Tips On How To Build A Gas Fire Pit

Tips on How to Build a Gas Fire Pit

Tips on How to Build a Gas Fire Pit highlights some of the most important factors to be considered when planning a gas fire pit project. These tips apply equally to Natural Gas or Propane systems.

A clear understanding of the following issues will help you to plan your project and be well on your way to building a great fire pit.  If you have decided to use contractors for the project, this guide will allow you to observe what they are doing, understand why they are doing it, and perhaps spot potential problems.

Let’s get to it then.

 1. Provide Fire Pit Tray/Pan Support – Secure and stable support for your fire pit tray/pan using either Steel Collars or Z Brackets set into the fire pit structure. Must be manufactured from non-combustable materials.

Tips On How To Build A Gas Fire Pit
diagram basic copy 3

2. Utilize a Fire Pit Drop-In or Flat Pan – especially if using Propane. Pan/Tray & Burner should be manufactured from Stainless Steel and have weep holes. Pans/trays reduce the amount of fire glass required. Most available on The Magic Of Fire are supplied with Lifetime Warranty.

3. Void/Cavity – The void or cavity is an integral part of the fire pit structure and should never be filled. For Propane systems it provides the essential replenishment of air required for the air mixer valve. For all systems the void provides cooling for the equipment and easy access for maintenance

Fire Pit Through Ventilation

4. Through Ventilation – recommended by all manufacturers and should be regarded as mandatory. Minimum requirement is 18 sq. inches on two opposing sides of the fire pit structure, to create a ‘through flow’ of air. For propane systems install the vents as low as possible.

5. Fire Pit Structure – Built with non-combustable materials. Fire Pit Tray/Burner set at least 2″ below top of the structure to protect from wind. Applicable Codes and manufacturers instructions will advise about proximity of the fire pit to other structures and flammable materials.

Fire Pit Structure
Fire Pit Structure - Drainage

6. Drainage – Provide efficient drainage at the base of the fire pit structure to ensure it does not fill with water during rainfall. 

7. Shut Off Valve – Fire Pit must have a Shut Off Valve Installed. The Valve should be located in an easily accessed position on the fire pit structure, in case the gas needs to be turned off urgently. Using a Key Valve allows you to remove the key when the fire pit is not in use and prevents ‘unauthorized’ lighting of the fire pit.

Fire Pit Structure - Shut Off Valve

Tips on How to Build a Gas Fire Pit – Proximity

Below is a typical example of a manufacturers recommendations regarding the proximity of other structures to your fire pit.

This diagram is for reference only. There are two very important factors to bear in mind when referring to this diagram:

  1. The quoted dimensions may not comply with local codes applicable to your project. Always check your local codes. If the codes recommend smaller clearances than the manufacturer, then use the manufacturers dimensions. If the codes recommend bigger clearances then the manufacturer, then follow the codes recommendations. 
  2. These manufacturers recommendations will be different for larger or smaller burners, which will need greater or lesser clearances respectively. Always use the recommendations appropriate to the burner you are using. 

A good source of information is the Building Code Forum which is for use by the general public.

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