I’ve just taken the front cover off our fireplace with the intention of using it to have a real fire,
but the fire place has what appears to be a plasterboard back, and various pipes and electric cable in it.

I presume the pipes on the left are cut water pipes to the old boiler, and a capped gas pipe?

The electric cables don’t appear to be live, and the pipe on the right is warm indicating it is a hot water or radiator pipe (you can also see micro bore radiator pipes through the hole in the back).

My question is was this fireplace ever intended for use with a real fire, or was it fitted with a gas fire from construction? If so, I suppose it is not possible to have a real fire without moving the pipework?


Image Upload
  • You must to post comments

I’ve just done this too. We have a capped gas pipe a little above floor level that I’m going to get a plumber to cap right at floor level so we can cover it – see image.

We also had loads of redundant pipe work running through the steel cage that was easy to lift out, but have two pipes for the new central heating (boiler in loft) that we want to re-route through the wall, leaving the flue for a wood burner.

Image Upload
  • You must to post comments

Hi St-B

The original fire was fitted as a coal fire with a simple back box boiler located at the rear of the fireplace.
As the fire burned the flames heated the cold water in the pipes which provided a simple non-pumped central heating system.

What you see is probably the remnants of the old pipes or you could be seeing the remains of a Gas fire back boiler, which was fitted to many properties in the 1970’s onward.
The Baxi Bermuda was the most popular.

It’s difficult to see without an image so I have raised the image size from 1000kb to 2000kb, if you want to try and upload it again.

If you are planning on re-opening up the fireplace with an open fire you may need to make some alterations for safety purposes which may include rear fire bricks, blocking any existing side holes and installing a flue liner.

Are you going for an open fire or a woodburner?


  • ST-B

    Hello Marc,
    our original plan was to have double sided hole in the wall fire (Living Room & Kitchen), but opening up the fire seemed a simpler option, up until now! ?


  • You must to post comments
Showing 2 results
Your Answer
Guest Author
Post as a guest by filling out the fields below or if you already have an account.
Image Upload
Upload your image here
File Name Size
There are currently no files uploaded.
Maximum file size 1MB.
Supported file formats: gif jpeg jpg png