was previously used to burn wood, then a thorough cleaning will definately be necessary. To create a more dramatic contrast many people will paint thier firebox. Black high-temperature spray paint is a great way to change the look of your firebox. This will also create a great backdrop that your flames will stand out against.
Position your Grate and Burner
It is advisable to do a test fitting of your logs to decide on their position within the firebox. Log sets look best centered left to right in the fireplace. This is only possible if the correct size logs were purchased, keeping in mind extra clearance needed for pipes and valves. The Log Set will also need to be centered front to back. This is done for aesthetic reasons, but also in the case of a vented log set, it allows for the gases to escape up the chimney.
It may be helpful to scratch small markings into the floor of the fireplace once you are happy with your position. This way, if anything moves, you do not need to re-measure. The scratches will be covered by the ember materials, or volcanic rock once the installation is complete. Make sure that the grate does not come in contact with the aluminum line. The grate gets very hot, and direct contact with the line could damage it, or in extreme cases could cause a leak.
Attach the Gas Lines
This step will vary depending on the set that you choose and the ignition system associated. There will be a fitting needed on the gas supply line, and a corresponding fitting on the burner unit. Most systems incorporate some sort of flexible aluminum hose to connect the two. The hose can be gently bent to reach both points. Some users have found it beneficial to fill the flexible tube with sand to avoid crimping the tube and impinging the flow of gas through it. If this method is used, it is critical that the tube be cleaned out completely before gas is run through it.
Teflon tape should be used to seal all threads. To ensure that there are no leaks in any point of your gas supply chain, spray all fittings and hoses with a solution of soapy water. Inspect carefully for anywhere there are bubbles. This is a sign of a leak. Disassemble that section, repair the leak, and repeat the process until no leaks can be found.
Install Additional Materials
These materials are functional parts of your Gas Log installation, but they can also drastically improve the look of your set as well. First the base material will be placed in the burner pan, fully covering the actual burner tubes. The material used here will be dependent of the type of gas running to the fireplace. Liquid Propane will use volcanic rock to allow the gas to pass easily through it. Natural Gas, being lighter than air, can use sand to cover the burner. The sand should be in a pile that follows the shape of the burner pan. Generally this means starting higher in the back and sloping downward to the front. On top of that, ember materials add a sense of realism. This is a soft material, often made of rock wool that can be spread out to cover the sand. When heated, the material will glow, giving the impression of actual embers burning below your grate. Lava rock can then be poured around the entire installation, finishing off the look and better securing all items in place.
With a Vented Log Set, your logs can be placed in any arrangement you desire. Try to allow flames to come up and around the logs, “licking” the front of the logs for a realistic effect. When arranging a Ventless Set, the position of the logs is pre defined, and it’s placement over the burner is important. It is critical to avoid flame impingement.