Gas Fire Pit Trouble Shooting 101

Fire Pit Trouble Shooting
Table of contents

Gas Fire Pit Trouble Shooting 101

Gas Fire Pit Trouble Shooting 101 is a quick guide to discovering the cause of the most common issues with gas fire pits.

Setting aside highly sophisticated Electronic Ignition systems, gas fire pits are very simple, with practically no moving parts. Therefore there is very little that can go wrong with them.

Spiders build nests in air mixer valves ultimately blocking the air intake flow

However, like all gas appliances, gas fire pits do have manufacturer specifications that need to be adhered to, for them to function correctly.

For example, all domestic alliances, both propane and natural gas, are designed to work within a specific gas pressure range. If the gas pressure is too high or too low, then it will cause performance issues.

Typical Fire Pit Gas Supply Operating Pressures

Natural Gas Fire Pit: Supply Pressure: Minimum: 6.0 inches W.C.;
Maximum: 7.0 inches W.C.

LP Gas: Supply Pressure: Minimum: 8.0 inches W.C.;
Maximum: 11.0 inches W.C.

Gas Fire Pit BTUs

BTUs (British Thermal Units) are simply a unit of measurement. In relation to Natural Gas or Liquid Propane Gas, it measures the heat content (energy) of the fuel.

All Gas appliances use a BTU/hr rating. When the BTUs of all household gas appliances are added together you end up with the total BTU Load which represents the demand on the system when all gas appliances are operating at full capacity. The BTU Load enables gas companies to supply you with enough gas by selecting an appropriate Propane gas tank or Natural Gas meter.

Correctly sized gas lines and regulators are essential to supplying the BTUs required, at the correct pressure, ensuring appliances can operate safely and effectively.

If you have concerns that your fire pit issues stem from either a lack of BTUs or gas pressure, we suggest you read, Gas Hard Piping Size for Fire Pits and How To Successfully Build A Gas Fire Pit which go into more detail.

We strongly recommend that you contract the services of a gas technician to perform any checks on your behalf.

Gas Fire Pit Trouble Shooting 101 – Quick Check Guide

Fire Pit Problem – Fire Pit Flame Too Low

Potential Cause – Miss-matched components

  • Solution – Check that the burner’s BTU rating matches the BTU rating of the amount of gas you have available for the fire pit. If the burner rating is greater, replace it with a lower-rated burner that matches the available gas. Bigger burners do not make taller flames!

Potential Cause – Incorrect gas feed hard pipe size

  • Solution – Check the Hard Gas Feed Pipe against the chart and ensure enough gas is getting to the fire pit. (See Feed Pipe Size Chart). If not, increase the hard pipe diameter, or reduce the size of the burner to match the amount of gas delivered to the fire pit via the hard pipe.

Potential Cause – Blockage or gas leak restricting gas flow.

  • Solution – Check all gas pipes for partial blockages. Use compressed air to clean the pipes. Check all connections for leaks. 

Fire Pit Problem – Fire Pit making Whistling Noise

Potential Cause – Flex lines with sharp bends in them

  • Solution – Ensure the flex lines are whistle-free design. Remove any sharp curves or bends in the lines. Flex lines should follow the most gentle curve possible from point A to B.

Potential Cause – Gas supply pressure is too high

  • Solution – The gas supply pressure should be within the range specified by the fire pit manufacturer’s specification. Measure the gas supply pressure, if it is too high have it reduced to comply with appliance specifications.

Fire Pit Problem – Soot deposits on fire glass

Potential Cause – Incorrect air/propane mixture ratio

  • Solution – Ensure the correct size Air Mixture Valve is fitted to the base of the burner. Ensure there is sufficient ventilation in the fire pit structure for constant replenishment of air to the air mixer valve. Clear any blockages in the air inlets of the air mixer valve. 

Fire Pit Problem – Flame Goes Out

Potential Cause – Blockage or gas leak restricting gas flow.

  • Solution – Check all gas pipes for partial blockages. Use compressed air to clean the pipes. Check all connections for leaks.