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Fire Pit Pans and Trays

Pans and trays with and without burners

Fire Pit Pans and Trays

Fire Pit Pans and Trays are essential for building a successful gas fire pit. To understand why that is, it helps to have a clear idea of what constitutes a good fire pit structure, into which you are going to fit the pan or tray.

Fire Pit Structures

Gas Fire Pit structures should be hollow and must be ventilated. Codes may require ventilation, and all manufacturers of fire pit pans & burners recommend the provision of ventilation. It is, however, often overlooked in the construction of a fire pit.

The Industry Standard recommendation is to provide ventilation on two opposing sides of the fire pit. Each side should consist of a minimum of 18 square inches of ventilation, totaling 36 square inches. The larger the BTU rating of the burner, the more ventilation is required!

For Propane installations, the venting must be positioned as low as possible in the structure as Propane is heavier than air and if a gas leak were to occur the Propane would descend, creating a pool of gas within the structure.

There are two very good reasons for this venting:

● In case of any gas leak within the structure, the venting will clear out the potentially dangerous build-up of a gas cloud.

● The ‘through draft’ created by the vents will help keep the equipment cool.

Vent covers should be installed to prevent the critters from getting inside the fire pit and chewing through your gas lines.

So we imagine your next question would be, ” Why build a hollow fire pit and use a pan?”

A diagram showing the Through Ventilation concept
Through Ventilation is Mandatory on all Fire Pits
Sectional View demonstrating the Through Ventilation Concept

Why Use a Fire Pit Pan?

Efficient fire pit setups hinge on utilizing drop-in pans or flat trays for reliable burner support. This foundation is especially crucial for complex ignition systems like spark ignition or thermocouples, which require precise positioning on stable surfaces. The pan not only safeguards wires from heat but also facilitates proper functioning.

Sophisticated electronic ignition systems are designed to rest beneath heat shields or pans, ensuring protection and adequate ventilation for cooling.

Moreover, incorporating pans or trays in well-designed fire pits minimizes fire media usage, positively impacting costs.

This approach also mitigates the risk of gas accumulation, given adherence to guidelines and codes governing ventilation.

Easy pan/tray removal allows quick access to underlying equipment and gas connections, streamlining maintenance.

Avoiding simplistic filler methods and instead using pans/trays prevents ignition system limitations and potential gas-related issues. Drainage also proves crucial for equipment longevity and warranty adherence.

A real-life scenario illustrates the significance of proper support: a wire mesh-reliant burner led to cracked stones due to misplacement.

In hindsight, this situation could have been averted by employing fire pit pans or trays to ensure appropriate foundation support, exemplifying the necessity of these practices.

Types Of Fire Pit Pans

There are two basic designs of Fire Pit Pans:
Drop In Pans and Flat Pans

Drop In Pans

The Drop-In Fire Pit Pan has a recessed area into which the burner and any ignition system is securely fixed. Around the recessed area is a flange or lip, which varies in width depending on the brand, but is usually about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide.

These Pans make installation very straightforward. The lip sits on the upper surface of the fire pit structure, neatly framing the burn area.

The stainless steel lip becomes a feature of the fire pit.

Most Drop-In Pans are about 2 inches deep. This positions the burner below the top of the fire pit, which helps protect the flame from the breeze.

A Round Pan and Burner
An Installed Drop In Pan Showing How It IS Support
An installed Drop In Pan
An Installed drop in pan showing how the flange ' frames' the burn area

Flat Pans

As the name suggests, flat pans do not have a recessed area. The burner is secured to a flat sheet of Stainless Steel or Aluminum

A Flat Fire Pit Pan needs some provision to be made in the construction of the fire pit structure upon which it can sit. This can be achieved by building a ledge of some sort, or using either ‘Z’ brackets or ‘collars’ set into the inner wall of the fire pit structure.

When the fire glass/lava rock is installed the flat pan becomes completely hidden from view. 

A typical Flat Pan and Burner
A typical Flat Pan
This Fire Pit utilized a Flat Pan set below the top level of the ire pit and covered in fire glass
An installed Flat pan which is completely hidden
Gas Connection Kits are available for all our brands. Or you can opt for a complete fire pit kit which includes a pan, burner, gas connections, and ignition system.

A wide variety of Fire Pit Pans and Burners

Fire Glass and Lava Rock Calculators

Click to go to the Calculators