Quick fixes for 5 common gas fireplace issues
No doubt the cold weather has encouraged you to light the gas fireplace a few times in the last week.
If you didn’t find time for fireplace maintenance last spring, your gas fireplace might not light up like you expect. Most reports of gas fireplace problems come around this time of year, after the fireplace has been dormant for a handful of consecutive months.
But problems don’t immediately mean repairs.
You can do a little investigating and possibly even fix your fireplace issue if:
- The ignition won’t fire.
- Strange sounds accompany the flames.
- The pilot light fails repeatedly.
- The burner is off.
- Soot piles up in the corners of the gas fireplace.
Save yourself some money and follow the steps below before calling for repairs.
The ignition on my gas fireplace doesn’t fire.
The problem might be with your breaker. Check the breaker and reset any tripped breakers.
Double check your gas valve. You may have closed it last spring, so you simply need to open it again to get the gas flowing.
These two issues have caused many embarrassing service calls over the years, like the I.T. buy coming to fix your computer at the office by plugging in a loose cable.
Strange sounds accompany any fire we have.
Dirty burners can sometimes cause an unusually aggressive roaring sound. If your fire isn’t raging, but sounds like it is, shut everything off and clean the burners.
If a low rumbling noise accompanies your fire, adjust the flame to a higher setting for a while. It might just be one of those kinks that needs to work itself out after a period of inactivity.
Grinding noises usually come from an old blower. You can replace it yourself, but we recommend hiring a pro. It’s a more involved job than cleaning the burner, and things can go wrong if installation isn’t right.
My pilot light keeps failing.
A strong draft can blow your pilot light out, so a loose vent cap could be your problem. Don’t know what or where the vent cap is? Better to call a pro to fix this issue.
Your fireplace owner’s manual should include detailed instructions, often with pictures, to relight your pilot.
Something’s off about the burner.
The burner is a tricky part for do-it-yourselfers to take care of.
The only self-fix we recommend is checking the thermostat on your fireplace. It may be set very low, preventing the burner from running properly.
In this scenario, it’s best to call a professional.
- Clean the dirty pilot light orifice.
- Test and replace (if needed) the thermocouple.
- Test the electric circuits to make sure voltage isn’t low.
Soot piles are visible inside my gas fireplace. What the heck?
Your chimney is probably blocked, limiting airflow and resulting in weak fuel combustion.
The best bet here is booking a chimney sweep.
You could also increase the airflow according to the manufacturer instructions that came with your fireplace. The flame will burn with a blue tint, but the soot won’t be a problem.
Overall, we do recommend families book a gas fireplace maintenance visit annually, either at the start or end of the main fire season.
We can make sure your fireplace is in safe condition for a full season of comfortable ambiance at home.