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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    8

    Question Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    Hi,
    I'm looking to install a direct vent fireplace in my living room. Has anyone ever installed one and if so did you run a new/separate line to hook up the electrical? The unit itself has a junction box to be hooked up to 120VAC. The area I am putting it in already has electrical there (outlet) so I'm wondering if I can use that to hook it up?

    The install manual reads this:
    - Wire the appliance junction box to 110-120 VAC. This is
    required for proper operation of the appliance.

    - Low voltage and 110-120 VAC voltage cannot be shared
    within the same wall box.

    Thanks
    Last edited by envieddesigns; 09-08-2015 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Added more info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,901

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    The electrical demand of a direct vent fireplace is not great; the only thing that uses power is the blower. Typically less than a few amps. However, it is considered a hardwired, permanently installed appliance by the National Electrical Code, and therefore must be on a dedicated circuit that can be locked out for servicing.

    Note that the requirement for a dedicated circuit has nothing to do with the load, but with regard to the disconnecting means. When an appliance is hardwired and permanently installed, you must be able to disconnect the power to that appliance without affecting other appliances or circuits.

    If an appliance is designed with a cord and a 15A plug, the manufacturer intends it to be plugged into a standard branch circuit unless the manufacturer specifies a dedicated circuit. The plug serves as the disconnecting means.

    The low-voltage wiring is for a switch or thermostat to control the fireplace. Many fireplaces do not require 120V for operating the flame; they will have a pilot light and a thermopile that generates the electricity to power the fuel solenoid valve. The 120V is typically only to power the blower.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 09-08-2015 at 06:37 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    The electrical demand of a direct vent fireplace is not great; the only thing that uses power is the blower. Typically less than a few amps. However, it is considered a hardwired, permanently installed appliance by the National Electrical Code, and therefore must be on a dedicated circuit that can be locked out for servicing.

    Note that the requirement for a dedicated circuit has nothing to do with the load, but with regard to the disconnecting means. When an appliance is hardwired and permanently installed, you must be able to disconnect the power to that appliance without affecting other appliances or circuits.

    If an appliance is designed with a cord and a 15A plug, the manufacturer intends it to be plugged into a standard branch circuit unless the manufacturer specifies a dedicated circuit. The plug serves as the disconnecting means.

    The low-voltage wiring is for a switch or thermostat to control the fireplace. Many fireplaces do not require 120V for operating the flame; they will have a pilot light and a thermopile that generates the electricity to power the fuel solenoid valve. The 120V is typically only to power the blower.
    Code reference please.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    Thank you FencePost. I'm actually not installing the blower I bought the very base model of the unit I picked out without a blower. Though I don't even have any more slots in my Electrical Panel to add a new line/breaker for it.

    And I found a lot of things on one breaker for example. One 15 amp breaker controls my front porch light, foyer light, a hallway light, then its jumped to the living room & dinning room light switch & maybe 4 outlets. Is that normal? I mean the house was built in 69 the wiring is not old and thus far no issues been living there for 8 years.

    I have 200 coming into the panel its a smaller one with maybe 30 breakers.

    so if I have no slots left does this mean I'll have to get a subpanel just to add the 1 breaker for this project?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    There is absolutely no need or requirement for an individual circuit for a fireplace blower.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    Art. 422.30 (A) allows appliances not over 300 Volt-Amperes ( watts) or a 1/8 HP motor do not require a disconnect at the appliance. The branch circuit breaker is adequate.

    Exception: (C) Even if over 1/8 HP, in a one family dwelling the breaker is sufficient.

    Art. 422.34 even allows an appliance switch that disconnects all "hot" wires and has a position marked "off" to serve as the disconnect, in one family dwellings.

    Since the appliance does not have a blower I'm curious why it needs 120V, unless to generate a high voltage spark for ignition. If it's needed you can certainly use the nearby outlet. Just mark the directory in your main panel that it's on that circuit.

    Although all the spaces in your main panel are full, the circuit you mention does not appear overloaded.

    The caution about low voltage circuits and high voltage circuits is usually talking about not combining a piezoelectric pushbutton in a double gang box with 120V power. But, it can be done if you install a HV/LV barrier in the box.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    Thank you all, actually now I remembered that when I took down a wall that divided my kitchen and dinning room I tossed the outlet that was on that wall up to the attic. I think I'll run that back down towards the living room just for the fireplace. Assuming that wire isn't long enough to make it though so would I be able to use a junction box in the attic to extend that line to where I can hook it up to the fireplace?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,737

    Default Re: Direct Vent Fireplace Install Electrical question

    All connections must be made in a box with a cover plate which is rated for the work. It must be accessible without needing to demo anything (in other words it can't be concealed inside a wall). Put that box in the attic and run down to the outlet, and you're good to go.

    Phil

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