Question about Napoleon 36" Zero Clearance Top/Rear Vent Natural Gas Fireplace with Black Door

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Black soot on glass and black smoke comes out

I have a gas fireplace taht puts out a lot of black soot, however I do have propane to the house. My fireplace has black soot on the glass and it also has made my mantel and wall above the fireplace black. The stuff is like a cancer and sticks to everything. What is it, and how do i fix the fireplace so that it does not put out that black stuff.

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  • Joyb1 Jan 26, 2009

    I am not at home to look at the serial number, but I know the gas fireplace was made for natural gas and it has not been converted to propane. How do I do that?

  • jaggg Feb 02, 2009

    I have black soot above my fireplace and deposits on nearby walls. I have an open gas fire place. What could stop the black soot from depositing?

  • Joyb1 Feb 20, 2009

    how do I convert my natural gas fireplace to propane?

  • karenj717 Apr 20, 2009

    We purchased our 1st house at the end of the year 2008.  We have an open gas fireplace.  WE have black soot all over our house from having the fireplace on all winter(just discovered that the black is probably soot).  what can be done to stop the fireplace from putting off the soot?  It is a major problem.  The soot seems to be everywhere!  Please help! 

  • Richard May 11, 2010

    Was your fireplace originally designed as a wood burning fireplace and then converted to a gas fireplace? (Does it have a full chimney up to the roof?) If you have any paperwork that came with the fireplace that you can tell me a make and model number I can assist you with the next step of finding the proper conversion kit for your fireplace. If you don't have paperwork, the information that you need is usually located near the control valve on a metal plate, sometimes on a chain connected to the fireplace. Since we do know that you do have a natural gas fireplace and you are burning propane, I highly recommend that all operation is ceased until it is converted to the correct gas type.

  • Richard May 11, 2010

    Usually on gas fireplaces there is a rating plate mounted near the control valve that tells you the model number, serial number. In with all that information is the listed gas type that your fireplace was designed to burn. However, if the fireplace was converted to propane, there should be a sticker down there saying "This unit has been converted to use propane gas". If it was meant to burn Natural gas and your burning propane in an un-converted fireplace, that will cause a lot of soot build up inside the fireplace. If you have any additional information on what make and model the fireplace is, I can try to further assist you in figuring out the problem.


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Remove the burner and clean all holes ,typically at the end of the burner is a cheep sheet metal valve.This valve adjusts the air to gas mixture by rotating it to increase or decrease the combustible air intake.Air must be sucked into the burner as natural gas is injected into it, this makes for a clean flame,The flame should be blue with small yellow tips.If the flame is long and yellow and sooty increase the air intake on the burner valve.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

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In order to change or "convert" your Natural Gas fireplace to Propane there are several parts that need to be changed. First you need a part called an oriface. There is one for each burner (you may or may not have more than one) and one for the pilot. There may also be a pressure regulator somewhere in the pilot system. Some fireplace units require the entire burner and or pilot assembly to be changed. You also have to change the pressure regulator on the main gas valve, once again your unit may require you to change the entire valve. The fireplace manufacturer or the store where the fireplace was purchased will have to tell you what the parts are. This is a pretty technical process. If you do not get the pressures correct in the conversion your sooting problem will continue. Depending on your skill level you may want to call a fireplace professional. But be sure he/she knows what they are doing. Some service people can't get a conversion right.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009

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You have a natural gas fireplace and prorane gas you need to convert your fireplace to propane.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009

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I have a black soot on all my walls through the whole house especially the exterior walls. I believe it is caused by my propane fireplace. Im not sure if it is not ventilating properly or what the problem...

Is a Vented or Vent-free gas fireplace? I really suspect it's Vent-free (ventless) as a vented unit, unless the direct vent is clogged exhaust everything, including 85% of the heat out side.

Here are the things that will cause a Vent-free Gas Fireplace to soot.

  • Not having the fireplace cleaned and serviced, at least annually by a qualified technician.
  • Misplaced logs that impinge the main burner flames.
  • Running a ceiling fan at the wrong speed and in the wrong direction while fireplace is burning.
  • Burning scented candles while burning the fireplace.
  • Low Gas Pressure to the burner.
Here are the solutions to the above listed causes:

  • Have the fireplace cleaned and serviced.
  • Check your Owners Manual concerning the proper placement of each log,
  • Run the ceiling fan Counter Clockwise and at the slowest speed. The fan on the side of the switch should be in the UP position for Winter and Down for Summer.
  • Scented candles soot any way. Add the warm moist heat of the Gas Fireplace and they'll soot 50 times worse. The scent is not natural, it has an alcohol base like after shave & cologne. Stop burning scented candles. It has been proven that they greatly contribute to indoor air pollution.
  • Low gas pressure causes incomplete combustion, which causes the burner to soot. Have it checked by your propane provider.
Based on my 15 years in the hearth and home business and having sold and installed hundreds of these appliances, I am will to bet, it's a cleaning and servicing issue or misplaced logs.

Hope this helps you solve your sooting problem. I woud really like to know how it works out for you.
Please let me know at

Thanks ... Rich

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My propane fireplace has recently began to produce black soot that is coming out of the fireplace and covering the walls and ceiling. This has never been a problem in the past and I really need to know...

Hi, sounds like you could have an obstruction. Check the entire stack for bird nesting materials or debris. The propane, when it burns, should not produce any soot. My guess is that something else is burning in your chimney stack and if it is blocked, it will come into you room. Once you remove the debris, you should attach some wire mesh around the exit to avoid any heat seeking animals from nesting again. Hope this helps.

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I also deal with soot everywhere. I have propane. We do have a chimney that we vent when using. Still soot.

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Thanks for your question,
your problem is either impingement on your log set, or a product of incomplete combustion, if you notice soot on your logs, then you will need to take them out, clean them, and reinstall them as to not have the flame touching them, you will need to clean the burners as well, make sure nothing is laying across the burners, as this too will cause sooting, as far as incomplete combustion, was this model a natural gas converted to propane or the other way around ? if so who ever converted it, did they adjust the gas valve according to specs? improper adjustment will cause sooting or hooking up a natural gas unit to propane will do this too, I will recommend using (Rutland White Off) to remove any soot from your glass, it works fantastic for this ! any ace hardware will carry it, please do not use windex or any other cleaner on the glass as it will more than likely leave a rainbow affect on your glass once the glass heats up, hope this was helpful to ya, please rate this solution, thanks agai

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We have propane fire place an recently when we use it it is getting a black suit all over the fire place. my step dad thinks it is not burning hot enough but we dont know what the problem is.

Thanks for your Question,
Black soot is the by product of incomplete combustion, with Propane you will get alot more soot than with Natural gas, you need to look at how the flame are hitting your log set, if you have alot of soot on them you will need to reposition them as to not let the flame impinge on them causing the sooting affect, you will also need to check the burner for any type of blockage on them, clear off any thing that is on them, also you will need to check your venting for any blockage, I would also recommened you use a product called (rutland white off) it is a fantastic cleaner for fireplace glass, please do not use windex or cleaners of that type as they will cause a rainbow affect on the glass after heating to a certian point, hope this was helpful to ya, please rate this and let us know how we did, thanks again,

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